‘Making a Murderer’ Attorney Kathleen Zellner Shares New Info ‘You Didn’t See in the Show’

Kathleen Zellner, the attorney for “Making a Murderer” subject Steven Avery, took to Twitter to reveal new information about Teresa Halbach’s murder that, according to her, fans didn’t see in the second season of the Netflix show. Zellner pointed fingers at Brendan Dassey’s brother, Bobby.

“‘Making a Murderer’ watchers, listen up,” she tweeted on Thursday morning. “I’m going to walk you through what I’ve learned through my investigation that you didn’t see in the show.”

Zellner then started a 20-tweet thread, in which she constantly mentioned “our suspect,” while laying out a timeline of what transpired in 2005. She said Halbach was followed (while Avery was in his trailer) after she left the Avery Salvage Yard on Oct. 31, 2005, and that he got Halbach to pull over. “She opened the car’s rear cargo door to retrieve her camera, was knocked to the ground and struck with an object. TH was put in the rear cargo area of the RAV4 and driven back to ASY.” Zellner’s timeline contradicts what prosecutors presented at trial. The prosecution said Avery and Brendan Dassey raped and killed Halbach in Avery’s trailer and then burned her remains.

Zellner also said the suspect had “access to Steven’s trailer to remove blood from the sink,” after the suspect knew Steven’s finger had “re-bled on 11/3/05 because he observed it.” (Avery’s cut on his finger was a big part of the prosecution’s arguments during trial.)

“Only our suspect knew the blood in the sink was Steven’s and not TH’s (this rules out the police),” she wrote. “Suspect planted blood in RAV4, bones in Steven’s burn pit, and TH’s electronics in Steven’s burn barrel. In conclusion, the killer is the person who had the access and opportunity to plant Steven Avery’s fresh blood in Teresa Halbach’s car.”

“Do you think it was Bobby [Dassey]?” one fan asked. “We cannot rule him out,” Zellner responded, adding that Bobby’s garage is being searched for DNA and blood.

In the second season of “Making a Murderer,” there was no clear suspect mentioned but Zellner does question Scott Tadych [Brendan’s stepfather] and Bobby Dassey and that the latter may not have told the truth during trial. At one point in the series, Tadych loses his temper.

One user asked, “I fully believe Bobby killed Theresa & for whatever reason Scott was involved in coverup. However, is it really believable that either would realistically remember SA’s finger bleeding & think to take SA’s blood from the sink?” Zellner responded, “Of course. The police had just been on the property and he would have been panicked to divert attention from himself.”

Zellner also named a motive for the suspect: “It was a rage killing motivated by rejection.”

“Do we know if Bobby or ST ever interacted with TH prior to 10/31? Meaning is it possible that Bobby had his eye on her for a while before she was killed?” asked one user, to which Zellner responded, “Yes.”

“Making a Murderer Part 2” premiered on Netflix on Oct. 19. “Making a Murderer” premiered in 2015 and quickly became a worldwide phenomenon, which chronicled the 2005 murder of Halbach and the conviction of Avery and his nephew, Brendan Dassey. Avery was sentenced to life in prison, and a Federal Appeals court upheld a ruling that Dassey’s confession was involuntary and that investigators violated Dassey’s rights. However, in June, the Supreme Court declined to hear his case.

Zellner is currently appealing Avery’s conviction, although a circuit court judge denied him a new trial. Her brief to the appeals court is due by Dec. 20.

You can see all of Zellner’s responses to fans during the Twitter Q&A here, and see Zellner’s Twitter thread below.

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'Making a Murderer' Season 2: Brendan Dassey's Favorite TV Show Is 'Lethal Weapon'

'Making a Murderer': Season 2 of Netflix's True-Crime Series to Premiere Next Month

Election Results May Be Good News for ‘Making a Murderer’ Duo

One of the biggest flips in the midterm elections — at least for the stars of Netflix’s “Making a Murderer” Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey — may have come in the state of Wisconsin. Governor Scott Walker and Attorney General Brad Schimel, both republican incumbents, lost their bids for re-election on Tuesday.  Described as “the top […]

‘Making a Murderer’ Season 2 Slipped Because Reality Ruins the Documentary, Even as It Makes Fiction Believable

This past weekend, viewers who flipped on Netflix to watch the much-anticipated sequel to “Making a Murderer” faced a few challenges. So many, in fact, anyone waiting to see what filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos cooked up for “Part 2” were likely to be disappointed no matter what. The hype for Season 2 worked against its story, news reports updating the case’s progress “spoiled” the ending, and, perhaps above all else, the pervasive feeling that none of this would make a difference in overturning Steven Avery’s conviction ruined any righteous anger.

This last point is telling, since it wasn’t a problem for the first season, and it’s hardly a problem for other shows. As discussed on this week’s Very Good TV Podcast (which you can listen to below), “Making a Murderer” Part 2 came out a few weeks after Brett Kavanaugh came to represent all that’s wrong with nominating a Supreme Court justice, in a year when human rights are being threatened, and during an administration hellbent on eradicating First Amendment protections. When it comes to the courts, there’s not a lot of room for optimism in 2018.

True-crime documentaries are often built on indignation, but they’re just as reliant on hope. “Making a Murderer” certainly was, as the 2015 episodes stoked the fire surrounding Avery’s case and captivated a nation frustrated by what they learned about the trial. The victim’s key just happened to surface in Steven’s trailer days after it was first searched? There was no blood on Avery property despite a grisly account of the murder? The same cops who vowed to get Avery after he was first released from prison were all over the new case?

Making a Murderer: Part 2

Scott Tadych, Brendan Dassey, and Barb Tadych in “Making a Murderer: Part 2”

Netflix

All of these issues (and plenty more) were enraging to discover, and seemed impossible to logically refute. Something had to happen… but it didn’t. To see “Part 2” reexamine the same evidence to justify a new trial can be frustrating for the wrong reasons. That’s how the legal system works, but it doesn’t make for a thrilling 10-hour follow-up, and new details just don’t hold the same weight: There’s a back road that could’ve been used to place the victim’s car on Avery’s property! OK, but it never seemed like getting a car onto a car lot would be difficult. Steven couldn’t have burned the body on his property because the burn pit isn’t deep enough! OK, but who did burn the body and where did they do it? Bobby Dassey’s confession wasn’t legal! OK, no duh.

Hopelessness is hard enough to fight off in your day-to-day life, but spending 10 hours with a hype machine that doesn’t work is taxing. The best interpretation of “Making a Murderer” Part 2 is that it was made to keep Avery’s case in the zeitgeist, with the chance fan fervor could once again grease the wheels of justice. But watching “Part 2” was wearying. For one, there’s no smoking gun — or second, third, or fourth smoking gun, depending on your interpretation of Season 1’s evidence — but it’s also harder to believe the smoking gun would matter.

That same line of thinking can elevate other series. Take, for instance, the other big Netflix release last weekend: “Marvel’s Daredevil.” In its third season, the supervillain of the comic book franchise, Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio), is released from prison, beating the odds in court and becoming reinstated as a full-blown citizen. Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), the hero, is an attorney, so this kind of escape is doubly vexing (and appropriate). Now, “Daredevil” isn’t exactly based in reality, but in other years, it may have been difficult to believe someone like Fisk would ever be legally released from captivity. He’s done some very bad things, and the show’s writers wouldn’t want to stretch plausibility — there are other ways for him to get out.

But in 2018, that choice plays into viewers’ frustration with the legal system. If FBI investigations can be narrowed to the point of nullifying their findings, if the president can get away with tax fraud, if Steven Avery is still stuck in prison, then of course Wilson Fisk can walk out of Rikers and catch a boat to his Manhattan high-rise. It’s odd that reality can get in the way of an unscripted documentary and benefit a scripted superhero story, but here we are: It’s 2018, and the system feels a bit broken. Just remember to do what you can to fix it come November 6.

Also: Don’t forget to subscribe to Very Good TV Podcast, hosted by IndieWire TV Editor Liz Shannon Miller and featuring TV Critic Ben Travers, via Soundcloud or iTunes. Make sure to follow IndieWire on Twitter and Facebook for all your TV news. Plus, check out IndieWire’s other podcastsScreen Talk with Eric Kohn and Anne Thompson, the Filmmaker Toolkit Podcast with Chris O’Falt, as well as Michael Schneider’s podcast, Turn It On, which spotlights the most important TV each week.

‘Making a Murderer’ Prosecutor Gives 9 Reasons Steven Avery Is Guilty

As you buckle in to watch “Making a Murderer Part 2,” there’s something Ken Kratz would like you to keep in mind: He still thinks Steven Avery is guilty as sin.

Since “Making a Murderer” made him famous nearly three years ago, the former Wisconsin prosecutor hasn’t been shy about defending his work in the 2005 murder prosecution of Avery and Brendan Dassey. Soon after the original documentary’s release, TheWrap reached out to him about suggestions in the Netflix docu-series that his office railroaded two innocent defendants.

In an email, Kratz strongly rejected the criticisms, saying the documentary series got it wrong. He concluded by saying Netflix should “either provide an opportunity for rebuttal, or alert the viewers that this series was produced by and FOR the defense of Steven Avery, and contains only the opinion and theory of the defense team.”

Here is his email to us, in its entirety. It begins with the Calumet County district attorney responding to our question about whether he believed the docu-series left out any evidence:

Examples for you to consider:

1. Avery’s past incident with a cat was not “goofing around”.  He soaked his cat in gasoline or oil, and put it on a fire to watch it suffer.

2.  Avery targeted Teresa.  On Oct 31 (8:12 am) he called AutoTrader magazine and asked them to send “that same girl who was here last time.”  On Oct 10, Teresa had been to the Avery property when Steve answered the door just wearing a towel.  She said she would not go back because she was scared of him (obviously).  Avery used a fake name and fake # (his sister’s) giving those to the AutoTrader receptionist, to trick Teresa into coming.

3. Teresa’s phone, camera and PDA were found 20 ft from Avery’s door, burned in his barrel.  Why did the documentary not tell the viewers the contents of her purse were in his burn barrel, just north of the front door of his trailer?

4.  While in prison, Avery told another inmate of his intent to build a “torture chamber” so he could rape, torture and kill young women when he was released.  He even drew a diagram.  Another  inmate was told by Avery that the way to get rid of a body is to “burn it”…heat destroys DNA.

5. The victim’s bones in the firepit were “intertwined” with the steel belts, left over from the car tires Avery threw on the fire to burn, as described by Dassey.  That WAS where her bones were burned!  Suggesting that some human bones found elsewhere (never identified as Teresa’s) were from this murder was NEVER established.

6.  Also found in the fire pit was Teresa’s tooth (ID’d through dental records), a rivet from the “Daisy Fuentes” jeans she was wearing that day, and the tools used by Avery to chop up her bones during the fire.

7.  Phone records show 3 calls from Avery to Teresa’s cell phone on Oct 31.  One at 2:24, and one at 2:35–both calls Avery uses the *67 feature so Teresa doesn’t know it him…both placed before she arrives.  Then one last call at 4:35 pm, without the *67 feature.  Avery first believes he can simply say she never showed up (his original defense), so tries to establish the alibi call after she’s already been there, hence the 4:35 call.  She will never answer of course, so he doesn’t need the *67 feature for that last call.

8. Avery’s DNA (not blood) was on the victim’s hood latch (under her hood in her hidden SUV).  The SUV was at the crime lab since 11/5…how did his DNA get under the hood if Avery never touched her car?  Do the cops have a vial of Avery’s sweat to “plant” under the hood?

9. Ballistics said the bullet found in the garage was fired by Avery’s rifle, which was in a police evidence locker since 11/6…if the cops planted the bullet, how did they get one fired from HIS gun?  This rifle, hanging over Aver’s bed, is the source of the bullet found in the garage, with Teresa’s DNA on it.  The bullet had to be fired BEFORE 11/5—did the cops borrow his gun, fire a bullet, recover the bullet before planting the SUV, then hang on to the bullet for 4 months in case they need to plant it 4 months later???

There is more of course.  But I’m not a DA anymore.  I have no duty to show what nonsense the “planting” defense is, or why the documentary makers didn’t provide these uncontested facts to the audience.  You see, these facts are inconsistent with the claim that these men were framed—you don’t want to muddy up a perfectly good conspiracy movie with what actually happened, and certainly not provide the audience with the EVIDENCE the jury considered to reject that claim.

Finally, I engaged in deplorable behavior, sending suggestive text messages to a crime victim in Oct 2009.  I reported myself to the OLR.  My law license was thereafter suspended for 4 months.  I have withstood a boat-load of other consequences as a result of that behavior, including loss of my prosecution career.  However, I’ve enjoyed sobriety from prescription drug use for over 5 years now, and refuse to be defined by that dark time of my life.  All of this occurred years after the Avery case was concluded…I’m unclear why the defense-created documentary chose to include this unpleasantness in this movie, especially if the filmmakers had no agenda to cast me as a villain.  I am not a victim in that whole texting scandal—then again, it’s exceedingly unfair to use that to characterize me as morally unfit.

To identify Lt. Lenk, Sgt. Colburn and myself as being “responsible” for the framing and knowing false murder conviction of Steven Avery is irresponsible, and inconsistent with a consideration of all the evidence presented.  Netflix should either provide an opportunity for rebuttal, or alert the viewers that this series was produced by and FOR the defense of Steven Avery, and contains only the opinion and theory of the defense team.

Thanks for your consideration.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Making a Murderer': Steven Avery Files New Appeal

'Making a Murderer': Why Steven Avery Says Juror Was Out to Get Him

Steven Avery's Attorney Cites 'New Evidence,' Is 'Confident' of 'Making a Murderer' Convict's Exoneration

‘Making a Murderer’ Review: Part 2 Is a Long, Painful Look at Old Evidence with Little New to Say

Near the end of “Making a Murderer” Season 2, Steven Avery’s father, Allan, walks into his kitchen and has a telling series of reactions to five thick stacks of paper on his table. Initially, he’s horrified at the sight of these updated evidentiary documents, collected over 400 days by his son’s attorney and filed with the court house that morning. The looming tower of reports represents every bit of information that might prove relevant to freeing his imprisoned boy. Along with the rest of his family, Allan has been wrestling with disputed facts and supported theories about Steven’s actions for decades, and for a moment, it looks like the daunting sight of their summation might be too much for him to take.

But then Allan hears his son’s voice on the phone. His spirits pick up, and a gap-toothed smile cracks his face. Suddenly, he’s hopeful, but it’s clear he’s hopeful because he has to be; Steven is trapped in prison and still fighting to get out, so the father is strong for his son. Once the call ends, Allan’s demeanor shifts once more. Flipping through the papers, he sees nothing of marked value — no overlooked discovery destined to finally turn the tide in his family’s favor. Once he realizes it’s not there, Allan stops reading, stands up, and offers a meager, “I hope something happens.”

These few minutes encapsulate the Netflix docuseries as effectively as watching the overwrought and overlong Part 2 in its entirety. Meant to keep hope alive for a man who’s already been wrongfully imprisoned once, filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos’ new episodes are as dense and excessive as the documents on Allan’s kitchen table. The follow-up season tracks Avery’s post-conviction appeal process, as well as his cousin, Brendan Dassey’s, as the two inmates try to get their guilty verdicts overturned. Season 2 relies on the sight of a slightly older Avery to spark empathy for his plight, while also highlighting a flawed legal system that’s costing two men their lives, but there’s no miracle waiting around the corner, and any crackling condemnation of the court system is buried in tedious storytelling. Part 2 merely extends hope for 10 more hours, which ultimately feels cruel when there’s nothing to show for it but pain.

Making a Murderer: Part 2

Scott Tadych, Brendan Dassey, and Barb Tadych in “Making a Murderer: Part 2”

Netflix

Following up on the wild success of the original series, the second season faces a number of issues the first did not. For one, seemingly everyone interested in a sequel has likely been tracking news reports about Avery and Dassey. What was once a regional story became a national one when the docuseries debuted, so viewers know the ending of Season 2 before it starts: Avery and Dassey are still in prison, and the latter has exhausted his legal options for a retrial.

So what story is left to tell? With more clarity and a broader focus, Part 2 could have skewered America’s ineffective criminal justice system. It tries. By introducing a new hero — Avery’s prodigious attorney Kathleen Zellner, who has righted more wrongful convictions than any other private lawyer — and making former Wisconsin district attorney Ken Kratz into an even more overt villain than before, the 10 episodes dig through old footage, old case files, old evidence, old testimony, and old memories to elicit new theories. They find some, but when Zellner or Dassey’s attorneys try to push them through the courts, they’re often stuck. Through mostly talking-head testimonials, the system is shown to be unpredictable, frustrating, and time consuming.

However, the filmmakers rarely remind viewers that it should be all these things. Overturning a court’s ruling needs to be difficult, or even the most obviously guilty parties would rack up judges’ time trying to get their cases retried. The judges’ individual reactions to the cases can be stupefying — Ricciardi and Demos use courtroom sketches paired with audio recordings to effectively recreate hearings their cameras aren’t allowed to document — but there’s not a lot of objectivity here. The included voices all back Avery’s innocence, and thus readily agree with each other. Such droning accord also gives the season a monotonous tone, and if that weren’t tiring enough, the filmmakers reuse footage from Season 1, revisit the same points repeatedly, and generally overinflate the runtime by talking down to their audience. (At one point, there’s a minute-long montage of Steven Avery pictures, all of which have been shown before and none of which are pertinent to the episode. It’s just there to make you feel sorry for him, as if the whole show doesn’t do that already.)

Making a Murderer: Part 2

“Making a Murderer: Part 2”

Netflix

These kind of redundancies in the documentarians’ paperwork are as likely to reignite the passionate fanbase fighting to get Avery released as they are to alienate viewers by intimidation. As entertainment, “Part 2” is a slog. As an argument for its subjects’ innocence, it pushes the same buttons with the same evidence (and lack thereof) as before.

A pessimist might finish the 10-plus hours of “Making a Murderer” Season 2 and see Netflix milking its successful programs for extra content yet again; that, like the accusations included in news footage citing problems with the original season, “Part 2” is a corporate money-grab at the sake of a victim whose family needs her to rest in peace. But that’s not really it. “Making a Murderer” was never an impartial examination of a two-sided case. It was and remains an advocacy piece, meant to draw out empathy for Avery’s repeated victimhood at the hands of a corrupt judiciary system. At its best, “Making a Murderer” exposes issues beyond Avery’s case, making his unfair treatment an example from which Americans should learn.

If the new episodes manage to create another sensation around Avery’s case and help right an injustice — or, somehow, prove justice has been done — it’s a valuable endeavor. But right now, Part 2 feels like false hope, and the filmmakers would’ve been better off waiting for something to happen before pushing out another wearying report.

Grade: C

“Making a Murderer” Part 2 is streaming now on Netflix.

James Corden Combines ‘Making a Murderer’ and ‘Halloween’ So You Don’t Have to Choose Today (Video)

Netflix’s “Making a Murderer” Season 2 and Blumhouse’s “Halloween” both came out Friday, so how does one choose which to watch? Well, James Corden just combined the two into one true-crime series/horror flick crossover, “Making a Halloween Murderer,” so maybe start with that.

In the Thursday “Late Late Show” sketch, Corden’s Michael Myers has been locked up four 40 years when he implores a group of documentarians to shed light on his appeal, and to seek out some of his buddies as character witnesses. Cut to: Jason Voorhees, who totally vouches for the guy.

“The only thing Mike ever killed is on the dance floor,” the “Friday the 13th” baddie says. “The guy can move.”

Later, when presented with some violent film footage from the (alleged) crime, Myers admits that video of him attacking Jamie Lee Curtis with a knife in an earlier “Halloween” movie does “look bad.”

Fortunately for the masked man who is definitely not a killer, newly discovered DNA evidence eventual springs him from the clink. And on the outside, he meets a lady — but his freedom and newfound relationship don’t last once the cops sit down and watch all of the other “Halloween” movies.

Watch the video above.

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TV Review: ‘Making a Murderer Part 2’

When it landed on Netflix in 2015, the documentary series “Making a Murderer” was a near-instant sensation, with both the internet commentariat and the national media expressing strong views about the case of Steven Avery and his unfortunate nephew, Brendan Dassey, two Wisconsin men convicted of a 2005 murder. (Opinions diverged, but many viewers seemed […]

With ‘Making A Murderer’ Part 2, Its Filmmakers Are Ready to Take on Their Critics

It took Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos more than a decade to shoot, produce, and edit “Making A Murderer” before it reached the Netflix audience in late 2015. The sequel took just three years to make — but Ricciardi and Demos said they came back with even more material to edit. The difference? Money.

While shooting Part 1, Ricciardi and Demos were struggling filmmakers slowly piecing together the story of accused murderer Steven Avery while holding down day jobs. But then came Netflix, and the “Making A Murderer” phenomenon that became one of the streaming service’s biggest early success stories.

“With Part 2, Netflix was a partner from the outset, and so the project was fully financed from the start,” Ricciardi said. “That meant we were in production and post-production simultaneously the entire time. We were actually shooting longer this time, which I think most people would be surprised to read. We were shooting for two years, or 25 months [compared to 18 months for Part 1].”

Ricciardi and Demos said the story of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey is “the gift that keeps on giving.” For the uninitiated, Avery originally made headlines as a Wisconsin man who spent 18 years in prison for a wrongful conviction before being exonerated for the crime. He was later accused and convicted of murdering photographer Teresa Halbach. But part of his prosecution came from a confession by his nephew Dassey, who also remains behind bars despite evidence that he was coerced by authorities to make false claims.

“A few months after the launch [of ‘Making a Murderer’], sometime in the spring of 2016, we knew certainly the story wasn’t over,” Demos said. “At the center of our story is Steven Avery who, if nothing else, is a fighter. And says outright at the end of episode 10 in part 1, ‘I’m going to keep going.’ We had these two men behind bars, sentenced to life sentences, who proclaimed they were innocent. But the question was, what was going to be happening. Post-conviction is a much lesser-known phase of the process, but one thing we knew is it could take years. And that’s not so conducive for television shows.”

Making a Murderer: Part 2

Kathleen Zellner in “Making A Murderer” Part 2

Netflix

But two things happened simultaneously to keep the story dynamic: Attorney Kathleen Zellner, who’s famous for having helped get 19 wrongfully convicted people exonerated, agreed to take on Avery’s case after watching “Making A Murderer.” And soon after Part 1 premiered, a federal judge overturned Dassey’s conviction. Part 2 centers both on Zellner and on Dassey’s post-conviction attorneys, Northwestern University Law professors Laura Nirider and Steve Drizin.

“For Kathleen to take the case, she was the winning-est private post-conviction attorney in the US. Her success came through often times very unconventional methods,” Demos said. “She doesn’t work her cases from behind the desk. They’re fighting for transparency. They’re fighting to get evidence from the state. They test evidence. And they’ll share those results and let them speak of the fact that they feel like they have nothing to hide in what they’re doing. We were the beneficiaries of that point of view and attitude. She becomes the engine of the story and a proxy for the viewers.”

Zellner also helped answer some of the criticisms levied against part 1 of “Making a Murderer.” Investigators alleged that they found Avery’s DNA from sweat on a car hood’s latch. Zellner tested that scenario, and found it impossible to actually happen.

Making a Murderer: Part 2

Steven Avery (right) and family in “Making a Murderer” Part 2

Netflix

“We knew we were going to have an incredibly active character who was not only going to be enacting the want of Steven Avery, ‘fight to free me,’ but at the same time in certain ways enacting the want of viewers, people who were dissatisfied with where we left things or where real life left things,” Ricciardi said.

If there’s one takeaway from “Making A Murderer” Part 2, it’s that the post-conviction process is even more convoluted and nearly impossible to navigate than most Americans expect.

“In many ways, these advocates are just fighting to get their day in court,” Demos said. “Fighting for the right to have a court listen to their arguments. I knew this process was very long and slow, it took years to come down, and I knew the odds were against you. But I don’t think I understood how the door to the courtroom is closed and you have to fight so hard just to get into court to present your evidence. I thought when you found evidence that would matter, but there’s a lot you can’t count on.”

And then there’s the case of Dassey, who had expected to be released after his conviction was overturned — until a federal appeals court upheld his sentence.

“There’s a huge revelation about how the state court and federal court work relative to one another, and how much power the federal court has to potentially second guess what the state court has done,” Ricciardi said. “I think as American citizens, if you think about the system, I think we all find comfort in thinking we’re U.S. citizens, we have state constitutional rights, we have federal constitutional rights, but if the federal courts don’t have meaningful power to review what a state court has done, then how you’re treated by the system can really be determined by what state you live in. And that will feel like a new proposition to a lot of people. It sure did to me.”

Making a Murderer: Part 2

Brendan Dassey (center) and family in “Making a Murderer” Part 2

Netflix

The second season of “Making A Murderer” opens with a recap of how the series impacted the cases of Avery and Dassey — including the knocks it incurred from critics.

“We felt like we were bridging the two parts of this story,” Demos said. “And we knew the story we were going to be documenting, the world, had changed since we had delivered Part 1. We knew there would be times where we were sitting down with a subject who would directly refer to ‘Making A Murderer.'”

Ricciardi and Demos remain steadfast in their defense of “Making A Murderer” Part 1 against critics who felt the original left out crucial case details. However, Part 2 includes a lengthy list of people who declined to comment for the series. “We didn’t know enough as first-time filmmakers that people wouldn’t implicitly understand that we reached out to all involved, that’s just what you do,” Demos said. “We had people out there saying we hadn’t reached out when we had. We thought, ‘Let’s just put that up there.'”

Also important was including more details about Theresa Halbach, whose murder is at the center of both convictions. Although the Halbach family continues to decline to participate (“a decision we completely understand and respect,” Ricciardi said), one of her college friends was willing to go in front of the camera.

A lot has changed in the nation in the three years since “Making A Murderer” debuted, and Demos said the two of them have been asked whether they think audiences will still be interested in the plight of Avery and Dassey when issues like Trump, #MeToo, and Black Lives Matter dominate headlines.

“Our story, when it comes down to it, are these themes of identity, and accountability, and transparency and that’s exactly what we see playing out in the news and in our lives every day,” Demos said. “We very much believe having the opportunity to spend some time with characters who are struggling with these same things that are floating through the 24-hour news cycle can help you understand it in a way, and you can apply it to other things in your life. Not just the criminal justice system, but many aspects of governments and institutions. We hope it resonates even more so now, because of what’s going on in the world.”

As for a third edition, Demos and Ricciardi said they continue to keep tabs on the two cases, but they’re not sure if they’d return to this story again or find another case for a future installment. Their previously announced scripted project with George Clooney’s Smokehouse Pictures isn’t moving forward, but the duo is looking at other potential projects, both fiction and non-fiction, to tackle next. Said Ricciardi: “We know there are stories out there to be told.”

TV Shows to Watch the Week of Oct. 15, 2018: ‘The Conners,’ ‘Daredevil’

Welcome back to Tune In: our weekly newsletter offering a guide to the best of the week’s TV. Each week, Variety’s TV team combs through the week’s schedule, selecting our picks of what to watch and when/how to watch them. This week, “The Conners” debuts sans Roseanne and “Daredevil” returns for Season 3 “The Conners,” […]

Listen: ‘Making a Murderer’ Team on Pursuing ‘Social Justice’ in Season 2

Welcome to “Remote Controlled,” a podcast from Variety featuring the best and brightest in television, both in front of and behind the camera. In this week’s episode, Variety’s executive editor of TV, Debra Birnbaum, speaks with the filmmakers behind “Making a Murderer,” Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, about Season 2 of the hit documentary, which returns to Netflix on […]

‘Making a Murderer’ Trailer: Trying to Overturn a Conviction Is the Next Step in the Steven Avery Saga

From the looks of things, “Making a Murderer” Season 2 — or Part 2, in the show’s official parlance — is aware that many people are already familiar with the case at the show’s core. Steven Avery’s conviction, one of the surprise elements of the series’ opening episodes from back in 2015, still ripples through the Wisconsin county of Manitowoc.

After announcing late last month that the show would be returning for a new season of episodes, Netflix unveiled the first look at the documentary series’ tracking of the new developments in the case. Creators and directors Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos return to Manitowoc, following the efforts of attorney Kathleen Zellner to overturn Avery’s conviction. In addition to Avery, this will also provide updates on the involvement of Avery’s nephew, Brendan Dassey.

It seems that process will incorporate many of the hallmarks of other true crime series: a discussion of the psychology behind faulty confessions, a consideration of what this whole process has done to the Avery family, and even a pointed reference to the pinging of a cell tower. On top of that, it looks like these new 10 episodes will also incorporate some “Mythbusters”-esque ballistic demonstrations to help test some of the forensic bases for Avery’s conviction.

While the first season of “Making a Murderer” became an unexpected phenomenon over the course of the 2015 end-of-year holidays, fans of the show won’t have to wait that long for the 2018 installments; all 10 episodes will be available to watch next Friday.

Watch the full trailer below:

“Making a Murderer” Season 2 premieres October 19 on Netflix.

‘Making a Murderer’: Watch the Trailer for the Second Season (Video)

Netflix has released the trailer for the highly-anticipated second part of “Making a Murderer,” which will follow Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey, as well as their lawyers, post conviction for the murder of Teresa Halbach.

“Making a Murderer” premiered in 2015 and quickly became a worldwide phenomenon.

“Some people feel really bad and sad for what happened to me,” Avery says in the trailer. “I didn’t think all of these people would care.”

Over the course of 10 episodes, “Making a Murderer Part 2” will take a look at the post-conviction process while both Dassey and Avery’s legal teams are trying to overturn the convictions. Plus, the documentary will showcase the emotional toll of the process on everyone involved.

“Our task now is to upend an entire system,” Dassey’s attorney says.

“I have one goal, and that’s to overturn the conviction of Steven Avery,” says Kathleen Zellner, Avery’s lawyer who is famous for overturning wrongful convictions. “There is an abundance of evidence. This could flip the whole case.”

Most recently, Avery was denied a new trial again although Avery’s attorneys sought to supplement the record with a CD they argued contains “exculpatory, material evidence” that was reportedly only disclosed to them in April. Zellner argued that the state failed to disclose the disc and violated his right to a fair trial, therefore arguing for a new trial.

A Federal Appeals court upheld a ruling that Dassey’s confession was involuntary and that investigators violated Dassey’s rights. However, in June, the Supreme Court declined to hear his case.

“Making a Murderer Part 2” will premiere on Netflix on Oct. 19.

Watch the trailer above.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Making a Murderer': Supreme Court Declines to Hear Brendan Dassey's Appeal

'Making a Murderer': Federal Appeals Court Upholds Ruling That Dassey's Confession Was Coerced

'Making a Murderer': Ken Kratz Calls Steven Avery's New Motion 'Deplorable' (Video)

‘Making a Murderer’ Part 2 Premiere Date Set at Netflix

The highly-anticipated second installment of “Making a Murderer” has an official Netflix premiere date, the streaming giant announced Tuesday. Part 2 will debut on Oct. 19. The first installment of the Emmy-winning documentary series followed the journey of Steven Avery. Avery was convicted of sexual assault and attempted murder in 1985, but was exonerated by […]

‘Making a Murderer’ Part 2 Sets Release Date and Reveals First Details of New Steven Avery Investigation — Watch

Making a Murderer” is returning to Netflix sooner than expected. The streaming service announced the long-anticipated follow-up season has set an October 19 release date.

Filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos have crafted 10 new episodes tracking Steven Avery, his co-defendant and nephew Brendon Dassey, their families, and their legal teams. “Part 2” introduces a new character to the proceedings: Kathleen Zellner, a post-conviction lawyer who has righted more wrongful convictions than any private attorney in America. Backing Avery’s bid for freedom, Zellner uncovers new evidence about what could have happened to Teresa Halbach while examining how and why the jury convicted Steven of her murder.

“Steven and Brendan, their families and their legal and investigative teams have once again graciously granted us access, giving us a window into the complex web of American criminal justice,” Ricciardi and Demos said in a statement. “Building on ‘Part 1,’ which documented the experience of the accused, in ‘Part 2,’ we have chronicled the experience of the convicted and imprisoned, two men each serving life sentences for crimes they maintain they did not commit. We are thrilled to be able to share this new phase of the journey with viewers.”

Ricciardi and Demos, who are executive producers, writers, and directors of “Making a Murderer,” also follow Dassey’s post-conviction attorneys, Laura Nirider and Steven Drizin with Northwestern University’s Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth, as they fight in federal court to prove their client’s confession was involuntary; a fight that could take Brendan’s case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The first season of “Making a Murderer” debuted in December 2015 and steadily grew into a true-crime sensation. Following the unprecedented journey of Avery from DNA exoneree and reformer to convicted murderer, Season 1 took 10 years to film and it only took until July 2016 for Netflix to order more episodes. The original docuseries won four Emmys, a PGA award, and a TCA award.

In late 2017, Avery was refused a new trial, and Dassey’s conviction was upheld.

“Making a Murderer” Season 2 will debut globally October 19 on Netflix. Watch the announcement video on Twitter.

Making a Murderer Season 2 Part 2 Netflix key art

“Making a Murderer” Part 2

Netflix

‘Making A Murderer’ Part 2 Gets Premiere Date On Netflix; Details Revealed

Netflix has set October 19 for the global premiere of Emmy-winning docuseries Making a Murderer Part 2. The anticipated second chapter continues to chronicle the unprecedented journey of Steven Avery from DNA exoneree and reformer to convicted murderer. Filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos return to the Midwest where they have exclusive access to Avery and his co-defendant and nephew Brendan Dassey, their families and the legal teams fighting for justice on their…

‘Making a Murderer’: Season 2 of Netflix’s True-Crime Series to Premiere Next Month

The highly-anticipated second season of its true-crime doc “Making a Murderer” will premiere Oct. 19, Netflix announced Tuesday.

Per Netflix, the second season will see filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos return to Wisconsin and follow the post-conviction process for Steve Avery and his co-defendant and nephew, Brendan Dassey. Earlier this month, Avery was denied a new trial for the second time by Sheboygan County Circuit Court judge Angela Sutkiewicz.

“Part 2” will introduce Kathleen Zellner, Avery’s hard-charging post-conviction lawyer, in her fight to prove that Avery was wrongly convicted and to win his freedom. Ricciardi and Demos follow Zellner, who has righted more wrongful convictions than any private attorney in America, as she works the case and uncovers unexpected evidence about what may have happened to Teresa Halbach and about how and why the jury convicted Steven of her murder.

Zellner previously told TheWrap regarding Avery’s denied attempt for a new trial: “We were disappointed with the lower court’s opinion because it was riddled with factual errors, ignored most of the legal arguments and misapplied the law,” she said. “In the greater scheme of things the higher courts will make the final decision on whether Mr. Avery will be given a new trial. This decision was a speed bump and we have many levels of courts to appeal to before this is over. It is good to be on the way to those courts.”

Ricciardi and Demos also follow Dassey’s post-conviction lawyers, Laura Nirider and Steven Drizin with Northwestern University’s Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth, as they fight in federal court to prove their client’s confession was involuntary, a fight that could take Brendan’s case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Steven and Brendan, their families and their legal and investigative teams have once again graciously granted us access, giving us a window into the complex web of American criminal justice,” said Ricciardi and Demos. “Building on ‘Part 1,’ which documented the experience of the accused, in ‘Part 2,’ we have chronicled the experience of the convicted and imprisoned, two men each serving life sentences for crimes they maintain they did not commit. We are thrilled to be able to share this new phase of the journey with viewers.”

“Making a Murderer Part 2” is a Synthesis Films Production. Ricciardi and Demos serve as executive producers, writers and directors.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Making a Murderer': Supreme Court Declines to Hear Brendan Dassey's Appeal

'Making a Murderer': Federal Appeals Court Upholds Ruling That Dassey's Confession Was Coerced

'Making a Murderer': Ken Kratz Calls Steven Avery's New Motion 'Deplorable' (Video)

‘Making a Murderer’: Steven Avery Denied New Trial, Again

“Making a Murderer” subject Steven Avery has been denied a new trial by Sheboygan County Circuit Court judge Angela Sutkiewicz.

According to the Post-Crescent, Avery’s attorneys sought to supplement the record with a CD they argued contains “exculpatory, material evidence” that was reportedly only disclosed to them in April. Avery’s attorney, Kathleen Zellner, argued that the state failed to disclose the disc and violated his right to a fair trial, therefore arguing for a new trial.

However, Judge Sukiewicz ruled on Thursday that his attorney’s failed to prove that the state suppressed the CD and that the defense had the same information on other CDs that it had previously received.

According to the judge, the state had given seven CDs to the defense in December 2006 and that the computer expert hired by Attorney’s defense team had found that the missing CD contained the same information as the other seven CDs.

“In light of all the evidence submitted, it is clear that the defense was in possession of the same evidence as the prosecution prior to trial,” Sutkiewicz wrote, according to the Crescent.

According to NBC 26, Sutkiewicz also said that Avery’s attorneys weren’t specific enough in telling the court what information was supposedly withheld on the CD.

In a statement to TheWrap, Zellner expressed disappointment with the decision.

“We were disappointed with the lower court’s opinion because it was riddled with factual errors, ignored most of the legal arguments and misapplied the law,” she said. “In the greater scheme of things the higher courts will make the final decision on whether Mr. Avery will be given a new trial. This decision was a speed bump and we have many levels of courts to appeal to before this is over. It is good to be on the way to those courts.”

Avery was previously denied a new trial last October by Sutkiewicz, who ruled that Avery had failed “to establish any grounds that would trigger the right to a new trial in the interests of justice.” Zellner had said she planned to present new evidence to the court for a request of a new trial after it was rejected by a state circuit judge.

Avery and his team have argued that evidence that he murdered photographer Teresa Halbach in 2005 was planted. He and his nephew, Brendan Dassey, were convicted of the crime. Avery was sentenced to life in prison, and the trial was extensively covered in Netflix’s “Making a Murderer.”

A Federal Appeals court upheld a ruling that Dassey’s confession was involuntary and that investigators violated Dassey’s rights. However, in June, the Supreme Court declined to hear his case.

A representative for the Wisconsin Department of Justice said in a statement to TheWrap: “We are pleased that the circuit quickly denied Steven Avery’s frivolous motion to supplement the record for purposes of his post-conviction motion.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Making a Murderer': Steven Avery's Lawyer Alleges Teresa Halbach May Have Been Killed by Ex-Boyfriend

'Making a Murderer': Steven Avery Confessed to Killing Teresa Halbach, Fellow Prisoner Claims

'Making a Murderer' Update: Judge Orders New Testing of Steven Avery Evidence

‘Making A Murderer’ Subject Denied U.S. Supreme Court Appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to take up the case of HBO’s Making a Murderer subject Brendan Dassey. No explanation was given for the decision. Dassey was sentenced to live in prison in 2007 in Wisconsin for his alleged participation in the 2005 death of 25-year-old photographer Teresa Halbach; his uncle Steven Avery was found guilty of Halbach's murder. Last August, U.S. Magistrate Judge William Duffin overturned Dassey's conviction, ruling that the court found his…

‘Making a Murderer’: Supreme Court Declines to Hear Brendan Dassey’s Appeal

The Supreme Court of the United States has declined to hear Brendan Dassey’s murder case, which was chronicled by Netflix documentary “Making a Murderer.”

As is typical for such denials, no reason was given Monday for passing on the appeal.

Dassey is serving a life sentence after confessing to the 2005 murder of photographer Teresa Halbach. His attorneys say the confession was coerced. At the time, Dassey, whose lawyers say has learning disabilities, was 16.

In December, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided that Dassey’s confession was voluntary. It was a close vote, however, with a 4-3 outcome. Lower courts had ruled that Dassey’s confession was involuntary.

Steven Avery, Dassey’s uncle, was also found guilty in Halbach’s murder. Avery, who says the police framed him for the crime, is still appealing his case.

Avery is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Making a Murderer': Ken Kratz Calls Steven Avery's New Motion 'Deplorable' (Video)

'Making a Murderer': Wisconsin DOJ Calls Kathleen Zellner's Motion 'Ridiculous,' 'Without Merit'

'Making a Murderer': Steven Avery's Lawyer Alleges Teresa Halbach May Have Been Killed by Ex-Boyfriend

‘Making a Murderer’s’ Brendan Dassey Loses Bid to Take Case to Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to take up the case of Wisconsin teen Brendan Dassey, who was featured in the hit Netflix documentary series “Making a Murderer.” Dassey is serving a life sentence after being convicted along with his uncle, Steven Avery, in separate jury trials for the 2005 rape and murder of photographer Teresa […]

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