Newscasts About Steven Avery From Back In The Day Reveal A Pattern Of Suspicion — VIDEOS
The 10 hours of programming that make up Netflix's true crime docuseries Making a Murderer spans 20 years, features two criminal investigations, and contains dozens of key players from victims and suspects to family members and government officials. The series also contains hours of recorded interviews, interrogations, and phone calls. This footage makes up one of the most interesting aspects of MaM, since it gives viewers a glimpse into the past. And, general news footage about the Steven Avery case from when the events occurred a decade ago is intriguing for the same reason.
Since YouTube was founded in February of 2005, only six months before Teresa Halbach went missing in Manitowoc County, much of the news footage documenting the investigation and ensuing trial are not readily available on the Internet. But what can be found acts as a sort of time capsule, allowing Making a Murderer viewers to travel back to a period when no one knew the eventual outcome of his case, which ended in Avery's conviction for Halbach's murder in 2007. Avery maintains his innocence to this day.
Here are seven of the most illuminating newscasts about Avery and Halbach that, when viewed together, reveal the attitudes of newscasters, civilians, and those involved way before Making a Murderer reintroduced the case to the public.
1. Honoring The Victim
Making a Murderer shines a spotlight on Avery and his side of the Halbach case. But, back when the details were first unraveling, the spotlight was firmly on the victim... and rightfully so. Halbach was the one who lost her life, after all.
2. Avery's Claims Started Early
This interview, conducted in 2005 before Avery was even officially charged with anything, shows that his accusations against the Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department came from the very start, rather than as some defense strategy cooked up after the fact. "I've got a hunch Manitowoc County planted it," he claims in reference to Halbach's SUV being found on his property. "Manitowoc County tells us that's not true," the reporter said in the voiceover. And, as seen in the Netflix docuseries, the Undersheriff Robert Hermann further denied these allegations. "It's not realistic. It's impossible ... it's so far fetched it's impractical," he said in the series.
3. Nancy Grace
This recent interview with Nancy Grace highlights a clip from 2005, in which the commentator personally interviewed Avery. He once again claimed that he was being framed. "Well, do you think it has anything to do with her car being found at your auto?" she asked Avery. As is clear in the rest of the clip above, Making a Murderer hasn't changed Grace's mind in the slightest.
4. The Innocence Project
In this 2005 interview, the Innocence Project's John Pray refused to comment on Avery's murder charge, choosing only to reaffirm the fact that he was found innocent of Penny Beerntsen's rape in 1985.
5. Avery's Son
This clip aired after Avery's conviction and featured Avery's son Bill talking about what it was like to be an Avery in their small town. Bill expressed the difficulties of carrying that last name, but stood by his father's claims of innocence. "He coulda did it, but I don't think he did. I think he was just more or less framed," Bill claimed. The Manitowoc police department vehemently denies his claims, and is not under investigation for any wrongdoing.
6. Something Not Seen In The Documentary
This newscast reveals a bit of information that was left out of the series: "Although Avery is in court today for his alleged role in the death of Teresa Halbach, he also faces questions about the allegations that surfaced just yesterday," the reporter said in 2006 clip. What allegations were those? "A female relative of Avery's now says he sexually assaulted her in 2004." When Avery was asked about his response to the new allegations in the clip, he replied, "They're just not true," and Avery was never tried for the claims.
7. "I'm Not Sure I Believe It"
This 2013 newscast comes from around the time that he was applying for an appeal to overturn his conviction. Perhaps because he had already served six years in prison for the murder of Teresa Halbach, the reporters had no issue disparaging the man's prison-grown beard as making him look like "an extra in a ZZ Top video," referring to Ken Kratz as the "swashbuckling Calumet County DA," and snubbing Avery's litany of complaints against the county with a dismissive, "I'm not sure I believe it, quite frankly. In fact, I don't. But, we wanted to report Avery's side of the case because we really haven't heard it before."
Maybe that's because, until Making A Murderer, seemingly no one had bothered to ask.