‘A step too far’: Netflix fans warned not to dress up as serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer for Halloween

People are being reminded that the serial killer, who murdered 17 men and boys, was a ‘real person’ who ‘ruined countless lives’

People are being warned not to dress up as Jeffrey Dahmer for Halloween after a Netflix series portraying the crimes of the infamous serial killer achieved global success. Dahmer - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story centres around the life of Dahmer, who murdered and dismembered 17 men and boys in a horrific killing spree between 1978 and 1991.

Since its launch in September, the series has risen to become Netflix’s second most-watched show of all time, with actor Evan Peters gaining widespread praise for his portrayal of Dahmer. But the series has also gone on to attract hefty criticism for its graphic scenes which many have declared ‘retraumatizing’ - particularly for the devastated families of Dahmer’s 17 victims.

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Warnings are now flooding social media urging people to refrain from donning a Jeffrey Dahmer costume on October 31. It’s not uncommon for horror fans to dress up as fictional killers such as Jason X or Hannibal Lecter on Halloween, but reminders have sounded that Dahmer was a ‘real person’ who ‘ruined countless lives’.

“Please. I repeat PLEASE do NOT dress up as Jeffrey Dahmer for Halloween,” posted @Narro88 on Twitter. “Do not recreate scenes from the show either. It is not funny and it is disrespectful to the victims’ families. It is not funny or cool.”

Evan Peters as serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer (Photo: Netflix)

@swifteves also posted: “I think that the Jeffrey Dahmer costumes are a step too far. These things actually happened. Families have trauma from these events. This is gonna be a hard Halloween for some, and I feel truly sad that’s the case.”

@Bryan_KnowsBest said: “Jeffrey Dahmer costumes are best to be avoided for Halloween. There are a million different, non-controversial, inoffensive costume choices out there to choose from. Halloween is not an excuse to be insensitive”

Who was Jeffrey Dahmer?

Jeffrey Damer was an American serial killer and sex offender from Milwaukee who murdered and dismembered 17 men and boys, many of whom were gay men of colour, between 1978 and 1991. Many of Dahmer’s later murders involved cannibalism, necrophilia, and permanent preservation of body parts.

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Dahmer was arrested after Tracy Edwards, a potential victim, managed to escape from the killer’s apartment after being held at knifepoint. The 32-year-old alerted the police who later searched Dahmer’s apartment where they found severed heads, seven skulls and two human hearts.

Jeffrey L. Dahmer was arrested in 1991 (Getty Images)

Dahmer willingly confessed everything he had done. Despite being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, schizotypal personality disorder and a psychotic disorder, he was declared legally sane. Dahmer was sentenced to 15 terms of life imprisonment in 1992 after being convicted of 15 of the 16 murders he committed in Wisconsin. He was later sentenced to a sixteenth term of life imprisonment for an additional homicide he committed in Ohio.

Dahmer was beaten to death by Christopher Scarver, a fellow inmate at the Columbia Correctional Institution, in November 1994.