In Netflix’s Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, actor DaShawn “Dash” Barnes played Rita Isbell. Isbell is the elder sister of Errol Lindsey, who was killed in April 1991 by serial murderer Jeffrey Dahmer. Now, three decades later, as Netflix is broadcasting Dahmer’s tragedy, social media is praising Barnes for her accurate portrayal of the actual Rita’s anguish during Dahmer’s insanity trial. On Wednesday, September 21, 2022, the 10-episode limited series launched on Netflix. It detailed Dahmer’s misdeeds, including the deaths of 17 men and young boys between 1978 and 1991, until his capture and conviction.
When Errol Lindsey met Dahmer, he was 19 years old. Dahmer enticed him into his flat and sedated him before drilling a hole in his head. Lindsey might have been Dahmer’s first victim, whom he attempted to make into a “living zombie.” Lindsey was subsequently strangled to death by Dahmer. Rita Isbell was brought to light during the reading of the victims’ families’ impact statements. Fans and netizens have praised Barnes’ precise rendition of Isbell’s grief and emotions.
— Carol DaRonch (@CarolDaRonch) September 21, 2022
DaShawn Barnes who portrayed Rita Isbell in Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story
DaShawn Barnes is an actress who has been in series such as This Is Us and Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. Barnes has gone viral when a video of her as Isbell yelling at Dahmer during the insanity trial was compared to the genuine Rita Isbell. The courtroom scene comes from Lionel, episode 8 of the series. While the original courtroom film of Isbell is muted, Barnes’ response in an adjacent video might be compared to the original footage. Isbell blasted Dahmer and stormed at his table, yelling angrily about what “out of control” looked like.
According to a 1992 AP News story, Isbell said, “They all had to sit there and keep it together. What he saw in me… is exactly what Errol would have done. The only difference is that Errol would have jumped over it.” At the time of the trial, the jury judged Jeffrey Dahmer insane and sentenced him to 15 consecutive life sentences. Netizens praised Barnes for portraying Isbell’s sorrow so realistically.
Others, though, questioned if the genuine Rita Isbell was sought and given permission to revisit the event. Barnes dressed similarly to Rita Isbell, wearing a “100% Black” t-shirt with an overthrow and gold earrings. However, netizens quickly noticed that Barnes’ hair parting was opposite that of the genuine Rita Isbell.
Despite the praise, several netizens said that the broadcast forced the victims’ relatives to relive their sorrow. Barnes, who just announced her engagement to her closest friend, thanked everyone for their support. She co-starred with Evan Peter, who portrayed Dahmer, Richard Jenkins, Penelope Ann Miller, Molly Ringwald, Niecy Nash, Michael Learned, Shaun J. Brown, and Colin Ford in the series.