There’s a lot to be catching up on in the life of Making A Murderer’s Steven Avery if you’re not up to speed already, buddy, fear not.
Season one focused on various questions that surrounded the police investigation surrounding Teresa Halbach, and the eventual imprisonment and conviction of Steven Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey for committing the crime. The show became a cultural phenomena forcing the case to be reopened and reexamined after various pieces of new evidence and sloppy police work were highlighted.
And thus, after quite the wait - the second season of Making A Murderer is arriving in all its Netflix glory on October 19, which - if you’ll be so kind to check you’re calendars - is quite soon. Rather than sitting through all ten hours of the first season - we’ve gathered together a quick explainer with all the juicy info you need to know before settling down to the next series.
Go on then, get your notepads out:
What happened at the end of Making A Murderer season 1?
So basically, Steven Avery ended up in jail for the murder of Teresa Halbach, although there was a huge number of dodgy developments in the case that led to him getting there. Planted evidence, unreliable confessions, untrustworthy witnesses and all manner of other nonsense were highlighted by the documentary. As such, a hefty chunk of viewers reckoned he was innocent and wrongly imprisoned (just like he’d been before - he was freed after 18 years in prison for a sexual assault he didn’t commit years earlier).
They also believe his nephew - Brendan Dassey - who is also in prison for Halbach’s murder, is similarly innocent due to a forced confession. It’s an absolute shitshow, essentially, the whole thing.
What has happened between the end of Making A Murderer season 1 and the making of season 2?
Well, quite a lot as it happened. Including new evidence, twitter and reddit sleuths and a whole host of social media posturing. But mainly, two very important things for Avery:
District Attorney Ken Kratz was forced to resign
The “villain” of the doc, prosecutor Kratz, was found to have sent 30 “sexually coercive” texts to the 26-year-old victim of a domestic abuse case that he was working on. Two other women came forward with allegations and he was sacked. He is, it would seem, every bit as awful as we all suspected.
Steven Avery’s hired a new, big-time attorney
This is slightly sad really, it looks like the heroes of the first series, Dean Strang and Jerry Buting, will not be in the second season of Making A Murder, as Avery is now looked after by wrongful-conviction specialist Kathleen Zellner. She’s already filed a number of appeals on behalf of Avery, with the latest potential new trial being rejected back in late 2017. She’s got a pretty impressive track-record with getting innocent people out of jail though, so hopes are higher than they should be for Avery.
What happened to Brendan Dassey?
What happened to Brendan Dassey?
Brendan Dassey is the nephew of Stephen Avery and alleged collaborator in the murder of Teresa Halbach and has every bit as much at stake as Avery here. As such, there’s also been numerous development in his case too. Namely…
Brendan Dassey’s confession was found to be coerced
In August 2016, United States magistrate judge William E. Duffin ruled that Dassey’s confession was obtained using improper methods, and as such, a US appeals court agreed to reconsider the decision, fighting to get Dassey exonerated. They won, but he still remains in prison due to an appeal from the Wisconsin Justice Department, leaving him with an unknown release date (if there ever will be one).
Kathleen Zellner reckons the real culprit could have been one of Avery’s family members, but not Dassey
Zellner told Rolling Stone: “I ask myself what would motivate [Barbara] and Bobby to be such obstructionists and I have reached the inevitable conclusion, as our court filings state, that they were involved in the crime and Barb, was and is involved, even unwittingly, in its cover-up”.
So what’s is Making A Murder season 2 going to be about?
Filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos said in a statement:
“Steven and Brendan, their families and their legal and investigative teams have once again graciously granted us access, giving us a window into the complex web of American criminal justice.
“Building on Part 1, which documented the experience of the accused, in Part 2, we have chronicled the experience of the convicted and imprisoned, two men each serving life sentences for crimes they maintain they did not commit. We are thrilled to be able to share this new phase of the journey with viewers.”
There’s obviously also going to be a heck of a lot of new info that hasn’t been in the press yet, due to the private access the filmmakers have had, so here’s looking forward to October 19, when it finally airs after three whole years and we get to see what everyone’s been up to. Excitement doesn’t do it justice.