Netflix’s Making A Murderer is the hottest new trending topic of conversation in 2016 for anyone whose seen or has not seen it. The 10-part documentary series by The A.V. Club and filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos is the must watch essential crime TV that has everyone streaming.
Filmed and produced over ten years, Making a Murderer, a Netflix documentary series, explores the unbelievable life of Steven Avery, a Manitowoc County, Wisconsin native who spent 18 years in prison for a sexual assault he never committed. Avery was exonerated by DNA evidence in 2003, and then filed a $36 million lawsuit against the county, its former sheriff, Thomas Kocourek, and former district attorney, Denis Vogel. Steven Avery was looking to win that case after a very crushing deposition against the people who falsely put Avery in prison for 18 years. However, in 2005, Avery was charged with killing young photographer Teresa Halbach.
I lived in WI at the time the news was blowing up about this in 2005, being heavily influenced by what I heard on TV. I had also been to Manitowoc around 2007; I fully get the Midwest lifestyle people around those parts live in. So I went into watching this new series thinking Avery was guilty just from the TV coverage of old and nothing could convince me otherwise.
For me, the damning evidence at the time (2005) was something that was not even brought up in the Netflix series. That was the fact that Steven Avery had called Teresa Halbach THREE times that day, twice using the *67 feature to disguise the caller ID function. Also at the time media was reporting that the last call that was made by Steven after he said she never showed up and never seen her. I figured it was Avery’s way of giving himself an alibi by saying that she never showed up.
But little did I know at the time that information was wrong. I didn’t find that out until watching the Netflix documentary series that is turning everybody into couch detectives, including myself. So knowing now that Avery did in fact say he did see her and the initial reports I heard were wrong and misleading, it was great to finally get to see the whole jigsaw come into play. In the end, all I want as well as anyone else is the pursuit of truth and justice for Teresa Halbach. I had already made up my mind up many years ago not knowing all the behind the scenes motions. But you have to scrutinize everything, piece together the many parts of the puzzle by going back to news accounts, documents and some court transcripts from the time. Those are interesting and shocking to see and hear in the documentary series, of the ways a “case” for murder was made. So relax your emotions and step back a bit, you will find that the bigger picture gets much clearer when you do.
Have I changed my mind? You’ll have to read all four parts of PopCultHQ’s special on How To Make A Murderer, to find out.
If How To Make A Murderer is your very first exposure to the Steve Avery and Brendan Dassey cases, do not let the emotional grimness of the show drive your judgment. That is, in the end, what a good documentary is supposed to incite: emotion and discussion. Filmmaker Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos did just that. They made a spectacular documentary series that has everyone talking. The documentary has also taken up 10 years of their time, money and lives as well as being equally invested in the plights of the Avery family. Watching the series was very difficult to keep away from having any emotional attachment and just keeping to the facts of the documentary rather than the heartstring moments. But for me it comes down to cut and dry facts that were used in the series and ones that were supposedly omitted.
Then-DA Ken Kratz has been fighting back hard in People Magazine this week claiming the documentary omitted key evidence.
Making a Murderer filmmakers respond to prosecutor’s accusations:
“Ken Kratz is entitled to his own opinion, but he’s not entitled to his own facts,” filmmaker Laura Ricciardi told The Wrap. “If he’d like to put together a documentary and try to discredit us in some way, he’s welcome to do that. We’re not going to be pulled into re-litigating the Halbach case with him.”
Added filmmaker Moira Demos: “I guess I would ask Kratz what he would trade it for. We tried to choose what we thought was Kratz’s strongest evidence pointing toward Steven’s guilt, the things he talked about at his press conferences, the things that were really damning toward Steven. That’s what we put in. The things I’ve heard listed as things we’ve left out seem much less convincing of guilt than Teresa’s DNA on a bullet or her remains in his backyard.”
“It was a nearly six-week-long trial, and it would just be impossible for us to include all of the less significant evidence,” Ricciardi told The Wrap when asked why some evidence against Avery was excluded from the series.
She added: “Without getting into trying to refute specific pieces of evidence, I would say that our role here was as documentarians. We were not advocates. We’re not part of an adversarial system. We were documenting this case as it was unfolding.”
With so much to talk about in this thought-provoking documentary, we will have to break this up into parts to give fans time to soak it all in. There is vast amounts of twist and turns that will keep you guessing.
What will we be talking about in our four-part series:
Part 1: Why is Making A Murderer on NETFLIX the Newest Pop Culture Sensation?!
Part 2: What was not in the series? (Plenty)
Part 3: Was there a conspiracy? (Manitowoc)
Part 4: Who done it? (Are there more suspects?)
Parts I will breakdown and what points I’ll discuss:
The Original Case
The Timeline of Oct. 31st
Be back for part 2 as I discuss what was not in the Netflix series
Making A Murderer