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Jeffrey Dahmer: why is everyone watching Netflix’s new serial killer series?

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Netflix’s new series gives viewers a gruesome seat into the life of one of America’s worst serial killers

If you’ve seen Netflix’s limited series, Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, or you’re mentally preparing for Conversations with a Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes, you know the story is chilling.

The series follows the life of Jeffrey Dahmer, who murdered 17 boys and men from 1978 to 1991.

Dahmer committed his first murder when he was 18 years old.

These murders were terrifying—keeping bodies in his home for weeks before dissecting them, freezing them and boxing their bare bones under his bed.

Young men were lured to his home with promises of partying or money for posing for nude photos.

Once they were inside his home, Dahmer would drug them with alcohol or chloroform before murdering them. He also performed grotesque experiments on their bodies.

Jeffrey Dahmer as played by Evan Peters in the Netflix series.

According to FBI documents, Dahmer told investigators he even tried to create “love slaves”.

He did this by drilling holes into his victim’s skulls and injecting acid or boiling water into their brains, turning them into “zombies” in the process.

In July 1991, one of his intended victims managed to escape and ran naked down the street.

The man was screaming for help until a police officer came to apprehend him.

He led authorities back to Dahmer’s apartment where they found archived photos of his victims, along with multiple severed heads stored in a refrigerator and freezer.

They also found torsos dissolved in acid vats and mounds of rotting flesh throughout the apartment—evidence of cannibalism.

What happened to Jeffrey Dahmer?

Dahmer’s father claimed things changed after Jeffrey had hernia surgery at four-years-old.

After that surgery, he stopped speaking and became withdrawn. Some believe this contributed to the violence he later inflicted on others.

In 1981, Dahmer joined the armed forces but was later discharged because of heavy drinking.

Around this time, he began collecting bones from roadkill animals as souvenirs—a hobby that would eventually escalate into something much more macabre.

While serving in the military, he reportedly decorated his room with a poster of Iron Maiden.

He was also believed to be infatuated with the picture book, The Three Billy Goats Gruff.

The fairytale follows goats who try to cross a bridge when they are confronted by a troll who threatens to kill them.

In 1986, he moved into his grandmother’s house in Milwaukee so he could have more privacy for his gruesome activities.

But in1992, Dahmer—one of America’s worst serial killers—was arrested and sentenced to 15 life terms.

Two years later, he was beaten to death by a fellow inmate at Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage. He was 34 years old.

Why are we so interested in these stories?

Netflix’s gruesome story is smashing streaming records.

The 10-episode series surpassed ‘Squid Game’ and ‘Bridgerton’ in its first week, as Netflix’s most-watched offering.

Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story‘, has become an instant hit on Netflix.

It has become the platform’s ninth most popular English-language TV series of all time.

“True crime is very different from the typical shows you normally have on in the background,” says Dr. Dean Fido, who is a Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Derby.

“They are the sort of stories you need to put your phone down and actually pay attention to. It’s a big puzzle and we don’t want to be left without a vital piece of information because we were checking social media.”

Dr. Dean Fido, University of Derby

The story of Jeffrey Dahmer is no exception to this rule.

His gruesome crimes are a stark reminder of the very real dangers that exist in our world today. But as audiences, we tend to seperate ourselves form this horror.

“As humans, we are always looking for something new and novel. Whether it’s good or bad, we need something that creates an element of excitement,” Dr. Fido said.

True crime remains highly popular—whether it is in the form of books, TV shows, podcasts or even conventions.

Dr. Fido believes it’s the perfect blend of curiosity, imagination and horror.

“When we mix this desire with insight and solving a puzzle, it can give us a short, sharp shock of adrenaline, but in a relatively safe environment.”

Costa is a news producer at ticker NEWS. He has previously worked as a regional journalist at the Southern Highlands Express newspaper. He also has several years' experience in the fire and emergency services sector, where he has worked with researchers, policymakers and local communities. He has also worked at the Seven Network during their Olympic Games coverage and in the ABC Melbourne newsroom. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Professional), with expertise in journalism, politics and international relations. His other interests include colonial legacies in the Pacific, counter-terrorism, aviation and travel.

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Streaming service shift and the award season snubs

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Netflix Introduces Changes to Subscription Model, Academy Award Nominations Spark Cinematic Buzz, and the Doomsday Clock Continues its Ominous Ticking.

Netflix is set to discontinue its ad-free Basic subscription in select countries, commencing with Canada and the UK in Q2 2024.

This strategic shift introduces a significant price increase for the baseline entry, signalling potential adjustments to Netflix’s global pricing structure.

Simultaneously, the 96th edition of the Academy Award nominations has stirred cinematic debates, with the prevailing question being whether the upcoming season will be dominated by “Barbie” or “Oppenheimer.” These contrasting narratives set the stage for a fierce competition, highlighting the diverse and compelling offerings in this year’s film industry.

Beyond the realm of entertainment, the Doomsday Clock, a symbolic representation of the likelihood of a human-made global catastrophe, continues its ominous countdown.

Maintained since 1947 by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the clock serves as a metaphor for threats arising from unchecked scientific and technological advances. As global tensions, environmental challenges, and technological risks persist, the ticking of the Doomsday Clock serves as a poignant reminder of the urgent need to address multifaceted threats to humanity.

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Adidas faces potential $320M Yeezy shoe write-off post-Kanye split

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Adidas is contemplating a significant financial blow as it considers writing off $320 million worth of Yeezy shoes following its separation from music and fashion icon Kanye West.

The sportswear giant’s decision to sever ties with West’s Yeezy brand has left a mountain of unsold merchandise, threatening to dent the company’s balance sheet.

The partnership between Adidas and Kanye West, which began in 2013, had been immensely successful, with Yeezy shoes becoming a highly sought-after fashion statement.

However, recent controversies and disagreements between West and Adidas prompted the sportswear company to distance itself from the celebrity designer.

The massive inventory of Yeezy shoes now presents a dilemma for Adidas, as it grapples with finding a solution to deal with the surplus stock. A $320 million write-off could significantly impact the company’s financial performance in the short term.

Adidas is currently exploring various options, including discounting, donating, or repurposing the unsold inventory to mitigate the financial hit.

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Warner Bros discovery warns of Hollywood’s ‘real risk’ post-strikes’

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Warner Bros Discovery, has issued a stark warning regarding the ‘real risk’ that Hollywood faces in the aftermath of the recent strikes that have taken a considerable toll on the industry’s financial health.

The strikes, which disrupted film and television production for several weeks, resulted in substantial financial losses for studios, production companies, and countless industry professionals.

Warner Bros Discovery emphasised the necessity for a resilient and adaptable approach to navigate the ongoing challenges and uncertainties facing the film and television sector.

The conglomerate stressed the importance of implementing measures to mitigate such risks in the future, which include fostering better labour relations and contingency planning to safeguard against potential disruptions.

The message underlined the need for the industry to adapt to the evolving landscape of content creation and distribution, particularly in the digital era.

This warning from Warner Bros Discovery highlights the need for the entertainment industry to recognise the ever-changing dynamics and economic challenges, and the importance of preparedness to maintain its prominent position in the global market.

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