Steven Avery’s story continues in “Making a Murderer” part 2
Netflix recently unveiled a trailer announcing that the award-winning true crime docuseries “Making a Murderer” will soon receive a second season. The first season of the series, which remains one of the top rated and streamed shows on Netflix, captivated viewers worldwide at the time of its initial debut in December of 2015. Fans of the show praised its gripping narrative and the twists and turns displayed by this true-to-life case. The ten-episode season will be coming to Netflix on Friday, October 19th.
“Making a Murderer” documents the life of Steven Avery, a 56-year-old man from Manitowoc County, Wis. In July of 1985, Avery was arrested for the assault and rape of a woman named Penny Beernsten. Although Avery had an alibi that made it highly improbable for him to have committed the heinous crime, the victim identified him as her assailant in a police lineup. Despite the overwhelming lack of physical evidence, Avery was found guilty of the rape and attempted murder of Beernsten and sentenced to 32 years in prison.
Avery maintained his innocence up until the year 2002, when, 18 years into his sentence, the Wisconsin Innocence Project came to his aid. Utilizing DNA testing, technology which had not been available at the time of Avery’s initial trial, the foundation was able to conclusively prove that he was not Beernsten’s rapist. Additionally, they were able to identify a man named Gregory Allen, who bore a striking resemblance to Avery, as the true perpetrator of the crime. On September 11th, 2003, after serving 18 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, Avery was released and reunited with his family. Shortly after, Avery sought to sue Manitowoc County for thirty-six million in damages stemming from his wrongful conviction.
On November 11th, 2005, just over two years after his release, Avery was accused and charged with the murder of Theresa Halbach, a 25-year-old professional photographer. Her last documented appointment, which occurred on October 31st of the same year, placed her at the automobile salvage yard owned by the Avery family. Avery claimed to have contacted Halbach, who was employed by Auto Trader Magazine at the time, asking if she was available to photograph a minivan he was attempting to sell. Avery claimed that the exchange took no longer than five minutes and he watched from his porch as she drove off his property. Her family, growing worried that they had not been able to contact her for multiple days, reported her missing on November 3rd, 2005. Halbach’s last known location, the autosalvage yard, was canvased by a citizen-run search party.
On November 5th, 2005, Halbach’s green 1999 Toyota Rav 4 was discovered on the grounds, partially concealed under a blue tarp and piles of branches. A small blood smear was found near the ignition, and forensic testing revealed that the blood belonged to Avery, marking him a suspect in the disappearance of Halbach. Following numerous intensive searches of Avery’s property, enough evidence was collected to warrant his arrest.
Throughout the course of the documentary viewers see that the evidence admitted during the trial was not as straightforward as it initially appeared. Avery’s defense team masterfully casted a shadow of doubt on every statement made by the prosecution, going so far as to uncover potential evidence of mishandling and tampering of evidence by law officials. Despite the uncertainties of this case, Avery remains in prison.
Along with the trailer, Netflix released a statement that the second season will provide “an in-depth look at the high-stakes post-conviction process, exploring the emotional toll it takes on all involved.” Multiple members of the prosecution have reported that the second season raises points that were overlooked or left out entirely in the first. This will certainly be the next binge-worthy obsession for true crime fans everywhere.
Riley Guay, a sophomore, studies Organizational Communications. He is a staff writer for Le Provocateur.