I recently completed jury duty, and after the trial, the judge in the case suggested that I watch the program Making a Murderer by Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi. So I watched it. And like many others who watched this program, I was shocked, disheartened, and dismayed by its portrayal of our justice system. The program was one of the most disturbing ones I have ever watched. Yes, it may have been biased. Yes, it may have left out some key information. But the parts that they did show demonstrated a policing system that goes beyond the limits of reasonable behavior.
Questions I had after watching the program:
Why didn’t Brandon Dassey’s lawyers bring in the lack of evidence of the crime scene as he “confessed” it was?
If the body was burned in the bonfire, why weren’t the any bullets reported being found? Was there in fact evidence of bullets, and it was left out of the program?
Why does the same judge get to handle cases or defendants he has already handled? Can’t the defense ask for a different judge?
Why wasn’t the odd fact that Teresa Halbach’s key ONLY had Avery’s DNA on it, and none of hers? How can that be explained?
Where was her cell phone, purse, any other items she might have had on her possession?
Weren’t the police taking pictures of Avery’s room as they were searching it? If there were, why weren’t they brought into evidence?
Can a bonfire actually burn up a human body so completely?
If Halbach was shot, didn’t anyone hear the gun shots?
After watching the series, I don’t know if Avery and his nephew are guilty. I didn’t sit through hundreds of hours of testimony or pore over a thousand pieces of evidence. I have read since watching the documentary that many crucial facts have been omitted, facts which might convince me that Avery is not only guilty, but deserves his sentence.
I have since read several blogs on the Avery case, and I find myself a lot less sympathetic to Steven Avery. He was NOT the nice, innocent man portrayed in the documentary. If fact, the people of that community probably did know a lot about him and his family and had good reason to distrust him.
And finally, I must conclude, the very argument that might be used to defend Brandon Dassey in his dubious confession—that he was impressionable and handily manipulated—could also be used to explain why he was, in fact, involved in the murder of Teresa Halback. He easily could have been a tool in Steven’s hands.