Last week, as the nation reeled from a holiday break spent binge-watching Making A Murderer, a list of facts excluded from the docuseries for whatever reason started making the rounds. That list, which originated mostly on Reddit but was collated on Pajiba, was pretty damning against Steven Avery, alleging that he’d both purchased leg irons and left his blood under the hood of Teresa Halbach’s car. Now, a new list of evidence has emerged, this time via the Making A Murderer subreddit. This time, though, it’s of details that could help exonerate Avery—or at least swing the court of public opinion in his favor.
“Pro-defense information that was left out of MAM” is a fairly self-explanatory list and includes citations for all of its information, something that the Pajiba list sort of skimmed over. Some of the information is iffy, like that Sherry Culhane, the DNA expert featured in the trial, had an error rate that “was shown to be the highest of her group although her analysis time was 70 percent of the other analysts,” while other tidbits read pretty strongly for the defense. Some of the strongest evidence is excerpted below, but for the whole rather extensive list and discussion, head on over to Reddit.
- Dean Strang recalled that one of the investigators involved in finding DNA under the hood of Halbach’s car admitted to not changing gloves after handling evidence inside her car. [source]
- Culhane testified that the amount of Avery’s DNA on Halbach’s hood latch (which could have been blood) was very small, similar to what you would get from rubbing Avery’s toothbrush on it, or from the unchanged gloves of the tech who handled blood evidence inside the car and then touched the hood. [source]
- Blaine Dassey testified that his brother, Bobby, was asleep when he got home from school around 3:40 p.m., contradicting Bobby’s testimony that he got up at 2:30 p.m. and saw Teresa headed toward Steven’s trailer. [source]
- Dean Strang stated they had a forensic anthropologist at trial who testified that an open fire wouldn’t have generated enough heat to burn a body in the way that those bones were destroyed, but it didn’t make the documentary. [source]
- In between 3:30 and 4 p.m., a propane delivery truck driver (John Leurquin) saw a green SUV leaving the Avery property but couldn’t identify the driver or if it was a male or female. He delivers propane for Valders Co-op. Usually fuels up near Avery property at 3:30 for about half an hour. [source]
- Teresa Halbach’s clothing: “Police said she was wearing blue jeans, a white button-down shirt and a summer jacket when she was last seen. Schmitz would indicate that Halbach was at his residence at approximately 1:30 p.m. Was there for approximately 10 minutes. Was wearing a white shirt, waist—waist-length jacket, and blue jeans. (Day 4 of Dassey Trial.) Zipperer would indicate that Halbach was at her residence between approximately 2 to 2:30 p.m. Was there for approximately 10 minutes. Was wearing a white top, waist-length jacket, and blue jeans. (Day 4 of Dassey Trial.) Bobby Dassey said when he saw Teresa Halbach photographing the van Avery was selling October 31, 2005, she was wearing a knee-length coat and slacks.” [source 1, 2]
- William Newhouse, a gun expert with the Wisconsin State Crime Lab, said he couldn’t conclusively link a bullet found in a crack in Avery’s garage to a .22-caliber rifle seized from his bedroom. (He could only confirm that it was definitely a bullet from a .22 caliber rifle.) There was no DNA on the gun, no blood blow-back that you’d get from shooting someone at that close range and no blood mist/spatter around the garage that would also be present had someone been shot in the garage. [source]
- On the “Kelly Files” interview, Dean Strang mentioned that there were little drops of deer blood all over Avery’s garage, essentially debunking the theory that they could have cleaned all the blood evidence out of the garage, since had they cleaned it that thoroughly, there wouldn’t have been any deer blood. [source]
- On the leg irons/handcuffs from Avery’s house: They tested those for DNA and found a mixture of DNA from two or more people. They confirmed Avery to be a source of one of the matches. Most importantly, they excluded Teresa’s DNA as a match. [source]
- Investigators never dusted the Toyota key (with Steven’s DNA) for fingerprints. [source]
Send your Great Job, Internet tips to GJI@avclub.com