Documentary generates new leads in murder case, attorney says

Strang hopes 'Making a Murderer' starts discussion on criminal justice system

A documentary about a 2005 Manitowoc County homicide is generating new leads in the case, according to the attorney for the man who was found guilty.

Dean Strang spoke Wednesday about the new 10-part Netflix series “Making a Murderer” during an interview on News 3 Live at Four. He said the documentary has generated new leads in the case of the murder of photographer Teresa Halbach.

“Where those go and how fruitful those they’ll be, I don’t know,” Strang said.

Avery was released from prison in 2003 after serving 18 years after DNA evidence exonerated him in a woman’s brutal attack. Two years later, in the midst of a civil suit that he filed over his false conviction, Avery was arrested and convicted of Halbach’s murder.

Strang said he’s not certain that Avery is guilty. “I really have deep, deep lingering doubts more than 8 years after this trial about whether the system got it right,” he said.

“The Steven Avery that Netflix viewers see in this documentary is the Steven Avery,” Strang said. “There isn’t a façade.”

Former Calumet County District Attorney Ken Kratz was the special prosecutor in the case against Avery and his nephew, Brendan Dassey, who were both convicted of Halbach’s murder. He told a Wisconsin TV station that he felt the documentary was biased in favor of the defense.

“Any time you edit 18 months’ worth of information and only include the statements or pieces that support your particular conclusion, that conclusion should be reached,” he said.

Strang said he thought the key evidence was presented.

“I thought that the significant evidence for the state, including some evidence pointing to guilt that the jury didn’t hear, was included, and that the most significant evidence for the defense was included,” he said.

Kratz has reportedly received death threats from those who are unhappy about the outcome of the trials in the wake of the documentary’s release.

Strang said he hopes the documentary starts a discussion about issues in the criminal justice system.

“Some of the systemic concerns that come to light in this documentary are pervasive, and I think worthy of a broader dialogue,” he said.

Strang said advances in technology or new witnesses stepping forward are Avery’s only hope now. “Steven’s realistic hope lies in new evidence being discovered,” he said.

Manitowoc police have attempted to distance themselves from the cases, tweeting: “All of the cases referenced in the Netflix series were the jurisdiction of the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Office.”