Season one of the 2015 hit Netflix docuseries Making a Murderer reached a climax that left viewers still hungry for more, as it brought to light the extraordinary story of Steven Avery. Incarcerated for a rape he did not commit, Avery served 18 years in prison before being proven innocent. When 25-year-old Teresa Halbach is then brutally raped and murdered, Steven Avery is accused and imprisoned once more, along with his nephew Brendan Dassey, who was convicted as an accomplice to the murder.
What makes the show so compelling is that the tragic story playing out is unbelievably, yet entirely, true. A story far stranger than fiction, for a man to be imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit not just once but twice seems entirely beyond comprehension.
Season two premiers on October 19th and is set to attract a huge audience following the wildly popular first season. It was rife with controversy, potentially uncovered a (heavily implied) corrupt legal system and delighted lovers of true crime.[pullquote]Will those championing the pair’s release finally get the ending they’re waiting for?[/pullquote]
But, the show has been criticised for its seemingly biased presentation of the case. Throughout, the notion that it was not Avery and Dassey who committed the murder is implicit. Consequently, it has stirred in viewers an overwhelming desire to see them both as free men. Consisting of trial footage and various interviews with those involved, it’s been argued that the show’s creators chose to feed us evidence that supports the pair’s innocence, thereby casting Avery as a victim.
Conversely, controversial rumours have been surfacing ever since the finale of season one. These include Avery’s ex-fiancé branding him a ‘monster’, dubious phone calls to Halbach from Avery and even inappropriate touching alledged by his own nephew Brendan Dassey. It remains to be seen if this will be discussed in season two.
Both men were found guilty in the season one finale and remain in prison. As such, will there be enough suspense, twists and new evidence to sustain ten more episodes? We can expect to see coverage of the huge public outcry in support of the pair, and everything that’s made the news three years on: Dassey had his conviction overturned spurring news he was to be released, only to then have it reinstated. Avery has been refused requests for a new trial but his new lawyers say they will not stop filing appeals until he’s free.
The prosecutor for the case Ken Kratz has since resigned after his involvement in a sex scandal, but Kratz claims the show left out crucial damning evidence, such as Avery divulging to his cellmate plans to build a ‘torture chamber’ for women when released - a claim I think is unlikely to be broadcast. It will be interesting to see if season two offers a more balanced view of the case.
Will those championing the pair’s release finally get the ending they’re waiting for? Possibly, or there may be no end in sight at all. Most crucially, we may never know if the real victim of this story (Teresa Halbach) will finally receive justice.
Making a Murderer will return October 19th on Netflix