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The mother of one of victims of Jeffrey Dahmer is speaking out after the actor who portrayed him in a recent Netflix series won an award for his work.
On Tuesday evening, Evan Peters won the Golden Globe for the best actor in a limited or anthology series or television film for his portrayal of Jeffrey Dahmer in "Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story."
"I want to thank everyone who watched this show," he said in his acceptable speech. "It was a difficult one to make, a difficult one to watch. But I sincerely hope some good came out of it."
Shirley Hughes is the mother of Dahmer victim Tony Hughes, 31, who Dahmer brutally murdered in 1991. Tony, who was a Black, deaf aspiring model, was Dahmer's 12th victim; his murder was dramatized in the sixth episode of "Monster," entitled "Silenced."
Shirley, now 85, condemned Peters' acceptance of the award during an interview with TMZ.
"There's a lot of sick people around the world," she said, "And people winning acting roles from playing killers keeps the obsession going and this makes sick people thrive on the fame."
"It's a shame that people can take our tragedy and make money," she added. "The victims never saw a cent. We go through these emotions every day."
Shirley told TMZ that Peters should have at least acknowledged the families of the victims, or called on Hollywood to stop dramatizing similar tragedies.
Shirley previously condemned the series in an interview with The Guardian in October.
"I don’t see how they can do that,” she said then. “I don’t see how they can use our names and put stuff out like that out there.”
She ended the call with that reporter quickly, saying it was still too difficult to talk about her son's murder after more than 30 years — but not without mentioning that her son's murder didn't happen the way it was portrayed in the series.
Tony, who had been living in Madison, Wisconsin, at the time of his death, had been visiting his mother in Milwaukee for two weeks at the time of his murder.
According to an interview his friend, Michael Ross, gave to producers of the Netflix docuseries, "Conversations With a Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes," Tony told him that he and Dahmer had encounters before the night Dahmer killed him, suggesting they knew each other long before 1991.
"Tony knew Jeff for a long time. And Tony and Jeff had had relations. Tony told me so," Ross said. "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," he said.
Tony's mother told the Associated Press in 1991 that, on the night of his death, her son said was going out to a bar and would be spending the night with a friend named Jeffrey. She never knew Jeffrey's last name.
This version of events was the one that appeared in the Netflix drama, which implies that Dahmer had an emotional attachment to Tony before murdering him with a hammer after their last evening together.
Dahmer told prosecutors he'd never met Tony before killing him on May 24, 1991. In a confession to his defense attorneys, Dahmer claimed that he'd tried to find a way to "keep" Tony without murdering him, ultimately drugging the man and performing a deadly, non-medical lobotomy before strangling him.
He then dismembered Tony and kept his skull.
Shirley reported her son missing at the time of his disappearance but only found out he had died when Milwaukee police finally arrested Dahmer and identified a skull at his apartment via dental records as Tony.
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