‘Making a Murderer’ Prosecutor Gives 9 Reasons Steven Avery Is Guilty

Beatrice Verhoeven

Since “Making a Murderer” made him famous last month, former Wisconsin prosecutor Ken Kratz hasn’t been shy about defending his work in the 2005 murder prosecution of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey. On Monday, TheWrap reached out to him about suggestions in the Netflix docu-series that his office railroaded two innocent defendants.

In an email to TheWrap on Monday, Kratz strongly rejects the criticisms, saying the documentary series got it wrong.

The email concludes with Kratz saying Netflix should “either provide an opportunity for rebuttal, or alert the viewers that this series was produced by and FOR the defense of Steven Avery, and contains only the opinion and theory of the defense team.”

Also Read: 'Making a Murderer': Steven Avery Files New Appeal

Here is his email to us, in its entirety. It begins with the Calumet County district attorney responding to our question about whether he believed the docu-series left out any evidence:

Examples for you to consider:

1. Avery’s past incident with a cat was not “goofing around”. He soaked his cat in gasoline or oil, and put it on a fire to watch it suffer.

2. Avery targeted Teresa. On Oct 31 (8:12 am) he called AutoTrader magazine and asked them to send “that same girl who was here last time.” On Oct 10, Teresa had been to the Avery property when Steve answered the door just wearing a towel. She said she would not go back because she was scared of him (obviously). Avery used a fake name and fake # (his sister’s) giving those to the AutoTrader receptionist, to trick Teresa into coming.

3. Teresa’s phone, camera and PDA were found 20 ft from Avery’s door, burned in his barrel. Why did the documentary not tell the viewers the contents of her purse were in his burn barrel, just north of the front door of his trailer?

Also Read: 'Making a Murderer': Why Steven Avery Says Juror Was Out to Get Him

4. While in prison, Avery told another inmate of his intent to build a “torture chamber” so he could rape, torture and kill young women when he was released. He even drew a diagram. Another inmate was told by Avery that the way to get rid of a body is to “burn it”…heat destroys DNA.

5. The victim’s bones in the firepit were “intertwined” with the steel belts, left over from the car tires Avery threw on the fire to burn, as described by Dassey. That WAS where her bones were burned! Suggesting that some human bones found elsewhere (never identified as Teresa’s) were from this murder was NEVER established.

6. Also found in the fire pit was Teresa’s tooth (ID’d through dental records), a rivet from the “Daisy Fuentes” jeans she was wearing that day, and the tools used by Avery to chop up her bones during the fire.

Also Read: 'Making a Murderer': Brendan Dassey's Brother Raps About Steven Avery's Innocence (Video)

7. Phone records show 3 calls from Avery to Teresa’s cell phone on Oct 31. One at 2:24, and one at 2:35–both calls Avery uses the *67 feature so Teresa doesn’t know it him…both placed before she arrives. Then one last call at 4:35 pm, without the *67 feature. Avery first believes he can simply say she never showed up (his original defense), so tries to establish the alibi call after she’s already been there, hence the 4:35 call. She will never answer of course, so he doesn’t need the *67 feature for that last call.

8. Avery’s DNA (not blood) was on the victim’s hood latch (under her hood in her hidden SUV). The SUV was at the crime lab since 11/5…how did his DNA get under the hood if Avery never touched her car? Do the cops have a vial of Avery’s sweat to “plant” under the hood?

9. Ballistics said the bullet found in the garage was fired by Avery’s rifle, which was in a police evidence locker since 11/6…if the cops planted the bullet, how did they get one fired from HIS gun? This rifle, hanging over Aver’s bed, is the source of the bullet found in the garage, with Teresa’s DNA on it. The bullet had to be fired BEFORE 11/5—did the cops borrow his gun, fire a bullet, recover the bullet before planting the SUV, then hang on to the bullet for 4 months in case they need to plant it 4 months later???

Also Read: 'Making a Murderer': 5 Theories for Steven Avery's Innocence

There is more of course. But I’m not a DA anymore. I have no duty to show what nonsense the “planting” defense is, or why the documentary makers didn’t provide these uncontested facts to the audience. You see, these facts are inconsistent with the claim that these men were framed—you don’t want to muddy up a perfectly good conspiracy movie with what actually happened, and certainly not provide the audience with the EVIDENCE the jury considered to reject that claim.

Finally, I engaged in deplorable behavior, sending suggestive text messages to a crime victim in Oct 2009. I reported myself to the OLR. My law license was thereafter suspended for 4 months. I have withstood a boat-load of other consequences as a result of that behavior, including loss of my prosecution career. However, I’ve enjoyed sobriety from prescription drug use for over 5 years now, and refuse to be defined by that dark time of my life. All of this occurred years after the Avery case was concluded…I’m unclear why the defense-created documentary chose to include this unpleasantness in this movie, especially if the filmmakers had no agenda to cast me as a villain. I am not a victim in that whole texting scandal—then again, it’s exceedingly unfair to use that to characterize me as morally unfit.

To identify Lt. Lenk, Sgt. Colburn and myself as being “responsible” for the framing and knowing false murder conviction of Steven Avery is irresponsible, and inconsistent with a consideration of all the evidence presented. Netflix should either provide an opportunity for rebuttal, or alert the viewers that this series was produced by and FOR the defense of Steven Avery, and contains only the opinion and theory of the defense team.

Thanks for your consideration.

Finished 'Making a Murderer'? 9 More Infuriating Documentaries Streaming on Netflix (Video)

  • Before we go any further, we have to make sure: You've seen "Making a Murderer," right? If the answer is "no," then what are you waiting for? Watch the trailer to get an idea of what all the hype is about.

  • "The Central Park Five" (2012): Documentarian Ken Burns examines the 1989 case of five black and Latino teenagers who were convicted of raping a white woman in Central Park, and spent between six and 13 years in prison before a serial rapist confessed. This one might also appeal to fans of HBO's "The Night Of" for its look at how the criminal justice system works... and sometimes fails.

  • "The True Cost" (2015): This deep dive into the fashion industry not only exposes the deadly cost of cheap clothing, it shows just how little executives at some of the most successful companies capitalizing on foreign labor care about it. Even more upsetting, though, is the uphill and seemingly hopeless battle workers in poor countries are facing for working conditions Americans take for granted.

  • "The Race to Nowhere" (2010): Remember what it was like to be a kid without any responsibilities? Lucky you, because this documentary exposes a sad reality that grade-school students across the country are bombarded with so much homework and pressure to prepare for college before they even hit high school that they're already as stressed out as working adults. And some of them end up taking their own lives as a result.

  • "Kids for Cash" (2013): Prepare to be even more disgusted with the criminal justice system, as this film details the disturbing decision of a once-celebrated judge to sentence kids to outrageously long juvenile detention sentences in exchange for money from the private company building the detention center.

  • "Divorce Corp." (2014): As if the criminal justice system hasn't failed enough Americans, this documentary makes family law seem downright criminal. After watching this terrifying exposé on how the big business of divorce ruins the lives of parents and children caught in the crossfire, you'll think twice about ever popping the question.

  • "The Farm: Life Inside Angola Prison" (1998): This doc chronicles the lives of several inmates inside the nation's largest prison. While some of them were guilty of their crime, it's heartbreaking to see one who swears he's innocent show a parole board evidence to support his claim, only to have them promptly disregard it.

  • "Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father" (2008): This heartbreaking film focuses on an unbelievable custody battle between a murdered man's parents and the ex-girlfriend who took their son's life, while pregnant with their grandchild. One would think this strange scenario would be an easy decision for a judge, but get ready to get angry.

  • "Fed Up" (2014): The tragedy Katie Couric's voiceover presents in this documentary isn't just that both the government and food industry place profit above public health, it's the realization that even those parents who are actually concerned about their children's poor diet have no idea how to eat healthy themselves.

  • "How to Survive a Plague" (2012): This Oscar-nominated documentary will make your blood boil when you see how the American government and members of the medical community turned their backs on homosexuals and HIV patients during the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s. Thanks to the tireless efforts of groups like ACT UP and TAG, the country has made substantial progress on the issue, but remember this battle when society inevitably finds another population to stigmatize and stand up before it's too late.

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The best documentaries are enlightening, infuriating and sometimes even frightening — “Making a Murderer” certainly was. But if you’ve finished all 10 episodes of the true-crime saga, check out these docs currently streaming

Before we go any further, we have to make sure: You've seen "Making a Murderer," right? If the answer is "no," then what are you waiting for? Watch the trailer to get an idea of what all the hype is about.

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