In 2015, true crime became a real-deal genre with the Netflix's release of Making a Murderer, a docu-series exploring the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach and the resulting trial of Steven Avery. Avery was charged with murder, kidnapping, sexual assault and mutilation of a corpse, but appealed the case and maintains his innocence. Immediately, fans began debating over whether Avery they believed that Avery committed the crime. While many felt that Making a Murderer exonerated Avery, others believed that creators Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos omitted key facts that confirmed the jury's decision to hand down a guilty verdict. Theories have continued to swirl since the show's premiere, but now, fans will be given an additional piece of the puzzle: a Making a Murderer sequel called Convicting a Murder is being developed to tell the other side of Avery's case.
Convicting a Murderer comes from documentarian Shawn Rech, who is known for his work on Murder in the Park, a crime doc about a 1999 murder in Chicago, and Crime Stoppers Case Files, the long-running docu-series. Rech is convinced that Making a Murderer stopped short of telling the full truth, and his new project aims to highlight the strength of the prosecution's case. According to /Film, Rech will have "unprecedented access to District Attorney Ken Kratz, Lead Investigator Tom Fassbender, and other major players in State v. Avery," all of whom appeared in Making a Murderer. Rech described his project in a detailed statement:
When Making A Murderer was produced, many on the law enforcement side of the story could not, or would not, participate in the series, which resulted in a one-sided analysis of the case…This docu-series will examine the case and the allegations of police wrongdoing from a broader perspective. It will also share with viewers the traumatic effects of being found guilty and vilified in the court of public opinion. We fight for the truth. We’ll present all of the evidence in the Avery case from the perspective of both the prosecution and the defense and see if viewers feel the same way they did two years ago following the first season of Making A Murderer.
Rech's project is apparently still in the early stages, so we likely won't see Convicting a Murderer any time soon. However, Uproxx reports that the filmmakers are in the process of reaching out to streaming services and networks to arrange distribution rights, so we'll probably know where the Making a Murderer sequel will land in the near future.
Much like Rech, the Manitowoc, Wisconsin police department believes that the jury made the correct call in convicting Avery. In April 2016, Calumet County detective Lt. Mark Wiegert told local newspaper The Post-Crescent that the police "stand by the integrity of the investigation." He continued, "Mr. Avery was judged by a jury of his peers and was found guilty. The case has been looked at ... by the appeals court and they have upheld everything that was done."
Avery, however, has publicly maintained his innocence. Just one month after Making a Murderer aired on Netflix, Avery wrote a letter to a WISN 12 News reporter insisting that he was wrongly accused. "The real killer is still out there. Who is he stalking now? I am really innocent of this case and that is the truth!!! The truth will set me free!!!!!!!" wrote Avery.
Netflix also believes that Avery's story isn't quite over: The streaming platform has ordered a second season of Making a Murderer. In January 2017, Netflix's VP of original content Cindy Holland told USA Today that the second season would premiere "sometime this year" (meaning 2017), so it's safe to assume that the project is pretty behind schedule. However, she promises that the show's original creators are hard at work on Season 2. "Laura and Moira are on the ground [in Manitowoc] shooting regularly and working on what the right story is to tell in the next set, so we’re deferring to them on when it will be ready," she said.
Oh man. The first installment of Making a Murderer pretty much broke the internet. Imagine what two Steven Avery-centric shows premiering in one year could do.
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