Brendan Dassey: What Happened To Steven Avery's Nephew In Making A Murderer (SPOILERS)
The Debrief: Here's where the 26 year old at the centre of the world's most talked about murder case is now
If, like most us, you're finished with Making a Murderer and just need more answers, then you're not alone. The documentary series, while excellent, leaves rather an unsatisfying ending for something you've invested ten hours of your life in. Not that that's the fault of the documentary makers; that's just how real life works. Boo.
Anyways - since the show, a lot's happened with Brendan Dassey, Stephen Avery's nephew who may-or-may-not be involved in what's become one of the most talked about murder cases of the decade. Here's what's up with Brendan Dassey...
Who is Brendan Dassey?
To start, let's rewind all the way to the beginning. Brendan, now 26, is Steven Avery's nephew. At the time of Theresa Halbach's murder in 2005, Brendan was just 16 years old. Aged 17, in February 2006, Brendan was charged with her murder.
The documentary says Brendan is 'learning-disabled' and reports that he has an IQ of 70 and 'reads at a 4th grade (Year 5) level'. His Uncle Steven is also reported to have an IQ that low.
What was in Brendan Dassey's confession?
On May 13, 2006, in a four hour interview with the police, Brendan confessed to being involved with the murder of Theresa Halback - and implicated Steven Avery too. The interview - the transcript of which you can read here (beware it makes for a disturbing read) - states that Brendan was invited into Steven Avery's house by his uncle who 'wanted to show him something'. He claims that his uncle told him to have sex with Theresa who was cuffed to the bed. He did. Steven then uncuffed Theresa, told Brendan to grab her clothes and her shoes, took her outside and stabbed her.
What was Brendan Dassey sentenced to?
In 2007, Brendan was convicted of first-degree intentional homicide, mutilation of a corpse, and first-degree sexual assault. He was sentenced to life in prison. The earliest he will be looked at for parole is 2048.
Where is Brendan Dassey now?
Obviously, he's still in prison; the Columbia Correctional Facility where he was recently transferred to from the Green Bay Correctional Facility. His cousin Carla Chase claimed it was for his 'safety' although no evidence of that has come to light. On February 14th (Valentine's Day y'all) Barbara posted a Valentine's Day card in the closed Facebook group 'Justice For Steven Avery' featuring a picture of her, Brendan stepdad Scott Tadych saying 'Brendan says Happy Valentine's Day to all his supporters and family'.
A few days after, Brendan's brother Brad spoke to the Mirror saying 'I think they took advantage of Brendan's cognitive behaviour, Brendan was a target because as everyone says his IQ level is pretty low he doesn't comprehend right away like everybody else. Coming from a brother that has ADD myself, I don't understand things right away either and there's nothing wrong with that. It just takes us longer to learn certain things but once we learn them we know them very well.'
Speaking about the day Brendan was convicted, Brad says, 'It was such a heartbreaking thing to see that he thought he was going to go home the next day he thought he was going to go to school that same day - he had a class project due. A lot of people around the world were confessing to me that they broke down and cried when they saw that.' Considering the circumstances though, he seems to be doing as best as can be expected 'He thanks everyone around the world for supporting him and donating to his commissary so he can get things. He's recieving tons of letters every week and he's writing letters back. He apologises if he can't get back to you. Brendan is actually happy at this new place. He says he's got more leniency on watching TV and taking showers and movies and stuff.' Not that we should forget that he's in jail, 'It's definitely not fun being in jail and confined in a small space it's aboslutely horrible. It's a horrible way to live.'
Also - it's important not to forget the rap song that Brad made up insisting on his brother's innocence.
Despite numerous petitions calling on President Obama to pardon Brendan, the president has said that his hands are tied. According to a statement from The White House, he is unable to pardon them becuase Stephen and Brendan are prisoners of the state - 'A pardon in this case would need to be issued at the state level by the appropriate authorities.' They said. Wisconsin state governor Scott Walker also refused to talk about the matter saying 'I don’t believe we should undermine the criminal justice system. And this is a prime example.'
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You might want to think about the fact you're about to read something that wouldn't exactly get a PG rating