Good news for true crime addicts: the makers of Netflix show Making A Murderer have confirmed that production has begun on six new episodes. The original 2015 documentary series focused on the real-life murder of Teresa Halbach, and the 2007 trial that saw Steven Avery and his nephew Brendon Dassey convicted of her murder. The show dissected the evidence and spoke to many of the key players in the case, revealing parts of the trial that didn’t quite seem to add up, including potentially tampered-with evidence and the suggestion that the defendants were framed. It was utterly gripping stuff.
“The viewers’ interest and attention has ensured that the story is not over, and we are fully committed to continuing to document events as they unfold,” said the show’s directors’ Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos about the new episodes. But when will we all head back to Manitowoc, Wisconsin to revisit the troublesome case? Here’s everything we know about the show’s second season.
When will Making A Murderer Season 2 air?
Netflix’s VP of original content Cindy Holland has revealed that new episodes should arrive in 2017 – but that a date is not confirmed just yet. She attributed this mainly to the fact that the case is still developing and that it’s down to directors Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos to decide when the show’s are ready. “Laura and Moira are [in Manitowoc] shooting regularly and working on what the right story is to tell in the next set, so we’re deferring to them on when it will be ready,” Holland said.
Will Making A Murderer Season 2 be on Netflix?
Yep, as a Netflix Original show, so it’ll only be available to binge on the streaming service.
What’s happened since Making A Murderer Season 1?
Steven Avery is still in prison, but for Brendan Dassey there’s been some positive developments. In August 2016, Dassey’s conviction for murder was overturned by a federal judge after they decided that he was coerced into giving a confession on account of “false promises” by investigators. In November, it was announced he was to be released from prison – but an appeal is being launched by the police force. In June 2017, a judge ruled that Brendan’s confession was “improperly obtained” by investigators, and that his sentence should be reviewed or re-tried.
Since the show first aired, the controversial prosecutor Ken Kratz has been disbarred and is currently writing a book about the case about the evidence that was omitted from the show, and Avery’s original layers Dean Strang and Jerry Buting have since withdrawn from the case.
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What mysteries do we want solved in Making A Murderer Season 2?
First, a quick refresher: In 1985, Steven Avery was arrested by Manitowoc County Police on suspicion of sexual assault of a woman in his native Wisconsin. He protested his innocence and had a receipt proving he was over 40 minutes away in nearby town Green Bay. However, he was still found guilty and sentenced to 32 years in prison. After serving 18 years, new DNA technology was able to exonerate him from the case and he was made a free man in 2003. As a result, he served a civil suit to the police department on a count of wrongful imprisonment and was seeking to attain $36 million in compensation following his ordeal.
Two years after his release and during the civil suit in October 2005, Avery was again arrested by Manitowoc County Police on suspicion of murder of photographer Teresa Halbach – which he denies. The murder was alleged to have taken place on Avery’s property after she arrived at his residence to photograph a vehicle he was planning to sell. The alarm was raised about her disappearance and during searches of the area, her vehicle was found on his property with both Halbach and Avery’s blood inside, and bone fragments from her body found in a burn pit nearby. His nephew Brandon was questioned in March 2006 and admitted to helping his uncle kill Halbach and dispose of her body. It later emerged that Brandon had learning difficulties and that the questioning officers appeared to pressure Brandon into making the statement – which he later rescinded.
Steven’s subsequent trial brought to light several DNA inaccuracies, suspicious behaviour and contentious evidence in regards to his arrest. His lawyers insisted that unusual steps taken by the Manitowoc County Police during the investigation should be viewed as suspicious due to his current suit involving them. In 2007, Avery was found guilty by jury and sentenced to life in prison for first degree murder, a sentence which he still serves today. His nephew Brandon was charged and found guilty of being accessory to murder and sentenced to life in prison. The pair still both protest their innocence.
So there we go, a very, very brief recap of the complex trial. But what do we want the new episodes to tackle? Here are some of the mysteries surrounding the case yet to be completely explained.
Why are there limited photos of bones in the burn pit?
One of the prosecution’s biggest pieces of evidence was the discovery of Halbach’s bones in a burn pit on his residence. Pictures of the burn pit were limited, but it was still used as crucial evidence during the trial. One issue fans had with the evidence is that pictures of the pit seemed to have been taken after the discovery of the body. If the investigators had suspicions of potential evidence, according to the FBI Crime Scene Investigation Guide (which all law enforcements must follow) the scene should have been documented step-by-step and officers should “minimise foot traffic and equipment in proximity to the body”, which we can see they did not abide to – on account of a police dog being just feet away from the body.
Where did the key come from?
Another piece of evidence that was used to convict Avery was the key to Teresa’s RAV 4. The key was found in his bedroom, where Kratz and the police believed the murder also took place. It also fit into the theory that he moved Teresa’s car into a secluded part of the lot after the crime. When the police first searched the property the key was nowhere to be seen, but was found in an obvious position during further searches. These questions were brought up in the show, but remained unsolved. How did the police miss such blatant evidence if it was indeed there on the first sweep? And if it wasn’t, where did the key come from?
Who is the mystery murder suspect?
Avery’s new lawyer Kathleen Zenner said in March that she was hopeful that a retrial could be completely avoided – as she believes she has the name of the real culprit of the crime. “I’d say there’s one, leading the pack by a lot. But I don’t want to scare him off, I don’t want him to run,” she said in March. That individual’s identity may be revealed in the new series.
Why does his ex-fiancée now believe he’s guilty?
In the show’s original run, Steven Avery’s ex-fiancée Jodi Stachowski was shown to have stood by him and protested his innocence. However, since the show ended she’s come out with some damning accusations against him. In an interview with HLN’s Nancy Grace Stachowski said that “[Avery] threatened to kill me and my family and a friend of mine” as well as revealing that she believed he did commit the murder. She did, however, admit that Avery had never confided any guilt in the case. If she does believe this to be true, why did she refuse a final interview with the show’s makers? What has changed in the time since the trial to lead her to believe that he was indeed guilty?
What do the jurors think?
The show included limited interviews with various jurors, but we never really get a true picture of what went on before, during and after their deliberations. One, who has remained nameless, claimed that they personally believed that he was innocent but that undue pressure from other jurors and fears for their personal safety resulted in a change of heart.
Not only this, but there have been several contradicting stories from the jury’s meetings. Juror Richard Mahler told the press that an initial vote on the first day of deliberation indicated that seven people believed he was not guilty. Another juror later claimed that the number was actually only three. And then a different juror said that no such vote took place at all. Why are the stories so wildly different? Hopefully the new episodes will venture into the discrepancies in the timeline of events in the room.