Home / Badge Abuse / ‘Making a Murderer’ Juror Comes Forward with Claims More Disturbing than the Documentary Itself

‘Making a Murderer’ Juror Comes Forward with Claims More Disturbing than the Documentary Itself

WARNING: This article contains spoilers to the Netflix Documentary Series “Making a Murderer”


Fearing for their personal safety, a juror from Steven Avery’s 2005 murder trial recently informed the filmmakers of Netflix’s “Making a Murderer” that the juror was under duress when voting to convict him and accused law enforcement of framing Avery. In a clear conflict of interest, at least two of the jurors were directly related to members of the sheriff’s office and the clerk’s office, which was accused of tampering with his blood.

Although Steven Avery had a few prior run-ins with the law, the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Office did not take a personal interest in Avery until he was charged with assaulting his cousin who was married to a sheriff’s deputy. In 1985, Avery admitted to running his cousin off the road and threatening her with an unloaded shotgun for spreading rumors about his sexual activity. Later that year, Avery was charged with sexually assaulting Penny Beernsten and served 18 years in prison.

Instead of following up other valid leads, the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Office pinned Avery as the attempted rapist until DNA analysis exonerated him for the crime. In April 2002, attorneys for the Wisconsin Innocence Project obtained a court order for DNA testing, which linked a hair in the crime to convicted felon Gregory Allen, who was serving a 60-year prison sentence for sexual assault. After attacking Beernsten, Allen attempted to rape at least one other woman while an innocent man sat in prison for a crime that Allen had committed.

Released on September 11, 2003, Avery later filed a $36 million federal lawsuit against Manitowoc County, former Sheriff Thomas Kocourek, and former District Attorney Denis Vogel. As attorneys began conducting depositions and questioning Manitowoc sheriff’s deputies involved in Avery’s wrongful conviction case, Avery was arrested in connection with the disappearance of photographer Teresa Halbach who was last seen taking pictures of a vehicle at Avery’s home.

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In March 2006, Avery’s 16-year-old nephew, Brendan Dassey, was charged with first-degree intentional homicide, sexual assault, and mutilation of a corpse. According to the recorded interviews, DOJ investigator Tom Fassbender and Calumet Sheriff’s Sgt. Mark Weigert appeared to coerce a false confession from the developmentally challenged minor without the presence of his parents of a lawyer. Instead of verifying Dassey’s statements, which were mostly fed to him by Fassbender and Weigert, special prosecutor Ken Kratz held a ghastly press conference describing the orgy of blood in lurid detail while simultaneously corrupting the jury pool in order to ensure a victory later at trial.

According to Reesa Evans, Avery’s first public defender, Avery’s IQ is 70, and he “barely functioned in school.” Although the police searched Avery’s property for several days, they did not find any of the bloodstains described by Dassey’s forced confession. Avery and Dassey simply do not have the mental capacity to scrub down a forensic crime scene supposedly drenched in the victim’s blood.

Subsequent investigations of Avery’s property eventually discovered the victim’s car key in his bedroom and his bloodstains inside her RAV4. Although the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Office was ordered not to enter Avery’s house without the presence of officers from other law enforcement agencies, Manitowoc Sheriff’s Lt. James Lenk suspiciously found the key in plain view on the floor even though previous searches failed to locate the key.

During the 1990s, Lenk and Manitowoc Sheriff’s Sgt. Andrew Colborn received information that could have exonerated Avery but failed to act on it. A few weeks before Halbach’s disappearance, Lenk and Colborn were questioned in sworn depositions connected with Avery’s $36 million federal lawsuit against the county. Accused of murder in 2006, Avery settled for only $400,000, which he used to hire defense attorneys for his murder trial.

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After requesting Avery’s blood sample from the Manitowoc County clerk’s office, his defense attorneys discovered that the seal on the container had been broken and a hole, roughly the size of a hypodermic needle, had punctured the cap on the vial. Although the blood found inside the victim’s car could have been planted from the sample of Avery’s blood, the attorneys were unable to prove that Lenk and Colborn had framed Avery for murder.

According to the U.S. judicial system, Avery’s defense attorneys were not responsible for proving the deputies’ guilt. They bore the responsibility of planting a shadow of doubt within the minds of the jurors. But some members of that jury claim the decision to convict Avery had already been decided before the trial, and a definite conflict of interest existed inside the jury box.

In February 2007, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel discovered that one of the jurors has a son who works for the Manitowoc Sheriff’s Office. Another juror’s wife was working at the Manitowoc County clerk’s office, which was accused of leaving Avery’s blood unsecured, allowing sheriff’s deputies to plant evidence against him.

On March 18, 2007, Avery was convicted of murdering Halbach and illegally possessing a firearm but was found not guilty of mutilating a corpse. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Four years later, a state appeals court denied Avery’s appeal for a new trial.

On Monday, former Calumet County District Attorney Ken Kratz accused the “Making a Murderer” filmmakers of skewing the evidence in Avery’s favor. Kratz claimed that the documentary series failed to address other DNA evidence, including Avery’s saliva found in the victim’s car and Halbach’s blood found on a bullet fired from Avery’s gun. Kratz resigned in 2010 after he was caught repeatedly sexually harassing a domestic abuse victim while prosecuting her ex-boyfriend on a strangulation charge.

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On Tuesday, “Making a Murderer” filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos appeared on NBC’s Today explaining that one of the jurors recently admitted the decision to convict Avery was made under duress while fearing possible retaliation from other jurors and local law enforcement.

“(The juror) told us that they believe Steven Avery was not proven guilty,” Ricciardi said. “They believe Steven was framed by law enforcement and that he deserves a new trial, and if he receives a new trial, in their opinion it should take place far away from Wisconsin.”

“They told us really that they were afraid that if they held out for a mistrial that it would be easy to identify which juror had done that and that they were fearful for their own safety,” Demos recalled.

A juror who was excused from the case due to medical reasons also admitted during the series that several of his fellow jurors were biased against Avery after hearing the grisly details of Kratz’s macabre press conference. So far, Change.org has garnered over 300,000 signatures calling for Avery’s release and criminal charges filed against any cops suspected of framing him, while WhiteHouse.gov has received more than 97,000 signatures petitioning for the pardons of Avery and Dassey. Roughly 2,800 more signatures are required at WhiteHouse.gov by January 19, in order for the Obama administration to address the possibility of pardoning a previously exonerated man with very powerful enemies.

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  • Seen the Avery episode last nite

  • Jake Leach….read this. Makes me so mad.

  • Wow. That’s all I have is wow.

  • Jess Ica Daryl Berthiaume

  • i hope they dont try and charge this person for not coming forward in the 1 st place

  • The sad thing is, it happens far more often than anyone wants to admit…

  • Patrick Emerson

  • Is this really a surprise?

  • This is so sad! What the hell????

  • Jenna Lewin

  • Doesn’t surprise me at all

  • In before “they have evidence they didn’t put in the doc”

    No, being creepy doesn’t make you a murderer, sorry statists.

  • Okay this documentary is only the defense’s side, you guys should actually read what the prosecutor said in response to the documentary. The documentary omits crucial evidence from its POV. Read both sides before making a decision. Its a shame that the “Free Thought Project” won’t link the other sides’ response. Do so if you are legitimate.

    • Except I don’t believe one word the police or prosecution says.

    • Listen to the prosecutor? You mean the drug addled pedophile? Thats real reliable…

    • Youre the exact reason they need to take this case far away from Wisconsin.

    • Yeah “evidence” that he was creepy.

      Let’s ignore the fact a mentally challenged teenager was left alone by his public defender with cops and then wrote down everything they told him to.

      Because some guy blocked a number to some woman who thought he was creepy. Statist, much?


    • He was about to sue the county for millions of dollars!! Why would he do ANYTHING to jeopardize that lawsuit?! Why would he murder someone after all the shit he’s been thru?! No! The county framed him because they didn’t want to pay up! Plain and simple! I can not believe there are people out there that argue this! It’s so obvious it hurts! Cops get away with murder EVERYDAY!

    • Jess Mc Wrong, he had already won 36 million dollars, they were due to pay him soon.

    • So you guys think that its justice to look at one side while ignoring the other? You guys are jokes. Here is an article detailing the other side. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/05/arts/television/ken-kratz-making-a-murderer.html?_r=0

    • TFTP posts a one-sided story without all the info? Say it ain’t so!!

    • Jason Edward Indeed… I thought they were better than this but I guess not. Hypocrisy is the word that comes to mind.

    • Tristan, you probably haven’t even watched the documentary.

    • You mean the prosecutor that said, “So what if the police planted the key?” Why would I care about anything he has to say? They offered to allow him to share his side of the story, and he declined as did almost all of the Halbach family.

    • I am not saying that Avery is guilty, but to look at one documentary and make a decision is wrong. There is nothing wrong with making sure got both sides of the story.

    • I wonder why the prosecutor refused to interview for the documentary.

    • I just read your link Tristan and how does that help? Seems to me just the whining of an already disgraced prosecutor defending the actions of a proven ( avery’s previous incarceration and release) inept if not corrupt police force so my question is Do you just want to point out FTP bias or do you believe that Avery was fairly and justly convicted? I certainly think it needs to be looked into for numerous reasons

    • I’m not WRONG rich… It’s specifics you’re arguing. he won, was about to win, either way they didn’t want to pay him. THATS the point. Fucking nit pickers. Annoying.

    • Hey, a cop

    • Tristan Tully Hey, a cop

    • Tristan Tully Hey, a fuckin cop

    • You claim “nit picking” and yet the documentary is “nit picking” things that may prove Avery’s innocence. I am trying to be objective. If you can’t handle someone challenging your view then don’t respond to what I’ve said. At no point did I say the documentary was wrong. What I said is as people searching for the truth we need to look to other sources to confirm that we are in the right with our beliefs. One study from a team of scientists is not enough to challenge the entire scientific community. The same is true for court cases. Do professionals without investment in the so-called corrupt police force believe there was tampering? Do they believe Avery is innocent? Find something other than just the defense. Right now its the defense’s word versus the prosecution’s. So if you want to prove to people you are right, then give me more than just a documentary.

    • So dumb….I wasn’t even talking to you Tristan. But since you came out of nowhere to defend yourself when I wasn’t addressing you here’s what I have to say. If you can’t see that that man was framed and need some random person on fb to somehow prove it then you sir are a blind idiot.

    • Jess Mc Aren’t all cops blind idiots?

    • Jess Mc Yep, there was a bunch of corruption, but wait she thought he was creepy so he must have murdered her.

    • They botched the investigation into Theresa’s death. They had an incentive to make sure the “evidence”fit their chosen suspect. They have a pattern of letting sexual predators run amok, when a horrible crime provides a convenient excuse to go after someone they simply have it in for. They are in part guilty of ever single sexual assault committed by Gregory Allen, by virtue of enabling him. They are complicit now in botching the investigation into Theresa’s death, we may never know what really happened to her now. As if of the 81,000 people in Manitowoc County, there was only one who had the opportunity to commit a crime like this.

    • Jess Mc I’m sorry did you just say that I am coming out of nowhere to defend myself? On my own post on facebook, which you decided to comment on? You know what, never mind.

    • I guess I will just have to move on from this conversation. If people are only willing to throw out their opinion without the objectivity I am asking for then so be it. I believe there were clearly mistakes made in the persecution, but this blind anger and challenge to people trying to find more facts than just a documentary is cancerous.

    • Did you see the documentary? Then you’d know we are being objective. Police officers accused in your lawsuit should not be the on the scene in a new case, let alone be left alone. That’s just one thing. We can list 100 other things that makes this case stink like a baby’s diaper.

      Quite simply, the other side had been proven they can’t be trusted here..AT ALL.

    • Brian Mascheri Okay, my point isn’t that documentary is not good, but that we need more than just the documentary in terms of sources. Does that make sense?

    • Sure, except your sources can’t be anyone from those counties that work as a “public servant”; since they are the only option, it basically ends the other source discussion.

    • The point I think people are missing is “reasonable doubt.” The defendant must be PROVEN GUILTY BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT. And there is MORE than enough reasonable doubt here, regardless of some stuff that the prosecutor says they left out. MORE than enough. And the fact that the free thought project brought this new info out about the juror, well, it’s a news source. That’s what they do. They don’t have to do an “opposition piece” to every article or story they put out. Lol

    • Ive read other sources of input on this and honestly, it all seems shady, the fact they found shackles and such at not only averys house but at the dassey household is puzzling to say the least, then their is averys sweat on the hood latch, but most things ive read went as far as to point out avery had porn in his possession, which if thats a cause of guilt, most all americans are guilty then, as well as avery answering the door in a towel, ive done that as well, does that mean i killed someone? Of course not, its silly to think thats even justifiable. What irks me is lenks involvement in finding “evidence” days after the initial search, weeks even, another instance is severe lack of halbachs dna anywhere in the avery home after claims were made she was cut, stabbed and shot, hell, her dna wasnt even found on the shackles or cuffs they found in the home, if this doesnt sound like a frame to you then please never actively option yourself for jury duty. The whole episode is a perpetual perversion of justice where as one digs deeper they discover lie after lie after lie. Err on the side of common sense but remember this, peoplein power didnt get there by letting innocent people walk after being falsely accused, thats a simple fact.

    • Ps, i believe the other dassey male had something to do with this aswell as averys brother in law, i donthave proof but their timelines were so skewed it almost seems as though theyre hiding something, and its as if they cut a deal with those in power to get off free in turn for framing avery.

    • Re: sweat under the hood. The only potential legitimate piece of evidence; except it could’ve gotten there in any of the other times she was there. Furthermore, I find it odd (cue ‘reasonable doubt’) that the police (during their initial press conference) stressed that his nephew indicated Steve was full of sweat when he answered the door, but only found it under the hood after his nephew allegedly steered them there to look.

    • Tristan Tully, how dare you ask for *more* info! You should know by now that people here only believe whatever TFTP gives them. If there was a post saying that the world was flat, these miscreants would argue that it is indeed flat despite abundant evidence to the contrary.

    • And can I ask a question regarding the *67 thing? At some point, she’d be given the address, then she’d know it was either him or someone from his house.

      If she was that creeped out by him, why not decline to go at the moment; or if she showed up, turn around and leave when she realized who’s house it was?

    • Exactly Mr. Mascheri, sweat is far from a smoking gun, this man was prosecuted on LESS than circumstantial evidence, anyone who believes otherwise is just as worthless as the monsters who have perverted justice to push their own agendas, lying cops who “find” magically appearing evidence, a public offender who allowed his client to be interviewed and coerced without his presence, a prosecuting attorney who publicly biased any available jurors with his boohoo interview in the media as he released pertinent facts which were only corroborated by coersion of a mentally challenged 16 year old child who was clearly led by dirty police in his statements. Im sorry but if this is what manitowoc county calls justice, then i highly advise never going there, who knows, maybe a perverted pedophilic pilled out prosecutor with anapolean complex will go after you if you do…..

    • “In a clear conflict of interest, at least two of the jurors were directly related to members of the sheriff’s office and the clerk’s office, which was accused of tampering with his blood.” How much evidence of MISCONDUCT and CONFLICT OF INTEREST will be enough?

    • Megan Langreck, not defending anyone here, but three things. One, everyone has relatives that they don’t talk to. I definitely do, and I’m guessing you do as well. Secondly, the key word in your post is “accused.” Here in the good ol’ US of A, people are innocent UNTIL PROVEN guilty. And finally, if there really was a conflict of interest with the two jurors, why didn’t the defense get those two tossed out during jury selection?

    • With due respect to the people of Manitowoc County, and Manitowoc County seems like a beautiful place, another reason to avoid the place is that they may have a killer or killers in their midst. This person – or people – may be emboldened by having never faced consequences. They may not be on law enforcement’s radar.

    • K, being from Wisconsin myself, no one here is that up in arms over the case. Most of the protesting came from this documentary. People can be persuaded to do the silliest and craziest of things with the right spin on a story. This is why I am wary of the documentary as the only source for a push to release the man.

    • It is obvious Jason, you have not read into this case at all. Your questions are far off from someone who has knowledge of this case. And Tristan, I have not only read into both sides of this case but have looked into it vigorously and honestly, you can not tell me you believe this man was not sent to prison for being Steven Avery?!?!? Case closed??

    • Lauri Ortiz Oh, it should be easy then. Link me what you used to come to your conclusion.

    • Release? How about at least a new trial for Brendan Dassey? How about reinvestigating Theresa’s death?

    • Glad you enjoy wisconsin, stay there, i have no desire to ever go there after seeing this doc. Keep your crooked ass good ol boy backslapping justice to yourself.

    • Link you not…. If you have the time to rant vomit than you by all means can do your own research! Seek and Ye shall find✌?️ its out there and trust me, there’s always two sides to every story…. I always base my thoughts on facts not social media gatherings…. This is a joke

    • Lauri Ortiz The joke is your refusal to bring up your sources. That is your right do so, but don’t presume to have won an argument by sources you refuse to give over. Honestly I don’t even understand what you people are arguing against. All I am saying is that you need more than just a documentary to prove something, I am simply asking for more sources. You could seriously have me in agreement with you I just want your sources. But instead of giving them to me, you call me a bigot – the irony.

    • Rich Duga N how he already win.he settled for far less then that so he could affor a new attorney. for the new case

    • what your forgetting is he just did 18 years for somthing every one thought was reasonable doubt witch he was proven innocent 18 years later

    • Tristan Tully u keep saying go off somthing that isnt in his defense but your only going of somthing the prosecutor is say which. the county. is known to be shady

    • Lauri Ortiz, I assume you have intimate knowledge of this case. Were you on the jury? A spectator in the gallery? Defense counsel? Avery’s third cousin, twice removed? What??? Sweetie, you’re just like the rest of us here, armchair lawyers.

      My first question about relatives was off, I’ll give you that. But the last point is still valid. If there was truly a conflict of interest, any lawyer would have dumped those jurors. Hell, I’m not even a lawyer and I know that!

    • If they can plant blood they can plant sweat.

      Bullet matching is not like CSI. The same model of gun will fire a bullet that looks similar when examined and compared to another bullet fired by a different gun of the same model.

      On top of that the police searched the house for 8 days unobstructed with access to the gun before Nov 5.

      Plus Brandon’s drawlings should have never been admitted since they became evidence after his previous lawyer dismissed by the court tried to force him to plead guilty.

    • Did you see where the joke of Sgt read the tag number of her car ? Before it was found?

    • Actually Tristan, the fact is there is and was plenty of ” reasonable doubt ” based on what the DA said . The broken seal, the key that had, ONLY the dna of Avery. And think about this they kill her ,they take her out to her car ,from the garage they killed her in to drive around to the back of the garage to dump her in the burn pile

  • But its just a “movie” and “its one sided”…

    • It is not a move. It is created from court room video, news reports and interviews. No actors or narration. Have you watched it?

    • I was being sarcastic


    • If you opened the link, there is a warning of spoilers.

    • I’m just kidding, I haven’t read any of the articles

  • Mayra Silva

    • I was listening about this today on a talk show ! Bananas

  • Watching right now and am shocked and appalled by the injustice of it.

  • lol i JUST posted about this, thank you

  • Stacey Hentschell share this with your man.

  • yikes! actually, I’ve seen the petitions and signed them… police every where are corrupt, it seems it is just a matter of degree….

  • Watching it now!

  • Delilah Thomas

    • Thank you! I saved the link so I can read it after I finish. I don’t want any spoilers.

  • Jarrod Nikolic

  • Dustin Craven

  • Stacey…..seen this?

    • Wow! Seriously. I didn’t think it could get any more ridiculous!

  • You also want to read about the evidence they purposely left out. Have you ever been on a jury? Several of them were not my “peers” until I start wearing tinfoil hats.

  • Does not surprise me. I have served on jury duty. They should give intelligence tests, psychological evaluations and lie detector tests to prospective jurors.

    • I agree. I wouldn’t want my life to be in the hands of any jury.

    • They often times dismiss smart people or people who may have expertise to something pertaining to the case.

  • Kristal Drews

  • Louise

  • elements have been left out by both sides, plus hIs history IS with bad company. Editing does the rest. whole thing is inacurate coming and going

    • The evidence that the prosecutor said they left out is not anymore credible then what they used. I would hope that before they sentence someone to life in prison they would have some conclusive evidence.

  • Lucas Baur de Campos Ninon Camille Lecomte

  • James Goode your famous

  • My thing is that if he really shot her or slit her throat where is all the blood !! There would be blood somewhere. These 2 were not smart enough to clean all the evidence up .. They were tried in the same County that law in forcement were after him . Whether they are guilty or not they had the right to a fair trail and they didn’t get that .

    • They were tried in Calumet county but with a jury from Manitowoc county. But still I agree, was not a fair trial at all. Especially considering two jury members were family of Manitowoc sheriffs.

    • Exactly! ! I think he is innocent but we have not seen all the evidence I am sure . None of the jurors should have been from that County. Specially not family or worked anywhere that they could have contact with evidence or the law enforcement. No way was that remotely a fair trial and anyone could see that.

  • Angie

    • Yep I watched this and now I’m watching like 6 more like it

    • Yep. Makes me want to puke every time I see someone with that thin blue line bullshit.

  • Disturbing

  • I signed a petition to have them pardoned. Now over 200k folks

  • Alexis Hood

  • about time

  • Maria Sizemore

  • Amanda George

  • Jessica Brooks

  • Travis Owens

  • Ana Carolina Real

  • seen it , and it pisses me off big time !!!

  • Oh here we go again…

  • I stopped watching after episode five. I couldn’t take it anymore.

  • Gabrialla Gabriel

  • Pierre Jansson Barradas

  • Johnny Wimberly Maricela Duarte

  • Ameenah Clark Barrera

  • Aaron

    • They’re both guilty but the evidence was cooked.

  • Sam Clarkson!!!!!!! I won’t read this without you

  • He tossed a cat in a bonfire, he’s right where he belongs

  • Becky Rydman Fuller

  • Brett Fuller

  • I’m watching it right now on Netflix

  • David Telles

  • Timmy Belcher

  • Cherie Willett

  • Jennifer Edwards

  • Sian Obrien

  • Whether or not you think they’re guilty, you can’t argue that the police were definitely corrupt as fuck in these case/s!
    They should have had no part in the investigation! What the hell were they doing on his property? All of that evidence the Manitowoc police suspiciously ‘found’ should not have been included into evidence.
    He had a 36 MILLION dollar lawsuit involving that police department, it was a total conflict of interest.
    Also, the way Brendan Dassey, a 16 year old borderline retard, was treated by police and his own defence team actually makes me sick to my stomach!
    Omg I could go on for days!! Its all so suss and such an injustice!

  • Wow, just …wow

  • Kelsey Stone

  • Max Wimmer

    • I saw this a few days back I think I posted it actually. His original standing with the jurors was 7 not guilty 3 guilty and 2 undecided. Fucking insane.

  • Taylor Jordan

  • Lynn Klingbeil Bennett

  • Kate Shumway

  • Sean Tianihad

  • Sian Wilson

  • Snuber Az

  • Thank you for sharing.