Netflix’s 2015 10-episode mini-series “Making a Murderer” follows the real -life case of Steven Avery, a Wisconsin man accused of murdering 25-year-old Teresa Halbach on Oct. 31, 2005.
The first episode of the documentary follows the story of Avery in prison from 1985 to 2003 on account of attempted first-degree murder and first-degree sexual assault of Penny Beerntsen. Avery maintained innocence and, in 2003, was set free from prison after 18 years when DNA testing proved his innocence and exposed the real assailant.
I was curious to see how this documentary would spread the Beerntsen case over 10 episodes, but I was hooked when the last 30 seconds of the first episode showed police going to Avery’s house to arrest him for the murder of Halbach in 2005.
Halbach was last seen alive at Avery’s house taking pictures of a van he was selling. Avery told police that she came, took pictures and left, and that was all that he saw of her.
I didn’t believe that Avery could have done it. I automatically decided that he was innocent of Halbach’s murder because he first served jail time for a crime he didn’t commit; however, the police found incriminating evidence and took Avery into custody.
The rest of the documentary follows his trial. Avery’s defense argued that he was innocent, and the evidence they brought forth to prove it is shocking. Two Manitowoc police officers keep popping up where they shouldn’t. The police’s actions surrounding the case grew suspicions, and Avery’s defense exposed how easy it could have been for the police have framed Avery.
Avery had filed a lawsuit against Manitowoc County for $36 million after he was released from prison in 2003 and before his arrest in 2005. Avery said the Manitowoc County police were upset that he accused them of being corrupt and eventually framed him for Halbach’s murder.
Throughout the documentary, viewers watch as Avery and his family are affected by the trial. What I found amazing about this series was the amount of original footage and audio the production team had accumulated. It’s impressive that they had the wits to video everything, because it turned out to be an extremely controversial case.
The show is hard to watch, but engaging as well. It seems like a movie, with several plot twists and story developments, but the fact that it is real life is what is most gripping. There are so many ins and outs to this story and the viewers are left questioning what exactly happened.
This documentary is a supreme example of a good show and has led me to believe that Avery is actually innocent of Halbach’s murder and was imprisoned again for something he didn’t do.