No matter where you go, it seems like everyone has an opinion regarding Steven Avery in the aftermath of the true-crime sensation Making a Murderer, which premiered on Netflix late last month. The documentary, from filmmakers Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi sparked more than just a debate as to the guilt or innocence of its subject and the alleged miscarriage of justice that led to his conviction (and the conviction of his nephew, Brendan Dassey) for the murder of Theresa Halbach. Soon after the series was released, petitions calling for Avery and Dassey to be granted a pardon made their way online. The whitehouse.org petition amassed enough signatures that the Obama administration was obligated to issue an official response. (SPOILER: because they are state prisoners, any decision regarding Avery and Dassey's future now resides in the hands of authorities at the state level -- that being Wisconsin).
Nevertheless, the case remains a hot topic amongst true-crime enthusiasts and television producers alike, as the folks over at Investigation Discovery have decided to strike while the iron is hot and dedicate a special edition of their series Front Page to the discovery and dissemination of "crucial evidence" in the case against Avery. Henry Schleiff, group president of Investigation Discovery, Destination America, and American Heroes channel, announced the news during the network's 2016 Winter TCA panel. In his statement, Schleiff mentioned that the special would be partnering with NBC News to scrutinize evidence they feel was left out of Demos and Ricciardi's documentary.
"We feel compelled to address what we believe are some critical details missing from the case as presented in Netflix’s current documentary series ‘Making a Murderer.' To that end, I am announcing here today, in partnership with NBC News a special edition of our series 'Front Page' hosted by veteran journalist Keith Morrison which will air later this month, January, in an attempt to provide critical, crucial evidence and testimonies that answer many of the questions surrounding Steven Avery."
One of the more remarkable things about Making a Murderer was the hardline stance the documentary took with regard to its subject matter. The evidence presented in the case and the conspiratorial narrative that unfolded over the course of its 10-hour run was compelling television, to say the least. The call to action that viewers responded to – in the form of the online petitions, especially – is certainly evidence of how captivating, convincing, and emotionally stirring the whole thing was. But now it seems that, following such a vocal, public response, the time has come for the documentary itself to be scrutinized, along with the details of the case around which the series revolves.
Earlier this week, former Wisconsin prosecutor Ken Kratz voiced his opinion that the docuseries omitted key details in its presentation of the state's case against Avery and Dassey. Krantz even spoke to The Wrap, sending them a detailed email with examples of what was not included in Making a Murderer.
A few of Kratz's details are below:
"2. Avery targeted Teresa. On Oct 31 (8:12 am) he called AutoTrader magazine and asked them to send "that same girl who was here last time." On Oct 10, Teresa had been to the Avery property when Steve answered the door just wearing a towel. She said she would not go back because she was scared of him (obviously). Avery used a fake name and fake # (his sister’s) giving those to the AutoTrader receptionist, to trick Teresa into coming.
3. Teresa’s phone, camera and PDA were found 20 ft from Avery’s door, burned in his barrel. Why did the documentary not tell the viewers the contents of her purse were in his burn barrel, just north of the front door of his trailer?
7. Phone records show 3 calls from Avery to Teresa’s cell phone on Oct 31. One at 2:24, and one at 2:35–both calls Avery uses the *67 feature so Teresa doesn’t know it him…both placed before she arrives. Then one last call at 4:35 pm, without the *67 feature. Avery first believes he can simply say she never showed up (his original defense), so tries to establish the alibi call after she’s already been there, hence the 4:35 call. She will never answer of course, so he doesn’t need the *67 feature for that last call.
8. Avery’s DNA (not blood) was on the victim’s hood latch (under her hood in her hidden SUV). The SUV was at the crime lab since 11/5…how did his DNA get under the hood if Avery never touched her car? Do the cops have a vial of Avery’s sweat to "plant" under the hood?"
It remains unclear whether or not Investigation Discovery's special edition of Front Page will include the elements detailed in Kratz's email exchange with The Wrap, but it seems likely that, with the special airing this month (i.e., rushing to air), at least some of these points will be discussed. As to the question of what "crucial evidence and testimonies" the special plans to provide viewers, well, that will have to wait until the episode is made available.
The special episode of Front Page will air later in January on Investigation Discovery. The first season of Making a Murderer can be seen in its entirety on Netflix.
Source: The Wrap