"Not only was it designed to set up, Steve Avery – it was also designed to set up the cops"
An FBI cold case expert is convinced that an infamous Halloween serial killer was behind the murder of Teresa Halbach.
John Cameron believes that Edward Wayne Edwards then framed Steven Avery, the subject of true-crime documentary series Making A Murderer, who along with his nephew Brendan Dassey is still serving a life sentence for the crime committed on 31 October 2005.
Edwards died in 2011 but admitted to having killed five people in 2010. He was once on the FBI’s list of ten most wanted fugitives. According to Cameron, Edwards committed murders in California, Montana, Idaho, Illinois, Florida, and New York, many of them on Halloween.
Cameron says that Edwards often killed because he was jealous of press attention. He suggests that the press attention Avery received after wrongfully serving 18 years in jail brought him to the notice of Edwards, who then picked him as his next set-up victim.
Speaking to Coast to Coast AM, Cameron said, “Mr Edwards… would create horrific murders that were in the press constantly, that created terror, and he would set people up. It was always about the setup.
“His whole M.O.,” he continued, “was to fly into a city under assumed identity – usually a preacher, cop, or a doctor of psychiatry – traipse around with his wife, stage a horrific murder, frame somebody and then just sit back and taunt the authorities with letters or false evidence that always steered towards the innocent person, and so he was able to frame people, steer the evidence to those people and watch the press destroy them, and then watch the system execute them.
“Not only was it designed to set up, say, Steve Avery, it was also designed to set up the cops who were all over the press being deposed at the time of the murder, and were about to lose a lawsuit, and Steve Avery was about to be a rich man, and get $36m, but Edwards decided to steal his recognition and that’s what Edwards always did. If somebody else was in the press getting recognised, as Steve Avery was, as the most wrongfully convicted man in 2003, 2004, 2005, Edwards would decide to either kill him or set him up.
“When Avery was released in 2003, he was all over the press. A committee was put in his name. A bill was going to be made in his name on Halloween Day of 2005, and Edwards decided to set him up, on Halloween, and it had to be Halloween – he had killed repeatedly on Halloween throughout his life, and during the timeframe that Steve Avery got framed, two of Mr Edwards’ Halloween murders were playing out in court… It was designed to happen on Halloween.”
Speaking about Edwards’ history of framing others, Cameron said, “At a very young age, starting when he was 12 years old, he was able to set up a guy for a murder he had done. And that began a pathology, the rest of his life he would get off on not only killing people but then setting up someone close to the victim and then watching the system execute them. And so just before Edwards came to Great Falls, Montana, in 1956, he set up a guy in Berkeley, California named Burton Abbott, exactly like he set up Steve Avery. He kidnapped a girl, hid her body for three months, and then he started planting the girl’s property in Burton Abbott’s basement, in his garage, and eventually planting her body at a cabin in Northern California, and framing him for murder in 1955 before he came to my hometown and executed a couple. And that man was executed in Dear Lodge Prison in Montana in 1957 for a murder that Edwards had actually done. Framed him and got him executed.”
Sign up for the newsletter
Listen to the interview below.
Since the series started, 465,000 people have signed a petition directed at US president Barack Obama and Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, calling for Avery’s release.
Obama responded “Under the constitution, only federal criminal convictions, such as those adjudicated in the United States District Courts, may be pardoned by the President… the President cannot pardon a state criminal offense.” The state’s governor directed those who signed the petition to this page and wrote that viewers “should read the unanimous opinion of the Court of Appeals before jumping to conclusions”.
Meanwhile, Making A Murderer viewers recently discovered new evidence which Steven Avery’s defense hope could lead to a new trial and his eventual release.
Fans of the show have gone to great lengths to better understand the case and discover facts and evidence missed by investigators of Halbach’s murder.
Jerry Buting, who formed Avery’s defense alongside Dean Strang, spoke to Rolling Stone and revealed that some amateur online sleuths have found a picture of Halbach on the day she was killed in which she is holding a bunch of keys.
This is important as one of the major pieces of evidence in the prosecution’s case was the discovery of a single key in Avery’s home belonging to Halbach. The discovery of a single key, but none of the others from the chain, weeks after the death could boost claims the evidence was planted.
“We were only two minds,” Buting said. “What I’m discovering is that a million minds are better than two. Some of these people online have found things with a screen shot of a picture that we missed.”
“I’ve looked at that picture a thousand times,” Buting told the US publication. “Those other keys were never recovered. Instead we found this single key. Now we did challenge that, how unusual it was for her to be walking around with one key, but I don’t think I caught the fact that there was a photograph showing that what she really carried around was a bunch of keys, and none of those keys were ever found.
“These kinds of new facts that a million minds have collectively come up with might be addressed and presented to a new jury,” he added.