When Netflix debuted "Making A Murderer" in 2015, the story of Steven Avery suddenly garnered international intrigue. Now, three years later, directors Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos are returning to Manitowoc County, Wisconsin to continue their investigation into the bizarre events surrounding the killing of Teresa Halbach. In the years following the show's initial release, the first season of the docu-series has received both significant criticism and praise — prompting audiences to wonder what direction the second season will take. How will the show's new episodes further our understanding of this particular murder?
Before "Making A Murderer" debuted, Steven Avery had served 18 years in prison for the sexual assault and attempted murder of Penny Beerntsen until he was exonerated of the crime in 2003 by DNA evidence. After suing the department for his wrongful imprisonment, police arrested Avery for the murder of Halbach, for which he was convicted in 2007, according to The New York Times. The documentary explored various suspicious aspects of Avery's second conviction, heavily implying that police were involved in framing him for the crime, as he was seen as a threat to their department. However, evidence which contradicted the materials presented in the documentary came to light in the wake of the public's embrace of the series, as explored by TIME, which made the docu-series even more controversial. Avery was subsequently denied a retrial in October 2017.
Drawn into the ordeal was Brendan Dassey, Avery's intellectually disabled nephew, who was also charged in the murder based on confessions he later recanted. In August 2016, between Season 1 and Season 2 of the show, Dassey was ordered to be released from prison after his conviction was overturned on the grounds that he was coerced to confess by police who took advantage of his cognitive limitations, according to The Associated Press. In November 2016, his release was blocked by an appeals court, CBS News reported. In December 2017, after a series of contentious legal battles under the watchful eyes of the interested public, Dassey's conviction was upheld, as reported by The Associated Press. In 2018, courts have — without explanation — refused to hear Dassey's appeals, according to The New York Times.
Netflix's official description of the 10-episode second season, which is set to debut in full on October 19, doesn't provide many clues about what's to come.
"'Making a Murderer Part 2' provides an in-depth look at the high-stakes post conviction process, exploring the emotional toll the process takes on all involved," reads the official description.
On a press tour in summer 2018, Netflix's chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, provided only slightly more information.
“There is a ton of info that wasn’t explored just in the confines of the episodes we’ve already done,” Sarandos told reporters, noted The Wrap. “There’s a lot of new information coming up ... The folks who are associated with [Season 2] are under exclusive agreement with us. The information they’re bringing up is totally proprietary. It’s going to be a fascinating follow-up.”
Demos and Ricciardi have since expanded on those statements, according to Digital Spy.
"Steven and Brendan, their families and their legal and investigative teams have once again graciously granted us access, giving us a window into the complex web of American criminal justice," said Ricciardi and Demos. "Building on Part 1, which documented the experience of the accused, in Part 2, we have chronicled the experience of the convicted and imprisoned, two men each serving life sentences for crimes they maintain they did not commit. We are thrilled to be able to share this new phase of the journey with viewers."
We also know that the upcoming season will introduce Kathleen Zellner, Avery's new lawyer. Zellner has previously purported that it was an ex-lover of Halbach's and not Avery who is responsible for her death, as reported by USA Today. Zellner has also asserted that Avery's nephew Bobby Dassey as well as Bobby's mother and Avery's sister Barb Tadych were potentially involved in a crime and cover-up, according to Rolling Stone.
"I have one goal, and that's to overturn the conviction of Steven Avery," Zellner says in a trailer for the second season, which was posted to YouTube on October 9. "There's an abundance of evidence ... If he's guilty, I'll fail."
Check out the trailer for "Making a Murderer" Season 2, below.
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