Manitowoc County Board Chairman Jim Brey thinks Steven Avery is guilty of the 2005 murder of freelance photographer Teresa Halbach, and he made up his mind by simply looking at his eyes.
Post-Crescent reports that Brey sent an email to the Manitowoc County sheriff’s department after watching the popular Netflix docu-series, Making a Murderer, which apparently “disgusted” him so much that he felt compelled to open up about it. According to the email, Brey saw evil in Avery’s eyes and a look he would never forget.
“I will never forget the look in Steven Avery’s eyes when he was being brought into the courthouse….I know a person cannot be convicted based on that, but I made up my mind that day. Avery was guilty.”
The email came after Manitowoc Police Chief Nick Reimer watched Making a Murderer and sent his own email to Lt. Andrew Colborn, expressing his disdain for the film.
Colborn, seen in the film testifying during Avery’s trial, came under extreme scrutiny after the public watched the docu-series. Many Avery supporters contend that Colborn was part of the plan to plant evidence on Avery’s property and frame him for Halbach’s murder. So far, there’s been no proof that any evidence was planted.
When questioned about the evidence during Avery’s trial, Colborn denied any wrongdoing. Avery was ultimately found guilty of Halbach’s murder during his 2007 trial, but after Making a Murderer was released in 2015, the sheriff’s department has been flooded with massive amounts of emails and voicemails, accusing Colborn and detective James Lenk, now retired, of lying under oath and of framing Avery.
Brey’s email to the sheriff’s detectives was apparently to show them that not everyone feels that Avery is innocent and that they do have people on their side. Reimer’s email expressed similar convictions as Brey’s. Reimer, who wrote to Colborn and told him to “hang in there,” expressing his frustration as both an officer and a citizen over how a film created such a frenzy.
“I know you to be a great person and crime fighter. I find it not only difficult as a (law enforcement) officer, but also as a citizen to hear what is being said about the 2nd Avery case. It’s hard not to lose faith in the world, knowing that a Netflix movie can make people believe guilty people are innocent and then those people feel moved enough to contact (law enforcement) and say terrible things.”
Laurence “Buzz” Burzynski, a supervisory special agent for the National Insurance Crime Bureau, also showed his support for the officers involved the Halbach murders. He wrote that his thoughts and prayers were with the officers, and indicated that Avery’s history should prove his guilt.
“My thoughts and prayers are with you, your agency and all law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation of the Halbach murder…..Nothing is stranger than the truth, and the truth is that with Avery’s history, there was case oversite [sic] and it is inconceivable to me that there is anyone with a badge in our county and Calumet Co. that would conspire to frame Avery or any other citizen!”
Meanwhile, Manitowoc County Sheriff’s officials are monitoring social media and other parts of the Internet in an attempt to uncover any public stories and/or comments that back up the jury’s decision to convict Avery. Officials are reaching out to people who feel Avery’s conviction was justified, including an email sent to retired FBI agent Tom Aziere, who made a Facebook post denouncing Making a Murderer. Aziere also questioned Avery’s 2003 release from prison, stemming from a 1985 rape case in which Avery was found wrongfully convicted of.
Due to the popularity of the Steven Avery case, the emails exchanged between officials and officers associated with the case were turned over to USA Today under the public records request.
[Photo by Netflix]