Things are heating up once again in the case of Steven Avery, whose conviction for murdering Teresa Halbach with his nephew Brendan Dassey in 2005 was the subject of the Netflix documentary Making A Murderer. A second season of the show is in the works, and based on what we’ve seen over the past several months there’ll be more than enough material to make it just as shocking as the original 10 hour run of episodes.
Avery’s lawyer Kathleen Zellner has been working on getting a new trial for her client based on extensive scientific testing that called into question the legitimacy of several key pieces of evidence. A nearly 1300-page motion was set to be amended with even more test results, but a Wisconsin judge denied the motion before the amendment was filed and refused to allow an evidentiary hearing. That led to Zellner accusing the court of “hiding behind legal technicalities.”
She followed that up by submitting a supplement to her original motion that pointed fingers at a new potential killer in the case: Brendan Dassey’s older brother Bobby. The supplement also singled out their mother Barb and her husband Scott Tadych for hiding evidence and lying to implicate Avery during his trial.
The most explosive claim is that a laptop owned by the Dasseys was full of “violent pornography involving young females being raped and tortured.” A forensic examination of the laptop by Zellner narrowed the material and corresponding web searches to times when only Bobby Dassey was at home. According to Zellner, the existence of violent pornography on the laptop was only revealed to Avery’s original lawyers a week before his trial.
“Clearly, they should have investigated, gotten a forensic expert and pinned it to when only Bobby was home,” Zellner told Rolling Stone. “But the State had no real interest in outing Bobby’s perversions and obsession with dead female bodies – after all, they didn’t want the jury to see their star witness was a developing sexual psychopath.”
Bobby Dassey and Scott Tadych provided a key bit of damning testimony for the prosecution that they never saw Teresa Halbach leave the Avery property, a claim that is in question due to previous contradictory statements from them and other family members. Zellner’s supplement also includes allegations that Bobby’s mother Barb attempted to destroy the laptop evidence.
“I ask myself what would motivate Tadych and Bobby to be such obstructionists,” Zellner said. “And I have reached the inevitable conclusion, as our court filings state, that they were involved in the crime and Barb, was and is involved, even unwittingly, in its coverup.”
Zellner went as far as to include a timeline in her supplement to show how Bobby Dassey and Scott Tadych could have murdered Halbach. The two men ended up providing alibis for each other, along with testimony that helped convict Steven Avery.
It’s worth noting, though, that these two aren’t the first people Zellner has essentially accused of Halbach’s murder. In her original filing, Zellner provided evidence that seemed to point to Halbach’s former boyfriend Ryan Hillegas. It obviously can’t be all of them, so what’s the deal? It’s all part of Zellner’s attempt to get the court to re-open Avery’s case by proving the original investigation didn’t follow up on multiple potential suspects. She is also arguing that Avery was unfairly denied the ability to put forward these alternative suspects during his trial.
There’s still more filings from Zellner to come as she’s reached a deal with the Wisconsin Attorney General’s Office to test Teresa Halbach’s RAV4 jeep and other pieces of evidence she didn’t have access to before. All of this (especially the part where judges rule on her discoveries) is going to take time, so I wouldn’t hold your breath on season 2 of Making A Murderer arriving soon.