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Ken Kratz says he feels that he was portrayed as the “chief villain” in “Making a Murderer,” Netflix’s hit 2015 documentary series about the controversial conviction of Steven Avery in the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach. But Kratz, who was brought in as the special prosecutor in the case, says he knew that he’d face intense scrutiny the moment Halbach’s car was discovered on Avery’s Wisconsin property.
“We knew that this case was going to be under a microscope, because of the celebrity that Steven Avery had attained,” Kratz told Yahoo News’ Bianna Golodryga on Tuesday. “We knew it was going to be watched.”
Two years before Halbach’s murder, Avery was exonerated after serving 18 years for the 1985 assault and attempted murder of Penny Beerntsen. DNA testing proved that another man, Gregory Allen, had committed the crime, and Avery subsequently filed a civil lawsuit against Manitowoc County, its former sheriff and former district attorney, seeking $36 million in damages stemming from his wrongful conviction.
Kratz, whose new book, “Avery: The Case Against Steven Avery and What ‘Making a Murderer’ Gets Wrong,” was released Tuesday, says he wasn’t prepared for the backlash that followed the Netflix series.
“This docudrama really flipped the narrative on his head,” he said, “making Steven Avery look sympathetic, like a victim.”
Kratz, though, admits he does regret that the local investigators that Avery had been suing were involved in the Halbach case. Two of the officers who were deposed in Avery’s lawsuit were present when police found the key to Halbach’s vehicle inside his home.
“Would I have rather now had somebody else? Sure. Obviously,” Kratz said.
But he stressed that the resources available to him at the time of the investigation were scarce, and that the Manitowoc County police officers assisting in the case were not the only officers involved.
“We had dozens of officers in all the different places,” Kratz said. “We didn’t know what we were looking for. We didn’t know where Teresa Halbach had been killed.”
Avery was convicted of Halbach’s murder in 2007 and was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.
Neither his attorney nor the filmmakers who made “Making a Murderer” returned requests for comment.
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