Jeffrey Dahmer is dominating the Netflix TV charts right now. Not only is the controversial drama ‘The Jeffrey Dahmer Story’ still top of the charts, a new documentary about the serial killer has climbed into the number two spot.
Conversations With A Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes arrived on Netflix just last week. But unlike the drama, which features Evan Peter in the title role, this is a pure documentary featuring interviews with Dahmer himself — alongside attorneys, experts, journalists and other people involved in the case.
Like other instalments of Netflix’s ‘Conversations With A Killer’ collection, this is a three-part docuseries designed to offer a glimpse into the mind of a killer. In this case it happens to be Dahmer, who primarily preyed on gay men throughout the 1980s before his 1991 arrest.
But Dahmer was no straight-forward serial killer. He was also known to torture and experiment on his victims, and later murders involved cannibalism and necrophilia. All the while adopting a public everyman persona that helped him avoid police suspicion. So this series is absolutely not going to be for the faint of heart.
The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes doesn’t have enough professional reviews to warrant an official Rotten Tomatoes score right now. There are also only five audience ratings, though all of them are positive. IMDB currently has the series at 7.4 out of ten, based on 935 reviews.
Richard Roeper, of the Chicago Sun-Times wasn’t particularly happy with the docuseries, noting: “The lurid new installment of the documentary series, plays recordings of the killer describing his depraved acts but making no attempt to explain them.”
Meanwhile Joel Keller from Decider notes that “you get to hear from Dahmer himself, and despite knowing that everything he’s saying is from his twisted perspective, it’s still the best way to even inch your way into the mind of someone who was so sick.” Therein lies the main appeal of this kind of true crime series — the ability to hear straight from the killers themselves.
Meanwhile Q.V. Hough, from Vague Visages, appeared to be a little ambivalent on documentaries of this kind: “A fatalist flick like ‘Blonde’ — which, importantly, is not a biopic — and serial killer documentaries like ‘The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes’ can at once be exploitative and insightful. Both things can be true.”
Like all true crime series, especially those involving serial killers, The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes is only going to appeal to a certain kind of viewer. If you found yourself enjoying The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, and want to know more about the real life events that inspired the series, then the three-part documentary might be worth checking out.
If you didn’t like the series, or found it gruesome enough that you had to stop watching, then give the documentary a miss. It may not show Dahmer’s crimes, but it does go into a lot of very vivid detail. That’s also true if you can bring yourself to watch the drama, no matter what your reasoning might be.
Read Next: Dahmer is now the second-highest viewed English-language show on Netflix, and there's still room to grow