Dahmer Victim's Mother Couldn't Bring Herself To Say Much About Netflix Series, But What She Said Wasn't A Compliment

Jeffrey Dahmer being taken into court in Dahmer - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story
(Image credit: Netflix)

Monster: The Jeffery Dahmer story has been one of the most watched and controversial shows on the Fall 2022 TV schedule. While millions with a Netflix subscription have tuned in, many people who were close to Dahmer’s victims have called out the show. Now, Shirley Hughes, the mother of Tony Hughes, one of Dahmer’s victims, didn’t say much, but she did condemn the show. 

The show follows the victims of Dahmer, and one of the episodes is about Tony. He was an aspiring deaf model and was 31 when he was killed. The mother said she didn’t understand how the show could be. Shirley told The Guardian “it didn’t happen like that.” While chatting with the journalist Shirley noted that it was hard to talk about her son’s murder and ended the call, but before that she said: 

I don’t see how they can do that. I don’t see how they can use our names and put stuff out like that out there.

It’s been noted by many loved ones of Dahmer’s victims that the show is difficult and traumatizing to watch. Viewers have said that the episode about Hughes, titled “Silenced” is extremely difficult to watch. According to the article, it appears that Hughes tried to leave and Dahmer possibly murdered him with a hammer. The episode ends with the killer cooking and eating Hughes’ liver after donating money to a search that Shirley and other families of his victims had started. 

Many of the families of Dahmer’s victims have spoken out against the show, noting that they were not asked permission to tell the story, and found out about it when it was released on Netflix. The story referenced a tweet from Eric Perry, a cousin of Errol Lindsey, another one of Dahmer’s victims. He wrote: 

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Along with Perry and Shirley, Rita Isbell, Lindsey’s sister, spoke out against the show. She said it felt like “reliving it all over again,” and that it “brought back all the emotions.” On top of this, a friend of two of the victims explained that he thought the show was “wrong” and “ill-timed,” describing it as a “media grab.” 

Others who weren’t connected to the victims, but are connected to the story also spoke out against Ryan Murphy’s true crime series. Anne E. Schwartz, who was the journalist who broke the story about Dahmer, said the show took “artistic license” in parts of the show that it shouldn’t have, noting she couldn’t buy into the show because she knew it "was not accurate.” 

While the show has brought in Netflix’s biggest audience since Season 4 of Stranger Things, it has also faced a lot of controversy as more people close to the victims of Dahmer speak out against it. 

Riley Utley
Weekend Editor

Riley Utley is the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She has written for national publications as well as daily and alt-weekly newspapers in Spokane, Washington, Syracuse, New York and Charleston, South Carolina. She graduated with her master’s degree in arts journalism and communications from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Since joining the CB team she has covered numerous TV shows and movies -- including her personal favorite shows Ted Lasso and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She also has followed and consistently written about everything from Taylor Swift to Fire Country, and she's enjoyed every second of it.