Think of the victims: let’s stop idolizing serial killers

Alyssa Monroe
Photo Editor

With it being a Halloween and spooky season, most people like scary stories, especially killer documentaries. Recently, Jeffrey Dahmer’s docudrama series was released on Netflix, starring Evan Peters in the main role. 

The show is a very accurate rendition of what happened to the victims, and the attention to detail is terrifying. With that trend, a lot of people have been wearing Jeffrey Dahmer costumes and glasses, which comes into play when it crosses the line of idolizing real killers and showing a lack of remorse to the victims and their families. 

Don’t get me wrong, I definitely love watching depictions of real-life serial killers. Not only does it let us understand the mindset of the killer, but also the warning signs of what to look out for. 

Also, I think it’s very entertaining since they are based on real-life stories of events and people. It makes learning about them very interesting and grabs your attention. But the question is when is it too much? 

I think the docudrama series tells the truth of what happens from start to finish, but they never tell the aftermath of the families. At the same time, this is drawing more notoriety to the killers and giving them the wrong kind of attention, and it is said that most killers kill for just that–attention. Most are lacking the love of their family or just want stardom and to get people’s attention. 

I think issues begin to pop up when people start dressing up and idolizing them. There’s a difference between dressing up like real killers versus fictional characters. More people are going to start loving them because of the dramatized on-screen portrayals. 

A small percentage are going to see that they’re getting this stardom and want it too, and I think that could cause more killers or copycats. I think when there are more than two series or a movie made about a killer, it will draw a lot more attention which will cause people to want more of it. The popularity of these shows will cause creators to want to gain more money and will make more series or create items for sale to increase revenue. 

I think people forget that there are real victims. These are real lives, and there are people affected by this. These shows are about real people and events that happened in our history. 

There needs to be a difference between entertainment versus education. Making more movies about famous killers can hurt the victims’ families, and potentially cause more deaths.

I think the main problem lies with the inherent nature of biopics and how portraying a person’s life onscreen can carry the possibility of misconstruing the public image of said person, especially since the medium of movies/television is heavily based on dramatization. 

Recreating real-life events of any event or person carries the lofty expectation of balancing accuracy and intrigue. 

The thing about entertainment is that finding the proper middle ground between those two aspects is often difficult to achieve especially when it comes to the portrayal of certain individuals like Jeffrey Dahmer.

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