Steven Avery: What happened to the Man In Making A Murderer (SPOILERS)
The Debrief: Finished the show and curious about what's happening now? Here's an up-to-date guide on where the man that everyone's talking about is now.
Managed to get all the way to the end of the show that everyone's talking about? If you're anything like us then you've got more queries about Netflix's Making A Murderer that need an answer sharpish.
Here, we've done our best to fill in the gaps and answer the questions you've still got lingering.
Who is Steven Avery?
In 2003, Steven Avery was exonerated and released from prison after serving 18 years for sexual assault. New DNA evidence showed him to be unequivocally innocent, and he returned to working at his family’s salvage yard in rural Wisconsin, while pursing a a $36 million civil suit against Wisconsin’s Manitowoc County - the chaps that put him away.
Within two years he had been arrested again - and charged with the rape and murder of a young woman, Teresa Halbach. His teen nephew, Brendan Dassey was also arrested, having given a vivd (if inconsistent) testimony that he was there for Avery’s crimes.
Netflix's Making a Murderer was 10 years in the making and had an insane level of access to the family as well as following the court cases (literally) forensically. It looks at what the filmmakers say were at best flaws in the prosecution’s case … and at worst can be perceived as a gobsmacking attempt to frame a man who was about to cost the county a huge amount of money.
Is Making A Murderer a real story?
*** SPOILER ALERT***Yes, it’s entirely true. 2014’s Serial podcast and last year’s The Jinx have heralded a boom in real life documentary series. When an intriguing story and some great storytelling combine, the result is often legal repercussions. Serial’s Adnan Syed, who was (wrongly?) convicted of the murder of his high school ex-girlfriend, has been granted a hearing that will allow him to introduce new evidence. And, Robert Durst, who seemed to admit to murder in The Jinx, is now facing an actual murder charge.
However, recent revelations have lead to the Twittersphere questions whether the protrayal of Steven Avery's case is as true to life as the directors claim. In a recent interview on a US TV show, Steven Avery's (now-ex) fiancé, Jodi, revealed her true feelings towards her estranged partner, as well as what she actually thought of his guilty verdict. The series' creators however, were quick to defend their integrity and publicly expressed their astonishment at Jodi's slandering speech a week later. As far as the men behind the Netflix masterpiece are concerned, their series shows Avery 'warts and all'.
What Does Everyone Else Think?
Opinion is split. Some are debating the fairness of the American prosecution system and others have made light of the situation - these hilarious Making A Murderer Memes are a genius example. The general consensus appears to be on the side of show, with most of the Internet outraged at the failings of the U.S justice system. Even supermodel Gigi Hadid has aired her passionate views...
Where is Steven Avery now?
*** SPOILER ALERT*** Well, he’s in prison in Wisconsin, where he has been since being found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in 2007.
His nephew Brendan Dassy has been imprisoned since March 2006, having been charged with being a party to first-degree intentional homicide, mutilation of a corpse and first-degree sexual assault.
What's going on with the petitions I keep hearing about?
Such is the compelling nature of the series, that there are now several campaigns for either retrial or pardon. There is a Change.org campaign with nearly 400,000 signatures petitioning that Avery 'be exonerated at once by pardon, and the Manitowoc County officials complicit in his two false imprisonments should be held accountable to the highest extent of the U.S. criminal and civil justice systems.' And a White House campaign reached nearly 130,000 signatories petitioning for 'a full pardon by President Obama for the wrongful conviction in the connection to the murder of Teresa Halbach.'
However, President Obama has since givena statement saying it’s not quite that simple: 'Under the Constitution, only federal criminal convictions, such as those adjudicated in the United States District Courts, may be pardoned by the President.' It seems that the trials being kept at state level means that action from Obama is not possible, and Scott Walker, the Governor of Wisconsin - the man who could issue a pardon - has stated that he hasn’t seen the Netflix series, has no plans to and has no plans to act.
However, all is not lost. The programme makers have been approached by a juror who has now claimed there was vote-trading in the original trial, and that they are willing to take the stand to say so. More importantly Avery’s heroic lawyers Dean Strang and Jerry Buting (who have become unlikely heartthrobs on account of their engaging and committed efforts to seek justice) are still working on the case, and Buting told BBC’s Today that they are getting an ‘enormous outpouring of support’, as well as new factual leads that can be followed up, and approaches from scientists all over the world offering to help present new evidence. Let’s not forget it was advances in evidence technology that made the difference for Avery last time…
Like This? You Might Also Be Interested In:
At work? With your gran?
You might want to think about the fact you're about to read something that wouldn't exactly get a PG rating