The Backstory On Mindhunter Serial Killer Monte Rissell

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Sam Strike as Monte Rissell in "Mindhunter"
Mindhunter season 1 took viewers, well, inside the minds of notorious murderers. One featured in episode 4 was Monte Rissell, played on Mindhunter by Sam Strike (BBC's Eastenders). Rissell is known for the five women he killed in the late '70s, but, before that, he also was convicted of rape and robbery in 1973, according to the Washington Post.
At the time he was a minor, and he was sentenced to undergo therapy instead of sentenced to prison. Upon his release from an institution in 1975, the Washington Post reported that he picked up where he left off with his criminal behavior. In 1977, he was arrested on an unrelated charge that led to police considering him a suspect in five killings of women who lived or worked in the same apartment complex in Rissell's hometown of Alexandria, Virginia.
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Rissell Pleaded Guilty To All Five Murder Counts
Another Washington Post article reported in late 1977 that Rissell plead guilty to murdering five women between 1976 and 1977 via stabbing or strangling. He was initially charged with the women's abductions and rapes and well, but when he pleaded guilty to murder, those other charges were dropped. He was 18 when he was given five life sentences, one for each of his victims.
Where Is Rissell Now, In 2019?
Rissell was eligible for parole beginning in 1995, according to another WaPo article. The outlet reported in 1997 that relatives of his victims always feared he would be released, since he was allowed to apply for parole every year. That doesn't seem to have been the case. According to Virginia state inmate records, Rissell is still in custody, serving out his sentences. He's located at the Pocahontas State Correctional Center, which is a medium security prison in Tazewell County, Virginia. His file says he's doing time for "multiple life sentences," and, as such, he doesn't have a scheduled release date.
Will Rissell Ever Get Parole?
Despite the families' understandable concerns, a spokesperson for Virginia's Department of Corrections told the Washington Post in 1997 that Rissell's parole chances were "slim to none." He seems to have applied most recently in 2012, according to Virginia parole files, but was declined for his "history of violence," which the parole board determined "indicates serious risk to the community." It's possible that he applied more recently, but the Virginia parole decisions website says that an error in their system resulted in some names not showing up on recent lists.
Regardless, he is still currently in custody and unlikely to receive parole. Rissell is now 60 years old and will likely continue serving out his five life sentences.
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