Rita Isbell, sister of Errol Lindsey, speaks out about Netflix’s Jeffrey Dahmer series

Despite receiving backlash from viewers questioning the ethics of the series, the show has been a hit for the streaming service.

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One of the latest shows to hit Netflix, “Dahmer: Monster — The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” has made major waves since its release. The Ryan Murphy series starring Evan Peters, Niecy Nash and others has received mixed reviews from critics since its release and has left many questioning whether the series is exploitative and harmful to the many families of the infamous serial killer’s victims.

In a recent conversation with Insider, Rita Isbell, the sister of Dahmer victim Errol Lindsey, expressed her discomfort with the series, telling the outlet that Netflix never contacted her about the show.

As the series retells, Dahmer was responsible for the murders of 17 men and boys — most of whom were gay and Black, Asian or Latino — and was eventually jailed for life in 1992.

In now-viral testimony, Isbell gave an impact statement regarding her late brother. Speaking about the series — which dramatizes the moment she gave the statement — she told Insider, “I don’t need to watch it. I lived it. I know exactly what happened.”

(L to R) Evan Peters as Jeffrey Dahmer, Molly Ringwald as stepmother Shari Dahmer and Richard Jenkins as father Lionel Dahmer in an episode of “Dahmer: Monster — The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.” (Credit: Courtesy Of Netflix © 2022)

She said that when she did see part of the series, “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.” She added, “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 continued to question the streamer’s failure to communicate with the victims’ families, as well as its profiting off of these tragic stories. “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. But the victims have children and grandchildren. If the show benefited them in some way, it wouldn’t feel so harsh and careless,” Isbell said. “It’s sad that they’re just making money off of this tragedy. That’s just greed.”

Despite significant online backlash and many viewers questioning the ethics around watching it, the show is a ratings success, according to early data. Deadline reported that the first weekend of the Dahmer series reached rating heights not achieved since “Stranger Things” returned to record numbers earlier this year, beating out other hits like Shondaland’s “Inventing Anna.”

According to Deadline, 196.2 million people have tuned in to the show since its launch, making it the fifth biggest season debut behind “Squid Game,” “All of Us Are Dead,” “Stranger Things 4” and the second season of “Bridgerton.”

Isbell’s full conversation with Insider is available here.

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