News & Culture

City Scribbler: ‘Convicting a Murderer’ exposes ‘Making a Murderer’ for the sham that it is

“Convicting a Murderer” is the DailyWire+ response to “Making a Murderer,”which premiered on Netflix in December 2015. DAILY WIRE/NETFLIX PHOTOS

Now that “Convicting a Murderer” has dropped on DailyWire+, the gloves are off for those who still believe Steven Avery was framed by what could be the largest and most tight-lipped network of conspirators ever assembled.

In other words, “truthers” aren’t buying anything “CaM” is selling. The episode where Avery confesses won’t even convince them.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. We know. That episode doesn’t exist because Avery maintains he was “set up” by a bunch blood-stealing, key-planting shapeshifters he’s now fingered as several members of his own family.

If there’s ever a third season of “Making a Murderer,” we’re sure Kathleen Zellner will get into that, naming every Avery in Wisconsin as the “real” killer. Until then, it’s up to the rebuttal series to set the record straight.

So far, it should be clear to anyone with a trace of brain activity who has watched the first three episodes of “Convicting a Murderer” that Avery had a well-documented history of abusing women when Teresa Halbach was killed. Oh, and the evidence points directly to Stevie and nobody else. We’ll get into that another time.

Now, we know Avery claims Halbach snapped a few pictures of his sister’s van at around 2:30 p.m., Oct. 31, 2005, then drove away after just a few minutes. But, by his own account, he was the last person to see her alive.

“But we’ve read all the case files,” truthers love to shout from every rooftop. “And Zellner disproved the state’s theory.”

Well, no. Zellner did no such thing.

But let’s first address the furious truther retort that they know so much more than everyone else because they “read the all the case files” and that their opinion wasn’t formed after watching “Making a Murderer.”

There’s one problem with that claim. It’s myopic at best. Some might say it’s based in nothing. Pixie dust. Fairy dust. Fantasy. But that wouldn’t be fair because thousands of Avery supporters have read the case files since 2015, maybe tens of thousands. Make no mistake about that. Many of them still live and breathe “Making a Murderer.” Some can even recite the trial transcripts.

But the fact is, very few have “read all the case files” to form an opinion. They did so to solve the “mystery” of who “really” killed Teresa Halbach. The “opinion” that Steven Avery was framed was handed to them on a silver platter by Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos.

As for Zellner, aside from throwing a bunch of half-baked theories against the wall with hopes one might stick, the only thing she’s proven is that she’ll likely continue doing so until she’s out of options.

It’s not that Kathleen doesn’t know what she’s doing. But like Dean Strang and Jerry Buting, she’s got a guilty client whose trial was constitutionally sound.

Now, to her credit, Zellner may end up pulling an obscure argument out of her [hat] that springs Stevie so he can sue Manitowoc County all over again. Doubtful, but anything’s possible. But she has already been thwarted by a waiver issue. And her new “evidence” isn’t really evidence at all.

Alright, let’s climb out of that rabbit hole, shall we?

While “Making a Murderer” does mention some of Avery’s criminal and violent past, it was framed in a way that makes Stevie the victim—a man who just couldn’t get a break and made a few bad choices when he was “young and stupid,” as he puts it.

Laying such a foundation allowed MaM to blame everyone else but Steven Avery for his pattern of antisocial behavior. When he was busted for burglarizing a bar, MaM ran with his explanation that the crimes occurred because little Stevie was running with a bad crowd. Oh, and the other times, like when he torched the family cat: bad crowd. Robbing houses, including one while he was on his honeymoon: bad crowd.

Avery subtly explains that when he stopped “hanging around those people,” he suddenly had no more problems. He’s just a simple, loving family man, he said—except for when he beat his kids, attempted to abduct a woman at gunpoint, pimped his wife out to his teenage brother, carried on an inappropriate relationship with his underage niece and allegedly raped her at his sister’s house.

The only reason Stevie wasn’t charged with rape is because investigators were well into the Halbach investigation when his niece came forward.

“But none of that makes him a murderer.”

True. The Scribbler realizes that. What it does show is that Avery ruled the women in his life with an iron fist. When Stevie wanted something, Stevie got it. Women dared not cross or deny him, or they paid the price. Everyone around him knew this, including law enforcement.

“You can’t deny Avery’s 1985 wrongful conviction.”

Of course, we can’t. However, the Penny Beersten attack was not the first case of mistaken identity in the criminal justice world, and it won’t be the last. Yet, that didn’t stop “Making a Murderer” from claiming Avery was framed by Manitowoc County officials in ’85, which is the true foundation of the series.

What millions of viewers are still failing to understand—and for good reason— is that without the narrative that police set Avery up in the Penny Beernsten case, MaM would have likely become just another true crime story. And there would have been nothing wrong with that. There would have been nothing wrong with creating a balanced piece of long-form journalism, even if the filmmakers chose to take a side.

Instead, Ricciardi and Demos flavored their pot of propaganda stew with just enough lies, logical fallacies, and sleight-of-hand to make Steven Avery the most sympathetic character in the history of documentaries while barely humanizing Teresa Halbach. And they did much, much more.

Enter the Brendan Dassey fallacy.

“Anyone can see Dassey was coerced.”

MaM claims Dassey’s confession was false, therefore, Avery couldn’t have killed Teresa Halbach.

None so blind are those who will not see.

Whether one believes Dassey was involved, it should be as clear as Brendan’s love for Wrestlemania that he was a sacrificial lamb. It’s just that it wasn’t cops who let him to slaughter, as portrayed in “Making a Murderer.”

In MaM’s version of things, Brendan was used by law enforcement to get to Avery and was sent up the river by coercing cops Mark Wiegert and Tom Fassbender in the process.

The truth is, the person who truly sacrificed Brendan Dassey was the person who’s been gaslighting and manipulating people all his life, good ol’ Uncle Stevie.

The Netflix juggernaut also failed to show that the state had more than enough on Avery to convict him and didn’t really need Dassey. While Brendan did lead investigators to a bullet fragment containing Halbach’s DNA, he balked at a plea deal that would have likely had him home by now if he testified against Avery.

Ken Kratz then decided not to call Dassey as a witness, knowing he wasn’t going to roll on his uncle in open court. Brendan proved that at his own trial, taking the stand and telling the jury he “made up” his confession, basing how Halbach was killed on the James Patterson novel, “Kiss the Girls.”

The question MaM fails to answer is why Brendan Dassey recanted. Now, if you guessed because good ol’ Uncle Stevie leaned on everyone he could to get Brendan from telling the truth, you’d be right.

Avery has a history of coercing people into lying to police by the way. Ask ex-fiancee Jodi Stachowski about the time he demanded that say she received bruises when she got drunk and and fell down the stairs and not from his fists.

Furthermore, if you figured out that “Making a Murderer” failed to show that those close to Stevie were eagerly awaiting his purported $36 million payday from his lawsuit against the county, you’d be right again. They couldn’t allow Brendan to take that away by testifying against their goose that was about to start laying golden eggs.

Aside from Brendan’s mother, Barb Tadych; grandmother, Delores Avery; and uncle, Earl Avery, few fought for him, especially after Uncle Stevie was convicted and there were no golden eggs to be had.

Nobody scrambled to get Brendan top-notch legal counsel, only to shut him up. If you’ve never heard the phone call between Dassey and Papa Allan Avery about Brendan keeping his mouth shut, you could be in for a treat, if it didn’t end up on the CaM cutting-room floor.

Nobody offered to put up the family business as bond to get Brendan out of jail while he was awaiting trial. They only did that for Stevie because Stevie is who they truly wanted out.

Steven Avery made Steven Avery a murderer and helped turn his nephew into one. And he never ran with the bad crowd. He was the bad crowd.