Channy Dreadful's Dreaful Reviews

Making a Murderer (2015)

Tuesday, 2 August 2016 · By: Charles Scott

True crime documentaries often condense events into 43 minutes on television. 88 minutes seems sprawling by comparison, if the filmmaker is allowed time to stretch their legs and really dig into a case. For Netflix’s 2015 series Making a Murderer, directors Laura Ricciardi & Moira Demos had over ten hours to explore their subject, Steven Avery, and still the audience is left wanting more.

 

 

Steven Avery is by no means a saint. He is by no means a rocket scientist. He also likes to drink, and he grew up in a somewhat cloistered environment in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, which largely revolved around the family auto parts junkyard on the outskirts of Mishicot. Add these things together, and it is no surprise that, as a young man, Steve had his fair share of interaction with local law enforcement.

 

At the age of 23, Steven was picked out of a lineup by a rape victim who had barely escaped her ordeal alive. He was sentenced to 32 years in prison, and served eighteen of them. In 2003, Steve didn’t come up for parole; he was found innocent. DNA evidence proved what Avery had claimed all along- that he did not commit the crime. He consistently maintained his innocence despite the fact that an admission of guilt would have made him eligible for parole under Wisconsin state law.

 

 

Upon his release, Steven became the literal poster child for wrongful conviction legislature in Wisconsin State, pursued a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the County, and returned to his family home in Two Rivers. It would not be a stretch of the imagination to think Steven would walk the straight and narrow after 18 years behind bars and with millions of dollars likely in his near future. However, the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department and neighboring Calumet County’s District Attorney Ken Kratz expect you to believe that Steve Avery made an appointment with an auto magazine for a photographer to visit his home, and brutally assaulted, murdered, and then mutilated the corpse of that same photographer.

 

Granted, this series does take the stance which supports Avery’s innocence, but I can honestly say, at no time in the 10 hours of documentation did I have a moment of doubt in which I thought perhaps he committed the crimes of which he was accused. The true crime, from my perspective, is the miscarriage of justice and the blatant underhanded ignorance of justice perpetrated by the prosecution and the complicity of investigators in the framing of an innocent man.

 

It is impossible to effectively convey the incomprehensible sequence of events which led Steven Avery back to prison, without the audience seeing them unfold and compound on film. I would strongly urge you to watch this series, and if you do not currently subscribe to Netflix, I suggest signing up for a free trial simply to watch this show. 


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3 comments

  1. I think it will be some time yet before anyone comes close to an unbiased account of all the facts. It may never happen. The biggest problem I see is that any police report or evidence brought by the prosecution is tainted, at the very least, by association. If, in fact, they do produce a second season, I think a resolution will not be forthcoming, unless a politician with some serious clout becomes involved- and at this point he's blown all his luck. These days, it seems "reasonable doubt" is a pipe dream. I can't offer a solution, but I believe there are several systems that are in need of replacement. Our justice system is just one.

    Charles Scott Fri, 5 Aug 2016

  2. I saw this when it first came out and took away something different. I worked as a corrections officer for six years then 2 years as a paralegal for my wife's law practice. So maybe I look at stuff like this a bit differently so I'll share a few thoughts here.

    First off, his nephew got totally hosed. I don't think anyone questions that. If he did have anything to do with the murder, its because he's got a developmental disability and would do anything his uncle ordered him to do. But his whole situation was the most infuriating thing out of the whole show.

    Avery isn't so simple and I had to break it down into 2 things.

    1. is he guilty?
    2. did he get a fair trial?

    By the time the season ended, I wasn't convinced of his innocence. I did some research and was able to find some of the actual case files online where I found some info that wasn't in the documentary. Namely some of his bizarre behavior toward the victim in her prior visits to his place. I won't go all into it here as that would take forever but you can find it. There were other things too like her remains being found there and some other stuff I can't remember off the top of my head.

    Basically my conclusion is I think he may be guilty. BUT I think the police also planted evidence to try and get a slam dunk. The only problem is they botched their evidence planting which only made things messier.

    This goes back to part 2, did he get a fair trial. He absolutely did not. The whole trial was a complete dumpster fire. That said, I do think he should get a 2nd trial. Many are calling for his release or to be pardoned. I think that would be premature. But yes, he absolutely should get a new trial with a new judge and maybe even in a different venue.

    The info on the prosecutor who was later busted for sexually harassing domestic violence victims, people like to bring that up a lot. Yes the guy is a sleezeball but that doesn't change the facts of the actual case. So those are my thoughts.

    Tim Miller Tue, 2 Aug 2016

  3. I completely agree with you and truly believe that Avery is an innocent man in his convictions along with Brendan Dassey. Although I do believe that Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey were entirely set up I am going in to the second season with an open mind. I think it'll be interesting to see the other side of things and focusing on why he just might be guilty. Until then I am going to try and not voice my opinion to strongly, but so far the evidence should be in Avery's favor.

    Channy Dreadful Tue, 2 Aug 2016

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