On Making a Murderer, Steven Avery’s former fiancée, Jodi Stachowski, was portrayed as his rock (you also may remember her Ski-Doo jacket, her “Warning: Does Not Play Well With Others” T-shirt, and that time she left her purse on the bed). She conducted herself as devoted to Avery up until the point when her probation officer ordered her to move away from the Avery property and issued a “no contact” order (which she got in trouble for violating at least once).
Though Stachowski maintained Avery’s innocence in the docuseries, her tune has now changed. In an interview that aired last night on HLN, whose supposedly raw footage is above, Stachowski called Avery “sick” and “a monster,” deemed their relationship “abusive,” and claimed, “He threatened to kill me, and my family, and a friend of mine.”
“He’d beat me all the time, punch me, throw me against the wall. I tried to leave, he smashed the windshield out of my car so I couldn’t leave him,” she said.
When asked if there were any good times in her two-year relationship with Avery, Stachowski replied, “Maybe two.”
Stachowski said her showing in Making a Murderer was “all an act” because she was intimidated by Avery. “Steven called me and told me that if I didn’t say anything good and nice about him, I’d pay,” she told HLN. She said she took that as him threatening to beat her, in the event that he was released from jail.
The documentary used footage of Stachowski discussing multiple phone conversations the night of Teresa Halbach’s murder to cast doubt on his culpability. Then Stachowski claimed regarding her calls from jail, “The conversation with normal. He didn’t sound rushed or like he was doing anything, and if he was in the middle of doing something, we wouldn’t have talked for 15 minutes.” Here’s that scene:
To HLN, however, Stachowski said that Avery “did sound funny” the night of the murder. “I mean, he didn’t sound rushed or…whatever. But he did sound funny, like he was lying or hiding something,” she said. She said that she repeatedly asked Avery if he killed Halbach and “he always said no,” but she didn’t believe him because, “I know the way he is.”
Stachowski painted Avery as someone who had a chip on his shoulder after spending 18 years in prison for a rape he did not commit. “He told me once, excuse my language, ‘All bitches owe him,’ because of the one that sent him to prison the first time,” she explained. “We all owed him and he could do whatever he wanted.”
Stachowski claimed that she was going to testify against Avery in the Halbach trial, but doesn’t remember if she was interviewed before the trial because she says she tries to “block all that out.” Says she was never bribed by law enforcement and that she was never told by Making a Murderer filmmakers Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi to make Steven look good, but she doesn’t know if they were aware of his abuse.
On their breakup, which is portrayed in the documentary through Avery’s words as more systematic manipulation, Stachowski gave HLN this account:
We were put on a no-contact after phone calls that were made that my P.O. heard of him talking to his mom something about me, I don’t know, I don’t care. We were put on a no-contact for that, and then one day he called and asked for the camera. Well, the camera’s in police custody. I don’t have it. She had some officers come to the house and arrest me because it was third-party contact. There’s no contact at all. So I went to jail, we talked, and she said it’d be in my best interest if I left. If I stayed, I’d keep getting in trouble. Well, I ain’t getting in trouble for him. So I moved.
Stachowski also told HLN that she believes Avery’s nephew Brendan Dassey, who was also convicted of Halbach’s murder, is innocent.