‘Dahmer’ series raises issues of ethics in true crime stories


An actor portrays serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer at Killers: A Nightmare Haunted House, at Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural Center on October 5, 2012. Visitors can see a exhibit of drawings and other artifacts once belonging to real-life monsters such as John Wayne Gacy and Charles Manson, donated by an anonymous collector. Each room of the house depicts a scene based on a notorious serial killer, with performers acting as murderers, victims, or both. Killers will run September 28 through November 3, 2012 on Manhattan’s Lower East Side . AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/GettyImages)

(NewsNation) — While the true crime genre continues to gain fans, a lot of people are curious about what happens behind the scenes of these true crime stories and how a person impacted by a crime might react.

Netflix’s new series, “Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” has sparked this question as several of Dahmer’s surviving victims and families have spoken out against the release.

Some of them have said that neither Netflix nor the creators of the series consulted them or asked them for permission to use their stories in the 10-episode series.

“I think that media and content creators can focus too much on shock and content, and that content can easily become sensationalized a lot of times, even in these Netflix series, such as the Dahmer series, said Michelle Pense, producer, writer and host of “The Crime Shack Podcast.”

“I think there’s definitely a balance to be able to tell a story in a compelling way and also not having that story become sensationalized,” Pense continued. “I think content creators, and the media as well, struggle with finding that balance, and I think we’re continuing to find that balance.”

Apple offers nearly 9,000 true crime podcasts. According to Pacific Content, true crime podcasts are the second most popular podcast genre.

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