No one had really heard of Brendan Dassey or his uncle Steven Avery, especially in Britain as these two men come from Manitowoc County, Wisconsin with a population of just over 81,000.
Making a Murderer
Until almost a year ago, December 18th 2015 when a new ten-part series came to YouTube and #Netflix everything changed for Dassey and Avery. The documentary, which is still talked about and has gained a huge international audience is of course MAKING A MURDERER.
It took producers Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi ten years to film the series. Starting from collecting police footage of the suspects in separate police departments being questioned. Each episode covered the arrests, the prosecution and the conviction which affected many viewers.
Dassey, who was only 16 at the time had learning difficulties but was portrayed as the likable naive boy that he was. Audiences clearly saw him as someone not really understanding what was going on and how to deal with such a traumatic experiance. There was no forensic evidence found that Dassey was ever at the scene of the crime and many argue the police emotionally manipulated Dassey and interrogated him into confessions that had no substantial evidence.
On 27th February 2005 the documentary got the chance to show audiences at home footage of Dassey being interviewed by police with no lawyer or witnesses' present. Police had not only twisted Dassey's words in the interview but also cleverly put words into his mouth and pressured him into a corner which upset many viewers.
A telephone conversation between Dassey and his mother was recorded and played on Making A Murderer. A distressed Dassey is heard telling his mother he didn't commit the crime and was scared police were treating him differently because he was "dumb and stupid".
The murder of Teresa Halbach
Dassey and Avery were found guilty for the murder of Teresa Halbach in 2007. The trial lasted nice days and the deliberation only took four hours. Dassey was convicted of first degree murder and second degree sexual assault - being sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in November 2048.
Once the ten episodes were aired, some celebrities, including Alec Baldwin and Ricky Gervais praised the series on social media and voiced their opinions, believing Dassey and Avery to be innocent. A petition was sent to the White House that requested the release of Dassey and Avery which garnered over 128,000 signatures. They were also inundated with letters from viewers expressing their firm beliefs of innocence and showed support to help them through their ordeal.
Luckily not only Dassey's supporters believed him to be innocent, but after ten long years inside, new light came to Making A Murderer followers and fans that Dassey's conviction was overturned by US Magistrate Judge William E Duffin and was to be released yesterday - November 14th 2016.
There hasn't been a lot of updates of the release of Steven Avery but it has been said that he is very happy that is nephew's case has been overturned. With Dassey's supporters and the people who have kept in contact with him during his time in prison, they look forward to Brendan finally being given back the freedom he deserves. #makingamurderer #brendandassey