There’s A Lot Happening With Making A Murderer Off-Screen Right Now

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Even when you're not watching the show, Making a Murderer is actively unfurling before our eyes. Recently, there have been two updates in the case of Wisconsin native Steven Avery. First, attorney Kathleen Zellner, who was heavily featured in season 2 of Making a Murderer, announced on Twitter Tuesday that she is filing a motion for a DNA expert to test the bones found in a nearby pit that Zellner believes belongs to Teresa Halbach. In addition, per Deadline, sergeant Andrew Colburn has filed a defamation lawsuit against Netflix and filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos. Netflix declined to comment on the lawsuit.
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Zellner's filing is ever-so-slightly more exciting, as it pertains to the case at hand. Much of Zellner's case, which Ricciardi and Demos unfurled slowly over the course of season 2's ten episodes, involved comprehensive DNA testing of the evidence used to put Steven Avery in prison. The pelvic bone in question was found in a the Manitowoc county pit that is almost a mile from Steven Avery's home. The initial defense attorneys — Dean Strang and Jerry Buting — produced this pelvic bone with the suggestion that it belonged to Teresa Halbach, the murder victim. Given that the bone was just a fragment, and that there were more bone fragments found at Steven Avery's home, this theory was dismissed. In Zellner's reexamination of the case, the attorney uncovered more bones that had been found in the gravel pit. These bones had been initially withheld — potentially to frame Steven Avery.
Now, though, Zellner wants to retest this particular bone. In the filing, which was reviewed by The Wrap, Zellner appeals the case, requesting a new set of tests for the bone. "We are hopeful that the brilliant @drrichardselden w/ a MD/PhD from Harvard & Rapid ID DNA will be allowed to test the MCGP bones so the truth will be known about this tragic case," Zellner wrote on Twitter. Refinery29 has reached out to Avery's legal team for additional comment.
Colburn's lawsuit follows the lines of related Making a Murderer complaints. Colburn claims in his suit that the show suggested that he planted DNA evidence to frame Avery, making Colburn a reluctant player in this newly national case. The case claims that because Colburn isn't a public figure, the show counts as defamation.
In a statement provided to The Wrap, Colburn's attorney Michael Griesbach said, "[Andrew Colburn's] reputation and that of Manitowoc County, itself, has been severely and unjustly defamed. He is filing this lawsuit to set the record straight and to restore his good name." In the same statement, Griesbach referred to Making a Murderer as a "financial bonanza." Griesbach, who appeared in the first season of Making a Murderer, has written a book about Avery's case called The Innocent Killer. He believes — and continues to believe, according to his Twitter presence — that Avery was innocent in his 1985 rape case (where he was tried fo sexual assault, attempted murder, and false imprisonment before his exoneration in 2003), but did in fact murder Teresa Halbach in 2005. The title The Innocent Killer is possibly a reference to John Grisham's book The Innocent Man, which recently received its own Netflix treatment.
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