With more and more people cutting cables nowadays, Netflix has put a lot of time and effort into diversifying their content offerings with more television shows and mini-series. One of these documentary mini-series is Making a Murderer, which you’ve probably at least heard of by now. If you haven’t, it’s about time that you did.
A true crime style documentary at heart, this ten part series explores (to great detail) the story of Steven Avery, a man who was convicted and imprisoned for murder not long after he had been released from an 18 year prison sentence for a crime he did not commit.
Now, it would be simple to say that 18 years in prison for a rape and attempted murder for which he was innocent of would be enough to drive a man to murder, but the facts around the murder of Teresa Halbach are anything but clear. In fact, to this day, it seems that no one knows that happened to this woman, and as recently as this week new evidence is being found that may open this case yet again.
Having pled innocent, and blaming the local police organization for framing him, the trial was one of the most fascinating ones in history, and the fact that over ten years worth of investigation and documentation went into making this series proves to make for one hell of an entertaining ride as you are guided through the entire story.
Throughout these episodes you will learn about the incompetence or deceitfulness of the police involved in the two cases, and at any given time you will be conflicted about whether or not Steven Avery committed the crimes. Even now as I am typing this out, having watched all ten episodes and engaged in some extra research online, I am conflicted about the case. I hate that I don’t know what really happened, and I’m shaken at the possibility that an innocent man is in prison yet again for a crime he may not have committed.
So why should you watch this series? Why devote ten or so hours to a morbid and haunting series of investigations and court proceedings?
I believe that there is a strong value in documentaries such as this. Not only do you get a look at just how flimsy the justice system can be, you also get a look into the lives of those accused and see how their families cope. Making a Murderer is also something that will make you think long and hard about just how easy it can be for everything to go wrong so quickly and swallow you up.
I won’t go into details on the cases here, because frankly, there is just too much to say, and this is where the series truly shines. Each episode is packed with case footage, photographs, video of confessions, scene investigations, courtroom testimony, and interviews with Avery and his family, both in the past and present. When all is said and done, there is a story told from start to finish, but instead of that satisfying “THE END”, you are left with about a hundred plot holes that will itch at you for days.
Truthfully, this has been one of the most bizarre events that I’ve followed, and even today, several years after Avery was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison, new facts are coming up that just might prove him innocent after all. There is an entire subreddit full of dedicated people considering the facts from all angles and developing their own theories (you can check it out HERE). There are new posts daily, and the current buzz involves Avery’s new lawyer gathering cell tower data to prove that the victim left his property without him. Just when you think that the plot cannot get any thicker, new evidence pops up out of nowhere to make it that much more interesting.
It seems that one thing is for sure: Steven Avery is standing by his innocence, and he now has a large following of people who want to help him find out the truth of the matter. I definitely recommend this series for a watch. Maybe you’ll glimpse the evidence that can set an innocent man free again….or finally pin him to the crime once and for all.