The investigator who worked for Steven Avery’s trial lawyers has revisited a popular theory about who killed Teresa Halbach back in 2005.
Appearing on the teen talk show Corey Taylor Talks on Tuesday, August 22, Pete Baetz said Halbach’s body was burned elsewhere before someone salted her bones in Avery’ burn pit — a theory widely accepted by millions of documentary fans and web sleuths. But, according to Baetz, the person who planted the cremains is not who is currently being eyed as the killer. Baetz says it was someone as familiar with the salvage yard as Steven Avery himself.
Baetz theorizes that someone without intimate knowledge of the Avery property would be left to circumvent a potentially dangerous entanglement while trying to plant the bones without being seen.
“Steven Avery had a pet dog,” he said. “His name was Bear. He was a German Shepherd that nobody was going to fool with. Bear was chained next to that burn pit. He was your typical junkyard dog. Because that’s what it was — a junkyard — where he was living. Nobody not known to Bear was going to get in that area.”
Because the 26-year police veteran maintains that Avery and Dassey are not killers, it leaves just about everybody else in the family as a potential suspect.
“Whoever did it was known to [Bear], and was possibly a resident who walked in and planted it,” Baetz said.
Although Baetz did not name Avery family members, he said Halbach’s death could not have unfolded as the state described. The rape, throat slashing, shooting, and possible dismemberment, would surely have left a trail of carnage. But nothing remotely close to a bloodbath was ever discovered in Avery’s trailer or garage.
Only a speck of Teresa’s DNA was allegedly found on a bullet retrieved from the garage floor. For many, that leaves a gaping hole to fill with the explanation of where the horrific acts took place. The state claims the killers had more than enough time to meticulously wipe the crime scene clean. Baetz doesn’t buy that.
“You’re going to leave evidence behind, no matter how good you are,” the investigator said. “Cutting [Teresa Halbach’s] throat, which is what they accused [Avery and Dassey] of, is a very dirty crime. I mean, that there are droplets of evidence left by everybody, everywhere. The human body keeps blood under pressure. When you invade that pressurized container, blood is going to spray.”
Who did the slashing, cutting and burning? That remains an eternal question. Avery’s lawyer alludes to Teresa’s on-again, off-again boyfriend, Ryan Hillegas, and a possible accomplice, although she says Halbach was beaten with a mallet or hammer.
Making a Murderer fans ensnared in multiple conspiracy theories since the documentary premiered in 2015 were somewhat quieted this year when Kathleen Zellner filed the 1,200-page appellate brief that pointed to Hillegas. It put an end to some of the more outlandish theories that law enforcement killed Teresa Halbach, or she was the victim of a random serial killer known to frame people. Then there is the claim that Teresa is still alive, and that her bones were those of a Manitowoc overdose victim. That one didn’t check out either.
Although the Hillegas theory remains near the top of the list for those trying to “crack the case,” Baetz’s interview has prompted social media users to rein back in an earlier conjecture that Brendan Dassey’s brother, Bobby, and now stepfather, Scott Tadych, may know more than they testified to.
Those theories aside, Baetz is on the side of the Steven Avery “truther” movement. He says police were convinced from the start that Steven Avery was their man. And when there was little evidence to support that bias, they turned up the heat on Dassey. By making him a co-conspirator, police solidified their case against his uncle, Baetz said.
Baetz did reveal something not previously privy to the public, information he says confirmed that Avery was not treated fairly. Because Dean Strang and Jerry Buting lived more than 100 miles from the Calumet County Jail, they would sometimes send Baetz to visit Avery. Baetz said during one of those visits, a jailer revealed that his conversations with Steven were being recorded.
“That’s flat a** illegal,” Baetz said. “I was part of the defense team. They should not have access to what I say. Consequently, when [Strang and Buting] did visit him, they were really impaired in talking to him. A lawyer has to be able to talk to his client without hesitation. That is probably not grounds for a reversal, but it was indicative of what they did.”
While Zellner claims some of his family members had opportunity to commit the crime, her sights are not on anyone related to Avery. The Halbach killing was fueled by jealousy, and the perpetrator had a background in science, she says, the ability to extract human blood from a sink and transfer it to the victim’s car. Some of the Averys are hunters, but not experienced in applied science.
[Featured Image By YouTube/Screenshot]