MAK­ING A MUR­DERER

With Net­flix hit Mak­ing A Mur­derer set to re­turn and Steven Avery still fight­ing for free­dom, Crime Scene cros­sex­am­ines his de­fence at­tor­ney Dean Strang with the help of lawyers and thriller writ­ers Neil White and Steve Cavanagh.

Crime Scene - - CONTENTS -

Steven Avery’s lawyer talks us through the case ahead of Se­ries 2 of the Net­flix se­ries.

True crime doc­u­men­tary Mak­ing A Mur­derer was the must-see show that ev­ery­one was talk­ing about this year. Now it’s coming back for a sec­ond se­ries and will con­tinue to fo­cus on the po­ten­tial mis­car­riage of jus­tice of Steven Avery, who’s serv­ing a life sen­tence for mur­der. Avery de­nies killing Teresa Hal­bach, whose re­mains were found close to his home in 2005. The first se­ries raised ques­tions about Avery’s con­vic­tion and the role of law of­fi­cials from Man­i­towoc County, Wis­con­sin, who faced fi­nan­cial penal­ties over a civil case for Avery’s wrong­ful im­pris­on­ment for 18 years in a pre­vi­ous case.

“There is a ton of info that wasn’t ex­plored just in the con­fines of the episodes we’ve al­ready done,” says Net­flix’s Ted Saran­dos. “There’s a lot of new in­for­ma­tion coming up.” A sec­ond se­ries of Mak­ing A Mur­derer sug­gests there may be vi­tal fresh ev­i­dence – and it’s be­ing pro­duced amid huge de­vel­op­ments in the case. Bren­dan Dassey, who was sen­tenced to life along­side his un­cle Steven Avery, had his mur­der con­vic­tion over­turned by a US fed­eral judge in Au­gust. Dassey, who also fea­tured in the doc­u­men­tary, was just 16 when he was con­victed.

Crime Scene has been play­ing its part in the de­bate by putting the TV show on trial in is­sue 3 with the ex­pert anal­y­sis of lawyers and crime writ­ers Neil White and Steve Cavanagh. The duo turned that into a court­room drama (staged by Crime Scene and pub­lish­ers Orion) that was the hit of Bris­tol’s Crime­fest, with the authors go­ing head to head as pros­e­cu­tion and de­fence con­cern­ing Avery’s guilt in front of a judge (au­thor So­phie Han­nah), jury and a packed au­di­ence. In the event, there was a hung jury. “One of the best things at a crime fes­ti­val yet,” said crime writer Sarah Hi­lary.

This is­sue Neil and Steve are re­united (over­leaf ) to quiz Dean Strang, Avery’s for­mer de­fence lawyer, who’s still get­ting used to the celebrity re­sult­ing from Mak­ing A Mur­derer. Strang and fel­low de­fence at­tor­ney Jerry But­ing are on a speak­ing tour in the UK this au­tumn that in­cludes a date at the London Pal­la­dium. “I was very pleas­antly sur­prised,” Strang tells Crime Scene of the Bri­tish dates. “But I think many of the sys­temic fail­ings that a broad au­di­ence have seen in Mak­ing A Mur­derer, or The Jinx or other re­cent pop­u­lar true crime doc­u­men­taries, tran­scend na­tional bound­aries. So it’s re­ally flat­ter­ing and de­light­ful to be able to try to carry that con­ver­sa­tion out­side US bor­ders.”

As one of the stars of Mak­ing A Mur­derer, Strang has also been lin­ing up his own doc­u­men­tary se­ries, Dean Strang: Road To Jus­tice, which is cur­rently in de­vel­op­ment. “That se­ries will en­tail con­tem­po­rary cases where there may or may not have been a mis­car­riage of jus­tice,” says Strang. “It may have been a wrong­ful con­vic­tion or it may have been a wrong­ful ac­quit­tal. And there will be some his­tor­i­cal cases of well es­tab­lished mis­car­riages of jus­tice in the United States, so that the viewer will have the coun­ter­point to as­sess how far we’ve pro­gressed, or not pro­gressed, from a past day when there were ex­plicit or un­de­ni­able fail­ings in the jus­tice sys­tem.”

Strang re­cently wel­comed the over­turn­ing of the Bren­dan Dassey con­vic­tion. He’s hope­ful that Avery will even­tu­ally go free too. “I hope for Steven Avery and ob­vi­ously for his lawyer that they dis­cover new ev­i­dence that would war­rant at least a new trial, if not es­tab­lish ex­on­er­a­tion in the first in­stance,” he tells Crime Scene. Although his own TV se­ries won’t re­visit the case, the speak­ing tour will cover the Avery case and the jus­tice sys­tem. So the UK dates are the best way to get your Mak­ing A Mur­derer fix ahead of Se­ries 2.

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