The nation has gone crazy about a small town in Wisconsin and the very strange case history of one Steven Avery. Thanks to a very powerful documentary entitled Making a Murderer, Manitowoc County hasn’t been the same. Now, I’m in the unique position where my wife has quite the legal background. As we watched, hearing her opinions helped me understand what was going on, and hopefully can give some clarity.
Before I get into the meat of my blog post, I will say we did a ton of research as we figured the documentary only covered so much. Suffice to say there was some stuff left out that adds to the case, but all in all, my wife felt they did a pretty bang up job on getting everything across.
Before we can even investigate the murder, we have to deal with why this case has traction. Back in ’85, he was wrongfully convicted of sexual assault. Wrongful convictions unfortunately happen, but the part that sticks out was the fact another, much more plausible subject was presented and had even been under the watchful eye of the city pd. It took 18 years for Manitowoc to get that cleared up and the end result was a 36 million dollar lawsuit against them. That’s when things get hairy.
In 2005, while the lawsuit was still ongoing, he’s arrested for murder. Every piece of evidence from that point on presented became a hot topic of police corruption and that ‘out to get you’ feel. If you’ve seen the documentary, you’ll know the car key was found 3-4 days after the initial search. You’ll also know that truck she drove was found out on a hill, yet the Avery’s had a perfectly working car crusher. And worst of all in my opinion, was the confession of Branden Dassey.
The hardest part of the whole documentary was listening to this kid. At 17 and obviously a bit learning disabled, he’s harassed into giving a confession. Honestly, the story he lays out is surreal and doesn’t match any of the evidence presented. To make matters worse, his lawyer actually wants him to stick to it and plea out. He even sets him up to be interviewed by himself, under the pretense of helping.
I’m not a lawyer, nor do I pretend to be one. However, this has to be the biggest slight in justice in a good long time. I mean, how can that slimy prosecutor, Ken Kratz, even sleep at night? My best guess, Dassey was collateral damage to get to Avery and then no one gave him a second look.
This guy is portrayed as the villain of the series and for good reason. His own record is littered with terrible secrets too. Do you remember that press conference he gave? I mean after that, how could you possibly find a jury that wouldn’t be swayed? Even on Dateline a few nights ago he admitted it was a huge mistake. At the time, he knew what he was doing from moment one and this is his big victory. He’s going to be guns blazing to make sure a re-trial never happens, because it’s all he can hang his hat on. And don’t forget, he wants to write a book. He even had the gall to write Avery in prison and ask for a confession so he could have the happy ending.
My Own Thoughts:
I have no idea if Avery killed the women or not. He very well could’ve. I don’t think any of us know for sure, yet our issue remains the fairness of the trial. A good amount of that evidence didn’t get us from point A to point B. All it did was contradict itself, yet it was sold to the jury. For the people of Manitowoc County, you’ll never get out from under this shadow unless there are re-trials. Maybe it’s unfair, yet the legal system made a mess of the first go around. I sincerely hope for both families someone wants to get to the bottom of this and wants to do it in the right manner.