Ken Kratz’s Missing “Evidence”
One of the first things I did after watching this series was email Ken Kratz to give him a piece of my mind by emailing him through his law firm’s email address. Surprisingly he wrote me back, and we then began a brief correspondence.
Probably the most interesting thing I got from Mr. Kratz was an email listing two pieces of evidence missing from the documentary. The full text of his email, sent on December 25th, 2015 reads as follows…
2 examples of evidence you were never told: The bullet found in the garage is fired from the .22 cal gun, which untilhung over Avery’s bed. Ballistics says it’s THAT gun that fires THAT bullet recovered in the garage.
Since 11/6, the day that gun is seized, the gun is locked in the Calumet County evidence locker in Chilton.
Never mentioned in the documentary. The question, then, is if the bullet is planted with Teresa’s DNA on it, how do the cops have a fired bullet, from Avery’s gun, which HAD TO BE shot from that gun BEFORE 11/5?
Example 2…like all American vehicles, the victim’s SUV has a hood latch (accessed under the hood when it’s opened). Anyway, Dassey tells investigators that when he and Avery hid the SUV, uncle Steve pops the hood and unhooked the battery.
After , after Brendan tells investigators Steve opened the hood, the hood latched is then “swabbed” by the crime lab. Steven Avery’s DNA is found on the hood latch. It’s also NOT blood.
Therefore, if Avery’s DNA (blood) is planted inside the SUV, how does his DNA (from skin cells from his sweaty hands) get on the hood latch?
Why does the defense documentary PURPOSELY not tell the audience about the DNA under the hood???
If this made a difference to you (just these 2 excluded items), please let me know. Thanks.
I wasn’t the only person who was sending emails to Ken Kratz around this time, and I’m not the only person he responded to. He sent a much longer response to an individual who posted it on Reddit (Ken Kratz encouraged this individual to publish it far and wide). Unfortunately, whoever it was that put up the post took down, but the over 300 comments remain.
Fortunately, for my readership, I am able to recall from memory all, or almost all of the additional items of missing “evidence” that Mr. Kratz included in the email to the reluctant redditor. Nonetheless, I’ve sent another email request to Mr. Kratz inviting him to send me the contents of the deleted reddit post just to be sure, and I will post updates if a response from Mr. Kratz is ever forthcoming.
Mr. Kratz has gone on record innumerable times stating that the series excluded “eighty to ninety percent of the evidence”. And he’s made it a point to mention that it was the excluded evidence that was most incriminating. The words of Mr. Kratz still carry a lot of weight, I believe, and he’s been able to help in persuading those who believe in Avery’s guilt that the entire series is very one-sided. Not helping matters much is the refusal of the film makers, Demos and Ricciardi to counter any of the claims made by Mr. Kratz. Daniel Holloway of The Wrap asked this question of the two on December 31, 2015:
So, when Kratz says that the DNA recovered from Avery’s car couldn’t have been planted or that the bullet hat to have been fired while Avery had the gun what do you say to that?
Without getting into trying to refute specific pieces of evidence, I would say that our role here was as documentarians. We were not advocates. We’re not part of an adversarial system. We were documenting this case as it was unfolding.
Who is going to dare question Kratz on this supposed missing “evidence” then? If Ken Kratz is allowed to repeat the same claims over and over agin, and he’s given all of the reach and power of modern media to do so, it won’t be long before more and more people being to have doubts. I fear that it’s already begun. This doesn’t mean that I don’t think Kratz shouldn’t be allowed to present what he thinks is excluded evidence, I just don’t think that it should go unchallenged.
Before getting to what Ken’s excluded evidence is, I think it important to note the figures he throws around “eighty to ninety percent” seem a tad high. If we ignore for a moment that the series showed Mr. Kratz asking Fassbender if he’s aware of nearly nine hundreds hundred pieces of evidence, and we just focus on the details of the testimony given by various witnesses, I would say that list was comprised of a number far greater than the fourteen or so pieces of evidence which Kratz refers to as the missing “eighty to ninety percent”. That is, unless Kratz is excluding the excluded evidence.
The way Ken Kratz handled the prosecution of this case had I great deal to do with the outcome, and I believe if that if we closely examine some of the claims made by Ken Kratz, and how he was able to spin and manipulate the “evidence” he had in hand, we can open up a window into Mr. Kratz mind and gain the perspective needed to understand the outcome.
The first example of Ken’s excluded evidence will show how prone he is to exaggeration, and how skilled he is as a rhetorician in his ability to make something out of nothing. This is part of a pattern of Ken Kratz to present suggestion and innuendo as hard evidence, or to cast ordinary events, such as using *67 before making a phone call, as something sinister.
Take a look at this photo:
The prosecution argued that the primary burn location was the fire pit in Steven Avery’s backyard. As evidence of this, Kratz has stated that Teresa Halbach’s bones were intertwined “within the steel belts of burned tires”. But in this picture, we see the steel belts of a burned tire, but we don’t see bones intertwined within them. We’d have to do a little more research perhaps, to determine if this photograph was taken after the bones were plucked out, but even if we saw photographic evidence of what Mr. Kratz claims, it’s still hard to understand how this represent very strong evidence that this was the primary burn location.
To understand how the prosecution was so effective, I think we need to look for certain patterns. To recap, the patterns of exaggeration that we can already attribute to Mr. Kratz’s are as follows:
- Overstating the amount of evidence excluded in Making A Murderer as eighty to ninety percent. Never has Mr. Kratz, to my knowledge, offered how he arrived at this figure, and without further information from Mr. Kratz to support his specific range, it seems dubious.
- Implying an overwhelming amount of evidence, almost 1,000 pieces when questioning Fassbender. Though that may have been technically true (especially if you include each bone fragment), it certainly doesn’t mean that all of that evidence was inculpatory. And never has Mr. Kratz attached a specific number to actual pieces of missing evidence after the airing of the documentary, preferring only to offer a percentage.
- Adducing as evidence of where the primary burn location was the intertwining of bones and the steel remnants of burned tires.
To date, all of the evidence that I could find that Ken Kratz claims was excluded is listed below.
- We have learned from a third party who relates that he once heard from Teresa Halbach that Mr. Avery once opened his door to Teresa clad only in a towel
- The shovels and such encircling the burn pit were the tools used in the fire while Teresa was being burned
- Testimony from someone that Steven had been imprisoned with that he talked about setting up a torture chamber in his house and intended to use fire as a means of disposing of bodies
- That Steven Avery used suspicious subterfuge in the manner of his communications with Teresa Avery on the day of her disappearance. He attempted to use *67 as a way of concealing his identity, and he called from someone else’s phone to allay Teresa’s wariness
- He gave Teresa an address other than his own to deceive Teresa as to the ultimate location of the red Dodge Caravan
- After the murder, Steven Avery called Teresa Halbach without using *67 to establish an alibi
- The charred remains of Teresa’s camera and palm pilot were found near Steven Avery’s door
- Steven Avery had a history of cruelty to animals (I believe Mr. Kratz included this in this list).