12.28.2015

My Take on Making a Murderer

Like many people, I’m watching the Netflix documentary “Making a Murderer.” It’s a phenomenally well done 10 part show on the murder trial of Steven Avery, a man who was released from prison after 18 years on DNA evidence, for a rape he didn’t commit, only to be charged with another murder following his filing a wrongful imprisonment lawsuit against the cops who sent him away the first time. No spoilers, but watch the show.

With the exception of the defense lawyers, Dean Strang and Jerome Buting, none of the characters in the documentary are particularly upstanding human beings, and that includes the prosecution (last year, lead prosecutor Ken Kratz was forced to resign due to sexually harassing a domestic violence victim). It’s not clear to me if that was the intent of the filmmakers, but the take home message for me was that everyone deserves a fair trial, even people who might not be the most savory of characters.

What is clear is that there was enough questionable evidence and fishy/criminal behavior of police and prosecutors to warrant an acquittal of Steven Avery in the trial. No question about that in my mind, but feel free to disagree. Avery and especially his mentally disabled co-defendant and nephew in the case were obviously not intelligent enough to clean up a crime scene as bloody as the one described by prosecutors, as a special investigator says in the show. Yet the garage where the murder victim, Teresa Halbach, was supposedly shot in the head had ZERO blood to be found. OK, that was a bit of a spoiler, I’ll stop and just leave you with this.

If they make a Hollywood movie out of this, which would be awesome, I think Harvey Keitel should be cast as Lieutenant James Lenk.


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