Making a Murderer Overview

This the fourth entry of the Hidden Gems series, highlighting the greats that tend to get over looked, here we take a look at season one of Neflix original series Making a Murderer. 

Let’s get some things out of the way right off the gate. Making a Murderer is a documentary. And it isn’t about the breeziest subject in the world. But what it lacks in finesse it more than makes up for in sheer watchability. In fact, it’s one of the most engrossing stories put on screen, small or large, this year. By the time you’re done with its 10 deeply addictive episodes, you’ll either be left catatonic with rage or in disbelief with shock.

The series is about Wisconsin miscreant Steven Avery, a man who has been living a life of petty crime since his youth, always having run ins with the law.

In 1985 Avery was arrested and convicted for the rape of Penny Beernsten, a lady who identified him out of a police line up and testified against him in court, providing a positive id. Open and shut case you’d say. And you wouldn’t be wrong. The evidence is all there and the victim’s testimony is as good as a guilty verdict. Then, after serving 18 years in prison, never having settled for the plea bargain that would have drastically cut short his term, new DNA evidence is found and Steven Avery is exonerated of his crimes.

A free man now, he gets back to work on his family’s large junkyard, posing for pictures with stranger’s babies and giving interviews to anyone who cares. Upon advice from his lawyers he decides to sue the state for his wrongful imprisonment for $36 million. Then, in 2005, a woman named Teresa Halbach is reported missing. And whose door do the cops knock on? You guessed it.

The two directors of the show, Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos arrived at the scene soon after the disappearance of Halbach and the second arrest of Avery. They filmed this case for over a decade, simply and bluntly. To them, the injustice is there for all to see, no reconstructions or flashbacks or voiceovers are needed. The Manitowoc county messed up once and instead of admitting its blunder and settling the lawsuit, it slapped another case on Avery.

Shows like this remind us that the American legal system is broken. There’s no two ways about it. Like any other bully, it’s unfair towards those who can’t defend themselves. And that’s exactly who it targets, time and time again, having assured itself that it is too big to fail. Here, the prosecutors target Brandon Dassey, Avery’s nephew. He is interrogated without the presence of an elder for three hours till he is coerced into confessing a horrific account of rape, murder and burial. Oh, and another thing: Dassey is a minor, with severe learning disabilities.

This is extremely well done, taking you on a emotional journey with the Avery family every step of the way, Did he do any of this? that at you’re digression either way its hard not to get caught up with this series.

Many would argue its wrong to glamourize such awful crimes but this is respectful to the victims who ultimately just want the truth to emerge.

So out of a possible five stars Making a Murderer gains:

✪✪✪✪✪

What is you’re opinion on this series?

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