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A Recap of A Conversation on Justice In Chicago

By Jax West

I saw Dean Strang and Jerry Buting’s Milwaukee Converstation back in March and recapped that event here:

http://www.freebrendan.com/index.php/2016/03/19/a-recap-of-a-conversation-on-making-a-murderer-with-attorneys-dean-strang-jerry-buting/

When I found out that they would be coming even closer to me and would be in Chicago I had to buy tickets for that as well. I figured that each speaking engagement would have different topics so I could hear something new. I was right. We weren’t allowed to take any pictures inside The Chicago Theater once the show began and the place was really dark so hopefully I will be able to read my notes to write this recap.  LoL  But off we go.

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I guess first I should start with how awesome Jerry Buting is. I am one of the organizers for the Manitowoc Rally that is going to be next week, June 11th 11am-3pm and I am also part of the group that has been planning all of the #WeStand4Innocence Rallies all over the world.  You can read more about that here: http://www.freebrendan.com/index.php/2016/05/24/stand-4-innocence-worldwide-rally/

One of the organizers of another rally, Emily, suggested since I was going to see Strang and Buting that I should message Buting to get him to plug the Rallies as that’s what she did for hers and he did it. I asked how I message him and she said on Twitter. Ugh. I so don’t do Twitter. I have one but I really only use it to get Zellner’s Tweets. But this old girl was able to figure out how to message him and to my surprise he answered. He said he would mention the Rallies at the end of the show. He then asked me if I had met with Brendan’s lawyers after their show. I had seen Nirider and Drizin in Chicago in April and I wrote a recap of that you can read here: http://www.freebrendan.com/index.php/2016/04/07/recap-brendan-dassey-true-story-false-confession/

I told him I did not but I have spoken with both of them. I then asked Buting if I could interview him some time but I knew he was very busy. He asked if I would like to meet after the show. He told me to give him the names of the people going with me and he would leave backstage passes for us at Will Call. Sweet!

We get there, go to Will Call and get our passes. We got a backstage pass sticker but we were also given tickets. We go in and find out seats. They weren’t bad. But then I brought my ticket I got from Will Call to an usher and asked if that was a ticket for a seat as well.  She said yes and directed me to the seats. Much better seats! Score! So we moved on up.

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That’s the only picture I have as I said, I couldn’t take any pictures of the actual show.  As we waited for it to begin I heard the woman next to me say something about when she dated Jerry. I was assuming at that point she was a long-time friend of his that lived in Illinois that he gave tickets to. More on that later. On to the show.

The show was moderated by Rob Wildeboer who is the Senior Editor at WBEZ. He introduced the lawyers and there were a lot of cat calls for the Dreamy Dean Strang. The first thing they talked about is where the cases are now. Brendan’s appeal is still pending while Steven’s are all done. The only thing Steven can do now is find new evidence that could get him a new trial or exonerate him. Strang gave huge props to Brendan’s lawyers Steven Drizin and Laura Nirider for everything they have done for Brendan.

They said no one was paid any money from Netflix. Not the Avery family, Steven, Brendan, the lawyers. No one. The filmmakers were already filming 3 months prior to Strang and Buting even taking the case. They then had to decide if they were going to allow them to film their case. Buting said they agreed as long as nothing aired until both trials were done and that nothing would violate the attorney/ client privilege. One of the filmmakers was also an attorney so she completely understood.

Buting said that when you hear Steven’s voice in the documentary that those were all taken from his calls to his girlfriend and family that are recorded in the jail.

They were asked what did they think was the most convincing evidence that says Steven is innocent and what says he’s guilty? Buting said the bones being in more than one location that was undisputed by the State that Teresa’s remains were found multiple locations is what he thinks proves innocence. The bones were found in the burn pit and the burn barrel behind Barb’s trailer. [Later in the show Buting added there was also the third location of the quarry he forgot to mention here.] Buting said the bones were from all different parts of the body all mixed up. He doesn’t believe anyone would murder someone and burn the body somewhere else and then put the bones in their own backyard.  Strang said the bones were dumped in the pit. They weren’t burned there.

Strang said the thing that points to guilt is Steven’s blood being in Teresa’s car.

Strang said that everything Steven said while in jail was recorded. The police would listen to his calls every day. They put Steven in a cellblock alone. Not just a cell alone. In an entire cellblock all by himself for 18 months. So all Steven had was calls to his loved ones.  Not one time did Steven ever say a single word that would suggest he was guilty to anyone.

Rob asked if the Prosecution put on a better case that we just didn’t see in the documentary. The lawyers both said NO. The crowd roared with laughter and applause.  Strang said this was not their movie. It was the filmmakers movie. So he can’t say what should or shouldn’t be in it. This was the story they wanted to show.  He said we saw the Prosecutor’s best case. Buting said anything not answered in the movie also wasn’t answered at trial.

Buting said something that isn’t mentioned is that the week Teresa went missing, Steven was going to be getting a $400,000 check, tax free, from the governor. So there was just no good motive that would explain why Steven would do this. That was more money than he has ever seen in his life. That wasn’t presented at trial.

Strang said two guys were tried for murder of the same woman but with different theories. Ken Kratz did that press conference alleging all the things Brendan supposedly did 10 months before they went to trial and then none of the things he said was presented in court. Brendan was tried on a different theory. Strang said this is tolerated by the American courts but why? He said it means one of those trials was not a search for truth.

Is there anything they think they could have done differently? Buting said they think about that all the time. Should they have changed the venue? Called a mistrial when the juror was dismissed at the end? They beat themselves up about it all the time. The jury pool was so polluted by that press conference. If they went for the mistrial they would just try Steven again.

Strang said Steven being sentenced to Life is a social death sentence. Buting said the State hoped they could flip Brendan and get him to testify against Steven. Brendan’s statements were impossible. It showed that Law Enforcement would stop at nothing to get Steven Avery. They coerced a kid to say things that weren’t true. They needed someone to say she was shot in the head. Brendan couldn’t say it because he wasn’t there.

Strang said they had to prepare to disprove Brendan in case he testified. But also because they knew the jury had heard that press conference so they had to disprove it even if not presented. There wasn’t any blood. Didn’t find any cut hair. They had a gag order so they couldn’t talk to the media about it and show them it’s false. The State wasn’t allowed to talk about it anymore either but then the media just had Kratz’s press conference to play over and over.

Strang didn’t watch any of Brendan’s trial even though it was all aired. He had to take leave of this whole thing. He took a vacation. Buting did watch almost all of it.

Buting said they were prepared to disprove Brendan’s confession if he testified. But the judge distanced himself from that confession.

Strang said sadly, Brendan’s case is utterly usual. Then they talked about The Reid Technique. Buting said they hear all the time from people who say the police took their kid out of class and no one called them and now the kid has confessed to something.  People think that can’t be legal but it is. But there’s push back now. We need to pass laws that make the confessions inadmissible.

A question asked if Teresa’s brother and ex-boyfriend were ever considered suspects.  Buting said not by the police and the judge ruled before the trial that they couldn’t raise any other suspects. They would have to show who had access, opportunity and motive.  The State doesn’t have to prove motive. Strang doesn’t think the brother had anything to do with Teresa’s murder. The crowd oohed at this statement. He said statistically when a woman is harmed it is by someone close to her that she trusts. The police zeroed their spotlight on Steven Avery almost immediately and he wasn’t part of her life.  He met her a couple times.

Strang pointed out that another woman was brutally raped after Steven was zeroed in on the last time.

Buting said the Internet and all the sleuths out there [That would be Krystyne as she is OBSESSED] are not hindering the case but helping. This is where he says that there was a third spot where bones were found in a quarry. He said there is not a single photograph of any of the bones until the sites had been shoveled through.

They have had over 100 scientists contact them about the EDTA. They say the tests were set so high that you wouldn’t have been able to detect if EDTA were in those samples.

Do they know who made those harassing phone calls to Teresa Halbach? Strang said she was on the phone a lot and there were a lot of repeat calls but no one had the same exchange number as from the area around the Salvage Yard. They never found out who made those calls that her employer testified about.

Strang said Len Kuchinsky was never a Public Defender. He takes appointments. Strang said Wisconsin has the lowest rate in the country. They are paid $40 an hour in court and $25 an hour for travel. Buting said it’s actually gone down as when he started it was $45 an hour.

Buting was shocked when he saw the Michael O’Kelly video. That he would coerce him to draw a picture and tell Brendan to make it bigger to show how she was shackled to the bed. Then there was the preprinted form where he only had the two choices; sorry or not sorry. How about I didn’t do it? The crowd cheered.

Strang said the defense lawyer thought he was working toward a plea agreement but there’s appropriate ways to do that. Buting said it is indefensible under any circumstances to let your client be interviewed without representation.

Strang talked about the Center for Wrongful Conviction of Youth and the various Innocence Projects that people could look into to help. He said they make a real difference in our criminal justice system. He said he doesn’t have the passion of Steven Drizin but they were handed the microphone because of ‘Making a Murderer’ so they thought they should use it if they could. He said if you don’t have money or time to volunteer then he wants people to take the mics from them and continue this conversation at home at dinner with their family. He said we should pay attention to elections and vote. Serve on a jury if summoned.

Buting ended the Discussion by plugging our rallies. I cheered that one. He said the people at the rallies are not going to accept status quo and we aren’t going to make it easy on the system. He said the media likes to cover protests and he wants us to keep it up.

So that was the show. I then had to wait with a small group of people to be brought backstage. We were then led down these old stairs and through hallways where all over the walls people have written on them. Various shows that have been there the cast have signed them. It was really neat. We were taken to a room that is like a big meeting room.  There Strang and Buting talked to the people there.

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While I waited my turn the woman I had been sitting next to came up to me and said she had been sitting next to me and she saw me taking notes. I explained that I write articles about the show and that Buting invited me to come backstage. She then put out her hand to shake my hand and introduced herself. Jerry Buting’s wife! LoL

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She went and got her husband and brought him over to me. He came and shook my hand and did the same for the three people I had with me. He said he thinks he messed up the name of our rallies and said We Stand 4 Justice instead of Innocence. I said it’s all good. I started to tell him about what we have been dealing with in Manitowoc but he said he read my article. That’s pretty cool. You can read that article here: http://www.freebrendan.com/index.php/2016/05/13/from-making-a-rally-to-push-me-shove-you/

I filled Buting in on the latest status of the Manitowoc rally and how I am doing everything I can to make sure we know our rights, are peaceful and don’t break any rules. He agreed that that was the way to go.

Then I got my picture taken with him.

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I asked him if he would sign the rally shirt I brought along for one of the women who is helping organize the Manitowoc Rally (and she is obsessed). He said he has a horrible autograph but he did it.

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So I am really happy I went to it the second time. I learned a couple things I hadn’t heard before like Steven was about to get $400,000 that week. I also liked that they talked about how two guys were charged for the same crime but different theories. That’s something that really bothers me about the whole thing.

Please join us on June 11 as We Stand 4 Innocence. Finally, as I always have to push this, if you haven’t signed the petition for Brendan Dassey’s Law, please do and share it. This is SO important. No child should be interrogated without a lawyer present.

https://www.change.org/p/please-pass-brendan-dassey-s-law-to-stop-juvenile-interrogations-without-a-lawyer-present

Brendan Dassey is Lost in Steven Avery’s Shadow

By Jax West

Most people think of Steven Avery when they think about the Netflix hit documentary, ‘Making a Murderer’ (MaM), that began airing in December 2015. If you’re reading this article, then you are aware of the story so there is no need for me to rehash it for you. While what has happened to Steven, TWICE, is incredibly sad, what has happened to Brendan Dassey is just as bad if not worse.

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Brendan was just a sweet 16-year-old boy with a low IQ when he was questioned over and over by law enforcement officials about a missing woman. They questioned him without a lawyer or even a parent present. Brendan was like most kids, if an authority figure talks to you then you have to answer them. He didn’t know any better. Many adults don’t know any better for that matter. They told him he would get to leave if he just said what they wanted to hear. They kept fishing and Brendan kept trying to think up the things to say that would make them happy so he could get back to class. It is absolutely disgusting what Manitowoc has done to that poor boy.

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What I find just as infuriating, is when you get done with watching MaM and you search the Internet for anything you can on the case as you just want to know what wasn’t included in the documentary, and what do you find about Brendan? Go Google his name. I will wait… You find articles on Steven Avery. Now go look for him on Wikipedia. Steven’s page comes up. This case isn’t just about Steven Avery. Brendan Dassey was taken into custody at just 16-years-old. He has been in prison for going on 10 years now. Why isn’t there more out there about Brendan?

Brendan is currently in Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, WI. He is doing as well as he can there. He has a cellmate he likes who is helping him get into shape. Brendan enjoys getting letters from people and he does the best he can to write everyone back. Brendan’s contact information is posted at the end of this article.

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In one of his letters, Brendan told me a little bit about some of the things he likes:

Favorite color – orange

Pokémon –  Mew

Food – Burgers

TV show – Arrow

Movie – Maze Runner

Wrestler – John Cena

Chip – Doritos

Snack – Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Book – Graceling Series by Krisin Cashore

Season – Fall

Holiday – 4th of July

Football team – Green Bay Packers

Video game – Any Need for Speed

His letters point out that he still is that sweet boy we saw in the documentary. He is thankful for the attention his case is now getting and he is hopeful that there is an end to his incarceration in sight.  He is stuck waiting as his lawyers filed for him to get a new trial around 9 months ago and they are still waiting for the decision. It could come in 2 days; it could be another 9 months. Our system is just so slow and is in desperate need of reform.

So where do we start? I worked with Injustice Anywhere to create a petition on Change.org asking Wisconsin lawmakers to pass Brendan Dassey’s Law. Here is the direct link:

https://www.change.org/p/please-pass-brendan-dassey-s-law-to-stop-juvenile-interrogations-without-a-lawyer-present

I didn’t know until I watched MaM that it wasn’t illegal to question a minor without a lawyer or parent present. I was appalled to find out that it isn’t illegal anywhere in the United States. So they can pull Brendan out of school, not tell his parents where he is, and ask him anything they want. That’s unreal to me. What Brendan Dassey’s Law is looking to do is to make it so there has to be a lawyer present to interrogate a minor, and the minor can NOT waive their rights to counsel. We have already seen how Brendan was manipulated, and you just know if you didn’t add that last part they would just talk a kid into waiving their rights. We understand that it may be difficult to get an attorney to some areas in a timely manner, so they have to at least have a lawyer on Skype or talk to them on the phone. They have to have some contact with a lawyer, someone who knows their rights.

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I have a 22-year-old son and if he were brought in for questioning I would much prefer him to have an attorney in the room with him than his father or me. I don’t know the full extent of the law. I think I could be intimidated by law enforcement or I could be tricked. You can say that you wouldn’t. People talk a big game all the time, but you truly don’t know what you’re up against until you’re in the situation. A good lawyer knows what they are doing.

Of course, you have the Len Kachinsky’s out there who just plain suck. Strang and Buting talk all the time about how court appointed lawyers don’t make squat for the amount of work they do. So you’re just going to get crappy representation who just want to get the case handled the quickest and easiest way possible. Meanwhile the prosecution has thousands upon thousands of tax payer dollars to spend on their experts and tests. As Steven says, “Poor people lose. Poor people lose all the time.” With that said, even a bad lawyer like Kachinsky will tell a client to remain silent when police first attempt to question them as a suspect.

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The longest road begins with a single step. We are starting by trying to get the Brendan Dassey Law passed in Wisconsin, and then we plan on going to every state one by one. We are having a hard time getting the petition attention though, as we only started a little while ago and the frenzy of attention this case brought on has diminished. Unfortunately, there was a flurry of bad petitions written early on, and people appear to be a little petitioned out right now. People feel it won’t do any good to sign. Believe me when I say that this petition is different. We need at least 100,000 signatures before it will be taken seriously. I hope you will sign it and share it on all your social media to help us get this passed.

People have said that this law will never pass having Brendan’s name on it, since as of now, he is a convicted rapist and killer. I beg to differ. Whether or not Brendan Dassey is guilty (And he’s “the complete and innocent Brendan Dassey”), the fact remains he was questioned without representation. Do you want your child brought in and questioned without a lawyer present? If not, then why is it okay that it happened to Brendan? Plus, if this law was in effect during Brendan’s interrogation, there would be no need to fight for it now. It’s a common sense law. Keep in mind that it protects the prosecution’s case just like it protects the defendant. It’s a win for everyone.

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We are proud to announce that we have organized a worldwide rally that we are calling “We Stand 4 Innocence” (#WeStand4Innocence). Our rally is in support of both Brendan Dassey and Steven Avery. We have many rallies scheduled across the United States on June 11th as well as the UK. Ireland and Australia have rallies scheduled as well, but they will be doing their rallies on different days. The Megans (who organized the last Manitowoc Rally back in January) and I are organizing the Manitowoc Rally. Unfortunately, Manitowoc County is not being helpful, but this rally will take place no matter what. If you would like to get involved, you can check out our Facebook Event page for more information:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1710872892535370/

If another location is better for you, you can search “We Stand 4 Innocence” on Facebook and you will be able to find the other event locations.

How can you help Brendan?

You can donate directly to Brendan’s canteen here:

https://www.4inmates.com/index.jsp

To send mail WITHOUT MONEY ORDERS:

Do NOT send self addressed envelopes with stamps inside and always make sure your full name & return address is listed in envelope. He cannot write back to underage individuals, so best to have parents write the letter.

Columbia Correctional Institution
BRENDAN DASSEY DOC # 516985
P.O. Box 900
Portage WI, 53901

To send money to Brendan’s Canteen:

Your donation has to be in the form of a MONEY ORDER or CASHIERS CHECK, and I was told that Western Union also works. DO NOT SEND CASH to this address. Make sure your full name, doc#, and your address, are on the money order or check (or they will send back).

Columbia Correctional Institution
BRENDAN DASSEY DOC# 516985
P.O. Box 999
Portage WI, 53901

If you would like to buy him stamped envelopes etc., you can do that here:

http://www.jlmarcuswisconsin.com/Facility.aspx

You can donate to Brendan’s defense here:

http://www.law.northwestern.edu/legalclinic/wrongfulconvictionsyouth/

The Family’s Official Facebook Group is here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/JusticeForBrendanDassey/

Here is our Facebook Page for FreeBrendan.org:

https://www.facebook.com/freebrendan/

And of course, don’t forget to visit and share our website:

http://www.freebrendan.com

Brendan wasn’t the first child to be manipulated by law enforcement, and he certainly wasn’t the last. We owe it to our children to do everything possible to put an end to these tactics which work to manipulate minors.

Please remember Brendan Dassey. Please don’t allow him be overshadowed by all the attention given to Steven Avery. Both deserve equal attention as they fight for their freedom.

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Upcoming Event: Friends of Avery/Dassey Family Camp Out

Public · Fundraiser · Hosted by Free Brendan Dassey

We will be camping out in Wisconsin & raising money for Steven Avery & Brendan Dassey. We will have a live podcast MaM Discussion on Friday night. Saturday we have our #WeStand4Innocence Rally at the Manitowoc Courthouse. Afterwards we go back to the Campground for some BBQ, a raffle, picnic games, music, bonfire & of course… S’Mores!

Please visit our Facebook event page for more information: Friends of Avery/ Dassey Family Camp Out

campout

Steven Avery, Dassey families mark Mom’s Day

Steven-Avery-Brendan-Dassey-Making-a-Murderer-Netflix-340x300

Doug Schneider, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

The family of convicted killer Brendan Dassey celebrated by sharing photos on social media showing Dassey with his mom, Barbara Tadych.

They were posted to the Twitter account of Dassey’s cousin Carla Chase, and the Steven Avery & Brendan Dassey Project’s Facebook’s page. (The Facebook group requires you to ask permission before joining; they’ve apparently had some issues with some people trying to stir up trouble.)

The postings also include a photo of Avery with his mother, Delores. Read More »

Upcoming Event: We Stand 4 Innocence Worldwide Peaceful Protest

We are participating in the nationwide peaceful protest in support for Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey. They were both wrongly convicted and framed for a murder they DID NOT commit.

We stand united worldwide in support of the immediate exoneration and release of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey. We believe they are both 100% innocent. At the very least, both men should be granted new trials based on documented misconduct. We implore Wisconsin’s Attorney General, Brad Schimel, to investigate accusations of corruption within Manitowoc County, and to hold accountable any members of law enforcement who have committed acts of misconduct.

Making a Murderer has opened our eyes to the fact that wrongful convictions are far more prevalent than most people realize, and most cases lack the attention they warrant. Our long term goal is to shine a spotlight on the current wrongful conviction problem, while also seeking reforms designed to reduce errors in the future.

Our suggested reforms include these safeguards:

  • An attorney must be present during any custodial interrogation of a minor.
  • Interrogations by police must be videotaped.
  • Body cameras must be worn by uniformed police officers.

Please join us in our fight to protect the innocent. Together we can all make a difference.

We Stand 4 Innocence Facebook Group

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Injustice Anywhere Discusses The Brendan Dassey Case In Latest Podcast

Brendan Dassey

By Bruce Fischer

This past week, Injustice Anywhere recorded a podcast discussing the Brendan Dassey case. I was pleased to have had the opportunity to discuss the case with Jax West and Jim Lovering. Jax is a wrongful convictions advocate who has taken a strong interest in the Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey case in Wisconsin. She contributes to this website and she also runs our Free Brendan Dassey Facebook page.

Jim Lovering is a staunch advocate for the wrongfully convicted. I met Jim back in 2010, when I was looking to get involved with the Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito case in Perugia, Italy. We ended up working closely on that case for several years and we have now gone on to work together on a number of cases including Jeff Havard and Brendan Dassey. Jim is on the Injustice Anywhere Advisor Board, and he is also on the Board of Directors for another outstanding organization called Judges for Justice.

Brendan Dassey

Brendan Dassey was wrongfully convicted of murder in 2007 on the basis of a coerced false confession to the rape and murder of Teresa Halbach in 2005. No other evidence supports his conviction, and physical evidence flatly contradicts the statements in which he incriminated himself. Dassey’s uncle, Steven Avery, was also convicted of murdering Halbach, but the two were tried separately.

The recent debut of the Netflix documentary “Making A Murderer”, which details the murder of Teresa Halbach and the controversy surrounding her death, has brought renewed attention to the decade-old case. In 2014, Dassey filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. A ruling on his petition is still pending.

 

“Making a Murderer” is bringing attention to wrongful convictions and creating wave of new advocates

Brendan Dassey

Historically, the wrongfully convicted have been largely ignored in the United States, but over the past decade the landscape has been slowly shifting. New exonerations regularly flood our news feeds, making the topic difficult to ignore. A week rarely goes by without hearing the news that another victim of wrongful conviction has been set free, often after spending decades of their lives locked in a cage as an innocent person.

According to the National Registry of Exonerations, 2015 was a record year for correcting wrongful convictions. The registry recorded 149 exonerations in the United States, which broke the previous year’s record of 125. Fifty four of the exonerees on the 2015 list were wrongfully convicted of murder. Disturbingly, five of those exonerees were on death row.

Due to the record number of exonerations in recent years, many people are just now coming to realize that wrongful convictions are a reality. This newfound surge of attention got a big boost this past December when Netflix debuted Making a Murderer, a ten-part documentary which details the murder of Teresa Halbach and the controversy surrounding her death.

This groundbreaking project, which was written and directed by Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, details the trials and convictions of both Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey, for the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach, in Wisconsin. Avery is the primary focus of the series, based on his past history with the law. Avery served 18 years in prison as an innocent man for the sexual assault and attempted murder of Penny Beerntsen, before being fully exonerated in 2003. His exoneration came just two years prior to being charged with the murder of Halbach, in the same county, by the same sheriff’s office that had previously caused him to lose nearly two decades of his life. The series leaves viewers to wonder if the authorities who wronged Avery the first time, set out to frame him once again in an attempt to avoid paying out millions of dollars to settle a civil suit resulting from his wrongful conviction. Read More »

Ken Kratz on Dr. Drew’s Podcast Recap

Ken Kratz

By Jax West

So I read that Ken Kratz was on Dr. Drew’s Podcast talking about ‘Making a Murderer’ and since I am not able to review his wonderful speaking event he was scheduled to have next month in Rockford Illinois as it was cancelled because no one was buying any tickets, I figured I might as well see what he had to say to Dr. Drew.  Let me also say I am so disgusted with Dr. Drew. I have had my own website since 2000 that is devoted to reality TV.  So I have watched a lot of Dr. Drew. I always liked the man and thought he truly cared about people and was someone who would look at facts. I don’t believe that anymore and am so disappointed in him.

One of the things I cover on my website is ‘Big Brother’. I have been covering it since its first season. For those who don’t know what that is, they put people in a house for three months and there are cameras where us crazy stalkers can watch them 24/ 7. I have been watching and transcribing this show for years.  So I am a pretty fast typist.  I treated the podcast like that. I listened to it and typed what Ken Kratz said.  I didn’t cover anything.  I would nod off at times and other times I would be in the fetal position rocking as his voice just creeps me out. But I got the highlights. If you want to listen for yourself you can do so here: http://drdrew.com/2016/ddp222/

The first thing they talked about his Kratz’s drug addiction. Kratz blamed the high profile case for taking drugs. He struggled when things went back to normal, had anxiety issues, and used Xanax and Ambien.  It got away from him. Then he started needing those things during his day. He could perform his job duties pretty well but some of the other behaviors that occurred were from lowered inhibitions and his other personality and his narcissism. It wasn’t until after treatment after this whole thing blew up when he became suicidal and actually put a gun in his mouth. He was in a dark place and is really fortunate to come out on the other side.  He has 5.5 years sobriety of prescription drugs. He is in NA and SAA.

He is a defense attorney now. Says it’s not a whole lot different. When you’re a prosecutor you look for the weaknesses and holes in the case.

His Xanax use wasn’t really that much over the top. He wasn’t using more than 2 milligrams a day.  Dr. Drew said that is a big dose to be on every day and you will have withdrawal after a week. Kratz said his prescription was for 1 but he was self-medicating.  He said he is not one to blame others like the doctors for not seeing his abuse. But they do hand it out like candy.

He was having marital issues as well. The inhibitions seemed to melt away. It manifests itself in sexual marital affairs and hitting on women. Eventually, within his profession.  Looking back he thinks it is absolutely deplorable. He was doing this to crime victims and he was the chairman of a victims rights board.  Then he got involved in texting with a crime victim.  It doesn’t get much worse than that. What the hell was he thinking?  There’s no good decision making or upside to that. Your brain is really hijacked and can’t make any meaningful decisions with the front part of your brain but with the pleasure center in the middle.

It took him losing everything.  He was able to keep the plates spinning in all his different lives pretty well. Attorneys are pretty good at multi-tasking.  When you have a powerful job like District Attorney not many people will call you on it. They aren’t doing you any favors by doing that. His behavior became more and more erratic and risk taking and it wasn’t going to be a good ending. He is really fortunate it wasn’t worse.  He lost his career and basically everything. Whatever happened to him was from him having crashed from the craziness that was his life.

There are 22 individuals in treatment at Hazelton and when you talk about hyper sexuality it is such a secretive shame filled thing that you engage yourself in but the people in treatment with him all had familiar stories. Doctors and CEOs. They all had very high profile jobs.  He came out of his fog when his director said who are you?  He was the least well known person in that group.  Dr Drew said Tiger Woods was in that facility.

Kratz is really proud of this.  After his stint there, there were 8-10 of them that went through all this drama together and they bonded.  They did a support group every Saturday for an hour and a half and would check in with each other and continue their recovery program.  You realize it’s not just you and you don’t have to suffer anymore in isolation.

Patrick R. Krill from Hazelton says it’s nice to make Krat’z acquaintance and congratulates him on 5.5 years of sobriety. He says this is consistent with a lot of attorneys and judges in the country. They self-medicate to deal with their anxiety and slowly it gets away from you.  People around you turn a blind eye. Not only is it a boys will be boys atmosphere but they are in their own glass house.

Kratz said there is almost an institutional propping up of attorneys. What he has tried to do with his story in being very public is to reduce the shame and say if he can make it through the media storm that he did and that there are others like him that are willing to help these professionals without judgment and they don’t have to lose everything.

Since MaM came out, his Kratz’s Twitter, Facebook and website, were really attacked mercilessly and his life was threatened.  It was Cyber bullying. So he doesn’t have the access he would like to have with other citizens who have questions. He always prided himself of making himself available. There were some troubling threats not just to him but his family and associates. He says to be targeted in such a direct and hate filled way for being part of that trial is a shame.

The one book they have signed to do with a publisher is the Avery book. His goal is to eventually write three different books. The Dassey case is every bit as interesting as the Avery case for different reasons. With the false confession and manipulation that is perceived as his own family sacrificed and the plea offer he accepted that was thrwarted because it would make Steven’s case more difficult. Brendan was given the opportunity to testify against his uncle but because of his much less involvement in the series of crimes he was offered to serve 15 years in prison and he accepted that plea bargain but it wasn’t his attorneys who nixed the deal but his Mother and Grandfather urging him in calls not to accept it and to go to trial and this was real disturbing calls that it would hurt Steven’s case.  This family lived an almost like cult like existence on the salvage yard with Steven being the center of everything that went on. Brendan was much less involved and as a prosecutor he said unfortunately Brendan was made to choose a path that only led to life in prison.  It’s sad.  It’s not something you want to believe a Mother or Grandfather would engage in but it happened and it will be part of his book and part of the story as he will finally get to tell the other side and hopefully be able to show the general public the kind of evidence that was presented at the 7-week trial. The jury didn’t have any trouble dispelling those and found them guilty.

Dr. Drew said they were watching a television show and being a judge and jury based on that. Kratz said it was what was spoon-fed to you in the docu-drama. They picked and chose the facts you got to see and that’s not all what the jury got to see. When you realize the editing and omission of evidence it’s really troubling and irresponsible on how that was shown.  That they would call it a documentary when it is an advocacy piece.  This may not be all of the evidence but a relative sample of what the jury was shown and a good faith conclusion to what had happened.  But when your design is not to tell the real story but advocacy and to lead the audience to a specific conclusion that Avery was convicted of a wrongful conviction or there was police corruption. They weren’t shy of talking about well thought of police officers without any proof behind it.  Just casting them as the villains and didn’t make it at all subtle that Kratz was the ringleader in all this. It’s amazing to him that the prosecutor and the cops who work to convict were really, in Kratz’s opinion, a really dangerous psychopath here because the evidence pointed to that and they, in a very sly way, turned the tables and made Avery into a victim and the prosecution into the villain.

Dr. Drew thinks Avery raped her and threw her in the car and hit her in the head and shot her in the car. Kratz said MaM said we presented two theories but he claims that’s not true.  We said it happened in the garage. Avery shot Teresa Halbach on the garage floor.  Kratz’s theory was, and he never gets to give his theory, he can only talk about the evidence but his theory was there was a tarp where this was happening on and that would explain so much about where it happened and there wouldn’t be blood on the garage floor.  Brendan said they threw her in her own SUV to decide what to do with her body.  That was real consistent. We didn’t know that until his statement why her blood was in her car.  Not just where there’s blood but where there’s not blood.  It’s on the side but not on the carpet so that suggests she was wrapped in a tarp and her bleeding head was against the side and no blood on the carpet itself.

Sometimes you’re not going to be able to answer all the questions or put all the pieces together. It’s unfortunate. You don’t know at the beginning. They didn’t find her bones for the first 4 days. The arson investigator walked past the burn pit and saw it was charred bone. Cops had been walking past for days.  They didn’t see it but the arson investigator did. He knew what it looked like. It was happenstance an arson investigator was there.  It was fortuitous.  It was a 38-acre crime scene.

He said Avery didn’t have the opportunity to smash up the car. It was by the car crusher but it was a working business and there were people who work there and people there all day, every day. The Monday afternoon it happened, and Saturday Avery went to the cottage with the family and had planned to come back that afternoon and Kratz’s theory was that would be the first time Avery would be on the property with the opportunity to crush the car.  Avery hadn’t been alone on the property to do it.

The defense allowed MaM to describe Avery’s prior history. Burning the cat he described as hanging out with the wrong crowd. Avery soaked the cat in oil and gas and threw him on the fire. Some of the troubling facts they never tell you is the cat jumped out of the fire and Avery threw it back in the fire to watch it burn. That’s a precursor to many individuals, mass murderers and serial killers, what kind of process they have. Their sadistic nature. It starts on animals. There were many crimes of violence. Pointing firearms at people. Running people off the road. And a couple rapes he was alleged to have done that the jury never heard about.  When someone ends up in a rape lineup it’s not an accident they’re in there. Avery had behaved up to that point, it’s a real tragedy he was wrongfully convicted and had a legitimate claim of being wronged and then got out of prison and have that lawsuit pending and have a real chance to turn his life around but had such an impact on so many people but Kratz doesn’t want us to forget about Teresa Halbach and her family. It shouldn’t be relegated to a footnote. Every opportunity he gets to mention that he takes it.

Dr. Drew said he heard Avery was masturbating on people’s cars. Kratz said he was convicted of it. That’s when he drove that woman off the road. They weren’t just allegations. Dr. Drew said their IQ made it difficult.  Kratz said Avery was very savvy.  He was able to really avoid lots of apprehension and hiding of evidence and things like that.  He couldn’t hide everything. DNA eventually caught up with him. He suspects the 18 years Avery spent in prison that he learned very well. They had a cult like existence. This family made up for each other’s deficits.  They would turn to this family system to survive and Avery had his strengths and that he’s quite charming. Dr. Drew said he thinks of fetal alcohol syndrome and wonders if that’s what it is.

So that was the end of that crap fest. Now it’s time for my personal opinion. So does Kratz think we are really supposed to feel sorry for him that he jumped at the opportunity to prosecute this big case where he soaked up every ounce of the limelight he could find, won not one both two cases, and that caused him so much trauma that he had to resort to drugs?  Say what?!? That county was overwhelmingly anti-Avery/ Dassey. There was no Netflix Documentary. No one knew this story. The only people spoon-fed were the people of Manitowoc County by Kratz’s sweaty press conference and then the local press not attempting to investigate the true facts of the case and parroting what the prosecution told them.  Are you fucking kidding me right now? Sorry for the language but Kratz warrants that and so much more.

So we are supposed to feel so bad for sweaty Kratz that after winning two high profile cases and getting awards for it that he had to turn to a life of pills that got him to prey on assault victims to victimize them a second time. Sorry but the only people I feel bad in that situation is the poor women who were forced to have sex with “The Prize”.

Why does this guy continue to utter such complete BS and anyone believes it? Wrong again, sweaty Kratz. He convicted Steven and Brendan using different circumstances.  Yes, he is saying in both cases she was ultimately killed in the garage. But the story he tells leading up to the alleged murder is not the same.  Steven was not convicted of rape.  The story Kratz tries to sell is that Bobby Dassey saw Teresa go in Steven’s trailer and the ONLY proof he has that she was in there is there is an Auto Trader magazine on the desk.  Funny, as both of the other customers also had the magazine in their homes. So was she killed there too? There is absolutely NO evidence Teresa was in that trailer.  None.  No evidence Brendan was ever in that trailer. No evidence a rape ever occurred.  What is the key phrase here?  NO EVIDENCE!!!

Where I am really going to lose it, is when he talks about the Avery family. I respect that the family doesn’t want their loved ones to admit guilt when they’re innocent. Steven always owns up to what he has done wrong. But he won’t say he did something he didn’t do.  Brendan was just a scared boy who was manipulated by some bully cops since he was Steven’s alibi and would say anything they wanted him to say and more. Brendan thought he was going back to class. He had no idea what was happening to him. If you ask Brendan his story it was always consistent. He got home from school, played video games, watched TV, etc.  It’s only when he is questioned multiple times for hours and told what to think and say does his story change. Even after O’Kelly told him what pictures to draw when he was told to write up his story he still told the same one. When is his story not consistent? When he was forced by law enforcement to LIE! It’s easy to remember to tell the truth.  It’s hard to remember a lie.

This is all the thinking about Kratz I can do for the day. Please add your comments to this article.  What do you have to say about Kratz’s theory?

Please browse this website to learn more about the case. And be sure to visit our Free Brendan Facebook page to keep up to date with current events.  We have some special things in the works too.  Always remember that a threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice AVERYwhere.  (I know Bruce hates when I use that phrase.  LoL)

The creators of Making a Murderer on the making of a television phenomenon

The_creators_of_Making_a_Murderer_on_the_making_of_a_television_phenomenonThe term “trial by TV” refers to the allegation that broadcasting sometimes decides the guilt of a person ahead or instead of the legal system. But, in Making a Murderer, one of the nominees for the Radio Times Audience Award at the 2016 BAFTAs, what TV puts on trial is a trial.

The ten-part documentary, released on Netflix last December, begins with the release in 2003 – after eighteen years in a Wisconsin prison – of Steven Avery, whose conviction for a violent assault had been overturned due to new DNA evidence. During the opening episode, it was hard for viewers to understand how a miscarriage of justice case with a happy ending could occupy another nine hours of screen-time or why the story was being told more than a decade later. The answer is that Avery’s ecstatic exoneration was soon followed by being charged with the rape and murder of Teresa Halbach, a 25-year-old photographer. Read More »

Banff Names Netflix’s ‘Making a Murderer’ 2016 Program of the Year (Exclusive)

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Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, the filmmakers behind the buzzed-about docuseries, will give a master class in the Canadian Rockies.

Netflix’s landmark docuseries Making a Murdererwill be feted at the Banff World Media Festival as the 2016 Program of the Year.

Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, the creators of the popular series about Steven Avery, who had a rape conviction overturned before being convicted of murder, will be on hand to receive the award at the Banff Rockie Awards.

Ricciardi and Demos will also give a master class in Banff on their 10-part series that has the factual TV world looking for their next true crime series. The creative duo may have news on a possible second season pickup by Netflix for the docuseries.

The water-cooler effect of Making a Murderer resulted in tens of thousands of people calling for the reopening of the Teresa Halbach murder investigation that led to Avery’s conviction, and even resulted in a petition to the White House for President Obama to pardon him.

Making A Murderer is one of those riveting programs that come around once in a lifetime,” Ferne Cohen, the Banff festival executive director, said in a statement. Avery served 18 years in prison for sexual assault out of Manitowoc County, Wis., for which he was exonerated by DNA evidence in 2003.

In 2005, Avery was convicted of the murder of 25-year-old Halbach. Avery’s nephew, Brendan Dassey, was also convicted for the same murder. Dassey’s lawyers argued his confession to authorities was coerced. The Netflix series, which premiered in December 2015, raises numerous questions on whether Avery committed the murder or was framed.

The Banff World Media Festival is set to run from June 12-15 in the Canadian Rockies.