Is Steven Avery guilty or innocent? Investigation Discovery special looks at the case

Jeff Pfeiffer

Steven Avery: Innocent or Guilty premieres Saturday, Jan. 30 at 9/8CT on Investigation Discovery.


• Netflix’s Ted Sarandos calls “Making a Murderer” a “remarkable turn of events”
• Dateline NBC special looks at the Steven Avery case

Odds are, if you have a TV, computer or tablet, you’ve been sucked into the worldwide phenomenon that is Netflix’s original series Making A Murderer. If you haven’t watched it (and maybe even if you have), you probably wish your friends would juststoptalking … about it. And if you haven’t heard of it at all, well, you’ve won a seriously impressive game of pop-culture dodgeball.

The 10-episode Making a Murderer examined the investigation and murder trials resulting from the gruesome October 31, 2005, death of photographer Teresa Halbach. Following what many view as a wildly suspicious investigation by Manitowoc, Wisconsin, law enforcement agencies, local eccentric Steven Avery was charged with the crime, along with his teenage nephew Brenden Dassey.

That Avery was recently freed from prison after serving 18 years for an assault he didn’t commit — and, thus, was on the cusp of receiving a substantial settlement for the botched case — made some believe he had been railroaded by a vengeful Manitowoc PD.

making_a_murdererWhen Making a Murderer debuted on Netflix in December, it launched a fiery worldwide discussion about whether the pair had received fair trials, whether they were truly guilty — and whether the series’ creators Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi willingly excluded evidence of Avery’s guilt or merely did a brilliant job of pointing out how quickly we can change our minds about someone’s guilt or innocence. And, thus, the precarious nature of the justice system because of it.

Now Investigation Discovery will present new details and new perspective on the Avery convictions in a new special Steven Avery: Innocent or Guilty, premiering Saturday, Jan. 30, at 9/8CT. Produced by NBC News’ Emmy Award-winning Peacock Productions and hosted by everyone’s favorite Dateline NBC guy Keith Morrison, Steven Avery: Innocent or Guilty reveals the latest intriguing developments in the story, and takes an in-depth look at the evidence, the controversy and the key players in the case. New interviews include:

Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi — Making a Murderer  filmmakers

Jerry Buting  Former defense attorney in Avery Case

Ken Kratz  Former Calumet County DA, prosecutor in the Avery and Dassey cases and perhaps Making a Murderer‘s most hated figure.

Brad Dassey — Brendan Dassey’s half-brother

 Michael Griesbach — author of The Innocent Killer and former Manitowoc County ADA,

Peter Massey — forensic expert, University of New Haven

Tom Kertscher Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter

So tell us — did you watch Making a Murderer? Did you think the series purposefully sought to exonerate Avery or was intended to make viewers think in terms more broad-based than his guilt or innocence. Will you watch Steven Avery: Innocent or Guilty? Sound off in the comments section below.

Steven Avery: Innocent or Guilty premieres Saturday, Jan. 30 at 9/8CT on Investigation Discovery.


  1. The entire thing was a travesty. There was no DNA evidence in the bedroom or the garage. Where was the blood splatter, where was the fiber evidence, where was any hair? And if Steven Avery cleaned the garage as they stated, why was there a ton of dust all over everything in the pictures they took? Why did the Calumet police find no DNA evidence for 5 days, but on the 6th day, the very police officer from the Manitowoc Police Dept. who was indicted in the civil lawsuit (who was not even supposed to be investigating this because of the lawsuit) find the car keys prominently displayed in the bedroom? And why was there blood and hair DNA from Teresa in her car trunk? How does that fit in with the prosecutions case? They claim Steve Avery raped her in the bedroom, shot her in the garage and burned her body 20 feet from his bedroom window. So at what point would Teresa ever be in her car trunk? None of this adds up. Not only that, if Steve Avery committed this crime and took all the time to clean the crime scene so thoroughly that no DNA could be found, why would he not have simply crushed the car? He had a salvage yard with a working car crusher. Plus, it takes more than fire to incinerate bones; a backyard bonfire wouldn’t do that. And why was there evidence of tampering with the blood vial containing his blood from the first case? The same police officer that found the key in the bedroom is the same police officer that had boxed up evidence from the case 18 years earlier. But, the tape had been cut on the box and the Styrofoam container that held the blood vial of Steven’s blood, and there was a syringe needle puncture in the top of the vial. All of this screams police tampering and evidence planting. I don’t know who killed Teresa, the ex boyfriend sure looks suspicious to me. Her co-workers said she had been receiving harassing phone calls for weeks and had gotten one the day before she disappeared. Her ex boyfriend happened to show up at her apartment the day before she disappeared, and he hacked into her cell phone account online 2 days after she disappeared. They also know from the phone company that some of her messages had been erased between November 2nd and November 5th. Also, the similarities of this case to others from Edward Wayne Edwards cases is disturbing and striking. But, regardless of who did it, I would have way too much reasonable doubt to ever have convicted Steven Avery had I been sitting on that jury.

  2. This case is so unfair. Much information shown about this case has way to many holes in it. Law enforcement did Not in my opinion do anything to find the TRUE killer of this young woman. They immediately was on Steven Avery and no One else.
    The only testimony that Remained the same through out was his nephew Brendan saying where he was and all he did, until many investigators , law enforcement and even his own attorney kept telling him he was lying and they knew the truth. Look at when he was giving written statement of his day and was told ” That’s not the truth, I cannot help you when your lying”. Then asked Brendan to draw many pictures on paper. Investigator would tell him as he pointed to the paper and say” draw the bed with her tied up right here”, draw a picture here of you having sex with her”.. He would tell him how to write and where to write it on the paper. Then others would speak to him and call him a liar and say” what would your mother say if she knew you were lying to Us?” I will call her and tell her your lying and then they asked him when he would call and tell his mother the truth! Later he sent his statement in writing to the Judge. Again, he documented what really happened throughout his day. This is what he said over and over , but wasn’t excepted by law enforcement and many kept calling him a liar and saying things to him to get him to change his story. Brendan is a shy, quiet, low functioning teen with educational Challenges. He wasn’t allowed to have his mother present in the questioning at any time. Law enforcement said they asked his mother and she declined. Where is that video or signed statement to decline and/or giving them permission to speak to them, without a parent/attorney? Brendan also in questioning video thought he’d be leaving and going back to school to do a project in 6th class for school. Does this seem off to anyone?
    Now, by Brendan’s statement there should have been tons of blood in Steven’s bedroom for this is where they were in beginning. For tied up statement and cut her throat! The mattress would have been covered in blood.. No rope was found or scratches on bed to prove she was there or tied up in anyway. NO DNA???
    Steven’s girlfriend, had shown a phone bill with date, time and length of calls when she was in jail. Why wasn’t this brought into court for it to me also proved a crack in law enforcement case!
    All that I saw and have read and listened to has way to many loop holes to convict Steven Avery or Brendan Dassey for this crime. They should be released and the real killer looked for. I feel the law enforcement involved and the Judges involved also need to be looked at in their part of making sure that Steven and Brendan got convicted. Evidence was tampered with, no matter what , especially the blood and that was stored with POLICE access… INNOCENT before proven guilty has always been the law… In this case it never was! It was GUILTY and off to JAIL! SET free BOTH Steven Avery and Brendan …. TIME Served for this case and look for who really killed this young woman!

  3. There was so much corruption starting with the 1st trial and conviction 16 years prior. I don’t believe Steven got a fair trial on either count, I mean innocent until proven guilty beyond a SHADOW of a DOUBT!! Also where is it stated that the jurors bargain or trade votes on a mans life…it’s ALL innocent or ALL guilty. I wonder if this mans injustice will ever be corrected. I’m very interested to see the Dateline interview coming up on January 30th.

  4. Many post he was framed but I have yet to see whom they think committed the horrible crime. If not him then who? Just curious what people are thinking.

  5. Innocent until PROVEN guilty ? Where did that happen? And prosecutors are supposed to make jurors believe guilty “without a shadow of doubt”? Hardly…..and how does someone get the SAME judge EVERY TIME they appeal? I could go on and on but it scares me too much to think just how deceiving our judicial system can be. I would not ever visit or even pass through that county for fear of what may happen. If you look the part, you may just find yourself convicted for murder!!

      • Oh my God I agree with all of you I cannot stand the prosecutor it was all just so ridiculous and everything was absolutely done so poorly the evidence collected the DNA or whatever test they did on the blood was out rages never have I Seen such a mockery in America I would never go to Wisconsin wherever the crap that inbred Little home of the good old boys making bad calls on a guy they just didn’t like revolting I hope justice finally get served to those guys and that they get paid a lot of money his poor nephew his whole life is been just behind bars it’s so sad

  6. I think it was a setup because he was going to receive money from the county and that didn’t sit well with them. Also the attorneys against them covered and lied on the stand. He deserves another trial with fair people.

  7. i believe he was framed ive met a few people that were wrongfully convicted there is corruption in our judicial system whether it be cops or social workers it all boils down to money.

  8. Well we all know the prosecution just has to come up with a great story and ANYONE can get falsely convicted. I would stay away from jury trials, jurors have this Hollywood movie perspective on cases.

  9. I did watch it. I also read the transcripts. I am convinced they where framed. Way to many holes in the States investigation. I am horrified.

  10. I watched it, found it fascinating. Throughout I thought the producers may have been biased towards Steven Avery. But on the reverse, the investigation was suspicious and I believe Brenden was coerced. Hard to believe such a conspiracy, but the whole investigation seemed fishy. And I did not like the prosecutor, or Brenden’s 1st pre-trial attorney. Both snakes.

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About Lori Acken 1195 Articles
Lori just hasn't been the same since "thirtysomething" and "Northern Exposure" went off the air.