Updated: Nov 23
(available on Netflix)
FTC Rating: 4.5 out of 5
A man spends eighteen years in prison for sexual assault and attempted murder. After multiple appeals, Steven Avery is finally exonerated by DNA results and released in 2003. Before a potential windfall from a wrongful conviction lawsuit, Avery becomes the prime suspect in the 2005 murder of freelance photographer Teresa Halbach. Was he framed for the crime or did prison turn him into a cold-blooded murderer? This aptly named ten-part docuseries explores this question over a period of ten years.
-In depth analysis of the wrongful conviction case and its political implications, including interviews with Avery’s post-conviction lawyers, highlights of the Attorney General’s investigation, and the lawsuit against Manitowoc County
-The sheer volume of footage (from the trials, interviews, interrogations, photos, media reports, etc.) is staggering
-Excellent editing, seamless chronology of events told through various source materials
-Interesting insight into the Avery family history and their relationship with Manitowoc County
-A major highlight is the multiple recordings of Steven’s parents
-The story of Teresa Halbach’s life and death is sadly overshadowed
-Viewers may find the pace overly slow due to the amount of technical detail
-The Brendan Dassey trial was only covered briefly in episode 9
-This is a story about Steven Avery’s journey through the justice system, largely told by his charismatic defence team, which ultimately results in an unbalanced accounting of events. I watched with a healthy scepticism, knowing it would not be a platform for the officials suspected of impropriety to defend their actions. Weighing these considerations and without drawing a conclusion about its overall credibility, I am confidently including “Making a Murder” among FTC’s favorite recommendations.
-A short interview with the filmmakers: https://playvoo.com/how-making-a-murderer-was-made-bbc-news/