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Making a Murderer

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Making a Murderer

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Re: Making a Murderer

Postby greg on Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:35 pm

Is this a new version of that show Drunk History?

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Re: Making a Murderer

Postby wellsyuk on Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:54 pm

Got so angry watching this show. What a fucked up bunch of corrupt arseholes. Just watching Steve's mum makes me well up.
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Re: Making a Murderer

Postby AdamN on Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:10 pm

Errol Morris weights in on MaM:

What Errol Morris Thinks of Making a Murderer

As someone who’s done a number of true crime pieces and is working on another one now, why do you think these stories appeal to us so much? Why are they so addictive?

However you want to describe it: the whodunit; the mystery of what really happened; the mystery of personality; of who people really, really are is powerfully represented when you have a crime standing in back of all of it. It’s a way of dramatizing really significant issues: How we know what we know? How have we come to the belief that we have? Is justice served by the various mechanisms in our society? Is the law just? And on and on and on and on and on.

I think it’s a mistake to assume, however, that all of these stories are doing the same thing, because they’re not. They’re doing different things. And … you see more and more criticisms of Making a Murderer because they say it’s biased—it leaves out this, that, and the other thing. To me, it’s a very powerful story, ultimately, not about whether these guys are guilty or innocent—but it’s a very powerful story about a miscarriage of justice.

There’s so many themes in it that are relevant to investigation. But what is powerful in Making a Murderer is not the issue of whether [Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey] are guilty or innocent. It’s the horror of the courts and how that story was handled the first time around and subsequently. I can never ever forget Dassey’s attorney and the investigator. The attorney with the catfish mouth and the investigator crying—unforgettable.

Yeah. And there’s so many lines from those phone calls that are so haunting, like “Poor people always lose”—

Yes!

Or when Brendan says he likes his attorney because they have the same favorite animal.

There’s something so horrific about process in that story. Another thing that I was struck by watching Making a Murderer was the feeling of the inexorable grinding of a machine that is producing, potentially, error. You know, Brendan Dassey is forced to confess to something that he didn’t do. It’s never explained in the court how it is that it is assumed that Brendan Dassey is telling the truth, but there’s actually no evidence for what he’s saying—none.

And there are many, many unanswered questions. Certainly, the question of their innocence or guilt—particularly, Steven Avery’s innocence or guilt. If you’re asking me, would I sign a petition stating that I believe that Steven Avery is innocent? Well, I don’t know. I really don’t know from watching Making a Murderer, but there’s one thing I do know from watching Making a Murderer—that neither Brendan Dassey nor Steven Avery received a fair trial, and that that trial should be overturned.

The purpose of documentary—whether it’s true crime or anything else, for that matter—is not just to give us reality on a plate, but to make us think about what reality is. And I believe Making a Murderer really does powerfully engage us. It’s engaged millions of people. One thing that you do learn in an investigation is that we’re all prisoners of narrative, and we can’t escape from narrative; we need stories in order to figure out what the world is about. If the police come up with a story, they don’t look for any evidence that would suggest otherwise. And if you don’t look for evidence, you don’t find it, often. I found it extraordinarily powerful, and ironic, because there really is no investigation in Making a Murderer.

Right—it’s reporting on other people’s investigations.

It’s reporting other people’s investigations. Do I look at that as an infirmity of the series? I don’t. It’s using material that was not available to me—I’m jealous: record of the trial, record of depositions, records of interrogations, records of the prosecutor, et cetera. It’s this extended essay with found footage that is really, really interesting.

When people say that there’s stuff that’s omitted, well of course there’s stuff that’s omitted. At the end of it, I felt very strongly that there was a miscarriage of justice. Whether that miscarriage of justice is because Steven Avery is innocent, or Brendan Dassey is innocent, or whether it’s just simply because the horror of the lack of due process—the horror of life, the horror of how we treat people in the criminal justice system. I mean, you look at The Jinx versus Making a Murderer—it’s like flip sides of the same coin. What happens if you have a lot of money, versus what happens if you have no money—none? In The Jinx it’s not whether he did it or not; it’s, you know, how come he’s never been prosecuted successfully for any of the things that he’s done? And I think the answer is a pretty simple one—money.

With The Thin Blue Line, I was always thinking I guess, like, in parallel grooves: “What can be used in order to get him out of prison?” I was thinking like an investigator, as I was, for years, hired to investigate crime: What do I need to uncover in order to make a case on [Adams’] behalf? If anyone thinks that somehow the investigation in The Thin Blue Line was done without the court system in mind, that’s just not true. Always in my mind was the fact that I have to produce evidence that will be sufficient to overturn this conviction in a court of law.

Right.

And what do I need to do in order to make a movie—to make a fucking movie? Because you’re doing multiple things at the same time. I remember this one time this Dallas reporter said something that I thought was unusually hurtful to me, saying, “Are you ashamed of yourself because you made this art film—it probably took you years to finish—and you should have just done a straightforward film and gotten him out of prison.” I believe that I did the right thing. I believe that I made a movie that satisfies me artistically, and also it satisfies me as an investigator. But I knew that I had had all of that investigative material—truckloads of it—available, and that the case was being made in different ways.

This is another reason why I believe Steven Avery has a shot of getting out of prison, as well as Brendan Dassey. I believe Making a Murderer makes a very powerful case for why there was a miscarriage of justice, a lack of due process. I suppose the technical way to say it is both of those trials were totally fucked up. But that’s not enough in our world. You have to bring it to the attention of people in a powerful enough way that people are compelled to do something about it. I suppose it’s another sort of thing to be jealous about—not really jealous about, but a little bit—is that in 1988, there was no Internet.

Of course.

Miramax was the distributor of The Thin Blue Line. It was in ... not all that many theaters. Probably well under a hundred. But people started spontaneously signing petitions. And it spurred a kind of movement. People started writing about it. But much, much more slowly and on a much smaller scale. And I was lucky. Today, with the Internet, it’s possible for—I don’t know how many millions of people have seen Making a Murderer, but there’s a lot of awareness of that story.

I don’t know if you follow this at all, but there’s this phenomenon of—particularly with Making a Murderer and Serial, Season 1—of the amateur Internet sleuth. What do you make of that phenomenon?

I think it’s a good thing, the fact that people are engaged by the world around us and are writing about it. And this doesn’t come out of an enormous respect for Internet commentary!
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Re: Making a Murderer

Postby rappard on Tue Mar 08, 2016 8:39 am

Robert Bork wrote:[S]ome of the worst rappers are white, like Nine Inch Nails.
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Re: Making a Murderer

Postby brephophagist on Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:36 pm

I get that I am mostly just a cynical jerk, but it's hard to read that as anything short of "merchandising".
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Re: Making a Murderer

Postby mrcancelled on Fri Aug 12, 2016 6:38 pm

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Re: Making a Murderer

Postby elisha wiesner on Sat Aug 13, 2016 8:03 am



The judge basically said that none of his confession was admissible, which makes me wonder if Steven Avery has at least a good chance of a new trial.
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Re: Making a Murderer

Postby honeyisfunny on Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:25 am

Avoided this thread as I've only just finished the series but the big question for me is how she actually died - because the body was burned there's no concrete evidence as to what killed her. I think they make mention of trauma to the bone fragments in the documentary but as far as I could tell the whole narrative of how she was killed was based entirely on Dassey's testimony.

It feels like she was killed somewhere else entirely (no matter how that was done) and then moved in the RAV4 to the Avery compound and dumped. Like someone already said, that fire pit would be going unmanned. It wouldn't be that hard to dump something even as big as a body in a large fire pit without someone noticing - especially if there's only one guy anywhere near there and he's asleep and especially if the body is wrapped up and concealed somehow. Did anyone ever ask Avery if he regularly moved the debris from the fire pit around the site? I don't know why you'd do this I admit but there's no motivation for a killer to move the body parts to different locations but Avery may have cleared the debris from the pit in a way he normally would do and that accounts for the spread of the body parts around the compound.

It just feels like she didn't die on that compound, that someone found her (or did it) and took the opportunity to dump her on the Avery property. I can see the theory that someone connected to the Avery family did it because of comments made by the prosecution that weren't just about Stephen but about the Averys as a unit (so the Police saw it as an opportunity to get at the family) but I just can't buy that someone with the intellect of Stephen Avery would not slip up at some point during questioning and he never did. Of course, I'm only seeing the Netflix edit.
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Re: Making a Murderer

Postby tarandfeathers on Mon Aug 15, 2016 7:28 am

honeyisfunny wrote:Avoided this thread as I've only just finished the series but the big question for me is how she actually died - because the body was burned there's no concrete evidence as to what killed her. I think they make mention of trauma to the bone fragments in the documentary but as far as I could tell the whole narrative of how she was killed was based entirely on Dassey's testimony.


I think they had fairly conclusive evidence that there was a gunshot to the skull, so the assumption would be that that was the cause of death, because why would you shoot a dead body in the head? Unless you were trying to draw attention away from some other cause like poisoning or something. To me, it doesn't appear to be totally clear that he did it. He's not book smart but he doesn't appear to be a total moron either and it would be absolutely insane to kill someone when you know full well there is a paper trail that will tell everyone that they were with you before they disappeared, and leaving the vehicle on the property when you could destroy it or move it elsewhere is monumentally stupid. Which is not to say he didn't do it. If he did, it doesn't appear planned/premeditated.

You're right though, if Dassey's testimony is ruled inadmissible their whole story sort of falls apart, difficult to see how they could deny him a new trial if that's the case. I presume there are some clever lawyer ways to do that, however, and I would be absolutely shocked if the state didn't challenge the decision to overturn Dassey's conviction.
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Re: Making a Murderer

Postby honeyisfunny on Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:03 am

tarandfeathers wrote:I think they had fairly conclusive evidence that there was a gunshot to the skull, so the assumption would be that that was the cause of death, because why would you shoot a dead body in the head?


You're right - that was the withheld evidence they were trying to get Dassey to confirm and the cop then blew it by mentioning it first.
It seems strange to me that more wasn't made of this - in a normal murder trial you'd see a lot of focus on the murder weapon surely?

My gut says one of the extended family did it but not Stephen. The way they turn on each other as things progress is alarming - the way Brendan's mother flips between total conviction that Stephen is guilty to absolute certainty of his innocence is mind-boggling. It seems it's such a large family that any sort of instinctive loyalty is out of the window. It also explains how the framing of Stephen was done so ham-fistedly and why the cops felt no compulsion to look at other avenues of investigation. They didn't care they just wanted an Avery and it suited that it was Stephen with his past record (and the legal victory and pending payout).

Listening to the family talk about each other and the case is on par with the episode of Jam where an agency provides thick people to win arguments. Their complete lack of ability to see the bigger picture is infuriating and even the best legal team can't unpick the details from them. Take for example where Brendan's mother says one moment that they didn't allow her into the interview with him and then the next where she says she didn't know anything about it. That's a key point for the defence but it's so clouded by the confusion of those involved it becomes useless.
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Re: Making a Murderer

Postby tarandfeathers on Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:37 am

honeyisfunny wrote:
tarandfeathers wrote:I think they had fairly conclusive evidence that there was a gunshot to the skull, so the assumption would be that that was the cause of death, because why would you shoot a dead body in the head?


You're right - that was the withheld evidence they were trying to get Dassey to confirm and the cop then blew it by mentioning it first.
It seems strange to me that more wasn't made of this - in a normal murder trial you'd see a lot of focus on the murder weapon surely?


Yeah, there seemed to be very little done in the way of ballistics analysis, at least not depicted in the film. They matched the bullet that they identified Halbach's blood on to a gun owned (illegally) by Avery but in the documentary, as far as I can recall it's never mentioned whether or not that bullet is any kind of match to the damage detected in the skull fragments.

I tend to agree that the killer was probably a relative who presumed that if they dumped the evidence near to Steven Avery he'd take the rap.

Edit - the other thing that seems absolutely crazy to me is - he's supposed to have done some total forensic clean up on the garage, but leaves obvious smears of blood in the car? I dunno. What a mess.
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Re: Making a Murderer

Postby honeyisfunny on Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:19 am

Read an interesting theory that adds up (for once) -

The van Teresa Halbach was photographing was Barb Dassey's (Brendan's mother). Stephen says he met Teresa by the van and he paid for the ad and gave her the copy. He watched her leave in her car. He also says when Teresa arrived that Barb's son Bobby's truck was at their property but when he saw Teresa turning out of the compound the truck was gone.

The theory is she was followed and killed by Bobby Dassey and his step father Scott Tadych. They both seem extremely odd in their MAM appearances (though that doesn't say much), Tadych has previous for violence against women too (again, that doesn't say much in the cast of people but...). They also gave alibies that support each other (they passed each other in their vehicles). They also knew Halbach was going to be on site.

The crime took place in the quarry some distance from the compound. They burn the body there.

They deposit the RAV4 car on the Avery compound. Whether this is to deliberately frame Stephen or not is up for debate. It could be that they need a safe spot for it and intend to dispose more efficiently later. They take a burn barrel from the back of their own house and transport it to the quarry where they move the remains back to the compound and deposit them in the burn pit behind Stephen's trailer. This explains how there are remains in the quarry, in Stephens burn pit and in a burn barrel behind Barb's trailer.

Finding out that Teresa's last known whereabouts were the Avery compound, either the Manitowoc police or the Teresa search party go onto the Avery property illegally and find the RAV4. This accounts for the cop Andrew Colborn's call (not radio call but call) to base to check a number plate on Nov 3rd. He's standing in the Avery compound with the car.

Realising they've made an error and they have trespassed and shouldn't be involved in the case, Colborn takes the spare key from the car at this point and him and whoever he is with agree that the vehicle has to be found correctly or it'll jeopardise the case. They take the number plate from the car too to cover for Colborn calling base to check it. By this point the police are confident it's Stephen Avery.

This accounts for the 'god showed me the way' finding of the RAV4 - the lady who found it knew where it was.

By this point Bobby Dassey and Tadych have decided to frame Stephen - they clearly don't like him and they clearly understand that bias in the police force is tipped against him anyway. By coincidence the Police have motive to frame Stephen too - they want it (and believe it to be him) but they have acted illegally to determine this and need more evidence. This is where the planting of the key comes in which leads to the forced confession from Brendan Dassey and the eventual planting of Stephen's blood.

So you have 2 members of Stephen's family - one with a history of violence as bad as anyone in the case - acting impulsively and violently and then covering it up by framing their relative.
The police force so wants it to be Stephen that they only ever focus on him and even if they realise it isn't him they are in too deep to go back from that so they keep trying to get that extra piece of irrefutable evidence to back up their claims knowing that they have acted illegally from the very start.
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Re: Making a Murderer

Postby AdamN on Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:14 pm

Season 2 dropped today on Netflix.
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Re: Making a Murderer

Postby Redline on Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:16 pm

I'm glad I cancelled Netflix.
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