The disrespect associated with Dahmer costumes


Bureau of Prisons

On the spookiest day of the year, kids trick-or-treat while wearing a costume of their choice either created by themselves or purchased. However, the discussion of dressing up as serial killer Jeffery Dahmer remains in the air, as Netflix recently released a show about him. This can trigger emotional harm to victims who survived, families of the deceased and those who felt particularly hurt by the show.

Erinn Gardner, Editor in Chief

Every year, children circle neighborhoods and knock on doors begging for candy with glee while dressed up as their favorite characters. As Halloween approaches, stores like Party City, Amazon and eBay experience a surge in Halloween costume accessories pertaining to a multitude of costumes, serial killers serving as one of them. However, basic boundaries still apply when participating in this fun, annual holiday. The ignorant nature of these insensitive acts enables the idolization of harmful people, such as Jeffery Dahmer

The Netflix series, “Dahmer” came out September 21, fairly close to Halloween. Not only did the show release near the festive holiday, but it trended, resulting in the world raving about the show. Even though Dahmer killed, dismembered and ate 17 young gay men, several find it funny to dress as him for Halloween. They proceed to dress up by wearing a blonde wig and purchasing Dahmer’s infamous glasses. His actions hurt and ruined the lives of a handful of victims’ families still mourning the loss of their loved ones. 

Sales of Dahmer’s infamous heavy-framed glasses surged on eBay, along with masks with the face of Evan Peters, who played Dahmer in the series. Fortunately, eBay banned the sale of these costumes, as they violate their Violence and Violent Criminal Policy”. Additionally, purchases of blond wigs and graphic tee-shirts saying “I will eat you for breakfast” currently skyrocket on Amazon due to the popularity of the show. While certain individuals cannot see the harm, these actions offend several people.

“My condolences do go out to those affected by the whole Jeffery Dahmer situation, but I’m more so angered by these companies putting out mass production because first off, Netflix should’ve never made the documentary on Jeffery Dahmer because it was really recent and it still affects people to this day. Therefore, it was no good, to begin with. But still, companies like Amazon putting out Halloween costumes for Jeffery Dahmer, I think it’s a horrible idea overall and they should be sued by the families. If you’re going to get paid for selling tragedy, I feel like the people that suffered said tragedy should also get paid,” senior Kaden Ransom said.

On platforms such as Tik Tok, numerous face backlash and criticism for dressing in this vulgar costume. People argue that people dress as fictional serial killers like Freddy Krueger; however, Dahmer’s series of events occurred in real time and affected a handful of families. Shirley Hughes, mother of Tony Hughes —one of Dahmer’s victims—fostered a response stating that the Netflix series already re-traumatized her, let alone people dressing up as her beloved son’s murderer. Additionally, these actions can affect victims of other predators, as one in 53 young men experience sexual abuse. Inadvertently idolizing men like Dahmer insinuates individuals stand for heinous crimes, such as the ones Dahmer committed. 

“I think it’s really disrespectful, not only to his victims who died but those who made it out as well and the victim’s families. I just think if your family was a victim of a serial killer, you wouldn’t want people to dress up as that serial killer. I just think there are so many fictional serial killers that you could, but this was a reality and it didn’t even happen years and years ago. It’s just sick that you would idolize someone for doing what he did like he raped and killed a bunch of people and targeted minorities. If you’re dressing up as him I think that’s what you stand for,” junior Rose Griffin said.