The Rest of The Lanyard

Teresa Halbach's RAV4 Key with male and female lanyard ends


February 23, 2007: Sister of Teresa Halbach takes the stand in the Avery trial

Today, reader JL Whitaker (@jl_whitaker) posted an interesting something in the comment section which I found quite interesting:

The lanyard does exist in photos OR they acquired a similar lanyard and placed it in the photo. They weren’t exactly unavailable. I’m still wondering where it came from.

Does anyone know where in the trial transcripts it was introduced? Any info there about locating a lanyard?

Lanyards are to be worn around the neck so you don’t lose the key. Did Teresa wear it? OR was this a second key hanging by a lanyard in her house in case she lost her keys? I keep my extra in my house NOT in my purse. If purse is lost/stolen, I’m stuffed for getting using my car.

The lanyard does indeed exist in photos.  I’ll look through the trial transcripts as well to see if I can find mention of it.



  • your gofund me page shows you are trying to raise 800 millions dollars, why so much?

    • That’s a rough calculation of how much it’s going to take to begin the total domination of Oregon politics. We need at least as many people as who attended Woodstock to the 60s to stay for a thirty or so days to register to vote, and then to vote.

  • Here’s My Take on all this;

    Watch and listen carefully to Teresas ex Boyfriend Ryan Hillegas on the stand.. He describes himself as long-time friend, dated for maybe 5 years.. Distancing himself from her or trying to.. He also claims he hacked her password for her cellphone..hmmm. I am putting forth this theory; Hillegas killed Teresa in the heat of a jealous rage on or shortly after October 31st. (she lived with his good buddy, he was still involved in her life, he admittedly saw her the day before she disappeared)

    Im submitting that Somewhere between 0ctober 31 & Nov 3rd Ryan cant live with his actions and either ‘finds’ Teresa/her car and reports it or more plausibly, he turns himself in and when Cops find her dead in her car, (Colborn called it into dispatch Nov 3rd) they take the opportunity to frame the one guy who’s suing them for millions, and move the vehicle onto the Avery lot (“the Boss has something he wants us to do”) to be found by Hillegas search crew 2 days later. Once they got their search warrant and the Averys were kept off the property for like 8 days of search activity.. cops moved Teresas body to averys property and burned it, likely in the quarry area first, then moved it to the burn pit, stashed Teresas camera, phone and later the key and ‘found’ the bullet…and they ultimately succeeded in framing Steven Avery before he got his wrongful incarceration settlement.

    Hillegas claims he was never asked for an alibi, or treated like a suspect, and Im inclined to believe him, because I could totally see these corrupt cops sitting down with Hillegas knowing he did it (im suggesting he even turned himself in) and saying something like ‘listen Ryan we know you lost your shit n killed her but we dont wanna see your life destroyed over help us n we’ll help you..”

    And they proceed to set up Avery because it kills 2 birds with one body; shows he really IS the brutal sexual predator they put in jail the first 18 years and it gets that pesky 36 million dollar lawsuit off the table. You see, To Wisconsin Law Officers Avery’s a disposable waste of human (see the disturbing letter written by Michael O’Kelley regarding ‘Ending the Avery DNA gene pool’..) But as a Nurse whod been deployed over to afganistan in the past, Hillegas to them, is worth salvaging in the process.

    Thats my 36Million Dollar Submission

    • I strongly suspect Ryan. This whole crime could easily have been done by one person. The cops didn’t need to plot and plan with Ryan. All they needed to do was ignore him, and we know by the fact that they never took the simple step of asking for an alibi that they were ignoring him. I don’t believe this was an accident. If Ryan was not considered a suspect, and he had an open channel with the police, and it is likely that he did judging by his communication with law enforcement the day they went searching for Teresa at Avery’s property, he could have adapted to the investigation as it was ongoing. Dassey’s bogus confession required there to be DNA evidence in two places: the bedroom and the garage. So that’s where it showed up because Ryan knew, more than likely, from inside sources, what he needed to do.

    • Verbal A. Do you know what Ryan’s mos (job title) was and how long he was in Afghanistan? Did his mos ever change? I know a lot of guys that come back and are more violent with their significant other than they were in past. Where are the links to Ryan’s past with Military? Thanks. Great post

  • What on earth happened to discussing the lanyard Anon#106? Just send a message to Dan privately. Sometimes writing and creating and staying busy with a cause that has no selfish pursuit is therapy in itself. The author has tried to be pretty transparent about his own life experiences but I don’t think he started the blog to solicit a personal advisor.

  • Hey Dan the man, hope you’re staying warm out there! The post you are about to read,I have posted here before. However seeing as how it is now buried by forty something comments, and is relevant to this post I thought I’d throw it back up there to see if anyone else has thoughts on this.

    you know that picture that has Theresa in front of her RAV 4 and shes holding her camera? its on the documentary and also here is a link:

    well if you would, please zoom in on her right hand. There is clearly something enclosed in that hand. if you look at it close enough, it is fair to determine that it is in fact a set of her keys. keyS, being plural. that means that when that picture was taken (and we would need to find out when) that she had more that one key on her key ring. and if this was the case, then she would have not had a use for her spare key (which is the key I believe Ryan planted inside Stevens house, and also the other part of the lanyard that was in the car itself) seeing as how this key was found only after the long search at the Avery house, (8 days I think) and the fact that it is found by the one officer that shouldn’t have even been at that house,(lenk 4 months later) is sketchy at best.

    I challenge anyone to take out their keyS, because almost all of us have more than one, and take your car key and hold it up to the key found in SA room and compare wear and tear.(nice rhyme haha) it becomes obvious once you do this that the key they find at SA house is actually pretty new, and hardly used. That being said, where is the key she always used? Her house key? Camera bag key? Work key? Someone mentioned trophies earlier..could this be it? Does Ryan have one of her keys on his key ring right now?

    Something to think about, discussion welcomed.

    • Perhaps the rest of the keys were taken so someone had access to her house so they could snoop in her stuff and get rid of any incriminating things before the cops were allowed to search through her stuff. Notes/etc. I believe they searched her house but not till after Ryan and her friends had pulled up her phone records, etc. The concept of trophies is so weird! When a local murderer’s home was searched here, a whole cache of women’s IDs were found.

      • Interesting. If Ryan had gone back to her house after the deed was done, he could have taken anything he wanted. His favorite shirt of hers, jewelry, etc. All he would have to do is make sure her roommate wasn’t there and just walk in.(with the key) and that way no one would ever know he was even there. Hmmm.

        • Exactly. And I believe (stuff starts to run together-who said what) Mike stated Scott– the roommate– worked construction and left early in the morning most days. I’m sure he had to keep working while all this was going on :)

        • And having her phone, it’d be no problen getting into her voicemail.

        • And he had to have had her phone. That’s the only way he could’ve gotten into her voicemail.

      • Odd what it says on her key strap.. And yes, by the Hair/Blood found in her car, by the fact the officer had clearly found her car prior (he called in her plate) to it being found on Avery property, because of no blood or evidence of teresa being in that trailer, let alone killed in there as brendan describes, because of Who found that key (or planted it) and mostly because of how that Ryan Hillegas describes his relationship with teresa, total downplay “we were good friends..dated for like 5 years..” That Makes You Her Ex Buddy.

        I am certain that Ryan Hillegas did in fact kill Teresa in a heated crime of jealous rage, and that the cops, when they came upon the car and scene, took the opportunity to save face And save 36million in lawsuit

    • See my post on Jan 22. Yes, the keys. In fact, there is testimony from her photog studio business partner about her having 2 keys to the studio. Mike Halbach testified she had a house key and a garage key. So yes, Keys. J Buting mentioned this in an interview. Dean Strang introduced this problem in the trial to elicit the testimony above.

      HOWEVER – keys are easy to dispose of separately. One would think they would be discovered somewhere on the Avery property if Steve was the murderer. The burn barrel had at least 3 of her property in it: PDA, camera and phone.

      Also, how about the rest of her purse? NO one travels around even locally these days without a stack of plastic cards. Were any found in the burn barrel? Is there a general inventory of what was found in it? I’m still reading transcripts, so maybe so.

      Yes, many personal items you would expect to find haven’t been.

      • So then, where are the missing items? The keys the purse the contents of said purse? Maybe the quarry somewhere buried or under water? Maybe Ryan disposed of those things in green bay? Look if Ryan did this, and I believe he did, it was a crime of passion and love. One of those proverbial “if I can’t have you, no one can” kind of things. He wasn’t just in love with her, he was obsessed. Rational thoughts of her by him went out the window. He was heartbroken without her, and seeing her not being heartbroken without him drove him to commit this horrible crime. Incompetence and greed is what fueled the police, and Ryan took full advantage of that.

    • Good comment, Captain. If the murderer did have them as a trophy I bet by now with the entire world theorizing, they may have discarded them to the bottom of a lake if they had half a brain.

    • Good stuff, Captain! You were the first to seize on what looks like an extra key in that photo that I know of, and since then, I’ve heard a lot about it. The reason I did’t make more of it when you first sent it to me is that there is no way for me to ascertain whether it proves anything. Nonetheless, I should have posted it, and for not doing that, I apologize.

  • I’m happy to hear that you are back in Portland living with your Mom.

      • BTW, you never mentioned you choked out another women over a cigarette.

        • I didn’t. This is what “choked out” means: And it wasn’t over a cigarette. It was a drunken, reactive and regrettable reaction to what she had done first.

        • From a woman’s perspective, you put your hands around my throat and squeeze in anger, you are trying to choke me out or strangle me. Don’t feed definitions to soothe your savage soul.

        • Then don’t make accusations that are false.

        • Not making accusations, pointing out a perspective.

        • I do not have a savage soul, by the way. I do not regard my self as lesser in any way owing to past actions if my present way of thinking and acting are incongruent with a former self. If society refuses to acknowledge the improvement, any attempt to lead a virtuous life will be regarded as merely an insufferable affront to popular opinion however monstrous it may be.

          I urge you to carefully think through what you might allow. How long should my head be lowered in shame? Is it impossible to achieve moral parity with you, or at least those members of society who, only by accident of lacking a history of any contretemps with authority, may be assumed to be of good moral character? Is it possible that I might have any use to society except as a punching bag, paradoxically, to those who are better than I? I should also like to know who among us would withstand the scrutiny of our fellows if all of our actions and thoughts were recorded in some ledger for everyone to view?

          As for my self, I imagine I would be quite lucky to have been choked out a dozen times if there were a way to use such events as a currency to purchase a past free of the countless abuses and insults I have experienced, and against which there were and are no laws.

          If you might have gotten the impression that it is my aim to directly challenge those who would judge me by questioning, in fact doubting their implied claim to the moral high ground, you are correct.

        • And by the way, you “moderating” comments” and posting only what you want to post don’t cut it. You hadn’t been blogging enough to matter that much.

        • I publish all comments that are not mean spirited personal attacks against me or other readers or are not pages and pages long, or are not obvious spam. If a comment falls into one of these categories, it is moved into the impolite comment folder. If anyone wants to read hundreds of troll comments, I’ve made it very clear that these comments are for sale for a mere dollar or free for people who can’t afford a dollar. Since almost all of these comments are ones that rudely make the assumption that I’m mentally ill, I’ve made it clear that the proceeds will go toward paying a psychiatrist, so long as I can find one willing to allow our sessions to be recorded and put up on this site.

        • Daniel please! You keep pleading how society holds you as a scourge. But that is how you perceive yourself.

          I personally know several convicted felons that have done very well for themselves. One of them being my father and one of them my son. Neither one of them play the “I’m sorry for me card”. Yes they have both had struggles but they’ve done what it took to dig out of the so called trench to make it.

          My father raise his son, my brother as a single father (the mother was a successful lawyer), that should say something. My son, still struggles somewhat but because he is young and stupid but is still a good father and is still a part of his children’s lives. He’s made his dumb assed choices but doesn’t let those choices deter him from being a father.

          I give my son no slack!! But he know that I love him and will do anything for his children and because of them will help him, but not his choices. By that, he don’t come to me with excuses, he excepts his dumb assed choices and is making amends.

          Have you done that?

          No one is perfect, we all make mistakes. But at some point we have to accept that and move on, make amends and make fix what needs to be fixed.

          With you, what you are spending money on towards Avery (admiral though it may be) should be spent toward putting towards your kids. Sure, you can’t see them now but eventually you will.

          Because my mother was an evil vindictive bitch I didn’t get to know my father growing up but eventually she couldn’t control that and now I am closer to my father than I ever was to my mother. I’m 48. Time changes things. Give up the past and focus on your kids and their future. You can still make a difference. Put you time, resources and efforts into them.

        • You have no right to tell me what I should be focusing on lady. This site and this forum is for discussing related to Making A Murderer, and not for arguing about whatever we seem to be arguing about. I appreciate your comments, and your interest, but it’s time to move on to finding an alibi for Ryan Hillegas. That’s what you should really be concerned with.

        • Daniel, requiring a psychiatrist to allow recording wether video or audio of a psych appt by the patient is nothing short of a power play and manipulative.

          Sorry pal.

        • Don’t be offended, but I’m going to have to ignore you for awhile until you write a comment that adds rather than detracts to the conversation.

        • Funny but your crowd funding thing doesn’t even mention Ryan.

        • And because you are so good at censoring lately, I did screen shot your gofundme page. Ryan isn’t even mentioned.

        • Look, this is not a place where hatred is going to be allowed to run wild and free through the clover. You are skating on thin ice, just so you know as you’re essentially harassing me at this point. No comments have been censored. They’ve been exiled into the hateful comment folder which can be purchased for a dollar. If someone is poor, it’s free.

        • Daniel this is NOT hatred!!!

        • i am not hating. I see someone else with mental health issues I need. My issues are being addressed by the VA (laugh if you want, I do). But still, You, Daniel have issues and I recongnize them.

          It is what it is.

          I do see the faults with the Avery case, no doubts, hands down. Not questioning it. That is not an issue. How Luke handled it,,,,,,,entirely another ball game.

        • Daniel, none of my comments are hateful!!!!!

          That is what you don’t what to understand. You censor them and send them to your “pay to see what people say” folder for sensationalism but in fact I’m. OT trying to be anything other than helpful.

        • ANON 106. Well, now we know it all. The VA is helping you, They probably have you hopped up on so many meds (maybe opiates as they are known to generously give out) & this is why you are Jekyll and Hyde here or somebody else uses your name when you’re civil. Before Daniel, my X’s were all Military. All my friends are still Military — from Sgts to full blown Colonels and one is in war college now to be a General. Very few VA hospitals take care of our Soldiers & Marines properly. I know first hand. They typically create a lot of drug addicts. Not that they don’t deserve to be one — if they want — after all they went through (but some are angry w the VA due to this). How dare you speak to a man this way you do not know. Would your commanding officer approve of your bullying? I am guessing you are a Marine not a Soldier because their way of being ‘schooled’ was straight up bullying and it created more bullies and less Warriors.

          The writer from the daily dot did not mention Dan was 22 when he barely touched the woman w his hands for two seconds at a party before a guy got Dan off her (that is why it is already dramatic to call it strangulation) but 100 percent inaccurate to call it a “choke out.” That is done in the MMA. I get the feeling you watch MMA.

          The girl used, teased and taunted him for over a year while keeping him only in the friend zone. She has her issues with ethics and he, then, with a temper. When he was very drunk the 22 year old boy responded like a baby to her very self entitled and aggressive energy; grabbing the cigarette from his mouth as he smoked. A week later she was back using him and being only his friend. Now, the only thing Dan is guilty of today, is being too damn honest for his own good.
          He has evolved a lot since I met him. He responds well to a common anti d many take. Please back off of him. Stick to Ryan or the case.

        • Gee guys (not you Daniel) thank you so much for reading my comment here and discussing it appropriately. Why do you feel the need to haphazardly diagnose Daniel? Why do YOU start up with words that are in no way related to the topic of this post, or the comments, and then blame Daniel for being off topic? Pots and kettles and black. As Daniel has proved time and time again, he will talk to you about damn near anything. But as the saying goes, there is a time as there is a place and this, my friend, is not the place. I have poetically I emailed Daniel before and it was an awesome feeling to have him return that email privately as well. But even my email was about TH and RH, because THAT’S THE DISCUSSION at hand. Please don’t bring up your concerns for Daniel publicly on this forum as it is no longer the discussion. Read my comment about the keyS and if you have two sense, come chime in. If that is simply too much for you, email Daniel privately.

  • She was in and out of her car frequently. It is not so far fetched that she kept a solo car key around her neck on a lanyard while working as a photog.

  • Have you read about the theory about a cold case expert that makes a theory that serial killer Edward Wayne Edwards killed Teresa? The guy has killed on Halloween, set up other people before, was living in Wisconsin at the time and has been in the Avery salvage yard before. Look at the retired detectives blog on it. It’s really interesting and he really goes into detail. Keep in mind that he also believes this serial killer bis responsible for the Memphis Three killings, the Ramsey killing, and the Zodiac among others and he goes into detail about why. You can supposedly spot this killer in the paradise lost documentary as well as making a murderer episode 6.

    • Yes, I’ve heard about this. I find it highly unlikely.

      • Quite interesting he only lived an hour away. He also would have been following such a juicy story on Avery. Don’t forget we’re talking a mastermind serial killer. Probably why we say no way, can’t comprehend what they think, how they are wired. If the guy didn’t have anything else to do he could be all over that. Just chiming in.

  • Her sister took the stand around Feb. 23.

    Here’s a news report of her testimony as it relates to the Lanyard.

  • The ‘extra’ keys would be on a different ring. Jerry Buting raised that in an interview this week as something that a MAM viewer pointed out in a different photograph. He said it wasn’t something that they’d considered. That surprised me. Everyone has more than one key to exist in life.

    The photo of the key and the lanyard together I believe is from the court exhibits. Unfortunately, I don’t think all court photos are yet available. Some are, some aren’t.

    I was going through some of the transcripts yesterday and found that mentioned exhibits aren’t in the collections I’ve seen, such as the zip file Daniel has (see link above).

  • You’re amazing. I’ve been reviewing your site on occasion. As America moves on from this TV show and as you’re blog begins to slip into oblivion with fewer and fewer visitors as the days go on, it reminds me of the Pee Wee Herman’s basement meeting after his bike is stolen.

    If you’re not familiar…

    “It’s like you’re unraveling a cable knit sweater that someone keeps knitting and knitting and knitting…”

    Ryan Hillegas is waiting for you in the basement of The Alamo.

    • It might be fading for a little while, but I have a funny feeling that it’s going to come roaring back once we’re able to drag the pink tutu bedecked, crossing-dressing-Ken-Kratz truth out of the closet on this one.

  • I read somewhere in the transcripts that it was found in the RAV4. This was yesterday so I’m guessing it was on the first grouping of transcripts or possibly the second group before Hillegas testimony.

    • If it was found in the RAV, by whom? Hope someone finds that info. If it was Lenk or Colborn or someone else from Manitowoc Sheriff — hmm. If it was the crime lab, may be legit. MAY.

      If the key was removed from the lanyard, why? Why would the killer not take the whole thing attached? If the killer took the key from the lanyard, was the lanyard tested for DNA? Must look at Culhane’s report.

      If she had it on her person, I can understand why the killer took it in order to drive the car (assuming that key was actually used to drive the car). Maybe the lanyard got in the way of having the key in the ignition and he removed it.

      Whatever the situation – all the puzzle piece must fit a logical consistency between the key and ‘a lanyard’.

      • I don’t recall all the details except that it was stated that the key was in fact the valet key.

      • Just going with your post here..very puzzling but I had one though…

        “If the key was removed from the lanyard, why?”

        The lanyard was a trophy perhaps? I wonder if there was a break-in at any property the lanyard may have contained keys for afterward…like maybe he wanted to taunt or search for more trophies?

        • Or the key was taken after locking the car at the salvage yard.
          Or this is a different key from the one she normally used (no TH DNA???) and the whole thing was taken from her house.

          As with the bullet fragment, there is nothing to connect that/those fragments to those shell casings. It’s natural to make the connection, but it’s not provable.

        • 11 bullets were found. 10 with NO DNA, 1 with Halbach’s DNA. 10 without DNA were fired from and proven to be from the .22 that Avery had in his house. The 1 with DNA—which was cross contaminated and should have been thrown out of court—was unidentifiable. They could not tell whose gun that single bullet came from. So many questions, and absolutely zero answers.

        • More about bullets.

          The multiple ‘bullets’ they found were the casings, not exactly bullets. They are little shells that hold the gunpowder and the lead on the end. I haven’t read about the shell casing DNA.

          There were two lead bullet fragments. One was supposedly found in a crack in the cement floor and the second was a flattened piece of lead. The first one had no DNA. The flattened one is the ‘magic bullet’ found under the air compressor that the lab says had TH’s DNA on it. What was messed up was a second solution as a control sample. Also, I think I read that they did NOT do a ‘presumptive test’ to find out if the DNA was from blood or some other type of cell – skin, saliva, whatever. If they are saying that bullet went INTO TH, it should have blood on it. Bullets don’t flattened by not hitting something hard.j

          They could not tell what gun the lead came from because it is separate from the casings after fired to my understanding. They identified the shell casings from the way the firing pin hits the bottom of the casing to ‘set off’ the gun power, NOT by the lead fragment, or what you might think of as the nose of a pre-fired bullet.

          Hope that helps.

      • “If it was found in the RAV, by whom?”

        Additional that the full photograph?. If so and it WAS found in the Rav4 why doesn’t it show the extra keys?