As we quickly learned from the Boston Marathon bombing, internet sleuths can make a big hash of everything and send mobs of hate out at any poor person caught in their sights. But that’s not always the case. The online community investigating the claims from Making A Murderer seem to be a pretty level-headed bunch and have already turned up at least one piece of new information that would make its way into a new Steven Avery trial (should he ever get one).
That’s according to Avery’s 2006 trial defense lawyer Jerry Buting, who told Rolling Stone this:
“Dean and I worked on that case for 14 months before that trial, the last six months of which I did nothing but work on this case. We had 25,000 pages of discovery and police reports to go through, we had hundreds and hundreds of hours of tape recorded phone calls and interrogations and aerial footage, every salvage yard and expert opinions. But we were only two minds. What I’m discovering is that a million minds are better than two. Some of these people online have found things with a screen shot of a picture that we missed.”
“There’s a picture of [murder victim Teresa Halbach] that I’ve looked at a thousand times that shows her standing in front of her vehicle, the RAV4. She’s got a camera in one hand and she’s also got keys. And it’s like a key ring. You can see there’s a bunch of keys there like a house key, probably a photography studio key, maybe her parent’s house key. And those were never recovered. Instead we found this single key.”
“Now we did challenge that, about how unusual it was, why is she walking around with one key? But I don’t think I caught the fact that there was a photograph showing what she really carried around with her is a bunch of keys. And none of those keys were ever found.”
If you’ve watched Making A Murderer, you’ve seen the same photo countless times, as well; it’s pretty much the de facto image used in the documentary when Teresa Halbach is shown. At first or even second glance, it’s easy to see why Avery’s lawyers missed the keys. They’re mostly in Halbach’s closed hand, and you can only see a few small juts. But there they are: those are keys. Multiple keys.
The lanyard key found in Steven Avery’s house has always been one of the most contentious pieces of evidence in the case. His house was searched several times, but the key only turned up in a later search when Manitowoc County Sheriff James Lenk miraculously found it. When checked for DNA, the key only had Avery’s DNA on it … with none from Halbach.
Many people wondered if the lanyard key was a spare key Halbach kept somewhere else. A photo of Halbach with a proper keyring certainly builds that case up, and raises further questions about the key that was found in Avery’s home.