The man who helped free Steven Avery in 2003 after he was wrongfully convicted for the 1985 rape of Penny Beerntsen is now coming forward to say that Making a Murderer is totally skewed — even though he gave filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos an unbiased opinion of the situation while they were producing the show.
In a new tell-all book titled Indefensible: The Missing Truth about Steven Avery, Teresa Halbach and Making a Murderer, former Manitowoc Assistant District Attorney Michael Griesbach reveals he feels Avery did, indeed, receive a fair trial after he was accused of murdering Teresa Halbach in 2005 and the Netflix docu-series manipulated and distorted the truth about what went on during the investigation of Avery’s case.
Griesbach, who analyzed evidence that exonerated Avery for the rape of Beerntsen and was also dispatched to Avery’s salvage yard by the district attorney after Halbach’s RAV4 was discovered on the premises, was moved to take three months off of work after viewing Making a Murderer to conduct intense research and write his side of the story about what happened, according to TheWrap.
And what happened, he says, is not what was portrayed by Ricciardi and Demos and their work “was an instance of selective editing that would make any propagandist proud.”
Griesbach, for example, cites the testimony of the Manitowoc sheriff’s office’s Sgt. Andrew Colborn was edited and manipulated to make it seem like Halbach’s car key had been planted by Manitowoc County officials in Avery’s room.
“First, portions of Colborn’s actual trial testimony were removed from the documentary to make it appear he answered a question in the affirmative that he never answered at all,” Griesbach writes in his book, via TheWrap. “Second, a question that would have helped explain his side of the story to the viewers is never heard.”
Griesbach also writes about how he believes the filmmakers made a huge deal about the blood vial that had been tampered with — when in reality it didn’t have much significance to the case. In addition, he expresses concern the series has turned innocent bystanders, like Brendan Dassey’s brother, Bobby Dassey, and his stepfather, Scott Tadych, into suspects in the court of public opinion.
“Neither Dassey nor Tadych had anything to do with Halbach’s murder, but by carefully editing court testimony, the makers of Making a Murderer made them into murderers, at least in the eyes of some viewers,” Griesbach postures.
We’d also be remiss not to mention that Griesbach currently sits on the board of the Wisconsin Innocence Project — so the man spends a good portion of his time helping free falsely convicted individuals.
But just because he basically calls Making a Murderer propaganda doesn’t mean he thinks that the documentary series was poorly made.
“I do have a lot of respect for the scale and hard work — it’s an engrossing show or series and it’s very well done,” Griesbach told TheWrap. “I know they are well intentioned, but what I don’t have respect for is presenting something as objective and claiming its objectivity while clearly knowing it isn’t.”
Griesbach’s book is available for purchase on Aug. 30.