Making a Murderer is a Netflix documentary series about Steven Avery, his family and how they are dealing with the fact that he has seemingly been found guilty not once, but twice, for crimes that he did not commit. It makes you question police corruption, the judiciary system, and really just makes you wonder what the heck is going on within (and between) Manitowoc County, Wisconsin’s sheriff’s department and the state’s criminal justice system – and you consider how representative the story is to those institutions in society as a whole.
It’s a scary thought, and should be, even for those who aren’t sure whether or not Steven Avery, along with his nephew Brendan Dassey, ARE guilty for the murder of Teresa Halbach.
What makes the series so addicting is that, as a viewer, you are completely immersed in the Avery family’s life and what they went through from 1985, when Steven was committed of his first crime (for which he spent 18 years in prison until being exonerated by DNA evidence), until today. Steven has now spent over half his life in prison and claims that he is being framed by the police.
His story would sound incredulous to the average person, but when you learn about the details of the so-called evidence, and how it was found, you start to relate to the Avery’s plight and question your own beliefs about just how well a person like Steven would really be treated under the circumstances.
After all, Steven was in the process of filing a $36 million lawsuit against the county for his wrongful conviction only 2 years before he was arrested and charged with the murder of Teresa. He eventually had to settle for $400,000 in order to finance this second case, which he ultimately lost.
Whether or not you believe Steven was framed for murder, the truth remains that the actions of the police and the investigators were questionable and, at times, even illegal, yet no one outside of the Avery family and Steven’s defense lawyers, seemed to pay attention to the details. There appeared to be no doubt in the minds of the police, the judge, and even Brenden’s OWN lawyer, that the two were guilty. And with no money, social support or repute, you wonder at how possible it would have been for the Avery’s to prove otherwise.