If you’re reading this with no idea who Steven Avery is, close your browser, open Netflix and hunker down for a ten hour binge of Making a Murderer. It’s worthy of your time if your goal is to end the day by throwing a coffee table at your television set. Lisa has written a post about her displeasure with how Brendan Dassey was failed by the criminal justice system and, like thousands of Reddit contributors before me, I’m going to lay out my thoughts on the gaping holes in the Steven Avery prosecution.
The prosecutor of both cases (Avery and Dassey) has gone on the offensive in attacking the substantial evidence left out of the documentary. He claims that the evidence left out would remove any doubt of Avery’s guilt but, based on the evidence he has shared in several interviews, that’s a fallacy. We must remember that one piece of evidence implicating Avery without a doubt does not clear all reasonable doubt, as is his obligation as a prosecutor. Here are the hinky parts of the prosecution and the evidence presented in the documentary, which is admittedly not a complete list of evidence, and how they raise red flags to me.
I make no claims that Steven Avery is innocent or guilty. I do have an alternate theory (the same as many others I have read) but I am completely uncertain as to his guilt. Could he have done it? Yes. Did he do it? I just don’t know. That said, based on the evidence given, there is substantial reasonable doubt to let him walk.
- Steven Avery is able to clear all evidence of a gruesome murder to the point that not a single drop of the victim’s blood is found anywhere in the house (where she was raped and stabbed according to the Dassey conviction) or the garage (where she was shot according to the Avery conviction) all in a time frame that would have him working at an incredibly hurried rate. Remember that he is recorded twice on the day of the murder speaking to his girlfriend in prison in a calm, cool, collected demeanor and left the salvage yard the following day to visit a cabin 100 miles away. He was short on time.
- Avery has access to an incinerator and a car crusher but this mastermind of crime scene clean up didn’t once think to crush the car, which would have raised no eyebrows at all since he worked at a salvage yard. Further, he could have crushed the body and all the victim’s belongings with the car and nobody would have ever been the wiser. Before you say that maybe Avery isn’t smart enough to consider this, you have to remember that the prosecution asserts that he’s smart enough to clean a crime scene to a spotless degree.
- Back to the incinerator, Steven Avery supposedly chose a burn pit instead of the incinerator and, to truly ensure that he didn’t get caught, invited family over to watch him burn the body.
- Much has been made of the *67 calls he made to the victim prior to her arrival and the fact that he used his sister’s name to set up the meeting. Assumptions have also been made that the victim refused to visit the property because Avery had scared her previously. Now, connected, these seem strange. He supposedly asked for her specifically and then attempted to cover his identity so she would show up but if she was truly worried about her safety, she would have recognized the address and if she didn’t recognize the address she certainly would have recognized the salvage yard when she showed up in the driveway. The *67 calls could be a standard practice if he was making a business call on his personal line and isn’t particularly unusual and considering that both calls were made after the time she was supposed to arrive makes them even less noteworthy. Lastly, since the car belonged to his sister, it is not beyond reason that he used his sister’s name and number because she would be the point of contact for the ad.
- Steven Avery does call the number, without *67, after her phone reportedly ends communication. Some will have you believe that this is Avery’s attempt to create an alibi. “Why would I call a girl that I had just killed” which, again, establishes a criminal mastermind that left the biggest piece of evidence short of a body, her car, within site of his house. Why did he call her? Nobody knows and, in fact, a reasonable doubt should be raised when you later learn that her brother and ex-boyfriend had access to the voicemails and had deleted certain messages. Was one of those messages from Steven?
- The only DNA found on the key (I’m not even going to comment on the likelihood that nobody noticed that key through four searches) was that of Steven Avery meaning that he had thoroughly cleaned the key to remove the victim’s DNA (effectively, by the way) but forgot to wear gloves when he set it on his nightstand instead of destroying it with her purse, camera and phone.
It should be clear to anyone who spends five minutes with this family that they are not “fancy” people. They live in filthy prefab homes on a salvage yard with little education. They may be nice people but these are hardly masterminds. At one point it is revealed that Steven Avery has an IQ hovering around 70 with the average being 90 it is safe to assume that this implies a mental deficiency. For a man to commit this horrendous crime and possess savant level ability to clean a crime scene in a relatively short time, speak in a reserved and calm manner to his girlfriend within an hour of committing the crime and then leave “the smoking guns”, as it were, in plain site on his salvage yard and in his bedroom should elicit incredible reasonable doubt.
The prosecution, successfully, portrayed Steven Avery as a monster with limited mental capacity as well as a criminal mastermind at Dexter levels. Whether you think Avery is guilty or not, you have to admit that things did not go down as the prosecution claims. We have a discussion going on in our forum and, as always, you may start one in the comments to this article. I want to know your thoughts. Explain away some of these “plot holes” on the Steven Avery side of this documentary. Which ones did I miss (I know there are many more). Would you have let Avery walk even if you thought he probably did it based on the evidence you were given in this film?