In December, 2015 the documentary series Making a Murderer (MaM) was released on Netflix. Suddenly, Manitowoc County and Calumet County sheriff's departments were under intense public scrutiny. Police and prosecutors were on the receiving end of intense public scrutiny. Prosecutor Kratz found what is was like to have the public turn on him. He surely had no problem with all the hate mail and phone calls he caused for the Avery's because of his 2006 histrionic press conference.
This was not the first contact that Kratz had with the MaM makers(1). I January, 2007, he attempted to force Laura Ricciardi to give him 250 hours of recorded material. He claimed that it was his because it was evidence. I suspect he thought it was a way to see what the defense was up to. Judge Willis denied Kratz' theft attempt.
The push back from Kratz and Manitowoc County Sheriff's persons was that MaM was one‑sided; it had precluded Manitowoc County personnel and Kratz from input during the filming; that it was a defense product only.
Steven Avery was out of attorneys before the documentary series was released. He did not fund the documentary. He did not have an attorney calling the shots for a defense product. It surely was not a defense work product for Avery.
Kratz and company declined the opportunity for interviews with the MaM makers during the trial.
The documentary appears to be one‑sided because that is how our justice system operates. The documentarians did not pronounce Steven Avery or Brendan Dassey as innocent or guilty. The series was about the process.
The latest book by Michael Griesbach, Indefensible: the Missing Truth about Steven Avery, Teresa Halbach, and Making a Murderer(2), was published in August, 2016.
I have not yet read Indefensible, and this is not a review of the book. What prompted me to write this were newspaper articles that were infomercials for this latest book from Griesbach.
The press for this book is that it purports to show prosecution favorable material that MaM left out.
The series lasted ten hours. The Steven Avery trial lasted eight weeks. The documentary also covered the wrongful conviction, press conferences, pretrial hearings, some of the Brendan Dassey confessions, and the Brendan Dassey trial. So, Griesbach has easy pickings of what was left out of the documentary. The reality is that much was left out that favorable and detrimental to both defense and prosecution.
Given the willingness this author to manufacture evidence the two (or one) previous books, I do not expect Griesbach to be more honest in his latest book. He is still a Wisconsin prosecutor, and his sloppiness about facts is unlikely to change, particularly since the latest book is meant to be a propaganda piece for the State. He points out that he is not writing as a Manitowoc County assistant district attorney. But, his prior works promote prosecution and undermine the accused. He may be Ken Kratz' understudy.
I noticed a post on Reddit(3) that stated that Griesbach has spent a lot of space on the German hypothesis from “An Alternative.” I asked around to find someone who read the book to find how much of the book this consumed. The answer was three chapters.
Griesbach supplied a fair amount of detail in a Journal Sentinel Online article(4) on the German hypothesis. He was rather murky on the source of his information, only referring to a blog that remained nameless in his statements. He renamed the original “German” to Wolfgang Braun. I trust he did not plagiarize Convoluted Brian to pad out his book.
In the Journal Sentinel Online article, Griesbach quoted a couple of details that would appear to make the German a viable suspect. Then, he says he doesn't think the hypothesis is viable, but he believes that Avery's present attorney, Kathleen Zellner, will use the Braun hypothesis, as a prime alternate suspect. He did not give any reasons for his deduction. I am surprised that Griesbach used three chapters to cover a hypothesis which he does not think is credible(4).
Further, Griesbach claimed that he had made Ken Kratz aware of the wife's statements and he believed the trial defense team had been made aware of them. Griesbach will have to provide documentation for each of these statements to ensure believability. He claims that trial defense attorneys Dean Strang and Jerome Buting were aware of the German but declined to use him as a third party.(5)
Griesbach claimed that he was surprised to learn that he had prosecuted the German. He seemed to have forgotten that the wife had supplied much of the same information to him as was in “An Alternative.”
After Griesbach prosecuted the German, he did not request a deportation hold as he had told the victim he would. The victim was shocked after 1 March, 2006, when her husband showed up at her home in Oregon. She wondered who supplied her address to him since they had not been in contact. Plus, the local police seemed to be primed that he was a victim.
There is a coincidence that involved the barn that was prominent in the original blog post. That barn burned to ground on July 6, 2009, The original post was published on June 23, 2009.
It may also be a coincidence that Unreasonable Inferences was published a little over a year after “An Alternative” was published. The sloppiness apparent in that book indicates a rush to publish. Other persons within the legal system were certainly aware of “An Alternative.”
Griesbach may be trying to grease the skids of the original law enforcement to a better ending. But given his predilection for altering reality, I suspect that in the end, he will only increase their slide into opprobrium. Ken Kratz has already hit the skids. If Michael Griesbach continues his tendency to make up things, he may soon follow.
2. Indefensible: The Missing Truth about Steven Avery, Teresa Halbach, and Making a Murderer Kensington, August 30, 2016
5. I suspect that Judge Willis would have used Denny to disallow that person anyway since the judge was adamant that the defense would be required to know a motive to use a third party. Note, that the State has no requirement to supply a motive.
in category Brendan Dassey,Steven Avery