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‘Making a Murderer’: Our newest obsession

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Raise your hand if you spent the Christmas holiday binge-watching “Making a Murderer.”

With its twists and turns, the 10-part Netflix series has become an obsession for many.

Ten years in the making, the documentary follows the case of Steven Avery, a Wisconsin man released from prison in 2003 after serving 18 years after DNA evidence exonerated him in a woman’s brutal attack.

Two years later, in the midst of a civil suit he filed over his false conviction, Avery was arrested and convicted of the murder of photographer Teresa Halbach.

Filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos focused heavily on what they feel was authorities’ railroading of Avery, and “Making a Murderer” has drawn comparisons to other true-crime projects including the HBO series “The Jinx” and the hit podcast “Serial.”

Since the series’ release December 18, fans have been weighing in, including plenty of celebrities. Singer Mandy Moore tweeted “I. Can’t. Stop. Watching,” and actor Ricky Gervais tweeted “Never mind an Emmy or an Oscar…. @MakingAMurderer deserves a Nobel Prize. The greatest documentary I’ve ever seen.”

Former Calumet County district attorney Ken Kratz was the special prosecutor in the case against Avery and his nephew, Brendan Dassey, who were both convicted of Halbach’s murder. Kratz has reportedly received death threats from those unhappy about the outcome of the trials, and the Yelp page for his law practice has received so many critical reviews that visitors are greeted with an “Active Cleanup Alert.”

“This business recently made waves in the news, which often means that people come to this page to post their views on the news,” the alert says. “While we don’t take a stand one way or the other when it comes to these news events, we do work to remove both positive and negative posts that appear to be motivated more by the news coverage itself than the reviewer’s personal consumer experience with the business.”

Kratz told Fox 11 News in Wisconsin he felt the documentary was biased in favor of the defense.

“Anytime you edit 18 months’ worth of information and only include the statements or pieces that support your particular conclusion, that conclusion should be reached,” he said.

Manitowoc Police have attempted to distance themselves from the cases, tweeting that “All of the cases referenced in the Netflix series were the jurisdiction of the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Office.”

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1 Comment

  • Ketosis Diet

    Kratz is probably right, there is evidence/plot points left out by the film makers, I’m sure. Because you can’t include everything from a six-week long trial into a ten-episode series. And maybe Steven Avery did kill her. But here are my main issues:
    1) There was a minimal amount of forensic evidence (but obviously enough) to convict him. But is it beyond a reasonable doubt? Eh…that I’m not so sure of, primarily because of Brendan and his description of what happened. I don’t care what DNA evidence there was against Steven, the videos of Brendan is what ultimately did it for me, and told me that something was just not right about this case. I cannot believe a jury or judge would see the videotaped interviews of Brendan and think that his was actual reliable testimony. He was so obviously a confused kid not aware of the scope of what he was involved in. And then the fact that the original attorney he was assigned and the man that recorded his confession so obviously what in the pocket of the prosecution?! COME ON! I do realize that DNA evidence is damning, but Brendan actually said he SLIT HER THROAT in the Avery house. How is it that only a few drops of blood where found? And none in the room that this murder supposedly took place? Something just isn’t right. I’m not saying that Avery is innocent, but something just does not add up. If what Brendan described actually happened, there should be way more forensic evidence found on the Avery property.
    2) HOW THE EFF where two Mantiowoc cops permitted on the property to help investigate and gather evidence when it had been established that the county Avery lived in was not to be involved in the investigation? Even if that one cop (I forget his name now) had honestly just stumbled upon that key, how could that be permitted into evidence, given his history with the defendant?

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