Last month, Netflix announced its second installment of the popular docu-series Making a Murderer, much to the dismay of numerous Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, residents, who say they’ve had enough of Steven Avery.
The Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter reports that residents of the Lake Michigan harbor town are sounding off after hearing that a follow-up to the first Making a Murderer is underway. The first installment brought nationwide, and even worldwide attention to Manitowoc County, but it came with the price of having a negative emphasis and impact on a number of businesses, organizations, and people. Many residents simply don’t want a repeat.
Manitowoc County law enforcement arguably took the biggest brunt of negativity, whether through threats, harassing calls and emails, or being called incompetent to their face. For instance, the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Office, along with the police department, received numerous violent-related threats throughout 2016, some of which were so serious that they were turned over to the FBI.
On February 3, a bomb threat was made against Manitowoc Sheriff’s Office, allegedly in support of Avery, and although nothing was found after two separate searches, it took the time and energy of officers that could have been better used elsewhere. The Manitowoc police commented on the matter.
“The caller made statement of getting ‘justice for Steven’ in an apparent reference to Steven Avery.”
Phone calls continue to come in to the police department, and although the lines slowed down in recent months, the next installment could possibly make matters worse.
CBS Minnesota reports several examples of phone calls and messages left for law enforcement.
“You can go to hell.”
“You are the worst department in the country.”
In January, just a few weeks after the first Making a Murderer premiered on Netflix, the calls were pouring in on a daily basis, according to Manitowoc County Sheriff Robert Hermann.
“The calls and e-mails are coming from all over…Germany, Australia…”
A convicted felon drove all the way from Florida and showed up at the house of one of the deputies featured in the Making a Murderer, just to make threats in person.
According to residents, local organizations have also suffered, including Manitowoc County Historical Society, who received so many complaints and one-star ratings on Facebook that its previous stellar reputation plummeted.
When Hermann learned of the second Making a Murderer series, his first thought was whether it would show “the facts” in the case, something he felt was clearly lacking from the first docu-series.
“Are they going to come out with all the facts they didn’t present in the first one? I don’t think that’s the case. The first one has been a terrible injustice to the criminal justice system, law enforcement, our area. It’s nothing about our criminal justice system as they (the filmmakers) say… it’s about the money they’re making off of this, and it’s at the cost of the Halbach family.”
In turn, numerous residents, along with community leaders, may end up hanging up on or ignoring anyone who asks for commentary about Avery, his nephew Brendan Dassey, or anything else to do with the film.
It’s difficult to say whether the next film will bring even more unwanted attention to the mid-sized town of around 30,000 people, but it will certainly keep Avery’s case in the spotlight, which is what Avery and Dassey supporters across the world are hoping for.
Avery and Dassey remain in prison, serving life sentences for the 2005 murder of freelance photographer Teresa Halbach. The original documentary successfully created doubts of the duo’s guilt in the mind of millions of viewers. Many now believe that Manitowoc County law enforcement not only messed up during the murder investigation, but also purposely planted evidence in an attempt to frame Steven Avery.
[Photo by Netflix]