From the clip above, it looks like Netflix's Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story — released last Wednesday — did an amazing job recreating a scene from the serial killer's trial in which Rita Isbell, sister of 19-year-old victim Errol Lindsey, gave her emotional victim impact statement. But it sounds like Netflix did a piss-poor job of showing respect to the families of Dahmer's victims during the making of the show.
Isbell says the show's creators were wrong, not necessarily in their telling of the story, but in how they never reached out to her and never compensated her family, even though they wrote her into the script. "I was never contacted about the show. I feel like Netflix should've asked if we mind or how we felt about making it. They didn't ask me anything. They just did it," she told Insider.
"I could even understand it if they gave some of the money to the victims' children. Not necessarily their families. I mean, I'm old. I'm very, very comfortable," she said. "But the victims have children and grandchildren. If the show benefited them in some way, it wouldn't feel so harsh and careless."
Watching part of Monster – the scene in which she was portrayed in the courtroom (by actor DaShawn Barnes) – stirred up old, hurt emotions, but it also made her realize she can talk about the tragedy now without the anger she had in 1992.
"It's sad that they're just making money off of this tragedy. That's just greed," she said. "The episode with me was the only part I saw. I didn't watch the whole show. I don't need to watch it. I lived it. I know exactly what happened."
Isbell's cousin, Eric Perry, echoed her sentiments.
"I'm not telling anyone what to watch, I know true crime media is huge rn, but if you're actually curious about the victims, my family (the Isbell's) are pissed about this show," he tweeted on Thursday. "Like recreating my cousin having an emotional breakdown in court in the face of the man who tortured and murdered her brother is WILD. WIIIIIILD" he also said.
From Los Angeles Times:
In another pair of tweets shared Thursday evening, Perry said that the creative teams behind true crime projects "don't notify families when they do this," since it's "all public record."
"My family found out when everyone else did," he said.
"So when they say they're doing this 'with respect to the victims' or 'honoring the dignity of the families,' no one contacts them," he continued. "My cousins wake up every few months at this point with a bunch of calls and messages and they know there's another Dahmer show. It's cruel."