Words by Hayleigh Syens
It seems that just about everyone has seen Netflix’s breakout documentary series “Making a Murderer,” or at least heard about it. The series focuses on Steven Avery, a working-class man from Manitowoc County, Wisconsin. In 1985, Avery was wrongfully convicted of rape, partially because of some shady things done by the Manitowoc County police. After 18 years in prison, Avery was released and cleared of all charges thanks to DNA evidence. In 2003, he proceeded to sue Manitowoc County, its sheriff and its district attorney for $36 million. While the suit was still pending in 2005, Avery was arrested for the murder of photographer Teresa Halbach, and (SPOILER ALERT) was convicted, along with his nephew, Brendan Dassey, in 2007.
Columbia graduate film students Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos followed the trial, focusing on more of the questionable actions committed by the Manitowoc County police. They spent 10 years creating the documentary series “Making a Murderer,” which was released in mid-December on Netflix. Shortly after the series went live, it exploded. Public outcry, partnered with a media frenzy, has turned “Making a Murderer” into a certifiable hit. Here’s everything that’s happened since the story of Steven Avery went live: