While the country collectively looks for a glimmer of hope during this rather difficult time in American history, Ryan Murphy looks to shine a light on an equally ominous time in history instead with a new Netflix series, Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. In this new series, Murphy, notorious for producing the sinister series American Horror Story for FX, hopes to capture the story of one of the infamous serial killers from the 1980’s and history, Jeffrey Dahmer. Dahmer was responsible for the death of at least seventeen young men, the details of said murders ripe with necrophilia and cannibalism, in the greater-Milwaukee area from the end of the 1970’s up until his arrest in 1991, a sentence which he would ultimately only serve three years of after being murdered while incarcerated by a fellow inmate. Now, nearly three decades since his arrest and subsequent death, Ryan Murphy looks to tell Dahmer’s story in a ten episode limited Netflix series taking an in-depth look at Dahmer and the crimes he committed.
Though the series may have a working title in place, development is still in the early stages as Murphy and Ian Brennan, who will co-produce the series alongside Murphy, are still actively hunting for their Jeffrey Dahmer. They have casted Dahmer’s father however, a scientist who gave his son lessons about animal dissection which would prove to be useful later on in Dahmer’s life, to be played by Richard Jenkins, known for also playing the father of Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly in the 2008 film Step Brothers. While it does seem a bit strange that Murphy and Brennan would cast Dahmer’s father before Dahmer himself, Jenkins resume speaks for itself with, more or less, half a century in acting experience and laundry list of roles he has played make it clear why his name was the first taken off the board by the producers. Now, a manhunt similar to the one for Dahmer himself at the end of his reign of terror will begin as the producers search for the face of Jeffrey Dahmer for their upcoming series.
After the success of Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, another Netflix limited series which told the story of prolific tiger breeder Joe Exotic, it is clear Netflix has developed a winning strategy in the limited series they create. These series capture intriguing yet relatively obscure moments in American and World history, and Dahmer’s story clearly fits that mold. The socioeconomic and political details of this case, Dahmer taking primarily minorities for victims and maintaining his freedom for almost two decades, make it particularly interesting given the current political climate in the United States and should serve as an interesting point of discussion throughout the series. While this is not the first time film or television has taken a look at Dahmer’s case, this is certainly poised to become the most apt take on the matter with industry veterans like Murphy and Brennan’s at the helm of the story, and at such a crucial moment in America.