Emmy Award–winning director Ryan Murphy’s new 10-episode limited series, DAHMER — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, will give notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer’s victims a voice. There have been countless films and documentaries about Dahmer, including Netflix’s upcoming Conversations with a Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes. Yet for DAHMER, Murphy and his team – consisting of co-writer Janet Mock, who also co-directed the series with Carl Franklin – will showcase the points of view of the Milwaukee Monster’s victims. The series, which is a fictionalized account of actual events, will also take a critical look at systemic racism, white privilege, homophobia and the institutional failures that allowed Dahmer to murder and dismember 17 boys and men from 1978 to 1991. These men and boys were mainly underage and people of color. At least five of Dahmer’s victims were killed after law enforcement was alerted to the killer’s behaviors. Here’s the cast of DAHMER.
Evan Peters as Jeffrey Dahmer
Though he appears to be an average clean-cut guy on the surface, there is something very sinister about Jeffrey. He often seems standoffish, and his violent outbursts send everyone on high alert, including his parents, who’ve long tried to ignore his unsettling and sometimes outright evil behavior.
Peters is no stranger to Ryan Murphy projects. An American Horror Story veteran, he’s also had roles in everything from the X-Men franchise and WandaVision to Pose and Mare of Easttown.
Richard Jenkins as Lionel Dahmer
DAHMER spans several decades, so viewers will get some insight into Jeffery’s childhood. His father, Lionel, fails to form a real connection with him. Instead, he focuses on his work and inflicts emotional abuse on his first wife, Joyce (Penelope Ann Miller). When Jeffrey becomes obsessed with dead animals and bones, he begins to realize something is horribly wrong with his eldest son. By then, though, it’s far too late.
Jenkins has worked in Hollywood for nearly five decades. He’s best known for his roles on HBO’s Six Feet Under, Step Brothers and The Shape of Water. For his work in Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy-drama, Jenkins was nominated for an Academy Award, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award.
Niecy Nash as Glenda Cleveland
A single mother living next door to Jeffrey in a Milwaukee apartment building, Glenda becomes increasingly disturbed by her neighbor’s erratic behavior. After seeing suspicious activity, smelling foul odors and hearing screams and power tools from Jeffrey’s apartment, she becomes certain that he is up to something. She begins consistently reporting him to the apartment building management and the police. However, because Gloria is a Black woman, her concerns are largely ignored, with Jeffrey getting no more than a slap on the wrist. When Gloria’s concerns are finally taken seriously, it’s far too late.
Nash has collaborated with Murphy before on series like Popular and Scream Queens. The Emmy Award-winning actor is known for her stellar roles in Getting On, Claws and When They See Us. She has also been in countless films, including Ava DuVernay’s Selma and Netflix’s Uncorked.
Michael Learned as Catherine Dahmer
Concerned about his home life and erratic behavior, Jeffrey’s grandmother Catherine opens her home to him. Deeply religious, she believes that a change in environment will help set him on the right path. It does, initially. But as his behavior becomes increasingly creepy and odd, Catherine can no longer excuse her grandson’s behavior. Three of Jeffrey’s earliest victims were killed or dismembered in Catherine’s home
One of the most Emmy Award-winning actors of our time, Learned is best known for her role as Olivia Walton on the long-running CBS drama The Waltons, which ran from 1972 to 1981. More recently, Learned has been seen on General Hospital and The Young and the Restless.
Penelope Ann Miller as Joyce Dahmer
Unable to give Jeffrey attention due to her battles with mental illness and an emotionally abusive relationship with her husband, Penelope has very little to offer her son emotionally. Things get worse after she begins numbing herself with alcohol, sleeping pills and other drugs.
Miller is a Tony-nominated actor best known for her roles in Carlito’s Way, Along Came a Spider and The Artist. Up next, Miller will portray First Lady Nancy Reagan in the forthcoming biopic Reagan, based on the life of President Ronald Reagan, starring Dennis Quaid.
Molly Ringwald as Shari Dahmer
Shari is Lionel’s second wife and Jeffrey’s stepmother. Stepping in when Joyce can’t, Shari is adamant that all Jeffrey needs is a little help. Though the two remain close, none of Shari’s interventions seem to change Jeffrey’s behavior. Instead, he becomes more careful about hiding things from her.
Ringwald has expanded her career from her days as the It Girl of the ’80s, when she starred in such John Hughes classics as Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club. More recently, she starred in Netflix’s The Kissing Booth trilogy. She also has a recurring role on The CW’s Riverdale and can be seen in FX’s The Bear.