“Brendan won!” Appeals court affirms decision by judge to overturn Dassey’s conviction

Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey

CHICAGO — The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday, June 22nd affirmed a decision by a judge to overturn Brendan Dassey’s conviction, according to Dassey’s attorney. The three-judge panel said Dassey was coerced into confessing and should be released from prison.

Dassey’s attorney, Steven Drizin, posted to Twitter Thursday indicating the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a decision by Judge Duffin — 2-1.

Drizin said “This round goes to Brendan Dassey 2-1,” with Judge Hamilton dissenting.

The final judgement issued by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals says:

“The decision of the district court is affirmed, with costs, in all respects. The writ of habeas corpus is granted unless the State of Wisconsin elects to retry Dassey within 90 days of issuance of this court’s final mandate, or the Supreme Court’s final mandate. The above is in accordance with the decision of this court entered on this date.”

Duffin on November 14th ordered the release of Dassey, ruling he be freed under the supervision of the US Probation Office after overturning his confession in August — saying investigators coerced Dassey, who was 16 at the time, and suffered from cognitive problems, into confessing.

The state appealed that ruling.

Brendan Dassey Oral Arguments at the 7th Circuit of Appeals February 14, 2017

Brendan Dassey

By Jax West

Aimee McGlinchey and I along with our significant others attended the Oral Arguments at the 7th Circuit of Appeals in Chicago on Valentine’s Day, 2017.  I am far from a legal expert and don’t pretend to be.  I took notes of what I saw and heard and will write that up for you here.

When the date was first announced I contacted Steven Drizin and asked him if I could attend and if I could bring paper and pen to write an article on it.  He said I could.  The day prior to the court date I called the court to ask anything special I needed to know about entering the courthouse.  I was told seats are first come first served and that cellphones can come in but have to be turned off.  The courthouse opened at 9am so we planned to get there by 8 am.  My boyfriend bought us a spot in a nearby parking garage so that would be one less worry.

Aimee lives in Michigan so she drove down with her husband the night before after work.  We got up early on Tuesday to leave my house in a Chicago suburb at 6:30 am.  When we got to the courthouse there was a pool of press already stationed on the first floor.  We had to go up to the 27th floor.  We got there and had to wait in line.  I noticed sweaty Ken Kratz 5 people ahead of me in line right away.

Ken Kratz

I started recognizing all the different press people waiting as well.  Then I saw Brendan’s attorney Laura Nirider and Steven Drizin walk past.  They went into a private room.  I talked with the kid in front of me to find out his thoughts on the case.  Turns out he was a law student who nothing of the case.  Had never seen ‘Making a Murderer’.  Just saw the press and decided to come check it out.  Drizin came out of the room and came over to me and pointed out my Justice for Brendan Dassey hoodie I was wearing and he said he knows I think it’s a good thing but asked if I would take it off.  I shook his hand and introduced myself as all my communication with him has been in messages or on the phone.  He said he knows who I am.  He thanked me and then he and Nirider walked away.  I wished Nirider good luck and she thanked me.  I then saw Laura Ricciardi one of the documentarians from MaM in line.

I don’t know if I am just paranoid or what but Kratz kept seeming to be staring at Aimee and I.  I am not kidding when I say he was sweating.  A lot.  All I kept saying was sweaty, sweat, sweat.  I just can’t stop thinking that when I look at that pig.

The courtroom opened and we went in.  We chose to sit on the side of the defense in the back row.  Kratz sat on the guilty side right behind the Halbach family.  I saw both of Teresa’s brothers, her mom and I don’t know what you call him, her uncle or her stepdad.  There were maybe 125 people total in the courtroom.  It wasn’t that big.  There weren’t any other supporters there other than us.  Everyone else seemed to be law students or people who just wanted to come watch a show.

We sat there for a half hour.  Kratz’s young girlfriend kept rubbing his back & seemed to be glaring our way.  That may be my paranoia again.  It was just very odd.  She just kept looking at us.

The 3 judges came in at 9:30am.  Wisconsin Deputy Solicitor Peter Berg got to speak first.  He started reading his prepared speech about Brendan CHOOSING to confess and that the interrogators were just encouraging him to tell the truth and that they didn’t apply any pressure and then U.S. Appellate Court Judge Ilana Rovner interrupted him.  Judge Rovner asked about Brendan’s low IQ and said he was highly suggestible.  Berg said nothing was promised to Brendan as a benefit for his cooperation.  Berg claimed they said that they CAN’T make any promises.  Judge Rovner said Brendan was told the truth would set him free.  Berg said he doesn’t think Brendan thought that meant he would go free.  He said Brendan volunteered the details.  Then Berg started spouting off a lot of numbers.  The microphones were not on, he wasn’t facing me and I am deaf in one ear.  Oh, and me and numbers are not friends.  So I got lost in Berg saying something about Brendan resisted their offers 35 times.  Denied that he shot her or that there was a fire going.  When Brendan was asked about her hair he said he didn’t know.

Judge Rovner said that the interrogator said that he is a father and he wished he could help Brendan.  He said I am not a cop right now.  It was a blatant lie.  Berg said at that time the interrogators only thought Brendan was a witness.  Judge Rovner said that they showed frustration when Brendan didn’t say what they wanted.  Berg said that the interrogators main concern was Brendan telling the truth [Be honest].  They didn’t want him to make things up.  [Be honest]  Judge Rovner said Brendan was particularly suggestible.  She brought up the line of questioning.  Who shot her in the head?  Judge Rovner said that plants information to taint the confession.  Berg said it is an appropriate interview technique.  Judge Rovner said Brendan said they cut her hair and other various things.  Berg said they didn’t know if Teresa Halbach was shot in the bedroom or in the garage until Brendan told them.

Judge Ann Claire Williams asked if Brendan’s age was considered.  Berg said something about the ineffective assistance of counsel and that would be used against Steven.  I kind of got lost in this part as I couldn’t hear.  They kept citing the Sullivan case.  Now I told you I do not know the law at all.  So I see in Nirider’s brief it is Cuyler v. Sullivan.  When I look it up I find:

Brief Fact Summary. Respondent challenges his murder conviction on the grounds that his counsel’s representation of his co-defendants presented an unacceptable conflict of interests that denied him effective assistance of counsel.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. Defendants alleging a conflict of interest in cases in which multiple defendants are being represented by the same attorney in the same matter must demonstrate an “actual conflict” that “adversely affected” the outcome.

Judge David Hamilton asked if there was any physical evidence that a rape or a wound to Teresa Halbach’s throat occurred.  Berg said no because the body was burned.  Judge Hamilton said so they only have Brendan’s confession.  Berg said there weren’t any promises of leniency.  Any promises were vague.  Judge Rovner said the police were allowed to induce a confession to get a confesstion.

Judge Rovner asked why was the May 13th interview not introduced to trial.  Was it because of a ruling?  Berg said he wasn’t sure.  [I am sure Kratz was dying to raise his hand like a Sweathog and proclaim he knows the answer]  Judge Rovner said it is unreliable.  Berg said Brendan chose to make that call to the police.  Judge Rovner said they told Brendan that he doesn’t want to be lying to his Mom.

I really thought Judge Rovner was awesome.  She just kept reading from the [coerced] confession.  Berg kept saying it was voluntary.  When put in context to what the Judge is reading. In my opinion Berg just looked ridiculous.

Berg was done at 9:52 am.  Laura Nirider went to the podium.  She began reading her prepared speech.  She said the interrogators told Brendan that they know he is scared he is going to be arrested but they think he will be alright.  They said they already know what happened.  Judge Hamilton interrupts Nirider like Judge Rovner did to Berg.  He asked if there’s another case where the child thought they were going back to school.  Nirider said they told Brendan that it is ok because they already know.

Judge Williams brought up that Sullivan case again.  She asked if the police knew about Brendan’s intellect.  Nirider said they knew he had an IQ of 73.  Brendan was in a special ed support system.  She said they knew his age.  Nirider said it isn’t relevant if they knew his IQ.  It was their suggestions.  They repeated it like a drum beat.

Judge Hamilton said Brendan did hear his Miranda Rights and was told they can’t make any promises.  Nirider said that Len Kachinsky did not turn over evidence of the video that Michael O’Kelly did so the Defense didn’t know the pressures they put on him on May 12th.  They don’t just say that everything is going to be ok.  They say they know he’s scared of arrest but he’s ok.  Nirider said that’s enough for a 16-year-old developmentally challenged boy to think he will be going back to school.

Judge Hamilton asked who was the source about him cutting Teresa’s throar after she was raped?  He said that it was either known from memory or it was made up.  He said it was contradictory.  It comes out slowly but was Brendan’s free will.  Nirider said they let him embellish til he got to their plot point.  They gave Brendan false promises of leniency.  They gave him each step and then allowed him to tell their story.  They said Teresa Halbach was shackled to a wooden headboard yet there were no marks on it.  Brendan was just trying to guess how Teresa was killed.  There’s not a trace of forensic evidence of Teresa Halbach or Brendan being in that trailer.

Judge Rovner brought up the closing arguments in Brendan’s case when Kratz said that an innocent person would not confess but they know many who have.  Nirider said that false confessions happen all the time.  She cited the Central Park 5.  Nirider said they now use Brendan’s interrogation to teach what NOT to do.  Was there any physical evidence linking Brendan to a murder?  No.  They led him to say that the shooting happened in the garage because of the bullet they found.  When Brendan was first asked where she was shot he said by the fire.  Nirider said the investigators provided Brendan the answers they wanted him to say like that Teresa’s electronics were in the burning barrel.  Nirider was done speaking at 10:14 am.

Berg got a chance to speak one more time.  He again says that nothing said to Brendan was a promise.  Berg claimed Brendan got specific warnings.  Berg said these were Brendan’s memories of Teresa Halbach.  None of this was suggested.  Brendan is the one who said he heard Teresa screaming and saw her chained to the bed.  He saw her crying.  That there was an awful smell when her body was burning.  Berg said Brendan said all that voluntarily.  He was done speaking at 10:18am.

Judge Rovner said that both sides were very well briefed and it will be taken under advisement.  That was the end of the hearing.  What is my take away from this?  I always stay positive in both Brendan and Steven’s cases.  My heart and my head both say that this went very well for Brendan.  Nirider is so impressive.  I have complete faith in her.  The judges can take 6-9 months before they rule so we are back to waiting.  As soon as I hear of a decision it will be posted immediately.  Until then, please think happy thoughts for Brendan and his Mom and Dad.  That boy needs to go home to his parents and get to just chill out playing video games for hours.

#FreeBrendan #MakingAMurderer #WeAllLiveOnAveryRoad #NeverGiveUp

My Thoughts on Zellner’s 8/26/16 Motion

By Jax West

We have been waiting for days for something big to come from Kathleen Zellner, Steven Avery’s attorney.  She has until Monday the 29th to file her brief so we knew it was coming.  You can read the whole 8/26 motion here: http://www.stevenaverycase.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Avery-8-26-16-Motion-for-Post-Conviction-Scientific-Testing.pdf

But I am going to read it now and discuss my thoughts with you as I read it.  Before you ask, no,  I am not an expert on the law.  So I am just like most reading this, and can be easily confused by legalese.  But I am going to go over it regardless.  Ready?  Here we go…

What I get from this is since she has to file her brief on Monday this is her asking for another extension as she wants to test a bunch of evidence.

Zellner says that Teresa Halbach disappeared after she completed her assignment at the Avery Salvage Yard.  She said she left and her last call forwarded a message at 2:41pm that pinged off the Whitelaw Tower which is approximately 13.1 miles from the Yard.

Teresa’s voicemail had a 21 message capacity and a review of her records indicates that 5 were deleted on October 31, 2005 and another 11 voicemails were deleted before 7:12am on November 2, 2005.  The ex-boyfriend Ryan Hillegas called her at 6:42pm on November 1, 2005 and her voicemail was full.  So 16 voicemails were deleted yet she wasn’t reported missing until November 3, 2005.

Zellner claims Officer Andrew Colborn found the RAV4 on November 3 and called dispatch from his cellphone to confirm the plate number.  According to MCSD reports, the RAV4 was seized on November 3rd.  But it wasn’t discovered by Pam Sturm at the Yard until November 5th.  Zellner claims that the RAV4 was moved to the southeast corner of the yard the evening of November 4 after Calumet County Sheriff Jerry Pagel and Investigator Wendy Baldwin [She’s the chick you hear on MaM when they go in Steven’s trailer say all those nasty things] conducted a flyover of the Yard.  Zellner claims it was moved from the Fred Radandy Sons, Inc quarry using the conveyor road that led onto the Yard property.

After the RAV4 was “discovered” at the Yard and officers secured the property and prevented the Avery family from being on prmises, the Manitowoc County Coroner Debra Kakatsch was not informed of a murder by law personal and instead learned about it by watching television.  There is no record of her being allowed onto the property during evidence collection.

Why is this important?  As the story goes, at some point there was a hit and run call.  MCSD were at a party, drinking, and they rush to the scene.  What do they do?  They run over the victim on the street.  They then asked the coroner to put in her report that the victim was already dead prior to them running him over.  She refused saying it would only go in her report if that is what the evidence reflected.  So it was clear she wasn’t a “team player” and wouldn’t play along.  They absolutely would not want her on the scene if they are planting evidence.  Back to Zellner..

Zellner alleges the blood evidence in the RAV4 was planted prior to it being found on Nov 5.  They entered Avery property twice on Nov 7 prior to the charred bones and key being discovered on Nov 8.  Lenk and Colborn testified they doung the key on Nov 8.  Lenk was searching the garage when bullet fragments were discovered.

Non-law enforcement people were allowed on the property when it was closed to the general public.  2 of them were untruthful in their interviews.  1 of them accessed the yard from the quarry 4 times.  [Joshua Radandt]  He accessed it within minutes of Colborn and Lenk on Nov 5 and twice on Nov 7.  This is prior to anyone realizing Teresa’s body had been burned.  [Josh] gave a statement saying he saw a fire in the burn barrel behind Steven’s garage on Oct 31.  There isn’t a burn barrel behind the garage and there is no way that [Josh] could see any fire, in anything, from the quarry.

I have walked through the salvage yard twice.  I have been to the trailer.  I was at the fire pit.  I drove through the Quarry.  There is NO WAY possible that anyone from the quarry can even SEE the trailer much less anything behind it.  I do have pictures of my visits and you can find those on our Facebook page.

The other person Zellner is referring to is Teresa’s ex-boyfriend Ryan Hillegas.  She alleges that he came on to the property using a fake name.  She says [Ryan] also told LE that Teresa’s blinker light was broken for months before she made an insurance claim on it.  On Nov 3 [Ryan] placed 3 calls to Cingular customer service account and password assistance line.  He then received approximately 22 calls from LE on Nov 4, prior to the car being moved to the property.  [Ryan] then accessed the Avery property twice on Nov 7 and once on Nov 8 after it was closed to the public.  She alleges that the key and bones were planted on Nov 7 and were discovered Nov 8.

Most of the bones and 29 of her teeth were not found in the burn pit even though the state “expert” Dr Leslie Eisenberg testified that “two to three-fifth’s of what might be expected”.  The Dr admitted the bones had been moved prior to their location in the burn pit.  She testified that she found bones at Josh Radandt’s quarry and included a pelvis which were human.

Between Saturday, Nov 5 when the original search warrant was issued and Wed, Nov 9 when the police got a new warrant, law enforcement and crime lab personnel entered the trailer 7 times.  First on the 5th at 3:30pm for a 10-minute sweep and an 8-minute sweep of his garage looking for Teresa.  Then at 7:30pm that same day and stayed for over 2 and a half hours and seized about 50 pieces of evidence.  The 3rd and 4th times were on the 6th and the last time was on the 7th.

Despite an exhaustively comprehensive search of the trailer not one drop of Teresa’s blood or any other bodily fluids were ever found in the trailer or garage.

On Nov 7, small drops of blood were discovered in the front of the RAV4 on the driver and passenger seats, driver’s floor and the rear passenger jam.  They produced a complete DNA profile of Steven.  There were no bloody fingerprints of Steven in or on the vehicle despite the fact that he could not have been wearing gloves when he allegedly dropped blood in the car.  None of the 8 latent fingerprints found in and on the RAV4 belonged to Steven.  Teresa’s blood was found in the cargo area.  There is no mixture of Steven and Teresa’s blood despite the State’s claim that a bleeding Steven threw Teresa into the back of the RAV4.

Colborn looked through the bookcase for an hour.  He testified that he tipped and twisted it and pulled it away from the wall.  He repeatedly pushed a photo album into the bookcase until the back popped loose and that’s supposedly when the key popped out and migrated to a place on the carpet on the side of the bookcase.  Lenk is who noticed the key when he walked back into the bedroom.  Allegedly the key had Steven’s complete DNA profile but not Teresa’s.  No testing was done by the State that would suggest whether it came from blood but their expert testified that it came from Steven’s finger.

There are conflicting dates of when they found Teresa’s phone, palm pilot and camera in the burn barrel.  No mention was made at trial about Teresa’s second phone that was taken from her home on Nov 3.  Wiegert said officers found burnt clothing and a partially burnt shovel in the burn barrel on Nov 5.  No mention of a cellphone.

Officer Dedering’s affidavit has the exact same statement as Sheriff Pagel’s, placing a cellphone in a barrel found on Nov 5 with clothing and a shovel but it doesn’t mention a camera despite it being confirmed as a Canon Powershot A310 on 12/1.

The garage was searched 6 times before the searches on March 2 and 3 when police found a nearly intact .22 LR bullet and bullet fragments that the State said had Teresa’s DNA.  No presumptive blood testing was performed on the bullet of fragment now was there any scientific testing done to determine the organ from Teresa’s cells.  No ballistic expert testified to the fact that it is highly improbable that any .22 LR, much less two, could have exited her skull.

On March 1, Brendan allegedly confessed to helping Steven.

On April 3, due to Brendan’s coerced confession, a swab was taken from the hood latch of the RAV4.  It allegedly had “sweat DNA” from Steven’s hand.  There is no such thing as “sweat DNA”.  No blood tests performed and no bloody fingerprints.  No DAN or fingerprint testing was done on the interior hood latch, prop bar for the hood or the disconnected battery cable.  If Steven had opened the hood he would have had to touch these things.

On March 17, 2007 Brendan was convicted.  On August 12, 2016 his conviction was vacated.  The Court found that the investigators used “deceptive interrogation techniques” to obtain Brendan’s confession.

Steven’s trial started in February 2007.  The defense’s theory was Steven was framed and MCSD planted evidence.  The motive was due to Steven’s civil rights suit against them for his previous case.

The Defense presented an FBI expert to talk about whether there was EDTA present in the blood in the RAV4 that would have come from the 1996 blood vial.  The State Expert’s opinion was based on unsubstantiated and unreliable data but no other forensic testing was widely available or known by either side to determine the age of the blood found in the car.

They want new tests done.  They want to test the key and hood latch for bodily fluids.  Radiocarbon testing could determine the age of the blood in the car.  DNA testing on the prop, battery cable, the interior hood latch, the blinker light, lug wrench and purple thong underwear.  Also on the license plates and swabs taken from the car.  Also to check for chemicals, solvents or fibers that would determine if they were used to remove DNA from the key or hood latch.

You can watch Zellner’s Press Conference after she turned in the motion here: https://www.facebook.com/EmilyMatesicWBAY/videos/vb.151384141613304/1161930803891961/?type=2andtheater

So IN MY OPINION, Zellner is saying that Josh Radandt killed Teresa and her ex-boyfriend Ryan Hillegas is somehow involved.  Then the cops were brought into it and they then planted the vehicle in the Yard from the Quarry.  I always thought it was such shoddy police work that her ex was never questioned or considered a suspect.  You ALWAYS look at the loved ones first.  He is the one that just happened to figure out Teresa’s password to get into her phone records.  He gave Pam Sturm a map of the Yard and a direct line to the police.  Teresa’s roommate Scott Bloedorn who was having sex with her as well as being a a friend of Ryan’s gave Pam a camera.  Ryan had scratches on his hand and was never questioned about those.  When you look at the log in sheets that Zellner presented she has Ryan’s name blacked out so you can’t read them but I have the log sheets so can see that it’s Ryan’s name she is blocking.

So who is Josh Radandt?  Is this his Twitter: https://twitter.com/jradandt


Here are court cases that involve that name:


There are a couple with that name.  One of them has a birthdate of 1981.  Teresa was born in 1980.  We know she went to High School with Ryan.  So is the Joshua born in 1981 the same Joshua that Zellner is talking about?  So did he know Ryan and Teresa?

Look at the pictures below.





I took these pictures on 2 different trips to the Avery Salvage Yard.  One in February and one in May.  So leaves on the trees and no leaves.  I am standing in the back of the yard looking towards the residences.  Can you even see Steven’s red trailer?  Do you think you would be able to see a fire behind the garage when you can’t even see the garage?  I also took pictures of the garage.


The fire pit was right there where the long grass is.  Way too close to that garage to have a fire of any substantial size.  I also took a picture of the fence that has been put up after this event but I took it from the garage so that will show you how far that fence is from where the fire was.


Can you see the quarry?  How do you think someone in that quarry is seeing a fire?


This is the road at the very back of the Yard and the water you see is the quarry.  That’s how close it is.  Back then there was a road that went through the quarry right into the Yard.  They don’t have that anymore though.


There is just no way that Josh was able to see a fire.  Why were Josh, Ryan and Scott on the property when it was closed to the public?  Curiouser and curiouser.

I will end this here as this is pretty long.  Please post your thoughts on Josh and Ryan as well as Zellner’s brief in the comments.

Brendan Dassey’s Conviction Has Been Overturned



Brendan Dassey, Steven Avery’s nephew, was sentenced to life in prison with no parole for 41 years after he was convicted in 2007 of first-degree intentional homicide, second-degree sexual assault, and mutilation of a corpse in the killing of Halbach in Manitowoc County.

Read the court ruling

The federal ruling says the state has 90 days to appeal the federal order or Dassey must be released from prison. He is being held at Columbia Correctional Institution.

U.S. Magistrate Judge William Duffin said “misconduct” by Dassey’s lawyer, Len Kachinsky, in defending Dassey was “indefensible.”

The court ruled Dassey’s confession was “involuntary” and was based on “false promises” by interrogators, “Dassey’s age and intellectual deficits.”

Avery remains convicted of murder, but continues to appeal that conviction.

WISN 12 News contacted the state Attorney General’s Office for reaction and received this comment, “As we are currently reviewing Magistrate Judge Duffin’s order, we have no comment to offer at this time.”

The case was recently brought into the spotlight in the documentary, “Making a Murderer.”

Brendan Dassey’s Mother Asks For Legislation To Protect Minors During Interrogations

Brendan Dassey

Brendan Dassey’s mother, Barbara Tydych, has launched a new Change.org petition asking the state of Wisconsin to pass legislation designed to protect juveniles during interrogations. In her petition, titled: “Please Pass Juvenile Interrogation Protection Law in Wisconsin”, Barbara details why her son’s case highlights the need for legislation requiring that an attorney be present during a custodial interrogation of a minor.

Brendan Dassey was wrongfully convicted of murder in the state of Wisconsin in 2007, on the basis of a coerced false confession to the rape and murder of Teresa Halbach. No other evidence supports his conviction, and physical evidence flatly contradicts the statements in which he incriminated himself.

The Netflix series “Making a Murderer” has brought renewed attention to Brendan’s case. The 10-part documentary details the murder of Teresa Halbach and the controversy surrounding her death. Video clips of Brendan’s interrogation, which are presented in the documentary, have left many viewers wondering how Brendan’s confession was ever deemed admissible at trial.

Audio and video recordings show how interrogators adopted a friendly, solicitous manner and quickly brought Brendan under their control. Video footage shows that Brendan was willing to go along with any story line they suggested, but he volunteered almost no information other than reciting back what his interrogators were feeding him. Two seasoned interrogators went to work on a 16-year-old kid and they got to his head. What they didn’t get was the truth.

The information acquired during Brendan’s interrogation was completely unreliable. Brendan recanted his confession the moment he was out of reach of his interrogators.

Wisconsin law currently fails people like Brendan, as it only requires law enforcement to immediately attempt to notify the child’s parent or guardian. The current law does not specify whether juveniles have the right to the presence of an attorney or a parent during questioning.

Thankfully, in 2005, the Wisconsin Supreme Court exercised its supervisory power to require that all custodial interrogations of juveniles be recorded. The recording of Brendan Dassey’s interrogation provides a clear cut example of why new legislation is desperately needed.

The State of Wisconsin made a promising move in the right direction by recognizing the need for recorded interrogations. Now they need to further those efforts by enacting the Juvenile Interrogation Protection law. Such legislation will not only work to protect the rights of juveniles; it will also help law enforcement to be sure that they are acquiring reliable information from their interrogations.

Please show the citizens of Wisconsin that you are in favor of new legislation to protect juveniles, by encouraging legislators to enact the Juvenile Interrogation Protection law. Please read and sign this important petition. You can view the petition here: https://www.change.org/p/wisconsin-state-house-please-pass-juvenile-interrogation-protection-law-in-wisconsin


What Steven Avery’s former neighbor witnessed

https://algomaphotoandstory.wordpress.com/2016/04/28/what-steven-averys-neighbour-witnessed/seibert-photos-smaller-size-1Steven Avery’s former neighbor said he saw things around the time of Teresa Halbach’s murder that raise a lot of questions – and no one has asked him about it before.

The recent Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer has made international headlines and raised many questions surrounding the 2005 murder of Halbach in Manitowoc County, Wi. and the subsequent trial that convicted Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey in crimes related to murder.

One of the key pieces of evidence in the case was Halbach’s blue/green Toyota Rav4 discovered by a volunteer search party in the rear area of Avery Auto Salvage on November 5th, 2005.

On the southeast side of the Avery Auto Salvage, off Jambo Creek road directly beside the entrance to the quarry behind the yard lives Wilmer Siebert, a man in his 70s who considers himself friends with the Averys.

Siebert said he saw what he thinks might be Halbach’s Toyota Rav4 accompanied by another vehicle, a mysterious white Jeep, “days” before the search party found the Rav4 on the salvage yard. Read more >>

Making Many Murderers: How America Ignores Criminal Justice



Making A Murderer should terrify you.

The story of Steven Avery — sent to prison for 18 years for a rape he didn’t commit, following an investigation so shoddy you’d be forgiven for thinking sheriff’s deputies in Manitowoc County, Wis. railroaded him; then exonerated and released thanks to DNA evidence, before he was again arrested, convicted, and sent to prison two years later, this time for life, following an even more questionable murder investigation — is illuminating and outrageous, and helps explain why the 10-part documentary about his trials became a sensation.

But scarier still than a criminal justice system with investigators who, without lawyers present, can coerce a mentally infirm 15-year-old boy into a false confession — as sheriff’s investigators from the same Manitowoc County did with Avery’s cousin, Brendan Dassey — is how many more Steve Averys are in the world, and how close the story came to not being told at all. Read more >>

The inside story of the 10-year struggle to get Netflix’s ‘Making a Murderer’ on your screen



In 2005, when Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos began the documentary project that would eventually become Netflix’s “Making a Murderer,” they thought they were making a feature length documentary film.

They weren’t.

Over a decade after the start of production, “Making a Murderer” was released by Netflix as a 10-part series. It sparked a far-reaching and passionate discussion about the criminal justice system in the US. Read more >>

DOC emails show concern for Avery & Dassey’s safety

avery _AMP_ dassey_1466471813946_40748588_ver1.0_640_480
NBC26 has obtained nearly 2,000 pages of emails from the Wisconsin Department of Corrections that show there were concerns for Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey’s safety in prison following the national attention from the Making a Murderer documentary on Netflix.
Avery and Dassey were convicted of the 2005 murder of freelance photographer Teresa Halbach.
In the D.O.C. emails, they questioned whether Avery felt safe behind bars and if Dassey should be moved to another prison. Eventually, Dassey was transferred to another facility due to what officials called “operational purposes.” Read more >>

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:


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.


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://freebrendan.org/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://freebrendan.org/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.


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.


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


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://freebrendan.org/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.


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.


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.