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News / Film

What’s happened in the Steven Avery case since ‘Making a Murderer’?

making a murderer

You may have shut the door on the world for a weekend to binge-watch ‘Making a Murderer’. But filmmakers Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi devoted ten years of their lives to working on it. Their ten-part series goes behind the scenes of the case of Steven Avery, the man convicted in 2005 of murdering 25-year-old photographer Teresa Halbach. Avery’s conviction came two years after DNA evidence exonerated him of a sexual assault for which he had spent 18 years in prison. Partners in life and work, Demos and Ricciardi even upped sticks to Wisconsin for a year and a half while making their doc series. We caught up with them to find out where they are at with season two.

What have been the major developments since season one?

Laura: ‘One of the most obvious is that Steven Avery now has a new attorney, Kathleen Zellner, who seems to have a distinguished career turning over wrongful convictions, and in many of those cases actually solving the crime. Steven is excited and grateful to have new counsel. And we’ve been talking to Kathleen Zellner about the potential of filming with her and continuing to follow the story.’

What about Brendan Dassey’s case?

Laura: ‘Technically speaking, Brendan’s case is where it was when the series finished. His habeas petition is sitting on the federal magistrate’s desk. Everybody is awaiting the magistrate’s decision on his case. There’s really no schedule or timetable for it. His lawyers told us they might have one or two days’ notice.’

Has Steven Avery seen ‘Making a Murderer’?

Laura: ‘No. He put in a request to the prison warden, but it was denied.’

How did you first hear about the case?

Moira: ‘It was November 2005, and we saw Steven Avery’s story on the front page of the New York Times. The headline read: "Freed by DNA, now charged in new crime," which instantly leapt out to us.’

You made the series with a tiny budget. You moved to Wisconsin for 18 months and worked day jobs to make ends meet. What kept you going?

Laura: ‘It was not an easy ten years for sure. When we made the decision to pursue it in January 2006 obviously we didn’t know how epic the story would be. At that point Brendan Dassey wasn’t part of the case. By August 2007 what we had captured with our camera felt like something so important to be preserved. So many important pieces of the story were being missed. At times we started feeling like the history was being forgotten or even at times rewritten. We felt a great burden. If we didn’t make use of all of our research and footage and find a way to do this right, all that stuff would be lost for us.’

What personal sacrifices did you have to make?

Laura: ‘We put this above all else for a decade. It wouldn’t have been possible if Moira and I were not a couple in real-life. That enabled us to work. The downside was that at other times things suffered. Starting with our personal relationship, and other relationships. We missed lots of family functions, celebrations and milestones of people we care about.’

Moira: ‘If Laura had been working this hard on a project for someone else I would never have seen her!’

'Making a Murderer' is available to watch now exclusively on Netflix.

Were you hooked on 'Making a Murderer'? Here are ten things to watch next.



Adam T

I can't believe these 2 men are still rotting away in prison considering all of the uproar Making a Murderer has caused all over the world.  I personally loved Making a Murderer and was shocked by the whole thing.  In my past I've sorta experienced this kinda thing from the police where I live.  I've been followed, pulled-over, and searched for really no reason and then was forced to accept a plea-bargain because I don't have the money to fight these cases. I've been arrested at least a dozen times since I was 12 years old and now I'm 32. I served a year in boy school then when I turned 18 I began getting arrested for small things that kept me in the system for almost another 10 years. I've even done 4 stints of house arrest which is unheard of. I've never been to prison,  knock on wood,  but have served some jail time and the arresting officer was the same cop in most of the cases. I haven't been arrested in 5 years and off probation now but I can't help but to think these cops had it out for me. Did I rub one of them the wrong way?  Maybe it was the people I ran around with or the partying I did?  Or I could have been an easy arrest to keep-up the quota?  I don't know and just to point out,  I'm not crazy or hostile or really anything but normal.  Yes I've made mistakes but being arrested every time I saw a cop is nuts. I live in a small town and we have 8 cops who don't have a lot to do so they look for trouble. I don't think they plant evidence like they did with Avery but they watch people who are known criminals and keep arresting them for anything they can come up with. I believe Avery is 100% innocent and is a victim of police cover-up which goes very deep in the police department. He should have gotten out of that town before he sued them over the rape charge but like me he stayed because that's where his friends, family, and jobs were. I hope he can get out of prison and blow this thing wide open, but I fear he will have to sign a waiver that says he can't sue the police over the wrongful murder charge and even make him agree that he did do the murder just so he can get out of prison, like the court did with the West Memphis Three.