Since Making a Murderer debuted late last year on Netflix, the internet has been overrun with amateur sleuths looking for evidence presented in Avery’s trial that the show suspiciously overlooked. Investigation Discovery’s Steven Avery: Innocent or Guilty, which premieres tomorrow at 9 pm, features a clip of Murderer co-director Laura Ricciardi explaining, “It would have been impossible for us to include all of the evidence that the state submitted. We chose all of what the state itself was claiming to be its most compelling evidence. We feel that we did a very thorough, a very accurate, and fair job.”
The Keith Morrison-hosted special nonetheless examines several points absent from the series, with commentary from prosecutor Ken Kranz (Former DA, Calumet County, who wanted Avery to confess so that he could write a book about it) and Avery’s former defense attorney Jerry Buting. Among them:
The vial of blood
Kratz calls its handling “one of the more irresponsible claims” of Murderer. “The suggestion is that this purple-topped tube was tampered with, that clearly it had a hole in the top of the tube,” he explains. However, Kratz claims all blood-sample vials carry such holes after the sample has been collected. “How do you think the blood got in there? The blood gets in there by putting a hole in it. There was a nurse that was interviewed that said, ‘I’m the one that put the hole in there.’”
(For further reading, here’s a whole Reddit thread about holes in blood vials.)
Buting, though, according to Morrison “was more interested in another clue”: the blood that was visible between the stopper and the glass, which, according to Buting “you could only get if the stopper’s taken out,” thus suggesting it had been tampered with and used to plant Avery’s blood in Teresa Halbach’s car.
Avery’s communication with AutoTrader and Teresa Halbach before her murder
Kratz points out that Avery specifically called Autro Trader, requested Halbach come to his home, and that he left his sister’s contact information instead of his own.
Buting says the answer for this is quite simple: She was the only photographer for Auto Trader in that whole area of the state. “He doesn’t say, ‘Send Teresa Halbach.’ He says, ‘Send that woman out here again to take pictures. We want to put another vehicle in your magazine,’” says Buting.
Kratz claims, “The filmmakers don’t tell the viewer that Teresa is lured onto the property using the *67 feature, or that different names or phone numbers are used.” On the day of her murder, Avery called Halbach’s cell phone twice using *67 to block his number. He called her again at 4:35 without blocking his number, the implication being that Avery was attempting to give himself an alibi. “Teresa would have been dead by then,” offers Morrison.
Without addressing the *67 flip-flop (per Investigation Discovery’s edit), Buting tackles the state’s theory that Avery attempted to obscure his identity by saying, “The problem with this theory was, if he already had her cell phone, then all he had to do was call her cell phone and have her come out there, but instead he called the Auto Trader office and made an appointment.”
“The vehicle that she was to take pictures of was his sister’s vehicle and she was the one who would ultimately be the seller of the transfer of the title,” says Buting regarding the charge that Avery used a “false name.” On the show, Buting follows this up with, “Kratz has really misrepresented what that evidence was about.”
Additionally, Kratz touches on Halbach’s previous dealings with Avery before her murder: “She told [colleague] Tom Pearce ‘This guy creeps me out,’ and he said, ‘Don’t ever go in that house.’” Morrison claims that “according to a friend of Teresa’s,” Avery at one point answered the door in nothing but a towel when Halbach arrived.
Avery’s DNA being found on the hood of Halbach’s car
“There’s no suggestion that the officers had vials of Mr. Avery’s sweat with them,” says Kratz regarding the DNA evidence from the skin/sweat of Avery’s fingers that was found on the outside hood latch of Halbach’s car.
“There were no fingerprints at all of Steven Avery on the car,” says Buting. “If he’s wearing gloves, he’s not going to get his DNA on it.”
Additionally, there was the matter of Halbach’s charred cell phone and camera being found in Avery’s burn barrel, evidence of which the series omitted.
In the special, Buting says Kratz “tainted the trial” with his “outrageously inappropriate press conference” that happened the year before, in which Kratz announced that Avery had tortured and raped Halbach. Though these charges did not make it into the trial, one of the jurors nonetheless claimed he or she not only thought Avery was guilty of murder but that he was guilty of rape and torture as well.
Regarding the sexting scandal that happened a few years after the trial and cost Kratz his job, Kratz told Investigation Discovery, “To suggest that those behaviors not only were present three years earlier or five years earlier when the whole case started, but to say somehow it impacted decisions I made or the prosecution or investigation decisions I made is absolutely unfair.”
[Making a Murderer still via Netflix]