Steven Avery, of the Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer, released a letter from behind bars to a Milwaukee reporter this month, after the reporter asked for comments on the case. Avery’s three-page letter indicates that he’s still claiming innocent of the murder that landed him behind bars for life.
ABC News reports that Avery, 53, convicted of the 2003 murder of Teresa Halbach, pleaded not guilty, and still stands firm regarding his innocence. In his letter, he declared that not only was the “real” killer still on the loose, but that the alleged suspect may be stalking another victim.
— ABC News (@ABC) January 22, 2016
“The real killer is still out there. Who is he stalking now? I am really innocent of this case and that is the truth!!! The truth will set me free!!!!!!!”
Avery also seemed perturbed with the way Halbach’s murder investigation was handled, specifically by the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department.
“Here, put this on and I will talk to you, and do an investigation of the sheriff of Manitowoc County.”
Avery expressed interest in giving an interview about his case to the media, but after the correctional department denied his request, his only form of communication with reporters is through letters.
— BuzzFeedEntmnt (@BuzzFeedEnt) January 23, 2016
He also touched on his former fiance, Jodi Stachowski, who adamantly defended Avery during her appearance on Making a Murderer. Recently, she had a change of heart, and accused him of emotional and physical abuse. She said her former fiance threatened her prior to filming and was told to lie during her interviews for the documentary.
Avery thinks that the state possibly paid Stachowski to turn against him.
“How much money Jodi get to talk bad! The state $.”
Avery’s letter comes shortly after attorney Ken Kratz stated that most of the Making a Murderer documentary was completely slanted to persuade viewers to side with the defense. Kratz, now a defense attorney, prosecuted Avery in 2007.
“This is not a documentary at all. It’s still a defense advocacy piece. Their bias, their outcome, where they want the viewers to go with this, what they spoon feed the viewers, what they pick and choose by way of facts, what they leave out, importantly, causes only one reaction and only one conclusion: that Mr. Avery was innocent, and that he was the subject of planted evidence.”
Avery’s former defense attorneys, Dean Strang and Jerry Buting, disagree. Both lawyers told the Wall Street Journal that there’s “no question” that Avery was unfairly convicted. Buting indicated that he was disappointed with the verdict that landed Avery in prison, and feels this is the 2nd time his client had been wrongfully convicted.
“Neither one of us was there the day that he met Teresa Halbach, so nobody other than God can say what happened. But … there’s no question in my mind that he should have been found not guilty. I think he very likely is innocent of this crime and has now been subjected to another second tragedy of wrongful conviction.”
Strang agreed with Buting and added in that Avery isn’t the type of person who knows how handle harsh police interrogations and enormous scrutiny from the media, and if he were truly guilty, he would have broken under pressure.
“The fact that this man consistently maintained his innocence and never said something suggesting his guilt is probably the most powerful indication to me … that he didn’t do it.”
Although this is the first letter Avery sent to the media, over the years, his family consistently wrote to the local Wisconsin news channel WISN, fighting for his innocence. Yet, despite the massive amount of letters written on his behalf and a popular online petition asking for a pardon, Steven Avery remains in prison in Wisconsin.
[Photo by Morry Gash/AP Images, Pool]