‘Making a Murderer’: Netflix Series Emerges as Hollywood’s Holiday Obsession

Making A Murderer
Courtesy of Netflix

Making a Murderer” proved to be the Dom Perignon of binge TV options for many showbizzers during the holiday break.

The ten-part documentary series about Steven Avery, a Wisconsin man who is believed to have been framed for the 2005 murder of photographer Teresa Halbach, has generated a storm of glowing reviews and discussion on social media about Avery’s fate. A Netflix rep said Sunday that at present there are no plans for the streaming service to feature any updates or additional material on Avery’s saga.

Outrage stirred since the docu series bowed on Dec. 18 has led to online petitions calling for his pardon, including a Change.org effort that had nearly 111,000 signatures as of Sunday evening. The detail in the docuseries from filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos has led to a chorus of critics calling for disciplinary actions against prosecutors in Wisconsin’s Manitowoc County and broader reforms of the criminal justice system.

The response to “Making a Murderer” recalls the reaction to HBO’s “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst,” a docuseries on a suspected murderer that aired last February and March. The details exposed in that series contributed to Durst’s arrest in March for the 2000 murder of his friend Susan Berman, a case long considered cold by Los Angeles police.

“Making a Murderer” drew plenty of attention from Hollywood insiders, which is sure to add fuel to the fire behind deep-dive documentary series looking at questionable prosecutions and long-forgotten unsolved crimes. It also raises the prospect of a foot race among producers to develop a narrative take on Avery’s story.

Ricciardi and Demos spent a decade documenting the case. Avery has a criminal record, but he was exonerated in 2003 after serving 18 years for a rape that he did not commit. Two years later, he was back behind bars following Halbach’s murder.

“Making a Murderer” champions to date range from Ricky Gervais and Zach Braff to YouTube star Pewdiepie. Here’s a sampling:

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  1. Trish Cahalan says:

    This is so unsettling that so many Americans are led blindly and once again believe anything that is thrown in their mindless faces. I have been for many years an advocate for victims that have been wrongly accused as well as the people who have been deemed true victims. This documentary seems to be only a mockumentary by people that hope to find their way to fame no matter if justice is served or not. All of you sheep, you would be well served to get the take on the people in this community and what truly happened here—you are only getting the side of the people that hope to gain fame and notoriety. How would you feel if Teresa was a loved one of yours? You would want to know the true and real facts—not just some fame-driven people who have no stake in this except for their own glory and only show the story that makes them shine.

  2. Ken says:

    Admittedly, I haven’t watched the entire series, but I am about half way through it. I was just impatient so I ended up researching this case on the web…haha. After reading about the evidence that was omitted from the documentary, I’m still a bit puzzled. First off, I’m no medical professional nor a crime scene expert, but the lack of Teresa’s trace blood evidence from inside of Avery’s house is very suspicious. Being excited, nervous, and/or terrified caused your heart to start beating extra fast and if anyone who has ever cut themselves while experiencing any of those emotions knows that you bleed a lot more when that happens. Obviously, the size of the cut would determine the amount of excess bleeding. Again, not a medical professional, I just know from personal experience. With that said I can only imagine how much a terrified woman would bleed if she has had her throat cut while bound to a bed and being raped. If a boxer or MMA fighter gets punched and begins to bleed on the canvas, even when someone goes to clean up their blood immediately, you can still see the bloody residue spots on said canvas. So cleaning up every single, microscopic amount of blood trace evidence from a throat cut seems implausible. Impossible? No, but very implausible. I do not believe that happened beyond a reasonable doubt…..but I guess it isn’t impossible. Is it beyond a reasonable doubt that Avery and his 16 year old nephew, who reportedly have a combined 140 IQ mind you, actually stabbed and cut Teresa’s throat in Avery’s bedroom? Secondly, the one thing that I haven’t heard anyone talk about is Teresa’s DNA. Did they find any of Teresa’s DNA inside Avery’s bedroom? If he had her naked, bound to his bed, and was raping her, did they find any of her DNA inside his bedroom? Surely her DNA was on his mattress right? Did they find the chains Avery purchased? If so, did they find Teresa’s DNA on those same chains that were used on her? I find it implausible that they didn’t find any of Teresa’s DNA inside of Avery’s house. Impossible? No, but just implausible. Again, maybe they did and I haven’t read about it, but I haven’t read anything about any of her DNA being inside of Avery’s house. Another piece of evidence that was omitted from the doc was the bullet fragment found that was fired from Avery’s gun and contained traces Teresa’s DNA. That’s pretty damning. More omitted evidence: His blood and DNA found on, around, and in her vehicle also is pretty damning as well in my opinion. Some evidence doesn’t seem to add up and some evidence just seems too convenient. Not to mention Brendan’s confession should have been thrown out just for how it was obtained. The more I read about this case, the more I feel like there are a few probable explanations……except for the last “theory.” Clearly I’ve watched too many episodes of Criminal Minds: 1) Avery did kill Teresa, Brendan assisted but because of his own fear and because he is an impressionable, slow, often confused teenager with obvious mental disabilities, he can’t really recall exactly what happened. Like maybe Teresa was killed in the garage instead of the bedroom. After all, the luminol sweep of the garage did pick up areas where blood had been. 2) Someone else killed Teresa on Avery’s property and/or in her RAV 4, then placed her body on the fire pit to be burned by Avery, or she was burned by the perp him/herself. The perp was someone trying to frame Avery for this crime. 3) The police have planted a lot of this evidence to frame Avery just to get rid of him. Avery has just fell victim to another giant conspiracy. 4) Avery truly is innocent. 5) The police are purposely framing Avery to get him back in prison….not to mention avoiding the $36 million lawsuit. 6) Avery is actually a criminal mastermind serial killer who actually has a 170 IQ instead of a 70 IQ and has us all (except the cops) fooled. Maybe the police are aware of this but can’t prove any of it. Therefore, they purposely, yet in a very sketchy manner, put him away in 1985 for a crime he didn’t commit and purposely planted evidence of Teresa’s murder because they know Avery did it but couldn’t prove it. So they made the evidence to fit the crime, albeit illegally. Maybe the cops know how much of a monster Avery truly is, but because he’s a genius, the only way they could get a conviction is by planting evidence.

  3. George says:

    There is so much injustice in the Avery, Dassey cases. But not only in their cases: Wisconsin and Georgia lied and failed in the James Lowery case. A case of a person who suffers from Multiple Personality Disorder. His case proves that government officials actually lied.His attorney is Elizabeth Neary in Wisconsin.

  4. ian says:

    sounds like Manitowoc county public service officials need to go to jail, for being so corrupt!!!!!!!
    ps feel bad for Theresa’s family.

  5. Maria Jaffke says:

    Oh my god!!!!! I can’t believe it!!!! All I have to say to all the preseciter, detective, investigator, the jury and the judge : Karma is a bitch!!! Go to hell deputies,prosecutor and all the corrupt law endorsement !! God bless the Avery family.

  6. Dennis says:

    I have watched it and can tell you first hand, this is how our justice system works. Money is the only thing that can balance the scales.

  7. feds says:

    The Feds need to take a hard look at Manitowoc County. It looks as crooked as the day is long.

  8. Romy says:

    Amazing film!! Who ever was a part of this project…high 5!!!!

  9. peggy says:

    They are GUILTY, GULITY, GULITY , what’s wrong with you people!!!!!!!!!!! why would you watch this because I sure the hell am not. Steven Avery is so damn Guilty theirs to much evidence against him. Its ridiculous!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Freddie says:

    I remember when this case was on Dateline. It was so bazar and someone needs to intervene from the outside. Those two are innocent!

  11. Kent Kloster says:

    I sat in prison for 17 years having robbed many banks and I listened to many tales of innocence…and have seen some, with the advent of DNA, finally FORCE the justice system into opening the doors…
    …but those doors never open easily; the media, money and the ABSOLUTE absence of actual guilt is the only way those doors are FORCED open.
    America…this is YOUR justice system…this is YOUR fault…you permit your elected officials to employ officials who lie…fabricate. ..and imprison people who have done nothing wrong…
    …in this case the child molesters…the lawyer and his investigator who “represent ” the young cousion…and rape him for their personal political gain…and a litany of other criminal and self serving “decent Christian public officals”…ALL SHOULD BE IMPRISONED…THEIR PROPERTY CONFISCATED AND THEIR FAMILIES PUBLICLY SHAMED…as we’re the Avery family.
    I did what I did…I paid for what I did…but we all bleed when our Machine chews up and spits out the innocent.

  12. TM says:

    Just two episodes in and sick to my stomach. I applaud those who can binge this. I’m too furious…

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