Jeffrey Dahmer’s Halloween costumes hurt victims’ families, says victim’s mother
(WFLA) – Shirley Hughes, the mother of one of the victims of killer Jeffrey Dahmer, has called the use of Dahmer’s image in Halloween costumes this year “exploitative”, according to a report by TMZ.
In an interview with the outlet, Hughes said it was triggering to see people dressing like the man who took her son, Tony Hughes.
Tony Hughes was a deaf man who was murdered by Dahmer.
Dahmer was eventually convicted of murdering 17 men between the 1970s and 1990s. His other horrific acts included sexual assault, mutilation of his victims, and sex crimes involving minors.
Authorities would not find out what happened to Hughes until they found a skull in Dahmer’s apartment that matched the victim’s dental records.
The controversy over media portrayals of Dahmer’s life resurfaced this year following the release of a Netflix series about the murders. One of the series’ episodes even focuses on Tony Hughes and his fatal encounter with Dahmer.
Part of the controversy concerns the races of Dahmer’s victims, who were primarily black or other minorities. Law enforcement critics have said that this racial imbalance helped Dahmer’s ability to carry out the murders for so long.
In an interview with the Guardian, Shirley Hughes said it was difficult to talk about her son’s murder and see people tell stories about the victims and their families.
“I don’t understand how they can use our names and publish stuff like that,” she told the Guardian.
Eric Perry, whose cousin Errol Lindsey was murdered by Dahmer, said only Lindsey’s family Only found out about the series after it was released.
Because the information in Dahmer’s case is public knowledge, Netflix was under no obligation to consult with the victim’s families. But Hughes and other victims’ relatives have called on the company to capitalize on their trauma.
“So if they say they’re doing it ‘with respect for the victims’ or ‘honoring the dignity of families,’ no one contacts them,” Perry wrote on Twitter. “My cousins are waking up to a series of calls and texts every few months at this point, knowing there’s another Dahmer show coming up. It’s cruel.”
In a report from Insider, Lindsey’s sister, Rita Isbell, said she was never contacted about the show, although the series mimicked her emotional victimization testimony in which she yelled at Dahmer for killing her brother.
“I think Netflix should have asked if we cared or how we felt about it,” Isbell said in her essay published by Insider. “You didn’t ask me anything. They just did it.”
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