The fascinating - and terrifying - case of Steven Avery continues to elicit the attention of the world and another new development suggests that the 'murderer' may be set to walk free in the coming months.
Avery hasn't been out of the headlines since the surprise success of the Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer. Broadcast late last year, it told the story of a man wrongly convicted of rape; released after serving 18 years in jail, he was then charged and convicted of the murder of a photographer, Teresa Halbach, shortly after suing the Manitowoc County and its sheriff for $36m in damages.
The documentary looked back at the case and appeared to show a host of assumptions and missteps by the prosecution, strongly suggesting that Avery's second conviction was flawed. Following the show, a new legal team, led by the renowned Kathleen Zellner, was appointed, and a fresh appeal for a new trial filed - with that appeal set to go to court in under 30 days.
Naturally, this has led to all manner of speculation concerning new evidence and new approaches. While Avery and Zellner have tended to avoid interviews, the latter has been tweeting regularly about her progress. Now, an intriguing update suggests something important has arisen:
According to reports, a team of crack forensics experts have been combing Avery Salvage Yard and using the most technologically-advanced 'Luminol' testing, with the aim of proving that Ms Halbach was not killed in either the garage, or his trailer, as was claimed in court back in 2006.
Zellner has stated: “We are continuing to examine every aspect of Mr Avery’s case and all of his legal options. We are confident Mr Avery’s conviction will be vacated when we present the new evidence and results of our work to the appropriate court.”
Luminol testing is used to find blood not visible to the naked eye; according to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, scientists can "take advantage of the luminol reaction to locate potential blood evidence that would be undetectable through visual examination. The light, or luminescence, emitted in the luminol reaction is thought to result when an oxidizing agent, such as blood, catalyzes the oxidation of luminol by hydrogen peroxide in a basic solution."
No blood was found in Mr Avery's home or garage, but traces of it were found in her car, a Toyota Rav 4. Presumably, the new testing will prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the claim of death occurring in the garage or trailer was false - which would open up questions about the whole case; perhaps enough to demand a retrial.
The Avery family and Zellner have been carefully controlling matters in order to prevent a media circus, but the statements she has made - via Twitter and one interview with TheLipTV suggest that she is increasingly confident of a positive result in court for Avery.