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‘Convicting a murderer’ rebuttal to ‘Making a Murderer’ filled with rumors, speculation and corner bar gossip, former defense attorney says

By: Steve Schuster, [email protected]//September 8, 2023//

Steven Avery

Steven Avery (AP File Photo/Morry Gash, Pool)

‘Convicting a murderer’ rebuttal to ‘Making a Murderer’ filled with rumors, speculation and corner bar gossip, former defense attorney says

By: Steve Schuster, [email protected]//September 8, 2023//

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Daily Wire’s series ‘Convicting a Murderer,’ first two episodes aired to the general public Friday, Sept. 8, 2023, telling a very different story about Steven Avery and Wisconsin Law Enforcement, than the award-winning Netflix series ‘Making a Murderer’ portrayed.

For the first time, the general public learned what the Netflix original series omitted, some of which were rumors and corner bar gossip.

Former defense counsel for Steven Avery told the Wisconsin Law Journal on Thursday that he has zero interest in watching the new the Daily Wire docuseries.

During an interview with the Wisconsin Law Journal on Thursday, Dean Strang one of Steven Avery’s original defense attorneys said, “I don’t need a movie that runs for 10 hours to tell me about this case. I was one of the lawyers on the case. I spent 500 hours in a courtroom over 15 months. I lived the case. I had a front-row seat. I don’t need a DailyWire docuseries to help me with that.”

“Making a Murderer left out rumors and gossip. I have even less interest in hearing about rumors and gossip. What do I care what rumors are about some person 20 years ago in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin? These people didn’t become President of the United States or an ambassador to a foreign country. I really don’t care about rumors regarding private citizens,” Strang said.

“I can assure you, there is nothing significant that happened in this trial or pre-trial proceedings that ‘Making a Murderer’ left out,” Strang said.

However, Shawn Rech, director of “Convicting a Murderer” at Transition Studios, said there were so many items cut from “Making a Murderer” it’s hard to believe there isn’t some truth in the gossip and rumors.

“There were so many of them, it’s pretty hard to believe it wasn’t showing a portrait of who Avery really is,” Rech noted.

Strang disagreed.

“If ‘Convicting a Murderer’ claims ‘Making a Murderer’ omitted important inadmissible information details of the Avery’s lives, that gossip was unworthy of credit. I don’t think even Ken Kratz tried to offer that information in the actual trial. It was unsupported gossip, or unproven truth,” Strang said.

During a ‘Convicting a Murderer’ episode, an interviewee expressly stated, “it was just bar talk. I had no proof that she said it or proof that it really did happen, it’s just what my friend told her.”

Rech said on Thursday, during an interview with the Wisconsin Law Journal, the standard for what’s included in this new docuseries or in journalism is very different than what’s admissible in a court of law.

“The legal standard is different than the reporting standard,” Rech said, noting that the new DailyWire series mentions that they were merely allegations.

Strang agreed with Rech on one point.

“I agree journalism is different than how a courtroom is run, which is constrained by rules of evidence that are not in a newsroom or Hollywood studio,” Strang said.

As previously reported by the Wisconsin Law Journal, during an exclusive interview with the Wisconsin Law Journal on Wednesday, Rech provided a “behind the scenes” preview to the rebuttal’s production.

“When Netflix was questioned about certain edits to the Making a Murderer docuseries, the filmmakers alluded to brevity, and said you can’t leave everything in. What we find out is that every single choice they made appeared to reduce the knowledge of Steven Avery’s history and that doesn’t happen organically, in my opinion, is not only reckless but deliberate,” Rech said Wednesday.

Candace Owens on ‘Convicting a Murderer’

‘Convicting a Murderer’s’ commentator Candace Owens, who narrated and fronted the project, said she agreed with Rech.

“The facts we gathered in ‘Convicting a Murderer’ paint a completely different — and, frankly, frightening — picture of Steven Avery than what people saw in ‘Making a Murderer.’ Steven Avery is still actively appealing and is supported by a cult-like movement created by ‘Making a Murderer.’ We saw a similar situation with Adnan Syed from ‘Serial’ who was freed, arguably as a result of the popularity of the series. If Steven Avery were to be freed because of ‘Making a Murderer,’ I would have huge concerns about that,” Owens said.

The Wisconsin Law Journal reached out to Netflix and Avery’s current defense attorney Kathleen Zellner requesting comment.

Zellner declined to comment. No response was received from Netflix prior to publication of this article.

Also as previously reported by the Wisconsin Law Journal, the release date for ‘Convicting A Murderer’ was announced by DailyWire+ back in August.

According to DailyWire+, the first two episodes will stream for free and the third episode will be available for DailyWire+ members only. Episode one will also be available to view on the DailyWire+ YouTube channel as well as on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. The remaining seven episodes will debut weekly on the subscriber-based streaming service every Thursday.

The trailer advertising the coming scenes “dropped” back in August.

Also previously reported by the Wisconsin Journal, the new series is far from another season or sequel to the controversial Netflix series, “Making a Murderer.” In fact, “Convicting a Murderer” was actually made to rebut the original Netflix docuseries, according to Ken Kratz, the original prosecutor of the Avery case.

Avery is currently serving life in prison after being found guilty for the murder of Teresa Halbach. Halbach was murdered on Oct. 31, 2005. For the past 18 years, Avery has had a number of new criminal defense attorneys who have all been unsuccessful at his release. However, Avery’s current attorney Kathleen Zellner remains optimistic that new evidence will prove her client’s innocence.

The Netflix series “Making a Murderer,” which originally aired in 2015, received criticism from the media, government officials and the general public for allegedly only telling one side of Avery’s story, revictimizing Halbach and her family, as well as incriminating law enforcement professionals.

Ken Kratz on ‘Convicting a Murderer’

During an exclusive interview with the Wisconsin Law Journal earlier this Summer, Kratz praised the series.

“’Making a Murderer’ fooled millions of Netflix subscribers into thinking Wisconsin law enforcement officers planted physical evidence, leading to an innocent man’s conviction for a murder he never committed,” he said. “Since that time, attacks against police and prosecutors have become more egregious, and with such frequency as to cause a dramatic shift in public perception, with predictable tragic consequences. Efforts to defund the police, reform criminal justice procedures and skew the public safety narrative towards the accused have thrown many historically law-biding communities into chaos,” Kratz previously said.

“‘Making a Murderer’ bears much of the responsibility for this outcome,” Kratz added.

“It’s time for the public to see just how ‘Making a Murderer’ fabricated events and courtroom testimony, all for the purpose of entertainment,” Kratz added. “Hopefully those justice professionals who have lost their reputations and careers, like me, as a direct result of this deceptive and defamatory TV show will be vindicated,” Kratz added.

The Wisconsin Law Journal previously reached out to Netflix, Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi — the creators of the original “Making a Murderer” series. Demos and Ricciardi did not immediately respond for comment.  Earlier this Summer, Erika Masonhall, a spokeswoman for Netflix previously said, “Thanks for the opportunity, but we’ll decline to comment.”

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