Who killed Teresa Halbach if it wasn’t Steven Avery?

A new opinion piece: ‘Injustice porn’ like Making a Murder and Serial celebrates men who kill and abuse women

If you’ve watched the new Netflix series Making a Murderer, you’re probably left wondering who killed Teresa Halbach and why. The 10-part documentary makes a very convincing case that the local police planted evidence and provides a strong motive for why they might have done such a thing.

The filmmakers don’t, however, try to make the case that the police actually killed Teresa. Instead they do something highly unethical and cast suspicion on her brother, her ex-boyfriend and her roommate.

Almost every time Mike Halbach, the brother of the victim and the family spokesman, comes on the scene, he’s made to say something that’s just been carefully debunked for the audience. The camera stays focused right on Halbach to let it sink in just how wrong he is. From his very first quote, about how the process of grieving his sister might take days (yes, days), the directors Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos never miss an opportunity to make him look bad. Halbach doesn’t get so much as one sympathetic quote. The only thing the filmmakers don’t do is play spooky music whenever he appears.

They also make Teresa’s ex-boyfriend look terrible on the witness stand, suggesting he hacked into her voicemail for nefarious reasons. Ditto the roommate who helped out the ex-BF.

Mike Halbach
Entirely predictable results of unethical filmmaking: Mike Halbach never was nor never should have been a suspect

Ricciardi and Demos are good at casting doubt  and the well-primed audience got their message loud and clear. The internet is now chockablock with justice warriors demanding Teresa’s brother’s head and spreading rumours about her ex-boyfriend and roommate. But there’s a problem and it’s a big one — in the eight years since Steven Avery’s trial ended, the filmmakers don’t appear to have followed up to see if their suspicions were actually merited. Based on their final product, they either didn’t bother to  look or turned up zero.

In other words, they made Teresa Halbach’s brother, her ex-boyfriend and her roommate look bad without having a single scrap of evidence against them. They appear to have provoked a mob for nothing more than narrative tension, which is especially ironic in a documentary about the dangers of witch hunts.

Alternate suspects to Steven Avery
Here are the people the lawyers wanted to point the finger at: No brother, no ex-BF, no roommate. It’s an Avery-heavy line-up

What’s more, the Making a Murderer team did all this without mentioning that none of these three men were included on any list of alternative suspects. All we hear is that Avery’s original defence team was prevented from discussing other possible suspects in court. The filmmakers don’t tell us that those suspects were all related to the Avery clan and the salvage yard and that they included Steven Avery’s brothers, Earl Avery and Charles Avery, his brother-in law Scott Tadych, his nephew Bobby Dassey and — wait for it — Brendan Dassey.

Yes, you read that correctly. All the while Making a Murderer is building a case that the prosecution of Brendan Dassey as a murderer alongside his uncle is a gross miscarriage of justice, they neglected to acknowledge that taht Avery’s very competent defence team was also prepared to throw Brendan under the bus. Turns out real life is way more complicated than even a 10-hour documentary.

The problem for the filmmakers is the lawyers were probably right. If Steven Avery didn’t kill Teresa Halbach, it was likely one or more of the people on their list. That’s not as good a story as leaving it up in the air and implying the cops or the victim’s brother or her ex-BF and the roommate did it. But if you think about it, it actually makes a lot of sense that the murderer was connected to the Avery clan.

It explains why no one ever saw the victim again after her stop at the salvage yard, why her cremains were found on the property and why there were multiple calls to her cell phone from Steven Avery’s phone, including calls using *67 to block his ID. As the appeal defence lawyers’ documentation shows, the Avery clan had a long history of violence against women. It’s not unthinkable that one of them might have tried to lure and sexually assault an attractive young photographer. And there’s no reason they couldn’t have done this with Steven Avery’s phone.

Imagine this scenario: One or more of the extended family members got rough with Theresa and ended up murdering her. If the cops hadn’t come a calling, they could have used her murder as a way to blackmail Steven Avery out of some of the multi-million dollar settlement he was about to receive for his false rape conviction. If the cops did start poking around, the real murderers could accuse, even frame, Steven.

Needless to say the cops had a much stronger motive to pin the murder on Steven than they did to go after the other Averys. If Steven was the murderer, the county’s settlement payment problems vanished and their reputations were well on the way to repair. If it was just another Avery or Avery in-law, they still had the settlement and reputation problems.

The documentary makes a convincing case the police helped things along by planting evidence, especially the key. As for the car, that could have been the police or the actual murderers. Steven Avery could have been in on it or oblivious.

Either way, however, having an Avery or Avery-in-law as the culprit puts up some narrative obstacles for the filmmakers. Ma and Pa Avery are portrayed lovingly as salt of the earth types. They’re never asked how they managed to raise three sons with such a long and documented history of violence. And the directors gloss right over the well known fact that before his wrongful rape conviction, Steven Avery doused a cat in oil and threw it on a fire.

Such are the demands, however, of creating a wrongfully convicted protagonist the public will flock to support. It’s far more difficult to be sympathetic to Steven and Ma and Pa Avery, if it was their own dysfunctional brood framing up Steven and Brendan alongside the cops. It doesn’t quite reach the required outrage levels if the family did it. Much better to be vague so that the public can go to town on the  police or the victim’s brother or a mysterious German man.

Not to mention that if the filmmakers had decided one of the brothers, nephews or brother-in-law likely did it, Ma and Pa might have pulled right out of the multi-year film project and left the directors empty handed. A Shakespearian or Faulkneresque tale of a dysfunctional and dangerous family is of no use to anyone if you don’t have the legal rights to tell it.

748 thoughts on “Who killed Teresa Halbach if it wasn’t Steven Avery?

  1. Manitowoc county had 36,000,000 reasons to get rid of Steven Avery,also I find it very odd that Ms Halbach turns up missing a little over a week after the depositions especially when Manitowoc countys insurance company said they were uncoverable


  2. I am absolutely appalled at the willingness of so many people to grasp at the most bizarre of conspiracy theories. This documentary is the work OF PEOPLE IN THE BUSINESS OF CREATING FANTASY. Don’t you get it? Look at their resumes! Now they become warriors for justice? Bull. This guy Avery was obsessed with Halbach. He specifically requested that she be the one to take the picture for the Auto Trader Ad. But the real key is Dassey’s conversation with his mother. If you believe that conversation is accurate, then Steven Avery killed Halbach. Your other option? To believe that the conversation OVER THE PHONE was faked or coerced. Which one? Avery, who, if you examine some of his prior behavior, is a psychopath waiting to happen (burned any animals to death lately? Do you think the cat was the only thing he’s every tortured to death?) he repeated his M.O. with Halbach, burning her as well. I realize this guy was not on trial for killing that poor innocent animal. But after 20 plus years in Federal Law Enforcement and the Intelligence Community, I have had my fair share of examining interviews/interrogations/confessions and the like. When you find a legitimate case of Law Enforcement and Prosecutorial misconduct, I will support you 100%. It does happen. But this case was NOTHING until these filmmakers, looking to make a name for themselves, SELECTIVELY chose what evidence was relevant for the audience to consider. Not surprisingly, some of the most damaging evidence against Avery is left out. And their excuse? They chose what they thought was important, and there just wasn’t even time to include every little detail. Like the fact that he had called her three times on that same day, twice using *67, so the call wouldn’t register? And her palm pilot and other possessions were found in Avery’s garbage…ANOTHER police plant? Why didn’t they just SHOOT this guy and claim self-defense?
    Steve Avery is where he belongs. I’m not so sure about Dassey, would appears to be one of the numerous victims of assault on the part of Avery over the years. What a nasty, disgusting, sociopathic creep.


  3. I think a lot of people have lost sight of the fact that a guilty verdict is suppose to be given when the evidence has proven without doubt the party is guilty.
    We may never know what happened obviously, but in this case the evidence was a joke!
    You can not honestly tell me this women was abused and tortured and killed and left no DNA evidence herself. (Impossible) in the way they describe the events and how they supposedly happened. Also a BIG thing that stuck in my mind was the cop calling ahead of time before the vehicle was found and making an I.D. Of this vehicle. (Before they had located it on Avery property) listening to the call sounded to me like he was looking at the vehicle.
    Wether Avery is guilty??
    But being convicted under these circumstances was a grave injustice and an embarrassment to our legal system. Evidence was clearly planted!! And the detectives/police involved were a joke.


  4. Do we all agree that the biggest injustice of all is the fact that this women’s killer is still out there. And this man life is being sucked away what little he has left.
    Avery or not, I doubt it was Steven given the evidence. Looked like a plant job to me. But the cops didn’t help matters by pointing the finger at him from the very beginning.
    If it was another Avery several of them had time and the opportunity to remove evidence to his location they are all neighbors after all.

    I think the cops may even know who it was, but before they figuring it out they were in too deep. They saw an opportunity to get rid of Steven and his law suit. And save what was left of their reputation by painting him to be a killer.

    I mean pick your case he is either the most clumsy/dumbest murder in history to clean all DNA evidence but his own. And parking the car near his home where they would obviously find it. I mean seriously they had hundreds of cars. He could have crushed it or at the very least hid it better. The little bit of camouflage made me instantly think kid. I believe Brendan’s older brother did it, didn’t he even skip work that day. The rest was all cops trying to make it an open shut case to save their butts. They were not about to look incompetent again.


  5. As a lawyer myself, I’m astonished at the lack of understanding of the justice system reflected in some remarks here:

    “Assuming the guilt of any defendant is an unconstitutional assumption by the prosecution.”

    The presumption of innocence indeed is important, but that’s for the judge and the jury — NOT for the prosecution. The prosecution starts every trial (or at least is supposed to) believing the defendant is guilty — just as the defense starts every trial with precisely the opposite belief. For better or worse, the system pits two strongly biased parties against one another, and lets impartial decision makers (jury and judge) decide which one is right. It’s the decision-makers, not the adversaries, that are expected to start with a presumption of innocence.

    In short, I’m not saying you have to agree with the way we do things. But at least UNDERSTAND it.


  6. “Looked like a plant job to me.”

    Maybe it’s just the old adage: “You can’t kid a kidder” — or, in this case, other lawyers. I thought Avery’s lawyers were excellent, and I actually thought they’d win, but please! While it’s almost never possible to know for sure whether a defendant was guilty, this was not really a close case. The notion that someone would do what was required to frame Avery successfully is laughable — not just implausible: laughable.

    I watched the documentary twice. After the first watching, I thought Avery was guilty but that the prosecution hadn’t proved it beyond a reasonable doubt. After the second watching, I thought they had. (As for Brendan, I’d have found him not guilty, but only because he was a kid, and dumb as a box of rocks, and so he ought to get another crack at a decent life.) Get serious: who in his right mind would take the risks required to pull this off? The prosecution had twice as much evidence as it needed.

    Avery’s lawyers did a great job, in my view, but they had too little to work with (aka a client whose guilt was so evident that they just couldn’t argue around it). As Buting rightly surmised during the final episode, while sitting around the conference room table hashing out the case with other defense lawyers, establishing that Steven’s blood found in Teresa’s car had EDTA in it (meaning it had come from the “purple tube” rather than from Steven itself) would have resulted in a reversal. No question about that. But notice that the documentary said nothing about the defense establishing that. Do you suppose that’s because Buting et al. just lost interest in the case, despite having become a focal point of national attention? If you believe that, you may need some further reading about the human ego. Buying et al. didn’t come up with that evidence, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. I can’t think of a single attorney I’ve ever met who wouldn’t have found a way to establish that that blood had EDTA in it — IF that blood had EDTA in it. That being so, I can see only one possible explanation for their failure to establish that: The blood did NOT have EDTA in it, which means it came from Steve Avery at the time of the murder — just as the prosecution argued.

    I don’t deny that the criminal justice system gets it wrong some times. But this was not one of those times.


    1. “The notion that someone would do what was required to frame Avery successfully is laughable — not just implausible: laughable.”

      The notion that someone would do what was required to frame Avery successfully for rape in 1985 was laughable.

      The notion that someone would do what was required to ignore and bury exculpatory evidence that would have freed Avery in 1995 was implausible.

      The notion that someone would do what was required to yet again manipulate/ignore evidence against Steven Avery is not only plausible, it fits a pattern.

      What we don’t have is a pattern of Steven Avery committing murder, committing sexual assault, committing crimes on his property, or even simply of committing crimes and attempting to cover them up.

      And this “twice as much as needed” beyond-a-reasonable-doubt evidence you mention?

      1) Blatantly obvious smears of blood inside a vehicle which lacked any other DNA or fingerprints from the accused. A vehicle that sat for 4 1/2 days while Avery apparently never bothered to think of simply walking back to it with a flashlight, looking around, and either wiping up the conspicuous blood smears – or just dousing the whole interior with a gallon of bleach or something equivalent.

      2) A key found in plain sight after 2 or 3 days of constant searching of Avery’s trailer, devoid of the victim’s DNA but luckily having a smidgen of Avery’s. And once again, Avery seems to have just spaced-out on the fact that he committed a murder, and doesn’t bother simply taking the key with him and getting rid of it on the drive to the cabin.

      3) Human cremains found ~3 days after constant police searching, deposited in a fire pit ~20 ft. from Avery’s back door, as well as other pieces of burned matter in the Janda burn barrel. Again, as with all of the other ridiculously “it was me” pieces of incriminating evidence, Avery apparently had a brain-fart about having just murdered and burned someone, and doesn’t think to cart away the remains, cell phone, camera parts, etc. for disposal 100 miles away when he leaves for the cabin.

      4) A bullet found 4 months after the property had previously been exhaustively searched, which could only be ‘claimed’ to contain Halbach’s DNA by making an exception to their own protocol (which would have classified the test as “inconclusive”) of a test that rendered the sample un-testable by any third party.

      5) Avery’s DNA found on the hood-latch of the car 5 months after the murder took place, 5 months after the police impounded the car, and 5 months after the police knew the killer opened the hood and disconnected the battery.

      Please feel free to mention any other beyond-a-reasonable-doubt pieces of evidence I’ve left out, because I have reasonable doubt about all of these.

      And it seems to me we’re left to draw one of two conclusions about certain members of the Manitowoc and Calumet County Sheriff’s Departments:

      1) They manipulated/planted evidence.
      2) They are the most incompetent, Keystone cop-like, law enforcement officials ever to the have the bad luck of being captured on film.


  7. All these theory’s are fun to discuss but I feel better knowing that scumbag is locked up…. Get’em one way or another.


    1. i’m sure many people felt exactly the same way when Avery was locked up for 18 years for rape . . . unfortunately that feeling of comfort enjoyed by some wasn’t much help to the other women raped by the real offender during the same 18 years. Which is more important — you feelings of comfort or finding the truth?


    1. Yes, I read this same story on another site.
      This is consistent with the guess that the excused juror made, in attempting to figure out how they could have started with 7 votes of “not guilty”, only to unanimously reach a verdict of “not guilty”.

      Listen to Kratz in the following interview that took place yesterday, Jan. 4, 2016. I had to listen carefully to his responses in order to understand that he continually attempted to answer a question different from the question that he was being asked.

      He is as unethical as an unethical district attorney can be.


  8. I don’t think there is any suggestion throughout the documentary that the brother, ex-boyfriend, or roommate where involved in her murder. What was shown in the series where exact comments made by the brother and ex-boyfriend, either to the camera or while testifying. I don’t think that at any point it was implied that their reactions merited any suggestion of wrong doing. this post is more inflammatory than what was actually depicted and shown on the docu-series.


  9. OK, I am moving to San Fran and getting married to ‘EAB’….already married? too bad, we will get DOUBLE married just like in the Dewey Cox movie! Then we can watch this documentary (for the 3rd time) and both agree that Avery is guilty as sin. We will then enlist the aid of PETA to make sure that if he ever sees the light of day again…he is hounded to the four corners of the earth (by sending them the police report about Avery’s violence against animals). Why are so many people having trouble spelling defense ?—-I don’t think there is a “C”.


  10. What do I think? I think the author and owner of this rag site is a bozo. This lame-a** diatribe is little more than a grade schooler’s essay on caca. And by the way, it’s REALLY HARD to take someone seriously when they can’t even spell check their own f***in’ blog posts. Too bad you can’t stack the facts and apply a little critical thinking but guaranteed it’s too much for your gear and pully brain to handle.

    As for Mike Halbach – he’s an ass**** – and no, he deserves no privacy. Nobody made him get out front and become the spokesperson so then dickhead, you wanna stand out front and make bullsh** statements, then yeah buddy – you need to take the heat as well. He made NUMEROUS statements to the press that were wrong and incendiary – for example, he stated all one had to do was watch the tapes to see how guilty Steve Avery was but then, when immediately asked if he had seen the tapes, he said no – he hadn’t. LOL – OOOOPS – just one shining example in a sea of DOZENS in this case by Halbach as well as the state\local gov’t people.


  11. “Yes, you read that correctly. All the while Making a Murderer is building a case that the prosecution of Brendan Dassey as a murderer alongside his uncle is a gross miscarriage of justice, they neglected to acknowledge that taht Avery’s very competent defence team was also prepared to throw Brendan under the bus.”

    Couldn’t read anything past this. You’re a complete idiot. OF COURSE THE GUY ON TRIAL FOR MURDER WOULD MAKE A LIST OF POTENTIAL SUSPECTS. What the hell does that have to do with anything? As if they were hiding that. The list itself means nothing. It’s just year 1 detective work listing potential people. You state this as if it’s some kind of gotcha. You are so off base and so desperate to pin something on the filmmakers that this comes off as comical.

    The lawyers couldn’t do 1/100th the police work the police COULD HAVE done, but didn’t. Of course they couldn’t present evidence. They weren’t police. The point wasn’t about pointing fingers, it was that the police didn’t bother looking into the most likely suspects.


  12. For people interested in more info to judge some of the evidence presented at trial, I highly recommend this blog post by a scientist whose “profession revolves around making sure scientific tests measure exactly what they are supposed to measure and do so in a consistent, reliable way”.

    He pretty much decimates the FBI chemist’s EDTA testing procedure (very convincingly, IMO), as well as the erroneous Halbach DNA test from the bullet. According to his expertise, “…pretend the bullet had no trace of the victim, and pretend the blood swabs were never tested for the presence of EDTA.”



    1. Ann, some nice thoughts of yours and thank you for sharing. However, there are some things you might want to consider:

      1. The police suspected Mr. Avery while Teresa (even to the point of wanting him in custody) although there was no evidence of a crime or of foul play and certainly no evidence that Mr. Avery had an involvement.

      2. Teresa’s brother, ex-boyfriend, and roommate were never suspected and never investigated by the police. This was stated by the men themselves and by the police. As several astute posters have pointed out, in a murder those closest to the victim should be investigated. This never happened. This is simply a fact.

      3. The police never investigated the messages left on Teresa’s phone. It was the defense that called the expert witness from the phone company. It was the defense that provided the evidence that the phone and its messages had been illegally tampered with. And it was Michael Halbach and Teresa’s ex-boyfriend who admitted under oath that they had tampered with the evidence. This was never investigated by the police, never followed up by the police or prosecutor.

      4. Those three men were allowed to conduct a search for Teresa soon after she went missing, and this included entering private property. In the normal world the search would be conducted by the police, perhaps with the participation of family members. Further these men were allowed onto the crime scene by the police after it was cordoned off.

      5. Teresa’s brother Michael seemed strongly bent on seeing both the Avery’s convicted. You may accept this and that is fine. But for many people they acted very suspicious, especially Michael. One would think that the family would want the real killer(s) caught.

      6. Just bear in mind that Mr. Avery has already served 18 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Perhaps this does not move you. Bear in mind too that it was the same police department that wrongly prosecuted him and let another rapist go free to continue to rape for 18 years. Perhaps that does not move you either. Consider that if Mr. Avery did not do this, a killer is still on the loose and likely still killing.

      7. Mr. Avery is just one person who has been wrongfully imprisoned. There are thousands and thousands in our country. Maybe you do not care about these men, women, and children. Just bear in mind this is due, not only to police, prosecutors, federal investigators, and judges that are not held responsible, but even more so due to a public that permits and encourages an abusive justice system. Again, you may not care about this. But your children and family members should because this not only means that such sentiments participate in the miscarriage of justice, but it also threatens the well-being and even lives of those you care about.

      It would be enjoyable to read your response. Thank you for your interesting blog.


  13. Oh Anne, you’re so misled. It was the Halbach’s decision not to be filmed and all these film-makers could show was their brief media statements, because those are public record, And as an “Investigator” I would think you’d be aware that the first people of ‘interest’ are those closest to the victim. Unless you’ve read the transcripts for that case (Dassey’s are free online), your opinion is only that….an opinion. Now an investigation, a real one, would be nice. Good luck with that.


  14. In the last episode, when Teresa’s ex-boyfriend is questioned in court, he says very clearly that he received a call from Teresa’s roommate stating that “Teresa’s dead” – not missing – but dead. I am surprised that it was not picked up by the defense or the show’s fans. I was shocked, and replayed the court appearance several times, even pointing it out to my son. Why would either of them presume that Teresa was dead at that point? They were both involved in the search from the get go, and isn’t it a fact that the murderer often actively participates in the search of his victim? I think the roommate and ex-boyfriend are involved. They were both on the Avery property.


  15. I don’t usually comment on articles or blogs, but i felt pretty strongly about this manner and was left dumbfounded by your point of view about the filmmakers.

    First, I am sorry if I offend anyone here, but if you truly believe that he was rightfully convicted for that crime despite having read the case files and having watched the documentary, you should truly be questioning your intelligence. There are no presumptions portrayed in court in the defense case, they simply point out the factual inconsistencies presented by the prosecutors.
    It came up once out of court; If he would have gone through all that trouble to erase any spec of her being at the property, why would he have hid the car under a few branches when he clearly had access to a VEHICLE COMPACTOR. That is just one of many unanswered questions…(There are TONS)
    The mere idea of citizens thinking he deserved that verdict (you know who you are), after having been presented with such an astonishingly lacking prosecution case truly frightens me. These same citizens have the right to vote, and if called upon for ”Jury Duty” could be responsible for outcomes such as the Avery case.

    And that, is where the documentary does not focus on corruption, or the convictions, but more so on the human error in the justice system as a whole. Twelve people could decide the fate of a human being with a simple toss of a coin (sort of speak), and no matter how lacking and clearly proven to be inconsistent the evidence may be, an innocent man’s life along with his family can be ruined perpetually.

    The message here questions the integrity of our man-made justice systems, and has personally got me thinking, if it could happen with a case as poorly presented as the Steven Avery one, how many other times could this have happened? How many innocent men and women are truly facing time for crimes they haven’t committed. Better yet, who would listen to them? I cannot help but feel saddened , disappointed and appalled about this manner. Despite the community’s efforts in petitioning, the January 7 ”no can do” response of President Obama to the pardoning of Steven Avery, displays to which length our government is willing to ”wash their hands” of a sticky situation. Yes, i know, he cannot grant the pardon himself. However, he is the President of the United States, i’m sure he carries more than an ounce of influence among state representatives. The worst part is, the media will most likely come up with some sort of breaking new story on war in the middle east to flood the channels, and the Steven Avery case will have blown over and been forgotten about by the masses.


  16. I really felt terrible for Brenden and his sister on the stand. It doesn’t take a genius to see what the suits wanted to do with them. I can’t understand what the jury convicted them on. As for Steven, we’ll never know, but all of the evidence I seen on the film does show reasonable doubt. However, I am sad to say I really feel the police planted the evidence.


  17. There are some interesting tidbits in the official files from the Avery case being posted on-line lately.

    For example, in the court’s pre-trial decision denying the defense’s motion to suppress certain evidence seized from Avery’s trailer and garage, on the ground that police searchers had already “completed” their search before finding and seizing certain evidence, the court mentions that none other than the infamous Sergeant Lenk had “announced” that the search of Avery’s trailer was “completed” — before they’d found Teresa’s key on the floor of Steven’s bedroom. If, as we’re told, Lenk had been a key participant in the conspiracy to frame Avery, it seems unlikely (as in “utterly implausible”) that he’d have insisted the search of Avery’s trailer was “completed” even though they hadn’t yet found the key that Lenk had reportedly “planted” there.


  18. I’m watching the series again, and just noticed an inconsistency in Steven Avery’s statements I hadn’t noticed before.

    On Nov. 3, 2005, when Teresa Haibach was first reported missing, Steven Avery told Sergeant Colborn that he’d seen TH taking photos of his sister’s van but that he (SA) never talked to her (TH). Two days later, however (Nov. 5), after TH’s RAV4 had been found and SA had been arrested, in the video of his interrogation, SA said something quite different. He said he had in fact talked to TH, that she’d been in her vehicle, handed him a copy of “Auto Trader” through the car window (along with a bill of sale), and then drove away. He told his interrogators that she didn’t mention where she was heading next, and that he hadn’t asked.

    The latter version of what happened is supported by the later discovery of an “Auto Trader” and a bill of sale in SA’s trailer.

    Obviously, only one of those versions can have been correct: SA either talked to TH that day or he didn’t. Possibly, on Nov. 3, he’d forgotten that he’d talked to her (just 3 days earlier). Possibly the “Auto Trader” and the bill of sale made their way into his trailer without him having contacted him at all — for example, maybe she left them on the ground, or at his sister’s house, and SA picked them up there and brought them into his trailer. Or possibly he hadn’t talked to her, but on Nov. 5, after having been arrested for her murder, he mistakenly recalled that he had, and gave his interrogators a detailed account of that interaction.

    In any event obviously both versions can’t be correct. Either one of them is incorrect and the other one is not, or both of them are incorrect. Whatever the explanation, SA did not tell the truth at least one of those times, maybe both (both, I suspect).


  19. I feel the investigation presented was excellent and leads one to deep thought; however, what I fail to see is that there was evidence of blood on the suspected sites as determined by the use of Luminol which would be a standard procedure in cases such as these one. It never fails, and yet there is no mention of it in the movie. Has anyone seen that this evidence was obtained, and was it positive or negative. Julio


  20. I though the documentary made Mike Halbach look bad. Or maybe in a non-sympathetic light, but I never got the sense they were trying to make him look guilty.
    The ex-boyfriend on the other hand, yes, they did do a convincing job of making him look suspicious.

    It’s been revealed that Steven’s brothers Earl and Chuckie both have a history of sexual assault.
    Earl allegedly molested his two daughters while Chuckie raped his wife.

    Cadaver dogs also alerted Earl’s golfcart and he reportedly hid under a pile of clothes when police came to the Yard to collect DNA.

    I wouldn’t doubt it if either brother had murdered the girl.
    I don’t think they intended to frame their brother, only to cover it up.

    That’s why the police, months later, suddenly found all this evidence around the property.
    And it’s quite clear that deputy Colburn located the RAV4 prior to it’s discovery on the Avery Yard.

    The only way we really find out the truth is if science is able to develop an accurate method of testing for EDTA in blood.
    If/When that’s done, perhaps we find out if the blood in the RAV4 was planted or not.

    BTW, I don’t care that it was revealed that some of Steven’s DNA (in the form of sweat) was found under the hood of the RAV4.
    Maybe he was checking it out for Teresa. They do operate a salvage yard for crying out loud.
    What I find odd is that despite all that Avery blood in the vehicle, not one fingerprint was located inside.
    So he made sure to wipe down the entire interior for fingerprints, but then left blood everywhere?

    The whole thing stinks and I believe whether or not you believe Avery did it, there’s a lot that doesn’t add up and the police are certainly suspicious in it’s investigation.


  21. Simply put, the brother created his own doubt by stating “begin the grieving process” before his sisters car was even found.

    You would know this if you had payed attention at all while watching this show, it was early on.

    Im not going to tell you where, honestly i think you need to rewatch this piece, and take notes, since attention span is critical here, and understand why his name comes up.

    Sadly, this is the state of the justice system, relying on “peers” to fully intake all the information in a say 6week trial, fully understand what was said and the ability to find reasonable doubt. Its a flawed mess, and im not sure there is a fix. It requires people to be thinking and detached from outside distractions, it requires information retention, which in our current day and age, is next to impossible. We are all so glued to our media devices that we are constantly slammed with story after story, and keeping it all straight requires alot more than the average person seems to have….


  22. I think this documentary did exactly what a thought provoking film is supposed to do, as evidenced by this chain. I have totally enjoyed reading it. You’ve all made the points I was going to already and I am only left with the thought of how successful the film was to make everyone question everything in it.

    As for me, I totally didn’t think the filmmakers attempted to make the viewers believe the brother, ex boyfriend and roommate had anything to do with the murder, only that they were sort of negligent and a bit myopic.

    I thought that it clearly pointed to others on the Avery property. But that’s just my perception based on the presentation of the hundreds of hours of footage we saw. If you need to know more, you can probably look into it. I bet most of that footage in the courtroom is a part of public record and can be requested.



  23. One of the most glaring holes in this investigation, was when the rav. 4 was found, which brought a parade of squades and police,”and the great lakes search and rescue dogs” at that point in time, the focus was on looking for her “alive” thus aledgedly, thats were the dogs came in, those dogs are trained to do various fuctions, look for cadavers, and track scents of someone “hopefully” still alive” it would seem that its a no brainer, the dogs were there to track teresa scent from her car,( now” if” the dogs were allowed in her car to pick up scent we have a problem because the car should have been locked according to police) or a piece :of clothing ,or pillow case from her house, etc.. because there was no evidence, they were not looking for a cadaver as yet! or were they? if the dogs were not trained to follow a scent, but were instead cadaver dogs “why”? did someone know she was dead already? OK lets assume they were introduced to teresas scent (which I would rather believe), and those dogs roamed all over the avery compound as well as in his bedroom, in the garage around the area, were teresa was taking pictures, inside the car she was photograping( if she got inside the car which they generally do) did the dogs “Alert” to finding her scent any where? if so where? The only evidence that was brought to light, was that one dog “Alerted” to a burn barrel behind the janis house. Now these dogs noses and training demand respect, and what they” do not find” or alert to, is far more important to the whole story,and especially dna which is subject to being a result of contamination and/or being planted. Its amazing what capabilities dogs have with there noses. They can sniff, out cancer cells, they can be trained to detect low blood sugar, in diabetics, they can smell a gas leak 30-60 feet underground, they can locate a dead body deep underwater, they can even locate dead human cells that contain dna, if terasa Halbach was anywhere on that property those dogs shoud have alerted their trainer, (again “unless they were strickly trained as cadaver dogs but as mentioned above that would not make sense) The trainer should be carefully deposed, to clarify just what the dogs functions, and reactions where, during their search IMO.


    1. Excellent points. One of the dogs also alerted on a golf cart, and I believe it was described as a cadaver dog. Also, I find it hard to believe that none of these dogs led them to her charred remains in the burn pit. Especially because there was actually remaining tissue on some…


      1. My take on it is that they were “only cadaver dogs” that “only’ search for cadavers, Why in the world would the police call in cadaver dogs just after they found the car “unless” they knew they were looking for a cadaver. when teresa could still have been alive. Therefore scent dogs should should have been there trying to find her. WHY? Anybody with any sense would be looking for teresa alive first! and yes the dogs alerted to a golf cart that had been driven that day by one of stevens brothers while out rabbit hunting with his 22, “then alerted to a burn barrel out behind the janis house. “”but did not alert to the magic burn pit” Not sure if all i’ve proposed above is correct. do your own due diligence.


      2. Oh, I agree with all of your questions completely. I was only confirming that it has been stated that they were using cadaver dogs and not dogs to track her scent. I’ve only read about cadaver dogs being used, and I agree that it is suspicious for them to have gone that route immediately. The fact that the investigators and the prosecuters won awards for this investigation seriously blows my mind. They didn’t receive awards for their skills, they won awards for taking Steven Avery down. No intelligent person can look at this case and conclude that they did anything exceptionally well. Quite the opposite actually…..


      3. can you direct me to the information about, some tissues remaining on the bones in the aleged burn pit. thank you


  24. It’s the job of the police to find suspects. This is why no alternative suspects have been identified. The police had no interest in anyone but Avery.

    It is impossible for Avery to have done it as argued. How could no blood be found in his messy garage full of boxes and car parts etc.? And yet deer blood was found. How do you clean human blood but leave deer blood behind? A bonfire would not have burned the body as it was burned. It is scientifically impossible and only ignorance permitted that accusation to go forward. A cop CALLED IN THE VICTIM’S PLATES DAYS BEFORE HER CAR WAS “FOUND”. How does that happen unless he found the car? Answer. It doesn’t. He found the car. Then the cops planted it on Avery’s property. And don’t even get me started on the violation of his right to fair trial and adequate counsel. Only in an idiot nation could this man be convicted.


  25. AnnB, Like the majority of the commenters here, I also did not find any bias on the part of the filmmakers regarding the ex-bf or brother. It didn’t occur to me that they looked “bad” or that they were the perpetrators, just that they should have at least been investigated by the police as a part of due process (as they should investigated every person that was close to Teresa). Their own testimonies spoke for themselves about the need for closer examination.

    Also, like many of the commenters here, I find your many inflammatory comments about the filmmakers (including being “despicable” and “highly unethical”), wild interpretation of camera angles, skewing of the documentary and the filmmakers’ motives to be unwarranted and disingenuous. You are guilty of doing exactly what you accuse the filmmakers of doing. And exactly what the perpetrators of the many miscarriages of justice in this case have done. And despite numerous responses that have debunked your assertions (thank you Mark, great commentaries), you still refuse to consider that your first impressions might just be wrong. If this is your idea of “investigation” then I’m sorry but I certainly wouldn’t hire you as my investigator. Or journalist. Both require a greater degree of impartiality, critical thinking and desire to uncover the truth than you have portrayed here. Or at least, they should.

    As the filmmakers have rightly said, the documentary is NOT about Avery’s innocence or guilt. So right there, your OP is off the mark. Yes, the guy is a “low life” and “creepy”. I think anyone who grew up in his circumstances and spent 18 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit might just be. No question he has done some unsavoury things, which he owned up to. But that’s not the issue.

    What the documentary shows in no uncertain terms are the failings, the unmitigated power and corruption that exists in the criminal justice system, from the level of the police all the way to the judges, jury and DOJ. To have constitutional rights so blithely dismissed and violated is what is truly frightening.

    THAT is what everyone should be talking about, even more than the particulars of Avery’s case and certainly more than camera angles. Because the reality is that it could happen to any one of us. Think it doesn’t happen in Canada? Ask the First Nations peoples, ask blacks living in disadvantaged communities in Toronto, ask David Milgaard, Guy Paul Morin and others that have been wrongfully convicted and spent years in prison in the rush to judgement.

    Dean Strang, one of the defence lawyers, said more than once in the documentary that the failings of the justice system are human failings. Very astute. We all have that capacity to leap to judgement, to condemn, to inflict punishment. The laws are supposed to protect us from these baser instincts, the “lynch mob mentality”, to allow for fairness, for reasonable doubt, for due process. We are all supposed to be entitled to a fair trial, and conviction only if the evidence proves it beyond any reasonable doubt — no matter who we are, where we come from, how much money we have. The Avery case is just one horrific example of how easily so many people can lose sight of those principles.

    This statement by Strang is what really stayed with me after seeing the series, it sums up the entire documentary, and what each and every one of us should be examining and seeking to remedy no matter what country you live in:

    “Most of what ails our criminal justice system lie in unwarranted certitude on the part of police officers and prosecutors and defense lawyers and judges and jurors that they are getting it right. That they are simply right. Just a tragic lack of humility in everyone who participates in our criminal justice system” —Dean Strang

    Like many others, I really admire Strang’s principles, eloquence and astuteness, as well as his obvious compassion. We need more people like him in the justice system.

    But think about how universal this observation is. How many injustices in everyday life, in wars, in countries around the world, are committed every day out of “unwarranted certitude” and a “tragic lack of humility”?

    I think this powerful documentary has a lot to teach us, but the question is….will it be an impetus to examine and change not just our own country’s criminal justice system but our own basis of judgements? Or will we deflect critical self-examination in favour of focusing only on the details of this one case and thereby perpetuate the on-going cycle of unwarranted certitude and tragic lack of humility?


  26. Given the degree to which people have made the argument that the defendants in the (no-longer) upcoming Civil Rights lawsuit were going to be “on the hook” for $36 million, and given how many times I have watched this documentary (on my 6th viewing now), I thought it was time to attempt to dispel the “myth” that the employees and former employees of the Sheriff’s Department and the D.A.’s office were “terrified” that they would be held personally responsible for paying out $36 million.
    I went looking for a website that might tell me what the largest Civil Rights settlement for a single individual was in the history of the United States.

    This website ostensibly provides a list of the largest civil rights monetary settlements. I’m afraid that the list is very long, and it’s a pain to go through it. But so far, I haven’t found any instance where one individual was actually “paid” anything close to $36 million. An employee of the New York Knicks sued the Knicks because she claims that she was sexually harassed by not only Isaiah Thomas, but also players on the Knicks team. She won the suit, and the charges were for $11 million (I think), but I have no idea if she ever received that much money.

    And before you tell me, “Wait! Someone received $95 million”, all I can say is, “Please read the entire settlement”. In all cases that I have seen, juries have sometimes awarded huge amounts, but then you find out that there are caps that are often less than $1 million, regardless of what the jury awarded. You also often find that most of the money, if won, has already been earmarked for charities.

    My main contention is that there is a very low probability that Steven Avery was going to win anything close to $36 million. Even in the documentary, if you read the lawsuit when they flash it up on the screen, it says “damages up to $36 million”, meaning that the lawyers understand that the award might end up being much less.

    And regardless of what Lynn and Kelley say in the documentary, there was a very low probability that the individuals named in the lawsuit would be “personally on the hook” for paying whatever monetary award would eventually be granted to Avery.

    The reason that this is important to consider is that the “absolute fear of the lawsuit” was used time and time again to bolster the argument that this is what would have caused the Sheriff’s Department (in particular, Lenk and Colborn) to plant evidence.

    Don’t get me wrong! I would not be surprised if one day we find that one or more members of the Sheriff’s Department had indeed planted some of the evidence, such as the key, and possibly the bullet in the garage, and possibly even the blood in the car. But I am suggesting that there are several other reasons why the Sheriff would want to blackball Steven Avery. It wasn’t all about the “personal liability” from the upcoming civil rights lawsuit.

    And regardless of how “easy” it would have been to plant all that evidence, I really don’t think you should believe that simply because someone says it in the documentary. The cost of getting caught while planting evidence would indeed be catastrophic for the person who gets caught, and in fact, most likely catastrophic for the entire department.

    I’m glad that AnnB wrote this blog, because if she had not, I wouldn’t have started thinking so deeply on trying to detect what thoughts the filmmakers (and the civil rights lawyers, and Steven Avery’s supporters) had planted so deeply in my mind that those thoughts eventually turned from being “just their opinions” into being “actual facts”. The more you watch it, and the more you pay attention to the timelines, the risks involved in planting evidence, and the less attention you pay to people squirming in their seats during depositions (which could mean just about anything!), I am hoping that the hysteria-proven “facts” in the film will merit less importance than doing the hard research that is going to be required to get to the bottom of all this.

    In this post, I just want to throw out a few of the myriad questions that have now arisen in my mind as to the veracity of the claims of the Civil Rights lawyers. I have similar questions for Avery’s 1985 attorney, similar questions for Kim Ducat (who painted a very, very kind picture of “Stevie”), but that would entail asking too many questions in one post. So, I’ll just focus on a few of the questions/doubts that I now have about the statements of Avery’s Civil Rights attorneys.

    But first, here is my overall feeling about the “fairness” afforded Avery and Brendan Dassey:
    Regarding Avery: There seems to be reason enough to claim that Steven Avery didn’t get a fair trial and he probably deserves a new one. But I am not willing to say that he is clearly innocent!

    Regarding Dassey: Everything that I have seen — and the lack of any evidence to the contrary — leads me to claim that Brendan Dassey was thrown under a bus that was traveling at supersonic speeds. He never should have spent a day in jail, much less years in prison. At least, there is absolutely no evidence presented in the film or in the press that indicates that he had anything to do with Teresa Halbach or her murder.

    Now, here are my questions/doubts about the statements “confidently” made by the Civil Rights attorneys (two guys for whom I have immense respect, because of how well they make their case):

    One has to research whether Glynn and Kelley stood to gain a percentage of the Civil Rights monetary settlement, or whether their “salaries” were set in stone.

    One seriously has to question Stephen Glynn’s claim about how “unconscionable” Colborn’s actions were in 1995 when someone from Brown County Sheriff’s called him (at a time when Colborn was simply a Corrections Officer), informed him that maybe some other guy assaulted Penny Beernsten, and that Colborn then “did nothing” with that information. In fact, Colborn testified in court in 2007 that he *did* do something. He most likely did exactly what he was supposed to do. He either connected the caller to Sheriff Kocourek, or he talked directly to Kocourek about it. Either way, Kocourek told Colborn to “not worry about it”. Then, in 2003, right after Avery’s release, Colborn mentioned this fact to Lenk, which is not an unreasonable thing to do. The fact that Lenk would ask Colborn to write a statement about it and hand that statement to Sheriff Peterson also seems like a natural thing to do. The fact that they were “concerned” that this might come back on the Sheriff’s Department was a reasonable assumption. But a court of law (or the Justice Department) would have to decide whether they had covered anything up, or whether they were derelict in their duties as law enforcement officers.

    Glynn’s claim that there definitely “should have been” some record of that phone call all the way back in 1995 is very, very specious.

    One seriously has to ask oneself if there is any “serious meat on those bones”, when Glynn claims that if Colborn had “made this information available” in 1995, during Avery’s appeal, then Avery would have gone free in 1995. That claim is simply untrue.

    Yes, there is “some” possibility that Judge Hazlewood might have allowed them to introduce Gregory Allen as a suspect. But what case would they try to make? Penny Beernsten was absolutely sure that the face that she saw was Avery’s. So, the only way to inculpate Gregory Allen in 1995 would be:
    1. Gregory Allen admits to having assaulted Penny Beernsten.
    2. They test Gregory Allen’s DNA in order to examine his Alleles … They could NOT have performed the damning pubic hair DNA tests in 1995! Remember, the “advanced DNA tests for the pubic hair” weren’t available until 2002 or 2003. In 1995, they only could have tested DNA for the alleles. Gregory Allen’s Alleles would have to match 8,9 or 8,11, because the only alleles found in Penny’s fingernail scrapings were 8, 9, and 11. If Allen had been dragged in as a suspect, and had his alleles not matched 8,9 or 8,11, then Avery would have gone right back to prison.

    Just as glaring, in this same vein, is what is missing from the documentary when Glynn makes his claim about the “serious meat on those bones in 1995”. What is missing is that Glynn does NOT say that in 2003, after they finally had nabbed Gregory Allen because of the pubic hair analysis, that they then tested Gregory Allen’s alleles and found them to either be 8,9 or 8,11. I hope it’s obvious why this should have been done. It would have solidified Glynn’s claim Colborn/Kocourek screwed up big time by not dragging Gregory Allen as a suspect and requesting his DNA for the Alleles test. But there is no mention in the entire film about anyone having tested Gregory Allen’s alleles, once they discovered that he was Penny’s attacker.

    Conclusion: Not much “serious meat on those bones”.

    The film attempts to throw D.A. Rohrer under the bus by implying that he intentionally failed to include Douglass Jones memo about Colborn telling Lenk and Peterson about the 1995 phone call, when Rohrer and Griesbach visited the Attorney General’s office and handed over the documents that would form the basis of the Attorney General’s investigation. The only way this makes sense is if Rohrer simply “failed” to include Douglass Jones’ memo. Why? Because Griesbach requested that the A.G.’s office perform the investigation! It also becomes somewhat clear (but not clear enough) that the Douglass Jones memo about the 2003 conversation between Colborn and Lenk was produced AFTER Rohrer and Griesbach went to visit with the Attorney General. At worst, Rohrer screwed up. But he was almost certainly not attempting a cover-up.

    In sum, even if they had won their Civil Rights lawsuit, I see absolutely no reason to believe that Avery would have been awarded a multi-multi-million dollar sum of money. And I seriously doubt now (in contrast to Glynn’s claims) that the Sheriff’s Department was scared to death in 2003 when they were deposed to the Justice Department, nor were they scared to death in 2005 when they were deposed by Glynn and Kelley. All you hear in the documentary is Glynn and Kelley telling us how scared the Sheriff’s Department employees must have been, that they were personally on the hook, etc. etc. When they make that case with such hysteria, with such conviction, the viewer then “infers” that “this must explain why the Sheriff’s Department would want to plant evidence and end the lawsuit.”

    Maybe the Sheriff’s Department did indeed plant evidence, but if they did, I’m guessing that it’s because they were tired of Avery telling the news reporters what awful people the Sherrif’s Department were. They were tired of the testimony he was giving to the Avery Task force. All of this was making them look very, very, very bad. And if they did plant evidence, it was simply to get even with him, to put him away, and to force him to settle for a *much* smaller quantity of money than $36 million.


    1. “One seriously has to question Stephen Glynn’s claim about how “unconscionable” Colborn’s actions were in 1995 when someone from Brown County Sheriff’s called him (at a time when Colborn was simply a Corrections Officer)…”

      Simply? You make it sound like Colborn was barely connected to the department. The Sheriff’s Department consists of 9 or 10 officers in total – 1 of whom is the Corrections Officer for the County Jail, which is located in the same building as the Sheriff’s Office. In other words, all of the 9 or 10 officers of the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department are within a short walking distance of each other.

      “In fact, Colborn testified in court in 2007 that he *did* do something. He most likely did exactly what he was supposed to do.”

      So, according to you, if police department A receives a call from police department B that someone in B’s custody has confessed to a crime in A’s jurisdiction for which someone has been wrongly convicted, no report would normally be filled out? And what are you basing your opinion on? Law enforcement work?

      “Then, in 2003, right after Avery’s release, Colborn mentioned this fact to Lenk, which is not an unreasonable thing to do. The fact that Lenk would ask Colborn to write a statement about it and hand that statement to Sheriff Peterson also seems like a natural thing to do.”

      Why, if writing a report about it when it first happened wasn’t necessary, would writing a report about it after the fact matter?

      “Glynn’s claim that there definitely “should have been” some record of that phone call all the way back in 1995 is very, very specious.”

      Again, what are you basing your opinion on?

      “So, the only way to inculpate Gregory Allen in 1995 would be:
      1. Gregory Allen admits to having assaulted Penny Beernsten.”

      Well, that’s precisely what the phone call was about: Gregory Allen admitted that he assaulted someone in Manitowoc County that another person was wrongly convicted for. It couldn’t have been more straightforward than that.

      “The only way this makes sense is if Rohrer simply “failed” to include Douglass Jones’ memo. Why? Because Griesbach requested that the A.G.’s office perform the investigation!”

      Steven Avery had become the poster boy of the Innocence Project and of wrongful convictions in Wisconsin. What on Earth makes you believe the Wisconsin AG wouldn’t have investigated Manitowoc County, with or without Griesbach’s “request”? There was no way that investigation wouldn’t have happened. Griesbach’s “request” is the precise equivalent to the MCSD claiming they wouldn’t be involved in the Halbach investigation due to a conflict of interest – purely done for appearance’s sake.

      “It also becomes somewhat clear (but not clear enough) that the Douglass Jones memo about the 2003 conversation between Colborn and Lenk was produced AFTER Rohrer and Griesbach went to visit with the Attorney General. At worst, Rohrer screwed up. But he was almost certainly not attempting a cover-up.”

      ?!? Seriously? What kind of logic are you using?

      1) The original statement written by Colborn was dated Sept.12th – and yet it wasn’t given to the AG.

      2) The memo about the statement was conveniently dated the day after the DA’s visit to the AG, so it couldn’t be given to the AG.

      3) The investigation began on Sept. 19, when the AG assigned the DOJ to investigate, and continued until they issued their report on Dec. 19 – and yet for 3 months, somehow neither the statement nor the memo (arguably the most damning piece of culpability or ineptitude of the MCSD) is ever delivered to the DOJ investigators.

      This is well beyond a “screw up”.

      “In sum, even if they had won their Civil Rights lawsuit, I see absolutely no reason to believe that Avery would have been awarded a multi-multi-million dollar sum of money.”

      In all of your talk about the lawsuit, you failed to mention the crux of the civil case. The nondisclosure by the prosecution to Steven Avery’s 1985 defense lawyer of information received from the Manitowoc City Police of a potential other suspect that:

      1) Had previously committed an assault on that same stretch of beach.

      2) Had been under surveillance.

      3) But had not been surveilled during the time of Beerntsen’s rape.

      In any case, I’ve read a few opinions online from civil lawyers stating how strong Avery’s case was, and estimating that the insurance companies would have likely offered a settlement in the $3 – 6 million range.


      1. I agree with Mark’s analysis, and would add a few additional thoughts:

        As a civil lawyer, I agree that Avery’s lawsuit would have been viewed as a very significant financial threat, and the defendants’ lawyers would surely have told them so. The crucial issue for purposes of ‘motive,’ of course, is not the ultimate merits of Avery’s case, but the defendants’ perception of its merits. And the best evidence of that perception is the settlement for $400,000 AFTER Avery was charged with a new murder. I can assure you that if the insurer and lawyers thought that $400,000 was a good settlement then, their assessment of exposure must have been much, much larger before there was evidence that Avery had committed a new murder.

        Regarding the 1995 phone call to Colburn, two things seem obvious: First, he made the report in 2003 as an inept attempt to cover his butt after it became clear Avery was not guilty. I was amused by Kratz’s attempt to “rehabilitate” Colburn by asking him on redirect what sort of report he would have made back in 1995 if he were to have made one — presumably, it would have been the same sort of report he made in 2003! Second, and most important, the fact that Colburn remembered the call for 8 years and that it occurred to him to cover himself after all that time shows he knew when he GOT the call that it was quite significant. We don’t remember inconsequential things for 8 years.


      2. “Simply? You make it sound like Colborn was barely connected to the department. The Sheriff’s Department consists of 9 or 10 officers in total – 1 of whom is the Corrections Officer for the County Jail, which is located in the same building as the Sheriff’s Office. In other words, all of the 9 or 10 officers of the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department are within a short walking distance of each other.”

        No, I meant “simply” as in “merely”. That if one compares his rank and/or status within the department to Kocourek, that Colborn is down at the bottom of the totem pole, and I was suggesting the possibility that he might be the kind of guy who does what the “big boss” tells him to do, and doesn’t ask questions.

        I’ll admit that I don’t have have knowledge of the layout of the jail or the Sheriff’s office. But given my use of the word “simply”, I wasn’t attempting to imply that he was “barely connected” in some physical sense.

        Are you from there? Or did you find a website that indicates the people in the Sheriff’s Department? I ask because when I attempted to find this information, I could only find a website that listed the people who were in charge of each department (e.g. “drug investigations”, “Sheriff, …. and I don’t remember the other categories). if you did find a website, could you provide the URL?

        [“In fact, Colborn testified in court in 2007 that he *did* do something. He most likely did exactly what he was supposed to do.”]
        “So, according to you, if police department A receives a call from police department B that someone in B’s custody has confessed to a crime in A’s jurisdiction for which someone has been wrongly convicted, no report would normally be filled out? And what are you basing your opinion on? Law enforcement work?”

        No. Are *you* in Law enforcement? Because if you are, I should ask you if you know what such a corrections officer should do.

        I re-read what I last posted and even I feel that I didn’t do a good job of conveying what I had tried to convey.

        Do you reject out of hand the possibility that he received the call, talked for a second to the Brown County Official, quickly realized that this was indeed important, and that he’d better connect the official to the highest person that he could find in the Sheriff’s office right at that time? Look, I’ll admit that I do *not* know if a Corrections Officer is supposed to write a report about each and every phone call, or write a report if the phone call is “critical”, etc. But if you know what his responsibilities would specifically be, I don’t want to insult your intelligence. I’ll just ask you specifically what he should have done. But I still wonder if there is something that you find ludicrous about the suggestion that he got the phone call over to someone higher up as soon as he could … without writing up anything … but instead assuming that the person higher up will handle the whole thing.

        The above question/comment might be moot. I’m wondering if you think that I was suggesting that he received the phone call and got enough info to realize that this was a big issue, and then said, “Thank you”, and then hung up the phone and went back to work. I guess I don’t understand what is ridiculous about the suggestion that if he re-connected the caller to someone higher up than himself, that he would assume that they would “take it from here”.


    2. BTW, one last point: Colborn testified in his 2005 deposition that he doesn’t recall telling anyone about the phone call except Lenk and current-Sheriff Petersen. But Kusche is deposed as stating (in the Jones memo) that Colborn told ex-Sheriff Tom Kocourek about it, and Kusche claims that he heard that from Colborn himself.

      So even in the video-taped depositions, there are conflicting statements about who knew what and when – with someone apparently lying.


      1. Thank you for destroying each point in maxj47’s illogical conclusion that this was all harmless oversight by multiple deputies within the Sheriff’s Department!! I used to work for a DA’s office in WI, so I am very familiar with the importance of officer’s written reports. The very foundation of every case is built upon officer’s reports! Failing to write a report about this phone call was completely incompetent of Colburn, regardless of what the Sheriff said about it when he told him! They KNEW the importance of having that phone call documented, which is why he wrote a report AFTER Steven Avery was exonerated!! The fact that he remembered this “insignificant” phone call 8 years later, shows how significant he knew it actually was!! So much so, he wrote a report!!!


      2. Exactly. I think Colburn’s 2003 report is possibly the most probative and important evidence of police misconduct in this case, because of what it says about Coburn’s ethics and his fear of the lawsuit. He clearly knew the call was important and refrained from taking any action when it might free Avery. After Avery found to be innocent, was released, and the lawsuit was pending, Coburn did a cya ‘report’ and lied on the stand about what he did and why.


      3. JohnR and Aly,

        If you really want to get your blood boiling again, read the DOJ review into Avery’s wrongful conviction put out by the Attorney General in Dec. 2003:

        Click to access DOJ+-+2003+Steve+Avery+Review+Memo.pdf

        There is just so much obvious lying and covering-up by then-Sheriff Kocourek it’s mind boggling.

        BTW, State Farm Insurance had filed a motion to deny coverage in the civil lawsuit to Kocourek. Here is the document:

        Click to access state+farm+letter+2.pdf

        And as much as I really don’t want to believe that cops would actually commit premeditated murder, I still find Halbach’s disappearance and murder just a week before Kocourek himself – the main force behind Steven’s wrongful conviction and continued incarceration – to be coincidental almost beyond belief.


      4. On Gregory Allen: “Because he had been convicted twice on municipal charges for prowling, the Manitowoc Police Department turned the case over to the district attorney’s office. On February 20, 1985, the district attorney’s office returned the complaint sheet and stated charges would not be issued because it was just prowling and there was no state statute available.” Just prowling….? I wonder what state statute would have been available had it been Steven Avery wearing a ski mask and looking into the windows of homes with teenage girls?


      5. Indeed, clearly no coincidence at all.
        It is apparent from Episode 2, which I’ve been listening to again, that Avery’s civil lawyers had evidence that’s as close to a ‘smoking gun’ as one ever finds in real life:

        There was testimony and documentation that Coburn no only got the call in 1995, but discussed it with the sheriff and the sketch artist (who still believes Avery committed the rape!) and was told by the sheriff to do nothing with it because they ‘had the right man’ in jail already. Even the victim in the rape had wanted law enforcement to look into Gregory Allen.

        The 2003 cya ‘report’ was done after Coburn again discussed the call with his superiors (after Avery’s release) and the report was put in a safe! At he time Avery was charged with the Halbach murder, it appeared he may soon get $400,000 from the state that would allow him to go forward with the civil litigation without being tempted by low-ball insurance company offers.


      6. Thanks, Mark. I will check out the DOJ report — though I’m not sure anything could upset me as much as the failure of the Wisconsin appellate courts to do their job by giving Dassey a new trial.

        Who the hell knows who did what. Chances are good a psychopath did the murder, but there’s nothing that says psycopaths wear dirty clothes and never work for police departments. It’s very hard to use the evidence to assess what actually happened when there’s so much doubt about what is really evidence. The default rule in such situations — everybody’s presumed innocent and everybody’s a suspect.


      7. Point taken. Given that in his 2005 deposition, he told Glynn that he only remembered mentioning it to Lenk and to Kocourek, we at least believe that the “first time” that he mentioned it to Lenk was in 2003, which could mean that he and Kocourek “shared the secret” for 8 years. I just pictured a second possibility: That maybe Lenk had known about it for many or all of those 8 years, because he had been informed prior to 2003 by either Colborn and/or Kocourek. But I might have missed some deposition answers that clearly indicated that he didn’t tell Lenk until 2003. And, of course, Kusche claims that he heard it from Colborn, although Colborn never mentioned that, and that might indicate that Colborn lied during the deposition.
        Finally, I found myself asking the following: If Kocourek told Colborn, “Don’t worry about this Andy; I’ll take it from here. We have our man.”, then maybe Colborn “dropped it” because he might have wanted to “do the right thing”, but his fear to go behind his boss’ back trumped his ethical desire to do the right thing. But either way, if they both knew about it, and if neither produced a report, I woud certainly have to think that they would be held liable for serious misconduct, especially in this case.


      8. JohnR, thanks.
        I want to briefly reply in order to say that all the criticisms that followed my original post were certainly warranted. I made a critical mistake when listening to Glynn’s explanation of the cover-up. I misheard a critical line in his explanation, and that single error led me to draw a litany of incorrect inferences.

        After I read the responses from JohnR, Mark, and Aly, it forced me to re-read my post and to listen once more to Glynn’s explanation of the cover-up. I was embarrassed to discover my screw-up.

        I was equally surprised and dismayed by the number of times I expressed so much certitude in my claims. I couldn’t understand Mark’s replies that asked me about my expertise in one area or another, but I understand them now. Anyway, no excuses. I wrote it and now I have to own it.

        I have had to eat humble pie before, and it never tastes very good, but at least it’s not fattening. Had you not pointed out the errors in my reasoning, I would never have realized just how bad that post was.

        I wanted to send this note as soon as I realized my error, but I thought it best to gather my thoughts in the hopes of composing a brief but meaningful reply.

        To be clear: I have a lot of admiration for Kelly, Glynn, Buting, and Strang, and I feel a “vomitous” disdain for Kratz, Kocourek, Fassbender, Wiegert, Kachinsky, O’Kelly … and my disdain list doesn’t end there, unfortunately.

        I continue to hope that Avery will get a new trial. I will never give up hope that Brendan will be 100% exonerated and will receive a large financial settlement to compensate for the nightmare that he has intentionally been put through.



      9. Aly, I certainly see your point. A report should have been written. I don’t want to continue bothering you or anyone else with the point I was trying to make. But just for my own information, you mentioned something about opening a new file? When Brown County called and Colborn answered, if Colborn reconnected the call to his superior, or to Kocourek, or whomever — someone of higher rank than Colborn — would Colborn be responsible for writing a report and opening up a new case file? That is pretty much what I was trying to get at, and I honestly don’t know who. I certainly felt that a report should have been written. I just thought that if Colborn passed the call “up the chain” that maybe the detective who would eventually handle the call might be the person to write the report. And now I am wondering if you are saying that he would immediately open a new case also.



      10. No, he wouldn’t have created a new file, but he should have noted it in Avery’s file. Even if it was just for the sake of covering his own ass. If he would have just written one sentence that he received a phone call and who he passed that information on to, he would have no responsibility for what that investigator did or didn’t do with the information after that. You have to understand that what seems like a simple mistake to you, was extremely detrimental to Steven Avery. When it comes to the law, documentation is everything! If there’s no record, it didn’t happen! When Avery got out, they realized that if Brown County had record of that phone call and they didn’t, they were screwed. So, 8 years too late he wrote the report. Doesn’t look good, but at least there’s record of it. And that’s enough for the DOJ and people like you…..


    3. I am absolutely appalled at how much bullshit society is willing to accept as innocuous oversight! A man lost his right to life and liberty because these deputies intentionally failed to do their jobs!! In what other profession would this be considered standard???? I’ve read so many comments where people say ” ok, maybe the cops did plant evidence, but…”. BUT WHAT????? I don’t care what the circumstances of a situation are, there is no justifiable excuse for planting evidence. Ever. Period.


      1. I hope that you didn’t read my post and infer that *I* was saying that this was an innocuous oversight. I think that if Colborn failed to write a report due to Kocourek ordering him not to, then Colborn should have known at that time that he had just become part of a conspiracy … even if it was a conspiracy of two people.

        Regarding the proposition: “Even if the Sheriff Deputies did plant evidence …”, of course that is amazingly unforgivable. What shocked me the most was hearing Kratz made that proposition in his closing arguments. The D.A. of Calumet County somehow thought that “maybe sometimes it’s OK, as long as we got our man.”


      2. “When it comes to the law, documentation is everything! If there’s no record, it didn’t happen!”

        Wow. Makes a lot of sense. Thanks for that information.


      3. “But what” indeed!

        One of the things I find fascinating about the case is the question of how we and the legal system should react to evidence in a case if there is strong indication that some of it was planted and virtually all of it was gathered by the same authorities. I believe there is reasonable doubt in such situations regardless of whether there is evidence that each item of evidence was planted, because all the usual assumptions no longer apply.

        In this context, I find it rather strange that AnnB, for example, has stated in a number of posts that she believes some evidence was planted, but nevertheless concludes an investigation should only proceed where the “evidence” leads. As if she can somehow be certain that proof of some evidence being planted by particular people means nothing with regard to other evidence offered by the same people. I’m assuming she would have said that the tainted evidence should be believed and pursued, right up to the point it was shown to be tainted.

        Certainly such a thought process is not how the legal system or common sense usually work. If a witness is shown to lie under oath on one important issue, do we assume that everything else he says is true unless it is shown to be a lie as well? We may not know it’s a lie, but could we likely say we’re convinced “beyond a reasonable doubt” that any of his statements are true once the lie is shown?


      4. Perfect example: Brendan’s confessions. The details of the prosecution’s theory were cherry picked fom each of his four confessions. They believed she was sexually assaulted and the second he confirmed it, it was a truthful statement. They had absolutely no evidence that such a thing took place, but he said it, so it must be true. The only detail that was consistent in all four of Brendan’s interrogations was that she was stabbed in the stomach with a knife and they put the knife in her “jeep”. There was absolutely no evidence that this took place either. No one was thoroughly convinced about her being stabbed because of the absence of blood, a knife was never found in the jeep, and none of the knives tested yielded a result to support it. Yet, without a doubt people believe they raped her. Why is one statement considered truthful, and the other one probably false??? When analyzing these statements, how does one conclude that his only consistent statement was probably false?


  27. The other men in Teresa’s life were not questioned properly and did not have to provide alibies. That is a miscarriage of justice. That creeper Katz thinks that Avery being in his mind the last person to see her alive to be reason enough to convict him when most women are murdered by someone close to them, namely lovers or x-lovers. This is what happened the last time Avery was put in jail-the other suspect’s involvement was snuffed in order to get a conviction. That’s why people are horrified that other suspects are not being investigated. Steven Avery’s guilt had to be proven and it was never proven at all. The nephew (with an IQ of a retarded person) confessed that they killed her in his trailer and the state claims it happened in his garage, yet neither of those places turned up any blood, hair from the haircut, anything, Avery sanitized his mattress, bedroom, and messy garage, burned a body in a tiny fire with relatives everywhere, held a screaming girl in his house without anyone hearing her, but left her car splattered with his blood right in the open along with her bones. Why clean up the DNA but leave the bones? The confession makes no sense and confessions are not proof. If they were Bill Cosby would be in jail.


    1. Yep, in the Dassey trial when Dassey’s lawyer asked Wiegert if he found any of Dassey’s DNA in Avery’s trailer, Wiegert said, “No.” The defense lawyer started to walk back toward his table, and Wiegert smiled/smirked and said, “They had 5 days to clean up.” Very tragic. Clean-up wizards in the trailer, but those same clean-up wizards forgot all about the car. Very smart, Wiegert. Very smart.


  28. even if you” not” consider liability, and a civil suit brought by steven avery against the county, and idiivduals in the police, and prosecutors office.there is the very real possibilty of the two women that were brutilized and raped,to sue the indivduals that knowingly allowed the real rapist to remian on the street, because of their criminal actions. In fact they stiil might be able to sue, and why where no crimiinal charges brought against those responsible for false imprisonment. And another thing that is infuriating why “no one” not the prosecutor, not the judge, not any of the cops involved, not even the jury contacted these two women whom were raped and brutalized, and exspressed any sorrow for their actions, or mistakes


  29. Focus on the facts.
    This article is judgmental And hearsay. Regardless who are the suspects – Steven and his nephew are innocent. This article is pretty much saying who knows the family members could’ve done it. How is this legitimate. Innocent and these men need to be out of prison.


  30. Nice bunch of bullshit you wrote right here… There’s no close to enough documentaries about this type of corruptions in the world, and you come to distract audience with some of your stupid misconception of the show. You totally missed the point, and for what I read, you could perfectly be in the same bag than any of the jurors. Just two words: Reasonable doubt!


  31. Lets backup for a minute and start over again, it was holloween, Was teresa expected to be somewhere but did not show up? does she have a habit of disapearing like that( her mother said no) did she routinely call someone daily, maybe her mom?, was she suppose to be going to a holloween, party that night?, I beleive, the conern that something was wrong, gripped, family members, the roomate, and anyone that may have been expecting to see her, or hear from her “that hallloween night, but not enough concern at that point to call in a missing person, report (but did they???), the next day, no teresa, now a serious telephone search, by family, and friends, calling “anyone that may have seen, or knew where teresa may be. possibly driving around trying to spot her car somewhere. was a missing person called in?, apparentely not.Now the brother and the ex, an possibly the roommate,serach phone records, and based upon info from work decide the last place she may have been was the avey yard, and they hop in the car drive over to the avery yard, and begin driving around looking for her car, and find it!. now that auto parts yard did not appear to have any “check in gate” so therefore if a customer was lookig around for a car that they needed parts from, they just find the car, take the parts off took them up front and paid for them, thats how many of those yards work, so most likely people could drive in unincumbered, and drive all over freely, alternatvely there wasback entrances to the yard. So drinving in, and around would be no problem then they find the rav. 4, blood in the cargo area, this is no longer “just” a missing person “case the brother callsl manitowoc county sherrifs depart, and connects with colburn who come out personally and runs the plates, to verify it is teresas car, he then calls lenk by using a private cell phone and calling lenks private cell phone recognizing the import of this discovery, and the problem they may face by doing an unwarrented search. lenk hotfoots it to the yard, and winds up with a spare key provided by either the roommate, or the brother. colburn and or lenk instruct the bother an others, not say any thing as a yet because a warrant is needed, and maybe teresa is alive and it may jepordize her life, if the word got out about the rav being found. They comply and later are told to “officially report her missing, search warrants are issued cadaver dogs are called in “Why cadaver dogs” and not scent dogs, that could find her possibly alive, unless they already found the remains, of a burnt body out behind the avery complex. “was a search warrant ever issued for that property?? and when was it issued”, Now all the averys except one brother are kicked of the premisses, and the remains are found behind stevens garage, yet the cadaver dog do not “alert” to that burn pit but doe’s alert to a burn barrel behind the janis house, and a golf cart use by one averys brothers for hunting rabbits on the property with his 22. Questions why was’nt teresas disaperance, called in as a missing person. earlier, why no inquiries conducted by police of the family, the roommate, or anyone else, about her habits, why no articles of clothing taken to give scent to search dogs to find terasa possibly alive, in fact why call for cadaver dogs, and not scent dogs in the first place?? cadaver dogs only seek and find cadavers “any cadavers. I know there was pretty shoddy police work going but Pleese! how did they know or ass ume she was already dead. The license plates!! that went missing. would co-oberat colburns testimony that he never was looking at plates when he called in to ID the rav.4 were they ever dusted, for prints, or checked for dna, were they wiped clean as well as the key. Look if you belive that “any evidence” was planted ( and the magic key is a prime example) then you have to belive that other evidence was tampered with and/or planted as well. I could go on and on about all the anomolous, inconsistancies in this investigation, and especially the magic key, and colburns, perjury about shaking the cabinet. way to many holes and it dos’nt take a rocket scientist, to see that, a lot square pegs where pounded into round holes by all invoved in this case “especiall by the great illusionist Kratz”. these holes that kenny boy dug with his slight of hand needs to be revisted, and filled a major investigation needs to be re- conducted if for no other reason than to restore confidence in the judicial system, By an independent agency.


    1. Did I hear there was a car crusher in the site and a incinerator? I know steve isn’ a smart man but he grew up on this property he knows this property why would he just leave the rav 4 uncrushed. And why would he burn the bones in the fire pit this doesn’t make sense it. also he had a law suit against the police dept for millions why would he Jeopardize that. no I don’t believe he did it I hate it when people take one look at a person and judge them on that alone its; absolutely absurd that steve avery and Brendan dassi get a re trial and not by that judge fox. it worries me that we can’t count on our justice system


  32. I don’t know if Avery is guilty, but it sure doesn’t look like he had a fair trail.
    People keep saying his defense team could have investigated other suspects like the boyfriend and the bother.
    The defense team did not the power to take anyone to the police station and question them for hours like the police did.
    They did not have to answer any questions the defense asked them.
    They did not have to turn their clothes or cars in to be tested.
    The biggest problem I have with the boyfriend is:
    It took 3 days for him to care that his girlfriend disappeared !!
    It seemed very important to him to find out her password and erase messages WHY
    He led the search that found the car on Avery’s property, by the only person with a camera (that walked up to the car out of hundreds of cars in 10 minutes!)
    I agree that setting the cat on fire is disgusting, it doesn’t mean that person will murder a human.
    The other fact the reporter keeps bringing up, is that there was DNA under the hood of the car that was not on in the movie.
    Can DNA rub off a sweaty shirt? A few people said Avery was dirty and smelly?
    It could have been part of the planted evidence?
    I also don’t understand where they claim he killed her. If it was in the bedroom or garage they would have found some more evidence.
    They keep saying Avery was not the brightest, then how did he do such a good job of cleaning up.
    I also don’t think he would put her back in her car to carry her a few feet to a burn pit.
    Did any experts say you could burn a body that much in a fire pit.
    Like I said I don’t know what happened but I have feeling we got it wrong.
    And I’m pretty sure the poor nephew had nothing to do with it.
    I have heard the saying “everyone is entitled to the best defense money can buy”
    I think if you are poor and slow you have no chance.


    1. People keep talking about all of the DNA evidence, but I don’t think people understand how little of it there actually was. There was such a small amount of Teresa’s DNA on the bullet fragment that one test used the entire sample. When asked if the infamous “sweat DNA” found under Teresa’s hood could have been from blood, the analyst could not rule out blood as the source. Even if we were to believe that Teresa’s DNA was just rubbed off of her own key over time by Steven handling it (which I don’t),there is no way her DNA wouldn’t have been on the lanyard. I mean, if were supposed to believe that Steven Avery left sweat DNA on the hood latch, then there is no reasonable explanation for the absence of Teresa’s on her key and/or lanyard. Hands sweat. Fabric absorbs. If Avery was really in her vehicle (and as sweaty as Ken Kratz described) and Teresa was really in his trailer or garage, there would have been more DNA.


      1. Not to mention that if Steven were really in her vehicle, and there were no fingerprints found (which there were not), then he must have been wearing gloves. As Butal pointed out, if he were wearing gloves then one most likely would not have found his blood in the car; hence the blood would most likely have been planted. I guess there are gloves that blood could leak through, but … I don’t want to make that stretch in order to put Avery in her car.


      2. ah but remember, “touch” DNA, that was aleged to have been found, on the hood of the car( which was probably a contamination residue, from someones glove, that had been searching averys bedroom,( “if’ you can even believe the legitamacey of the testing in the first place) and the “touch DNA steven averys found on the key laying on the carpet of his bedroom Which would be a mystery if his DNA was “”not”” on that key. It was his bedroom his DNA is all over “his” bed” room. look if you are sitting in your house reading this, look around you, “your DNA is every where on your key pad, clothing, keys, carpet shoes, etc,etc,etc, However ! we need to put on our sherlock holmes hats for a secound there was “no touch DNA, belonging to steven avery ” inside” the rav 4, now go out to your own car, and imagine being a short guy. the size of steven avery, reaching in to extract a key from the rav 4, with “no” gloves on, and somehow not touching any thing else, in that vehicle, or better yet driving teresa vehicle anywhere, without leaving “touch DNA, or finger prints, or hair. We humans spew our DNA ,all over constantly, especially in the form of dead skin cells. You need to consider the missing evidences, and not “just” the prosecutions okey-dok evidence, look for evidence that should be there but is not. if you do you will start to see all the holes, in this slight of hand magic show. IMO


      3. yes and how did the rav 4 get to where it was found, someone had to have driven,it there, did steven drive it?is’nt that the theory in the prosecutions case because of the blood stain containing stevens DNA, “Then” he would have left touch DNA all over the car, again when you have, a manufactured case against someone look for the holes, look for the evidence that” should” be there but is myteriously missing. lets see lets just add up the evidence against steven avery “in” the rav 4 a blood stain that ray charles could see but a killer could not, he drove the car, or had to have been in the car to leave the blood stain, was not wearing gloves because he left the blood, but no finger prints, no hair no other corberating evidence to put him in the car, can you see the problem, its a hole big enough to drive a semi though. the blood stain is the anomaly, in that car!


      4. Yes, I agree. “Ray Charles could have seen that blood.” Very good! 🙂
        So, if Avery had driven that car (if Avery had even *sat* in that car), he would have seen the blood, and he would have cleaned it up.


      5. yeah if you really drill down, go over all the forensic evidence, and the testing of bones/ teeth one can not be sure the bones/ teeth really were teresas, no one can positively state they are sure it was teresa, that I have found yet.


      6. Yes and DNA,is DNA, whether it be blood, spit, urine, dandruff, and the DNA aledgedly found on that magic bullet, could not be identified as coming “from Blood”, and it follows “can DNA be planted”?? answer YES easily, do you believe that any evidence was planted?? I certainly do. The magic key for, one unless one can not believe their lying eyes. Sooo if you can see one example of planted evidence, it is not hard to imagine other examples of planted evidence. Couple that with fact that the magic bullet could not be traced to stevens .22,only that it came from “A” .22 which it seems there was quite a few .22s all over that avery complex. in fact in manitowoc county there was probably, thousands of .22s. Is it possible she might have been shot by mistake by, a hunter?, robbed by any one of the hundreds of people that freely roam that yard looking for parts (we still do have a missing purse and its content, including her “other set of keys That would not have melted in a fire.) Did the investigation “ever” explore other possibilities at all? I think not! They found the car, she was dead, and steven avery killed her, and the race to put him in prison was on “again”


    2. You pretty much nailed the main points. I don’t think you have finished the documentary, right? If not, I won’t spoil it for you. But many of your questions are answered in the documentary. If you look around the internet for Dean Strang’s response (one of Avery’s defense attorneys) to Ken Kratz’s whining that the documentary left out “some of the most important pieces of evidence”, I think you’ll find that Strang has convincing responses to Kratz’s complaints, as do the filmmakers.


  33. How is Mike Hallbach “made to say something that’s just been carefully debunked for the audience”? He’s not commenting from a script prepared by the documentary team. He appears to be willing to be on camera and he’s speaking voluntarily.

    I think the documentary makes a valid point that the police department and prosecutor’s office, from day one, didn’t ever look any further than Stephen Avery. It’s not the documentary producers’ job to solve this crime, it’s the police department’s job and they’ve made a fine mess of it. Even if Avery was guilty (which I don’t believe he is – where’s all the DNA from the stabbing and throat cutting in his trailer?) the police & prosecutor have bungled it so badly, that his guilt – or innocence will always be in question.

    You underestimate the intelligence of viewers. They are not all sheep who will believe whatever they’re fed. The facts, however, speak for themselves.

    Oh and as a lawyer, I’m appalled at the poor direct examination by the prosecution. It’s just one blatantly leading question after another. That speaks to poor preparation and a weak case.


    1. As a journalist Jo-Anne, I can tell you that anyone can be made to look bad through selective editing and quoting. And I do mean anyone. I could easily do to you what the filmmakers did to Mike Halbach. Let me know when you want to try it.


    2. And as a lawer then you recognize of course that most of the prosecution witnesses were coached, there was a of eye contact between kratz and the prosection witnesses when they got in trouble, it even appears as if krats is giving hand signals a times. IMO


  34. Whether or not Steven Avery or Brendan Dassey are innocent or guilty is irrelevant at this point. The trial and investigation, shown from any perspective, was nothing short of incompetent. I’m all for justice but there are too many improprieties and I believe there should be an investigation by the State into the buffoonery that was this case. It’s difficult to believe that police would plant evidence even if there is a strong suspicion of it. It’s not hard to to see that the police, investigator, prosecutions and even the judges had an opportunity to provide a fair and unbiased trial, but didn’t.
    I am blessed to be living in Canada! Our justice system and police are far from perfect, but I am certain that this scenario simply would not be allowed to happen here. (this is not a shot at Americans in any way!) I simply cannot imagine living in a State that would allow this sort of thing to happen.


    1. Are you kidding??? This happens in Canada too and could very easily happen to you. It happens anywhere that people suffer from the all-too-human failings of “unwarranted certitude” and “lack of humility”, as Strang points out.

      It’s evident in AnnB’s own postings, and she’s an investigator in Ontario — are you actually comfortable with her biased interpretations, seeing bias on the filmmakers where none exists, thinly-concealed support of law enforcement, and refusal to concede any of her interpretations? Because I sure as hell am not. As she said herself in a recent reply here, she knows exactly how to make ANYONE “look bad” very easily. A very chilling attitude from someone who is supposed to make seeking out the truth their profession. And yet she won’t concede that SA’s investigators had that exact same attitude and did the exact same thing, and had a $36 million motive for doing so.

      David Milgaard sound familiar to you? He spent 23 years in prison for rape and murder he didn’t commit, based on someone’s flimsy testimony. And at one point years later when her actual killer’s ex-wife told police that she thought her ex was the one to kill that nurse, the police, being pissed off at the Milgaard family for continually fighting for his release, ignored her. Milgaard continued to stay in prison for years until dna testing finally cleared him. Why do you think the Saskatchewan government paid out $10 million to Milgaard?

      Wrongful arrests, convictions and bias happens here alot more than you realize. Talk to the black community or First Nations community. Or just google.



      1. OK,you’re starting to piss me off with your willful misinterpretations.

        I suggest you go read the New Yorker article on the filmmakers’ concealment of their biases:


        Also, the fact that I recognize it’s possible to make anyone look bad through selective editing and quoting doesn’t mean it’s a habit I practice. If you can’t process a concept like that, it’s no wonder you are unable have a discussion without resorting to personal attacks and reductio ad absurdum.

        I’ll be happy to change my mind when I’m shown to be wrong about the Making a Murderer propaganda machine.


      2. “I could easily do to you what the filmmakers did to Mike Halbach. Let me know when you want to try it.”

        Regardless whether through film editing or not, this statement coming from someone who considers themself a professional investigator and journalist is out of line. Amazing that you don’t see it — that your continued belligerence and refusal to concede that your bias against the filmmakers and the Averys might just be wrong is EXACTLY what the documentary is about and what Strang summed up as the failings with everyone involved in the criminal justice system: unwarranted certitude and a tragic lack of humility. You put yourself out here as a voice of authority given your profession, and with that comes fair scrutiny and criticism.


      3. Regardless whether through film editing or not, this statement coming from someone who considers themself a professional investigator and journalist is out of line.

        I don’t consider myself a professional journalist and investigator. I am a professional journalist and investigator. Your comment is just an attempted putdown.

        I’m not sure why you’re exuding fake outrage and trying to claim my comment is “out of line.” Any journalist will tell you how easy it is to make someone look bad by selective quoting. The point is that journalists with ethical standards don’t do this.

        That’s why I’ve been so hard on the MaM filmmakers, because they deliberately made people who they know damned well are innocent look bad/suspicious for the sake of narrative tension.


      4. “I suggest you go read the New Yorker article on the filmmakers’ biases”

        Just because a writer at The New Yorker (and one that, by her own admission, was involved with the case long before – and had, presumably, her own fixed ideas about it) believes that the filmmaker’s are biased doesn’t make it true, It’s just another opinion on the subject. There are clearly people that perceive the documentary that way and others that don’t.

        Also, I would just like to point out something she doesn’t mention in the “conclusion” of her article:

        “Ultimately, “Making a Murderer” shares that flaw; it does not challenge our yearning for certainty or do the difficult work of helping to foster humility. Instead, it swaps one absolute for another—and, in doing so, comes to resemble the system it seeks to correct.”

        Even if her premise is true, the difference between the film and “the system it seeks to correct” is that the film errs on the side of innocence instead of guilt – and our system of justice is supposed to be built around the premise of William Blackstone’s famous quote:

        “”It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.”


      5. I was replying to a comment that said this:

        are you actually comfortable with her biased interpretations, seeing bias on the filmmakers where none exists, thinly-concealed support of law enforcement, and refusal to concede any of her interpretations?

        My point was not that because the New Yorker says it, it’s right but that my opinion is shared by others. Furthermore, I stated that it was the concealment of the bias that bothered me. Throughout this thread I have emphasized over and over again that I don’t mind POV/bias so long a the journalists acknowledge it and are fair.

        I don’t believe the MaM documentarians do either of those things.

        Furthermore, I have stated elsewhere (not in this thread) that while the New Yorker article makes many good points, I do not support its conclusion. There is nothing wrong with the level of certitude — beyond reasonable doubt — required by the law, and to start wringing one’s hands about it is just sophomoric sophism.

        As for Blackstone, I’m sure he would be horrified by some of the people quoting him, who appear to have no understanding that there consequences to 10 guilty persons going free. He was far more sophisticated than that.

        Those free guilty people will probably go on to do a lot more damage.


      6. “My point was not that because the New Yorker says it, it’s right but that my opinion is shared by others.”

        Perhaps it was the wording of “go read the New Yorker article on the filmmakers’ biases.”

        “I don’t believe the MaM documentarians do either of those things.”

        Doesn’t that depend on what the filmmakers believe their mandate is – and what you believe it is?

        “As for Blackstone, I’m sure he would be horrified by some of the people quoting him, who appear to have no understanding that there consequences to 10 guilty persons going free. He was far more sophisticated than that.

        Those free guilty people will probably go on to a lot more damage.”

        Well, if you’re assuming that Blackstone understood the consequences of his statement, you might extend the same assumption to those of us who bring it up.

        I can’t speak for Canada, but in terms of the US, there is already such an unbelievable level of weight on the balance of justice towards punishment and a presumption of guilt (e.g. mandatory sentences, ‘guilty’ plea bargains for people that can’t afford representation, largest prison population in the history of civilization, etc) that some drastic measures may be needed in the opposite direction.


      7. Well, if you’re assuming that Blackstone understood the consequences of his statement, you might extend the same assumption to those of us who bring it up.

        Sorry but no. Blackstone was brilliant. MOst people here are just beginning to recognize the ideas he spent a lifetime grappling with — and are not brilliant.

        ETA: I’m not into that kind of silly egalitarianism. It would matter more if Blackstone told me I was wrong than a logic-challenged MaM fan. That’s just how it is.


      8. It doesn’t take brilliance to understand there are consequences to guilty people occasionally being found not guilty, just as it’s not needed to recognize the foolishness of the State in murdering people, or the diminishing returns behind mandatory sentences.


      9. It doesn’t take brilliance to understand there are consequences to guilty people occasionally being found not guilty

        It doesn’t and yet most virtue-signalling Blackstone quoters fail to take that into account.


      10. AnnB, I don’t know how gainfully employed you have been in your profession(s), hence my using the word “considered”. No putdown implied, nor do I understand your need to attack me for it. You’ve been called far worse by far more people here.

        As Mark says, the New Yorker piece is just a biased opinion piece, one which has been well refuted everywhere else in the blogosphere. It’s not the filmmakers’ job or intention to solve the crime or prove Avery’s guilt or innocence.

        What is worth noting from the piece, and what should be the main topic of discussion is the following:

        “But you don’t need to have filed a thirty-six-million-dollar suit against law enforcement to be detained, denied basic rights, and have evidence planted on your person or property. Among other things, simply being black can suffice. While Avery’s story is dramatic, every component of it is sadly common. Seventy-two per cent of wrongful convictions involve a mistaken eyewitness. Twenty-seven per cent involve false confessions. Nearly half involve scientific fraud or junk science. More than a third involve suppression of evidence by police.

        Those statistics reflect systemic problems. Eyewitness testimony is dangerously persuasive to juries, yet it remains admissible in courts almost without caveat. Some interrogation methods are more likely than others to produce false confessions, yet there are no national standards; fewer than half of states require interrogations to be videotaped, and all of them allow interrogators to lie to suspects. With the exception of DNA evidence (which emerged from biology, not criminology), forensic tests are laughably unscientific; no independent entity exists to establish that such tests are reliable before their results are admissible as evidence.”

        That is the entire point of the documentary.


      11. As Mark says, the New Yorker piece is just a biased opinion piece, one which has been well refuted everywhere else in the blogosphere. It’s not the filmmakers’ job or intention to solve the crime or prove Avery’s guilt or innocence.

        Sigh, it seems you believe that something’s refuted if people who think like you do say it is.


      12. “Sigh, it seems you believe that something’s refuted if people who think like you do say it is.”

        Sigh, it seems you believe that something’s biased if people who think like you do say it is. When the majority of commenters here say they saw no bias on the part of the filmmakers, you point to Reddit, Twitter and Facebook as sources to back up your assertions. But when those same sources contain point by point refutations of many of the statements made in the New Yorker article suddenly they’re invalid?

        And another sigh…. it seems you believe that something’s an ad hominem attack only if other people do it. Kindly stick to discussing the issues exposed in the documentary. Talk about getting boring.

        Anyway, what is of interest is that the filmmakers gave a Q&A on Twitter last night. @MakingaMurderer. They discuss many of the points raised here including accusations of bias. Someone would have to be pretty closed-minded and have some kind of an agenda not to consider their clarifications and intentions in making the documentary. Or to not take their advice on dialoging about the problems with the criminal justice system instead of nitpicking over the details of just this one case. The only thing we should be talking about, because it affects all of our lives, is what can and should be done to mitigate the failings of the criminal justice system.



      13. I state repeatedly in this thread I don’t care if the filmmakers are biased or have a POV.

        My criticism of them is for concealing their bias and being dishonest. Not sure how you missed that.


      14. Okay, AnnB, so let’s take it as a given that the person who wrote the New Yorker shares some of your thoughts about MAM, but disagrees with you about Serial (which you consider “porn” the same category as MAM). So what?

        For my part, I disagree with — and don’t understand — your condemnation of the film for its bias. Is it biased? Absolutely. It’s not hidden or unwarranted. It is biased in the sense that it willfully emphasizes all the ugly aspects of a criminal justice system in which he power of police, prosecutors, judges and courts is all-too-often abused. Both you and the New Yorker writer admit that all of these horrors are present in the Avery/Dassey cases, as depicted in the film. But because some unknown quantity of people out there fail to distinguish between portrayal of an unjust conviction and proof of innocence, you blame the filmmakers, regardless of whether it was ever even their intent to prove that Avery is innocent.

        The “evidence” cited by both of you to support your opinions consists of anecdotal stories about petitions circulated by some people, the reactions of other people like Penny Beerntsen, and “facts” you believe the filmmakers should have included. Geez, lots of people think the moon landing was a fake, too. Should we blame someone for that? The film was an account of two unfair trials, not a murder investigation designed to prove guilt or innocence.

        The author of the New Yorker article complains, for example, that the film didn’t mention things that Brenden Dassey said in one of his many contradictory accounts. Of course, Dassey said something for everybody whenever he spoke — even the prosecution didn’t want to use his testimony except to convict him! Apparently the writer believes an “objective” account would include all possible evidence against Avery, regardless of whether it was ever presented in court and subject to cross examination. The film DID show Dassey saying many things that were not helpful to Avery, even though they were never part of the prosecution’s case.

        The New Yorker writer states:

        “Although “Making a Murderer” is structured chronologically, it fails to provide a clear time line of events, and it never answers such basic questions as when, where, and how Halbach died.”

        No kidding. Maybe that’s because the prosecution carefully avoided attempting to do the same, convicting two people based on two wildly inconsistent versions of what happened, neither presented in any detail.

        Much of your prior complaints, AnnB, were not about “bias” but what you considered to be unfair suspicion directed at innocent people. I gather, from all of your posts, that your main gripe is you believe it was directed at the wrong people who were not on trial — namely, you believe it should have been directed at other members of the Avery family. Why? Just because they were there, and are “lowlifes.” Not really a complaint about bias, more about the WRONG bias in your view. But as others have explained, the film simply depicts various facts that were part of the trial and part of the defense’s’ attempts to show the unanswered questions — all of which was severely hampered and curtailed by the judge.

        It is clear to me that the film is biased, and angry, about faults of the justice system. Faults which the New Yorker article freely admits, as you do. But my question is, would anyone believe those faults and care about them if a film such as MAM didn’t depict them? I’m willing to bet that neither you nor the writer of the New Yorker article has ever done half as much to make as many people aware of the evils of our system. So the film could have been better? Yeah, okay, but I’ll pay more attention to your complaints when you do something better than they did.


      15. P.S. Maybe somebody should point out to the writer of the New Yorker article that Penny Beerntsen’s beliefs have not always been accurate.


      16. The New Yorker article is not complaining about bias, it’s critiquing the concealment of the bias.

        I’m willing to bet that neither you nor the writer of the New Yorker article has ever done half as much to make as many people aware of the evils of our system

        No human system is perfect. There will always be faults. But going on about the “evils of our system” is just virtue signalling. You’re a lawyer. Which country has a better system?

        I’m Canadian. We have wrongful convictions. There are always going to be wrongful convictions. IMO the answer is to make it easier for people to admit they’re wrong in the early stages not to go on and on about the “evils of our system” when there actually isn’t anything better than the common law. If you don’t believe me, go live somewhere they don’t have it and report back.

        Also, you’re getting kind of boring with your consistent assumptions of bad faith on the part of everyone who disagrees with you. My experience is that’s not the way to discuss issues.

        As much as I disagree with things SErial did, I’ve never assumed bad faith on Sarah Koenig’s part.


  35. Any theory that police murdered Teresa and planted evidence raises many questions:

    Why didn’t they plant the vehicle key before/during the the first search?
    Why didn’t they plant pubic hair and other hair in October/November 2005 from Teresa’s body in Steven’s bedroom and garage – it’s even visible to the naked eye?
    Why did they only collect DNA from Teresa’s body to frame Steven with bullet fragments?
    Why didn’t they plant the bullet fragments in October/November 2005 and waited four months for Brendon’s fabricated confession (if Steven did not murder Teresa then Brendon did not witness a murder) – they couldn’t have known, or didn’t have to know Brenden was going to talk, to plant the bullets.
    If the police DID plant the bullet fragments in October/November 2005 then it took them four months to find their own planted evidence?

    It becomes an even more convoluted theory as you add more pieces of evidence and events to prove Steven Avery is not guilty.


    1. Did you even watch the netflix documentary? Some of what you are asking is explained in it. And as far and the nephews confession, what a crock of bs that was. He told them over and over the truth and they just kept pressing him. He has an IQ of 73, very easily impressionable/manipulable. They tried the girl friend and got nowhere so they went after the slow nephew.


    1. Have you heard of British and Canadian spellings?

      Are you aware that American usage is not universal?

      Would you like to embrace your ignorance and apologize?

      Or must the whole world, including Canadians like me, adhere to American style or be called an idiot by you?


  36. Aly, thanks so much for the link to the Avery murder trial transcripts.
    When I realized last night that Day 3 was missing, I shot off an email to the folks at the website. They updated the website list to include a line about Day 3 that looks like a link, but simply states “Coming Soon”.

    They replied very quickly to my email, and the good news is that Day 3 will possibly arrive as early as this weekend.

    Here is their reply:

    Thanks for the heads up, but day 3 is on the way and hopefully will be online by this weekend. That one is taking a bit longer than the rest because we had to get it from the Clerk of the Court (as opposed to getting if directly from the court reporters) and they are mailing a printed copy, which will then have to be scanned. The rest were obtained directly from the court reporters, who delivered them in PDF format, so those were available sooner.


      1. Good find, and what was not mentioned, other than identical twins close siblings DNA will show a closer relationship numerically,


      2. Here’s my thoughts on the bullet with her DNA…. I believe that it truly had her DNA on it, and I do believe they found it much later. However, I don’t believe that it was found in the garage. I think they found it in the burn pit or the burn barrel. She was shot in the head twice. The bullet they found was a flattened fragment. I think that bullet was flattened by her skull and it remained in her head until her body was completely burned. Without any matter or tissue left, the bullet had nothing to to remain attached to. Why would they put it in the garage then? Because finding it in the burn pit, or the burn barrel that wasn’t Avery’s, still didn’t directly connect it to Avery himself. Everyone agreed that the bones were moved, they just didn’t agree from where they were moved. The was such a small amount of her DNA left on it because it was exposed to heat, but because it was most likely lodged in the brain, it was somewhat protected from the heat and fire by the skull. I know this is gross, but the burning would essentially liquify matter and tissue and seep out of the skull. The bullet would remain within the skull though, until whoever broke up the remaining bones and skull. If she was shot twice then there is still an untecovered bullet. Or, if the bullet they found was a through and through shot, there would have been a lot of blood and matter remaining on that bullet. A lot of people think that they went back to search because Bredan said she was shot in the garage, but remember they already knew she was shot before speaking with Brendan. Even if Brendan had been the one to first talk about her being shot, which he wasn’t, they already knew it. That was the one piece of information they didn’t release to anyone else…..


      3. I believe the melting point of lead, and for that matter several other metals,is far lower than degree of heat that it would take to burn those bones into that condition, and of course blood dna would not survive, especially inside a cranium, which would be akin to a retort that holds the heat in. but it is worth verifing your theory


      4. That makes sense. So then if she was shot 2 times, one bullet would have had to enter and exit her head (or body if you believe she was shot more than twice)without leaving a substantial amount of blood and tissue. I haven’t had a chance to read the full testimony yet on what was said, but do do you know if there was any evidence consistent with a bullet entering and exiting through the skull?


      5. There was the forensic anthropoligist lady that testified, and theorized that there was a gun shot wound to the skull of the bones found in the pit, but I do not think the defense attorneys, queried the lady about the fact that there could have been other weapons/factors that could have left the very same concave configuration, and subsequent, fracture, or stress marks. This may come as a shock, but I am not convinced that those bones were teresas” as yet ” and remember, it very easy to plant dna anywhere


      6. Very compelling theory. You know, if Kratz wants to complain that some of the most condemning evidence against Avery wasn’t shown in the documentary, maybe some journalist should say to him, “Oh, thanks for pointing that out, Mr. Kratz. By the way, could you also please comment on the pieces of condemning evidence against Brendan Dassey that the filmmakers failed left out? They are obviously hiding something, given that their entire documentary fails to show ANY genuine evidence against Dassey.”


      7. Clarence Burcham ( Moorehead Minnesota) (St. Paul, Pioneer Press 1-17-2016) same similar type of case detectives use the Reid Technique on the accused to elicit a confession. IQ of defendant about 74, all Burcham wanted is to go with the family on a camping trip, they lead him down the yellow brick road and just like Dassey using the Reid technique.only in this case “false confession expert” Lawrence White of Beloit Wisconsin was called in,convinced the Jury that his coersed confession had no merit “not guilty” Dassey Did not have the benifit of having Lawrence White at his trial, and worse! was stuck with a Jury that did not, see any thing wrong with having a low IQ because they were rational wer’nt they. I hear IQ numbers bantied about as if they are scientfic fact etched in stone, they are not folks, There are some “savants that have extreme IQs but can not tie their shoes, IQ, do not measure cognitive abilities, IQs do not measure a persons sense of reality, there are many completely insane people with high IQs, What is your IQ when you are drunk,or high, The same as when you are sober? There millions of people that can not tell if they are on foot or horseback down south they call them “slow” Bottom line Dassey should have been psychologically, evaluated before turning the Rein technique used on him. and Dassey should have been afforded the likes, of Lawrence White. I wonder Did anyone compile the IQ of the Jury Hmmmm.


      8. I wonder Did anyone compile the IQ of the Jury Hmmmm.

        I really hate it when people diss juries like this.

        I sat in on a jury selection this week. I watched hundreds of people cycle through the courtoom all prepared to spend some four months of their lives to help bring about justice in a horrendous, high profile murder case.

        Who the hell do you think jury members are? And who do you think they’re supposed to be? 12 ordinary citizens who are there to put a check on the professionals in the justice industry.

        Occasionally they get it wrong but most of the time they get it right.

        And in this case, BTW, you’re dissing the jury despite the fact that they had evidence withheld from them that you know about. It’s almost as if you think they’re better than those 12 ordinary citizens.


      9. Thank you for the opprotunity, to explain myself. Our constitution gaurentees a right to trial by a jury of our peers, do you agree? potential jurors start out by being selected from voter registration, master lists usually by a county clerk , and in a county the size of manitowoc my guestimate is about 20 k registered voters( any one have exact figures please chime in) usually if a trial is going to be say in the city of manitowoc, you want jurors that will have no difficulty getting there on time thus close by maybe within a 5-8 mile radius of the court house, Ideal jurors from the prosection prospective would be (especially in this case) would consist of mostly women, with daughters, granddaugters, that fit a profile that is desirable, from a marketing standpoint ie no sales resistance, as well as folks form a concentrated, homogenous grouping of like minded neighbors, that may have many levels of shirt tailed relationship with all the actors in this case,as well as going to commuinty functions, church, live in the same neighbor hood, your kids know thier kids in other words the police county, and city employees, are known trusted members of your community and thanks to the selection process. you have again a selection of jurors that would make a prosecutor giggle. Another analogy that many know to be true would be, a black man accused of raping a murdering a white women in rural missssippi somewhere. The homogenous make of that population is 60 percent black, verses 40 percent white, and that white community by the way, all live in a specific district, but when the 12 good men and true are finally seated, there are 11 white, and one black juror, can you begin to fathom the problem, the deck was stacked, jurors “”Potential Jurors”” were cherry picked. And the end result would be akin to 11 white hungry wolves and one black sheep deciding whats going to be for dinner


      10. So what’s the bottom line here? First you, suggested jurors are dumb. And then you wrote a long screed supposed to show gawd knows what. I have no idea what point you’re trying to make.


      11. if you have no Idea what Im talking about, that sort of proves my point, I hope for any defendants sake you “never” make it onto a jury


      12. Let me give you a shorter version , that maybe you can understand, Its hard to see the light though glasses heavely laden with the tint of bias. “That is Dumb” would you agree


      13. Ann I am not pychic but I can practically visualize your working feveroushly, to craft a resonse to my last comments, but before you do I think it would be helpful, if you googled ” A brief history of the Idea of Critical Thinking” not trying to be smug, just helpful. honestly


      14. Why do you have to be so condescending and arrogant? You keep criticizing people for their thoughts and comments and ridiculing them for where they are getting their information, but weren’t you the one going on and on about the towel incident and how Teresa said Avery gave her the creeps? If you had taken the time to research that “fact” yourself, you would have realized that this was not what the Auto Trader receptionist said. You also wouldn’t have used it as an example of “evidence” the filmmaker’s left out, because as it turns out, it wasn’t evidence at all. It was testimony. Testimony given outside the presence of the jury. You would have also discovered that Steven Avery had a little pool in his back yard and that Teresa had gone out there approximately six times since June of 2005. It may have even crossed your mind that he might have been in his little pool out back when she came, and he covered himself with a towel before walking through his patio door in the back, to answer the front door where she was knocking. You might have thought twice before perpetuating a rumor as a fact.


      15. Says the woman trying to suggest that Teresa Halbach was socializing with Steven Avery.You’re edging into victim blaming territory.


      16. Are you serious??? I’m claiming that she was socializing with Steven Avery????? From June of 2005 to October 2005 she went there 6 times to take pictures of vehicles for Auto Trader. That is an undisputed fact. How on earth did you interpret that as she was socializing with him and that I’m somehow blaming her?


      17. Stormy, I am glad that you brought up the Dassey jury, because I have been wanting to reiterate something that I think I mentioned in this blog before:
        My own guess about the Dassey jury is that their decision might not have anything to do with their collective IQ. I am going to assume that (based on probabilistic reasoning about the jury pool, etc.) that they had an average collective IQ, and I believe that Avery’s jury did too. We know that it wasn’t the collective IQ of the jury that put Avery away. It was something strange that went on in the deliberations that caused jurors to eventually start trading votes, to render two inconsistent verdicts, reasoning that those two verdicts would send a clear message to the Appeals Courts, and their gamble failed.

        I think that something very strange and very awful (for Dassey and for the Justice System) happened in Dassey’s jury deliberations. I think that the majority of people on that jury saw early on in the trial that Dassey was a pawn in Kratz’s game.

        It would be unkind and unfair for me to say that both juries “chickened out and failed the Justice System”, but only because I wasn’t there on the jury. I wasn’t in their shoes.


  37. AnnB,

    If, in fact, you did ban JohnR, I am asking you to take the high road and “un-ban” him … even if “un-ban” is not a real word. 🙂

    I’ll be the first (the second!) to say that it was way below the belt. I was going to respond directly to his comment last night, but you banned him quite soon after he posted that comment.

    Again, the comment was totally uncalled for, but please consider taking the high road on this. JohnR has added one useful comment after another to this blog, in my opinion. Please weigh that against one remark — admittedly a remark that was highly uncalled for — and consider that the tone of that remark simply was not, is not, anywhere close to his normal tone.

    In general, his critiques of what others have to say are almost always constructive and instructive, especially when compared to many responses that sound like downright personal attacks that wind up generating dialogues that are unnecessary, way off the subject, and often regrettably overheated, when viewed in hindsight.

    So, please consider this request from someone who doesn’t personally know him but who appreciates his contributions. Thanks.


    1. For all those on this thread, that are in a purse fight over the so called bias of the documentary producers, you must really read the transcripts, because the documentary went easy on them. IMO


      1. Stormy,

        Just to be sure I understand your comment, you are saying that the documentary went easy on whom? Thanks.


      2. my bad, the documentary did not show all the holes in the the prosecutorial, and the investgative process.


      3. Ah … OK …. Whew! Your post just prior to this one had me goin’ for a moment! 🙂
        Ya, I mean, just so many scenes stood on their own merit as clear and convincing evidence (for me) that Avery simply did not get a fair trial, and of course, that a mentally challenged teenager was going to be dragged into hell-on-earth for having done nothing wrong.

        I will make an even stronger statement. Video news footage — not even footage shot by the filmmakers — of Ken Kratz’s “clever little sabotage” story of rape, stabbing, and throat-slashing, read aloud for any network that would subsequently choose to pick it up and re-air it, was all the proof that I needed to convince myself that neither Avery nor Dassey were going to receive a fair trial … it was clear to me that the fix was in … even before the trials started.

        That story would have produced unreasonable and non-removable bias even if it had been true! The fact that it was false just blew everything out of the water.

        Just as bad — if not worse — is the inevitable trauma that our “sweaty body raconteur” induced in the minds of anyone close to Teresa, and infinitely more so, in the minds of her immediate family members.

        My opinion that he acted criminally is simply my opinion. But I will never back down from stating that he knowingly acted amazingly unethically.

        I remember years ago when members of the Duke lacrosse team had been accused of raping a woman. Not having been there myself, all I can say is that the story that eventually emerged was that the D.A., Mike Nifong, went after these athletes very hard. Their parents could afford attorneys talented enough to make the case that he had pursued them in a manner alleged to be highly unethical. Charges were dropped against the athletes, and their attorneys were successful in ruining Nifong’s entire career.


        Time will tell if Kratz’s worst days are behind him.


      4. This investigation from the get go, got off, on two obvious ass umtions, 1, she was dead already, and 2. avery killed her. It was all down hill from there, then it was a matter of pounding square pegs in round holes, if there was exculpitory evidence, to the prosection theory,” make ajustments”, and or just keep that evidence, out of the picture, or glaze over it. And man was there a lot of glazing, there is enough holes in this case to start a golf course. Trust me the whisle blowers will be coming forth, and the Krats gang will looking to move to equador. Excuse the rant but I,ve been holding it in, and had to let off a little steam. Feel better now.!


    2. If he apologizes, I might consider it. Remember, he smeared a woman who was brutally raped and assaulted, and then admitted to misidentifying the perpetrator (in an identification process contaminated by the police). After all this she was attacked by JOhnR for expressing her opinion, an opinion he doesn’t like. It’s hard to get much lower than that.


  38. “I state repeatedly in this thread I don’t care if the filmmakers are biased or have a POV.

    My criticism of them is for concealing their bias and being dishonest. Not sure how you missed that.”

    You’re still contending that? Once again, why would they have to admit to a bias that they didn’t have? Their purpose was to expose the failings of the criminal justice system. MaM is “about what the state of Wisconsin did or didn’t do in its efforts to convict Avery.” (from their Q&A). And one of those things the state did not do is question or even ask for alibis for those closest to Halbach. Those important facts revealed themselves through the direct testimony of the ex fb and brother. The fact that you find the filmmakers dishonest for showing their testimony speaks to your bias, not theirs.

    I must have also missed the part where you revealed your own bias in wanting to impugn the filmmakers because of your work in the criminal justice system. Better to kill the messenger instead of taking the documantary to heart and discussing ways to improve upon the failings of the system, a system of which you are apparently a part. A lack of impartiality, humility and interest in the truth, combined with a refusal to accept any measure of doubt and becoming intransient once an idea has taken root…..these are the all-too-human failings of the criminal justice system. It’s sad to see that you’ve proven that it happens everywhere, not just in Wisconsin. And with that I’ve wasted more than enough time here. No ban required, everyone who disagrees with you is clearly not welcome here and has to be subjected to continual insults instead of rational discourse.


    1. You’re still contending that? Once again, why would they have to admit to a bias that they didn’t have?

      I am starting to find this conversation painful, so painful that I regrettably resorted to cheap snark with you.

      This will be my last response to you.

      Of course the freaking filmmakers are biased. They make the loathsome Avery clan of women abusers, sexual assaulters, cat burners and drunks look like an adorable 2015 version of the Beverly Hillbillies. They make Mike Halbach look like a villain. And they make meaningless red herring mysteries out of stuff they know — like that whoever was calling Teresa Halbach is not a suspect in her murder and never was.

      In the New Yorker article, Penny Bernsteen gives multiple concrete examples of their bias. If she’s not a credible source, then who on earth is?

      You’ve been brainwashed and you can’t even recognize it. Feel free to carry on without me.


      1. The author of the New Yorker article chastised the filmmakers for turning a private tradgedy into public entertainment, while exploiting Penny Beernsten’s own private tragedies for an article! I’m sorry, but people like you and that author seem to think that because you sympathize with the victims and their families that you are somehow exempt from the rest of us in causing them pain when recounting every detail of their tradgedy in your own published opinion pieces!


      2. You are vastly oversimplifying the nuanced positions of people with whom you disagree on the big questions. It’s you who can’t tolerate dissent.

        I have not expressed an opinion on Steven Avery’s guilt. Without having read the transcripts, I’m leaning toward believing his trial was not fair, but I need to read the transcripts before going further.

        That said, the more I think about it, the worse I think Making a Murderer was a terrible, unethical piece of journalism.

        I have also said repeatedly that victims don’t get to have a veto or control of how stories get told, but they do deserve to be treated fairly. The New Yorker article writer makes a similar point. The fact that this sends you ballistic is revealing.


  39. Also, another thing I didn’t miss: your original response to my post, which came by email: “Your reading comprehension skills and analytical abilities appear to be lacking.”

    These insults only speak to your character, not mine.

    Oh, and practicing some selective editing in order to influence how you appear here? Okay for some, I guess.



    1. I took it out because the snark was unnecessary as I belatedly realized.

      Is that a bad thing now?

      PS: I’m not erasing your comment either as I could easily do.


  40. I apologize. I have a simple technical problem that I have spent way too long trying to solve. When I respond to someone’s post, I want to include a portion of their text and then put it in italics. I am using google chrome on a mac. I copy/paste the text into the text box, I then hit the Command key and the “i” key simultaneously, but it does not italicize the text. Can someone please tell me the secret??!! 🙂

    Sorry … and thanks!


  41. It seems worthwhile to restate the facts surrounding the 2003 Wisconsin DOJ investigation into Avery’s 1985 wrongful conviction, the 1995 phone call received by Sgt. Colborn, and Avery’s civil lawsuit and depositions, since they’re in the first 2 episodes of the documentary and many viewers forget the details with the onslaught of information about the subsequent Halbach murder, investigation and trials.

    This is what is known via depositions, statements, and other documents:

    The phone call which would have led to Avery’s exoneration in 1995 was apparently not reported to the Wisconsin DOJ investigators in 2003. No written report/statement of it was included in the documents the Attorney General received from Manitowoc County (see Rohrer deposition and civil lawyers’ remarks in doc.), and it was never mentioned in the DOJ’s report on their investigation (with their stated goal of assessing “whether any criminal or ethical violations were committed by anyone involved in handling the [Avery] case”). (see link below)

    In other words, the Wisconsin DOJ cleared the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department of criminal wrongdoing in the 1985 wrongful conviction of Steven Avery, but it never cleared them of any criminal wrongdoing in the ignoring of exculpatory evidence that would have freed Avery in 1995, because they were never notified of the phone call from Brown County to Manitowoc County.

    Click to access DOJ_Review_2003.pdf

    Avery’s civil suit was filed before the phone call was discovered; the incident came to light during the gathering of documents – and depositions investigating that phone call had just started in late 2005 – 3 weeks before Halbach’s murder.

    Following the remaining depositions, notification of the DOJ, and any subsequent investigation, any/all of Colborn, Lenk, Petersen, Kusche, Rohrer, etc. could have been added as additional parties to the ongoing civil suit through the joinder process.

    In the video-tape depositions (taken just 1-3 weeks before Hallbach’s murder):

    Oct.11: Lt. Lenk testifies under oath that he prepared his statement after meeting with then-Sheriff Petersen, and in it he states, “Sgt. Colborn said he was later informed that the case was already solved and the right person was arrested.” His statement makes no mention of Gregory Allen, Steven Avery, Peggy Beertsen, ex-Sheriff Tom Kocourek, or whoever Colborn allegedly informed about the phone call or who told him that the case was solved.

    Oct.13: Sgt. Colborn testifies under oath that he doesn’t recall telling anyone about the phone call except Lenk and Sheriff Petersen (and, again, his statement does not mention Allen, Avery, Beertsen, or any other names).

    Oct.13: Sheriff Petersen testifies under oath that he has never seen either Lenk’s or Colborn’s statements about the phone call before.

    Oct.26: Chief Deputy Kusche testifies under oath that Colborn told him that Colborn told ex-Sheriff Tom Kocourek that an officer from Brown County told him that Allen, and not Avery, might have actually committed the Beertsen assault.

    So from the very start of the investigation into the incident, there were conflicting stories.

    Just 5 days after Kusche’s deposition contradicting Colborn and Lenk’s – and 10 days before ex-Sheriff Kocourek was scheduled to be deposed – Halbach was murdered.

    Those are the facts, and regardless of whether someone believe’s Steven Avery is guilty or not, I would think that anyone interested in the accountability of law enforcement and public officials would still want to see an investigation done of this incident (and of any other improprieties associated with the Manitowoc and Calumet County Sheriff’s Departments’ handling of the case) – unless, of course, you believe that it’s OK for police to ignore exculpatory evidence of a wrongful conviction if they have a gut feeling that you might commit a crime sometime in the future.

    And the only way that this might feasibly happen at this point is at the Federal level, so if you haven’t done it already, please go to whitehouse.gov and find the petition for “Initiate a Federal Investigation of the Sheriff’s Offices of Manitowoc County and Calumet County, Wisconsin” and sign it.

    This petition is currently woefully undersigned – which seems really strange considering that hundreds of thousands signed a Federal petition related to this case which was not physically possible (Presidential pardons for Steven Avery / Brendan Dassey) – and yet this petition – which is something which is both arguably more important and also something the Federal Government could actually get involved in – can not raise the required signatures.


    1. I signed the new petition.

      Does anyone know if there is a single individual or single organization who is spearheading this particular petition? More to the point, can anyone point me to an email address or website of a person or organization that was involved in the wording of the new petition?


  42. “you think the brother was off because the filmmakers led you right down that path by your nose”

    I would have to argue that the filmmakers would have nowhere to lead the audience on the front of the brother if he never gave them content in interviews to use. I am not questioning your belief on the police force, let’s stay focused on the filmmaking and Mike Halbach. Regardless of whether he was a suspect or not to the police, defense, etc, can you realistically say you have absolutely no doubt he was not involved in any way?
    Also, a documentary that covers a man being prosecuted is likely going to criticize those who are prosecuting him. Kratz, for example, was brought on as a main antagonist of the documentary besides the police. However, before the reports of his wrongdoings came out, what was Kratz but an honest government employee trusted by the Halbach family?
    I detest your opinion that the filmmakers targeted Mike Halbach. Rather, it’s an elementary film tactic to pit the antagonist against the protagonist. Mike is constantly ridiculing the entire Avery family and the defense team in his interviews. Whether the filmmakers inserted it or not, he still made those comments based on what can popularly be called a lack of evidence against Steven.


  43. So what do have to say about the recorded phonecall that pretty much confirms that the Avery property was NOT her last stop for the day and they were NOT in fact the last people to see TH alive? The State led everyone (including the media who fed the public) to believe that the Avery residence was the last time she was seen alive so that is where everyone focused their suspicions. FALSE. Listen to Det. Remiker phone call with Inv. Wiegert phonecall – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlyBVBJKTeM


  44. First, I had to scroll down what seems like miles of commentary–perhaps there is a better way to get to the comment box? Or maybe I am doing something wrong, but I did get to read a range of prior opinions, that said….

    hasn’t anyone become concerned about the poor chances that the mentally retarded have for receiving justice from our so called justice system?

    I gues most people don’t know what those IQ numbers mean that were bandied about. If indeed Stephen Avery’s IQ is 70, he is “Moderately” retarded. I have an MR child, and I personally like the phrase mentally retaeded because we all know what that means, not some fuzzy wuzzy phrase such as slow, or dim or even “salt of the earth” such as some have chosen to describe any number of the Avery clan.

    Ihave known and worked with, and advocated for many hundreds if not thousands of MR friends and fellow citizens so perhaps I see this through a different lens, but it seems to me that the series shows in painful detail how excruciatingly slow and convoluted it can be for the MR population to navigate a system any of us would find unmanageable without professional help.

    I don’t say it to insult anyone, and I am familiar with rural life, but it seems to me that many of the Avery clan appear to be trying to navigate the whole world through their own mental retardation. I have to applaud them for their fortitude while being caught up in the storm of blatant police corruption and prejudice that has amply been shown.

    The other thing that deeply disturbs me is complete lack of interest the local law enforcement apparatus apparently has for women who have been assaulted, and perhaps even killed like Ms. Halmbach.
    Let me explain: upon Ms. Beerntsen’s interview I head no one ask or note her describing her attacker back I ’85 as “SHORT”!!

    Only a blind person would have left out identifying Stephen Avery as short. The fact that she had not mentioned his height (if that is indeed the case), should have sent a bell to the investigators that they might at a minimum wanted to look for someone who wasn’t as short–he looks about 4’11”-5’3″ small by anyone’s standards. There was no mention of the investigators matching blood type Avery in the Beerntsen case. That was available in the 80’s.

    I can’t as a woman law enforcement imagining sexual attackers as one shot Johnnies, or using those attacks as the stuff to settle grudge matches. But, it was a long time ago, and information and change take a long time to spread out like the ripples in a pond, to reach the low incidence countryside.

    It all just seems so craven of LE in this part of the world, to prey on an e extended family of mentally retarded adults, and even that child Dassey to become pawns in a cruel game where they just make up crime and punishments as they go along. Why, perhaps it’s just because they can.

    That should frighten all of us. The constant reminder of my life is to step back and ask myself how would I manage this or that if I was working with a small IQ, basically a small quiver of arrows to hit a target. By any measure because we ALL know for a FACT, he had nothing to do with the Beerntsen attack, and because LE had whatever reasons a desire to pin that on him other women were attacked.

    There but for the grace of God, go any of us…..no matter who disliked any of us for whatever reasons.


  45. People need to keep in mind that this is a “documentary” only because they decided to call it that. This is an admittedly skewed version of events, meant to entertain people. They purposely left out facts so that this slimy dirtbag named Stephen Avery could look like a helpless victim. He’s a psychotic killer. He lured her to the house and killed her. They purposely tried to make anyone else look guilty so that they could spread their propaganda. Maybe they didn’t think so many people would be dumb enough to think their “film” was factual. Lots of people are dumb enough to be afraid of “contrails” and to think Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer. Problem with that last one is he’s too young for most of the murders, but don’t let easily discovered facts deter you from your stupidly held beliefs. It’s a lot easier to just go along with whatever hype you’re being fed than it is to actually do your own investigation, or to find alternate sources other than some movie meant as entertainment.
    The only thing the police did wrong was the former conviction, assuming that he wasn’t also guilty of that, too. That doesn’t automatically mean they were “out to get him”. I don’t recall it stating anywhere that her body was fully cremated. Her parts were found in a fire pit on their property.


    1. “The only thing the police did wrong was the former conviction….”

      Sure, because I’d definitely want a police department that I was suing for wrongful conviction to investigate my involvement in a new crime that conveniently occurred just a week before the former Sheriff was due to be deposed.

      “…assuming that he wasn’t also guilty of that, too”

      Sure, because finding the DNA (i.e. a pubic hair) in the victim’s underwear belonging to a guy who had already confessed to the crime 15 years earlier (the *real* rapist) is not conclusive,

      What is it about this case that makes peoples’ brains switch off?


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