Too Soon? Dahmer Tours Visits Sites Where Killer Met His Victims

I was in grade school in the Milwaukee area when the grisly news and details of Jeffrey Dahmer’s horrible crimes came to light. We were all sickened. Living in a city associated with one of the most barbaric serial killers of all time wasn’t anything to brag about, and the city mourned for the citizens who were victims. Unsurprising, then, that many Milwaukeeans aren’t too happy with a company called “Dahmer Tours” which is offering visits to places connected with those events for $30 a pop.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel poses the question of whether, 18 years after Dahmer was killed in prison, there will ever be a time when it’s okay to have a guided tour of the places he met his victims.

Tour-goers will take a 90-minute walk, stopping at long-closed gay bars where Dahmer picked up men, then later brought them home and killed and dismembered them. Tours start this weekend. Outright insensitive to the families of his 17 victims, or just another form of ghoulish entertainment for morbid curiosity-seekers? Based on friends and family’s reactions I’ve been reading, it’s coming off as totally yucky.

Groupon originally offered a discount on the tours, but after a lot of backlash, the deal was dropped.

“I think it’s in very poor taste. There’s a lot of families of the victims, and their wounds are still healing,” said Ald. James Witkowiak, who represents that area of town.

The tour company says they’ll mount a plaque or memorial to honor the victims — which hasn’t been done in Milwaukee — in an attempt to appease opponents of the tour.

“This is an informational and historical tour. We don’t want sensationalism. We don’t want the blood and guts show,” said Amanda Morden, who is promoting Dahmer Tours through her firm, Bam Marketing and Media.

Memories of visiting relatives in other states and meeting their friends who would say, “You’re from Milwaukee? Oh, like Jeffrey Dahmer!” aren’t fond ones. So thanks for bringing that all back, Dahmer Tours.

Dahmer Tour — too soon or just too pricey? [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]