Making a Murderer mania is sweeping the nation. People are petitioning for Steven Avery — the documentary subject — to get a retrial. Avery’s lawyers are quickly becoming sex symbols. The guy from the Black Keys even wrote a song about Avery. But even though the series finale brings us to the present day, the majority of it takes place around 10 years ago in 2005 and 2006. Unfortunately — SPOILER — Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey have been serving prison sentences since then. Part of Making a Murderer’s mastery, however, is how documentarians Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos bring in various people from the Avery family, the defense, the prosecution, and more. Those folks have had to go on with their lives since the trial concluded. Everyone is carrying on in different ways.
We know where Avery has been since the trial: in prison (whether he deserves to be there is another question entirely). But, as the documentary showcases in its final episode, he’s been serving as his own lawyer in seeking another retrial after many state-denied attempts. His latest move: accusing his family of the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach. According to People, a new 59-page document suggests Steven’s own brother Chuck framed him “over money, a share of the family business, and over [Steven’s former girlfriend] Jodi Stachowski.”
Further, he says his brother Earl — who is not featured in the documentary — could’ve done it, too, because “They [Chuck and Earl] had taken over the day-to-day running of the business. They had the means and the opportunity to kill Ms. Halbach, to move her car, to plant evidence to incriminate Steven, and then to leave the car so that it would be discovered in a search.”
Avery also alleges that Scott Tadych — his sister Barb Janda’s then-boyfriend — was involved. The document says, “Tadych’s motive to kill Ms. Halbach is his violent and volatile personality.”
Lastly, Avery’s nephew — and Brendan’s brother — Bobby Dassey should be a suspect because he saw Halbach on the day of her murder.
Avery is currently housed at Waupun Correctional Institute. His fiancée Sandra Greenman suggests there might be new lawyers for Avery’s case — if he can get a new one, that is.
Dassey is the other primary subject of Making a Murderer. Since being roped into the Halbach investigation with an incriminating (and likely forced) confession, he could never prove his innocence. He’s currently hoping to be granted a writ of Habeus corpus via an appeal in Milwaukee.
Chuck, unsurprisingly, has denied that he killed Teresa Halbach, as Avery alleges. Steven says that Chuck has been violent and abusive in the past, which Chuck has denied. He also says that Steven would’ve been made a partner in the business had he not been charged with murdering Halbach, as he had a multi-million-dollar lawsuit against the state (for a 1985 wrongful conviction) in the works.
Chuck, as a free member of the Avery family, also says that the Avery Salvage Yard is getting some out-of-town visitors. He told the New York Post, “Between 25 to 40 vehicles have come up my driveway.… They turn around.”
Chuck has also recently joined the Facebook group Justice for Steven Avery & Brendan Dassey, so it seems like he’s letting those accusatory bygones be bygones.
Steven’s mother, Dolores, recently spoke out for the first time since Making a Murderer hit Netflix. In an interview with the Daily Mail, she recalls life prior to Steven’s arrest. She is also not immune to speculation about the case. Speaking about October 31, 2005 — the day Halbach visited the Avery Salvage Yard and was allegedly murdered — she says: “I don’t remember it much. She was here but then she left, that’s what I know. They say her brother [Michael Halbach] might have had something to do with it.”
Dolores also updates that her husband Allan, a prominent figure throughout the series, “is [OK] but he hates what’s going on with Manitowoc County. They are so crooked,” she adds.
We never actually meet Blaine in Making a Murderer, but Brendan uses him for his failed alibi. Blaine went out trick-or-treating the night of Halbach’s murder, so Brendan spoke on the phone with Blaine’s boss to explain where his brother was. According to his Facebook, Blaine is a clipper at Woodland Face Veneer LLC.
Barb Tadych (then-Barb Janda) continues to fight for her son Brendan’s innocence. She frequently urges her Facebook friends to sign petitions for a retrial. She also has a new young son (or grandson).
Like Barb, Scott frequently posts on Facebook about Brendan. Tadych has not responded to Avery’s accusations.
Steven Avery’s Sons
Avery has five kids. Two are easy to track down: the twins, Bill and Steven Jr. Bill gave an interview a number of years ago saying he was still being persecuted as an Avery.
She is not technically an Avery, but Greenman has been Steven’s girlfriend for a number of years. Despite her recent Facebook post about Steven getting new lawyers, the Daily Mail reports that they have broken up. She reportedly said:
“Steve and I were engaged to be married and I broke it off. It’s not that I’ve ever stopped trying to work for him but it was a religious thing. I cannot marry someone that’s not a Christian. Since we broke off the engagement, I’ve visited him less and less. It’s too hard for me. I still love him and want the best for him. I want him out. He calls any time he can and he says I’m being stubborn. But we will see what happens. It’s a friendship right now. I don’t know how it’s going to end and if he gets out, it’s a whole different story. But it doesn’t change anything. I will always be behind him and he’s my best friend.”
Mike Halbach became the de facto spokesperson for the Halbach family following Teresa’s untimely death. At the time, he was working as a video assistant for the NFL’s Green Bay Packers. Fulfilling the role until 2015, Halbach is now Director of Football Technology, which means:
“Halbach oversees the development and administration of football information systems and guides technical decisions that impact football operations. He was also instrumental in the Packers’ transition from paper to digital playbooks and from standard to high-definition video.”
The Halbachs remained quiet throughout Making a Murderer. Teresa’s ex-boyfriend Ryan Hillegas, however, took the stand. According to his Facebook, he studied nursing. He continues to memorialize Teresa.
Scott Bloedorn was Teresa Halbach’s roommate. Not much is known about him via the show, as the police did not investigate him or Hillegas — who had contacted Teresa shortly before her murder. Hillegas claims that he and Bloedorn were friends, and that Teresa and Bloedorn’s relationship was entirely platonic. Prior to Teresa’s murder, Bloedorn got a master’s degree at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland. He started work as a Residential Efficiency Program Lead at Focus on Energy (a program that “has worked with eligible Wisconsin residents and businesses to install cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects”) last October.
The Prosecution/Law Enforcement
Ken Kratz is as close to an antagonist as Making a Murderer has. He has a bad voice, worse mustache, and terrible ethics. It’s well-documented that he resigned as a Wisconsin District Attorney following a sexual harassment scandal in 2009. More recently, the Yelp page for his private practice, Kratz Law Firm, has been trashed. And he’s even spoken out against Avery, telling People that the documentary left out key incriminating evidence.
Since prosecuting Avery, Kratz has grown a beard.
James Lenk and Andrew Colborn
James Lenk and Andrew Colborn are the most questionable members of the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s office. They’ve smartly fallen off the face of the Earth without any traces online. They’re wanted men, as many online believe — as the defense suggests — they were instrumental in framing Avery for murder.
Tom Fassbender was one of the two special investigators who helped coax a confession — fabricated or authentic — out of a young Brendan Dassey. He was honored in 2008 for his work on the Halbach case. Then in 2011, he won a Distinguished Service Award from the Wisconsin Association of Homicide Investigators “For years of outstanding service to your community and exceptional performance regarding death investigations.” He was, but is no longer, on the Board of Directors for the Association.
Mark Wiegert was the other investigator who questioned Dassey. He is currently Lieutenant - Jail, Investigations, Schools in Wisconsin’s Calumet County.
Dean Strang is one of Steven Avery’s star lawyers. He has been proudly outspoken since the show aired. He’s so popular that tickets for a forum planned for later this month at a Minneapolis brewery sold out immediately.
He has said that he and Strang have been getting new leads about the case.
Ray Edelstein was Dassey’s other laywer. He helped out at Fremgen’s request. Like Fremgen, he gave an interview about the case.
Making a Murderer featured plenty of press conference scenes. Among the show stealers was eternal skeptic Angenette Levy. More than anyone else, she questioned the prosecution’s flimsy evidence and leads. She’s now a reporter at WKRC in Cincinnati, Ohio (not WKRP). She continues to do good work, but does have time for some Making a Murderer fans on Twitter.
Along with Levy, Aaron Keller stood out among the riff raff at the post-trial news conference. Many have called him a “silver fox” for his good looks, even though he was just 25 in 2006. These days, Keller has a law degree from University of New Hampshire School of Law. He is a professor of English and Communications at New Hampshire Technical Institute
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