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Netflix’s serial killer Dahmer demands a strong stomach

Two new crime series reviewed – one lurid, the other stranger than fiction 

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Evan Peters as serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. Photo: Netflix

Evan Peters as serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. Photo: Netflix

Maggie Nichols in 'Athlete A'

Maggie Nichols in 'Athlete A'

'Sins of Our Mother' was rushed out. Photo: Netflix

'Sins of Our Mother' was rushed out. Photo: Netflix

Olivia Colman and David Thewlis in 'Landscapers'

Olivia Colman and David Thewlis in 'Landscapers'

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Evan Peters as serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. Photo: Netflix

I interviewed a comedian years ago who lamented to me that a TV comedy she had come up with about an eating disorder was unfilmable. However loveable the protagonist and acute the observations, you simply couldn’t put the grim reality of certain key details – bags of vomit were mentioned – on the screen .

I imagine a similar hesitancy delayed Jeffrey Dahmer’s journey to TV drama. The stuff of his story – dissected roadkill, homemade lobotomies, bodies dissolving in vats – all sounds too gross for prime time. But the public are obsessed with serial killers and years of true crime have inured us to horror and stoked our bloodlust.


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