Since the debut of Netflix‘s new series Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, many have been sharing their thoughts on the show that details the life of the notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.
While many are fans of the new series, others aren’t crazy about the 10-episode show, especially Rita Isbell.
Isbell is the sister of Errol Lindsey, who was one of Dahmer’s many victims. Back in 1992 during Dahmer’s sentencing, Isbell gave an emotional victim impact statement, which was recreated in the Netflix series.
Isbell recently spoke with Insider about what it felt like seeing her statement play out on the show.
1. Rita Isbell said she was "face-to-face with pure evil."
In an as-told-to essay based on a recent conversation, Rita Isbell detailed what it was like for her to give a victim impact statement during Jeffrey Dahmer’s sentencing in 1992.
Isbell shared that that was the first time she had been in front of Dahmer.
2. She recalled going into court with nothing written down but knew that she was going to let Dahmer have it.
“My plans were to get up there and say how it made my mother feel and what it did to her and all this other stuff,” she shared. “But no, when I got in front of his face it was a whole new ball game. I recognized evil. I was face-to-face with pure evil.”
3. Isbell didn't hold back when confronting Dahmer.
“I wasn’t scared. That’s not me at all. I never had a scared bone in my body. I believe he knew that too,” Isbell said. “And then I was angry because he wouldn’t look at me.
“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 continued. “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 added, “So that’s why I said: ‘Let me show you what out of control is. This is out of control.’ I was out of body. I wasn’t myself in that moment. Whatever I had on the inside, I let it out. I didn’t hold it in and later say: ‘Oh, I wish I had said or done this when I had the opportunity to.’ And I think I was speaking for a lot of the other family members of the victims.”
4. Watching her impact statement on 'Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story' brought "back all the emotions" Rita was feeling back then.
Though she didn’t watch the entire series, Rita did get a chance to see her victim impact statement play out on the show.
6. Isbell says it "bothered" her to see that scene, especially when she saw her name and "this lady saying verbatim exactly what I said."
“If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought it was me,” Isbell told Insider. “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.”
Isbell says she was “never contacted about the show” and feels as though Netflix “should’ve asked if we mind or how we felt about making it.”
“They didn’t ask me anything,” she shared. “They just did it.”
7. Rita Isbell has no ill-feelings toward Netflix or 'Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story'
Although the series brought up old emotions, Rita Isbell believes that show has helped her in the long run.
“The show bringing up old feelings did hurt, but it also benefits me,” she shared. “I benefit from it because I can deal with it differently today than I did in the past. I can talk about it with not as much anger.”