Ken Kratz Insists Brendan Dassey's Confession Was Legitimate, And Here's The Perfect Response
On Saturday night, Investigation DIscovery aired a special that aimed to tap into the thriving viral popularity of Netflix's true crime documentary series Making a Murderer. It was titled Steven Avery: Innocent or Guilty, and while it may have failed to decide that question ― it largely covered areas of the Steven Avery case that have already been discussed in the press, or by central figures from the trial ― it did end with a pretty interesting moment. Namely, Ken Kratz still believes Brendan Dassey's confession was legitimate, despite the groundswell of criticism and scrutiny it's received since the documentary came out in December.
In case you're not aware, the confession of then-16-year-old Brendan Dassey to involvement in the Teresa Halbach murder ultimately landed him in prison, just like his uncle Steven Avery. Based on the footage presented in the documentary alone, there's been a huge amount of outcry that Dassey's confession was false, the result of coercive and aggressive questioning of a cognitively impaired teenager.
Despite the concerns in the court of public opinion, however, Kratz's last remark in Investigation DIscovery's hour-long feature was to defend the interrogation tactics of investigators Mark Wiegert and Tom Fassbender, saying that "Brendan was able to resist suggestibility."
If you want to decide for yourself whether this claim passes muster, you actually can, because the entire confession has been uploaded to the internet. The first part of it is embedded above, and the whole thing can be viewed on YouTube. Regardless, immediately following Kratz's statement, viewers heard from someone with a slightly more sympathetic view ― Brad Dassey, Brendan's half-brother. In addition to having released a rap single in support of Dassey and Avery, Brad also gave his take on what the video of the confession showed.
He was defenseless. He didn’t know what to say or do. And honestly, a murderer would ask to go back to school? i firmly believe that they did take advantage of his cognitive behavior, and i think he was a target.
Basically, you could view Brad Dassey's response as speaking for everyone watching who couldn't reply to Kratz themselves. While the facts of the Halbach murder case have always been more complex and fraught with uncertainty regarding Avery's involvement, Dassey's conviction has provoked perhaps the most unabashed public outrage of all.
Obviously, Kratz stands behind the validity of Dassey's confession. Speaking to People in December, he did confess to feeling sympathy for Dassey, but not because he though there was anything improper about his confession. Rather, because he thought Avery had induced him to take part in Halbach's murder, and that Dassey wouldn't have committed such a crime on his own.
Image: Steven Avery: Innocent or Guilty/Investigation Discovery