The hugely popular Netflix docuseries, Making A Murderer, created an army of armchair lawyers who were intent on proving the innocence of Steven Avery and his nephew, Brendan Dassey.
Making A Murderer launched an avalanche of Freedom of Information requests for local officials, and now Steven’s army of volunteer detectives has come up with new evidence that may prove Avery wasn’t given a fair shot.
Under “Body Found,” Halbach’s death certificate is marked “No,” but yet under “Autopsy Performed,” the coroner marked “Yes.”
Then, under “Immediate Cause of Death” is written “Undetermined,” but that word is later crossed out and “Homicide” is checked under “Manner of Death.”
Halbach’s death certificate was issued November 10, 2005, even though the Calumet County coroner had only just received her bones the day before November 9.
Steven Avery was charged with murder that same day, November 9, but without proof of death, the charge wouldn’t stick, so the rush on Halbach’s death certificate implies a rush to incriminate Avery by local officials.
Adding to the chaos of the death certificate, the portion identifying the bones as Halbach’s was filled out December 5, six weeks before they were positively identified on January 19.
If all this sounds a little suspicious to you, then you’re not alone.
At the very least, these inconsistencies speak to the level of unprofessionalism that led to the conviction of Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey. At the worst, they point to a conspiracy to put Steven back behind bars so he couldn’t damage the reputation of local authorities.
Steven Avery is currently in jail serving a life sentence for Halbach’s murder, which he claims he didn’t commit.
In 1985, Steven was falsely convicted of sexual assault, false imprisonment, and attempted first degree murder, but he was exonerated by DNA evidence in 2003. The DNA was matched to Gregory Allen, who was already in jail serving a sixty year sentence.
After his release from jail, Avery filed a $36 million lawsuit against Manitowoc County, its sheriff and district attorney for his wrongful conviction.
Some have suggested Avery was charged with Halbach’s death early to prevent the depositions of District Attorney Denis Vogel and Sheriff Tom Kocourek, who were responsible for Avery’s 1985 false conviction.
Vogel ignored evidence that pointed to Gregory Allen as the perpetrator of the crime, while Kocourek buried evidence of a phone call that would have proved Avery’s innocence.
After Avery’s arrest the two were never deposed and Steven’s lawsuit was eventually settled for $400,000.
'Making a Murderer' lawyers Dean Strang and Jerry Buting will discuss Steven Avery's case during a speaking tour https://t.co/nkds1L8pBt— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) March 2, 2016
Avery’s new lawyer, Kathleen Zellner, is sifting through a mountain of new evidence and is awaiting an appeal in Manitowoc County court that could come as early as next month.
Meanwhile, Avery’s lawyers Dean Strang and Jerry Buting are planning a 26-city tour across North America to discuss Steven’s case with Making A Murderer fans.
Their speaking tour, “A Conversation on Justice,” will feature a Q&A session about the implications Avery’s convictions has on the American justice system.
Meanwhile, Making A Murderer directors Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos are reported to be in talks with Netflix for a second season of the popular docuseries, Ricciardi told Rolling Stone.
“From our perspective, this story is obviously not over.”
What do you think? Was Steven Avery framed for the murder of Teresa Halbach?
[Image via Making A Murderer]