Being Wronged By Kathryn Schultz Part II

Photograph of Edgar Allen Poe wearing scarf

continued from part I

Ms Schultz starts her January 2016 New Yorker piece, Dead Certainty, with a brief history lesson:

Argosy began in 1882 as a magazine for children and ceased publication ninety-six years later as soft-core porn for men, but for ten years in between it was the home of a true-crime column by Erle Stanley Gardner,

The tone doesn’t change much as you read further into the piece.  Erle Stanley Gardner, she goes on to describe, wrote a true-crime column, The Court of Last Resort, within the pages of The Argosy for ten years and:

..took on seemingly guilty clients and proved their innocence.

The column was successful enough that in the late 1950s, Ms Schultz informs, NBC turned the stories into Perry Mason, a television series  that ran for almost ten years.  Since then there have been a slew of other shows following essentially the same template including Serial, the podcast breakout hit of last year created by Sara Koenig and Julie Snyder about Adnan Syed, a man serving a life sentence for killing his ex-girlfriend some twenty years ago.

Koenig unfavorably compares Making A Murderer to Serial because, in her view…

“Making a Murderer” never provokes the type of intellectual and psychological oscillation so characteristic of Koenig and Snyder’s “Serial.”

(Really, Kathryn?  I found more the obverse to be so) Instead, she writes,

the documentary consistently leads its viewers to the conclusion that Avery was framed by the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department, and it contains striking elisions that bolster that theory.

Or maybe the documentary follows a trial in which the accused’s defense team puts forth such a theory at the behest of their client that strongly implicates the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department?  And how is that the documentary gives short shrift to the prosecution’s side?  Oh yes, by all of the “elisions” that Ken Kratz made up after the first few days of the initial showing and then found allies like Nancy Grace in tabloid journal and so began a media tour which continues to this day.

At least Ms Schultz had enough brains to make her own elision of Ken Kratz’s talking points by omitting the highly incriminating act of opening the front door in a towel.

The DNA under the hood latch is only one such article of evidence “excluded”, as Kratz likes to say, deliberately by the filmmakers to further a hidden agenda of some kind.  Funny to think how movie makers, to say nothing of authors or news show correspondents are never accused of a similar bias when they put forth their evidence of the guilt of a particular individual.  I digress.

Ms Schultz is apparently an expert in DNA and how it can and can’t get places because she assures her readers, without naming sources, that,

Investigators subsequently found DNA from Avery’s perspiration on the hood latch—evidence that would be nearly impossible to plant.

Ken Kratz likes to describe those he is prosecuting as being sweaty.  Did you notice?  I forget which scene, but Kratz is on record in the documentary in describing Steven Avery as a sweaty beast more than once.  I suppose an effective prosecutor knows subtle ways to insinuate the visceral repulsiveness of those they prosecute, and Kratz was regarded as one of the best.  But his obsession with Steven Avery’s sweat seems to have gone a little too far when Kratz all but presents himself as a DNA expert.

But Kratz isn’t a DNA expert.  He’s a lawyer, and his charlatanesque disquisitions on DNA should not be listened to by anyone, and especially not by someone like Kathryn Schultz who has a lot on her shoulders writing for a publication as well regarded as the New Yorker.

Ask any DNA expert, and they will tell you that there is no such thing as “sweat” DNA, but even if there were, why should we be so surprised that Steven Avery’s DNA was found on the hood latch of Teresa Halbach’s vehicle?  She’d been out to the salvage yard umpteen times (the figure I hear bandied about is fifteen!)  Maybe Steven Avery, hoping to curry favor with an attractive female offered, as males with mechanical expertise of cars often do, to check something under the hood.  People , like I, who know nothing about cars  will ask, unbidden, questions of anyone who appears to have any knowledge whatsoever  whenever a strange noise leads me to the suspicion that something has gone wrong.  I’ve done it. You’ve done it, Teresa Halbach’s done it.

But if we’ve already been influenced by the wily Ken Kratz and we doubt that Teresa Halbach would ever have asked the likes of Steven Avery for such a tiny favor, we still have to account for why there were no fingerprints where the “sweat” DNA was found.  And we have to account for a lot more than that including why there was no DNA on the battery cables, or inside the vehicle itself for that matter.  It’s a sad day in Mudville when a man as concupiscent as Mr. Kratz is able to seduce a New York lesbian with this sort of nonsense.

The hood latch “evidence” is not an elision as Kathryn Schultz describes, but more of a favor if anything.  That’s really your best shot, Ken?  Kathryn?  Let’s hear what Dean Strang has to say about these “elisions”.  (he address the hood latch and more at about thirteen minutes in, but the entire interview is worth listening to)

And In case, dear reader, you might have lost touch with surreality, Kathryn Schultz brings the redoubtable Penny Beerensten back on stage for the dreadful sequel of poor Steven Avery’s first false eighteen-year-term imprisonment.  Schultz had singled her out in her book, Being Wrong, as sort of the poster child of being wrong since she was so sure of Avery’s guilt the first go around and turned out, as we all now know (with the possible except of Kenny Petersen, the sheriff who, when asked by Dean Strang whether he was aware of Avery’s earlier innocence said, “I’m not so sure”) to be wrong.

Astonishingly, Penny refused to meet with the filmmakers of Making A Murderer because,

It was very clear from the outset that they believed Steve was innocent…I didn’t feel they were journalists seeking the truth. I felt like they had a foregone conclusion and were looking for a forum in which to express it.

How this woman should not have any lingering doubt in her mind about what seems to her to be “very clear from the outset” is beyond my ability to fathom. The testimony she presented put an innocent man away for eighteen years so you’d think that even if the filmmakers were demonstrably biased in favor of Avery, she could do him one solid by granting an interview with the only two people in town besides the Avery’s themselves, who might have doubted Ken Kratz’s narrative.  However matronly Penny may appear to be in her dottage, I cannot help but wonder what callousness hides beneath the surface.  Note too, that Penny can’t be bothered to explain why it was so clear form the outset that the filmmakers believed in Avery’s innocence.  The most basic job of a reporter is to ask questions and to not take things at face value.

Part III coming soon

 

 

 

 


34 comments

  • Dean Strang points out problems with the Schultz article here:
    http://www.progressive.org/news/2016/01/188524/avery-case-defense-lawyer-dean-strang-speaks-out#.dpuf

    About a 1/3 of the way down. Points out that media writers like this (and though he didn’t mention, I will – Nancy Grace) are parrots and don’t ask pointed questions when ‘law enforcement’ is involved.

    I ask: why not?

  • The multiple personality comment, this isn’t Daniel if that’s what you mean. I’m a girl in Canada pointing out some really odd behaviour.

  • anon6 may be one of Daniel’s sisters or X? I know what you mean….it seems personal.

  • That’s funny. Zellner better read the trial records. There was no DNA on the battery cable, only on the hood latch. Maybe she should retire, getting confused.

  • About the “sweat DNA” on the hood latch. Apparently Chris Matthews on Hardball has reported that a forensic investigator has admitted to opening the hood of the Rav4 after searching Steven Avery’s Grand Am without changing his gloves (I haven’t seen it yet)….so not so impossible to plant I guess…..even by mistake….

    • Clarification….the film-makers on Hardball said that it was brought up in court and that is when the technician admitted to not changing his gloves…so the “evidence” that Kratz is espousing went nowhere in the trial…you can add that one to the “garbage evidence” pile that Kratz keeps spewing.

      Apparently they also did not bother to swab the interior hood release (which had to have been used to gain access to the secondary underhood release) or the top of the hood directly above the underhood release.

    • Matthews is a little bit smarter than most of the talking heads on TV, so I’m glad he’s looking into it.

      • Have you seen Kathleen Zellner’s tweet today?

        “The New Yorker got is so wrong: said sweat on battery cable not planted. You’re right bc there is no DNA in sweat.

  • what’s up with anon106? They’re trying to make you look super weird while being super weird themselves. Doesn’t come across as concern at this point..I read your blog but don’t find the need to tear apart everything you say everyday, probably because I’m not functioning on the same weirdo brainwaves.

    • From this point on, I encourage such comments. You’ll see why in a little bit..

      • THIS COMMENT WAS DEEMED OFFENSIVE. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE IT, YOU CAN PURCHASE THE ENTIRE ARCHIVE OF IMPOLITE COMMENTS. PROCEEDS WILL GO TOWARD MY OWN PERSONAL MENTAL HEALTH FUND. IF I AM EVER ABLE TO COLLECT ENOUGH MONEY, I WILL BE SEEING A FRONTIER PSYCHIATRIST AND ALL SESSIONS WILL BE RECORDED AND POSTED BACK HERE ON THIS WEBSITE.

        IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PURCHASING THE ARCHIVE OF OVER 100 IMPOLITE COMMENTS, PLEASE VISIT:

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    • Because I appreciate his interst but I also see his “obsession” even more so light of his felony convictions his and mental health issues.

      Keep in mind that Daniel is most likely making fake posts to help boister himself and has obviously deletely many posts that detract from him as a person.

      Besides that he’s a great writer, but he does have mental Heath issues that he needs help for.

      • So I know what his deal is, he’s put it out there himself. You, I don’t know what your deal is. Whatever your reasons for concern (which are starting to come across as pretty insincere) you might want to take a step back and look at your own mental health. one or two comments showing concern, yeah, there is a reason here for legitimate concern. Every single day and now attacking him over petty things like he was spurned by a woman….it’s starting to reflect more on you rather than him. Sincerity is becoming a bit creepy and definitely bogus.

        • Im new here., so what this all about? curious. Im asking you because you seem like you know and don’t judge.

          As a side note, if someone does not like his blog, why would they keep coming back? So many places online to talk about MaM. I think I agree with you and someone else might have mental health issues.

          • I don’t really know what it’s about…that’s what I’m trying to understand. From the outside it’s about a person becoming obsessed with someone else’s obsession. first with a mask of concern, then breaking down into stranger ways…getting in little digs and hits at the author at every opportunity, like just waiting for a new post so they can tear it apart like clockwork…I think some or a lot of it might be gone now..I don’t know just something when I’m reading it all was saying something is off with this person..

          • THE COMMENT THAT WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED HERE WAS DEEMED RUDE AND OFFENSE AND THUS REMOVED TO THE IMPOLITE COMMENT BIN. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE IT, THE ENTIRE IMPOLITE COMMENT BIN IF FOR SALE ON THIS WEBSITE FOR $10. ALL FUNDS RAISED WILL GO TOWARD MY MENTAL HEALTH FUND. IF A SUFFICIENT AMOUNT IS RAISED, I WILL GO SEE A PSYCHIATRIST WHO IS WILLING TO LET ME STEAM AND POST ENTIRE SESSIONS WHICH WILL IMMEDIATELY BE AVAILABLE ON THIS WEBSITE.

            TO BUY ARCHIVE OF IMPOLITE COMMENTS: http://overthrow.us/products-page/product-category/impolite-comments/

      • Well it is his blog so I suppose he can do that if he feels like. Are you a personal friend or family member? You seem really interested in discussing the author’s personal attributes or criticizing. It seems really personal. I care about people too and am concerned if I think they are having a rough time but I would never try to call them out in a way to antagonize or even harass them. Certainly not on their own public forum. Good/educated debate seems to be welcome here. I think the personal hits are what he has moved to the mental health fund tab, which by the way made me spit my drink out laughing when I came across it Dan.

        • “which by the way made me spit my drink out laughing”….LOL…me too…gotta admit, crazy or not the dude has a certain flair….

          • I just hit the like button Toast. Can you add that feature DL? Or a vote up and down on the comments?

      • I haven’t deleted any posts. All the posts which are personal attacks, most of which question my sanity have been moved to the mental health fund. They cost only $10 for the entire set, and the proceeds go to helping me afford to go see a psychiatrist. Here is the link: http://overthrow.us/products-page/

  • THIS COMMENT WAS DEEMED OFFENSIVE. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE IT, YOU CAN PURCHASE THE ENTIRE ARCHIVE OF IMPOLITE COMMENTS. PROCEEDS WILL GO TOWARD MY OWN PERSONAL MENTAL HEALTH FUND. IF I AM EVER ABLE TO COLLECT ENOUGH MONEY, I WILL BE SEEING A FRONTIER PSYCHIATRIST AND ALL SESSIONS WILL BE RECORDED AND POSTED BACK HERE ON THIS WEBSITE.

    IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PURCHASING THE ARCHIVE OF OVER 100 IMPOLITE COMMENTS, PLEASE VISIT:

    http://overthrow.us/products-page/product-category/impolite-comments/

    IN THE MEANTIME, IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT FRONTIER PSYCHIATRY BEFORE MAKING A PURCHASE, PLEASE VISIT THIS PAGE FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    • She publicly described herself as bisexual on the dating site with a strong preference for women. She publicized it herself.

      • And you feel tuned to publicize that because she rebuffed you?

        • Facts, dude. He’s stating facts. Go away 106… every day you come back and harass him… sad really.

          • THIS COMMENT WAS DEEMED OFFENSIVE. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE IT, YOU CAN PURCHASE THE ENTIRE ARCHIVE OF IMPOLITE COMMENTS. PROCEEDS WILL GO TOWARD MY OWN PERSONAL MENTAL HEALTH FUND. IF I AM EVER ABLE TO COLLECT ENOUGH MONEY, I WILL BE SEEING A PSYCHIATRIST AND ALL SESSIONS WILL BE RECORDED AND POSTED BACK HERE ON THIS WEBSITE.

            IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PURCHASING THE ARCHIVE OF OVER 100 IMPOLITE COMMENTS, PLEASE VISIT:

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            • As mentioned, that’s how she essentially described herself publicly. If I have any issue with Kathryn Schulz it’s not because she rejected me, it’s because she wronged Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi in the worst article I’ve every read in the New Yorker. It’s also upsetting because I know how talented Kathryn Schultz is. Her book Being Wrong is one of my two or three all-time favorites, and I would highly recommend it to everyone. It is far more emblematic of her consummate skill as a thinker than anything she’s so far published in the New Yorker.

          • It’s cool, everyone is welcome here. But rude comments will be moved to the Rude Comment Graveyard (as soon as I can find a suitable plot of real estate, and can obtain zoning permissions). I’m also thinking about putting them behind a pay wall and distributing the proceeds to some charity devoted to helping the mentally ill and/or the perpetually angry.

          • Now see one way or another you will benefit!

        • She is pretty public about being lesbian. And Jewish. Not just on the dating site.

  • *belaboured

  • Have you begun poring over Steven’s proceedings transcripts yet — those that were published online less than a dozen hours ago? There’s a wealth of hitherto unseen stuff amid that which we’ve already bealaboured: http://www.stevenaverycase.org/jurytrialtranscripts/