entertainment

Making a Murderer: Filmmakers drop some truth bombs.

If you’re convinced the filmmakers behind Making A Murderer were blinded by a belief that Steven Avery was innocent, think again.

Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos gave a wide-ranging interview on Alec Baldwin’s popular podcast Here’s the Thing, which revealed their own conflicted feelings about the man at the centre of the case.

“He he had a big smile, he was very affable, he was very open, he was very gracious. Also it appeared to us that this was someone with a very simple value system. But a value system none the less,” Ricciardi says of Avery.

Teresa Halbach

Avery is currently serving a life sentence for the murder of Teresa Halbach.

In 1985 he was convicted of sexual assault and spent 18 years in jail before DNA evidence exonerated him.

We’ve got a whole podcast on Making a Murderer from our new podcast, The Binge, subscribe here. Listen to it here:

After being released in 2003, Avery sued local law enforcement in his hometown of  Manitowoc, Wisconsin. It was during the evidence-gathering process for the lawsuit that Avery once again found himself under arrest for a crime he claims not to have committed.

That crime was the murder of Halbach, 25, a photographer who went missing after visiting his home to photograph a car.

Her bones were found in a fire pit on Avery’s property. And in the course of the investigation, Avery’s young nephew Brendan Dassey confesses that he helped his uncle kill her.

Dassey, who has learning difficulties, is interrogated for hours before giving the confession, which he later withdrew. The tension in Making a Murderer turns on these questions of guilt, and presents a criminal justice system with many flaws.

Making a Murderer Filmmakers
Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos. Image: Getty Images/Robin Marchant
ADVERTISEMENT

“Following this case for a decade was such an incredible experience,” Moira Demos told Baldwin.

“We thought naively: “Oh we’ll get answers to these questions” and it’s just so clear that it just leads to more questions, and there’s no way I can claim to have any real certainty about his guilt or innocence,” she said.

“I think if I was on that jury I’d vote that they hadn’t proved their case.”

When Baldwin asks if she thinks Avery is innocent, Demos replies: “It’s guilty or not guilty, there’s no verdict of innocent in this country.”

The women, who spent years living in Manitowoc working on the series, said they went into debt to fund the series in the early days, finishing off their pitch to Netflix while working other jobs to make ends meet.

“We had no money. You know we had negative money, we were borrowing money,” Demos said of the early days.

“I sort of fell back on being an electrician… It allowed me the flexibility to do this project,” she said.

Steven Avery in a mugshot from his arrest for sexual assault in the 1980s.

Ricciardi, who left the law to study filmmaking, found herself back there to help make ends meet.

“I was working as a contract attorney… I was drowning in documents every day, and then going home and drowning in documents,” she said.

The pair say they think the documentary stands up to scrutiny, despite being accused by the Prosecutor in the Avery case, and others, of being one-sided.

And they said that while there may be more episodes of Making a Murderer, should there be any developments, they are hoping to move on to other projects.

“We made this series to start a dialogue and it’s important to us to be part of that dialogue, so we’ll be doing this for a little while and following this case if things develop, but we do hope to find another story to be told,” Demos said.

What do you think – guilty or not guilty?