Who Is 'Making A Murderer' Filmmaker Laura Ricciardi? She Went From Lawyer To Famous Documentarian

Followers of Netflix's wildly popular Making a Murderer have come to know a lot about the various players in the Steven Avery murder trial. But we haven't heard as much about one of the women behind the docuseries itself: Laura Ricciardi. Ricciardi will be appearing on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Monday with the show's co-director, Moira Demos.

Ricciardi and Demos spent a decade putting together Making a Murderer, a project that has not only shed light on the stories of Steven Avery and his nephew, Brendan Dassey, but has also inspired deeper questions about the workings and failings of our criminal justice system. Avery was imprisoned for 18 years before being exonerated for a rape he did not commit. Then, only two years later, he was put on trial for the murder of photographer Teresa Halbach. A New York Times article on the Avery case in 2005 alerted Ricciardi and Demos, and they embarked on what would become a 10-year journey to cover the story. The two said during an interview with Indiewire:

When we learned that Steven had a multi-million-dollar lawsuit pending against the very county that was investigating him in the new case, we instantly recognized the conflict of interest and wanted to know if there was more to the story.

Ricciardi worked long and hard to tell a tale about other people. Let's learn a bit about her own story.

She Was A Lawyer

According to Ricciardi's LinkedIn profile, she attended New York Law School, obtaining her JD in 1996. She went on to earn an MFA in Film from Columbia University School of Arts in 2007. Ricciardi performed occasional hourly legal work in the early years of filming Making a Murderer to help fund the project.

How She Met Demos

Ricciardi met Moira Demos, her filmmaking collaborator and romantic partner, while they were graduate students earning their MFAs. It was at this time that headlines on the Avery case caught their attention.

She Worked As A Production Assistant

Ricciardi worked as a production assistant on two episodes of a documentary TV series called In the Life in 2002, and on a short 2003 drama, The Weather Report.

What She Wants You To Take From The Show

It's perhaps no surprise that after spending 10 years invested in this documentary, there's something Ricciardi wants viewers to walk away with:

One of the things I hope viewers who really engage with the series will take away from this is this question of, if they have lingering questions, are they comfortable living with that? There are now two people who are behind bars, probably for life. Do our viewers feel satisfied with the process that led to those convictions?

What She'd Like To Do Next

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on YouTube

During the filmmakers' Jan. 12 appearance on The Late Show, Stephen Colbert asked Ricciardi and Demos what they might like to make their next documentary on, suggesting they delve into something more along the lines of "cuckoo clock makers or ice dancing." Ricciardi was quick with her response:

I would love to follow Florence and the Machine, but I haven't reached out to her yet.

Image: The Late Show