Jerry Buting Comes Out Swinging in Rolling Stone
Finally one of the major players in Making A Murderer has come out swinging in the pages of the January 15th edition of Rolling Stone in an interview with Tessa Stuart.
There was a burn pit at the quarry? A third burn site?
There was a burn site where they found what the state expert believed were female human pelvic bones that were [Teresa Halbach’s]. But, you see, the thing about bones [is] — unless there’s tissue attached, they can’t do a normal DNA test that would prove [with] a very high probability who’s it is. In the burn pit, they did find a portion of one bone that had some of that tissue on it, and that’s how they made an identification of Teresa Halbach. The bones in the burn barrel, likewise.
But the bones in the gravel pit — they were not able to identify whose bones they were exactly, but they were pelvis bones. They appeared, based on the expert’s opinion, to be human and consistent with a female — I can’t remember if she said “young” female — and most importantly, they appeared to have the same type of degree and pattern of burning or calcination, as they call it, as the ones that were found in the burn barrel behind the Bobby Dassey house and the burn pit behind Steven Avery’s house.
So the other thing that wasn’t [addressed at trial] — and the state really had no explanation for it — [was]: If Avery was the killer and he burned the body behind his garage, why would he move just a few of them, and put them in his burn barrel, and a few of them and put them in some quarry a quarter-, half-mile away? You would think that if you’re going to try and dispose of evidence, you’re not going to leave the majority of it right outside your garage, right? They never offered anything to explain that, and, in fact, in my closing argument I challenged the prosecution to explain to this jury. The way it goes in Wisconsin is, because the state has the burden of proof, they get to finish the closing arguments with a rebuttal argument. So they make their opening closing statement, and then the defense goes, and then they can follow up with their final. [In my closing statement, I said] “He’s going to get up here in a few more minutes and I challenge him to explain to you why these bones were moved.” Because there was absolutely no doubt that the bones had been moved, certainly to the burn barrel and possibly a third location as well. The state never even offered [an explanation about] that; they completely ignored it. Didn’t even address it, and neither did they [address it] at the Dassey trial, I believe.
The other thing that wasn’t covered in the documentary is, we presented an expert who’s from Canada, and he had never testified for anybody but the Crown, the prosecution, before. He was really a world expert on finding cremains outside and in various locations [where one might] try to hide and dispose of a body. And he testified consistently with what we had found in the literature, which is: to burn a body takes either extremely high heat, or a very long, sustained, moderate medium-high type of heat, and it would be very difficult to burn a body in an open pit — an open fire — particularly to the degree that these bone fragments showed. At a crematorium, for instance, they use extremely high heat, and it still takes several hours.
Here, you would have had to continually stoke a fire over, and over, and over for 12, 14, 16 hours — something like that — in order to produce this [type of effect]. And there was no evidence that any fire [like that] had [taken place]. There was a bonfire, but there was no evidence that there was any intense fire like that for such a long, sustained period of time.
So we argued there were other, better spots where the bones could have been burned and really that these were inconsistent with having this burning take place right outside of his garage.