Viewers of The Netflix Original, Making a Murderer, agree that the series is undoubtedly favoring the defense. Filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos moved to Wisconsin for two years in 2007 to follow alleged murderer Steven Avery’s trial, and spent over a decade invested in investigating the case that has become a sensation.
Ricciardi has a background with law, and she used that to help compile over 700 hours of film, and carefully cut it into the 10 hours that has viewers begging the question, “Did he do it?”
While they could not include all the information that plagued the 6 week case, other viewers are wondering if they selectively framed the evidence they presented. Here’s some things they left out:
The documentary did not mention the several *67 calls that Avery made to Teresa Halbach in the days preceding her visit to Avery Road to photograph the van. State Prosecutor Ken Kratz also brings forth evidence that Halbach was feeling discomfort about the visit due to a prior experience with the Avery’s in which Steven came to the door in a towel.
Avery frequently called AutoTrader in the months leading up to Halbach murder, requesting specifically that they send her to his property to photograph the car. He also used pseudonyms, according to sources from Milwaukee Magazine. There’s further phone conversations that neither the defense or prosecution used in their statements due to their graphic nature.
A big dilemma that the film created was the DNA evidence. They show Avery’s blood (supposedly planted and likely containing a substance called EDTA) but other than that, there should be more DNA. Well, in the case there is. Avery’s fingerprints are found under the hood of her Toyota from when he supposedly reached under to cut the battery. This non-blood DNA is inconsistent with the Defense theory of planting, Kratz points out. Strang refuted stating that it is possible to transfer fingerprints from different surfaces.
Gruesome details left out- the cat incident that the series introduces in the inaugural episode was not nearly as innocent as the film portrayed. According to the Humane Society, A 2001-2004 study by the Chicago Police Department “revealed a startling propensity for offenders charged with crimes against animals to commit other violent offenses toward human victims.”
A Petition with over 100,000 signatures requesting a pardon for Avery was misdirected to the President. Avery and Dassey are both state prisoners, and would need to be pardoned at the state level.
All this considered, Kratz’s reliability is still compromised, which leaves everything still feeling murky. A great question to consider is the fate of Brendan Dassey, convicted of different charges than Avery but during the same crime. With all the focus on his uncle, Dassey could be the next generation of the Avery clan truly failed by the justice system.