As you’ve probably heard by now, Making a Murderer is coming back to Netflix on October 19 with a Part 2!!!!!!
And since odds are you don’t have either the time or mental will to rewatch ALL 👏 TEN 👏 HOURS 👏 of Part 1, I’ve done it for ya!
So basically, here’s everything you need to remember going into Part 2:
We learn that Steven Avery previously served 18 years for a wrongful conviction.
In 1985, Avery was accused of assaulting and attempting to rape a woman named Penny Beerntsen.
It wasn’t until 2003 that new DNA technology proved Steven Avery’s innocence and he was freed.
Basically all of Steven’s enemies had some tie to local law enforcement in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin.
Avery had a
strained relationship with his cousin, Sandra Morris, who he threatened with an allegedly unloaded gun after he heard she’d been spreading rumors about him. Sandra was married to a sheriff, so basically, Steven’s case was treated more intensely than it probably would’ve been otherwise.
A three-month investigation was launched into Manitowoc County Law Enforcement after Avery was exonerated.
There ended up being no charges for wrongful convictions against the state, so to make up for his 18 years spent in prison,
Avery sought up to $36 million in compensation.
Then on Oct. 31, 2005, a young woman named Teresa Halbach went missing after visiting the Avery property.
Halbach worked for Auto Trader magazine and was there to photograph a van that Avery’s sister was selling.
Police found human remains in the fire pit behind Avery’s garage and Halbach’s car keys were found under a shoe in Avery’s bedroom.
Steven Avery was taken into custody immediately and subjected to interrogation without an attorney present.
Avery then settled with Manitowoc County for $400,000 and used the money to pay for a high-profile defense team.
Avery hired notable Wisconsin lawyers
Dean Strang and Jerry Buting.
Later, Steven’s nephew, 16-year-old Brendan Dassey, confessed to helping Steven murder Teresa Halbach.
Steven received additional charges of
sexual assault, kidnapping, and false imprisonment based on Dassey’s confession.
Suspicions started to rise that the cops who interrogated Brendan had coerced Dassey, who has a learning disability, into giving a confession.
The investigators who questioned Dassey were
Mark Wiegert and Tom Fassbender.
The defense presented evidence that only Steven Avery’s DNA was found on Teresa’s car keys, suggesting that someone had scrubbed the keys clean of Teresa’s DNA and then planted Avery’s.
Moreover, if Dassey’s confession of violently mutilating Halbach was true, where was all the blood?
They claimed Dassey’s confession was inconsistent with the evidence.
Brendan Dassey was denied the option of getting a new attorney despite the fact that his lawyer, attorney Len Kachinsky, tried to talk him into pleading guilty.
Brendan Dassey changed his alibi after telling his mom, Barb, that officers Weigert and Fassbender “got to [his] head.”
The defense team obtained a court order to examine the contents of Avery’s 1985 case file — and they found his blood sample had been tampered with.
The seal of Avery’s file had been clearly broken, and
the test tube full of his blood sample appeared to have a needle-sized hole through the top of it.
After that, the topic of Teresa Halbach’s voicemails came up.
After Halbach went missing, her voicemail box became full and couldn’t hold any new messages. But later, there was room in her voicemail, indicating that
some messages had to have been deleted — and by someone who knew her password.
Both Halbach’s brother and ex-boyfriend admitted to hacking into her voicemail, but denied erasing any messages.
During the search for Halbach conducted by her family, roommate, and ex-boyfriend, a family member found Halbach’s car in the GIANT Avery salvage yard after about only 10 minutes.
The roommate apparently gave the woman who found Halbach’s car his only camera before she set out to find the Toyota 99 Rav4.
Despite this strange coincidence, neither Halbach’s roommate or ex-boyfriend were ever asked for an alibi.
While calling in the license plate numbers for a missing person’s car — aka Halbach’s car — a police officer somehow knew the make of her vehicle.
When the dispatcher identified it as Halbach’s car, the officer responded, “99 Toyota, right?” This was two days before the car was uncovered in the Avery salvage yard.
Curiously, the officer was Sgt. Andrew Colborn,
who was deposed during Avery’s first case in which he was wrongly imprisoned.
Another suspicious key player who kept reappearing was Lt. James Lenk.
Lt. Lenk was the one who found the
car keys, and later, a flattened bullet on the floor in Avery’s garage. Like Colborn, he was also deposed on Avery’s previous case.
However, there was a contamination issue with the bullet when it was tested for Teresa Halbach’s DNA.
While the bullet
had come in contact with Halbach’s DNA, a DNA analyst said she had accidentally contaminated it with her own during the testing process. She then claimed there was only enough DNA for one test, so it could not be redone.
Weirdly, the defense also found that in the analyst’s notes from a phone call with prosecution investigators,
she was clearly instructed to “put [Halbach] in the garage or house.”
A lot of speculation surrounded whether or not Teresa Halbach’s bones were transported to the Avery property.
The bones expert said she couldn’t conclude whether the bone fragments were damaged in transport to the testing facility or, as the defense suggested, onto the Avery property.
Next up was the incident’s timeline, according to Brendan Dassey’s school bus driver.
Scott Tadych — Dassey’s step-father — claimed that Halbach was gone at 3 p.m. on October 31, the day of her murder.
However, the bus driver said she dropped Dassey off at the Avery property around 3:30 p.m. and Halbach was still there taking pictures.
Should the stability of her daily schedule overrule Tadych’s claim then?
Lt. Lenk then took the stand.
He said that he didn’t think it was wrong of him to search Avery’s home — unsupervised — despite having been deposed on Avery’s previous case.
Again, Lenk was the one who found both the car keys and the flattened bullet.
The defense brought up the need to test the bloodstains found in Halbach’s car for EDTA, a substance used to preserve blood for case file samples.
They reasoned that if Avery’s blood found in Halbach’s car tested positive for EDTA, then it would have to be blood taken from his case file sample.
So basically, it would confirm Avery’s blood was planted by authorities.
The FBI found no EDTA in the blood.
After several days of deliberation, the jury found Steven Avery guilty.
We then moved to Brendan Dassey’s trial, and a statement by Dassey’s cousin, Kayla, was immediately introduced.
Kayla, 14, stated that shortly after Halbach’s murder, Dassey started acting out and lost a noticeable amount of weight. She said that Dassey told her that he saw Halbach “pinned up” in Avery’s bedroom, and later saw her body parts in the fire.
Once Kayla got on the stand, she started crying and said that she had made her statement up.
The prosecution blamed this on family collusion.
Next, Brendan Dassey took the stand.
Dassey claimed that he first saw Teresa when she reported missing on the news, and that
he got all the graphic scenarios of killing Halbach from a book called Kiss the Girls.
The jury found Brendan Dassey guilty.
(Note Sgt. Colborn on the left.)
At their sentencing hearings, both Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey received life in prison.
Avery was sentenced without the possibility of early release, and Dassey was sentenced with a possibility of release in 2048.
Months later, Dassey’s post-conviction team argued that Kachinsky and prosecution investigator Mike O’Kelly violated their duty of loyalty to Dassey.
O’Kelly was even quoted in writing this about the Avery family:
“This is a one-branch family tree. We need to end the gene pool here.”
Moreover, Kachinsky and O’Kelly set Dassey up to be interrogated again the day after he was interrogated by O’Kelly — and
with Kachinsky absent, no less.
Later, news breaks that attorney Ken Kratz, who was on the prosecution for Avery’s case, had been sexting a domestic abuse victim he was representing.
Five other women then came forward with allegations of everything from receiving inappropriate text messages from Kratz, to even being invited on a date to an autopsy.
Because of the scandal,
Kratz resigned from office in October 2010. This ended his involvement in Avery and Dassey’s cases.
As of 2012, Steven Avery has been trying to fight for a retrial on his own.
Without the help of a lawyer, Avery researched, wrote, and filed a 38-page motion for post-conviction relief.
In 2013, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals denied Brendan Dassey a new trial.
Dassey’s lawyers petitioned the Supreme Court, but their petition was denied.
*takes a deep breath* And THAT’S IT! Now get ready to follow Avery and Dassey’s teams as they attempt to get them exonerated in Making a Murderer: Part 2 coming to Netflix on October 19.