Making a Favorite Murderer Theory


I’ve been binge-listening to my new favorite podcast, and in the last one I listened to, my murder besties discuss the Making a Murderer controversy.

I haven’t read all of the responses to the broadcast about evidence that was left out of the story by the filmmakers, but I was struck by one piece of manipulation that was evident in the series on it its own.

Early on, when presenting the process by which Avery was falsely convicted of rape, we learn that Avery was first identified as a suspect by a policewoman who heard the victim’s description of the assailant, and said, “That sounds like Steven Avery.” Later, the film claims she wouldn’t (or couldn’t, I don’t remember exactly) explain why she mentioned Avery, in such a way that it seems to bolster the theory that the Sheriff’s Department is just out to get this family that they see as trashy and outside the community.

When the real rapist in the case is finally identified, however, he really does look a lot like Steven Avery, so much so that it’s quite easy to understand how the victim misidentified Avery in court (over and above the improper procedure followed by the Sheriff’s department, which all but guaranteed that the misidentification would occur.)

I can’t help but wonder, did Avery spring to mind after hearing about a sandy-haired man, yea tall, because Avery was already on her mental list as kind of a creepy guy? Most women have one in the back of their minds, the men that we associate with in some way or another every day without consciously fearing them, but whose homes we wouldn’t be terribly surprised to see surrounded by police tape one day while brave men carry box after box out of the crawl space.

If I’m honest, I would never give the benefit of the doubt to a man who just happened to have a big bonfire on his property the exact same day a woman whose car is found on his property went missing. Not unless he’d already been falsely convicted of another crime by police and prosecutors who did not want to let it go even when their mistake had been proven beyond doubt, as they never do. The nephew’s confession was obviously coerced, but that just means that it can’t be relied upon as true, not that it’s automatically false. Maybe it wasn’t.


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