'Making A Murderer' Spotlights An Intense Case

by Alexandra Watt

Keeping in line with their amazingly successful original shows, Netflix has its hands in a new venture: A 10-part documentary series entitled Making a Murderer. Directed by Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, the show will follow the story of Steven Avery, a man who was wrongly imprisoned for rape for 18 years. he was released after the discovery that the DNA found on the victim belonged to another man, and Avery’s case became the center of a major push towards criminal justice reform. But, two years after his release, a 25-year-old woman by the name of Teresa Halbach went missing, and Steven Avery again found himself the suspect of a crime he claims he didn't commit.

Though the series focuses mainly on the inner workings of the police and prosecutorial processes that led to both convictions of Steven Avery, there is due diligence paid to Teresa Halbach, the woman who lost her life allegedly at the hands of this man. Just as victims in question in “Serial” and “The Jinx” deserved to have their life stories told by the people who loved them, so does Teresa Halbach. So here's what we know about her:

She Grew Up On A Farm

According to Kurt Chandler’s in-depth report for Milwaukee Magazine, Teresa Halbach was “a farm girl with a big world view.” She was raised alongside two sisters and two brothers on a dairy farm settled by her great-grandfather, a German immigrant. The 225-square foot farm, which housed 60 cows, was thirty miles south of Green Bay.

She Was An Audacious Traveler, But Kept Family Close

Halbach traveled to far away locales such as Mexico and Australia, yet decided to settle in a house next door to her family farm in 2004, according to the Kurt Chandler expose. Her lifelong friend noted that Halbach was a “very energetic, spontaneous person,” who enjoyed outdoor activities such as hiking or swimming. Her boyfriend described her as being “a friend to everybody.” She enjoyed karaoke, and on the Sunday before her disappearance, she told friends she was planning on meeting her family at a bar for a Halloween party where she would be dressed as a cowgirl.

She Worked As A Photographer

According to the reports released following her murder by by the Chicago Tribune, Teresa Halbach, aged 25 at the time of her death, was a freelance photographer. The Milwaukee Magazine article noted that Halbach worked as a portrait photographer in Green Bay after graduating summa cum laude from University of Wisconsin — Green Bay. During one of her three assignments for October 31, 2005, she was assigned to take photographs of a mini-van that was for sale for Auto Trader magazine at Avery’s Auto Salvage yard, owned by none other than Steve Avery.

She Had Met Steven Avery Before

In a report released by the Milwaukee-Wisconson Journal Sentinel, Teresa Halbach had visited Avery’s Auto Salvage yard before. This fact helped lead to the discovery of her 1999 RAV-4 SUV on Avery's property days after her disappearance.

Though it's tragic that this young woman's life was cut short, at least her memory will live on through the investigative series Making a Murderer on Netflix.

Image: Netflix