Making a Murderer subject Steven Avery could find plenty of things to do to occupy his time in prison while he waits for the latest development in his attempt to win a new trial.
However, Avery chooses to keep to himself.
According to the Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey Discussion Group, a Facebook group of supporters of the convicted men, Avery does not participate in recreational time with other prisoners. He goes to work at Waupun Correctional Institution, finishes his shift and returns to this cell.
“Steven works every other day in the kitchen over a 10 hr span but he isn’t there all that time,” a group administrator posted June 14. “He goes in for breakfast then he is free til lunch and then after lunch he is free til supper.”
Avery is currently in a single cell and has no cell mate. He is housed on the fourth floor of the prison.
Avery and Dassey have been household names among true crime fans since the Making a Murderer docu-series hit Netflix in 2015. Both men had post-conviction cases underway when the production was released. Avery had been unsuccessful in previous bids for a new trial until Chicago lawyer Kathleen Zellner took his case in early 2016. Attorneys with the Center On Wrongful Convictions of Youth at Northwestern University became Dassey’s counsel in 2007, the year he was sentenced to life in prison.
Dassey’s conviction was overturned last year. However, the Wisconsin Attorney General is fighting to keep him behind bars. Dassey also largely keeps to himself these days yet has friends inside the Green Bay prison where he’s housed. When he thought he was being released last November in time for Thanksgiving, the now 27-year-old gave what food and sundries he had away to other inmates. He was scheduled to be released and live in Crivitz, Wisconsin, while working with re-entry counselors in preparation for a new life near Green Bay. A ruling in Dassey’s case is pending in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
Both men receive hundreds of letters from Making a Murderer fans, and find time to return some of them. Avery sent a Christmas card to his supporters last year, exclaiming that Science will save him and his nephew in 2017, referring to Zellner’s ordering of advanced forensic testing of evidence. He was even engaged for a time to a woman who watched the documentary and decided to reach out to him. They’ve since parted.
While Making a Murderer is widely popular, detractors say it is a one-sided piece that omitted key evidence. The largest proponent of this theory continues to be Ken Kratz, who prosecuted Avery and Dassey. He claims filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos painted him and the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department, namely deputies James Lenk and Andrew Colborn, in a bad light. Ricciardi and Demos don’t agree and say they asked Kratz to play an active role in the documentary, but he refused. Kratz says he decided against the project because Demos and Ricciardi would not allow him to screen a copy of The State of Wisconsin vs. Steven Avery, a short film that served as the basis of the Netflix series.
[Featured Image by Patrick Ferron/AP Images]