‘Making A Murderer’ Creators Defend Steven Avery: ‘The Media is Demonizing This Man’

Making A Murderer
Courtesy of Netflix

Is “Making a Murderer’s” Steven Avery guilty or innocent? A lot of people seem to have an opinion on the subject, with debate raging across the media landscape, from HLN’s Nancy Grace, who attempted to provide “an avalanche of evidence” against Avery in a recent broadcast, to petitions urging President Obama to pardon the Manitowoc County, Wisconsin native.

Two voices that have remained conspicuously quiet on the subject of Avery’s culpability belong to “Making a Murderer” creators Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, who were on hand at Netflix’s panel for the docu-series at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif. on Sunday.

Initially resistant to reporters’ attempts to cajole them into making a judgment on Avery’s predicament, the directors ultimately conceded that they believe — leaving aside Avery’s guilt or innocence in Teresa Halbach’s murder — that he was unfairly victimized throughout the process of his trial, and that current attempts to prove his guilt by pundits such as Grace are just an example of “history repeating itself; it’s now on a national scale that the media are demonizing this man,” Ricciardi said. “My main takeaway is that each and every one of us is entitled to justice. Each and every accused, regardless of how they’ve been characterized or demonized, is entitled to justice.”

She added, “Just because someone is coming forward now with a narrative, their interpretation of something doesn’t make it factual and doesn’t make it truth.”

Demos agreed, “What we document in the series is a long list of irregularities … I can say that if I was accused of a crime, this is not how I would want to be treated.”

As for whether Avery has been able to watch the documentary that’s currently dominating the cultural discussion, Ricciardi said that Avery  had asked “the warden and his social worker if he’d be able to see it and his request was denied.”

When a reporter made reference to recent statements made by Avery’s ex-fiancee Jodi Stachowski, in which she called him a “monster” and accused him of domestic abuse, Ricciardi said, “I can’t say why Jodi is saying what she is in the media today. I can say that when we filmed with her 9 years ago, this was what she was saying … this is an accurate portrayal of what she was saying and feeling at the time.”

While she conceded that “we absolutely have a point of view,” Ricciardi maintained that they tried to remain impartial to the process. “This is a documentary, we’re documentary filmmakers, we’re not prosecutors, we’re not defense attorneys — we did not set out to convict or exonerate anyone, we set out to examine the justice system and how it’s functioning today.”

As for the prosecution’s claims that they omitted crucial information to sway viewers towards sympathizing with Avery, Ricciardi said, “We took our cues from the prosecution, what they thought was the most compelling evidence… of what was omitted, was it really significant? The answer is no.”

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  1. Peggy says:

    Who hasn’t Nancy Grace convicted of a crime! Every time some one is charged with a murder, Nancy has one of her tizzie fits. Everyone is guilty according to Nancy.

    The ONLY reason Avery is locked up again…….MONEY. If he hadn’t tried to sued the police department, lawyers, etc., Avery would NOT have been arrested, nor convict of the crime. When Avery won his case against them and they had to dip in their pockets, that was the last straw.

  2. Cat says:

    Perhaps Teresa had been his main sales person and he wanted to make sure she got the commission.
    But come on! Her DNA was not found anywhere in Steven A’s place. So you mean he killed her and then drove a few feet to his burn site???? His blood was in the car but no finger print? Clearly the so called evidence were planted. Ridiculous!

  3. Mike says:

    It’s actually quite shameful what the filmmakers chose to leave out – total betrayal to the viewer. Just do a search for more evidence and you will be surprised….just the lone fact that Avery called Autotrader and requested specifically that Theresa be the one to take the pictures…he knew he from before and knew she was coming. Also, the way they edited the interview with Brendan Dassey’s investigator is also upsetting. They make the guy look manipulative and when he cries at trial, it’s confusing. Do a search for “Brendan Dassey Trial Transcripts” and read the actual transcript of the entire interview with O’Kelly. It clears things up about what happened to that poor girl. Brendan Dassey describes everything on his own.

    • patty says:

      We saw all the left out stuff, Ken Kratz has been on all the national HOLLYWOOD talk shows telling us all. It was just a messed up investigation and the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s office should be Ashamed.

    • Echroll says:

      “Brendan Dassey describes everything on his own.” And that would be great if it were true — but I’m not convinced. Dassy’s shifting confession (which he later rescinded) did not fit the physical evidence at Avery’s home. In fact, the murder was not committed in Avery’s mobile home. Nobody is that good an evidence cleaner. There is no evidence found that a rape or a bloody torture took place in the home or anywhere else. None. Zero. Oh maybe a detail or two does from Dassey’s confession might fit, but the confession was so suspect that Ken Kratz didn’t even use in Avery’s trial. Now, maybe Avery committed the murder. I don’t know. But if he did, he didn’t do it the way the prosecutors and police claimed he did in his trial or the way Dassey said he did in Dassy’s confession. I think that this is one of the reasons why the series has become so popular. If the physical evidence really did convincingly fit the prosecution’s narrative, no one would care about Steven Avery or Brendan Dassey.

      • Mike says:

        Absolutely – not saying that the police didn’t plant evidence…and not saying that the prosecutor didn’t have a personal vendetta against Avery. I am just saying that there is critical evidence that the filmmakers left out. I watched the doc and felt that Avery should be set free – not realizing that there was so much left out. The police didn’t know in advance that Dassey claimed that Avery cut the battery in the car, so supposedly a finger print of Avery’s was found on the hood…they wouldn’t have known to plant that. Yet the filmmakers chose to leave that out. There are reasons why every appeal failed – the filmmakers act as if it’s a tragedy of justice the entire way through…which seems truthful until you actually look into *all* of the evidence. In Dassey’s confession, he explains that the murder happened in the garage…he also explains that he cleaned the blood with the girls clothes and used bleach. Also, bleach was found on his clothes, which the filmmakers also failed to mention. It’s a shame.

  4. Tom Ligon says:

    Nancy Grace? ‘Nuff said.

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