There has been a major development in the ongoing saga of one of America’s true crime obsessions. Allegedly, a “notable” prisoner confessed to killing Teresa Halbach, the victim whose case is explored in Netflix’s Making a Murderer series — and the confession did not come from Steven Avery or Brendan Dassey. While this seems like the smoking gun the men’s legal teams need to exonerate them, there are a few important factors to consider.
For starters, the new confession comes by way of Shawn Rech, who is directing an upcoming spin-off titled Convicting a Murderer. And even he says the confession is tenuous at this point. “We haven’t confirmed the legitimacy of the confession,” he told Newsweek. “But seeing as it was given by a notable convicted murderer from Wisconsin, we feel responsible to deliver any and all possible evidence to law enforcement and legal teams.”
There’s also the fact that Avery’s post-conviction lawyer, Kathleen Zellner, seems to have doubts about the credibility. “We received the handwritten confession on Saturday,” she tweeted on Monday. “It is worthless unless it is corroborated.” She then added the hashtags #WorkingOnIt and #NotSoFast. Anyone who watched the second season of Making a Murderer knows that Zellner is relentless in her pursuit of the truth so, if there’s a stone left to unturn, we want to see what she finds underneath.
— Kathleen Zellner (@ZellnerLaw) September 24, 2019
Making a Murderer was watched by over 19 million Netflix subscribers in its first 35 days alone, making it a wildly popular series for the streaming service. If you weren’t one of those original viewers, here’s a quick recap.
Avery and Dassey were convicted in 2007 and sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Halbach, a photographer. Her last known whereabouts were on the grounds of Avery’s family salvage yard, where she was taking photos of a vehicle. The reason the case made it to Netflix has to do with Avery’s past — he had been released from prison two years earlier after serving 18 years for a rape and attempted murder he didn’t commit.
Is it possible that now, two convictions and more than two decades in jail later, Avery is about to be proven innocent once and for all? We’ll have to wait and see, presumably once the authorities, Zellner and any other legal entities involved in the case have had time to either debunk or corroborate the new confession. It is worth noting that the Department of Justice has its doubts. Per TMZ, the confession may be more complicated than the initial soundbites would suggest.
According to Rech, though, one thing’s certain: his docu-series sequel will bring to the surface a lot of enlightening intel. “Having been in production for 20 months, we’ve uncovered an unfathomable amount of information and evidence that is leading us to the truth,” he said. “Our investigation does not end here.”