Making a Murderer

Making a Murderer

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Updated Oct 06, 2019 at 04:25PM EDT by Sophie.

Added Jan 06, 2016 at 02:12PM EST by Brad.

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Making a Murderer is an American web documentary series that recounts the story of Steven Avery, a Wisconsin man who served 18 years in prison after being convicted of rape and attempted murder of a local woman, then exonerated and released as a result of DNA analysis in 2003, only to be subsequently convicted of the murder of a local photographer and sentenced to life in prison. Upon its Netflix premiere in December 2015, the documentary was immediately met with critical acclaims and reinvigorated public interest in the case.


The series was co-created and filmed in the states of New York and Wisconsin over the course of a decade by Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, a duo of filmmakers who began the project as graduate film students at Columbia University after learning about Steven Avery's case through a New York Times article in 2005. Following the completion of the post-production process, the documentary was picked up by Netflix as a ten-episode original series and premiered on December 18th, 2015, with the simultaneous release of the pilot episode via YouTube that same day.


The ten-episode series follows the story of Steven Avery, a resident of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, who served 18 years in prison from 1985 to 2003 after being wrongfully convicted of rape and attempted murder of a local woman named Penny Beernsten, with a particular focus on his legal battle against Manitowoc County following his exoneration by DNA analysis in 2003. Later on, the series also highlights the case of Brendan Dassey, Steven Avery's teenage nephew who is charged with, and eventually convicted of, being a conspirator to the murder of another local woman and photographer Teresa Halbach in 2005.


Online Presence

On December 17th, the eve of the premiere date, the official Twitter account for the Netflix series was launched. On December 23rd, the official Facebook page for the show was created, accumulating nearly 100,000 likes within the first two weeks.


Online Reaction

Upon its Netflix premiere on December 18th, 2015, Making a Murderer immediately became a trending topic on Google Search and major social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and Reddit, as well as drawing the attention of the Anonymous hacktivist collective and prompting the launch of "Free Steven Avery" petitions on[17] and WeThePeople.[18] The petitions garnered more than 532,000 signatures and 129,000 signatures, respectively. Petitioning President of the United States and 1 other Free Steven Avery MichalSyedian 314,789 Supporters Arvada, CO There is a documentary series on Netflix called "Making a Murderer". After viewing it, I am outraged with the injustices which have been allowed to compound and left unchecked in the case of Steven Avery of Manitowoc County in Wisconsin, U.S.A. Avery's unconstitutional mistreatment at the hands of corrupt local law enforcement is completely unacceptable and is an abomination of due process. Steven Avery should be exonerated at once by pardon, and the Manitowoc County officials complicit in his two false imprisonments should be held accountable to the highest extent of the U.S. criminal and civil justice systems. WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO: Pardon Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey for their alleged involvement in the murder of Teresa Halbach. Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey should be given a full pardon by President Obama for their wrongful conviction in the connection to the murder of Teresa Halbach Based on the evidence in the Netflix documentary series "Making a Murderer", the justice system embarrassingly failed both men, completely ruining their entire lives. There is clear evidence that the Manitowoc County sheriffs department used improper methods to convict both Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey This is a black mark on the justice system as a whole, and should be recognized as such, while also giving these men the ability to live as normal a life as possible. Published Date: Dec 20, 2015 Issues: Civil Rights and Liberties, Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement, Government Reform Learn about Petition Thresholds SIGNATURES NEEDED BY JANUARY 19, 2016 TO REACH GOAL OF 100,000 ON TAHIS PHIATONES 16,478 ON THIS PETITION

Season Two

In July 2016, Netflix announced[27] that the production for a follow-up season of Making a Murder has begun, which will revisit the case with an in-depth focus on "the high-stakes post-conviction process."

On September 25th, 2018, Netflix tweeted a teaser for the second season of the series as well as an October 19th, 2018 premiere date. They captioned the video, ".@MakingAMurderer Part 2 premieres October 19." Within 24 hours, the announcement received more than 4,100 retweets and 10,000 likes (shown below).

The second season follows Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey's post-conviction process, introducing their post-conviction lawyer Kathleen Zellner. Zellner told The Wrap,[30] "We were disappointed with the lower court’s opinion because it was riddled with factual errors, ignored most of the legal arguments and misapplied the law. In the greater scheme of things, the higher courts will make the final decision on whether Mr. Avery will be given a new trial. This decision was a speed bump and we have many levels of courts to appeal to before this is over. It is good to be on the way to those courts."

Reaction to the second season was mixed. Twitter[31] user @YouWatchIListen tweeted, "I have no interest in a follow up to Making a Murderer. Why does it need a sequel, especially after some of the key evidence in the first season was proven to be false?" Twitter[32] user @ac_hutchens tweeted, "Arguably the best #Netflix documentary ever made, and we’re getting part 2! #MakingAMurderer is coming back."

That day, Twitter[33] published a Moments regarding the second season.

I have no interest in a follow up to Making a Murderer. Why does it need a sequel, especially after some of the key evidence in the first season was proven to be false? Arguably the best #Netflix documentary ever made, and we're getting part 2! #MakingAMurderer is coming back Do you think Steven Avery & Brendan Dassey are innocent or guilty? Netflix US @netflix Εσ .@MakingAMurderer Part2 premieres October 19 57 57 URDERER NETFLIX


Brendan Dassey's Case

On August 12th, 2016, the United States Magistrate Judge William E. Duffin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin overturned[28][29] the conviction of Brendan Dassey, the nephew of Steven Avery and one of the two main subjects featured in the Netflix documentary, on the grounds that his confession was coerced by the law enforcement in violation of the defendant's constitutional rights. Dassey, who had been convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison at age of 16, will be released within 90 days unless the state of Wisconsin decides to retry him or appeal the ruling.

Andrew Colburn's Lawsuit

On December 7th, 2018, former Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Detective Andrew Colborn filed suit against Netflix and Making a Murderer filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, as well as the series' producers, for defamation. Colborn believes the series created the false narrative that he and other police officers planted and tampered with evidence to help convict Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey.[34][35]

Colburn, in the legal brief, contends that he is "neither a 'public figure' nor a 'limited purpose public figure'" and has in not "injected himself into the controversy surrounding the Avery case." Additionally, he believes that elements of the case were distorted in order to portray the plaintiff as a "corrupt police officer who planted evidence to frame an innocent man."

The brief continues:

"Pertinent and significant aspects of MAM are not true as represented and are, instead, false and defamatory toward plaintiff and others. Material and significant facts known to the defendants were omitted and distorted. Despite overwhelming evidence proving Avery and Dassey’s guilt and the utter absence of evidence supporting defendant’s accusations of police misconduct, defendants falsely led viewers to the inescapable conclusion that plaintiff and others planted evidence to frame Avery for Halbach’s murder. Defendants omitted, distorted, and falsified material and significant facts in an effort to portray plaintiff as a corrupt police officer who planted evidence to frame an innocent man. Defendants did so with actual malice and in order to make the film more profitable and more successful in the eyes of their peers, sacrificing and defaming the plaintiff’s character and reputation in the process."

Some online responded to the lawsuit by expressing their negative opinion of Colburn (examples below).

LOL! Andrew Colburn is an idiot and his incompetence is on full display. MANITOWOC CO. SHERIFF'S DEPT MANITowoc CO SHERIFF'S DEPT MANITOWOC. WIS Making a Murderer Andrew Colburn, a former police sergeant in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, has sued the filmmakers of "Making a Murderer" as well as Netflix, for defamation over Filmmakers Sued for Defamation By Former Wisconsin... Andrew Colburn lawsuit is nothing more than a loud smoke screen to take attention off of what is going down. That Kathleen Zellner is about to blow the SA&BD cases wide open!!!

Kim Kardashian's Support for Brendan Dassey

On October 2nd, 2019, NBC News26[36] tweeted that, "Advocates for Brendan Dassey have promoted a website containing a list of documents related to his case, including a hand-written letter from Brendan addressed to Gov. Evers" Dassey's letter to the governor simply lists his own personal interests like Adam Sandler, fairies, and Pokémon (shown below). The letter also urges the governor to please pardon him because he's innocent. The tweet gained over 1,700 likes and 400 retweets in four days.

1/16/19 Dear Governor Evers Hi there How are you eingeed todaydeing deday. deing geed today, congeats becoming wisconsin's Goverthor Here is a list of same I am things baut tar yau to get to Knaw me patemen dcink :orange crush chips deritos andJ fuayuas animal iSeason: fall restlerJohn cena color orange and Jraen Sead hamburges cats/lynx haliday 4July nas car driver Simmie JahAson mew isupeellian catw arime yugioh Seriss Saap opeca geaal hespital uegicoh casdi guardian eatas movie: fast anfurious franchise acdress emma watses. umbes and oman ty shaw. arrow actor: adam Sandle Landy tix and mens biads cagles, hawks Salcons ape spanaws. sidee games: need o speed,and pake man games game conseles playstatioas_an" gaweboys Ape of Sogs huskies and abs Supse decoes. hawkgil, ad wondswoman vgetables: onions, aal cucumbers Srut strawbereies, and wateemelons tne of the day: aterncons, and night time habbies ceading, colecing,and playing .dee games ythical creatwes: angels drags faicies Aype beasfaaasy, and saime/maaga magazinesat nea ataku usa, gansinfermee Pc gamer cBS-ABC-NBC So aps in x-bex magazine Baohs Iam depth ad reading qugi-eh. arysyrea, 12 beast the rising of the shield hero, bleachy faicy tail the seven deadlysins attack on ttan, that gat reincarnates time I nciet magus br ide, and Swiorda online slime The as a etike spiders, Snakes hieghts anad men that t and a buse wamen and dildren what are your likes and:sl;res? ting to ask fo inne ceat and ant to ao hame 4aedan because IfI Iwou like to set wauld ike Aay daugh ter af my owAT wauld aet ta s heme a jab invaluing video games hele take care ot My to Mom Qd One haue a Son and would namt my daughtec Grace and my son tar ia Mizac hich is the name ot the big digpec that is all for and until Aext time Aow Take care love the camplete and ianaceat becoming the Page a Pagain congcats governor loue

That same day, Kim Kardashian West[37] retweeted the letter urging Gov. Evers to read it garnering over 6,000 likes. West also promoted the Bring Brendan Home website in a tweet (shown below, left).[39] The tweet accumulated over 1,900 likes and 280 retweets in four days. The next day, CoDirector of Center on Wrongful Convictions Laura Nirider[38] shared in a tweet that "Gov. Evers vows to consider application…At a public event Wednesday, Evers said he would look at Dassey’s request" (shown below, right). The tweet gained over 840 likes an 130 retweets in three days.

Kim Kardashian West @KimKardashian Tune in to a brand new episode of @wrongfulconviction SPECIAL EDITION: Un-making a Murderer first & only interview with Brendan Dassey & Laura Nirider #truecrime #wrongfulconviction #wrongfulconvictionpodcast #makingamurderer #BringBrendanHome WRONGFUL CONVICTION JASON FLOM WITH EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH BRENDAN DASSEY AND LAURA NIRIDER 9:30 PM Oct 2, 2019 Twitter for iPhone Laura Nirider @LauraNirider "Gov. Evers vows to consider application...At a public event Wednesday, Evers said he would look at Dassey's request." We're deeply grateful for your commitment to justice, @GovEvers, & will do anything we can to facilitate review of Brendan's case 3-01-06 AED 11-56:55 AM S66.10454 What are 'Making a Murderer' subject Brendan Dassey's cha... A 29-year-old man whose murder conviction was documented in the Netflix original series Making a Murderer... 2:57 PM Oct 3, 2019 Twitter Web App

Search Interest

External References

[1] Netflix – Making a Murderer

[2] Wikipedia – Making a Murderer

[3] Wikipedia – Steven Avery

[4] Vulture – Making a Murderer Is As Good As ‘Serial’ and The Jinx, If Not Better

[5] The Atlantic – Making a Murderer: An American Horror Story

[6] Page Six – Celebs Go Nuts for Netflix's ‘Making a Murderer’ series

[7] Bustle – 16 Celebrities Who Watched 'Making A Murderer' & Can't Stop Talking About It

[8] Rolling Stone – 'Making a Murderer': The Story Behind Netflix's Hit True-Crime Show

[9] New York Times – Freed by DNA, Now Charged in New Crime

[10] New York Times – ‘Making a Murderer’: Watched It All? Share Your Theories

[11] New York Times – ‘Making a Murderer’ Left Out Crucial Facts, Prosecutor Says

[12] Reddit – 'Making a Murderer' Official Discussion Thread

[13] Reddit – /r/makingamurderer

[14] Facebook – Making a Murderer

[15] Twitter – @MakingAMurderer

[16] The White House – Pardon Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey for their alleged involvement in the murder of Teresa Halbach

[17] – Free Steven Avery

[18] Business Insider – Hacker group Anonymous is helping the 'Making a Murderer' convict and says it'll release critical new documents

[19] BuzzFeed – People Are Writing Scathing Yelp Reviews For The Prosecutor From “Making A Murderer”

[20] Reddit – Anonymous Is Officially in Steven's and Branden's Corner

[21] TIME – Petition to Pardon Making a Murderer Subject Gets Over 180,000 Signatures

[22] Vox – Netflix's Making a Murderer is grim, riveting, and satisfying true crime TV

[23] Twitter – Hashtag Results for #MakingAMurderer

[24] Reddit – /r/makingamurderer traffic report


[26] GQ – Making a Murderer Lawyers Dean Strang and Jerry Buting Are Making the Internet Swoon

[27] Variety -‘Making a Murderer’ Gets New Episodes on Netflix

[28] WISN – Brendan Dassey v. Michael A. Dittman (Ruling

[29] CNN – 'Making a Murderer': Brendan Dassey conviction overturned

[30] The Wrap – ‘Making a Murderer': Season 2 of Netflix’s True-Crime Series to Premiere Next Month

[31] Twitter – @YouWatchIListen's Tweet

[32] Twitter – @ac_hutchens's Tweet

[33] Twitter – The second season of Making a Murderer brings new evidence to Steven Avery's case

[34] Deadline – Netflix Sued By Former Detective Over ‘Making A Murderer’

[35] Wordpress – Legal Briefing

[36] Twitter – NBC26

[37] Twitter – KimKardashian

[38] Twitter – LauraNirider

[39] Twitter – KimKardashian

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