Certain viewers of the hit Netflix series Making a Murderer are more dedicated than others. So dedicated, in fact, that they are willing to fight for Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey's freedom. Inspired by their stories, as told by the series, people around the world are gathering to protest the pair's imprisonment and call attention to what they believe are flaws in the American justice system. One of these events will happen on June 11, and already, countries around the world have planned joint protests. To say the least, Making a Murderer is quite the phenomenon.
Most remarkably, the series has awoken a sleuthing spirit, reassuring everyday people that they, too, are capable of doing some worthwhile investigative digging. Jerry Buting, Avery's attorney during the 2007 case, expressed gratitude towards them in an interview with Rolling Stone.
What I'm discovering is that a million minds are better than two. Some of these people online have found things with a screen shot of a picture that we missed.
Both Avery and Dassey were sentenced to life in prison for the 2005 murder of photographer Teresa Halbach. Four years prior to the conviction, Avery had been exonerated for rape after wrongfully spending 18 years in prison. In Dassey's case, many viewers believe the mentally challenged 16-year-old was supposedly coerced into a false confession, although the Manitowoc County department adamantly denies all claims of wrongdoing. Additionally, Making A Murderer and Avery's defense posited that Avery was allegedly framed by the Sheriff's Department and that other suspects exist — but a jury didn't buy it, and the sheriff's department denies the allegations.
These citizens have shown us that they're not willing to just sit back and soak in the series' drama. They're eager to make a change in the two men's lives.
1) Krystyne Frandson
The 45-year-old mother from Minnesota has watched Making a Murderer from start to finish six times. When she sparked a conversation with a woman on Facebook who believed authorities failed to question a man she actually believes is guilty of murder, Frandson was hooked. She accumulated 150 pages of information and turned them over to Avery's new defense attorney, Kathleen Zellner. The Chicago lawyer encourages people who care about the case to become involved and contact her with any information they believe they've found.
2) Daniel Luke
This man from Portland, Oregon, is hiding out in a hotel room, searching for the man he believes to be Halbach's real murderer. Feeling as though he can redeem his own past by proving the Sheriff's Department wrong, Luke suspects that Halbach's ex-boyfriend Ryan Hillegas might have something to do with it.
3) Michael Seyedian
Seyedian created petitions to free Avery that eventually gained over 500,000 signatures and received national recognition.
4) Reddit User Tuckerm33
This user found an alleged flaw in Andrew Colburn's claim that he had shaken the bookcase in Avery's room. In a before and after picture, it seems as though all books on the shelf are in the same position, raising questions about the location of Halbach's car key.
5) Violet Skyye
The Making a Murderer viewer and advocate tweeted a clever point.
6) Reddit User LorenzoValla
This redditor is thinking like Violet Skyye. He or she claimed that loose keys should have been perceived as normal in Avery's home, considering the fact he lived in a junkyard full of cars.
Why does a key suddenly represent important evidence? Instead, wouldn't the normal reaction be to see if the key matched the make of the vehicle and then wonder if it MIGHT be "the" key?
7) Holly Dill
The Twitter user asked why Teresa Halbach's DNA wouldn't have been found on her own car keys... many fans are fixated on issues surrounding the single car key.
8) Justin Evans
Evans quit his job to pursue high profile cases, such as those from Making a Murderer and the NPR podcast, Serial. He has become an expert on Reddit and even heads his own podcast, where he speculates on all theories and counter-theories.
"I had been lying to myself for 20 years that I was happy," he said of his old job as a domain administrator. "Talking and analyzing murder cases and how the system works will always get a smile out of me."