Netflix documentary series ‘Making a Murderer’ stimulated a tidal wave of discussion in the news and online since its release late last year with viewers continuing to speculate whether the jailed Steven Avery was indeed the real killer.
Theories fuelled by unanswered questions from the trial dominated social media in the weeks following the premier of the 10-part series.
Similar to the Serial podcast which documented the case of Adnan Syed, who was jailed for the murder of his ex-girlfriend amid ‘questionable’ evidence, Avery’s case looks set to continue to feature in social media amid the possibility of new evidence or a retrial.
One of the obvious dangers of the immense popularity of an ongoing criminal case is that it will influence those chosen to be part of the jury.
Since the show was made available on Netflix many news stories have revealed evidence which was left out of the trail, casting doubt over the documentary’s position that Avery was clearly not guilty.
Social media will undoubtedly influence any retrial which might take place, it is now a court of judgement in and of itself and defence attorney for Avery, Kathleen Zellner, appears to understand the pearls of this.
The Chicago-based lawyer took over the case in January, joined by Tricia Bushnell of the Midwest Innocence Project , and has taken the case to Twitter, highlighting what she sees as major flaws in the prosecution’s case.
The first of many tweets raises the inconsistencies of the forensic evidence: (note SA = Steven Avery, TH = Teresa Halbach).
RAV4: no mix SA & TH DNA, no SA prints but skin cells on latch/blood in car. So SA gloves had holes or planters did not. #MakingAMurderer
— Kathleen Zellner (@ZellnerLaw) February 4, 2016
She touches on the fact that Teresa’s DNA isn’t on her own key:
Zellner questions why there would be blood in the RAV4 if she was only moved from Steven’s trailer to the burn pit:
TH throat cut (- blood) Head shot (- spatter) But RAV4 has her blood -so she was put in car & driven 20 ft to burn pit? #MakingAMurderer
— Kathleen Zellner (@ZellnerLaw) February 17, 2016
— Kathleen Zellner (@ZellnerLaw) February 16, 2016
(Note BD = Brendan Dassey).
28 yrs: SA wrongly convicted of others crimes/wrongly accused of crimes that never happened. Poor+ disabled= disposable.#MakingAMurderer
— Kathleen Zellner (@ZellnerLaw) February 13, 2016
Killer would not reduce body to bone fragments to destroy evidence but leave car intact w/his blood. #MakingAMurderer
— Kathleen Zellner (@ZellnerLaw) February 19, 2016
— Kathleen Zellner (@ZellnerLaw) February 8, 2016
— Kathleen Zellner (@ZellnerLaw) February 20, 2016
Visit w/Steven Avery at Waupon CC. He is identical to the other 17 innocent men we've cleared. Won't quit until he's out. #MakingAMurderer
— Kathleen Zellner (@ZellnerLaw) January 12, 2016
Zellner also claimed that seven of her tweets about the case had been unexplainably deleted. Below are the seven deleted tweets.
One of these tweets included a copy of a letter from prosecutor Ken Kratz to Steven Avery in which he implores Avery to admit his guilt so that Kratz can write a book on the case.
— Kathleen Zellner (@ZellnerLaw) February 3, 2016
As well as discrediting the prosecution, Zellner also tells TheLipTV that the identity of Halbach’s killer is “fairly obvious if you review the record of the criminal case”.