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Groupon advertises Jeffrey Dahmer deal, then kills it

Groupon offers a discount to a "spine-chilling glimpse" of the Milwaukee area in which the serial killer met his victims. After complaints from victims' families, Groupon kills the promotion.

Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

For some people, serial killers are simply more interesting than, say, painters, novelists, or mathematicians.

Perhaps they appeal to everyone's inner rogue--or even inner cannibal.

However, some feel that a recent roguish Groupon deal offering a mouthwatering discount on a tour of Milwaukee's watering holes and neighborhoods, might have gone a touch too far.

For this was a tour of the drinking establishments and streets in which Jeffrey Dahmer picked up his victims. Naturally, the Groupon deal was highly price-sensitive: $25 for a $60 value.

Some might wonder, though, whether it was people-sensitive.

As the Associated Press has it, families of the victims were especially perplexed that such a thing was not merely being organized by a Wisconsin marketing firm, but promoted by the most famous daily deal site.

The tour was organized by the subtly named Bam Marketing, whose Web site seems rather stark this morning.

Bam told the AP that it hadn't asked the victims' families what they might feel about such an exercise. However, the company felt that this was not an exercise in ghoulishness, but more of a documentary.

"Whether we like it or not, it's part of our city's history. It's part of our nation's history," BAM's Amanda Morden told the AP.

Naturally, some will wonder how soon the company might organize, say, a boating tour of the San Francisco Bay in which Scott Peterson dumped his wife's body.

The truth, though, is that news organizations, book publishers, and so many other vehicles of profit all look to capitalize as soon as possible on humanity's fascination with inhumanity.

Groupon's role in this escapade might, therefore, surprise few. The site declared quite dramatically that this was a "spine-chilling glimpse" into the life and crimes of Dahmer, who admitted to murdering 17 young men between 1978 and 1991.

A Groupon representative told the AP that the company never intended to offend anyone. Perhaps many of Groupon's young staff didn't realize that Dahmer's exploits were relatively recent. Or perhaps the walking tour even appealed to Groupon's quirky sense of humor.

However, after a reported 15 people signed up for the deadly discount, the promotion was shut down.

The walking tour, though, will go ahead. For there will always be people who believe that serial killers are cool, especially when they can get a tour of their old haunts at a killer discount.