“My consuming lust was to experience their bodies. I viewed them as objects, as strangers. It is hard for me to believe a human being could have done what I’ve done.” Creeps you out, doesn’t it? If you’ve watched this Netflix series, then you know where this bone-chilling quote comes from. For others who don’t have a clue, these disturbing words are from DAHMER — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, the controversial new series that is based on a true story and has been making headlines ever since it premiered on the streaming platform on September 21 2022. In fact, the Evan Peters starrer has become the second most popular series of all time and has topped Netflix’s global top 10 English TV list. So much so that it is just behind the fourth season of Stranger Things in terms of viewership.
This is the one show on Netflix that has gripped everyone’s attention right now. Want to know why? This isn’t just a fictional crime series but one that’s based on a real-life story. Jeffrey Dahmer was very much a person once alive and who reigned terror in the US from 1978 to 1991 through his horrifying acts. He was dubbed as the ‘Milwaukee Cannibal’ or the ‘Milwaukee Butcher’ and was most-wanted serial killer in the States. You can view his mugshot here.
He murdered 17 men and boys, committed sexual offences and was involved in cannibalism over a span of 13 years. Did we remind you of Dr. Hannibal Lecter with that cannibalism part? While that was purely fictitious, the Jeffrey Dahmer story isn’t.
Jeffrey Dahmer: The true story of America’s most-wanted serial killer
Born on May 21, 1960, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Jeffrey Dahmer was the elder child of Lionel Dahmer, an analytical chemist.
The series, which constantly shifts back and forth from the day he was acquitted to his early days as a child and as a teenager, carefully traces the journey of the Milwaukee boy.
As a child, Dahmer was described as timid and rather quiet by his teachers. It is also said that he suffered from abandonment issues as a child as both his parents were unavailable for a large part of his childhood. Apart from facing insecurities as such, Dahmer was also supposed to have normalised violence at an early age as he witnessed his parents fighting violently every now and then.
When he reached puberty, he discovered he was gay and kept his identity hidden from his parents. If you’re to watch the show you’d realise that Dahmer being unable to accept his identity openly stems from the fact that he has a homophobic family. In one of the scenes from the show, Dahmer (Evans Peters who plays the namesake) is seen masturbating with a fake male figurine and is caught by his grandmother who tells that it’s a bad thing to do. She later throws the figurine out and tells a visibly distraught Dahmer about the same.
Turning into a monster
Jeffrey Dahmer was also an alcoholic during his teenage years. Apparently, he began drinking to cope with the chaotic relationship of his parents at home. His drinking habit is what got him kicked out of the military service as well later during the years.
Jeffrey Dahmer’s first murder was after he completed his graduation. What gradually started as a sexual fantasy turned into planned murders and thereafter cannibalistic in nature. Since early childhood, Dahmer was interested in the anatomy of dead animals, their bone structure et all. In fact, in one of the scenes from the show Dahmer is seen telling a psychiatrist how he gets sexually aroused by seeing the internal organs of his victims.
Later during adolescence, after discovering he was gay, he fantasied having a male submissive partner. His fantasies eventually led him to dissection and the rest as they say is history. America saw its most notorious silent serial killer.
Is the show worth watching?
Though the show has garnered both acclaim and brickbats from critics and viewers alike, this is a true crime documentary like no other. The pedophile-necrophiliac Jeffrey Dahmer played by actor Evans Peters to perfection will aghast you and yet keep you hooked, because you’d like to know what happens next. Tune into Dahmer on Netflix if you haven’t already, and check out the newly released Conversations with a Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes, another documentary about the murderer.
(All Images: Netflix/ IMDb)
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India