Even British Cops Are Chiming In On 'Making A Murderer' & Whether Steven Avery Had A Fair Trial
The police are back on the Steven Avery case — but it's not the Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department. It's a crime scene investigator from all the way over in England. Chris Gee is the Sussex Police department's social media-savvy CSI who is active on Twitter, Instagram, and has his own YouTube program, The #AskChrisGee Show. These past weeks, Gee — who occasionally uses emojis to describe crime scenes in his Tweets — has been hard at work. He says he's been investigating the blood evidence presented in Making a Murderer, and he's presenting what Sussex Police would do in a similar situation on his YouTube show.
"In this whole case doubt has been the key, really," he says. "You've just been doubting a lot of the evidence from start to finish and if you doubt enough of it, how can you convict someone?"
Some of the doubt comes from the blood evidence, which is what Gee tries to explore. "Who would have thought such a tiny bottle could have caused such a stir?" he asks. Much of the controversy has stemmed from the vial of Avery's blood that is shown in the documentary with a needle prick in the end. He gets down to the nitty gritty of collecting and protecting the evidence.
It's important to note that the U.K. police have dissimilar policies to their U.S. counterparts, and Gee has merely been going off the evidence presented from the show, rather than playing any part in the official investigation. Manitowoc County has repeatedly denied all accusations of wrongdoing, and openly accused the show of being biased towards Avery.
Blood In The Vehicle
Gee discusses the blood in Halbach's vehicle. One of the stains he says could have been transferred from anything, he says. "Not that I did it. Don't arrest me," Gee jokes.
He says that their team would have used UV light to look for a clean-up.
Looking For More Blood
Now, with his heavy duty UV light, Gee walks us through how he would have explored Avery's trailer and property, looking for any indication that blood was cleaned up. He says the Sussex Police would mark any suspect area and then do more testing. There's also another tool they use to look for blood that hasn't been cleaned.
The Pin Prick On The Vial
Here, Gee goes into the blood samples that would be taken from a suspect for different uses, including DNA samples and toxicology. He goes over how the nurse would draw blood from a suspect with a needle and then insert it into the test tube, producing a small hole — one like in Avery's case that has been the source of a lot of controversy. What you don't do, he says, is take off the top.
So, the hole in the vial of Avery's blood isn't proof someone took out blood, but it's a possibility, Gee said. "It causes a bit of doubt." (The Manitowoc County police department have denied any wrongdoing when it comes to the oft-discussed vial of blood.)
In this video, Gee goes over why the exhibit bag is the most important part of the blood testing kit. It's the plastic bag that everything comes in and then is stored in after the blood is collected. It is sealed with a very sticky plastic that can show if it has been tampered with. It also has a list of everyone who has handled it. It should be signed over to each other person.
Plus, if it has been opened, the tape that is used to reseal the bag should also be signed.
In the Avery case, there didn't seem to be a similar bag or evidence label for the Styrofoam container that the Wisconsin cops used, Gee said. "We cannot account for who has opened that exhibit and who hasn't," he said.
Gee takes questions from viewers via Twitter.
As for the Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department, Gee believes some things could have been done better. "It's still probably boiling your anger a little bit because there were some things that the police had done that maybe weren't brilliant," Gee says. He said he made the videos to explain the things that Sussex crime scene investigators do — maybe to drive home the point they would be better.
But, he notes, some things were overblown. "There were things that I feel like the documentary were kind of leading you to believe were wrong that weren't, for example the needle prick in the EDTA," a technical term for the vial. But, ultimately he says police need to uphold the continuity of the exhibits and make sure it is always recorded who handled them, and why with clear notes to track it all.
"This case shows how important that is," Gee said.
Right he is.