Images of Keys Were Photoshopped: Judge for Yourself


I’ve spent the last week trying to prove to the world that the photograph of the key on the floor of Steven Avery’s bedroom is not the same key that as the one later photographed by Jeremy Hawkins, and then presented as the official evidence key.  This should matter a great deal because if the keys are not the same, it means that the key on the floor of Steven Avery’s bedroom was planted.  And to further explain why this matters, if one piece of evidence was planted, then there is no evidence used by the prosecution that can be trusted, despite what Ken Kratz, the man who prosecuted Steven Avery, would have you believe.

IN other words, as soon as it can be shown that evidence on the scene was planted, there ought to be an executive order by the governor of Wisconsin to release both Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey IMMEDIATELY.

Up to this point, all that I’ve written about the various ways that the two keys are different have been largely ignored.  Despite the fact that one of the images in question is a bit blurry, it is not so blurry that you cannot tell that it is clearly different.  Needless to say, I was hoping for a dramatically different reaction besides one of almost complete indifference.

But I don’t give up easily.  Looking at some more of the pictures in question, namely those of the key, I made another SHOCKING discovery.  There is only one photograph of the key on the floor of Steven Avery’s bedroom.  But this image has been duplicated, and either the duplicate or the original has been EXTENSIVELY manipulated via photo editing.  You wouldn’t expect an image used to send two men away to prison for the rest of their lives to have been extensively edited in Photoshop, would you?  I can now confidently prove beyond any doubt that this is exactly what happened.

First, if any manipulation of the image had occurred, this information should have been disclosed to the defense.  Secondly, the reason for the manipulation, had it occurred, should have been carefully explained to both the defense and the jury.  Thirdly, if manipulation had occurred, one would have expected that it would have been for the purposes of making features of objects more, rather than less distinct.  Fourth, the defense should have been furnished with the original image before it had undergone any form of manipulation.  None of these things are true.  It can therefore be confidently stated that the image in question was manipulated to deliberately deceive a jury in order to falsely convict Steven Avery for the murder of Teresa Halbach.  I will now prove, hopefully once and for all, and in a manner that cannot be questioned or doubted, that what I am saying is true.

Let’s begin at archive where the official images and documents, supplied by the State of Wisconsin, are located.  This archive was set up by an anonymous user, Skipp Topp, who was able to use the internet to solicit donations from people all over the world in order to pay the State of Wisconsin for the documents related to the trial of Steven Avery that they were willing to make available to the public.  It does not advocate a position for or against Steven Avery’s guilt.  It is, I repeat, a neutral document archive used as a de facto official source by both sides in this debate.

There are two versions of the same photograph taken of the key in Steven Avery’s bedroom.  Though they look different, they are in fact the same photograph, and the only reason they look different is because at least one of the images has underdone photo editing.  They also look different because one of the images has been cropped.  We’ll get to all of that in a moment, but first the images.  The one below is the one that was used as the official trial exhibit.

The image below is the EXACT same photograph as the one above it.  The top and the bottom of the image have been cropped to make them look like they are different photographs, and the colors of one or the other image have been changed to make them look like different photographs, but they are, in fact, the same.  This alone is an incredibly important detail.  Additionally, you should already be able to tell that some amount of photo manipulation has occurred.  It is when we zoom in on each respective image, however, that the full extent of the manipulation of this image becomes apparent.



Perhaps the images juxtaposed makes it a little easier to see how they’re different.  The one on the bottom is shaded a little bit brighter, and most obviously of all, it is cropped differently.


The most important difference in these two images, however, only become visible once the images are expanded.  In my last five or six posts, I’ve tried to make the case that the evidence key is not the same key as the one shown in the images above.  With just the key alone, there are three main differences: 1) the key blades are not the same; 2) the key on the floor is missing the Toyota logo; 3) the shapes of the black plastic handles are not the same.  But because the image of the key on the floor of Steven Avery’s bedroom is admittedly blurry, this still isn’t taken as absolute proof.

Well, if we know that the images heretofore shown are from the same photograph, we shouldn’t expect to see radically different detail, one from the next, when we zoom into to details contained in those images.  Yet, that it is what we see!  The image below is from the official exhibit photograph used during Steven Avery’s trial.  It is a darker shade, but most importantly, there is utterly no detail contained within the oval where the Toyota logo should be.

   In the photo below, the oval is much more distinct, and one can even make out even more detail of something within the oval, but there is still no Toyota logo.  Why are these images different?  And why are they different in such a crucial area?  Why was the image used as the trial exhibit (the image above) the less distinct of the two images?  

This is absolutely proof that the image has been manipulated via photo editing software.  But does this manipulation go behind darkening or lightening the image, or adding a particular filter?  The clear, clear answer to this all important question is also yes.  In the first image of the two images above, photo editing was used to completely obliterate all detail within the oval where the Toyota logo should be (if it is to match the official evidence key that clearly shows the Toyota logo).  The second image shows clear signs of image manipulation too though.  Let’s compare them side-by-side:


The photo on the right shows more detail, but is perhaps a clumsier, and more obvious attempt to manipulate the image. It is very clear that an effect is applied to make it appear as though the surface of the key has a reflective property, particularly around the oval portion.  Anyone who happens to be an expert in photoshop should be able to easily tell that the image has been extensively manipulated.

There are other area of the image where manipulation is also apparent.  Look at the images of how black plastic clip that goes to the fob looks in each respective image.  The one on the right goes to the image that was an exhibit at trial, and the one on the right is the clearer one wasn’t (thought they are the same image, just manipulated differently):



In the above images, the one on the right has splotchy areas that make it look more reflective.  The one on the left should have these areas too, (albeit in darker shades) but it doesn’t.

Here is even more smoking gun proof that the images were photoshopped in order to obscure evidence that evidence was planted in order to secure the false conviction of Steven Avery.  Once again, what you are seeing is two different versions of the same photograph.  The difference is, the one on the right is a version of that image that’s been expanded, and, once again, manipulated slightly with some kind of filter.  You would think, given that it’s the expanded version of the first that it would reveal more detail.  And that is actually true of the numbers on the ruler.  Curiously, however, the Toyota logo is not at all visible in the center of the oval in the more expanded version (of the same) image.  Yet, in the unexpanded version it is plain to see!  This is, of course impossible unless someone did something to manipulate the image.



Here are the images above shown at a larger size:


As mentioned, these two images are from the same image, yet, the one that is zoomed in upon shows less detail?  This makes zero sense unless some kind of funny business was going on.  Below, by the way is, the a shot of the two ovals in each respective image isolated and blown up even more.


The top image in the two images above is taken from this image. The bottom image in the two images above is taken from this image. The image that should show more detail, actually shows less.  In fact, in the top image, you can actually see the oval laying in a horizontal position if you hold your screen at a certain angle, whereas in the image on the bottom, the oval has been erased.

By the way, neither of these images was used as the official exhibit.  Yet another version of the same image, one with the familiar yellowish tint, was used for that one.  Here IT is:

Once again, we see the yellowish tint applied to the photograph in order to darken, and thereby obscure as much detail as possible.  Interestingly, this photo is not the one where in which the the horizontal oval has been erased.  I suppose that would have been too risky for even Ken Kratz.  But the effect is basically the same, at least when you are looking at the image as it would have been presented in court.  It is very difficult to make out the Toyota logo in the center.  Here is a closeup from this version of the photograph which is zoomed in on the horizontal oval:


If by now I still haven’t convinced you that the images were extensively and deliberately manipulated, I have one last thing to show you.  The detail of the photo on the right shows a straight edge about half an inch from the left and bottom edge.  The other photo does not show any similar defect.  It is not easy to see, but once you spot it, it’s unmistakeable.










So what is going on here?  The key that Ken Kratz planted or had planted on the floor of Steven Avery’s bedroom did not have the official Toyota logo on it because it was a copy of some other key made by a locksmith at some point.  The official evidence key did have the Toyota logo on it, and at some point someone became aware of the mismatch and went to quite a bit of trouble to hide their mistake.

Ken Kratz knew that he’s gotten a little sloppy here, and even knew that it might be possible that the defense might have noticed his mistake and jumped on it.  This is one of the reasons.  That is why he made the following statement in his closing remarks at the finality of the case he put on for the State of Wisconsin during the trial of Steven Avery:

If you buy Mr. Strang’s argument that they were trying to make sure that a guilty person was found guilty then assigning accountability to the murder for Teresa Halbach shouldn’t matter whether or not that key was planted.  In other words can you set that aside and decide, is there enough other evidence or is the key the only thing that points to Mr. Avery?  That key, in the big picture, in the big scheme of things here, means very little.

Evidently he had a guilty mind.





  • Knowing there were at least two other serious photo manipulations, this is not surprising. We can only hope Zellner is able to present this to a judge in open court the many, many prosecutorial infractions that Kratz is responsible for. He KNEW and likely suggested all of this. This photo lab tech Groffey did NOT do this on his own, you can bet your ass on that. Just like taking those blood swabs. I’m still leaning towards him being the planter.

    • People have talked about manipulations of hue, saturation, and light, and yes, that has been obvious. But those changes could be excused as trying to make something more defined or more clear. The manipulations that I’m referring to are about all of that, to be sure, but they also allege erasure in order to conceal that evidence was planted. The keys are very obviously planted. The mistake that they made, probably, was in sending the defense certain items of discovery before they had everything all worked out. It’s hard to say. In any case, the keys don’t match, and there is clear evidence that the photos were messed with in a digital image editing suite of some kind. That alone should be enough to warrant their immediate release.

  • Most all of the photos in trial were photoshopped fyi.