By David Byrnes
Unless you’ve been living under a rock since Christmas, you will be aware of the sensation that Making a Murderer has become. Making a Murderer is a Netflix Original Series which follows Steven Avery, a man who was imprisoned for sexual assaulting and brutally beating a woman. However, Avery would be later exonerated of that crime following 18 years in prison, only to go on and SPOILERS! be accused of the rape, decapitation and murder of Teresa Halbach. It’s television at its very finest. I’m usually not one to binge, but it really is one of those series in which you find yourself totally immersed and questioning just who can be trusted throughout. But what makes this documentary series any different to the countless of other murder mysteries available on Discovery, Crime, CBS and of course, the hard hitting Irish TV.
There’s two things which stuck out to me. Firstly, film makers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos are very clever in how they shot and edited together the shots. You do find yourself taking sides throughout, or even jumping from sides as more evidence emerges. Essentially, you’re playing Cluedo throughout the 10 episodes. Secondly, it’s the sight of Avery’s mother Dolores, who becomes increasingly desperate to proof her sons innocence as the pain in her eyes shoots through you like a hot knife. You can’t help but feel sorry for the little old mare.
But as the series gains more exposure, more questions are being raised about the amount of content left out of it by Ricciardi and Demos – particularly the fact that Avery was known to have become increasingly obsessed with Halbach in the days leading up to her grisly demise. Yet, that hasn’t stopped 216,000 people (and counting) from signing a petition appealing to Barack Obama himself to pardon Avery and his co-accused nephew, Brendan Dassey. The scale of the attention the series has gained has thrown this long forgotten case back into peoples minds and in doing so, has made it the most significant documentary series of all time.
Personally, I don’t see Avery and Dassey ever seeing the light of day. Yes, there are several examples of police mistreatment, misconduct and incompetence – yet the matters not highlighted in the 10 hours of footage available make a strong case against Avery and Dassey. Am I being sceptical, you be the judge…