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The mother of one of Jeffrey Dahmer's victims has something to say about Ryan Murphy's Netflix series "Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story."
Shirley Hughes — whose son, Tony Hughes, was murdered by Dahmer in 1991 — noted that she didn't watch the series, let alone the episode centered on her son's death.
However, she recently told The Guardian, "It didn’t happen like that."
Like other family members of Jeffrey Dahmer's victims, Shirley was upset that Netflix didn't contact the families about the making of the series, which Murphy and star Evan Peters have claimed is sympathetic to the victims.
"I don’t see how they can do that," she said. “I don’t see how they can use our names and put stuff out like that out there.”
In the series, Tony (Rodney Burford) meets and befriends Dahmer at a Milwaukee bar.
Another scene shows Tony, a deaf aspiring model, speaking with his mother, played by Karen Malina White, over dinner.
Other episodes recreate Dahmer's 1992 murder trial, including the emotional moment at sentencing during which victim Errol Lindsey's sister Rita Isbell yelled at the serial killer.
Isbell told Dahmer she hated him and had to be restrained by bailiffs.
Like Shirley Hughes, Isbell decided not to watch the show in its entirety because "I lived it," she wrote in an essay for Insider.
“When I saw some of the show, it 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,” Isbell stated. “If I didn't know any better, I would've thought it was me. Her hair was like mine, she had on the same clothes. That's why it felt like reliving it all over again. It brought back all the emotions I was feeling back then.”
Isbell said she would've appreciated Netflix reaching out to the families in advance, adding that she feels the company should donate proceeds to those impacted by Dahmer's crimes.
"I'm very, very comfortable," Isbell said. "But the victims have children and grandchildren. If the show benefited them in some way, it wouldn't feel so harsh and careless."
Errol's cousin Eric Perry said in a separate statement that "Monster" has only hurt the victim's families.
"I’m not telling anyone what to watch, I know true crime media is huge," Perry tweeted on Sept. 22. "But if you’re actually curious about the victims, my family (the Isbells) are pissed about this show. It’s retraumatizing over and over again, and for what? How many movies/shows/documentaries do we need?”
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