The Murder of Teresa Halbach

I’m a true crime fanatic. It’s no secret. So it should come as no surprise to learn that I binge-watched the entire 10 hour Netflix documentary, “Making a Murderer” in one sitting.

I’m not convinced Steven Avery is innocent of the murder of Teresa Halbach, though I’m nowhere near convinced enough of his guilt that I could have voted guilty, had I been on the jury. The documentary raises more questions than answers, so I came here to record my thoughts.

Teresa Halbach

Teresa Halbach was a photographer for Auto Trader Magazine. On the day she vanished (10/31/2005), she had 3 appointments to photograph vehicles for sale. Her third and final appointment took her to Avery Salvage Yard in Manitowoc County, WI, where she was to photograph a minivan that Steven Avery’s sister wanted to sell. This is the last place she was seen. On November 3, 2005, Teresa was reported missing.

At the time of her disappearance, Teresa lived with a roommate named Scott Bloedorn, a mutual friend of Teresa’s and her ex-boyfriend, Ryan Hillegas. Though it took several days for Teresa to be reported missing, nothing indicates Scott or Ryan were ever seriously considered by authorities as suspects in the case.

Once a world-traveler, Teresa settled in 2004 near her family in Wisconsin. She had two sisters and two brothers, and had been raised on a dairy farm. On Halloween night in 2005, just prior to her disappearance, she was planning to attend a party at a local bar dressed as a cowgirl.

Teresa was familiar with Avery Salvage Yard, and with Steven Avery himself, as she had been to the property no less than 15 times in the past to photograph vehicles for publication in the magazine.

In two controversial criminal trials, Steven Avery and his nephew, then 16 year old Brendan Dassey were convicted of her murder.

Teresa’s brother, Michael Halbalch, became the de-facto spokesperson for the Halbach family from the time of Teresa’s disappearance through the criminal trials of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey.

Steven Avery

Steven Avery was born in Manitowoc County, WI in 1962. At age 18, he was convicted of burglary. Shortly thereafter, he was convicted of animal cruelty. He allegedly doused a family cat with gasoline and set it on fire.

Later, he spent six years in prison for assaulting his cousin, who was married to a Manitowoc Sheriff’s deputy. According to Avery, his cousin was spreading false rumors about him and his wife. In response, he ran her off the road with his vehicle and pointed an unloaded firearm at her. He stated he was hoping this would stop his cousin from spreading rumors about him throughout the town. Instead, she immediately reported the incident to her husband, and subsequently, to the Manitowoc Sheriff’s Department.

Steven Avery openly admitted to all the crimes he had been convicted of.

In 1985, a woman named Penny Beerntsen was attacked in a Wisconsin state park, raped and beaten by an unknown assailant. She did not know her attacker, and immediately reported the assault to the Manitowoc Sheriff’s Department. The deputy who took her statement immediately believed Penny’s description of the suspect sounded a lot like Steven Avery. As a result, a composite sketch of Avery – based on his mug shot from years earlier – was drawn and shown to the victim. She positively identified this sketch as that of her attacker. She was then shown a photo array that included the same photo of Steven that the composite sketch was drawn from. Beerntsen positively identified this photo as being of the man who attacked her. Finally, authorities arranged a lineup, and Beerntsen again selected Avery as her assailant.

Doubts began to rise as to whether Steven Avery was actually the man who attacked Mrs. Beerntsen. During this same period of time, a man named Gregory Allen was operating in the area, raping women. Allen looked similar in appearance to Steven Avery, and his MO fit that of Beerntsen’s attack. More than one member of the Sheriff’s department attempted to raise their concerns of Avery’s actual guilt, and Gregory Allen was named more than once. These leads, however, went ignored, and Steven was arrested and charged with rape, possession of a firearm by a felon and attempted murder.

At the time of his arrest, Steven Avery was married and had five children. During his trial, 14 (some sources claim as many as 16) witnesses provided alibi statements claiming he was nowhere near the area where Mrs. Beerntsen was attacked. Nonetheless, he was convicted, and sentenced to 36 years for rape and attempted murder.

18 years later, based on DNA testing, Avery was exonerated and released from prison. Authorities got a cold hit on the DNA, and it was matched to Gregory Allen, who had gone on to commit at least two additional rapes after Steven Avery had been convicted. Additionally, in the years since his conviction, Avery had lost his wife and his children.

After his release, Steven filed a civil suit against Manitowoc County for $36 million. He counted the governor and state legislators among his allies, and for a time become the face of persons wrongfully convicted in the state of Wisconsin.

When Teresa Halbach went missing on 10/31/2005, she was last seen on Steven Avery’s properties, photographing a minivan his sister was planning to sell. Several days after she vanished, her vehicle was found on Avery’s property, his blood inside the car. After at least five searches of his home, investigators found Teresa’s car key, in plain site on the floor in Steven’s bedroom. In Avery’s backyard, in his burn pit, bone fragments of Teresa Halbach’s were found, with additional fragments discovered in a barrel on the property.

Steven was arrested for the murder of Teresa Halbach. As he had in the Beerntsen case, Avery maintained his innocence. He claimed the Manitowoc Sheriff’s Department was framing him in an effort to keep from having to pay out a multi-million dollar settlement in his wrongful conviction case.

Issues of note:

  1. Teresa’s car was found on Avery’s property, but since the property was a salvage yard, why wouldn’t Steve have utilized his crusher to demolish it, leaving no trace behind?
  2. Steven’s blood was found in Teresa’s car, but his fingerprints were not. How did his blood get smeared in multiple places throughout the vehicle without him touching anything?
  3. Teresa’s remains were found in a burn pit in Steven’s back yard, but why wouldn’t Steven have utilized his incinerator to dispose of her?
  4. Teresa’s car key was found in plain sight on the Steven’s bedroom floor, so why did it take investigators at least five searches of his bedroom to find it?

There are allegations that Manitowoc County Sheriff’s deputies (specifically Lt. James Lenk and Sgt. Andrew Colborn) planted the car at the salvage yard, planted Avery’s blood inside of it, and planted the car key in Avery’s bedroom.

Lt. Lenk did have access to Avery’s blood from the Penny Beerntsen case. When Avery’s defense attorneys requested access to that evidence, they found the box it was housed in had been opened, and the vial of blood inside the box had a small pin-prick, making it possible someone had withdrawn some blood with a syringe.

The prosecutor asked the FBI to perform a test – using a method that had been discounted and out of use for a decade – on the vial of blood in an effort to determine whether or not the blood came from a tube or a bleeding person. The FBI determined the blood did not come from a tube. The test took a few weeks to conduct, which was odd, given Avery’s original DNA testing from the Beerntsen case had taken more than a year.

During the murder investigation, Steven had a girlfriend named Jodi Stachowski, who was serving a seven month sentence in Manitowoc County Jail for a DUI. Investigators attempted to obtain her cooperation in the case against Avery, but were ultimately unsuccessful. She maintained that on the day of Teresa’s murder, she spoke with Steven twice: once at 5:36 PM and again at 8:57 PM. Phone records and jailhouse recordings back this claim up. In both calls, though investigators claim Steven should have been mid-murder, he sounds completely relaxed and normal.

Unable to secure Jodi’s cooperation, investigators moved on to Avery’s nephew, Brendan Dassey.

Steven Avery was convicted of the murder of Teresa Halbach and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole. He maintains his innocence.

Years after the trial, DA Ken Kratz had his law license suspended after pleading No Contest to misconduct, stemming from allegations of sexting a victim of domestic violence. After the first victim came forward, several more followed.

Brendan Dassey

Other than Teresa Halbach herself, Brendan Dassey is the most tragic figure in this case. 16 years old when Halbach disappeared, Brendan was ultimately convicted of her murder. He is currently serving a life sentence, and will not be eligible for parole until 2048.

Dassey’s own words helped to convict him, as he confessed to helping Steven Avery murder rape and murder Teresa Halbach more than once. Many scholars believe Dassey’s confessions were coerced, as he recanted each time.

Brendan had a lower-than-average IQ of 73. Though 16 years old and a sophomore in high school, he was in some special needs classes, and was reported to have a 4th grade reading level. Brendan was a quiet boy, shy, and had never been in any trouble at school, at home, or with the law.

When first interviewed by investigators, Dassey claimed to have seen nothing out of the ordinary on the day Teresa Halbach vanished. He was at his home, right next door to Steven Avery’s trailor, playing video games with a friend. He spoke to his mom by phone at 5 PM that day. His friend left to go Trick-or-Treating, and Brendan fielded a call from this friend’s boss at around 7 PM.

Investigators continued to pursue Brendan is a witness in the case against Steven Avery. After Steven’s girlfriend, Jodi Stachowski refused to cooperate with investigators, law enforcement waited three days before focusing on Brendan instead. Brendan did ultimately confess to raping Teresa and slitting her throat. Many of the details included in his confession were originally introduced by investigators, who may have manipulated Dassey into believing he would be able to go home as soon as he told them what they wanted to hear.

Each time Brendan confessed, he’d recant, claiming he didn’t know why he’d said the things he’d said, only to confess again (with conflicting details) each time he was interviewed by the authorities.

It is from these confessions that the idea emerged that Avery shackled Teresa Halbach to his bed, raped her, had Dassey rape her and slit her throat, and then shot her in the head.

Notably absent at the crime scene was blood.

The prosecution ultimately changed their theory of the crime from murder in Steven’s bedroom to murder in Steven’s garage, where a single shell casing was located under a compressor. Again, however, no blood was ever found.

Dassey’s original court-appointed attorney, Len Kachinsky, was removed from Brendan’s case after it was learned he allowed his client to be interrogated by investigators without counsel present. It later emerged that Kachinsky and his investigator O’Kelley were working with the prosecution in an effort to get Brendan to plead guilty to rape and murder. The guilty plea could then be used to bolster the state’s case against Steven Avery. This, in spite of the fact that Brendan claimed he was innocent.

Also hurting Brendan Dassey’s case was the statement of his cousin, 15 year old Kayla Avery, who had initially told investigators that Brendan had confessed to helping Steven Avery hide Halbach’s body. When she testified at trial, however, Kayla alternately stated she didn’t remember or flat-out made up those allegations, and that they were not true.

Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department

Responsible for the investigation of Steven Avery in the Penny Beerntsen case, the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s office has been accused of railroading Steven Avery, helping him be convicted of a crime he was ultimately exonerated of committing.

Following the disappearance of Teresa Halbach, an unbiased team of investigators from neighboring Calumet County were assigned to take over the case, in an effort to avoid the impression of a conflict of interest. At the time, Steven Avery had a civil suit pending against Manitowoc County, stemming from his wrongful conviction.

It was later determined, however, that Manitowoc County officials – namely Lt. James Lenk and Andrew Colborn – were very closely involved in the investigation from day one. It was Lenk who “discovered” Avery’s blood in Teresa’s car, and Lenk who “found” Teresa’s car key on the floor, in plain sight, in Avery’s bedroom (on their fifth search of the home).

Andrew Colborn called dispatch asking for a license plate number to run. The plate came back to Teresa Halbach, but Colborn’s request came a full three days before her car was found by a volunteer searcher in Avery’s salvage yard. Additionally, in 1995, while Steven Avery was incarcerated for the rape and assault of Penny Beerntsen, Colborn received a phone call from an investigator in Brown County who stated a man in his custody confessed to an “assault in Manitowoc County”, and that a man was currently in jail for that crime. Gregory Allen, whose DNA was ultimately found to be a match in the Penny Beerntsen case, was in Brown County’s custody at that time. Colborn sat on this information for eight years, never filing a report on it until 2003, several days after Steven Avery walked out of jail, having been wrongfully convicted.

It has been speculated that in an effort to keep from having to pay Steven Avery millions of dollars the county did not have to spare in a civil suit, they framed him for the murder of Teresa Halbach.

Theories and Questions

  1. Steven Avery could be guilty. Teresa Halbach was legitimately last known to be at his place of residence prior to her disappearance. Her car was found in his salvage yard, her car key was found on the floor in his bedroom, his blood was found in her car, and her remains were found in the burn pit in his back yard.
  2. Teresa’s ex-boyfriend, Ryan Hillegas was never investigated as a potential suspect in Teresa’s death. He admits to hacking into her cell phone records on the computer in her home after her disappearance in an effort to review her call logs. He claims this was to determine what her last cell phone activity could reveal, as he was spearheading the search for her. If he could hack into her phone records online by guessing her password, couldn’t he have done the same where her voicemail is concerned?
  3. Scott Bloedorn, Teresa’s roommate. Scott was a friend of both Teresa’s and Ryan’s. According to Ryan, Teresa and Scott were platonic friends and roommates. Scott did not immediately report Teresa missing after she vanished on October 31, 2005, and she was not reported missing until November 3, 2005. Why did Scott wait so long to report Teresa missing?
  4. Other Avery relatives – there are two relatives of Steven Avery’s (Bobby Dassey and Scott Tadych) who live on the property Teresa likely disappeared from, who have no alibi for the time she vanished, except for each other. They claim they passed each other on the highway the afternoon of 10/31/05, as each of them were on their way to bow-hunt. One of these men claims to have seen Teresa walking towards Steven Avery’s trailer the afternoon she went missing, just as he was preparing to leave for his hunting trip.
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35 thoughts on “The Murder of Teresa Halbach

  1. We’re hearing from the local press and the Manitowoc Sheriff’s Department that Avery is guilty, that “Making a Murderer” is biased, and that a lot of information didn’t make it into the documentary. The problem is that the information that DID make it into the film is disturbing and, I believe, cause for reasonable doubt that either Avery or Dassey were directly involved in the murder of Teresa Halbach.

    Officer Colborn’s call to dispatch is extremely troubling. If he was actually trying to find out the name of the plates’ owner and what car the owner drove, then where did he get the plate number from? If a Halbach family member or a friend of Teresa gave him her plate number and he was just double-checking the information, then why didn’t he say so when questioned on the witness stand? If he had discovered the plates several days before Teresa’s Toyota RAV was officially found in the Avery Salvage Yard, where were they? Had he found them on the car? Were they lying in a gutter somewhere? The fact that Officer Colborn knew the plate numbers days before the police “found” the car suggests that Colborn or somebody else in the MSD had seen the car before they said they had found it. There is no good explanation for this discrepancy, and it raises serious suspicions that the MSD wasn’t being honest.

    I’ve watched the first six episodes of the film and have yet to hear one single explanation of Avery’s motive in killing Teresa. When a man is exonerated after spending 18 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, it goes against the grain of common experience that he would kill a young woman on the eve of his civil case in which he was seeking multi-million dollar damages. We’re left with the presumption that Avery is just a cold-blooded killer who must have attacked Teresa because he’s just an evil, violent criminal. If the MSD had information that suggested there was some kind of conflict between him and Teresa, why didn’t they present it during the trial?

    There’s so much more. No blood in the trailer, no blood in the garage. Not an iota of Teresa’s DNA anywhere on the property, except that which was found on the bullet fragment found in the garage four months after the property had been searched numerous times. The corrupted tube of Avery’s blood that was found in an evidence box, the seal of which had been broken. The possibility that some of Teresa’s voice mail messages had been erased, leaving us to wonder if any of them revealed that she was alive and/or in a location other than the Avery property at the time the MSD says she was killed.

    The interviews with investigators Weigert and Fassbender, particularly those involving Dassey. No lawyer present, leading questions, unprofessional conduct. In situations like this, I’m always reminded of former Los Angeles DA Vincent Bugliosi, who put Charles Manson and his family away forever. I truly believe that were he the Manitowoc County DA during this fiasco, he would have refused to take the case to trial in its ragged condition and would’ve dismissed many of the MSD officers for their misconduct.

    Enough for now. Despite the MSD’s claims to the contrary, I don’t feel I’ve been given enough verifiable evidence to know who killed Teresa Halbach, where she was killed, when she was killed, or why she was killed. But I do know that had I been on that jury, I would not in good conscience have been able to convict Steven Avery of her murder.

    1. Hi Brian,

      Thanks for weighing in. You and I are on the same page with this one. I can’t say Avery’s innocent, but no way have I seen anything close to enough to convince me beyond a reasonable doubt of his guilt. As for Brendan Dassey, I am almost entirely convinced he had absolutely nothing to do with this crime.

      ~C

  2. I do not know if Steven Avery is guilty or not. I do know that indivuals involved in the investagation had a interest in him being found guilty. That prosecutors suboured pergery, the ex boyfriend tampered with evidance, the police officers disobeyed clear instructions, the testing agency should lose all certifcations for contaminating evidence and ignoring protocal. On a personal note if the detectives, prosecutors, police, and defense would of railroaded my sixteen year old son, I would of used my marine training to get justice.

  3. Brian explained it all very well to those who are seeking justice for the supposed murder of Teresa Halbach but must keep in mind that there was no justice at all in the trial of Steven Avery. Steven Avery is not the brightest bulb in the room but there was no testimony stating that possible fact. It was extremely odd and strange that police and prosecuting authorities wanted to present Steven as a Crafty Criminal type criminal but substantially have no records to really speak of to ratify such damning comments. Even Judge Patrick Willis was in on Steven Avery’s prejudicial conviction!

    What I see from all the evidence given is Clever Crafty Criminal type Township Authorities in charge that worked in unison with hand picked Manitowoc County badges at the God awful sacrifice of Teresa Halbach’s life!

    It was obvious that if Steven Avery won his ongoing lawsuit from his 18 year wrongful imprisonment that more than a few Manitowoc’s most powerful would have to bow out in severe embarrassment and forever shame from their respected seats. The Devilish Manitowoc County Leaders had the biggest and most relative means of motive to utilize Teresa Halbach’s murder to side track Steven Avery’s lawsuit. By putting this heinous plan into motion with Steven Avery being set up as the murderer was their only ticket not to pay him literally millions!

    Hopefully someone will come fourth that knows the truth and has some film to prove it! It is very unusual from the obvious planting of incriminating evidence by a few crooked badges that the Justice Department with the FBI didn’t waltz in from DC to unveil this internal Mafia ran county!

    There was absolutely no case against Steven Avery to convict him and if the Justice Department can not see that, shame on all of you too! There was no DNA belonging to Miss Halbach that pointed to Mr. Avery at all ever discovered nor presented in the court case!

    1.) No blood belonging to Miss Halbach in Steven’s trailer found anywhere! (Yet testimony found its way to every ones ears that Steven had shackled Miss Halbach’s arms and legs to his bed where he raped and killed her!)(All accusations were founded untrue in the court case!)
    2.) No blood belonging to Miss Halbach in Steven’s garage found anywhere! (Yet a surprisingly found shot bullet was conveniently found in the garage with Teresa’s DNA on it!)(The bullet was never handed over to Steven’s defense lawyers for testing of Miss Halbach’s DNA)
    3.) No finger prints of Mr. Avery’s inside or outside Miss Halbach’s vehicle found anywhere! (Yet there were a few small blood smear spots conveniently belonging to Steven found!)

    a.) If Steven Avery was a Clever Crafty Criminal type, why didn’t he use the yards incinerator to burn Miss Halbach’s body?
    b.) If Steven Avery was a Clever Crafty Criminal type, why didn’t he toss the auto Trader magazine in the incinerator too?
    c.) If Steven Avery was a Clever Crafty Criminal type, why didn’t he use the yards car crusher to eliminate any vehicle evidence?
    d.) If Steven Avery was a Clever Crafty Criminal type, why didn’t he toss the key to Miss Halbach’s vehicle into a large deep stretch of water or flush it down a toilet across town?
    e.) If Steven Avery was a Clever Crafty Criminal type, why didn’t he toss his rifle in question into a large deep stretch of water?
    f.) If Steven Avery was a Clever Crafty Criminal type, why would he leave a bullet in his garage with Miss Halbach’s DNA on it? Why not toss that bullet out his window while on the other side of town?
    g.) If Steven Avery was a Clever Crafty Criminal type, why didn’t he do all of the above easy’s to cover up his supposed crimes?

    The facts of the case obviously reveal that a third grader would had never left all the highly questionable exposed evidence that was Cleverly and Craftily unearthed to frame Steven Avery. A Clever Crafty Criminal type would had never left any of the found articles of evidence, especially leaving Miss Halbach’s vehicle in basic plain site close to his own home! Not to mention her body remains found in his burn pit behind his trailer!

    Committing such an heinous crime as murder, tossing the body behind his trailer into a burn pit, parking the victims vehicle basically in the open where Teresa’s own mother was able to find in a half hours time and leaving her car key right out in the open for one Dirty Badge to find resonates clearly to me that Steven Avery had been set up!

    The authorities responsible for Steven Avery’s wrongful conviction of Teresa Halbach’s murder had only put into motion The Lord’s Natural Karma, “What Goes Around, Comes Around”! Nothing goes unpunished and all of those who had anything to do with Teresa Halbach’s death, planted evidence along with Mr. Avery’s unjust conviction will pay 100 fold!

    So Be It

    1. Yes! And I’d like to add a little something about the jury. I’ve learned since posting this that one juror is the father of a Manitowoc County Sheriff’s employee, while another is the husband of a Manitowoc Clerk’s employee (important because of the evidence tampering/access to files supposed to be secured in the Clerk’s office). The more I learn, the more this stinks. Guilty or not, Steven Avery should not have been convicted of this crime. Same goes for Brendan Dassey.

      1. Watching the Netflix special on this story I really couldn’t wrap my head around Brendan’s stupefied story he had conjured up. At first when he blabbed his story about how he and Steve actually murdered Teresa in Steven’s bedroom, I was thinking this was the beginning of the end for Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey! The evidence did not put Teresa as having her throat cut and being stabbed multiple times in Steven’s trailer and bed. Brendan’s admission of being an accomplice in Teresa’s murder should had took another turn in Steven’s favor to say the least! But it didn’t at all for either!

        I think Brendan Dassey was a challenged individual that had an IQ of 80 or less and he should had never been tried and convicted for being an accomplice to Teresa’s murder when in fact there was absolutely no DNA nor physical evidence that pointed to him! The crooked judicial system of Manitowoc County simply had there way stemming from their usual midnight brandy sipping, cigar chat deciding the fate of those they just hate!

        I do blame Steven’s Attorney’s for not having any ace investigators hired to dig up the dirt and profound evidence such as the juror’s prejudice relationship with Manitowoc County employees. The prosecutors probably already new all of this and figured, “Silence Is Golden”! They should all be stripped of their licenses to practice law today as I post. Avery’s Attorney’s should had rode heavily on Manitowoc’s Officer Colborn’s testimony about him calling in a tag number that ended up being Teresa Halbach’s! Was he looking at the vehicle itself when calling it in? That is exactly the way it sounded to me in the police recording. This call was days prior to Miss Halbach’s vehicle being found on the Avery junk yard lot! Why wasn’t the police dispatcher cross examined for more clarity about the call in? This was a major discovery that should had been bronco ridden until the truth fell out!

        Where is Teresa’s cell phone, telephone providers complete call log records and text records for the last six months or more prior to her being first reported missing? How about the cars tracking system if available and her cell phone being tracked electronically for minute by minute location! Lack of extensive undercover investigating weakened Steven Avery’s case where some heavy evidence could still today point a bigger finger, forcing authorities to open up Steven’s case for a recap!

        What would be the craziest episode is Teresa Halbach showing up in New Mexico under an assumed name living a new life since first disappearing under the Federal Marshall’s protection program! That would oust half of the Judicial and Police authorities in Manitowoc County for sure! Plus make Steven and Brendan enormously rich! Just some fantasy food for thought!

        Justice will prevail in time! This is far from being over!

        So Be It

    2. Every one of you need to go beyond the “documentary” and read the books. They will show w/o a doubt that Steve and Brendan did it. The “documentary” was nothing but a smear piece against the police and prosecution. The books show tons and tons of evidence that was not even allowed in court. I have stopped debating w/ people who have only watched the one sided “doc.”Just one example (of many) Teresa’a phone, PDA, and camera were found in an additional burn barrel. This fact was totally left out of the “doc.” WHY? These two women who made this “doc.” should be sued for slander and defamation of character, but because they only slandered
      and defamed public officials, they are off the hook.

  4. I apologize for the length of this entry; but stuff just keeps popping into your head when you write about something like this. Last night I finished the other four episodes of “Making a Murderer” and am as unconvinced by the prosecution’s case as I was earlier on. Honestly, I don’t know who killed Teresa Halbach.

    A fact that was not mentioned in the documentary is that the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department never produced the murder weapon in court. After buying into Brendan Dassey’s questionable version of events that took place on October 31, the MSD acted as if Teresa had been tied up, raped, had her throat slit and had then been shot. Not in Steven Avery’s trailer but in his garage. Despite the fact that absolutely no DNA belonging to her was ever found inside the trailer, the garage, or anywhere else on the property – with the exception of the bullet fragment – the MSD accepted Brendan Dassey’s narrative and later used it to send both him and Avery to prison.

    But where was the gun that shot Teresa? Who did it belong to? How can you convict Avery of shooting her when there is no murder weapon to which he can be linked? If we are supposed to believe that the bullet discovered in his garage was the one which went through Teresa’s head, what caliber was it? Did Avery possess such a weapon? Was it a .22, a gun which I think he did have somewhere on the property? These are questions to which a jury has a right to obtain answers.

    As Rickits pointed out, the prosecution’s assertion that Avery left the key in his trailer tests common sense. If you’ve killed Teresa, why would you leave the key in a small stand in your bedroom? Officer Colborn stated that when the key was finally located, he had shaken the stand it apparently had been sitting in and that it must have fallen out at that time. Really? Why would Colborn shake the stand in the first place? You’ve been in that room multiple times, you’ve had the opportunity to pull out the contents from the stand – why shake it?

    Why would Avery haphazardly toss Teresa’s cell phone in a place where it could be found by detectives? How many movies have we seen in which a culprit tears its cell phone apart and dumps the contents into a trash bin. The least Avery could’ve done was break it up and toss it on the fire. Or was Avery just not that bright? But bright enough to do such a good job of hiding other evidence like the murder weapon? You can’t have it both ways.

    Smears of Teresa’s blood were found in the back of her Toyota. If Avery shot her in the garage, then he had to have put her body in the back of the Toyota before he burned it. The prosecution insisted that he did so in the fire pit, near the garage. It makes no sense for Avery to put her in her car. The simplest, easiest thing to do would’ve been to drag her out to the fire pit and burn her. It’s reasonable to ask, then, why Teresa’s blood was found in her car if events transpired according to the prosecution’s timeline. And why would Teresa’s blood be in her car but not in the garage, where she was allegedly shot?

    I agree with Avery’s attorneys that the only real chance he has of vindicating himself is to discover new exonerating evidence. Where to look? One thought I had, and it’s an awful long shot, is Teresa’s car. Does anyone know if it exists? If so, can it be checked out by an independent investigator for DNA traces, fingerprints, blood, contents, anything? I know that evidence like that is more than likely gone, but I think the Toyota is one possible place to find something.

    Also, someone needs to do a thorough study of Teresa’s last six months, going backward from the time she went missing. I am unwilling to accept that Avery was necessarily “the last person to see her alive,” particularly because I think someone else killed her. That the prosecution maintained this dubious premise throughout its case is indicative of the shallowness of their investigation into Teresa’s demise. But we need to have a much clearer picture of Teresa’s life than it was presented by the prosecution. We need to know more about her relationship with her ex-boyfriend and her platonic roommate. Who else did she see the day she went to the Avery property? She apparently had photographed other vehicles on the Avery property before. When? What was her connection with Avery like? Were they friends? Did they correspond, either by email or phone? Was there anyone in Teresa’s life who might have had reason to be angry or upset with her around the time she died?

    We could all write for hours about this case. But none of us should ever be ashamed or criticized for asking legitimate questions about it or for thinking the prosecution didn’t do its best for Teresa Halbach. I believe her killer is still out there. I just wish I could prove it.

    1. Steven Avery was no choir boy, but that does not make him a killer. Most evidence should have been thrown out because it was planted or found under questionable conditions.(key, blood in her rav4, bullet all no good) It is NOT normal for cops to search a property 7 or 8 times.

      I also think cops were snooping around the property and found the truck earlier than it was discovered so you can’t trust the truck….although I think it is unlikely they planted the truck.

      In my opinion, it has to be someone else on the Avery property…someone knows something! The entire thing doesn’t make sense because it didn’t happen they way the cops say it did.

      If I were on either jury,I would have acquitted. It is just awful the young kid Brendan got mixed up in this. He is clearly limited and I wish his mother had the brains to tell him not to talk to cops!!! How did they allow their son to talk to cops without a lawyer? What the hell were they thinking??

      The sad thing is the real killer is out there. I would love to know more about those who were on property that day because in my opinion, they need to be examined closely.

      What a terrible miscarriage of justice. It makes me sick.

  5. Ok so the jury people being related to county officers. Seems to me to be an automatic win for an appeal. So why did he get turned down for it? This is sickening

  6. This show left me so heartbroken…..especially what they did to this young man who just wanted to grow up and obviously was going to have an uphill battle doing so……How anyone could sit through this trial and actually believe without a shadow of a doubt to vote guilty makes me sick……to not investigate this ex-boyfriend, who obviously spearheaded searches to keep close tabs on the investigation. God is the ultimate judge and these judges, crooked cops, clowns for investigators and obviously jurors who have no interest in justice and only want to be on the “right” side of shock value trials…..WILL get theirs……hopefully in this life….I just pray that this poor young man will get out while he’s still young and can salvage the rest of his time on this earth……..I work in law enforcement and this made me ashamed…….

  7. The American justice system is so corrupt, it is sickening to imagine how many other Stephen Avery’s are rotting away in prison because they were unfortunate enough to be born into a low socio-economic strata. Dear Lord. The evidence against Casey Anthony and OJ Simpson couldn’t have been stronger if there had been actual “smoking guns” found in their hands, yet the jury found both not guilty. Now, this poor man, whose only mistake was being born with a low IQ into a poor family, has been tortured by your corrupt system twice now. I’m truly surprised he hasn’t committed suicide. Few people would be able to withstand the complete injustice and mental torture that not only he, but his entire family, has had to endure. All I can say is, I’m glad I am Canadian.

  8. Ok. Bear with me, and please correct me if I’m misunderstanding. This is basically what the prosecution is saying… SA and BD raped and sliced Teresa up in the house. They meticulously cleaned up with the thoroughness of a forensic analyst, leaving no trace of DNA. They put her in her car, where her bloody hair got all over the back. SA left no fingerprints or hairs, but left little droplets of blood all over the car. They drove her to the cluttered as hell garage and shot her, a few times apparently, but left absolutely no evidence or DNA to be found. Apparently forgetting all about the fact that they had a car crusher AND a smelter on the property, which would have taken care of both the car and the body, they then carried or drove her to the burn pit and burned her up. Now, they either got the bullet after they burned her sifting through the ashes or they beat her skull open to get it out. They then left the pile of bones, and for good measure tossed a few around the property in various locations. They then placed the bullet underneath the pressure washer in the garage and left it there. Avery then drove the car to the edge of the property and covered it with branches, only bringing MORE attention to it, as the hundreds of other cars in the yard did not have debris like that on top and leaning against them. SA, obviously worn out from all of the evenings activities, then thought it was a good idea to go in to sleep, tossing the key on his bedside table and forgetting all about it. This does not make sense. It’s all at once sophisticated and incredibly sloppy. They both have IQ’s of around 70!!

    My gut tells me that the brother, ex Bf, and sketchy ass roommate who didn’t alert anyone about her missing for FOUR DAYS, know way more than they’re letting on. Im not saying their guilty of murder, but they should have at least been investigated. The police jumped on the opportunity to stop the lawsuit that was gonna cost them their jobs, pensions, and reputations. They planted evidence and framed SA and BD, regardless of if they they thought they were guilty or not. All led by a pill popping sex fiend. Stranger than fiction indeed.

  9. Wonder if Halbach family watched the series and, if so, if they may not be as convinced of Avery’s guilt? Find the whole thing very difficult to swallow and, as an attorney myself, find the actions of Brendan’s first trial attorney, Len Kachinsly, and his investigator to be utterly deplorable beyond words. They should be ashamed of themselves. On the other hand, Avery’s attorneys, across the board, are awesome! I only wonder why they didn’t look into other potential perps more. May have made a huge difference in outcome if jury was given alternate theories to consider. Overall, just a complete miscarriage of justice.

  10. Im so glad to see so many having the same feelings as I do. I am not sure if Steven Avery is guilty or innocent, but I dont think I could have convicted him based on what I seen and heard in good conscience so I am dumbfounded that 12 jurors were able to agree and convict.

    Several things are very concerning to me. Of course the blood vial, whether it was compromised or not is unclear because to my understanding it was stored where most anyone in clerks office had access to it so anyone could have tampered with it (reasonable doubt regarding the blood found in Teresas vehicle). Then the calling in by Andrew Colburn of the tag information and then stating the type of vehicle (Rav4) and not recalling why he called it in if he wasnt looking at the tag or car. Also perplexing to me is the radio conversation between 2 deputies referencing that they are needed to do a job at the Avery property per the boss. That was not clear as to when that occurred but led me to believe that they could possibly be planting evidence at that time – whether it be the car, blood, the key, or bones.

    It is very concerning to me that the defense is not allowed to point to other persons that could have been responsible for the crime, such as the ex-boyfriend, the roommate, or any of Stevens family members. There are just way too many questions unanswered for a conviction to have taken place and that 12 people — 12 people and not one had any reasonable doubt.

    I know the family of Teresa heard the testimony in the courtroom and believe Avery to be guilty. Im sure they just wanted a conviction and, depending on which side you are for, determines on how you perceive the information in the courtroom. One could overlook the reasonable doubt if it was your family member and you wanted the person responsible to be the one in custody. However, my opinion is that if there was anything that made you think he might not have done it then not guilty or a mistrial should have been the verdict.

  11. I believe Teresa’s brother acted very strange when she first was reported missing.(In the footage I saw) He looked as if he was putting on an act. It definitely appeared that he already knew she was dead.

    I found it strange that it took 3 days to report her missing. I read somewhere that she was supposed to go to a family’s Halloween party that evening?

    I found it very strange that the 2nd cousin, Pam Sturm, found the car like a needle in a hay stack in about 30 minutes. She was definitely tipped off by someone.

    The confession of young Brendan coerced by those cops is horrifying. It is terrifying that any educated person, let alone a judge or an attorney would find that valid.

    The brother definitely knew she was already dead.

    I have a theory that she died of an accident- drugs? something other than murder- then Manitowoc officers got involved and started their conspiracy.

    All of the phone records of the brother, the ex boyfriend, the room mate, the whole family should be examined to see if they had contact with the Manitowoc officers between 10/31- 11/3, when she was reported missing.

    All of the 911 calls that day should be examined. She could have died in some sort of accident and her body used in a conspiracy. Maybe there was no murder.

    1. You present several intriguing ideas, Angie. I completely agree that everyone’s phone records should be examined. If the DA says they were, then let’s see the results. That the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department took advantage of Teresa’s death is not completely improbable when you consider that it occurred just days before Avery’s lawsuit against them was scheduled to begin.

      Pam Sturm’s discovery of the Toyota, while possibly just good luck, does strain credulity, particularly when you try to wade through Officer Colborn’s inconsistent testimony regarding his call to dispatch to run its plates.

  12. I can’t believe the US justice system those two judges are a disgrace. Jury’s set up defence lawyers working against their clients a 16 year old should not be questioned or be giving a statement without parent/lawyer present never mind one with a learning disability. Another thing that should not happen is a DA giving a press conference about detailed information and accusing two people before a trial has even started so your guilty through the media so it’s impossible for the jury to be unbiased. On those grounds alone you would not be able to be trailed in Ireland where I’m from. The whole thing is rotten to the core lenk coborn and the rest of them how they can do this to this family there’s 3 victims in this whole thing T.H,S.A and B.D god be with them. I hope someone or something comes forward with the truth because this ain’t the truth any good cop would have questioned the people close to her family ex boyfriend roommate etc

  13. I totally agree there is no way this man is guilty and the huge miss conduct done by the police and the DA is remarkable. How anyone could believe the confession given by Dassey is unbelievable!!!

    The fact that they never even checked out another other person is crazy!!! Steven Avery made the perfect comment. “Poor people get screwed “

  14. The most troubling thing to me is the officer’s call to dispatch before the car/body was found. I don’t think he explained away on the stand why he was inquiring about the plate at that time and I think he certainly would have remembered that call enough to know why he made it. It really seems like a call from someone looking at an abandoned vehicle that they found.

    However, I am convinced by other pieces of evidence that were not included in the “documentary” that Steven Avery was guilty as charged:1) his sweat DNA under the hood of the car and 2) the bullet with her DNA being discharged from his gun. This all makes a set up theory too far-fetched to me.

    As for why the car wasn’t crushed, it makes sense that it wasn’t crushed by Avery because it would implicate him. Only an Avery would know how to work the crusher, not an outsider who just wanted to stash the car there.

    1. The bullet wasnt found until march – 4 months after initial search. The police had her dna and could easily have put it on the bullet fragment. Im not saying that was done, but Im not putting anything past the investigators. I too am troubled by his call regarding the tags and car and also when Wiegert met Det Riker at salvage yard the morning her car was found. More doubt with evidence then proof,,, Im just saying.

    2. The officer who called to check on the “99 Rav-4” details was just confirming information he had previously written down or read /memorized from Halbach’s missing persons report. Halbach was reported missing a day or two before the call was made (if memory serves) so he didn’t need to be looking at the vehicle to get the details as the defense claimed. The defense knew why he made the call, they just wanted to dupe the jury and mocku-series viewers. It really wasn’t a critical call at the time, and I could see that on the officer’s face on the stand when he was asked to explain a mundane call that lasted just 10-20 seconds.

      The fact he said “99” is a dead giveaway he already had the information and was just verifying it. No one would know what specific year the Rav-4 was by simply looking at it since it was a first generation that was manufactured from 1994 – 2000 and could have manufactured any of those years.

      Regarding the car crusher. Steven rarely used the crusher, his brothers generally operated it. So Steven crushing a car would be out of place and might look suspicious so soon after a woman goes missing.

      Some don’t realize Manitowoc county only had 3 murders from 2001 – 2016 (one being Halbach’s), it’s not like these guys were seasoned veterans with years of investigating numerous homicides. Searches were incomplete (needing repeated searching) and items were missed. Procedures (collecting the remains) were not quite to the letter. They kept going back to be as close to 100% certain they didn’t overlook anything and because Brandon’s interviews gave them more leads to follow up.

  15. If I was Teresa Halbach family, I would want the person that is responsible for her murder put away and I am not convinced it was Steven Avery. To many others could have done this! He was not the only one living on the property. I believe he was framed and the motive behind framing him was money. I feel sorry for the Halbach family for their loss, but I believe they are sucked into believing what the Manitowoc county police wanted them to believe. Had not “making a murder” done this documentary- many would have believed the same way. I believe someone has gotten away with murder with all the other rotten things they did. If Halbach family is happy someone is paying the price for their daughter’s murder, I guess one could be happy for them, but I believe the wrong one is serving time. Steven Avery served 18 yrs for a crime he didn’t do and for once everything started to look up for him. What would his motive be? I don’t think the Manitowoc police really cares who done it as long as they get their revenge on Steven Avery. Just my opinion. One more thing-they say there was more evidence we didn’t see…more evidence of framing?!?! Who can believe anything that the Manitowoc police are involved in? Their hands are washed in the same blood the murderer’s hands are washed in. Justice isn’t justice unless the right one is convicted and I am not convinced that justices has been done! My opinion!

  16. Nothing adds up in this case to convict 2 people for murder. There are to many shady people and unanswered questions. If I was Teresa Halbach ‘s family I could not rest at night for wandering what really happened and if there was any way that Steven Avery could be innocent and the real killer be scot free. I am a firm believer in what goes around comes around. In this case, it will be interesting to see what happens to the people that know they lied and had any part in framing these people and especially the real killer that may be out there. Usually in cases like this the killer is someone close and you would least suspect.

    1. Justice was not served in this case. Too many questions left unanswered and too many possible suspects. I am particularly interested in the Zipperers as well. One detail that has gone ‘de facto’ is that TH’s last visit was to the Avery yard, but in fact, that has never been fully established. Mrs. Zipperer also puts her at her home with inconsistencies on the same day but established she was there in the afternoon. Funnily enough, Mr. Zipperer was entirely belligerent with the police and even after TH was missing claimed that he wanted her to be charged with trespassing. There’s motive to act violently towards someone one your property, taking pictures, perhaps enraging an already enraged man, and it makes me consider he may have ben providing an alibi to the police on his actions in the event he was discovered. This by no means implicates him, but questions certainly abound. As do with TH brother and ex boyfriend tampering with evidence. I thought that was a crime.

  17. Its NOT so hard to believe after knowing the facts about how the rape case was handled and the pending lawsuit to see how Manitowoc County would and could want to make sure Steven Avery was the person they held responsible for the killing of Teresa Halbach. Even though the evidence that was presented in the murder trial does seem to point toward Steven, there does seem to be enough reasonable doubt to determine that he should have been found not guilty, or at least there be a mis-trial. And, if the rumors are true and it can be proven that some jurors voted guilty due to feeling that they were in danger of being set up, or threatened in any way, then he is at least entitled to a re-trial. However, with the amount of publicity that this case has received, it is almost inconceivable to believe that Avery can receive a fair trial. However, it is possible that he has at least a chance to be found not guilty if he gets a retrial.
    Regardless of how a person lives or the amount of money that they have or dont have, or how one dresses or talks, even regardless of what one may have done or not done in his past, we are ALL entitled to the presumption of innocence if accused of a crime and put on trial. Any prior actions of course can be considered if allowed in that trial, but it should still be started with a clean slate. Unfortunately, that was not the case for Steven. He was not only a suspect, he was already deemed the perpetrator as soon as it was discovered that Halbach had been to his property – even before law enforcement knew if she had even spoken with Steven.
    It is easy to sit here today and judge everything that has happened in the trial and try to make a call as to innocence or guilt. What does seem to be lost in all this is that a young woman lost her life. She deserves justice – to have her killer put in prison for the rest of his/her life. Justice is really only served if the actual person that committed the crime is the one that receives the punishment.
    The legal system is set up to try, convict and render punishment for a crime. And once that punishment is issued, it ties the verdict so tightly in a knot that it is almost impossible to undo.
    There may never be any “new” evidence presented for Steven Avery. None the less, in order for Steven to receive a fair trial, he deserves to have all the presented evidence looked at with an open mind that is void of prejudicial views – that looks at the evidence and investigates any and all persons that knew Teresa. Because after all, when she was discovered to be missing and then later found to be murdered, Steven should have been as innocent as her ex boyfriend Ryan Hillegas, her room mate Scott Bloedorn, her brother Mike, Stevens family that lived on the Avery property, the person whose calls Teresa was refusing to answer, according to a co-worker. As innocent as any resident of Manitowoc County and any surrounding county. But he was not, and that is the injustice for Teresa Halbach, as well as Steven Avery, and anyone that is ever accused of a crime.

    1. JP, the DOJ investigation into the rape case and teh 1995 phone call and 1997 DNA test by the WI Innocence Project, revealed no wrong doing on the part of Manitowoc or the WI higher courts in denying his appeals.

      Information to rebut everything you Avery fans are claiming is available, you just have to look for it. But that wouldn’t fit into the conspiracy theory. So, like the mocku-series, you refuse to acknowledge it.

  18. not guilty that whole criminal system is out for him they couldnt get him the first time so they got him the 2nd time its one big setup

  19. it doesnt matter what anyone thinks.it all came down to the lawsuit..they didnt or couldnt pay steven for the lawsuit without someone BIG going broke..the state,maybe..anyway money is the issue here.everything has been proved to a tee..UNTIL someone with a good heart and will reopen this case will be the hero give steve his millions leave him alone..you guys messed up royally..i just hope someone with alot of stamina and has a name in the judical system and succeeded with alot of cases..you want recognization take this mans case and reopen it….he is innocent …

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