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Are You Watching ‘Making a Murderer’?

Making a Murderer Steven Avery

Have you been watching Making a Murderer, the new Netflix documentary series? (Here’s the trailer.) Holy smokes. It feels like everyone we know binge-watched it over the holidays or has it at the top of their queue. It’s immersive, thought-provoking, and, by the end, baffling — everything you want out of a winter TV series. Whether you’ve seen Making a Murderer yet or not, here are 10 facts about the true-crime saga that we found fascinating. (The first five are 100% spoiler-free!)…

1. Two awesome women made it. Filmmakers and partners Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi were grad students in 2005 when they saw a front-page article about Steven Avery in the New York Times. “I found it riveting and kept elbowing poor Moira and saying, ‘I cannot believe this,'” Ricciardi recalled. They decided to pursue Avery’s story for a documentary and eventually moved from New York to Wisconsin to dive deeper into the project, which ultimately required 800 hours of videotape and took 10 years to complete. To pay the bills, Demos worked as a lighting electrician on TV and movie sets, and Ricciardi, who was a lawyer before film school, did legal work.

2. Avery’s lawyers are melting hearts everywhere. Dean Strang and Jerome Buting, who brilliantly and compassionately represented Steven Avery at trial, have emerged as everyone’s unlikely crushes. They’re the subjects of Internet memes and articles in GQ and Vogue illustrated like Valentines. (Before the series aired, Buting had a modest 20 followers on Twitter. He now has over 25,000.)

3. It was scored by an Oscar winner. By the time you’ve watched all 10 hours of the series, its haunting theme music lingers in your head. It was composed by Gustavo Santaolalla, an Argentine musician who won Best Original Score at the Academy Awards two years in a row, for Brokeback Mountain and Babel.

4. The filmmakers are undecided. Ricciardi and Demos have not said whether or not they think Avery is guilty or innocent. “The main question at the heart of the series is how do we as a society respond when injustice is exposed,” said Ricciardi in an interview with Time. “Moira and I had no stake in the outcome of the trial. We had no interest in whether or not Steven Avery was innocent. We were there simply to document the story and look at the Halbach case not in isolation but in the context of 30 years. What we were really looking at was the American criminal justice system and has there been any meaningful change since 1985 for this person.”

5. Penny Beernsten has spoken out. Beernsten, the woman who accused Steven Avery of assault 1985, declined to participate in Making a Murderer; but she has said that it represented her story accurately. This week, she wrote a powerful essay about what it felt like to learn, 18 years later, that Avery was not her attacker, how he once asked her to buy him a house and what she thinks about him today. “My emotions regarding Steven Avery are complicated,” she says.


Read below this line if you’ve watched the show (or don’t mind a potential spoiler!)…


6. Steven Avery hasn’t seen it. So far, the subject of Making a Murderer, who convinced his family to participate in the series, has not watched it himself. Prisoners don’t have access to Netflix, and one of Avery’s lawyers, Dean Strang, has said even a DVD version is prohibited. “He’s certainly hearing from his family about the response they are getting,” Strang said. “But as long as he is in prison, he will never see it.”

7. The case could reopen. Steven Avery and his nephew, Brenden Dassey, are both serving life sentences for the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach, and their lawyers have exhausted their appeals. But Avery’s lawyers occasionally visit him in prison and await possible leads. “We are still working for free for him informally, and I suspect it’s going to get more formal soon here,” Strang told reporters recently. Similarly, Brenden Dassey’s legal team has filed a petition requesting a judge to re-examine his case. That ruling could come any day.

8. The filmmakers didn’t meet Avery. Demos and Ricciardi were denied visitation with Steven Avery, which is why viewers only hear his voice through phone calls. Some of the most wrenching and seemingly private moments in the film are conversations between Avery and Dassey and their mothers. It turns out that every prison phone call is recorded and, with permission, Demos and Ricciardi were able to make riveting use out of them.

9. A juror has come forward. After Netflix released Making a Murderer last month, one of the 2006 Avery jurors contacted the filmmakers to say they regretted the verdict and that the jurors had waffled to the end. “They told us that they believe Steven Avery was not proven guilty, they believe that Steven was framed by law enforcement,” Ricciardi said on TV this week. “They believe he deserves a new trial, and if he receives a new trial, in their opinion it should take place far away from Wisconsin.”

10. The series isn’t exhaustive. Even with 10 hours at their disposal, Demos and Ricciardi couldn’t depict every piece of evidence presented during the five-week trial of Steven Avery. They say they focused on the key details, but the prosecutor, Ken Kratz, has accused the directors of slanting the story and the Internet is exploding with lists of additional evidence. Details on the cutting room floor include Avery’s calls to Halbach on the day of her disappearance and additional physical evidence. Whether these things represent proof of Avery’s guilt is still unclear.

What do you think? If you’ve watched Making a Murderer, we’d love to hear your take. If you haven’t, will you?

Making a Murderer

Above: Filmmakers Laura Ricciardi, left, and Moira Demos, right, with cinematographer Iris Ng, center.

P.S. A fictional mystery podcast and the best documentary we saw last year.

(Top photo by Dan Powers/Associated Press; bottom photo via Netflix)

  1. Lulu says...

    Hey all,
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    This research study is COMPLETELY anonymous. We will not ask for your name, email, or any other identifiable information about you.
    If you would like to help with the project, please take and share our survey! It should only take about 15-20 minutes to complete!
    Thank you!

    https://unt.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9QwePYxeCPqBHxz

  2. Lora says...

    This is such a sad case of our justice system failing us once again… Steven Avery is innocent by all accounts. He was framed and I believe his nephew being of a slow mind was coaxed by the killer which I think is the brother or the ex boyfriend of Theresa. Nothing adds up.. from the phone calls during the so called murder from Jodi to Steven while she was in jail to Brendan having an imagination that the detectives used and WHY would the detectives push so hard on this mentally challenged teen unless they are covering for someone. And who was the woman that called in and said she found the Toyota and seemed happy? Another set up? Burned body parts that any lab should be able to tell if they were brought there from somewhere else and if no evidence of blood of Teresa’s is in Steven’s home or garage then why are they not ruling out everyone who knew her like the exboyfriend? The judges are being paid off no doubt to get a conviction of someone who has fame… look at the timeline of events.. As soon as it looks favorable for Steven, something else comes up magically? That whole community should be called MatiHELL because I think alot of people, friends, relatives of the sheriffs and detectives, judges etc are in cohoots with this and they will burn for their wrongful doings…

  3. Young Cash says...

    Teresa was killed by a man named Edward Edwards. Steven and Brenden will be home soon. #TheEnd

  4. Wow! Sat down to watch a little of it and ending up watching the whole thing in on setting. I will never live in Wisconsin! Not to say it can’t happen elsewhere but it was so blatant there-the injustice is appalling. I really don’t know where to start except to say that I so wish I had been on those juries to knock some sense into some of them. There were items of evidence that were so preposterous that it seemed like if it didn’t make sense they just discarded it and went on so they could put enough pieces together to convict. Terrible shady investigation! Huge cover up! Sad and disgusting!

  5. Dawn says...

    They were both convicted of murdering her but Dassey said it was in the bedroom and in the Avery trial, the prosecutor said it happened in the garage. Makes no sense at all. I think it was the ex boyfriend !!

    • Young Cash says...

      it wasn’t

  6. Carol A Ferrell says...

    I watched this in two days. I was riveted and I had to watch my blood pressure as it went up watching this. (I’m 77.) Best documentary I have ever seen. I will never live in Wisconsin if that is the kind of justice you get there. I believe Avery is innocent and a very nice man. And I loved the parents. I hope and pray he gets out and the courts finally give him justice. It really makes me suspect our system. They were not looking for the truth. So sad. Im going to pray for him and Brendan.

  7. Eva says...

    I am soooooooo disappointed in the Manitowoc County shame on you and your investigation!!! Where is the blood?? Corrupt is the only word I see when I here Manitowoc County and the investigation!! What those investigators did to Bobby Dassey is unbelievable, I hope they all burn in hell!!!

  8. Eva says...

    Why did they not investigate the ex boyfriend?? He looked so suspicious! I am soooooooo disappointed in the Manitowoc County shame on you and your investigation!!! Where is the blood?? Corrupt is the only word I see when I here Manitowoc County and the investigation!! What those investigators did to Bobby Dassey is unbelievable, I hope they all burn in hell!!!

    • Carol A Ferrell says...

      Yes, I felt the same thing. They should investigate him. Come on Wisconson, do the right thing!

  9. Laurie says...

    I am so sad for Steven Avery The prosecutor should lose
    his liscence. His remarks to the press after the verdict says it all. Alluding to the fact of the type of man Steven Avery is? A man who served 18 years for a rape he did not commit? Are prosecutors only interested in winning? Such a sad commentary on out justice system. I think he is innocent

  10. Lois Bradford says...

    I am so sad about the unfair judicial system. The corrupt police should be in jail. They were grandstanding throughout the trial. They looked ridiculous!

    I loved Mr. Avery’s lawyers, brilliant, caring and amazing. The case should have been won by them!

    It just proves anyone can be in his shoes if enough corrupt police have it in for you! What a sham!

  11. Nicole says...

    I have a question for any lawyers out there. It seems crazy unreasonable to me that the motions for appeal or new trial were presided by the SAME judges who presided over the original trials (Willis and Fox, I think). Is that standard practice? When Steven Avery went back to Willis again I just kept thinking how Willis had already called him the most dangerous man to ever enter that courtroom and how obviously he thought he was guilty and that there was no way Steven would be granted anything from Willis. Is it even legal?

    As a side note, someone mentioned this already about juries actually being fair, but I sat on a jury for a medical malpractice trial and was APPALLED by what some of my fellow jurors thought and said. One actually said that as a Christian woman, she just couldn’t say no to giving the patient’s family money from the doctors because they really needed it. Not okay and not the jury’s job!

  12. Sam Conover says...

    It’s so funny that other people suspected the brother because I did as well. He was so ready to convict Avery and Dassey yet zero emotion and so ridiculously vague about breaking the passcode on her phone. I’m annoyed at why the Manitowok County officers were eager to say they called another county to investigate yet were knee deep on the crime scene. Unless I’m missing something why was the cousin able to find the vehicle stupidly parked on a 40 acre junk yard so fast. Honestly, I’m not buying any of it. If I were on the jury, there would be no way I could convict either one of those men beyond a shadow of a doubt with the evidence shown in this documentary.

    • Monica Barba says...

      What do you think of the ex-boyfriend? He sounded odd at the initial search for Theresa, stressing that if anyone finds anything they shouldn’t touch it. Also, he had access to her voicemail as well, and could very well have heard the Steven’s reply to her initial call confirming the photo shoot, and decided that this was the perfect opportunity to kill her and then plant evidence to frame Steven. It sounds like they had had a long relationship that was ending, and he was probably the one harassing her with those phone calls that she ignored. Why didn’t the police even question him and treat him like a suspect? He would be the obvious person to question, yet they did not.

  13. COlady63 says...

    Was there DNA testing done on the done fragments found? Speak with any funeral director and you will find out that a bonfire does not burn hot enough to break down the bone (in the manner in which we have seen/heard about in this case. Why was all the evidences found after the initial investigation accepted? It was contaminated and questionable after months and people coming and going. Why was the Manitowoc police even doing inside these buildings? When they were only supposed to be assisisting with supplies. The person who conducted the analyses from the blood collected, why was she not asked how many times she has lied or covered up contaminated evidence before.

  14. Heather says...

    Teresa’s brother did it! Episode 2, when she was first reported missing, he stated as the began to search for her, “the grieving process can take a long time”. Why is he grieving so soon, and why does he have no emotions. As her brother, I’m sure she knew her schedule, where she was going and that Teresa didn’t enjoy visiting the Avery property. Avery is not intellectual enough to clean up a murder that thoroughly, but he isn’t dumb enough to leave her car on the property and make it stand out by covering it with branches, unlike the rest of the cars.
    Dassey, that’s just sad.

    • Ha! I secretly suspected Halbach’s brother throughout the series, as well! He also hacked into her voicemail immediately (I believe the day she visited the Avery’s)… why so suspicious?

      The series is 100% worth watching though even if just to see how life can be in a different part of the country.

  15. Kim Perrelli says...

    I cried so hard my head pounded for hours. This film demonstrates a gross abuse of power by our legal system on a vulnerable family that lacked the resources and education to navigate the maze of obstacles that were forced upon them. The State of WI proceeded with such arrogance because they could.
    The Avery family never lost hope. It’s truly all they have.
    My heart breaks for the brilliant attorneys so invested in this case knowing the wrong decision was made. They were far more sophisticated than the State of WI could ever dream to be. What a heart break to loose to such simpletons. .
    Sadly I’m certain abuse of power happens to vulnerable individuals everyday.
    Bravo to the filmmakers and to Netflix for bringing us this brave film. Sending you this message makes me cry all over again.

  16. Jessica P says...

    Your documentary has literally been the talk of the office. Everyone who hasn’t seen it, can’t wait to watch it. My coworkers son was saying his prayers before bed and said a prayer for Steven Avery, after he watched him being convicted. As they said during the documentary “you never think you’ll commit a crime but you never know when someone will try convicting you of a crime.” It’s scary to know a life changing mistake like this in our judicial system could happen. And there is nothing you can do.

  17. I believe that they are innocent! The whole scenario has been plotted on Avery for not wanting to pay out the 36 million dollars to him! Brendan story saying she was chained to the bed proved he was making all that up to tell the cops what they wanted to hear. There was no evidence of blood or marks on the bed post to match his story. The cops went along with it knowing it wasn’t true!
    One of the cops dispatched Teresa’s licence plate the night she was missing. The blood tube in the evidence box was opened during the search before they apparently found Avery blood in her car. The key to her car wasn’t noticed before …them cops definitely planted the evidence there and definitely knows the truth what really happened to her!
    They put Steven and Branden to blame from day 1 and did everything they could to hide the truth from what really happened. Them shady cops and lawyers need to lose their jobs and do some time in prison for false accusations! See how they feel to lose family and a life! Karma will happen! If not here on earth then especially to the Lord ! God knows the truth! Bless Steven and Branden for their strong will pulling through this life challenge! Amen

  18. I had to wait finish before reading this, or to reply.

    I am sort of happy to read the bit about the jurors. I think the case itself was a huge struggle for all involved, I can’t imagine making the big choice of guilty or not guilty….

    The show blew me away… I’m still floored, 5 days later.

  19. Staci says...

    This documentary was brilliant and had my attention clear through! I believe someone had it out for Steve Avery whether or not it was the police or not too many things were so unclear! I was not sure how things could just appear. How there was nothing said about her being tied up to a bed cut throat but no blood found in the house? Too many unanswered questions for a murder conviction on both parties!

  20. Margaret says...

    I’ve only watched the first two episodes and was reluctant to watch any of it. Steven Avery was my neighbor growing up; he lived ‘down the road’ as they say in rural WI, or rural anywhere. And Teresa Halbach, while I didn’t know her or her parents, was a niece of a dear family friend. It’s really strange to see bits and pieces of your childhood memories put together on TV, leaving you wondering what was true vs. what I heard from my parents, neighbors, etc. I haven’t lived in WI since I graduated highschool but my memories of Avery (as we all called him) and his reputation all came back to me. I was 8 years old when he went to prison in ’85 and the whole neighborhood breathed a sigh of relief. There’s a lot I could say here about his reputation, things he did before he was arrested in ’85, but who knows what really happened. I don’t doubt for a second that the Manitowoc Cty sheriff’s dept was thick as thieves and had him in their sights for a long time. I’m sure a common occurence in a lot of small towns. He was obviously innocent of the the crime in ’84, and it’s really sad that he and his family had to endure that, how devastating. I’ll eventually watch all of the series, but it hit a little too close to home.

  21. Katy says...

    Thanks for posting this! I watched the entire series and can’t believe that our criminal justice system still works like this! It is so unfair to poor people! The Central Park 5 Documentary, also on Netflix, tells a similar story. The boys gave coerced confessions, were vilified by the press, served years in prison, and then were found to be innocent.

  22. Amanda says...

    I did watch the documentary very baffled on how long forcement in Wisconsin and got away with everything that they got away with it’s sad to think that this young man will spend the rest of his life in prison and I don’t even think he understands what’s going on I think this is a confused child who doesn’t have a clue and I’m just disgusted with him losing his life over this I pray everyday that there is a way if he’s innocent that it is brought out to the light and Steven Avery has went through so much and I hope that maybe one day he will also get his pants again to prove his innocence may be some kind of DNA or something will come out I did watch the documentary very baffled on how long for Summit in Wisconsin got away with everything that they got away with it sad to think that this young man Wilson the rest of his life and prison and I don’t even think he understands what’s going on I I think is it the confused child who doesn’t have a clue and I’m just disgusted with him losing his life over this I pray everyday this there’s a way if he’s innocent that it’s is brought out to the light and Steven Avery has what through so much and i hope that maybe one day he will also get his chances again to prove he is innocent maybe some kind of DNA your something will come out I just pray for the whole situation the whole situation is disgusting and extremely sad to me

  23. Amelia says...

    I don’t understand why the other Dassey boy & Barbs husband were not further investigated. I think their story seemed too shady. They certainly wanted Avery put away & didn’t care about the other brother. Rather or not Avery did it, no way as a juror I could’ve convicted him without reasonable doubt.

    • I agree-I thought Bobby and Scott were involved in her murder. Mostly Scott (Teresa’s husband-I think that was his name) and maybe Bobby was just lying to be his alibi. Either way Avery and Dassey didn’t do it.

  24. bridget says...

    I watched the entire documentary in one day. I had seen the Holbreck story before on the ID channel, therefor I was familiar with that killing, but their story did not go into Avery very much at all. At the time I saw that show, I thought he was innocent because of the time line, where he was at his cabin with family. After seeing this riveting documentary I still believe in his innocence. I do not think our criminal justice system is just at all. I myself do not care for any type of law enforcement at all. I have little respect or trust in any police entity. And I am a white bread soccer mom who’s income is well over six figures, and I am educated. I have had my dealings with law enforcement in the past during a nasty divorce and they will pile on as many charges as they can get away with. You may be arrested for trespassing, but then they will also charge you with larceny, intent to harm, etc.. and the judges are no better, nor the DA’s. I appreciate the system and fully believe we have to have one in place, but the STEVEN AVERY case screams set up and cops that are racist and ignorant. Simple as that. Loved the documentary, great job ladies! Kudos. Bridget

  25. Christine says...

    I think that once that woman went missing and the cops found out she had been to the Avery’s property they just ran with it. I don’t think the cops had any involvement in the woman’s murder but HELPED it appear as Steven did it. Since they made such a media spectacle of it, the real killer took thst opportunity to put her vehicle at that salvage yard because they knew that would definitely keep the focus on Avery. That poor kid didn’t stand a chance against the interrogators and really, I believe his statements is what caused both of their convictions.

  26. Amanda says...

    I wish I could say I am surprised by the verdict, but sadly I am not. The justice system is corrupt in more counties then just Manitowoc. I personally lived the outcome of the injustice system and the effects it has on a family first hand. Never believe for one second that judges, PA’s, DA’s, or lawyers have your best interest at heart. A town and PA’s make their money by having convictions and people in jail, this is why so often it goes in the direction of the lies instead of the truth. It’s not profitable to have innocent people.

  27. powerful and incitful!!!!

  28. Kris says...

    I too watched this entire 10 hour documentary and my stomach was in knots.WHERE WAS THE BLOOD EVIDENCE?Why wasn’t the bus drivers recollection taking into consideration of the timeline that was off.Why did the roommate wait so long to contact anyone?Why would you leave a car from the victim on your property and not crush it and get rid of it?How could her DNA not be on her own keys?Wow this made me so mad.However I watched a news special about the case last night and some points were brought up that were not depicted in the documentary.Brandon came home with bleach on his pants nowhere in the movie was that brought up or the fact that Avery had kept calling the victim which was said but never said who it actually was until now.How he would talk about sexual things about women not good and his preference about burning them after is just now coming up …So who knows what to believe anymore they shot the documentary from a one sided story.I still believe in his innocence after this but we will see but one thing I know is I despise the county sheriffs and everyone who can go out of their way to put words and confessions in other people’s mouths just because they are embarrassed by the mistake they make in 1985

  29. Sara says...

    I am just sick after watching Making a Murder. I really, really was hoping it would end with the Federal Justice system coming in to correct all the wrong and fire many people and give their pentions to the Avery, s. Along with a lot more. I also find it hard that the family doesn’t want to know who killed their daughter, sister. Not all of that community is as stupid as each other, But the ones who believe the right verdict has been met. I think some of the Avery family are low IQ but wholly smokes those people are even worse off. I must say a riot must be developed to get something done, I don’t know what else would get to some honest top authority. Damn. This was a eye opener to me, that if you are wrongfully accused even the Supreme courts seem to look the other way. Sick, sick. Not all people with authority are bad, but there are alot of police that are predujest. They need to be held accountable for there stupidity as well. I could go on and on. I just ask everyone PLEASE LET’S START A RALLY THAT GRABS THIS NATION! !!

  30. I’m only halfway through the first episode (I blame it on a baby who suddenly dislikes sleep) but I have to say I’m not hooked yet. Was the beginning as slow for others as it is for me? I haven’t read this whole article yet for fear of spoiler alerts. Assuming I just need to plow through, since basically everyone I’ve talked to is memorized by this series!

    • Julia says...

      Yes! The beginning was very slow for me, but keep watching. The first episode is not riveting to say the least, but I got hooked at the end of the second. Keep watching!

    • Laura says...

      Yeah, it took me a few eps to get hooked.

  31. Kayleigh says...

    I really don’t know whether he is guilty or innocent. But, he was definitely not considered “innocent until proven guilty,” he was pinned as guilty from the start. There was no way and still is no way that anyone in that entire state could have served on that jury impartially. They had all seen the news and had all formed some kind of opinion. The additional evidence not shown in the documentary does not look good for Steven Avery, but I am still not convinced he is guilty. After the way he was treated with the 1985 case and then again with the Halbach murder, I would not be surprised at ALL if he was framed by law enforcement. They had so much at their disposal to do so. And let’s be honest, if Avery was that kind of cold-blooded crazy killer, don’t you think he would’ve a) crushed the car in his auto salvage, b) left the key in the car or gotten rid of it (no need for it now and if he was keeping it as a “trophy” he would have kept it in a much safer and more secret place than “behind a file cabinet” and c) removed any burned remnants of her body OFF his property? These are really “duh” things. I don’t see how if he is charged with 1st degree (premeditated) murder, that he wouldn’t plan for this. But then again, the things he did leading up to her disappearance and murder don’t look all that great.

  32. Stephanie says...

    It seems interesting that the entire investigation focuses ENTIRELY on Brendan Dassey and Steven Avery, when Steven Avery has a brother convicted of sexual assault against several women, and his brother-in-law has a history of violence against women as well… It all seems VERY close to the original rape case in 1985, where they zoned in on him and were going to make sure he went away for it…. I don’t know. The documentary blew my mind and at the end of the day, neither Brendan nor Steven had a fair trial. I don’t understand how Brendan was even convicted. There didn’t seem to be very much evidence against him, besides his VERY VERY confused and conflicted statements. Ugh.

  33. Bob says...

    Ken Kratz really should shut his trap – he declined to participate in the film, he has no room to whine about any of it.

  34. Jocelyn says...

    Beyond a reasonable doubt. Four words that are very difficult to prove. I can see the second jury not getting the whole story. Railroading his nephew was a low blow because they knew he was slow. That in itself should be a crime. When you have to trick a slow person just to catch someone you’ve been after because they are suing you, and the state doesn’t even bother to tear apart the investigation. Shame on you WI.

  35. I’m not convinced that Avery is innocent, but I’m not convinced he’s guilty either. I’ve been surprised by the uproar, and the hundreds of thousands of people who are “outraged” and have signed petitions in his favor. There are certainly some fishy things going on, but I have yet to see anything concrete in the series that makes me feel definitively that he is innocent. On another note, my husband is an attorney and refuses to watch the series because he knows that the problems in our justice system will make him so angry. Either way, it’s definitely worth watching!

    • Gosh, I would love to hear his opinion if he were to watch it. I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to see this type of thing happen every day.

    • Irene says...

      “There are certainly some fishy things going on, but I have yet to see anything concrete in the series that makes me feel definitively that he is innocent.”

      Most people signing the petition aren’t definitively sure he’s innocent, either. They’re just not definitively sure he’s guilty.

  36. I watched all the episodes between rewatching all of Felicity Season 2 over the holidays. Which was a good balance.

  37. Nina says...

    I just finished episode 2. So disturbing. The ex boyfriend definitely gives off a creepster vibe. Below 70 is mentally retarded so I feel for Steve in that he is easily manipulated and an easier target than a more intelligent person might be. I’m disturbed by people saying him throwing a cat OVER a fire (while admittedly bad) justifies 18 years of false imprisonment. That is disgusting. You saying that makes you WORSE than an animal abuser who has an IQ that allows him to barely function. Having represented juveniles in court, it is interesting to note that many lower functioning juveniles and adults act in ways we might find reprehensible to fit in and have “friends.” Could this be the case here? Yes. Have YOU befriended those lower functioning and included them in your circle of friends or just hope they don’t bug you? Having worked on an Innocence Project in law school and as a victim advocate for a local police dept, I have seen much corruption and manipulation by police, detectives, and the criminal justice system. It is very sad but how to fix it?

    • Amy L says...

      He poured gasoline on the cat and threw him in the fire. The documentary totally downplayed the incident. Although that certainly does not justify the wrongful conviction.

  38. MacGyver says...

    If you bought this could happen, consider: While driving home 7:30 PM, I was stopped by the police. I was not speeding or breaking the law in any way. This stop occured out side of their jurisdiction. Upon approach all windows of my vehic were open, and I was courteous and polite at all times.
    Questions were asked and answered as to what , where and why I was going. They also asked me if I was a Fireman (fifrfighter lic. plate)? I stated I was, and had been also a Paramedic for 33 years.
    The two officers proceed to interrogate and go through my entire vehic.
    for the next hour. When they ordered me out of the vehicle, and spread for a search, I was sure the were going to plant drugs or something in my truck. I can not tell you how scard and violated I felt. I might add that other than a speeding ticket years ago, I am absolutely Boy Scout clean-nothing.
    They finally released me, stating “sorry”.
    I was so upset, I phoned the watch commander, and he was aware they stopped me. But his version of the events were totally different from what the officers at the scene said, and what actually occurred.
    Realizing that these officers could make my life a living hell if I complained further(formal complaint to DA etc) I decided to drop the issue. But to this day, I can’t help wonder, that if they abuse their authority with me, (by the way I am caucasian) , what is it like for others?

    As far as Avery and Brendan, there are so many instances of reasonable doubt, abuse, incompetence, unethical and inappropriate behavior by authorities, it is inconcievable they were ever convicted. From the police investigation, interrogation, and opportunity of crime scene contamination, right up through the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
    You have to ask yourself, if I were accused, would you feel that these actions taken by others fair?
    Personally, I hope law practiced in other parts of the country are very different from Wisconsin.

    • Jzzzz says...

      Some of the evidence is not true, e.g., the “sweat” on the car can’t be determined to be “sweat”; it could be blood as well; the rest of it fits the defend’s story, e.g., Avery knew the victim so her contact info etc. in his residence is reasonable, and the ash has been moved, etc. The last piece of “evidence” in the article is just character assassination. The author keeps saying that nothing about Avery’s violent tendency was confirmed, but still keeps citing it. He also argues that the filmmakers included the prosecutor’s scandal, and thus they’re biased. Well, at least the scandal has been confirmed!! Anyway, the whole documentary is about how prejudice can lead to injustice, and here the author still uses very prejudiced argument to assassin someone’s reputation. Finally, the point if the documentary isn’t whodunnit as most people may think. It’s about misconducts on the part of the authority, which is evidenced by the evidence presented in the film. So whether Avery is quilts or not, he didn’t get a fair trial and the people responsible should be investigated and punished. Even if Avery did murder the victim and get free, we have have the police and prosecutor to blame because they did a such a shitty job to say the least.

    • Nina says...

      I would take anything the Federalist (a written version of Fox news in terms of political leaning) with a mountain of salt.

  39. My verdict is still out on Avery, but I think the recent rise of these true murder cases are really making a point about the flaws of our justice system. I’m especially broken up about Dassey-I really believed him from the beginning. I hope they BOTH get a chance at a fair day in the courtroom.

  40. Erin says...

    I’m from Wisconsin, and like other Sconnies, I also followed this story as it was unfolding. I was at the time a freelancer (design) in my mid twenties, living approx. 2 hours away from where this happened. I could relate all too well to Teresa Halbach. Around this time, I also became acquainted with a man who had been exonerated by none other than the Wisconsin Innocence project—just one year before Steven Avery was exonerated. Before making that acquaintance, I had assumed that our justice system, though not infallible, was pretty solid. It was incredibly eye-opening and terrifying to hear about his experience and how the system had failed him so brutally.

    From what was presented through local media, it seemed clear that Steven Avery was guilty. I remember worrying about possible backlash against the Wisconsin Innocence Project. I also remember thinking that serving so many years in prison for a crime you didn’t commit would inevitably change you, and break you in unimaginable ways. I ultimately don’t have an opinion on whether Steven Avery murdered Teresa Halbach. It feels unfair to judge (in my position). But I do feel certain that our justice system desperately needs reform. Desperately.

  41. I can’t believe how true crime has taken off since the release of Serial, I’m not complaining though! I found Making a Murderer so frustrating, I’m torn about Stephen Avery and would definitely be interested in seeing what evidence was left (I also kind of feel that the presentation was at least somewhat biased towards him). The part that really got me though was Brenden Dassey’s case…he was completely taken advantage of.

  42. Samantha says...

    I made my boyfriend watch it with me, and now we’re super obsessed! He already watched it until the 9th episode without me, but he’s watching from the 7th to the 9th with me again lol. The story is so crazy that you tell people about it and they’re like “that’s ridiculous, it would never happen in real life!”, and then you tell them it’s a documentary and their minds are blown.

  43. Megan says...

    My boyfriend and I watched this in two days over the holidays. The story was fascinating and the story-telling extremely thought-provoking and engaging. The series does a great job of showing the shortcomings in our legal system and how our own prejudices and biases end up being more important than the actual evidence shown in a trial. I think there was far too much “reasonable doubt” to bring back a conviction.

  44. This sounds so interesting, but it’s too REAL for me! I think it would be anxiety-inducing for me. Once I became a mom I became too sensitive to watch this kind of stuff. I just imagine how the parents (of everyone involved!) must feel and it breaks my heart.

    • Rose Berry says...

      As an innocent person myself, who was a victim of cops not knowing the facts and lied to protect their own asses, I am with you on the anxiety and heartbreaking feelings. I suffer from PTSD now and have panic attacks because of it. I believe Steven Avery is totally innocent and the evidence to prove his guilt was completely lacking. This man and his family have suffered enough!!

  45. Sarah B says...

    I live in WI & started college in Green Bay, WI in 2006. I worked at a local TV station in college that covered the story…a few faces from the news team appear in the documentary. I am not 100% either way, guilty or not guilty. If they were both framed, as Steven has claimed, I cannot imagine Theresa’s family being okay with the real murderer still being out there. If there was doubt in her families mind AT ALL, as to whether they are guilty or not…I feel like they would speak up. They would and should want the real killer found…..unless her brother or ex boyfriend had something to do with it, which I have read about on various theory sites (but don’t believe). My gut tells me they are guilty of something—what exactly, I don’t know, but they were too close to the situation to not have done or known something. Either way, the people I feel for most are her parents, family and friends.

    • Maira says...

      I wonder how Halbach family can sleep at night, I really do. I think their lust for vengeance (especially Mike, the brother) made them blind. They wanted somebody pay for the crime, at any cost, but deeper in their hearts, the don’t know what really happened to her. How can they be ok with that investigation? How can they be ok with the contradictory verdicts?

  46. I caved and started watching it last night. I am with you! It seems like EVERYONE is watching this docu-series. So far, after the first episode, I am wavering. I don’t know if I really want to emotionally invest in this series or not. I think it’s going to be a roller-coaster! But I love to support my fellow female creators. I had no idea it was created by two ladies. What an awesome project and kudos to them for getting it out there!! They are, both, and inspiration!

  47. Yay! I have this queued up to watch as soon as I’ve finished Jessica Jones (I know, it takes me ages to watch anything). So glad to know it’s been made by such fantastic women.

  48. Lauren E. says...

    I binge-watched this series over the New Year holiday, and was completely outraged. I kept screaming at the TV, “But there’s no evidence!” How can you convict two men to life in prison without a shred of physical evidence? They kept relaying that story about the torture of that poor woman when there was literally no evidence of it. They said even crime scene forensics teams couldn’t have cleaned up a scene as well as Steven Avery supposedly had.

    However, this article gave me pause. http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv/evidence-s-missing-making-murderer-article-1.2485213

    There is so much there that paints Avery in a VERY different light. There’s no doubt this case and Dassey’s was completely mishandled and they both deserved retrials, but still. He’s not the completely innocent man they make him out to be.

    • Maira says...

      Most of that evidence is circumstantial, we all know that Avery wasn’t a model citizen. With the absence of blood, hair, DNA or fingerprints (there was DNA and blood in the RAV but no fingerprints?) in the trailer/garage, I believe that the evidence must be reviewed, and they should have a new trial far away from WI.
      Let’s not forget about the contradictions of the verdicts as well.

  49. Patrice says...

    After watching Making a Murderer, I can’t stop thinking about The Staircase. If you are looking for another complicated murder trial and great unbiased storytelling, you must watch this documentary. Episodes 1-8 are below, but I believe you will have to buy the follow-up (that aired seven years later!) via iTunes. https://youtu.be/n061fS38_GA

    • Irene says...

      Thanks for the tip! Will check this out tonight.

  50. Jessica says...

    I have conflicting feelings about his guilt or innocence. but watching what law enforcement and his own lawyers were doing to brenden dassy actually hurt me at my core. This whole case is very reminiscent of the west memphis 3 case and documentaries, which i recommend if you haven’t seen.

  51. Stacie says...

    Ahh, I want to watch this – but my husband and I just started watching Homeland over the holiday break and now we are pretty addicted! This will be next on our list. (We’re already on Season 4 of Homeland and started watching it about two weeks ago!)

    • Love homeland! Such a good show. The last season was amazing.

  52. Lizzie says...

    #4 is a teeny bit of a spoiler 😬

  53. Beth says...

    Highly recommend. Watched 8 episodes in one night. Thought he was completely innocent, but read about evidence the film makers had to leave out and not so sure now. Extremely interesting.

  54. Heloisa de Toledo says...

    Unbelievable. And sad. So sad.

  55. Ah I’m keen, really keen. This whole murder investigation theme has really gotten into my head since the release of serial

  56. Rin says...

    I got twenty minutes in, but abandoned it after hearing him admit he had thrown his family cat onto a fire. He didn’t even sound like he felt bad about it. I have zero sympathy for the man.

    • Maira says...

      I find relief by knowing that he spent 18 years in prison for the cat murder.

    • I believe he threw the cat over the fire so the cat was not killed. I think he was horsing around. Although still gross, not the same as throwing the cat into the fire.

  57. Aileen says...

    I found the Netflix series entertaining and I think that’s exactly what is intended from the creation of it. The film makers did an excellent job stirring emotions with viewers, but I think the audience is forgetting an important detail- this was created for entertainment purposes.
    There are many disturbances throughout each episode from the lack of attorney loyalty to Dassey and tremendous conflict of interests with investigators on the case.
    Excluding police unlawfulness I have to consider their behavior during the investigation as a means to an end. When looking at the collective evidence in Avery’s trial it paints a convincing picture that the police found the guilty party.
    Lastly I find Avery’s past of animal cruelty a red flag. Behavior such as that is often found amongst many violent criminals profiles. In my opinion Avery had the means, motive, and evidence to receive a guilty verdict.

  58. Kal says...

    I really struggle with this whole situation. I refuse to watch the series as I live in Wisconsin and as a parent with little ones, I honestly don’t need the anxiety, but it is hard to avoid as the story is everywhere right now. If the trial was mishandled, it really is horrible that this occurred. However, a young woman was murdered by someone and local news outlets have posted stories discussing hard evidence that was apparently not included in the series. Just legitimately wondering and looking for a real answer: if he was truly innocent than why not include and address everything in this series? I have a hard time not being skeptical. Like everything else in the media, there is always an endgame or purpose and I’d be interested to find out what the maker of this series goal is.

    • Amy says...

      I watched the entire series and just couldn’t believe how narrow-minded the police and State were. I realize this documentary is for enjoyment, but at a certain point you have to realize that a man’s life (as well as his family and love interests) is directly affected by the actions and inactions of police. It is very clear to me that there IS reasonable doubt; you have to conclude not that he is guilty or not-guilty, but that he is NOT guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Reading the court documents from a hearing regarding other suspects (evidence that was not allowed in Avery’s trial) puts A LOT of shade on his brother-in-law. http://ftpcontent.worldnow.com/wkow/newsdocs/avery%20documents%201-22.pdf
      http://ftpcontent.worldnow.com/wkow/newsdocs/avery%20document%20page%2023%20+.pdf
      All I can say for sure is that I feel so bad for this poor man and his family.

    • Irene says...

      “It is very clear to me that there IS reasonable doubt; you have to conclude not that he is guilty or not-guilty, but that he is NOT guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”

      This.

      Jury members (not just in this case, but in general) don’t seem to grasp that any reasonable doubt should lead to a not-guilty verdict… I grew up in a western-European country where we don’t have trials by jury – as sad and cynical as it is, I just don’t think the general population (any general population, not just in the US!) is smart enough to grasp the issue of “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

    • Kal says...

      Sorry, but after reading the transcripts of Brendan’s confession, parts of the trial, and the things that were done to poor woman who was raped and then murdered and the various types of physical evidence (not circumstantial) that exist, I really don’t feel that the outcome of the trial was incorrect. I think the general public is incredibly unaware of how the justice system works until they themselves or a loved one or family member is involved. The defenses’ job is to cast as much doubt as possible on the suspect(which is exactly what the series is skillfully doing, by the way) as is the opposite for those who attempted to prove him guilty in w court of law. Avery’s attorneys and family are some of the ones who provided the support and impetus for this series. Of course they want to show him as innocent. Why would they paint him as guilty? And look at the response!

      Based on all the hype surround this show, I also feel that television dramas have caused people to incredibly overestimate the intelligence of criminals. Crime dramas are no fun if the criminal is stupid and gets caught right away, hey? But look at the number of highly intelligent people in the general population(statistically a small amount) and then the number of people in the general population who commit high-profile felonies. Chances are high that there are not many. Most socio-economic factors that drive crime include lack of education, poverty, and mental health disorders and abusive pasts. And this elaborate scheme to frame him? Now we’re giving all these different departments in law enforcement credit for concocting this elaborate scheme to put him behind bars? Even though they apparently did so many things wrong (according to the series?)? We were not present at the trial and we were not part of the jury. We have this system for a reason, and enough members of the jury concluded that there was sufficient evidence to pronounce him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s actually becoming quite scary that if a group of people produce a movie or series with the purpose to convince the general public of their opinion that very few people actually question the motives of those creating it. What will people believe next? What happened to critical thinking? Why do people so strongly want to free someone convicted or raping, murdering, and burning a young woman? I still haven’t gotten any answers to my original questions either: why was such significant evidence not discussed in the series if he truly was innocent?

    • Elle says...

      Hi Kal,

      I think that watching the show would actually help to clarify many of the questions you are asking.

      First, there is no proof that Teresa Halbach was raped – her body was burned before it was ever found so they will never know what actually happened to her. This piece of the story was concocted by Steven’s also imprisoned nephew, Brendan Dassey in a coerced confession [which can be seen on camera in the show and is infuriating to watch how the police did so] he refuted his statement at many points after the initial admission and continued to refute the story on the stand in his own trial. Please also bear in mind that Dassey’s intelligence is in the bottom 1% of the population [a point touched on, but never used in his trial] All of the points of the story which Brendan Dassey gave about the events on the day of her murder, were over the course of the time between and during the trials, for the most part proved completely inaccurate. There are so, SO many details here, but for starters, there was no blood found anywhere on the property in the two places that the police pointed to her being violently raped/murdered. The cremains found in the three firepits also showed signs of having been moved or placed.

      The missing pieces of evidence as pointed out in this article [ http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv/evidence-s-missing-making-murderer-article-1.2485213 ] are somewhat irrelevant pieces of evidence in comparison to the other points of the case. In the show it is made absolutely clear that there was a huge amount of evidence planted by the Manitowoc police department- in my opinion proper police work could have potentially helped create a truthful story of what may have actually happened to this young woman had they been focused on trying to solve the case rather than framing Steven Avery.

      I think the bottom line is the media is going to use what they want to make the most exciting story. Also, unfortunately the judicial system of WI screwed up on the whole BIG time in this case. From the mis-handling of evidence, to the lack of paperwork filed, to the fact that the jurors were so afraid that if they delivered the not-guilty verdict that 7 of the 10 jurors initially wanted, they too would become targets of that county.

      If you have interest in understanding what really happened, I think you should watch the show and to come to your own verdict. It was very well done and fascinating. You will definitely have moments of “he did it!” and “he absolutely didn’t do it!”. I by no means did this show or the points of the case justice in this shortish answer. Either way, the state of WI did not give these two men the right to a fair and just trial.

  59. I love anything law-related, and recently starting watching this! I did not read the details because I do want to go in blind, but I am even more excited about it now that you shed some light on it Lexi!

    Lendy
    http://www.twoplusluna.com

  60. I love 48 hour mystery so “Making a Murderer” was basically made for me!
    I was pretty wrapped up in it!
    The couldn’t believe when a juror said “I don’t think we will ever know what happened” – is that not the definition of reasonable doubt?!
    And When poor Brendan said he was guessing the answers like he does on his homework – heart break.
    I don’t know if Avery is guilty but I know someone killed that poor girl and by the end of the movie – 10 years late, it is still unclear who….
    The whole thing is sad and frustrating!!

  61. Jackie says...

    Penny’s side of the story was documented in a Radiolab podcast. The episode is called “Are You Sure” and it is just has haunting and gripping as the Netflix show. I first heard about Avery through this podcast! Absolutely worth listening to hear and understand more of her perspective.

    http://www.radiolab.org/story/278075-are-you-sure/

  62. DENISE says...

    The biggest take away is don’t get in trouble! It’s crushing how our justice system needs major reform. It made me so sad. And mad! But about their innocence or guilt — I’m not totally sure about Steven Avery but I think there’s an overwhelming amount of reasonable doubt to not convict him. And Brendan is definitely innocent. I can’t believe grown men actually feel OK about themselves and the way they treated him. Didn’t your heart sink when he said “OK I have to get back to school by 1:30 because I have homework due.” ? And I get the thing about the crush on Avery’s attorneys! They were rock stars, right? And I loved their reply to the prosecutors complaints about the series and their rebuttal to him in the media. Oh, and about about Len?!? Omg Len. CREEPY!!! And so terrible. Ewww.

    • jessica clare says...

      your take away is don’t get in trouble? the whole point is, even if you don’t get in trouble, you can be convicted of something you didn’t do….did we watch two different movies??

  63. Jackie says...

    An award winning Documentary for sure!
    The sad truth is that this real life “nightmare” and horrific injustice was in the judicial process. They should be freed on the basis of these injustices and should be paid MILLIONS. In my opinion there is a murderer (or more than one) still on the loose…
    Btw…A review of court records shows that Avery’s defense attorneys tried to raise details about four other possible suspects at trial, but the judge – and later the appellate court – wouldn’t let them.
    The court documents show other people with unsavory criminal histories – including against women – had easy access to the salvage yard property where Teresa Halbach disappeared. But the defense wasn’t allowed to tell the jury about them.

  64. Janet says...

    “The main question at the heart of the series is how do we as a society respond when injustice is exposed,” hence we saw what the filmmakers wanted us to see. A superb job of editing to elicit our responses. Guilt or innocence was not the objective. Bravo, well done.

  65. Kait says...

    The series was amazing. I watched it in three days! I think, whether he’s guilty or not, there is absolutely reasonable doubt. I was on a jury last January and have been super into true crime since then. For those of you who loved this series and are book nerds, you have to read Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. It’s insane. He’s another hero lawyer and his book just broke my heart into a million pieces.

  66. Allison Luzader says...

    omg, omg, omg… the jurors regretted the verdict?! that just makes my heart hurt. so sad. so sad.

    • Cait says...

      One juror said he regretted the verdict – there are eleven others after all, and who knows if this person really does or is trying for attention. I haven’t watched the series, but it’s upsetting to me that even knowing there was evidence the filmmakers had to leave out there are people who want this man pardoned (not just another trial, but pardoned.) Let’s not lose sight of the fact that a woman was murdered. I’m wondering if the evidence that was left out wasn’t as much about the time frame the filmmakers had to work with as it was about stirring controversy to get ratings and recognition.

  67. My husband and I watched the beginning of this series but definitely need to catch up! We also binged on The Affair, which was super entertaining. Check out my latest post on a recent small dinner party we threw over the holiday on http://www.thegramercyfox.com.

  68. Aidel.K says...

    Judging with the influence of the documentary alone, I was nearly convinced of the innocence of both Avery and Dassey. After reading the linked article above (in “On Milwaukee”), I’m very unsure. That’s some pretty damning evidence that was omitted. It’s thought provoking in the same way “Serial” was and is. Ultimately I believe the examination of these issues is a good thing. Thanks for this thoughtful post.

    • Allison Luzader says...

      Can you share that article? I can’t find what you’re referring to.

  69. jen says...

    i was so angry and disturbed after episode 2 i stopped watching it. maybe i would have felt differently if i saw the entire series but i was convinced that this man was set up from the beginning.

  70. What I found to be most troubling was how these men were being prosecuted when they are clearly below the line of healthy mental intelligence. How would this not be noted in the courts system – they are so clearly being taken advantage of it – it is upsetting. Horrible view of our criminal justice system.

    http://www.touchofcurl.com

  71. I did indeed tear through the series, almost without stopping, and it was ridiculously compelling. The entire time I was watching it, I was waiting for the defense attorneys to become slightly more theatrical and drive a wedge into the chinks of verbal armor when questioning those Sheriffs. So many times I’m sat there thinking “that’s your opening — finish him!” but perhaps I’m approaching at an uptight east-coaster who’s very distant from the matter.

    My personal feeling is that it should have been thrown out due to the way the search was conducted. Denying access to the property for 8 days, as well as questioning a minor without representation or parents, shows that law enforcement in that area does not do things by the book. Either the state or the FBI should have been called in for this very reason.

  72. Cora says...

    I think it may be misleading to suggest that the filmmakers are undecided- I suspect that they have their beliefs but want to keep an air of neutrality and as they say they believe this story is bigger than Avery’s guilt or innocence. I think it’s important not to misrepresent this point. I grew up in Calumet cty and I am horrified by the police, Ken Kratz and the media’s role in prosecuting Avery and Dassey.

  73. Katie says...

    I started watching Making a Murderer and was completely wngrossed, until the fourth episode. When I saw the officers question that 16 year old nephew, I felt physically sick and I had to turn it off. I’m not sure if I can stomach returning to watch it. Maybe I should explain that I’m a public defender in Cook County, Chicago and have been for 17 years. Watching that kid comply with those officers and parrot back a statement to them while thinking he had to turn in his project by sixth period was heartbreaking
    I’ve represented the guilty and the innocent. And I’ve been present while they went to trial, won, lost and plead guilty. It can be painful work. But I believe that it is important work. Watching it happen before your eyes in real time May be too much to bear.
    I read the links about the defense attorneys. Reading about how competently they defended Avery may make me try to go back and finish the series. I’m not sure.

    • katie says...

      okay, it gets worse. Brenden Dassey’s lawyer and the lawyer’s investigator are just as bad, worse really than the investigating officers. I don’t know how they sleep at night.

  74. Hannah says...

    Brilliant post. Such a thought provoking, and emotional series. I have two episodes left, what a great documentary and I hope something comes of this for the future of the criminal justice system.

    http://www.ohjanuary.co.uk

  75. Elle says...

    As a therapist that worked with lifers, I have such a heart for Avery. The tragic part is, he isn’t the only innocent person in a state prison. I remember one client I had said he was innocent for over 20 years and when he was in his 70’s the real perpetrator came forward and my client was released. No amount of money can repay all that lost time…

  76. Alyssa says...

    This entire case reminds me of the West Memphis three case. The corrupt law enforcement and prosecution clearly forced a confession out of a young boy who has a low iq and not operating at full capacity. This is literally what happened to Jessie Misskelley back in the 90s. Not to mention, the mistreatment of Avery is not unlike the witch hunt for Damien Echols. If you haven’t seen the documentary trilogy Paradise Lost you should watch it after Making a Murder. It is mind boggling how our justice system fails so many.

  77. Brittany says...

    The whole documentary is riveting (and unnerving) but what struck me the most was the handling of Brendan Dassey’s case. I’m a high school teacher, and when Brendan asked the officers at the end of his interrogation whether he would be back in time to turn in his 6th hour project, it was just crushing. It’s extremely difficult for me to understand how anyone who saw Brendan’s taped “confession” could believe that he had any clue what he was saying, let alone its implications. The murder details Brendan gave the police were completely inconsistent at every turn, but the story he wrote down in his interrogation with O’Reilly, the one he told the judge when he wrote to request a new lawyer, and the one he told on the stand were identical. I knew Steven Avery would be convicted, regardless of what the evidence showed or didn’t show. But I really believed that the jury would see the frustration and confusion that led Brendan to accept the officers’ version of things, and I just cannot accept that adults knowingly sacrificed a kid for their own ends.

    • I feel the same way. Heartbreaking. I don’t how how those interrogators look themselves in the mirror every day.

  78. ruby says...

    I haven’t watched it, but heard about it from a friend during lunch. As a criminal defense investigator I find what I’ve heard so far disturbing. I don’t think I could watch it because it would bother me on so many levels.

  79. Abby says...

    As a European Viewer I have to say that I was agast by the sheer lack of “in dubio pro reo” or “assumption of innocence” that I stumble over again and again when reading/watching real US cases. How can it be that a citizen in court has to prove his innocence instead of the prosecution proving his guilt? This is very disturbing and I have to say it makes me uneasy thinking about living life in the US when it is as easy as this. And I wonder whether it is a question of wealth too. So far as that not all citizens are equal in front of the court. Lastly, I am appalled by the fact that teenagers can be send to prison for such a long time. They are still in their formative years for heavens.

    • Courtney says...

      Well it’s supposed to be innocent until proven guilty but you’re right, it often doesn’t appear that way. And the prosecutor in this case blatantly seemed to be stating the opposite.

    • Sarah Jane says...

      I’m happy to see others are horrified by our broken justice system. My husband is a mitigation specialist/investigator on capital defense cases and he more often than not faces an uphill battle due to these unfair circumstances. He’s seen:
      – A death sentence based on testimony that was later recanted but still used in court
      – A legally retarded man (IQ similar to both Steve/Brendan) almost executed based on a coerced confession despite DNA evidence of his innocence
      – Use of a confession resulting from 20+ straight hours of police questioning and a threat that they would execute the woman (who spoke little English and didn’t know U.S. law) on the spot if she didn’t confess
      – Medical examiners’ report claiming defendant mutilated a corpse (later proven to simply be mutilation by vulture. whoops)

      This is why you MUST treat every defendant as innocent until guilt is PROVEN BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT if you’re on a jury.

      Sadly most defendants aren’t smart enough, handsome enough, white enough to get the fair trial they deserve.

    • Irene says...

      I’m feeling very similar – I’m from the Netherlands, became a dual/US citizen last year, lived here almost 10 years now.

      One thing that keeps irking me also is that it’s totally fine here in the US to name suspects/defendants by their full name in the news from day 1… Where I’m from, it would have been “Steven A” in all newspapers, broadcasts, etc. This may be a small detail but it’s really significant in the ways the public forms their opinion of cases/defendants.

  80. Jane says...

    What I have found to be especially disgusting is the handling of the nephew, who is a person with special needs. Also, from the first episode, one woman (I think a lawyer) mentioned Avery has an IQ of 70, which is quite low. She made mention of him now knowing how to handle some situations in an appropriate manner. That is a huge red flag for me. I’m only halfway throughout he series, so I don’t know will happen with the nephew and what-not, but I find the whole thing very upsetting.

    • Isabelle says...

      I couldn’t agree with you more!

  81. Meghan says...

    I couldn’t believe they didn’t revisit the fact that Halbach’s brother and boyfriend had hacked her cellphone account and deleted messages! That had to be worth something more. And the Aunt who was guided to the car in the Avery Auto lot.

    • kate says...

      The brother and ex are CREEPY AF. I told my husband that I couldn’t imagine either of us having the composure that the brother did the whole time he was talking to the camera if one of our siblings had gone missing. They’re both icky.

  82. Carmen B. says...

    I am obsessed with this show!
    I really don’t know if Avery is guilty or not. I just find it so fascinating that he and the nephew were convicted with what little evidence was presented. Those tapes of the nephew’s questioning reminded me of the Undisclosed episode with the tapping during Jays statements.

    • I thought the same thing when I saw the videos!

  83. Lifelong ‘Sconie here! I enjoyed the series, but with a pit in my stomach the whole time. I personally feel that Avery and Brandon were easy scapegoats…Poor, minimally educated and somewhat isolated from the rest of their community. *IF* they were indeed framed, they sure would be easy targets for that type of thing. Still, it seems almost impossible that all those investigators, policemen, the DA, etc. were all in on the plan and stuck to the story all those years. I don’t really know what to think, but the idea that the real killer could still be out there and two innocent men are in prison for life is an awful one.

  84. molly says...

    i live in northeast wisconsin, very close to where it happened. i think you described the film the way i would have. it’s thought-provoking and i find myself wondering what really happened. but many of us here are still very personally affected and disturbed by the murder. (it wasn’t that long ago that this happened.) watching it has actually caused me a lot of anxiety, which i didn’t anticipate. it exposed a lot of new things that i think are important to know, and it left out a lot, too. i believe it was the filmmakers who said it takes humility to say “i don’t know,” and at best i think that’s the conclusion we as viewers can come to. but i can’t help but remember it’s ultimately a real murder that happened to a 25 year old girl, and i’m troubled by the whole thing.

  85. Danielle says...

    I am from WI and remember the Halbach case unfolding in real time. When I first viewed the series I was convinced Avery had to be innocent. What the series doesn’t present is much of the hard evidence against Avery. I can’t shake why he would call her with his number blocked, request her specifically for every visit, purchase shackles days before her disappearance, or the ballistics matching the gun he proudly hung above his bed. People are going insane over this series, even asking the President to review his case. I can only imagine what the victim’s family must be experiencing. The biggest take away from this series is how unethical and inappropriate the law handled both Avery and Dassey from the very beginning. Neither of them had a fair trial even if I believe the right person is incarcerated.

    • molly says...

      i’m from green bay, and i couldn’t agree more.

    • Lora says...

      Well said, Danielle.

    • Rebecca says...

      Very well said. I am also from Wisconsin and when I read what this documentary was about, I could NOT believe it. I also lived through this case and was roughly the same age as that poor woman at the time. Everything about it was horrible and I cannot imagine what her family is feeling having to live through this again and having to witness the documentary sweep the nation like it is. Guilty or innocent, I refuse to watch it for that reason alone. This was not that long ago and it was nightmarish.

    • jessica clare says...

      Can you give some evidence as to him purchasing shackles and calling her?? as to the gun, shells were found everywhere…. he used the gun all the time…..

    • Maira says...

      I read in another website a comment from a girl that work as a car photog as Teresa, she said that’s pretty common that clients want to work with the same photog when they’re regulars, she knows them, knows the place and the clients know how she works, so that alone shouldn’t be a red flag. Yes, Steven is a misfit but looks are deceiving, think about the good Mr. Kratz.

  86. Mollie says...

    Rather than if I feel he’s guilty or not, I believe there just wasn’t enough evidence to prove his guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and therefore shouldn’t be in there. Same goes from Brendan (maybe even more so).

  87. Tyler says...

    Just finished last night. What a story. Not sure how I feel, but I absolutely have crushes on Strang and Buting! What smart, talented, and as you said, compassionate lawyers.

    • Carmen B. says...

      Yes! Totally crushing on Strang and Buting.

  88. Mary says...

    As someone who was living in Green Bay, WI at the time I have very mixed feelings. The thing to understand about possible jury bias is that local news up there is pretty bland. Not much happens which is great, but that means if there is a news story you are inundated with it. I was certain they were guilty at the time, from the news I had no reason to doubt it. After the Netflix series I don’t know if they are guilty or not but it sure seems like a new trial for both in a different setting is a must.

    • molly says...

      green bay resident here. i couldn’t have said it better. i agree wholeheartedly.

  89. Especially as a resident of Madison, Wisconsin…it’s unnerving! But I have to wonder, if he didn’t do it, who did? What happened to Halbach? Is that really even her car in the junk yard (there were no plates)? I kept expecting some conflicting evidence to come up — Halbach’s car found in lake 50 miles away, or whatever — and felt very disturbed by the whole thing! Though, the filmmakers did a great job.

    • Mary says...

      I read an article (sorry, I can’t remember where to link it) that outlined people Avery’s defense thought were suspects. It sounded like there were a lot of shady characters on the property around that time that should have been looked at.

    • John says...

      I believe the license plates were found in another vehicle on the Avery property and the vehicle was ID’d via VIN number. It was clearly Theresa Halbach’s vehicle.

    • John says...

      Four other men were looked at as possible suspects: Scott Tadych, Chuck Avery, Earl Avery, and Bobby Dassey. All the Avery sons had a history of violence toward women, and Tadych and Dassey were basically each other’s alibis on the day the murder took place.

    • John says...

      #1 – Scott Tadych (Brendan Dassey’s stepfather)
      #2 – Chuck Avery
      #3 – Earl Avery
      #4 – Bobby Dassey (Brendan Dassey’s older brother)

  90. Despite whether Steven Avery is guilty or not, the documentary provides an insane view of our legal system. Definitely worth watching.