The long-awaited continuation of Making a Murderer has breathed new fire into the conversation about Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey's involvement in photographer Teresa Halbach's 2005 death in Manitowoc County, WI. With it, theories — both legitimate and from "truthers" — about who was involved in Halbach's death have proliferated message boards and news outlets alike.
In 2007, Avery was convicted of first-degree intentional homicide and sentenced to life in prison. Dassey, Avery's then-16-year-old nephew, confessed to helping his uncle rape and kill Halbach before burning the body in a fire pit at the Avery family's salvage yard. After a lower court found Dassey, who is intellectually impaired, had given an involuntary confession to investigators, the court's decision was nullified late 2017 when the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Dassey’s original conviction.
Viewers have questioned whether Avery's brothers, Charles and Earl, were responsible for Halbach's death, especially after 2009 documents revealed sexual assault histories for both men. Another theory suspects Ryan Hillegas, Halbach's ex-boyfriend of suspect behavior, something the second season will explore further.