January 6, 2016

People keep asking me why I don't blog about "Making A Murderer."

1. I don't have Netflix. I don't want to fill out any forms and fool around with it. I know there's a free trial period, but I just don't want to fuss with it. I suppose at some point something would overcome my resistance, but this isn't that. Not yet anyway.

2. I feel bad about the poor woman who was murdered, and I'm not interested in consuming what seems to be primarily the defense point of view that goes on for 10 hours. I have read about the case. I've read about the documentary, and seeing the documentary is not an efficient way to gather information. It's a manufactured emotional experience, and I choose not to submit to this one.

3. I really do care about documentary films. I watch few movies these days, but in the last 20 years, documentaries have been my favorite films. They are told from a point of view, and I understand that. I realize that making "Making A Murderer" may be a great documentary, and I'm missing something that my interest in documentaries suggests I should want to have seen, but when I look at the Sight & Sound "50 Greatest Documentaries of All Time," I can see that I haven't watched 6 of the top 10. I've never seen "Man with a Movie Camera," "Shoah," "Sans soleil," "Night and Fog," "Chronicle of a Summer," or "The Gleaners and I." If it's my duty to see the greatest documentaries, I've fallen far short.

61 comments:

MadisonMan said...

I don't have Netflix either, but my kids watch on some friend-of-a-friend's account. That's typical of teens/early-20s kids, I think.

I'm not really interested in revisiting the Avery case.

Lyle Smith said...

Live your life your way.

Dan said...

It is definitely from the defenses point of view. That said I still came away thinking Avery did it. I know lots of people are signing petitions but that will amount to nothing. I do believe Brendan Dassey was represented poorly and his attorney should be disbarred. But there again even after watching this I do believe that Brendan had something to do with it.
In the annals of Documentaries I have watched I would have to say this is in my top five. Very well done.

T J Sawyer said...

You made me watch Wisconsin Death Trip(I rented it via Netflix). You should suffer too!

Ann Althouse said...

"It is definitely from the defenses point of view. That said I still came away thinking Avery did it."

Yes, so I don't think there's a professional/lawprof reason why I need to attend to it. Respect for the victim's suffering makes me want to keep that door shut.

Ann Althouse said...

I listened to the whole first season of "Serial," which was so elaborate and intent on riling up doubts about whether an innocent man was in prison. I didn't think he was innocent, and I thought the poor teenager who died was overshadowed in the telling.

Shamus said...

I've listened to 'Serial' and started to watch 'Making a Murderer' and I can say, as a retired 22 year Homicide detective, both shows present selected facts from an emotional point of view. Taking the prosecution's side never provides drama in the story in which the suspect is convicted. By example I submit 'The Jinx.' Durst beat the system in New York (by virtue of avoiding prosecution) and Texas (by verdict). So the drama comes from presenting evidence that emotionally points toward guilt.

The viewing public needs to understand that all films, documentary and commercial, are produced to make money or win awards. And to do that, the film maker needs to make decisions about which viewpoints or facts will stimulate the viewer to continue to watch or listen.

Shouting Thomas said...

Netflix is worthwhile. The "Marco Polo" series is great. (Whether it's historically accurate is another issue.)

The Steven Avery documentary is very good, too. I've enjoyed it. I can't draw any conclusion from it as to his guilt or innocence.

I worked in law and in video production and editing. If you don't have access to the entire court record in a criminal case, and if you haven't systematically reviewed it, you're just BSing when you talk about it.

What you choose to film and what stays in during the video editing process determines point of view. The Avery documentary is all from the point of view of the defense. The jury heard and saw all the evidence, so they were probably in a better position to make a judgment than I am.

Ann Althouse said...


We have UVerse and we pay a ridiculous amount of money for it, even though we don't watch much TV. It has loads of movies, but we watch less than 1movie a month. We really do not need another movie service.

alan markus said...

You should have given this a "Walker" tag. That is the real story here. According to all the social media and Change.org crap, Avery is a victim of the Walker administrations corruption. Walker is the only person who can pardon Avery, President Obama can't. Because Walker has not immediately pardoned Avery after so many people have demanded it, he is the devil. It is becoming a cult thing.

If only they could get Bob Dylan to write a song about tne case, maybe Avery can get freed.

Ann Althouse said...

"I've listened to 'Serial' and started to watch 'Making a Murderer' and I can say, as a retired 22 year Homicide detective, both shows present selected facts from an emotional point of view. Taking the prosecution's side never provides drama in the story in which the suspect is convicted. By example I submit 'The Jinx.' Durst beat the system in New York (by virtue of avoiding prosecution) and Texas (by verdict). So the drama comes from presenting evidence that emotionally points toward guilt."

Well put. The viewer/listener is drawn in by the uneasy feeling that things are not right, that something needs to be done.

"The viewing public needs to understand that all films, documentary and commercial, are produced to make money or win awards. And to do that, the film maker needs to make decisions about which viewpoints or facts will stimulate the viewer to continue to watch or listen."

And the consumer needs healthy resistance.

walter said...

Whatever the issue, it amazes me how consistently Wisconsin gets into national press, media or conversation...that component alone makes this a little different than most "documentaries".
Here's an interesting commentary across controversies:
Avery's attorney warns about Jon Doe investigation
159 folks just received notice today that years of their emails had been examined in this.
Will make an interesting documentary..especially if they ever release audio of the 16 yr old kid interrogated in his parents' absence. Good times.

alan markus said...

By the way, you will need a strong stomach to read the comments from Avery's supporters (like I said, it is becoming a cult). Pretty much showing that the movie version & all the social media support is the "final word" on the need to pardon him. We are so screwed.

alan markus said...

Read the comments at Huffington Post- the "smart people", the kind that would never watch "Faux" News <a href= "http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/governor-wont-pardon-avery_568c315fe4b0cad15e62410a>Scott Walker Won't Pardon 'Making a Murderer' Convict Steven Avery - Wisconsin governor dismisses petition of 270,000 people who believe Avery was framed.</a>

The first comment: <i>No surprise that this enemy of labor and the working classes can't be bothered looking into a massive injustice. Ayers is the poster child for the abuse of power by government officials. Of course the jurors who really believed that the policeman was their friend are part of the problem too.
Education is supposed to make people think and question.
Wisconsin seems to be raising people to follow, not lead.</i>

CatherineM said...

Ann, get rid of Uverse (which I think is slower than others) and just have internet and stream what you want. I did a few years ago and save a few hundred a month.

Netflix has so much content and stuff it doesn't have, like the American's, I happily pay $20 a season (or wait a year and watch if for free on Prime) on my Amazon. All via Roku.

Get rid of Cable, get Netflix/Amazon Prime streaming.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Taking the prosecution's side never provides drama in the story in which the suspect is convicted. By example I submit 'The Jinx.'

Shouldn't that be counter-example, or "For an example of the opposite kind of case, I submit `The Jinx.'?"

I would think that a more honest documentary maker, who wanted to make a documentary about a case where things didn't turn out right, could first look for something where he thinks things didn't turn out right, and carefully check it out, and only then decide to use it, rather than twist facts to fit a pre-conceived or early arrived at or "sold" notion.

It might require rejecting more cases brought to his attention, but it would be more honest.

And it might be harder to prove the assertion, because he wouldn't have a ready-made case, and he wouldn't have so much material to work with, and a lot of what he would have would not be very video-friendly.

I agree, video is a very slow way of learning anything, and anyway, you do want numerous, independent sources.. The video can only be a start.

alan markus said...

Another attempt to do the HTML Scott Walker Won't Pardon 'Making a Murderer' Convict Steven Avery - Wisconsin governor dismisses petition of 270,000 people who believe Avery was framed.

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann, get rid of Uverse (which I think is slower than others) and just have internet and stream what you want. I did a few years ago and save a few hundred a month. Netflix has so much content and stuff it doesn't have, like the American's, I happily pay $20 a season (or wait a year and watch if for free on Prime) on my Amazon. All via Roku. Get rid of Cable, get Netflix/Amazon Prime streaming."

First, I have Amazon Prime streaming. It doesn't include much that I'm interested.

Second, I don't have the inclination to study the differences, but UVerse is packaged with our internet, and most of what we watch on the TV is sports, news shows, a couple network reality shows. We like to use the DVR to catch a lot of things, to be watched skipping commercials. I kind of like seeing a big menu and picking odd things to watch.

Third, as noted, we rarely watch movies.

CatherineM said...

I think people were interested in you watching it from the Wisconsin angle.

I realize it is from the point of view of the defense, but many things do stand out as odd such as the amount of time the police were allowed to search the property (2 weeks), again and again. That supposedly a violent stabbing took place in the bedroom, but there was no blood found anywhere. The man had a car crusher in his junk yard, yet chose to put the victims car in his lot covered by a few branches and a family member of the victim finds it with in minutes of entering the property. The cops who were supposed to be recused from the search yet they were the ones who found the car key in plain sight alone in the room the 3rd or 4th time the room was searched? None of this was denied.

And that slow teenager being "interviewed" with out a guardian or lawyer present who after being fed lines by the cops ("tell me what you did to her head? You hurt her head didn't you? What did you do?") and he confesses, yet still thinks he can go to class where he has a project due. I don't know how you can watch that and say the kid is competent.

Avery may well be guilty, but the police shouldn't create evidence to seal their case. That DA is a piece of work too, tainting the jury pool with his press conference detailing the teenager's confession.

Meade said...

Here's a good documentary on Netanyahu. Very informative. PBS.

Mike said...

I just finished watching Making a Murderer. It was compelling, especially the first half of so of the series. It was an exciting portrayal of being a defense lawyer, an not in a glamorous sort of way.

But I'm left looking for some serious counterweights to the defense's side of the story. The documentary presented what appear to be very compelling questions for which there are no answers. And there never was a clear timeline of the crime presented by either side in the documentary. But surely the jury had a rationale for its decisions, and surely appeals court judges did as well.

Saint Croix said...

Man With a Movie Camera is awesome. It's the only Soviet film I have seen that's any good!

Honestly, Soviet cinema sucks. Most of it is horrible unwatchable propaganda, with cheering peasants and bad capitalists. What's amazing about Vertov's film is that it's cool all the way through. It's not propaganda. It's so not-propaganda he probably got in trouble. Vertov starts off making a documentary about Commie life: it’s a day in the life of a Commie. But then he starts using montage, fast motion, slow motion, super-imposing images on top of each other, split screens. Oops, you're having fun, comrade, stop it!

eric said...

I can't watch stuff like this.

There is something I read not too long ago. Two men were talking about bias. One guy was reading a story in the newspaper about something he was familiar. Either the subject matter or the type of profession that was being written of. He was disgusted about all the bias and flaws in the story. Then he reads the rest of the newspaper. All of which are stories he knows little about and he accepts all of it without question.

There is a name for this, but I forget what it is.

In my 20 years in law enforcement I have read three stories of which I took some part. Three stories reported in the news. All three stories got so much wrong it was disgusting. But I only knew how wrong the stories were because I was directly involved with the cases.

As a quick and dirty example. One story had a headline that was something like this, "Immigration Officials Put US Citizen in Prison for Six Months before Releasing Him!"

That's not the exact headline but its something like that.

Well, that headline is accurate and yet a complete lie.

The truth is, an illegal alien was put into a detention center. While there, he was allowed to marry a US Citizen. The US Citizen was then allowed to immigrate him. Years later, he was allowed to become a US Citizen. So, he is currently a US Citizen, but wasn't when he was detained.

And that's just the beginning of how messed up and biased this story was.

So, now, whenever I see these types of stories, I roll my eyes and assume that the officers never get to tell their side. Because we aren't allowed to. And when you're only getting one side of a story, well, you be sure you're being manipulated in some way to agree with the storyteller.

damikesc said...

"Shoah" is ROUGH to watch. Makes "Schindler's List" look like "Sound of Music"

Saint Croix said...

My favorite doc is the surfing doc, Step Into Liquid

I am also a huge fan of Awesome: I Fuckin' Shot That (the Beastie Boys doc)

and Stop Making Sense

I'm also a huge fan of Top Chef. Most reality shows are awful. But artists under stress, trying to make something beautiful? I dig that.

Rick Lee said...

Documentaries are the main reason I subscribe to Netflix. It's only about 8 bucks a month and there are tons of documentaries on there.

Jake said...

I can't say I'm not disappointed.

I can't wait to read more about Trump though. Now that's interesting stuff.

CatherineM said...

Thanks Meade. Watched it with my PBS app on my Roku. :)

Dan said...

Just an FYI, there were 2 distant Avery family members left on the jury. Both the prosecution and the defense (supposedly) had run out of jury recusals or whatever you call them. Also a juror came out yesterday and said that when they first entered the deliberations they had 2 for guilty, 7 for not guilty and 2 undecided. One guy was dismissed for family issue. The juror yesterday said that they guilty verdict was a compromise to those on the jury who didn't believe in guilt. They all voted guilty of murder than not guilty of mutilating a corpse. In the nephews verdict they found him guilty on both of those counts. Lots of strange things plus they also were attacking the Wisconsin justice system. I still think they were both guilty though. But there were lots of unanswered questions.

rightguy2 said...

Making a Murder is getting tremendous word of mouth. I had two people go on and on @ it just this past weekend. I'm thinking about it, but ten (10) hours !? That's got to have a lot of redundancy and end-of-episode hooks in it. Maybe a few vacuum packed episodes. I would rather spend that time reading something good.

Diamondhead said...

I wondered if you've ever met Dean Strang, who's become something of a love object because of the show and is an adjunct professor at the law school.

traditionalguy said...

Avery just looks like a bad ass. And that pretty well shifts the burden of proof in Wisconsin...which is the scary part.

SteveBrooklineMA said...

I came to write just what CatherineM wrote. Drop cable TV and use Netflix and Amazon Prime. Get an antenna for local TV stations. It's a much better deal than cable. I don't watch movies either, but I do watch TV series on Netflix and (to a much lesser extent) Amazon Prime.

I looked around the google newspaper archive for anything about Avery's original conviction for rape in the 80's. I couldn't find anything at all in the Milwaukee newspapers. I had thought a rape in a state park would have had some news coverage.

Gusty Winds said...

Will make an interesting documentary..especially if they ever release audio of the 16 yr old kid interrogated in his parents' absence.

I stayed away from it but am now in the middle of the series. I first read all the counter articles about facts the film makers left out. I put the above comment in italics was because it was disturbing watching the police pull out a confession from that low IQ sixteen year old boy. What was weird was that he never freely added any detail, only agreed with suggestions. Then he asked if he could go back to class because he had a project due in sixth period. He thought they’d be happy with him because he told them what they wanted to hear. Really strange.

Obviously the documentary has a point of view. But it is not completely without merit. And a lot of it is just watching raw footage of depositions, confessions, and conversations. It’s pretty bad. There is a human element when you witness and recognize somebody lying, and it is clear lies are being told by people in authority. Especially when they choose what they don’t recollect.

The cast of characters involved is disturbing. Especially the Manitowoc Sheriff’s Department. I’m sorry, but there are pieces of evidence that were obviously planted by some involved in the first wrongful conviction. The car key is the most obvious, and the blood that came from the reopened evidence box.

Not every episode of dateline causes this type of uproar. And not everyone watching this is an idiot. This is different. I don’t know what happened, but something is not right about the way this case was investigated or prosecuted.

I think there are shitloads of innocent people sitting in American prisons, and I don’t think it is disrespectful to the victim. The current wave of distrust of our law enforcement and judicial system is that everyone know it is not about seeking truth, but winning and losing. The blind lady of justice with the scales is all bullshit.

FullMoon said...

The girl was barbeques yards from Averys door. ALL the defense has to say now is that if they can prove his blood was planted, he should go free.
GIVE me a break. Use common sense. Avery is a low-life, low IQ criminal.
He "hid" her car with plans to move it at an opportune time, duh!

While in prison, Avery wrote letters to his wife promising to kill her when he got out.
He ran another woman off the road and threatened her with a shotgun. He is nothing but a punk.
Why didn't he crush the car? Because you cannot drive a crushed car elsewhere and
abandon it, or sink it in a lake.

Any criminal will say Avery is guilty. Petion signers only experience with criminals is TV , movies, and Internet. Avery is typical stupid asshole.

Maybe the cops planted the blood, bullet, and key. Avery still a guilty cocksucker.

His retard nephew got screwed.

MayBee said...

Watching Brandon Dassey's "confession" made me doubt all confessions. He deserves a pardon or commutation.

damikesc said...

One documentary that can change one's view of a profession is "Beyond the Mat". Shows the toll of being a pro wrestler on people, from the stars like Mick Foley (now an author), the washed up, and the likely never-to-be types.

lgv said...

Actually, Netflix has a great selection of documentaries, better than other offerings.

Documentaries are like grant funding. The biggest winners are documentaries that support the opposite of what is thought to have happened. If Avery had been found not guilty, it would have been a story of how he is really guilty. You have less interest if all it does is support what already happened. If someone gets a grant to study the relationship between X and Y, the worst result would be a study that said there was no relationship between X and Y. No one would read the study beyond the title.

M Jordan said...

Just finished the whole thing (binge-watched the last five episodes). I was fully aware of the bias of the filmmakers and was able to filter a lot of it out of my reading of the case. But I came away with a strong sense that this was a complete betrayal of justice. The logic of the case made by the documentarians was compelling and the emotional appeals strong, but ultimately, my take on the whole saga was based on the basic honesty of Avery and his nephew. They simply do not seem to be lying. In other words, my gut is what leads my understanding.

I've served on two juries, was the foreperson in one, and both cases were split on the first vote (6-6 on one, 4-4-4 on the other). We ground through the evidence and in both cases discovered things missed -- or undervalued -- by both sides. Theses experiences left me with the sincere conviction that the witnesses' credibility was more important than anything else.

At any rate, I would highly recommend this documentary. It's one of the best I've ever watched.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Netflix is the best bargain in the world, but if you have Amazon Prime, you don't really need Netflix. I have both, and almost never watch cable or broadcast TV.

WA-mom said...

A key point about Netflix... One paid subscriber is as good as the next. So Netflix doesn't need to choose content appealing to the 18 - 45 year old demographic who apparently only like mindless comic book stories. If they'd offered series in 2005, they would have saved "Joan of Arcadia" like they did last year with "Longmire."

CatherineM said...

Gusty Wind - Re cast of characters. Totally. Even when they started filming Avery's house, the officers filming zero in on a letter to Avery from the innocence project (due to Avery's exoneration of Rape due to DNA and the fact that the cops/DA ignored evidence that they had the wrong guy)and said something like, "Well, we're gonna get you now," showed their bias and bitterness at their humiliating public shaming from Avery spending 20 years behind bars for a crime he didn't commit. I don't know how the judge didn't throw out the evidence found (on the 4th or 10th search) by the cops who were supposed to be recused due to the wrongful imprisonment case for his 1985 overturned conviction.

I also don't think that DAs should be allowed to try their case in the press first. I hate "perp" walks for example. In the series, the DA calls a conference to tell everyone the gory details ("children under 15 shouldn't hear this," he warns.) of the confession from the 16 year old nephew. He was just so arrogant and pleased with himself, grinning at that press conference and basically poisoned the jury pool for several counties if not the state. He is just a loathsome person who I also now know had his license suspended for sending explicit harassing texts to the partner of a man he was prosecuting for domestic abuse. Thankfully, she was believed due to the fact that she had his texts (which were disgusting).

CatherineM said...

I think the victim's story wasn't covered because the family didn't want to be involved.

Steve in Brookline - the rape was a huge story because of Avery's wrongful conviction in 1985 where he was exonerated by DNA. It seems clear the police new they were wrong, but one or 2 of the cops had a personal beef with Avery and even though evidence pointed to another suspect they were watching who fit the description (and was later convicted of other rapes), they convinced the victim it was Avery. Victim's testimony put him away. 20 years later Avery was released after DNA proved it was the other guy and he was in the middle of a $36M lawsuit when they accused him of murder.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Thank you, Professor, I think you're exactly correct regarding point #2. I kept hearing about the program so I finally looked up the case and was surprised to remember it--I'd read about it a while back (I think there was a series of articles on Slate or some such webzine) and remembered most of the details. I made the mistake of clicking around the subreddit discussing the program, though, and was thoroughly depressed at the lack of critical thinking, the emotionalist credulity, and the failure to distinguish between entertainment/fiction and real life that was on display. There were so many threads saying this or that ridiculous conspiracy (her brother killed her, he exboyfriend did, she killed herself and then her brother and family worked with the police to frame Avery) had to be true because one person or another "seemed shady" or "seemed like a creep" or something equally stupid! Her brother acted strangely at a press conference, therefore he killed his sister and helped the police frame someone--I kid you not, that was put forward in a serious way and taken seriously by the members of that forum. Really sad stuff.

"These kids today" think themselves ironically detached, skeptical of emotional appeals, sober, reason-loving, and sophisticated--they brag about how much they "love science!" and sneer at anyone they think isn't sufficiently educated and world-weary. The truth, though, seems to be that they're MORE likely to fall for really basic manipulations of the kind this documentary series seems to use--they're less critical than past generations when the manipulation comes from their preferred messengers. Weirdly the comments I read never pursued a "government is corrupt/corrupting and therefore we should want less of it" theme.

Oh, and the one thing that seemed to cause some people there to doubt that the convicted murderer (the older one) was actually a bad guy was the revelation that he engaged in animal cruelty (he apparently doused a cat in oil and threw it in a fire) when he was an adult--the show apparently mentions in passing that he was accused of harming a cat but implies it was when he was a kid. Seriously, that was the only thing they held against him.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

damikesc said...Shows the toll of being a pro wrestler on people, from the stars like Mick Foley (now an author)

To bring things full circle, I watched a documentary on Netflix called I Am Santa that starred/prominently featured mick Foley! My friend started watching it and called me in...she was expecting a pleasant bland doc on people portraying Santa and was a little shocked when the second segment took a bit of an interesting turn! Anyway we watched all of it, and Foley's segments were entertaining.

Freeman Hunt said...

You can convince people of anything with a documentary. My mom used to teach a class in college that included a great deal of analyzing media and learning to be skeptical of it. I think one of the films used for analysis was Roger and Me.

My husband and I don't watch many strongly biased documentaries. (Why bother?) We do, however, like to watch the occasional more gently biased or supposedly unbiased documentary. Looks are exchanged in amusement at each point of unfairness or thinly veiled implication.

Freeman Hunt said...

Our whole family enjoyed, for example, "Happy People: A Year in the Taiga" and "Antarctica: A Year on Ice." Non-political. Documentaries are horrible for arguments but excellent for showing a way of life or a location you would not otherwise see.

I think that a documentary is probably the worst possible way to inform oneself about a criminal or civil case.

Krumhorn said...

Ann, as a television professional, it's my view that Netflix is a terrific bargain. Many say that we are currently in the golden age of TV. I happen to agree, and Netflix (and HBO) are significant contributors to amazing quality stuff.

I've recently been absorbed by a couple of British series, River and Luther, on Netflix, and they are wonderful. Original series like Daredevil, the first season of House of Cards, and Jessica Jones are just scratching the surface of what is available and worth seeing. There are a great many documentaries as well.

You could certainly give it a try and cancel it if you don't like it.

Plus, on basic cable, there are shows like The Americans and Justified on FX that are simply wonderful. The quality of television scripts has skyrocketed now that network execs have been forced to break away from their list of the tried-and-true writers that have traditionally minimized their job risks in the development process.

- Krumhorn

Char Char Binks said...

People simply want to believe that because Avery was innocent of the rape he was innocent of the murder.

maskirovka77 said...

I think anyone who says there is reasonable doubt or Avery is innocent based on the documentary owes it to himself or herself to get a transcript of the trial or at the very least the opening and closing arguments made by the prosecutor and see what the case as outlined by the state was against Avery.

walter said...

Blogger Gusty Winds said...Will make an interesting documentary..especially if they ever release audio of the 16 yr old kid interrogated in his parents' absence.I stayed away from it but am now in the middle of the series.
--
Sorry..I was talking about the John Doe investigation, not the Avery case.

SteveBrooklineMA said...

CatherineM- Yes, I'm aware of Avery's exoneration based on DNA. There are plenty of news items out there about it. I was curious how the case was reported at the time of conviction, and was unable to find anything about it.

BN said...

"People keep asking me why I don't blog about "Making of a Murderer."

I just thought it was too soon after your breakup with Laslo.

Gusty Winds said...

Just finished episode eight. I think I'm watching at a good time where counter punches are being thrown around on TV. I'm disappointed the professor won't engage this. Her opinion would be interesting.

Turn out these women who made the film are not defense advocates. Clearly they came to belive Manatowoc was corrupt, and that Avery was framed, but the didn't start out that way.

Gusty Winds said...

If you do swallow this kool-aid, you can see in the grand cosmic Karma, the officials that misbehaved in the first case are getting what they deserve in the second, regardless of Avery's guilt. This is their fifteen minutes of fame, and they look like shit.

I still don't know about Avery, but the low IQ nephew got railroaded.

Gusty Winds said...

I also find it interesting that the two defense attorneys don't come across as the OJ team. Both teams accused law enforcement of planting evidence. One on a possible true motive, the other on the race card.

Laura said...

The documentary on fast fashion was an interesting view into the lives of women in Bangladesh, but had a high school level of argument and thinly veiled product placement. A quick Google search turned up a fabric recycling company in the United States, and the documentary was too soft on the middleman and explaining why unions aren't exportable (and the impact of state owned businesses).

Don't get me started on the Yale grads' parenting documentaries.

maskirovka77 said...

Framing someone as the documentary and Avery's partisans allege is a very serious accusation (a crime almost comparable to the murder of the woman in this case itself). But before Avery gets a new trial, it seems to me to be incumbent that Avery offer clear and convincing evidence that he was framed...and arguments that the police hated Avery or that the evidence against him is too convincing do not constitute such evidence in my opinion.

I'd be interested in seeing what a documentary series like "Frontline" would make of the Avery case. I also think that if I was making a documentary about a case like this, I'd hire someone to play devil's advocate and make absolutely certain that the alternate perspective was fairly represented.

gadfly said...

So Althouse wants to believe ABC News and prosecutor Ken Kratz about a documentary bias toward the defense - even after Kratz refused an opportunity to be interviewed for the film. Ok, but we know for sure that the obvious pervert here is Ken Kratz, who harassed a domestic violence victim with over 30 sext messages in which he called here a "tall, young, hot nymph." This same mind also decided that Steve Avery, IQ 70, was a criminal who dreamed up this elaborate scheme to trap and kill a lady photographer while at the same time, the prosecutor ignored evidence of police bias and evidence planting.

But you are not alone. Governor Walker will not watch "Making a Murderer" either - I guess so that he will not have to respond to the pardon petitions from 270,000 people on his desk.

The name of the game is reasonable doubt in the Avery and Dassey trials and there was certainly doubt aplenty herein.

gadfly said...

From the Althouse posting dated 11/23/2005 entitled "Obviously we're not talking about Steven Avery" comes these recent Comments:

The Name is Irrelevant; The Opinion's the Thing said...

My comments come 7 years (almost to the day!) after the last active comment on this blog, but the case has resurfaced in a compelling documentary on Netflix: Making a Murderer....

12/20/15, 2:52 PM


To which Ann Althouse responded:

Thanks for posting.

I have heard this is a great documentary and intend to watch it.

12/20/15, 2:54 PM


If you don't have Netflix and you don't want the hassle of signing up for a free trial, some benevolent reader or a neighbor would be most happy to loan you a valid sign-in name and password. Surely you know that many students at UW-Madison use parental or friend's subscriptions for watching Netflix.

I will warn you that the series is 10 hours long but you will watch every minute and then go back to re-look at such things as defense investigator Michael O'Kelly's sick denouncement of the entire Avery clan gene pool and his strange sobbing over his use of a blue ribbon bow to extract yet another confession from hapless Brendan Dassey for the prosecution!

Unknown said...

Now that we have the trial transcripts and some the important reports and exhibits I'm going to disagree that it is bias to the prosecution.. Whilst the people who were prepared to be included in the documentary may be mainly on the defence side there are a number of things pointing to innocence which were also not in the documentary.. Such as Steven's DNA is not found at all in the area where Terrsa's blood is (and there are quite a few other unusual anomalies in the blood and DNA reporting), Blood & DNA of someone that had never been identified was found at the quarry.

They also skipped out explaining to us what would happen if they had arrested Gregory Allen before pointing a finger at Steven Avery?. Would the community have been happy that they stopped surveilling on the day he attacked? Would the officers involved have kept their jobs?

Another question we are still looking into over on Reddit is was Darrick Bruns (a.k.a Darrick Kusche) working in Manitowoc LE at the time Gregoty Allen was being surveilled?

Now don't get me wrong I'm not saying he is innocent but there are obvious mistakes by the police and forensics lab.They clearly did not have the skill set to handle this case and failure to recognise that led to a lot of egos making mistakes that cast doubt on a reasonable amount of their key evidence. That's not just editorial bias it is confirmed but the trial documentation and there are a number of errors made that were also not included in the doc which we can now prove occurred.

The documentary left out evidence of guilt but they also left out evidence tnat could point to innocence. However I think they are due a lot of credit for presenting a vast amount of key points from both the prosecution and defence. Condensing a 4 week trial into 10 hours they could never include everything but they did a pretty good job of giving us an overview of how easily we might all find ourselves caught in an unjust justic system and THAT was the narrative of the documentary. Not his guilt or innocence.