Ken Kratz Is A Big, Fat Liar
Ken Kratz was back on television last night. It doesn’t seem like he’s ever going to let go of the the nonsense that Steven Avery opened the door in a towel. Oh, did anyone notice that Kratz added in the detail that it was a “small” towel? It’s just been a towel all along until last night when it suddenly became a “small” towel. Kratz has a knack for pushing toward the total obliteration of truth one tiny little lie at a time. I’ve tried to make the case before that it’s a pattern with him that I’ve noticed. His most notorious example of this was when he went around telling everyone that the “hood latch” DNA of Steven Avery came from “sweat”. He ridiculed everyone who expressed doubts about any single element in his constructed “mountain” of evidence against Steven Avery by exclaiming:
Now that Mr. Avery’s DNA was found on that particular key I was left to question whether or not people would have me believe that not only are they carrying around keys for Teresa’s vehicle but they’re also carrying around vials of Mr. Avery’s DNA with them, whether it’s perspiration or whatever, that’s absurd.
Where did Kratz come up with the idea that the DNA found on the hood latch was from sweat? This is a lie that Kratz repeated over and over and over again until someone finally pointed out that sweat contains no DNA, and then he finally stopped saying it because it made him look like the lying fool that he is. This is one of many, many examples of Kratz making up lies. Are they big gigantic obvious lies? No. Steven’s DNA was found on the hood latch (how it got there is another matter though).
But Kratz’s fallacious sweat DNA was meant to serve a purpose, at least in Kratz’s convoluted and sick mind. You see, Kratz knew that the vial of blood talked about at trial and shown repeatedly in Making A Murder was causing doubts to grow about whether the blood in Teresa Halbach’s RAV4 really came from the cut on Steven Avery’s finger as the authorities claimed. No problem for a big fat liar like Kratz though! Simply switch the source of the DNA from blood to sweat. In other words, Kratz wasn’t just guessing it was sweat, or simply making a basic mistake that a person without medical or biological training would make. He consciously made up a lie to downplay the significance of the blood while at the same time bolstering the credibility of the totality of DNA evidence. Remember too that he spoke the lie with all of the seduction that a person in his position of high authority possessed. A chief prosecutor! The human embodiment of the state! He spoke the lie convincingly, as if he knew what he was saying should not be challenged, or even could be challenged. But we now know that he made it up, and the fact that we know this now is something we cannot ignore because it has implications about how Ken Kratz’s mind works, his value system, his trustworthiness, the validity of his penance over the misdeeds he is known to have committed in the past. Oh, it would be derelict of me not to mention that Kratz has never apologized for his lies.
When we catch Kratz in another lie, we have to cast him back, in our minds, to the same man he was when he used his power and status to coerce sexual favors from vulnerable, young, victims of abuse. We should scold Dateline NBC for having him on the show and for helping him to promote his book. We should scold Nancy Grace for aiding and abetting a man who shows many of the characteristics that a sociopath would show, and we should do so because Kratz is still telling lies that they have let go unchallenged. We need to hold our media accountable in this case particularly because two men are serving life sentences. If they get this wrong, they have fucked up two lives, one being that of a mentally delayed child. That is not excusable. When Dateline, with all of its researchers and resources does nothing but throw softballs to someone as sketchy and notorious as Ken Kratz, it’s time we demand more from our “news”.
I personally happen to believe that people can change if they try. I do not actually believe it is fair to continue to indefinitely castigate someone for past misdeeds. I know the many, many mistakes I have made, and I think, if we’re being honest, we would all wish that people look at our worst moments with a modicum of compassion and understanding. I would extend that to Kratz, but, unfortunately, he’s still actively causing harm. He hasn’t changed. Even if he truly believes that Avery is guilty, it is NEVER okay for him to lie to the public about the details of this case given how incredibly strained our trust in him already is.
I should like to repeat this one more time: Kratz lied about BOTH the towel AND the blood. And he lied about a lot of other things too. And he did so in a capital murder case. And he did so despite not having any medical background or training to base what he was espousing on fact, knowledge or experience. Most tragically, he got away with it when it counted which was at trial. He’s a damn good liar, and if you don’t watch him, he’ll use one of his trademark elisions to deceive you. If you are not aware of who and what he is, you will not notice it any more than you will notice the sleight of hand a magician will employ to perform a magic trick.
It’s seems stupid to have to go over this, but apparently it IS necessary because the likes of a major American television show with millions of viewers had Kratz on yet again, and once again, Kratz was salivating to peddle his book (full of lies). They were not ready for Kratz when he said that Avery opened the door in a small towel, but if they had been, they could have pummeled him on not only the fact that he was yet again lying about the towel (as he’s been doing for a long, long time), but also on the new, added “fact” that it was a “small” towel. It seems like a small detail to obsess over, but I want to show why it actually isn’t.
Okay, for a bit of a diversion. Someone once said that if you repeat a lie often enough it becomes the truth. Whether this statement is true or not, I don’t know, but I’ve heard it repeated enough times that I believe it to be true. Just kidding. Anyway, that someone was Hitler’s propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbels. I guess the ONLY protection one might have against this weakness in human neurology is the simple awareness that one is susceptible if one is not aware of the weakness. But even with this awareness, it’s probably still easy to be fooled since it is by now axiomatic that the easiest people to fool are those who think they can never be fooled. Right? So maybe it also helps to dwell a little bit on the fact that there are total assholes out there, (like Ken Kratz and Joseph Goebbels) hard as it is to believe if you happen to be an ordinary person, that are not only eager to exploit this weakness for personal gain, but are quite skillful in doing so.
As far as the towel goes, there is no evidence at all that Steven Avery opened the door for Teresa Halbach in a towel, and if he did, there is simply no way to tie that to a plot by Steven Avery, long in the making, according to Ken Kratz, to murder Teresa Halbach. Yes, this is what Ken Kratz said he believed last night on television. According to Kratz’s theory, Steven Avery had been carefully planning the murder of Teresa Halbach for the ENTIRE time he was in prison for sexually assaulting Penny Berenstein (which we all know he didn’t do, of course). That was twenty years! How opening the door in a towel figured into this, or how inviting his nephew inside the house after he had wandered by to deliver mail (or any number of other scenarios you might entertain based on what you heard Dassey say as he was being interviewed by Fassbender and Wiegert) figured into these carefully laid schemes wasn’t explained. And of course the crack correspondents from NBC Dateline didn’t bother to ask Kratz to explain, so, once again, the weary task has fallen to me.
What did happen concerning the rumor of Steven Avery opening the door in a towel is that one of Teresa’s friends or co-workers reported that Teresa Halbach had said Steven Avery had opened the door for her once wearing a towel. Once, that is, of the five times, minimum, Teresa went to Steven’s property to photograph vehicles. Teresa, tragically, is not around to verify whether this actually happened, or, if it did, whether she thought Steven Avery was trying to be deliberately untoward or salacious. Even if Steven did open the door in a towel, and even if Teresa were grossed out by it, no one has ever claimed that Teresa’s own interpretation of this event was that Steven Avery was trying to be sexually provocative.
So, it’s bad enough that Kratz keeps repeating this lie as if it were just something we should all by now accept, but to make matters worse, Kratz embellishes his original lie when he has discovered there is a way to inject it with a little more oomph! Do you see the pattern? If the DNA on the hood latch wasn’t enough to fully counter the impression made by the blood vial, Kratz thought nothing of giving it a little oomph by insisting it came from sweat which would point up the absurdity of the insinuations of framing as it would be absurd to imagine men carrying around “vials of perspiration”. In kind, if Kratz feels that the idea of someone answering the door in a towel doesn’t create the necessary impression of wanton lasciviousness, the towel suddenly undergoes the same transformation that the vial underwent: it becomes a small towel. All the while, clever old Kratz is squirming with self-satisfaction at the deception he’s gotten away with. Who would think to challenge him on the towel, much less whether the towel was small or not? Who would think to challenge him on whether there is any such thing as “sweat” DNA? He fooled me the first time. I didn’t know there wasn’t any such thing as sweat DNA. It sounded credible to me. I had assumed that it was actual evidence, or that he’d heard it in private conversation with one of the DNA experts he had worked with while putting together his case against Avery. The possibility that he was a chronic, pathological liar never occurred to me. But once I figured it out, the entire personage of Ken Kratz began to take on more verisimilitude to the actual person perhaps in the same way a deep and abiding truth is revealed to someone while on a vision quest under the influence of ayahuasca.
I mean, if I ask you to visualize someone opening the door in a towel, I have very little guarantee that you will visualize something sexually provocative. A towel worn around the waist actually conceals more skin than an ordinary pair of shorts, right? Would it mean anything, then, if Steven Avery had opened the door in a pair of shorts? But if I ask you to visualize someone opening the door in a small towel, well, that changes everything, doesn’t it? Are your genitals visible? Is the towel about to fall off? This is the image Kratz wants to make sure you have in your head.
If a person isn’t understood to be a chronic liar, then one is at great pains (as I am here) to go through each fucking lie and exaggeration and explain why it matters. And I’m fully well aware that it is tedious. But I’m hoping that the work that I do here will eventually help people to understand that Kratz is a liar, and once that is understood, nothing he says will be believed. I’ll put it another way even: If I go to my grave known only for challenging and hopefully correcting Kratz’s lie about Steven Avery answering the door in a small towel, I will not consider my life to have been lived in vain. Kratz, since I know you read this, I want you to know I’m wise to you motherfucker. But you probably already knew that.