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New Tourist Attraction: The Jeffrey Dahmer Walking Tour

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Yesterday, we wondered about the future of Costa Cruise Lines following its second accident in the past two months and further damning reports on former Captain Schettino (of get back on the boat fame). It seems that Costa’s bookings dropped after the Concordia disaster.
Likewise, Carnival Cruises (CCL), Costa’s parent company, saw a drop in bookings following the crash. They’ve offered discounts, but it’s not clear yet how well that’s working.
Well, vacationers suddenly wary of setting sail on the high seas have another, more domestic option. Soon, scenic Milwaukee, WI will be home to a new tourist attraction matched in gruesomeness only by the Hitler’s headquarters theme park: the Jeffrey Dahmer walking tour.
According to the New York Daily News, a Wisconsin marketing group wants to give tours of a bar where Dahmer met his victims. There was even, briefly, a Groupon, which offered a 90-minute Jeffrey Dahmer walking tour for two (because nothing says romance like Jeffrey Dahmer) for $25, marked down from $60.
Predictably—except, apparently, for the people who planned the tour—local residents and victims’ families are up in arms. Neighborhood president Victor Ray told the Daily News that he’s so far received about 75 emails against the project, and that he considers it “sensationalism in its finest.”
Dahmer, it should be pointed out, was only arrested in 1991 and had at that point killed at least 17 people. Many of his victim’s families are still alive.
Those two facts should, even though they haven’t, send a message somewhere along the lines of too soon.
Organizers have said both that they plan to take a historic, not a sensational perspective in their tour and that they will donate some percent of the proceeds to charity. Residents would still prefer they not have the tour.
Dahmer’s neighborhood has undergone a lot of improvements since the 1990s and locals would prefer to not be associated with the killer. Likewise, tour group VISIT Milwaukee refuses to promote the idea. Tourists can visit the Harley-Davidson (HOG) museum or other promoted destinations, instead.
Luckily for Milwaukee, they still have a powerful celebrity spokesperson providing, let’s say, more wholesome reasons to visit. Will Ferrell’s hilarious campaign for Old Milwaukee continues. Here he is at home in the city, boating.

(See also: Can a Name Change Save Costa Cruises?)
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