Twitter user @ericthulhu, a family member related to one of Jeffrey Dahmer’s victims, said they were “retraumatized” after the release of the new Netflix series Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.
Following the show’s debut on Sept. 22, Eric took to Twitter to sound off about the viral scene featuring his cousin Rita Isbell, the older sister of 19-year-old Errol Lindsey, who was tortured and strangled by Dahmer sometime between 1978 and 1991.
In the emotional scene, actress DaShawn Barnes re-enacts the moment from the 1992 trial where Rita has an emotional breakdown after coming face to face with the deranged killer in court. While Barnes’ powerful portrayal of Rita had some viewers moved, Ericthulhu said the show stirred up emotional wounds for his family.
“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 Isbells) are pissed about this show,” @ericthulu tweeted while sharing the clip.
“It’s retraumatizing over and over again, and for what? How many movies/shows/documentaries do we need?”
In a follow-up post, Eric lit into Netflix producers for recreating the emotional scene. “Like recreating my cousin having an emotional breakdown in court in the face of the man who tortured and murdered her brother is WILD,” he added.
After Eric’s post went viral, some users wondered if The Isbells or other Dahmer victims were notified about the show and compensated prior to the project’s release. Sadly, Eric said that his family was never informed about the drama series.
“It’s all public record, so they don’t have to notify (or pay!) anyone. My family found out when everyone else did, he said, before adding:
“So when they say they’re doing this “with respect to the victims” or “honoring the dignity of the families,” no one contacts them. 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..”
A ton of people rushed in to support Eric and The Isbells including Grammy award-winning rapper Cardi B, who tweeted:
Another supporter commented: “As someone who has an interest in ‘true crime,’ this is despicable. Movies/docs should never be made about real-life killers/victims unless they have explicit permission from the victims’ families and those families give permission to everything that’s included. And one is enough.”
While a third social media user wrote: “Let this be the LAST #DahmerNetflix #jeffreydahmer movie! He needs to be forgotten, he doesn’t deserve to be remembered and Hollywood needs to stop treating that pos like a celebrity.”
The show, which is based on the horrific crimes of Dahmer, stars actor Evan Peters and is co-created by American Horror Story producer Ryan Murphy. Dahmer killed and dismembered 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991. Lindsey was his eleventh victim. The 19-year-old was strangled to death after Dahmer drilled holes into his head and poured hydrochloric acid into his skull. In 1992, the infamous killer was convicted of fifteen of the sixteen murders he committed in Wisconsin and was sentenced to fifteen terms of life in prison. Dahmer died in 1994 after he was beaten to death by a fellow inmate.