The evidence presented in Netflix's 'Making A Murderer' docuseries about the mysterious death of a young Wisconsin woman has left many viewers wondering whether the men convicted in her death, Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey, really did it.
But new facts are emerging that may muddy the picture even further — and in not necessarily in favor of Avery and Dassey.
The first is a DNA sample from what is allegedly Avery’s sweat found on a latch under the hood of Halbach’s Toyota RAV4, "a discovery made by investigators after they were led there by Brendan Dassey."
“How do you get Avery’s sweat underneath a hood latch of a vehicle?” Mr. Kratz said. “That is completely inconsistent with any kind of planting.”
Kratz also said a bullet with Halbach’s DNA on it was found in Avery’s garage that matched to a rifle that hung over Mr. Avery’s bed — although the bullet was not found until nearly five months after Halbach's disappearance.
“If they planted it, how did they get a bullet that was shot from Avery’s gun before Nov. 5?” Kratz said, referring to the defense's case that Avery was framed by local authorities.
Meanwhile, more evidence has surfaced from past news stories and omitted testimony about the case, as well as about Avery's and Dassey's background and relationship. This evidence has been compiled by the New York Daily News among other outlets. Among the main points regarding Halbach specifically:
- Avery specifically requested Halbach come out to take photos of cars in his yard, but used a different name, knowing Halbach was wary of Avery, prosecutors alleged.
- Kratz testified that at one point Avery came out to greet Halbach dressed only in a towel. "The 25-year-old photographer was allegedly 'creeped out' and told a co-worker she wouldn’t work with Avery again," the Daily News says.
- Halbach's camera and palm pilot were also found in Avery's burn barrel.
And here is some background info about Avery's alleged past wrongdoing:
- In 1982, Avery was charged with animal cruelty for pouring gasoline on a cat and throwing it into a bonfire
- Avery at one point allegedly raped a young girl and threatened to kill her family if they spoke out, according to a story by the Appleton Post Crescent. Another woman told to keep quiet also accused Avery of rape, according to the paper. And, during a bail hearing for Avery, prosecutors said Avery had drawn up diagrams while in prison for a torture chamber to kill women.
- In a transcript not played in the docuseries, Dassey says Avery had molested him.
In the Times' interview, Kratz, who resigned from his position as state prosecutor after his own sex scandal, said the series “really presents misinformation.”
Dean Strang, one of Avery's lawyers, did not address the information about his client's alleged past activities. But of the sweat found on the latch, Strang said it did not mean Avery touched the car, and was never clearly identified as sweat. And as for the bullet, Strang said bullet fragments were all over Avery's property, where the family often shot guns.
That Ms. Halbech’s DNA was on the bullet “really didn’t move the needle one way or another,” Mr. Strang said.
Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.