Bad news for anyone planning to dress up as Jeffrey Dahmer this Halloween: you’re morally bankrupt. Also, eBay is banning Dahmer costumes.
As first reported by Buzzfeed, eBay is removing listings of costumes inspired by notorious serial killer, pedophile, necrophiliac, and cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer. Though he committed his murders from the late ’70s to the early ’90s, Netflix’s true crime series DAHMER – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story recently brought the killer back to the forefront of public consciousness. Unfortunately, it also brought him to the top of some Halloween costume idea lists.
eBay’s removal of Dahmer costumes appears to be in keeping with its violence and violent criminals policy, which prohibits users from selling “items closely associated with or that benefit violent felons, their acts, or crime scenes within the past 100 years.” “Items that promote or glorify violence towards humans or animals” are also banned.
Mashable has reached out to eBay for comment.
Though Dahmer is by far the most popular serial killer at the moment, he’s by no means the only criminal the media and public has obsessed over. Everything about that statement fills me with despair.
A quick eBay search for Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, and Zodiac Killer costumes produced no results aside from probably putting me on some sort of watch list. However, searching for an Osama Bin Laden costume did surface three poor approximations of traditional Saudi Arabian men’s clothing.
The deluge of Dahmer-related content inspired by DAHMER – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story has made the Netflix series difficult to ignore even if you weren’t directly impacted by his crimes. The fact that the killer was portrayed by Evan Peters, an actor some viewers find attractive, has not helped matters.
Regardless of your access to serial killer outfits or how hot you find Evan Peters, dressing as Dahmer or indeed any real serial killer raises significant ethical issues. Halloween is significantly less fun when you’re exploiting the real pain of others.
You’re much better off sticking to the fictional killers, such as A Nightmare on Elm Street‘s Freddy Krueger or Halloween‘s Michael Myers (not to be confused with Mike Myers, who is a comedic actor and not a killer as far as we are aware). Their costumes are also much more interesting.
Personally, I’d be much happier if I never had to read Dahmer’s name again. That is, unless it’s in government documents reviewing the investigation, determining how to better protect the marginalised communities he preyed upon, and ensuring that the police don’t ever mess up so spectacularly ever again.