Sienna Taus | Writer
September 30th, 2022
Movies and T.V. shows starring serial killers have always held the intrigue of ordinary people as they watch brutal acts of violence being committed. Jeffrey Dahmer, a serial killer and sex offender, who killed seventeen men between 1978 and 1991, has had several films made about him.
September 21, 2022, marks the day that a limited series was released on Netflix covering the victim’s perspectives of their interactions with Dahmer and goes in-depth on how the police handled the case. Seven days after release, the series holds the number one spot on the top ten shows in the U.S. today.
Another example of a serial killer sensation is Ted Bundy, a killer who raped, kidnapped, and murdered approximately thirty girls in the mid-1970s. Multiple films have been created which follow his life, including the most recent one that stars Zac Efron.
Junior Marissa Gilbert says, “casting conventionally attractive actors, like Zac, makes the serial killer themselves more alluring,” bringing up the idea that making movies about murderers can re-traumatize victims’ families and romanticize the idea of killing. The reality behind violent crimes, such as murder, can be misrepresented through these documentaries and misinform people about the cases.
Although people’s interest in serial killer documentaries stem from wanting to understand the cruel and unthinkable acts that murderers commit, curiosity pushes people to watch films about true crime so they can solve mysteries themselves.
With the increase of people who watch these films, more and more people begin to comprehend the serious and grave nature of serial killing. Junior Sarah Ahmadi stated that “she felt uncomfortable” when watching the Jeffrey series, but thinks people should watch it because the series can “enlighten people about how crazy serial killers can act in society.”