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'I Lived It': Sister of Jeffrey Dahmer Victim Speaks Out
Rita Isbell, the sister of Jeffrey Dahmer victim Errol Lindsey, shared her thoughts on the Netflix series "Monster," starring Evan Peters.
In "Monster," Rita Isbell is played by DaShawn "Dash" Barnes, who reenacted the moment that Isbell yelled at Dahmer in court on behalf of her late brother. During his 1992 sentencing hearing, an understandably emotional Isbell told the serial killer that she hated him, the Associated Press reported.
She was ultimately restrained by sheriff’s deputies.
She told the AP that she wanted Dahmer, who was portrayed by his lawyer as out of control when he murdered his victims, ″to see what out of control is.″
In an as-told-to essay based on a conversation with Isbell for Insider, she echoed that sentiment.
“The reason why I said what I said during that impact statement was because, during the trial, they were portraying him as being so out of control he couldn't stop himself,” she said. “But you have to be in control in order to do the things that he was doing. You have to very much be in control.”
She said she hasn’t watched much of the new Netflix series because “I lived it.”
“When I saw some of the show, it bothered me, especially when I saw myself — when I saw my name come across the screen and this lady saying verbatim exactly what I said,” Isbell stated. “If I didn't know any better, I would've thought it was me. Her hair was like mine, she had on the same clothes. That's why it felt like reliving it all over again. It brought back all the emotions I was feeling back then.”
She said she was never contacted by the producers about the series.
“I feel like Netflix should've asked if we mind or how we felt about making it,” Isbell said, adding that the show is all about "Netflix trying to get paid."
"I could even understand it if they gave some of the money to the victims' children," she added. "Not necessarily their families. I mean, I'm old. I'm very, very comfortable. But the victims have children and grandchildren. If the show benefited them in some way, it wouldn't feel so harsh and careless."
Dahmer, who pleaded guilty to 15 deaths, killed 17 men and boys over the course of 13 years, many of whom were Black and gay. But “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story" has received criticism on social media for romanticizing the serial killer instead of focusing on the victims, Newsweek reports.
Another relative of Lindsey tweeted, “I’m not telling anyone what to watch, I know true crime media is huge [right now], but if you’re actually curious about the victims, my family (the Isbell’s) are pissed about this show. It’s retraumatizing over and over again, and for what? How many movies/shows/documentaries do we need?”
There have been several movies based on Dahmer's life and crimes already, including the 2002 film, “Dahmer,” starring Jeremy Renner. Additionally, “My Friend Dahmer” was released in 2017, depicting the killer’s high school years and the events leading up to his first murder.