Ryan Murphy claims he contacted Jeffrey Dahmer victims’ families but didn’t get a ‘single response’

A side-by-side image showing TV creator Ryan Murphy on the left wearing a white hat, sunglasses and a white suit jacket over a black t-shirt. On the right is a promo shot of actor Evan Peters as Jeffrey Dahmer from Netflix series Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story

Ryan Murphy has said that he reached out to the families of Jeffrey Dahmer’s victims while researching for his Netflix series about the serial killer.

Murphy and his team claimed to have contacted 20 families over the three-and-a-half-year preparations for the show.

“It’s something that we researched for a very long time,” Murphy said of Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story at a show event last Thursday.

“We reached out to 20, around 20, of the victims’ families and friends trying to get input, trying to talk to people. And not a single person responded to us in that process.

“So we relied very, very heavily on our incredible group of researchers who… I don’t even know how they found a lot of this stuff. But it was just like a night and day effort to us trying to uncover the truth of these people.”

The series about the murderer of 17 men received significant backlash from the families of his victims, many of whom were angry that Murphy’s team was profiting off of such tragic events in their lives.

Rita Isbell, sister of Errol Lindsey, who was murdered by Dahmer at age 19, lashed out at Netflix over the show, while Shirley Hughes, the mother of Tony Hughes, said the series did not respect what had happened to her son, who had been in a relationship with Dahmer before he was murdered.

But Murphy and other showrunners maintain that the series was designed to make the victims more than a number next to Dahmer’s name.

Murphy said: “Something that we talked a lot in the making of it is we weren’t so much interested in Jeffrey Dahmer, the person, but what made him the monster that he became.”

“We talked a lot about that… and we talked about it all the time. It’s really about white privilege. It’s about systemic racism. It’s about homophobia.”