All the things you didn't see on Making A Murderer.

WARNING: This story contains SPOILERS so only those who have finished the 10-part series should read on. Curious cats up to episode five – GO AWAY. Don’t do it. Seriously.

If you are still with us you’ve seen the Netflix documentary series, so we don’t need to recap the back story, the evidence against and for Steven Avery in the 2005 murder trial of 25-year-old photographer Teresa Halbach.

You already know Avery, from Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, has spent 18 years in jail for a rape he did not commit and was exonerated due to new DNA evidence. You know he was suing the Manitowoc County police in 2005 when he was arrested for murder. You know the show highlighted systematic flaws in the U.S. justice system.

Steven Avery when he was first arrested. Image: Netflix.

You also know you feel uneasy, frustrated, upset, restless even, about everything.

You want to know if there is any evidence you weren’t shown.

There is.

And if you want to listen to three smart women – including Rosie Waterland – discussing it all, you need to listen to this conversation, now.
Open a new window in itunes or listen here. The post continues below.

There was more to the story about Avery killing the family cat.

In the series Avery said he was “young and stupid” and made a mistake when fooling around with some friends who were “negging” him on when he tossed the family cat into a fire. He was charged with animal cruelty over the act. The Associated Press reported in 2005 that “(Avery’s probation) was revoked in 1982 after he was charged with animal cruelty for pouring gasoline on a cat and throwing it into a bonfire.”

Teresa Halbach was “creeped out” by Avery.

Ken Kratz the Wisconsin lawyer who prosecuted Avery’s case and, by the way said that the Netflix documentary was not impartial and had an “agenda”, said this month in an email to media outlets, “On October 10 (2005), Teresa had been to the property when Steven answered the door just wearing a towel. She would not go back because she was scared of him (obviously).”

teresa halbach making a murderer
Teresa Halbach. Image: Netflix.

According to Business Insider Dawn Pliszka, an Auto Trader receptionist who Halbach took photos for at the time, passed on this information to the prosecution. But her interpretation of events was different to Kratz’s. She said Halbach mentioned the towel and laughed and said “Ew”.

The judge did not allow this evidence because the date of the event wasn’t clear enough and there weren’t enough details.

Avery’s DNA was found under the hood latch of Halbach’s car.

Prosecutor Kratz asked how do you explain Avery’s DNA (from sweat) under the hood latch of her Toyota RAV4? Avery’s defence argued that police had access to Avery’s blood and could have planted the blood samples in the car. As this was DNA from sweat Kratz told The New York Times this month this evidence was “inconsistent with any kind of planting”.

The bullet with Halbach’s DNA on it matched a rifle that hung over Mr. Avery’s bed.

Kratz also said Avery’s gun was confiscated when officers first searched his trailer on Nov. 5, 2005, yet the bullet was found in the garage in March 2006.

bullet making a murderer
The bullet. Image: Netflix.

“If they planted it, how did they get a bullet that was shot from Avery’s gun before Nov. 5?” Kratz asked.

Avery’s former defense attorney, Dean Strang, said in The New York Times the family shot guns all over their property and bullet fragments were found everywhere.

Avery called Halbach three times on the day of the murder and disguised his number on two of those calls.

Avery called Halbach at 2:24 pm and 2:35 pm on October 31 using the *67 feature, which disguises the caller’s identity. Business Insider reports that Avery then called at 4.35pm but didn’t use the *67 feature.

“Avery first believes he can simply say she never showed up so tries to establish the alibi call after she’s already tied up in his trailer, hence the 4:35 p.m. call,” Kratz says. “She will never answer of course, so he doesn’t need the *67 feature.”

Halbach had reportedly been to Avery’s six times before the incident.

Steven Avery. Image: Netflix.

The New York Daily News reported that Avery called to request the photographer that “had been to his property previously” and that he used his sister’s name in the request (it was his sister’s car that Halbach was photographing).

Avery had recently purchased leg irons and hand cuffs.

Avery claimed they were for experimentation when his fiance came out of prison. Halbach’s DNA was not found on the items.

Some of the contents of Halbach’s purse were found near Avery’s house.

The contents plus Halbach’s mobile phone were found burned in the barrel near Avery’s house, according to Kratz.

Steven when he was released the first time. Image: Netflix.

“Two people saw him putting that stuff in there,” Kratz said. “This isn’t contested. It was all presented as evidence at the jury trial, and the documentary people don’t tell you that.”

In a recent interview, Penny Bernstein the woman who Avery was falsely accused of sexually assaulting and identified him as the perpetrator, said the “day I learned of the exoneration was worse than the day I was assaulted.”

She said she apologised to him and he was polite and attentive. She also said following his release he tried to solicit money from her.

Her feelings toward him “remain complicated”.

ken kratz
Prosecutor, Ken Kratz. Image: Netflix.

It’s probably best not to start on Avery’s nephew, Brendan Dassey’s trial and conviction as an accessory.

Maybe we all need to remember what one of Avery’s defence lawyer’s, Dean Strang, said after the trial:

“Most of what ails our criminal justice system lie in unwarranted certitude on the part of police officers and prosecutors and defense lawyers and judges and jurors that they are getting it right. That they are simply right. Just a tragic lack of humility in everyone who participates in our criminal justice system.”

Where do you stand on Making A Murderer?

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