On Monday morning of this week, right as I was about to board a plane to Chicago, a friend of mine texted me, “What do you think of this whole Steven Avery thing?”
“You know, from that Making a Murderer show?”
“The one with Viola Davis?”
“Have you seriously not heard of Making a Murderer?”
Less than 24 hours later, I was nine episodes deep, about to crush the finale of the first show I’ve felt the need to binge-watch since HBO’s The Jinx, last spring.
If you haven’t started Making a Murderer yet, you’re missing out. It’s a more engaging Serial, with a backstory that blows Adnan’s out of the fucking water. The twists and turns in this one will leave your mind in shambles. Without spoiling too much, here is a brief synopsis.
The Averys, basically Wisconsin’s version of the Kennedys, are a backwoods, inbred, Playstation-loving family from Two Rivers, Wis. — a town just outside of Manitowoc, Wis. Essentially the most hated family in town, the Averys are known as vile, disgusting people who own the town’s auto salvage yard.
In 1985, their son, Steven, is arrested and charged with sexual assault and attempted murder — even though the Sheriff’s department doesn’t have a shred of legitimate evidence against him. It seems, or is at least framed in the documentary series, as a setup by the sheriff’s office to essentially fuck over the Averys.
18 years later, DNA testing proves Steven is innocent. He sues the county for $36 million dollars. They double down and charge him with murder. That’s as far as I’ll get into it without spoiling the rest. It will really, really, really make you hate Wisconsin — and their fucking accents.
If you have watched it, congratulations. This next part of the column is for you. I am by no means an expert on this trial or this show, but here are some thoughts I wanted to share after finishing it.
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
First, if you haven’t yet, read about the evidence against Steven that was left out of the documentary. It might change your overall opinion about whether or not his guilt is as questionable as the documentary makes it out to be. That being said, 250,000 people have signed a petition demanding Barack Obama issue a Presidential pardon. Yeah, good luck with that.
Here are some rambling thoughts, in bullet form because they are so disjointed.
• The most tragic part of this show was the handling of Playstation-loving Brendan Dassey, the 16-year-old high school student who is currently serving time in prison because of a bullshit, coerced confession that was filled with more holes than a block of swiss cheese. Seriously, I can get behind Steven Avery being a creep, but I can’t fathom how this poor kid went to jail. You feel so bad for him throughout the series. It’s like every time he is around, someone right next to him is explaining how unintelligent and awkward he is.
“Ladies and Gentlemen of the court, my client is clearly very fucking stupid and socially inept. I mean, look at him. Look at that stupid face. Does that space-head look capable of being a cold-blooded killer? No way. He probably can’t even make a ham and cheese sandwich.”
*Entire court nods in agreement*
*Renders a guilty verdict*
• This was the most evil man in the entire series:
— Phragle (@Phragle) January 1, 2016
His fucking smarmy ass ventriloquist doll face lighting up each time he saw the media approach him proves he is a textbook narcissist. He deserves to be disbarred, if he hasn’t been already.
• The saddest part of the whole show is when Brendan Dassey talks to his mom on the phone.
“Will I be home in time for Wrestlemania?”
“[My lawyer] and I have the same favorite animal.”
Shit, dude. That kid does not belong in jail.
• Ken Kratz is the most soft spoken district attorney in American history. He is who I picture when I think of small town Wisconsin.
LOL at his sexting scandal at the end of the show.
“I am the one with the six-figure salary. I am the one with the $350,000 house. I AM THE PRIZE.”
• Dean Strang and Jerry Buting are the first guys I am calling if I ever get framed for murder. Dean looks like the love child of John Oliver and Stephen Colbert with the voice of Bob Odenkirk. Jerry is just David Wallace.
• Ken Petersen suggesting the town could have just killed Steven Avery if it wanted does not make me trust law enforcement very much.
• Manitowoc County, Wis. is probably the most hated place in America right now.
Even the local police department is distancing itself:
Just a notice for all the people complaining. The Manitowoc Police Dept is separate from the Sheriffs Dept.
— Manitowoc Police (@ManitowocPolice) January 2, 2016
This will take some incredible PR work to overcome.
• LOL to the sketch artist, Eugene, who basically said his shitty, stupid drawing was more reliable than DNA evidence.
• I don’t know why, but the documentary did a good job, intentional or not, of vilifying Mike Halbach, who was clearly just a victim in this whole thing. I bet Mike has had a shitty couple of weeks. He hasn’t released a statement, but did change his Facebook photo to one of him and his sister.
• One scene that really irked me was the footage of the Sheriff’s dept. searching the Avery’s home. At one point, the person filming suggests that they grab a pair of Steven’s shoes so they could link him to some local burglaries. That was some Grade A bullshit.
• I would like to read alternate theories to Halbach’s murder. I still don’t understand why there would be blood in the car if they incinerated her behind the house. Was there a need to drive her body 25 feet?
• Is Steven Avery stupid enough to bury someone in his backyard? I think he probably is. He looks like the adult version of Beans from Even Stevens.
• Everybody who works in law enforcement in Manitowoc County sucks.
• I couldn’t keep up with Steven Avery’s dad’s facial hair.
• This whole documentary will just make you angry and sad. .
Image via YouTube