If they really do make a second series of Making a Murderer, those who didn’t bother to watch the first installment may want to skip it, because you will have no idea what the heck is going on. If you have seen it, you will recall that the filmmakers want you to believe that Steven Avery is a patsy framed by police, prosecutors and a corrupt justice system in the murder of Teresa Halbach back in 2005.
The original series tries to make the argument–based on Avery’s original defense and appeal–that the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department, upset that Avery has been released from prison after DNA evidence proved he did not commit a rape–and now due a large settlement–sets out to frame Avery after it turns out he was the last person to see Halbach alive on his family’s compound. The conspiracy grows to include the Calumet County Sheriff’s Department–who was called in to handle the on-site investigation because of Avery’s relationship with Manitowoc County. Toss in a special prosecutor that was found to be sexting with a much younger domestic abuse victim, the key to Halbach’s vehicle that you can’t see in picture of Avery’s bedroom but was found by investigators, a blood vial with a broken seal in his previous court files, and a confession from Avery’s not so intelligent nephew providing all of the gory details and you have yourself a pretty good story to sell.
Making a Murderer had a built-in audience: those who will always believe that law enforcement is crooked and that the justice system is tilted against the “little guy”. Hey, “they” put away Avery once for a crime he didn’t commit, so why couldn’t they do it again? The case became a cause celebre as Hollywood stars, politicians and high-profile attorneys all came to Avery’s defense, demanding he be set free and granted another trial–or that the “crooked investigators and prosecutors” be tried instead. He even became a hashtag!!
But as they say in Hollywood, Avery and his high-profile appeals attorney have “flipped the script”. In their latest motion for reconsideration, Avery’s team completely drops the “he was framed by police” story–and instead are claiming that a member of Avery’s own family is framing him. Either his brother-in-law or another nephew is the “real killer”–and they created an elaborate ruse to make it look like Steve is the one that did it. The blood inside Halbach’s SUV that we were told came from the court file vial? That was actually collected by the family member from Avery’s sink–because he knew that Steve had cut his hand that same day and it hadn’t been cleaned up. That same family member then cleaned up all of the blood and planted Halbach’s key in Avery’s bedroom for police to find when they came back with a second search warrant.
I highly doubt any of this will ever make it to Netflix. It’s easy as a moviemaker to accuse police officers, prosecutors, judges and expert witnesses of breaking the law with little to no evidence–as they are public officials and such accusations are generally covered by the first amendment. But when you start accusing Joe Average of murder and conspiracy to conceal you are treading in the dangerous waters of defamation, slander and libel. Not to mention, fewer people will buy it (literally). Plus, there is no liberal cache to blaming family members for framing someone for murder–so the social media buzz will be next to nothing.
However, making the sequel will set us up for Making a Murderer III–where Steven Avery wakes up to find out that Teresa Halbach is still alive–and all of this was just a dream sequence. Hey, it’s just as plausible as the first movie.