Jeffrey Dahmer is an infamous name in the world for his killings. The serial killer’s killings are shown in the Netflix series Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, which has been criticized by Shirley Hughes, the mother of victim Tony Hughes.

Shirley joined the increasing number of family members who have criticized Ryan Murphy’s depiction of the brutal serial killer who killed 17 adults and teenage boys over a 13-year period. Even Tony, a deaf and mute guy who was murdered in 1991, played by Rodney Burford, with Karen Malina White portraying his mother, Shirley, is included in the series, which has quickly grown to be one of the most popular Netflix originals.

Shirley said,

“I don’t see how they can do that. It was difficult to talk about Tony’s murder.”


Along with Shirley, Rita Isbell, Errol Lindsey’s sister, and Eric Perry, his cousin, both criticized the limited series for not contacting them before it debuted on Netflix and for “retraumatizing” their experiences.

Isbell, whose emotional victim impact statement was verbatim recreated on the series by actress DaShawn Barnes, wrote in an essay for Insider what she saw of the show.

Isbell explained,

“Bothered me, especially when I saw myself – when I saw my name come across the screen and this lady saying verbatim exactly what I said.

It felt like reliving it all over again. It brought back all the emotions I was feeling back then.”

In the meantime, Perry’s remarks about how “wild” it was that they imitated Isbell’s scene in court went viral on Twitter. “It’s retraumatizing over and over again, and for what?” he wrote.

In the Netflix documentary series Conversations With a Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes, two friends of those killed narrated their stories, with Michael Ross recalling the final time he saw Hughes alive. “Tony knew Jeff for a long time. And Tony and Jeff had had relations. Tony told me so,” Ross said on camera.

“It was Memorial Day weekend of 1991. Tony Hughes and I were together in a bar called The Phoenix. We were sitting at the bar having cocktails and Jeff came in the back door. Jeffrey Dahmer. When Jeff walked in, Tony got up from the bar and approached him. Tony left me and went to follow Jeff on the dance floor.

That was the last time I saw Tony Hughes.”

The three-part documentary’s director, Joe Berlinger, told ET that the majority of Dahmer’s victims’ families “either did not respond or declined, and I can understand why,” adding that he respected their choice. Ross, however, stated on camera the need of speaking up and the need to “humanize the individuals who lost their lives.”

“Recognizing that each one of those young men had a mother, a father, had sisters and brothers that loved them and still miss them,” explained Ross, who was connected to several of the victims of Dahmer, including Hughes, Tony Sears, Ernest Miller, and Eddie Smith. Stay tuned to Thirsty for more updates.

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Smita Singha Roy

Smita is an engineering student with a passion for learning and exploring new things. She is an enthusiastic and determined individual who enjoys reading newspapers, studying people, history and storytelling. She also likes to watch movies to gain new perspectives and enrich her life experience. Smita is an artist and enjoys cooking and playing the guitar in her free time.

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