Making a Murderer, the new Netflix roller coaster documentary, will have you binge-watchers pulling some all-nighters. It tells the story of Steven Avery, the Wisconsin trouble-maker who became the nemesis of law enforcement officers in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin. In 1985 Steven was convicted of sexual assault and sent to prison under dubious circumstances. Eighteen years later, DNA evidence revealed he was innocent. In fact, there never was any physical evidence connecting Avery to the crime, and he had numerous witnesses who accounted for his whereabouts at the time of the murder. From that absurd premise, Making a Murderer launches straight into bat-shit crazy town where Steve Avery is charged with yet another crime; this time murder. Here are a few takeaways from this true crime series.
Steven Avery was not a smart dude. His IQ was in the 70s, as was his 16-year-old nephew Brendan Dassey, also charged. As you hear these guys talk and listen to their reasoning, you start to understand how completely outmatched they are by a justice system with corrupt cops and legal jargon. These guys could barely find their way out of a haunted house, much less duel with the devils of Wisconsin law enforcement. That said, you’ll get just as much of a kick out of the knuckleheaded strategies of the law enforcement officers in this tragicomedy.
The whole lot of victims in this series are not the brightest, but they make up for it with character. They stand by each other. They hope, they fight, they persevere. And above all, the don’t freak the fuck out. These are some strong ass people right here, considering the hopeless circumstances they find themselves in. But they always seem to calmly do their best to stay strong and fight the good fight. Their grit and even-mindedness almost put them in the category of saintliness. The rest of us would completely lose our shit over this. These folk discuss their plight with almost matter-of-fact indifference.
If you’re a fan of CSI, NCIS or Bones, you’re in for a treat. This is absolutely real and even crazier than some of the scenarios in those fictitious crime shows. Making of a Murderer is a refresher course in how facts are gathered, what is admissible, and how powerful this evidence can be in determining innocence or guilt. Of course, if you’re living in an alternate universe like the folk in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, then all bets are off.