Steven Avery, convicted killer of 25-year-old Wisconsin photographer Teresa Halback, was sentenced to life imprisonment without a chance for parole, in 2005. A popular Netflix series recently gained the trial and questionable tactics used by prosecution and law enforcement, nationwide attention, and since then, Avery has managed to find the love of his life from behind bars.
Lynn Hartman initially had no interest in Steven Avery, nor in viewing the Netflix series, holding the view point that Avery was guilty. The 53-year-old from Las Vegas was in the middle of a divorce and from a law enforcement officer, when her daughter Kamilia inspired her to watch the hit series. Hartman shares her initial reaction to Avery and the case.
“At first, I wasn’t interested because I was a Nancy Grace fan, and I believed what she said about the case. So my answer to my daughter was, ‘I don’t want to watch it – I already know [Avery’s] guilty.’ “
She eventually caved and then over time came to be in a relationship with the inmate, later leading to an engagement via phone, this past September 6. Hartman shares how she came to believe that Avery was framed as a retaliation for filing a $36 million lawsuit against Manitowoc County in Wisconsin. She, as many others did, believed that Steven Avery was wrongfully convicted once more, following a wrongful conviction for a rape he did not commit, that sent him to prison for 18 years, prior to the Halback murder.
— Jane (@Jane_WI) September 29, 2016
The first contact Hartman made with the 54-year-old, was via letter. She sent the note along with a few pictures, and then offered him “any kind of support I could in any way that I could,” she said. Lynn shared that she never expected a response.
‘Making A Murderer’ star Steven Avery is engaged to Lynn Hartman — congrats! https://t.co/fd0YjdMKbK
— HollywoodLife (@HollywoodLife) September 25, 2016
The woman noted how Avery became a support for her while she went through her divorce, sharing how crushing the experience was.
“As it turned out, he became a support system for me. My divorce was crushing – it almost killed me. Here I am talking to a man convicted of murder, and he was my support system. But that’s what I fell in love with. This man still had the love in his heart to reach out to people and write them with support.”
It turned out that Avery and Hartman truly had a great deal to talk about, and that although Avery is not the best grammatically when he writes, he is well-spoken and intelligent.
“It was just a joy to get his phone calls. His letters aren’t necessarily grammatically correct and his spelling isn’t necessarily great, but when you got him on the phone – he’s a very intelligent individual.”
Even though Avery was imprisoned for life and had already experienced 18 years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit, Hartman shares how he loved to laugh with her during their first chats and describes him in a very positive light, as People shared.
“…in the beginning of our relationship, we spent a lot of time laughing. He’s a very happy – very loving, very selfless. He’s got a great support system with this family. He just wasn’t the monster Nancy Grace made him out to be.”
Avery told her he loved her at the end of their very first phone call.
After a number of phone calls and good conversations, the two decided it was time to meet, and Lynn shares that first encounter as magical. She shares how when first laying eyes on him he resembled a teddy bear and stated that the chemistry was unmistakable.
The relationship between the two has not been embraced by all, and Hartman admits initially being torn due to her long marriage to a law enforcement officer, seeing as she was now involved with a convicted murderer. However, the one person who always stood by her decision and relationship with Steven Avery has been her daughter.
[Feature Photo by Jeffrey Phelps/AP Photo- Pool]