Playing Sherlock with Making a Murderer.

(Attention–Spoiler Alerts!)

Making a Murderer is not typically holiday fare but boy, what a great binge watch. In case you haven’t seen it yet, it’s about a guy called Steven Avery who spent 18 years in jail for a rape he did not commit. He was finally released and exonerated thanks to new DNA evidence and sued the former sheriff and DA for $36 million dollars.

With the lawsuit pending, two years later he was charged with murdering a woman who came to his family’s junk yard to take pictures of a minivan for AutoTrader. His less than bright nephew was also charged. Both were eventually convicted and are behind bars as we speak.

There are so many examples of legal misconduct on the part of the police, the investigators and the DNA in these cases that it boggles the mind. How this case wasn’t tossed out is beyond me, especially after they found blood evidence from Steven’s earlier trial had been tampered with, propping up the defence contention that blood smears were planted in Teresa’s recovered van.

(I swear if I wrote most of this stuff in a novel my editor would hand it back to me with a stern “GET REAL!” in the margins.

But the question remains, who killed her? Who planted her bone fragments in the burn pit at the farm if Steven and Brendan weren’t involved? Who left her RAV on the property? What was the motive?

Some viewers have become (understandably) obsessed and gone a-sleuthing. Some believe Steven and Brendan are in fact responsible for the murder. They believe the police and legal system insured the convictions through coerced confessions and planted evidence. Here’s one cool link that bolsters that argument.

Some Nancy Drews have even come up with alternate suspects. The case is all over the current iteration of the watercooler aka social media. In fact, scores of people have gone on Reddit to play Sherlock.

And Anonymous is getting into the act, claiming they have documents they plan to release that will prove the police conspiracy theory and are ready to release it.

And we aren’t the only ones who are obsessed. So are celebrities.

Regardless of the theories, without new evidence the case will not be reopened and both Steven and Brendan will remain in jail.  I wonder about the damage done not just to the possibly innocent men, but to the once again shaken faith in the justice system. I haven’t gone to law school but even I could do a better job than Brendan’s first douchewad of a defender.

I also wonder if it wasn’t these two men, who was it? Is there a killer walking free?

And, as a journalist, I wonder what was left on the cutting room floor because it didn’t fit the proscribed narrative of the case. Even filmmakers have bias and every bit inculcates every decision, from camera shot to edit to voice over choice.



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