This week, Groupon ran a deal for its Milwaukee customers for a tour of notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer's crime scenes. This reportedly resulted in protests from local residents, including family members of some of Dahmer's victims. Groupon has pulled the deal, but you can still see it, courtesy of Google's caching.
Groupon's description for the deal said:
Things that go bump in the night keep us awake by invading our dreams and loudly honking car horns every 30 seconds. Give yourself the creeps with this Groupon.
$25 for Two Tickets to a 90-Minute Dahmer Tour ($60 Value)
Guides march guests through the grisly corridors of Jeffrey Dahmer's life and killing spree as they narrate the triggers of his psychosis and the heinous crimes he committed. Tours take place every Saturday at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Dahmer Tours grants a spine-chilling glimpse into the life of Jeffrey Dahmer from within his hunting grounds. The guides, who are neither insensitive to the victims’ families nor approbating of Dahmer’s monstrous acts, narrate thoroughly researched information about the crimes and their historical impact over the course of a one-mile walk. The company crosschecks all their material with former members of Milwaukee's legal community and several unturned stones to ensure that every fact and trail is credible. As guests’ feet cover the very tracks that Dahmer stalked upon, guides dissect his mad world to grant access into the mind of a serial killer.
Groupon was also encouraging users to "buy it for a friend". I have to admit, it does sound like a hell of a gift idea.
Groupon is certainly no stranger to controversy. It even offended people with its first Super Bowl ad.
People aren't just mad at Groupon, however. They're more upset with the tour in general.
Here's a screencap from the official site for the tour:
Jim Stingl from Milwaukee's Journal Sentinel shares some comments from locals:
"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.
Victor Ray, who lives in the neighborhood and is president of the Walker's Point Association, dislikes the plan to do Dahmer tours, and rejects an idea by tour organizers to mount a plaque or memorial in honor of the victims. None has ever been erected in Milwaukee.
Timothy Benkowski owns TimothyJ Kitchen & Bath in the same block as Dahmer's old favorite bars, and he doesn't favor the tours. "I'd just as soon not have the memory of that hanging around my place," he said.
The tours begin on Saturday.