Making a Murderer season 2 arrives on Netflix, and its ending sheds chilling new light on the death of Teresa Halbach. The true crime documentary series debuted in 2015 and outraged viewers around the world, covering in detail how Manitowoc County resident Steven Avery was imprisoned for 18 years for a crime he did not commit, and was finally exonerated only to end up in prison once again for the alleged murder of photographer Teresa Halbach.
Avery's nephew, Brendan Dassey, was also given a life sentence following a confession to his role in the murder that many saw as being coerced, with the investigators feeding him key information that only the killer could have known. Dassey was only 16 at the time of the interrogation and has a low IQ - both details that his lawyers claim demanded "special care" that was not given at his trial.
Fighting in Brendan Dassey's corner are the legal team of Laura Nirider and Steven Drizin, who specialize in convictions of children or adolescents based on confession that are believed to be false or coerced. Working on Steven Avery's base is Kathleen Zellner, a defense attorney famous for overturning wrongful convictions. By the end of Making a Murderer season 2 neither Brendan nor Steven have been exonerated, but the show does shed some new light on the death of Teresa Halbach.
- This Page: New Evidence Presented in Making a Murderer Season 2
- Page 2: The End Of Making A Murderer Season 2 & What Happened Next
Bobby Dassey's Computer
The most compelling piece of evidence presented in Making a Murderer season 2 is the search history on the computer used by Brendan Dassey's brother and Steven Avery's nephew, Bobby Dassey. A CD containing an analysis of the computer's contents showed an internet history filled with hundreds of searches for graphic violence, rape, murder, bestiality, and child pornography, including pictures of dead and mutilated bodies. Astoundingly, this CD was maintained in the possession of investigator Tom Fassbender until December 2006, more than a year after Halbach's death. Avery's defense team was not made aware of its contents, and it was never presented as evidence at the trial. In an email to Avery's defense team arranging pretrial stipulations, prosecutor Ken Kratz claimed that the CD contained "nothing of evidentiary value."
Now, common sense would dictate that someone connected to the murder of a young woman having pictures of dead women on his computer and an apparent fixation on rape and death is indeed "of evidentiary value." On this basis, Zellner argues, keeping the CD out of the trial was a clear Brady violation - proof that the prosecution withheld evidence relevant to the case, which would almost certainly have impacted the jury's decision. Bobby Dassey was a key witness at his uncle's trial, claiming that he saw Teresa Halbach walking up to Avery's trailer, and Kratz repeatedly claimed that Bobby Dassey's credibility as a witness was exemplary.
In addition to the contents of the computer obviously casting fresh light on Bobby Dassey's testimony, Making a Murderer season 2 also demonstrates that he contradicted the testimony he gave at the trial on at least two different occasions. During the investigation Bobby's brother, Dylan, said that Bobby told him he'd seen Teresa leaving the property. More recently, Bobby's mother Barbara said in a Facebook post that Bobby had told her he'd never actually seen Teresa going up to Steven Avery's trailer - which could mean that he committed perjury during the trial. Pulling all of this together, Zellner argues that it was Bobby Dassey, not Steven Avery, who killed Teresa Halbach, and that he did so with the help of his stepfather, Scott Tadych. She further argues that the prosecutors used the contents of Bobby Dassey's computer as leverage to pressure him into testifying against his uncle at the trial.
The County Coroner & Human Remains
Zellner also presents another strong piece of evidence that the investigators may have framed Steven Avery: Manitowoc County coroner Debra Kakatsch was barred from investigating the crime scene. In Making a Murderer season 2's final episode, Kakatsch recalls that the sheriff actually threatened to arrest her if she attempted to go near the crime scene, claiming that there was a "conflict of interest" due to Avery's lawsuit for his previous wrongful conviction. However, this "conflict of interest" did not prevent the officers involved in the previous Avery case from being given access to the crime scene and (rather suspiciously) discovering Teresa's car keys in a room that had already been searched. Unlike these officers, Kakatsch had never actually had any involvement with the previous Avery case, and nor had anyone in her office.
Because Kakatsch was blocked from the crime scene, the bones discovered on the Avery property and the adjacent quarry were never examined on-site by a coroner or a forensic anthropologist. Moreover, prosecutor Ken Kratz dismissed the bones found in the quarry as only being "possibly human," when in fact the evidence log shows that many of them were definitely human bones. Because of this, the jury was led to believe that all of Teresa Halbach's remains were found on the Avery property, when in fact many of them may have been found in the quarry. Compounding the evidence that Teresa was killed in the quarry is the fact that her last cell phone transmission bounced off a tower near where the bones were found.