If The Keys Don’t Match Avery Walks
In 2007, Steven Avery was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for killing Teresa Halbach who died on October 31st, 2005. Helping to seal this conviction was the fact that Teresa’s 1999 Toyota RAV4 was found on the property where Steven Avery lived with blood from both Teresa and Steven also found in it. Investigators also determined that Steven Avery’s DNA was found on the hood release mechanism of the RAV4.
In addition to other items of physical evidence which were used to implicate Steven Avery in the death of Ms Halbach—some of Teresa’s personal effects were found in barrels adjacent to Steven’s trailer, and bones said to belong to Teresa were found in a fire pit in his backyard suggesting that after Steven Avery killed Teresa, he had disposed of Teresa’s body by burning it—perhaps the most crucial piece of evidence after the RAV4 was a key purported to belong to that RAV4 found on the floor of Steven Avery’s trailer. The determination that Steven Avery’s DNA was found on this key bound Steven Avery even more closely to this piece of evidence and thus the crime of murder.
Despite all of this, it was maintained by Steven’s defense at the time of his trial, and it is currently maintained by his current counsel, in addition to legions of people around the world who ardently believe in Steven Avery’s innocence, that evidence was planted to make it look like Steven killed Teresa even though it was someone else.
Kathleen Zellner, a chicago attorney with almost twenty exonerations under her belt, took up the cause to also exonerate Steven Avery in 2015. After receiving permission in August of 2016 by court officials in Wisconsin to reexamine key pieces of evidence used to convict Steven Avery, she announced that she would be seeking some of the world’s most renowned experts to perform a series of cutting edge tests on this evidence that she had the utmost confidence would either reveal that Steven Avery did not kill Teresa Halbach or that it would no longer be possible to accord any credibility to the evidence used to convict Steven Avery for this crime.
Among the pieces of evidence retested by Zellner’s experts were the blood found in the RAV4; the key purported to be the one found on the floor of Steven Avery’s trailer; the bullet fragment found in Steven Avery’s garage said to have been fired into Teresa Halbach’s skull, and the swabs which contained the DNA which had purportedly been obtained from the hood release mechanism from Teresa Halbach’s RAV4.
After nearly a year had passed, Zellner filed a much anticipated motion in June of 2017. Concerning the nature of the motion, it consisted primarily of the opinions of a collection of experts who, by interpreting the results of a multitude of tests, concluded or suggested in one way or another that it was very unlikely that it was Steve Avery who killed Teresa Halbach. The motion did contain ANY evidence which could have been held up to definitively prove beyond all doubt that evidence had been planted.
Specifically, Zellner’s motion did not contain any reference to the fact that an official photograph of a key shown lying on the floor of Steven Avery’s trailer, next to a brown bookshelf, and later said to belong to Teresa Halbach’s 1999 Toyota RAV4 did not, upon close inspection, match any of the pictures of the key later taken by law enforcement officers off scene at the Calumet County Sheriff’s Department. This is information that Kathleen Zellner should have been aware of, and it is not known at this time why it was not included in her motion, or why she has not publicly called attention to this evident mismatch.
Disappointingly to Avery’s supporters, on October 3rd, 2017, judge Angela Sutkiewicz ruled against allowing the motion to go forward on grounds that all of the evidence adduced by Kathleen Zellner was insufficiently convincing.
The purpose of this document is manifold. First, I wish the reader to consider four propositions which I list below. Second, in accordance with these two propositions, I wish to adduce exculpatory evidence which, if received properly by the public, should free Steven Avery from his lifelong prison sentence.
- If it can be proven that physical evidence, INCLUDING DNA evidence was deliberately planted for the express purpose to make Steven Avery look guilty of the capital crime of murdering Teresa Halbach, it would represent the strongest evidence available to undermine confidence in Steven Avery’s conviction.
- All other evidence used to convict Steven Avery would instantly become irrelevant. Thus it would not be necessary to prove that both the blood of Steven Avery’s found in Teresa’s RAV4; or the bones found in his backyard were planted.
- Proof that evidence was planted should be enough to free Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey from their current term of confinement within their respective Wisconsin prisons.
- Such proof, should it exist, needs to be recognized by Ms. Zellner, and the wider public who purport to believe in Steven Avery’s innocence.
The first proposition should be self-evident though I do not necessarily agree that the totality of evidence brought forth by Zellner’s motion wasn’t enough for her motion to go forward under normal circumstances. But these are not normal circumstances as I personally discovered when I went to Wisconsin. While there, I conducted dozens of personal interview with people who lived in the Manitowoc community where both Steven Avery and Teresa Halbach come from and discovered that the vast majority of the locals strongly believed in Avery’s guilt and this was a position that they were dug into.
I even met a woman who claimed to be a friend of Penny Beerntsen who told me that neither she nor Penny really ever believed that it was someone else besides Steven who had raped Penny back in 1987, even though DNA was found to implicate Gregory allen who had had a long history of sexual attacks against women.
Any judge from that area has a very strong political incentive to ignore all but the strongest exculpatory evidence pointing to Steven Avery’s innocence. To do otherwise would be to invite the wrath of not only the broader law enforcement community, but also, as alluded to, the wider general public. In other words, it would be tantamount to committing career suicide.
Concerning the second proposition, the DNA that was found on the key is possibly more important than the key itself. The reason I believe this to be so is that it would specifically establish a link between the other major piece of evidence used against Steven Avery where his DNA was found: if the key was planted this means that the DNA on the key was planted which means that the DNA found on the hood release lever was planted which means the blood was planted which means everything was planted. It would patently ridiculous for anyone to believe in the authenticity of the bone evidence if they were to admit that DNA was planted on the scene.
I feel there is no need to address the second two propositions either because they are also starkly self-evident. If you look at the keys below, and you agree that they don’t match, then YOU know the truth and YOU now have a moral responsibility to act on that by demanding to know from Zellner why she didn’t include this in her motion, and why she is not intending, so far as we know, to include this valuable proof in her revised motion.
Here are all of the articles that I’ve written about the keys over time beginning with the most recent. There are many pictures, and much analysis. I hope that there are few intelligent and honest people left in the world who will understand the significance of this and who will say something about it.