Given that everyone had at least a few days over the holidays to just sit and stare aimlessly at screens, probably in an attempt to avoid real quality family time, it should come as no surprise that Netflix’s Making A Murderer is the hot new topic of conversation for 2016. The 10-part documentary series is essentially Serial for TV and, as The A.V. Club has documented rather extensively, follows the trial(s) of Steven Avery, a Wisconsin man accused of two vicious crimes. But what flew a bit under the radar over the holiday break is what’s allegedly “missing” from Murderer, at least according to Ken Kratz, the fairly sleazy guy who prosecuted Avery. While The A.V. Club has covered Kratz’s complaints, a new Pajiba article does a good job of summarizing everything that was missing, for whatever reason, from the show. While the show’s creators say the stuff that’s missing wasn’t necessary and didn’t make an impact at trial, it’s worth a glance all the same, especially if you’re one of those pro-Avery rabblerousers who’s signing a petition to (spoiler!) have him released from prison.
The Pajiba piece points out the following:
— In the months leading up to Halbach’s disappearance, Avery had called Auto Trader several times and always specifically requested Halbach to come out and take the photos.
— Halbach had complained to her boss that she didn’t want to go out to Avery’s trailer anymore, because once when she came out, Avery was waiting for her wearing only a towel (this was excluded for being too inflammatory). Avery clearly had an obsession with Halbach.
— On the day that Halbach went missing, Avery had called her three times, twice from a *67 number to hide his identity.
— The bullet with Halbach’s DNA on it came from Avery’s gun, which always hung above his bed.
— Avery had purchased handcuffs and leg irons like the ones Dassey described holding Halbach only three weeks before (Avery said he’s purchased them for use with his girlfriend, Jodi, with whom he’d had a tumultuous relationship — at one point, he was ordered by police to stay away from her for three days).
— Here’s the piece of evidence that was presented at trial but not in the series that I find most convincing: In Dassey’s illegally obtained statement, Dassey stated that he helped Avery moved the RAV4 into the junkyard and that Avery had lifted the hood and removed the battery cable. Even if you believe that the blood in Halbach’s car was planted by the cops (as I do), there was also non-blood DNA evidence on the hood latch. I don’t believe the police would plant — or know to plant — that evidence.
There’s additional info in there, as well, like evidence that Halbach’s Palm Pilot and camera were found in Avery’s burn barrel, and that Brendan Dassey told police he’d been molested by Avery in the past. It’s all evidence that’s fairly damning against Avery, something filmmakers might not have been inclined to use given that they’d spent 10-plus years imbedded with both the subject himself and with his extended family. Then again, it’s all evidence that could have been fabricated or manipulated by the evil Manitowoc Country Sherriff’s department, should you believe there’s something going on there. Either way, it’s an interesting read, especially if you want to be the most informed one in your next Making A Murderer chat session.