As interesting as Netflix’s true crime documentary series Making A Murderer is, there’s a much more important story developing right now. Acclaimed wrongful conviction lawyer Kathleen Zellner has taken on Steven Avery’s case and is preparing an appeal that promises to blow the lid off the case and potentially exonerate Avery.
In an in-depth feature with Newsweek, Zellner confirmed she wasn’t looking for a new trial: she plans to make the state of Wisconsin vacate Steven Avery’s conviction and set him free.
It’s hard to single out one argument from Zellner as to how she plans to achieve that; from the limited amount she’s willing to say, they all sound quite promising. But it would be hard for even Steven Avery’s biggest detractors to doubt his innocence if her investigation led to the real killer of Teresa Halbach.
“Half of my exoneration cases have led to the apprehension of the real killer,” Zellner told Newsweek. “I’ve probably solved way more murder cases than most homicide detectives.”
Pressed on if she had any specific suspects in mind, she said, “We have a couple. I’d say there’s one, leading the pack by a lot. But I don’t want to scare him off, I don’t want him to run.”
There has been a lot of speculation online as to who else could have killed Halbach, from Avery relatives exhibiting suspicious behavior, to more far-fetched possibilities like suspected serial killer Edward Wayne Edwards. But the Newsweek feature introduces a new suspect: a man from Arizona who Teresa called twice shortly before her death who was just arrested in December for sex crimes.
Zellner also plans to tear the forensic evidence that landed Avery in jail to shreds.
“They used forensic science to convict [Avery], and I’ll be using it to convict them of planting the evidence.” she said. She cited the Making A Murderer documentary as helpful in opening the public’s eyes to the reality of police malfeasance.
“I think it’s pretty obvious that the blood evidence was planted, and the key was planted. The hood latch, I believe evidence was planted on the hood latch. Am I surprised this happened? Not at all. Do I think it’s good that the public knows it? Absolutely.”
Steven Avery’s appeal is moving steadily through Manitowoc County’s legal system and should be heard within the next few months. Based on what we’ve been hearing from Kathleen Zellner, it should be quite the event when it happens.