Steven Avery went to prison for rape in 1985, and was let out 18 years later in 2003 after DNA evidence proved that he wasn’t the perpatrator. Just two years later, he was accused of the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach. These cases — the latter, in depth — are documented in Making a Murderer, a recently released Netflix documentary series directed by Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos.
Although the 10 hourlong episodes are chock-full of details about the two cases, finishing the series might leave you wanting more — so we found the best supplemental stories to tide you over after your binge-watch.“Blood Simple”
Less than a year after Avery’s murder conviction, Kurt Chandler wrote an in-depth feature story about the case for Milwaukee Magazine. The article includes interviews with Avery himself, the victim’s family, and Brendan Dassey, Avery’s nephew who was also convicted for the same murder.
Read the story here.“Are You Sure?”
Radiolab explored the idea of uncertainty in a 2013 episode that featured a segment with Penny Beerntsen, the rape victim who initially was sure that Steven Avery was the perpetrator in her 1985 case. Beerntsen goes into haunting detail about the attack and its aftermath, like the fear she felt when she saw Avery in a police lineup the following day and her eventual discovery that Avery’s DNA wasn’t connected to the crime. “I remember feeling, if I wrote down every good deed I had done from the day I was born until today, it would not be possibly sufficient to balance the scales in terms of this horrendous error that I’ve made,” Beerntsen says of finding out the news. “That day was worse than the day I was assaulted.”
Hear the segment here.Unreasonable Inferences and The Innocent Killer
Wisconsin prosecutor Michael Griesbach wrote two books about Avery’s case, 2010’s Unreasonable Inferences and 2014’s The Innocent Killer. The first focused on Avery’s wrongful rape conviction, while the second looked at Avery’s murder conviction in the context of his previous experience with the law.
Beerntsen describes how she coped after the 1985 attack and what it was like meeting Avery for the first time after his 2003 release in a piece for The Forgiveness Project, an organization that shares stories about forgiveness from people all over the world.
Read Beerntsen’s account here.Reddit
Reddit is full of relevant threads for those who want to get involved in discussions about the show — or for those who just want to read discussions about the show. The Making a Murderer subreddit has entire threads devoted to each episode, a call for questions for Avery’s lawyer, and new details about the case.
Browse the Making a Murderer subreddit here.
Making a Murderer is now available to watch in its entirety on Netflix.