‘Making a Murderer’ is famous for its investigation into the case of Steven Avery, who is believed to have been wrongfully convicted twice. The investigative series uses combined sources like newspaper clippings, videotapes, interviews, videos of court trails, etc., to build a narrative for its audience. ‘Making a Murderer’ was a sensation when it came out initially. It created a mass momentum that advocated the release of Avery and his nephew. In the aftermath of the documentary, many believed that they were wrongfully accused.
The series also serves as a critical account of the American justice system that hinges on the border of bias, corruption, and internal politics. However, it is pertinent to see how not all are in favor of the stance pitched by the documentary. Although it tries to incorporate multiple perspectives, it is still seen as favoring Avery over the victims of the crimes.
Who is Steven Avery?
Steven Avery was born and raised in Manitowoc County in Wisconsin. He worked at his family-owned salvage yard business. In 1982, he met Lori Mathiesen, who was a single mom at that time and married her. They have four children out of their marriage. Avery was previously convicted for three crimes for which he served time. This led to his bad reputation. He is even accused of having pointed a gun at his cousin because Avery was sure about her spreading rumors about him. As per his family members, he is believed to have been happy before everything went down.
In 1985, he was arrested for sexually assaulting and attacking Penny Beernsten, at the Michigan lake beach. He was sentenced to 32 years in prison after Beernsten confirmed him as the perpetrator from a police line up. In 2003, a DNA test proved that Steven Avery had been wrongfully accused of the crime for which he had spent 18 years in prison. This led to his release. He filed a lawsuit after getting out of prison.
In 2005 however, Avery was arrested for the murder of Teresa Halbach, who was a photographer. The added list of crimes involves sexual assault and mutilation of the body. The police found that Avery’s blood matched the sample that was found in Halbach’s car. In addition to this, burned bone fragments were found in Avery’s backyard that was identified to be Halbach’s. In ‘Making a Murderer,’ there is footage of Avery speaking right after crucial evidence was found from his garage, in which he says:
“You know, we’re all victims. You know, and they just won’t leave us alone. They just keep it up, keep it up. You know, it’s… You know, a person only can take so much… Right now, I have got enough of ‘em. They can go somewhere else and just leave us alone. Let us do our life and live normal.”
Soon, Brendan Dassey, Avery’s nephew, was also arrested concerning his involvement in the crime. His interrogation videos were controversial as there is conflict in opinions about how he was interrogated without notifying his parents and how the officers led him on with crucial pieces of evidence.
Where is Steven Avery Today in 2020?
In 2007, Avery was found guilty in the murder of Teresa Halbach. As a result, he was charged with first-degree murder and illegal possession of a firearm. He was eventually sentenced to life in prison with no parole. The sentence is also inclusive of five years for the unlawful possession of a gun. In 2012, he was transferred to the Waupun Correctional facility from Wisconsin. Recurrently throughout the following years, he was denied a motion for a new trial.
In 2019, Kathleen Zellner, an advocate for Avery, submitted a motion, which received a green light for trial court hearing based on evidence. This was around the same time Joseph Evans Jr., came out with a confession stating that it was he who killed Halbach. This, however, has been dismissed as a ploy for attention. Even Zellner refuted its credible probability. Awaiting more monumental changes in his trail, Avery continues to be in prison at the Waupun Correctional facility as of 2020.