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19th Oct 2022

eBay removes Jeffrey Dahmer Halloween costumes from site

Sarah McKenna Barry

There is a ban on items closely associated with violent felons within the past 100 years.

The online retailer eBay has removed costumes that allow people to “dress up” as serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer for Halloween.

A spokesperson for the company said (via Metro) that their website is no place for “items closely associated with or that benefit violent felons, their acts, or crime scenes within the past 100 years”.

There has been increased interest in Dahmer – who was convicted for the murder of 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991 – due to the popularity of the Netflix series Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.

The fascination with the killer has been criticised by the families of Dahmer’s victims, who have expressed concerns about sensationalising his crimes and disrespecting the memories of the boys and men he killed. They have also accused the show of re-traumatising them through violent, graphic scenes.

Shirley Hughes’ son Tony was murdered by Dahmer in 1991. She has criticised Ryan Murphy’s TV show, telling The Guardian that the real life events “didn’t happen” as they were portrayed on the series. She also stated that the programme was made without the permission of any of the victims’ families.

“I don’t see how they can do that,” she told the paper. “I don’t see how they can use our names and put stuff out like that out there.”

Eric Perry, who is cousin of Errol Lindsey, has also spoken out. Lindsey was killed by Jeffrey in his apartment in 1991, and his cousin has said that the show was made without the permission of the families.

On Twitter, he wrote: “To answer the main question, no, they don’t notify families when they do this. It’s all public record, so they don’t have to notify (or pay!) anyone. My family found out when everyone else did… I’m not telling anyone what to watch, I know true crime media is huge rn, but if you’re actually curious about the victims, my family (the Isbell’s) are pissed about this show. It’s retraumatizing over and over again, and for what? How many movies/shows/documentaries do we need?

“So when they say they’re doing this ‘with respect to the victims’ or ‘honoring the dignity of the families’, no one contacts them. My cousins wake up every few months… with a bunch of calls and messages and they know there’s another Dahmer show. It’s cruel.”