DID STEVEN AVERY MURDER TERESA HALBACH?
OR WAS IT BRENDAN DASSEY? OR BOTH?
I have no answer to the ultimate question of who killed Teresa Halbach. Just finished binge-watching the ten episodes of “Making A Murderer” on Netflix and it was a bit strange knowing the outcome of the prosecution of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey while watching the events in the documentary unfold like a huge, multifaceted Sherlock Holmes mystery. And after watching the series, I’m no closer to being able to answer the ultimate question.
The Netflix documentary has ignited a firestorm of criticism of the judicial system, petitions demanding that the convictions be overturned and letters to President Obama requesting pardons for Steven and Brendan. The creators of “Making A Murderer” have been making the rounds of the media since Netflix released all ten episodes late last month and they have said that there goal was not to determine the guilt or innocence of either Steven or Brendan but to simply follow the judicial processes – the system – in dealing with, first Steven and then Brendan. It is this following of the workings of the judicial system that is so profoundly disturbing. I felt as if I had been dragged though a septic tank filled with human shit at the end of series. If this is how our justice system works, God forbid any of us are ever caught up in its clutches.
I urge you to watch this documentary. I don’t know how many of my European and Asian readers have access to Netflix and for the time being this is the only way to see “Making A Murderer.” For all our alleged devotion to and confidence in our American way of justice, after seeing this documentary you may never trust your local cop, a single judge, the FBI or a jury ever again.
Guilt or innocence? I don’t know. In my non-attorney mind, Brendan should never have been charged with the crimes he was, never should have been put on trial much less found guilty. Steven Avery? Was he framed by the Manitowoc Police just as he was railroaded by the same Police Department 20 years earlier and served 18 years for a crime that he didn’t commit? Frankly I thought that Steven’s defense attorneys made a credible case. The one thing about this whole sordid mess that I do know for sure: there is so much that is so deeply disturbing about the actions and inactions of the folks involved in the prosecution of Steven Avery this second time around (to say nothing of the first time) and Brendan Dassey as to make me wonder just what the hell is going on with our justice system.
|STEVEN AND BRENDAN|
A few of the many questions I have:
Why would a murderer leave the car in which he allegedly transported Teresa’s body parked on his own property? And why didn’t Steven simply crush the car in the car crusher which was on his property, that he knew how to use and would have made it much more difficult if not impossible to locate the car?
The DA and Police Department were broadcasting on television that Steven had committed the murder before the trial had begun. Isn’t this prejudicial? Why was Steven put in jail when Teresa was only missing at the time?
Why were Manitowoc Sheriff’s Department officers allowed to search Steven’s house eight time when a judge shifted the investigation to a neighboring county police department to avoid conflicts of interest and specifically ordered them not to be involved in the case?
Why was Steven’s blood sample – locked up and accessible only by the police and court system officials - from his prior case tampered with and who tampered with it?
Why was there no DNA of Teresa in Steven’s house or garage since the alleged murder and rape and stabbing and shooting were so violent?
Why wasn’t the key discovered after seven searches of Steven’s house? Why did it have no DNA from its owner but only Steven’s DNA?
Why was the single bullet in the garage found months after the garage had been searched?
Why is it that Lt. Lenk is the one who finds the key? And the bullet? Were all the other officers who conducted eight searches of the house and numerous garage searches just plain incompetent?
There is so much more.
As for Brendan Dassey, his coerced confession, his changing versions of events, his recantation of his confession, his mental deficiency (he had an IQ of 70) all indicate to me that his confession should never have been allowed in the trial and his trial should never have taken place.
Both men were found guilty and are currently serving time in prison for the alleged murder of Teresa Halbach. And what can you say about an arrogant, self-righteous, prick of a Special Prosecutor who gleefully tried and convicted Steven Avery in the media even before his trial began who was later fired and stripped of his law license after several women brought sexual harassment charges against him? This is the guy who lectured on television about the integrity of the police in both cases.
Bottom Line: This documentary illustrates the banal corruption of what is called our “system of justice.” At virtually every step of the way beginning in 1985 with the arrest of Steven Avery on eventually overturned rape charges to the current set of investigations, charges and trials of both Steven and Brendan the justice system wasn’t about justice at all. It was about convictions at all costs. It was about “Making A Murderer.” Two, in fact.