Just because you spent over 10 hours watching the true crime documentary Making A Murderer on Netflix, that doesn’t make you a hardcore fan. That designation is only truly deserved by the scores of obsessed people meticulously going over every transcript and photo from the Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey trials. Internet sleuthing gets a bad rap these days, but it’s hard not to be impressed by the dedication these people have when it comes to figuring out what really happened to murder victim Teresa Halbach.
The latest discovery from this group comes from an analysis of the bone fragments pulled from the fire pit prosecutors accuse Steven Avery of using to burn Halbach’s body. During his trial, they claimed his backyard bonfire burned so hot it obliterated her remains, leaving nothing but tiny bone fragment remains without any DNA left. But when fans took a closer look at the ‘human’ fragments collected, one stood out. Property tag 7955 included a bone that is clearly the carpometacarpus of a bird.
That brings us back to claims from the defense that Avery’s burn pit was regularly used to dispose of deer, rodents, and fowl remains from hunting. How many of the bone fragments collected and attributed to Halbach were just burnt animal remains? It also makes us wonder how a fire could be so powerful it reduced Halbach’s body to small flakes, yet this bird wing bone remained largely intact?
As with many of the key pieces of evidence in the Making A Murderer case, there’s a lot of controversy surrounding the bones found in Steven Avery’s burn pit. A proper forensic grid was never set up, and material from the pit was simply shoveled into boxes and sifted through back at the labs. Record keeping and chain of command protocols were largely ignored by the forensic labs, and the defense in Steven Avery’s trial complained, “It is unclear whether some, all, or none of the fragments had been previously determined by the state’s forensic anthropologist to be human or not. In short, the defense has no way of knowing from this cryptic report what was sent to and examined by the FBI Lab.”