Opinion: Idolizing serial killers is wrong

In the wake of popular Netflix shows, idolizing brutal murderers is disrespectful to both families and victims


Beth Brackmann

True crime can make for good TV, and it’s no wonder shows like Netflix’s “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” attracts viewers with its gruesome tale. Put defending these killers and idolizing their murders misses the point of these shows.

Alayna Majkrzak, Features Editor

Tweet after tweet, TikTok after TikTok, images of serial killers circle the internet. Captions range from how attractive Ted Bundy was to claiming Jeffery Dahmer was just misunderstood. All have one thing in common: people online not condemning heinous actions these killers committed, but instead sympathizing with them. This sympathy people are feeling for murderers would be better spent condemning their actions and supporting families of the victims instead of trying to excuse the disgusting crimes they committed or their looks.

With the release of “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” a Netflix drama series based off of the events throughout Dahmer’s life, there has been a new wave of people finding ways to sympathize with serial killers. People on apps like TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram have been posting edits of heinous criminals like Bundy and Dahmer. People are posting videos of trials and editing them to glamorize the murderers and paint them in such a way people forget about their crimes.

These posts in themselves may seem like a good joke, like people making edits of killers like Jason or Michael Myers. But making posts of fictional killers is completely different than making posts of real killers who tortured people in horrendous ways. Making edits of these killers shows that people do not care about the victims and will just sweep horrific crimes under the rug in favor of a conventionally attractive man.

Not only does ignoring the murders sweep terrible acts of violence under the rug, but it ignores the victims and their families. Many victims of the most well known serial killers were young and (specifically in Dahmer’s case) were LGBTQ+ people of color. Bundy had 30 victims and Dahmer had 17 victims, all of which had families who were impacted by these malicious acts. Talking about how, “Jeffery Dahmer was misunderstood,” or, “Ted Bundy was so attractive” blatantly ignores the trauma these killers inflicted on families of victims.

Notorious serial killers have been idolized since their trials were publicized as long as 50 years ago. Jeffery Dahmer had women sending him love letters while he was in prison. Ted Bundy had women dressing up as victims in order to appeal to him. Bundy even went as far as marrying a woman who was fawning over him during the trials in 1980. These people should not be idolized by society as they have been, both in the past and present. The only thing that people know about them is terrible, yet people still idolize them. Murder, kidnapping, and rape should be enough to instill disgust in people and lead to these killers not being idolized.

Many people who have watched “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” have said that they do not condone the behaviors of Dahmer in real life. These same people are clearly apologetic when it comes to this show because of the actor who plays Dahmer, Evan Peters. Though people are allowed to appreciate Peter’s performance, they should not be glorifying the actions of Dahmer in any way.

The atrocious acts that these people committed should not be revered by the media in such a way where they are being glamorized. People should not be fawning over sick and twisted murderers. Idolizing these killers, as well as people worshiping the ground these criminals walk on shows a lack of respect and blatant disregard for victims and their families. This lack of sympathy has become more prevalent on social media, and it needs to be put to an end.