Another piece of evidence procured through Freedom of Information requests has many followers of the Making A Murderer trial questioning the way things were handled. Like everything else in the Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey cases, Teresa Halbach’s death certificate is an absolute mess of contradictions and impossibilities. Take a look at the full document here, care of StevenAveryCase.org.
Under ‘Body Found,’ they have ‘No’ checked, but under ‘Autopsy Performed,’ they check ‘Yes.’ The immediate cause of death is listed as ‘undetermined,’ but that gets crossed out and under manner of death, ‘homicide’ is checked. The certificate was issued on November 10, 2005, even though the Calumet County coroner only received the bone fragments on the 9th. They filled out their portion of the documents positively identifying the remains as Halbach’s on December 5, six weeks before the bones were positively identified on January 19. These dates are important because Steven Avery was charged with murder on November 9, and in order to do that, there must be proof of death. So, it seems like the paperwork on Halbach’s death certificate was pushed through improperly so charges could be laid. As usual, a quick glance into how things were done show a serious lack of professional procedure being followed and a rush to shoehorn Avery as the guilty party.
On the more conspiratorial side, some have suggested that the death certificate and charges were rushed in order to stop the depositions of District Attorney Denis Vogel (who ignored evidence that Gregory Allen was guilty of the 1985 crime Avery went to prison for) and Sheriff Tom Kocourek (who allegedly buried a 1985 phone call that proved Avery was innocent). You can read all about the gross misconduct in the 1985 case here. Kocourek was scheduled to be deposed on November 10, and Vogel on November 15. The depositions did not go forward after Avery was charged for murder.
It’s just another example of evidence that makes you go hmm. It’s added to the giant pile that Steven Avery’s new lawyer Kathleen Zellner is going through with a fine tooth comb. Her request for an appeal hearing is currently winding its way through the Manitowoc County court system and should be heard in the next month. We’ll keep you updated on all the developments.