Ken Kratz’s Missing “Evidence”

picture of Ken Kratz giving a news conference

picture of Ken Kratz giving a news conference

 

 

One of many letters I received from Ken Kratz

One of many letters I received from Ken Kratz

One of the first things I did after watching this series was email Ken Kratz to give him a piece of my mind by emailing him through his law firm’s email address. Surprisingly he wrote me back, and we then began a brief correspondence.

Probably the most interesting thing I got from Mr. Kratz was an email listing two pieces of evidence missing from the documentary.  The full text of his email, sent on December 25th, 2015 reads as follows…

2 examples of evidence you were never told:  The bullet found in the garage is fired from the .22 cal gun, which until Nov 5th hung over Avery’s bed.  Ballistics says it’s THAT gun that fires THAT bullet recovered in the garage.
Since 11/6, the day that gun is seized, the gun is locked in the Calumet County evidence locker in Chilton.
Never mentioned in the documentary.  The question, then, is if the bullet is planted with Teresa’s DNA on it, how do the cops have a fired bullet, from Avery’s gun, which HAD TO BE shot from that gun BEFORE 11/5?
Example 2…like all American vehicles, the victim’s SUV has a hood latch (accessed under the hood when it’s opened).  Anyway, Dassey tells investigators that when he and Avery hid the SUV, uncle Steve pops the hood and unhooked the battery.
After March 1st, after Brendan tells investigators Steve opened the hood, the hood latched is then “swabbed” by the crime lab.  Steven Avery’s DNA is found on the hood latch.  It’s also NOT blood.
Therefore, if Avery’s DNA (blood) is planted inside the SUV, how does his DNA (from skin cells from his sweaty hands) get on the hood latch?
Why does the defense documentary PURPOSELY not tell the audience about the DNA under the hood???
If this made a difference to you (just these 2 excluded items), please let me know. Thanks.

Ken

I wasn’t the only person who was sending emails to Ken Kratz around this time, and I’m not the only person he responded to.  He sent a much longer response to an individual who posted it on Reddit (Ken Kratz encouraged this individual to publish it far and wide).  Unfortunately, whoever it was that put up the post took down, but the over 300 comments remain.

Fortunately, for my readership, I am able to recall from memory all, or almost all of the additional items of missing “evidence” that Mr. Kratz included in the email to the reluctant redditor.  Nonetheless, I’ve sent another email request to Mr. Kratz inviting him to send me the contents of the deleted reddit post just to be sure, and I will post updates if a response from Mr. Kratz is ever forthcoming.

Mr. Kratz has gone on record innumerable times stating that the series excluded “eighty to ninety percent of the evidence”.  And he’s made it a point to mention that it was the excluded evidence that was most incriminating.  The words of Mr. Kratz still carry a lot of weight, I believe, and he’s been able to help in persuading those who believe in Avery’s guilt that the entire series is very one-sided. Not helping matters much is the refusal of the film makers, Demos and Ricciardi to counter any of the claims made by Mr. Kratz.  Daniel Holloway of The Wrap asked this question of the two on December 31, 2015:

So, when Kratz says that the DNA recovered from Avery’s car couldn’t have been planted or that the bullet hat to have been fired while Avery had the gun what do you say to that?

Ricciardi:

Without getting into trying to refute specific pieces of evidence, I would say that our role here was as documentarians.  We were not advocates.  We’re not part of an adversarial system.  We were documenting this case as it was unfolding.

Who is going to dare question Kratz on this supposed missing “evidence” then?  If Ken Kratz is allowed to repeat the same claims over and over agin, and he’s given all of the reach and power of modern media to do so, it won’t be long before more and more people being to have doubts.  I fear that it’s already begun.  This doesn’t mean that I don’t think Kratz shouldn’t be allowed to present what he thinks is excluded evidence, I just don’t think that it should go unchallenged.

Before getting to what Ken’s excluded evidence is, I think it important to note the figures he throws around “eighty to ninety percent” seem a tad high.  If we ignore for a moment that the series showed Mr. Kratz asking Fassbender if he’s aware of  nearly nine hundreds hundred pieces of evidence, and we just focus on the details of the testimony given by various witnesses, I would say that list was comprised of a number far greater than the fourteen or so pieces of evidence which Kratz refers to as the missing “eighty to ninety percent”.  That is, unless Kratz is excluding the excluded evidence.

The way Ken Kratz handled the prosecution of this case had I great deal to do with the outcome, and I believe if that if we closely examine some of the claims made by Ken Kratz, and how he was able to spin and manipulate the “evidence” he had in hand,  we can open up a window into Mr. Kratz mind and gain the perspective needed to understand the outcome.

The first example of Ken’s excluded evidence will show how prone he is to exaggeration, and how skilled he is as a rhetorician in his ability to make something out of nothing.  This is part of a pattern of Ken Kratz to present suggestion and innuendo as hard evidence, or to cast ordinary events, such as using *67 before making a phone call, as something sinister.

Take a look at this photo:

 

Wire left over from incinerated tires

Wire left over from incinerated tires

The prosecution argued that the primary burn location was the fire pit in Steven Avery’s backyard.  As evidence of this, Kratz has stated that Teresa Halbach’s bones were intertwined “within the steel belts of burned tires”.  But in this picture, we see the steel belts of a burned tire, but we don’t see bones intertwined within them.  We’d have to do a little more research perhaps, to determine if this photograph was taken after the bones were plucked out, but even if we saw photographic evidence of what Mr. Kratz claims, it’s still hard to understand how this represent very strong evidence that this was the primary burn location.

 

 

To understand how the prosecution was so effective, I think we need to look for certain patterns.  To recap, the patterns of exaggeration that we can already attribute to Mr. Kratz’s are as follows:

  1. Overstating the amount of evidence excluded in Making A Murderer as eighty to ninety percent.  Never has Mr. Kratz, to my knowledge, offered how he arrived at this figure, and without further information from Mr. Kratz to support his specific range, it seems dubious.
  2. Implying an overwhelming amount of evidence, almost 1,000 pieces when questioning Fassbender.  Though that may have been technically true (especially if you include each bone fragment), it certainly doesn’t mean that all of that evidence was inculpatory.  And never has Mr. Kratz attached a specific number to actual pieces of missing evidence after the airing of the documentary, preferring only to offer a percentage.
  3. Adducing as evidence of where the primary burn location was the intertwining of bones and the steel remnants of burned tires.
And this is only what I recall from memory.  My guess is that there are a lot more examples.

To date, all of the evidence that I could find that Ken Kratz claims was excluded is listed below.

  1. We have learned from a third party who relates that he once heard from Teresa Halbach that Mr. Avery once opened his door to Teresa clad only in a towel
  2. The shovels and such encircling the burn pit were the tools used in the fire while Teresa was being burned
  3. Testimony from someone that Steven had been imprisoned with that he talked about setting up a torture chamber in his house and intended to use fire as a means of disposing of bodies
  4. That Steven Avery used suspicious subterfuge in the manner of his communications with Teresa Avery on the day of her disappearance.  He attempted to use *67 as a way of concealing his identity, and he called from someone else’s phone to allay Teresa’s wariness
  5. He gave Teresa an address other than his own to deceive Teresa as to the ultimate location of the red Dodge Caravan
  6. After the murder, Steven Avery called Teresa Halbach without using *67 to establish an alibi
  7. The charred remains of Teresa’s camera and palm pilot were found near Steven Avery’s door
  8. Steven Avery had a history of cruelty to animals (I believe Mr. Kratz included this in this list).

 

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42 comments

  • Why is it so hard to believe that if they planted DNA once, they couldn't/wouldn't have planted it all.

  • Someone gave a statement that there were bullet casings all over the Avery property. All they had to do was pick one up and move it.

  • Actually Ken Kratz does mention that a single tooth was found in the burn pit where he thinks Teresa Halbach's body was burned. But if that burn pit where Teresa was incinerated, there should have been a lot more teeth than just one. If the fire was hot enough to burn teeth, which it wasn't, it would have been hot enough to burn the bones. So where are the other thirty odd teeth? Kratz also mentions a single rivet from a pair of Daisy Fuentes jeans. Once again, where are the other rivets?

    I should also like to make a point that these teeth and rivets are tiny objects even compared against the small bone fragments. In transferring remains from one place to the next, they would have been easily missed. Whoever did this was good, but they weren't *that* good.

  • I would also like to hear from any forensic folks. Is there no mention of any teeth or teeth fragments found with any of the burned remains. Teeth are the hardest to burn. Usually in cremation they are ground up.

  • From 20 year vet of NYPD:
    Possibly, if it's just a flesh wound/graze wound.

  • <>

    And 36 million saved. Good stuff.

  • I've have never gotten a confirmation that the battery was unhooked. And if was, why? So many rumors that need to be confirmed our squashed. Two more: Nancy Grace claims that someone put a different hood on Teresa's RAV 4 presumably between the time she went missing, and the time her cremains were found. Another person in town told me that the crusher on the property wasn't working between that same time period. There are sure to be more.

  • I don't know. But I've wondered that myself. It warrants immediate investigation.

  • Imagine SA's booking : mugshots, fingerprints, tube of blood, cheek swab, extra cheek swab. One swab goes into evidence, the other goes into Lenk's briefcase. Swab key, swab hood latch, get fassbender to get Brendan to say that SA lifted hood to unhook battery. Job done

  • Am I right in believing that they always say that the bullet had her DNA, NOT blood from which her DNA was recovered, just her DNA. Doesn't make sense if that bullet went through her body.

  • You make an excellent point, Anonymous. They key here is that if Ryan Hillegas was able to come and go freely to Teresa Halbach's place of residence, and by all indications he was, he would have had easy access to many sources of her DNA. Laundry, toothbrush, tampon. If he killed Teresa, he might even have had her blood left over from stains on the clothing he wore that day. Additionally, if he was friends with Mike Halbach, and Teresa's parents, and was invited over, you have more potential sources. If this was a crime he planned for weeks or months, he might have been collecting samples before, rather than after Teresa Halbach's death.

  • Yeah, that is quite necessary at this point because Kratz is going to continue his campaign of exaggeration and distortion. Nothing he says can really be trusted given his track record. What Kratz doesn't say is often as suspicious as what he does say. He goes on and on about that DNA under the hood latch, but he never gets around to explaining why there are not prints there too. I think he would have mentioned that by now if there were. So, how do you get DNA from your own sweat under the hood latch but no fingerprints?

    • Most vehicles have a release lever/latch on the inside of the vehicle that you have to pull to open the hood before you can access the latch on the outside front to actually open the hood. I’ve seen no mention of any DNA or prints on this lever.

      • Great catch. Anyone have the specs on that model RAV to know if it works the same?

        Except it really doesn’t matter in this case. Whoever parked the car there had access to the interior and could click that release latch.

        Did anyone look in the glovebox? Keep in mind, that could only be opened by the main key, NOT the valet key found in Steve’s trailer.

  • There is at least one shot in the show of a bullet circled in chalk. It's likely that it would be easy to find a bullet on the property fired by SA's gun. Dig it out and rub it with Teresa's toothbrush, toss it under the compressor and faster than you can say Lenk, instant evidence.

  • I wonder if any forensic techs could weigh in… Kratz questions how SA's "sweat" could have gotten on the hood latch because blood wasn't found but his DNA was detected. The question is, could his DNA have come from another source such as a toothbrush or even a reference cheek swab?

  • Miss Information, I agree with all of your points. Before I can get to that, I felt I needed to debunk Ken Kratz and his "excluded" evidence. He's on a media tour at the moment peddling this garbage and more and more people are having doubts. He only wants to talk about what he wants to talk about, and not all the problems with his theory. Thanks for your comment.

  • Honestly, any physical evidence introduced in this trial by the prosecution is completely tainted by the lack of credibility of the officers who found the evidence. I wouldn't even say lack of credibility. I'd say ZERO credibility. Although usually physical evidence is the most important element in a trial, I think in this case we have to look to the phone records (who forwarded her calls?). And the LACK of evidence For instance, where is Teresa's DNA on the property? Where is the blood in the garage? If a bullet was fired there, blood would have spattered on the walls. Did you see the state of that garage? Organically trashed over years of accumulation, with items covered in grease and gunk and obviously not clean. No way that someone would be able to clean that place up of JUST the blood evidence and leave all the gunk and dust. There would be evidence of cleaning. Some someone masterfully cleaned only the blood evidence, artfully re-gunked everything in the garage, and forgot about the bullet?!?! Give me a break!

  • In my most recent post, I ask about when Kratz and others came up with the idea of the torture chamber. Was it after he was told lurid tales by prisoners who had served time with Avery? I wonder how this torture chamber idea developed. And I also have a lot of questions for the Halbachs who want to maintain their privacy, and don't seem to want to answer any questions for some reason. I find it very possible that they know some things. It's all going to come out sooner or later. The whole world is asking questions day and night.

  • Yes, I saw that film :) That is all very creative. I am not sure they are that skilled. So many people would have to be in on it. When you have a crime (or scheme) and more than one person knows about it, seems likely somebody has loose lips. Teresa's family remains a mystery like the grieving should be.

  • Agree! Everyone is sooo quick to pin the slave room on him. So what he like rough sex. He's been locked up most of his life, not only that but in his prime! I don't see anything wrong with curing dry spell.

    -A3

  • Hello!! Has anyone seen gone girl? She is still alive. We have to think outside the box! But my theory has questions about Teresa and her family. Did anyone from her family past recently before she was killed? Grandparents? Dig up there body, burn evidence and jeans with a few bones? Take a pint of her blood plant it in truck?? Cops pay them off for framing him. Whatever they got had to be under 36 mil plus no one lose there reputation. Ryan was sneaky. He helped plant evidence too. 'It was easy' he said. How are they living now? See any increase in financial situations? Just have a lot of questions!

  • If Steve Avery bleached his garage, why did no one smell it when they searched? If they stabbed her, slit her throat, and then shot her to death in the garage do you know how much blood that would leave? That place would have reeked of bleach. Mostly everything else this guy says is hearsay.

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  • Avery is looking the most suspicious in my eyes after this new evidence . Plus if have you read the file above about Avery's family ? What's do you think on this? Is ryan really the prime suspect still?

  • So you're suggesting that questioning Ken Kratz is tantamount to being out of one's mind. Interesting theory.

  • Please do point all your anger at the unethical filmmakers. The whole doc genre is going down hill. Real fast.

  • Agreeded. Anonymous 20.

  • If you folks are going to get all hung up on dupers delight then you may want to deconstruct an experts analysis of Steven Avery's apology in court following the conviction too.

    http://statement-analysis.blogspot.com/2015/12/making-murderer-avery-confronted-with.html

    It's probably as simple as this…
    Avery calls BD over to help with the body and to bleach the garage. Barb Janda corroborates the bleach story. Tydach and the other Dassey albi each other because they see Avery acting suspicious and they are making note – neither of them like him.

    While talking to inmates when he was doing time, Avery mentioned the desire to build a sex slave room after he is freed.

    Also notice the conversation on the phone to girlfriend Jodi when she's in jail, she wants him to be romantic and he says incredulously "romantic?" a few times. He admitted he bought leg irons for her he doesn't romantic. It's interesting how abruptly she's removed from the story.

    Steven Avery did it.

    Ironically the prosecution and law enforcement cast doubt by attempting to absolutely ensure Avery is convicted by tampering with the crime scene. Unfortunately Kratz is a sweaty perv who contributed to the doubt of the people's case. He appeared to passively signal his own erotic stimulation in the case with his media theatrics and that performance further set the tone of incompetency and zealotry of the prosecuting parties (see the speech analysis site I've included).

    Dassey is an over-sentenced accomplice whose case needs a review but not because he wasn't there during one or more of the crimes.

    The directors told a pretty good version BUT had to leave out just enough other facts to make the program compelling. I've done a total 180 on Avery's and Dassey's innocents (and I think others are too).

    Read the other resources outside the documentary and then yes move on. I am. (Oh and change the name of this blog. The guy you're after is in prison and the guy whose name is on this blog was manipulated by the Sheriff's department)

    -Anonymous 2

  • Ryan definitely did it. Look up Duper's Delight and then watch his testimony on the stand. He lies about getting into her phone records.

  • Hello, in regards to to the Investigators finding the bullet from Mr. Avery's gun after it had been confiscated by the police. The garage was searched four months after investigators took the gun as evidence from the house. It is very possible the bullet could have been fired from the gun, swabbed with Teresa's DNA, and put back at the crime scene. Unlikely? Consider this. Lenk, who had a clear motive in framing Steven, was there at the site the day they searched the garage.

  • If Steven is innocent, I think it's much more likely the killer is one of the four mentioned in the document above. Remember, these are the four suspects the defence team had wanted to name at trial (following their own investigation) had they been given the OK for a third-party liability defence.

    You've presented nothing on Hillegas beyond some at times wild speculation that muddies the waters like so many Jack The Ripper theories have over the years. It's not methodical and it reeks of unhealthy obsession and a personal quest for recognition.

  • Dont give up so easy. Manitowoc's finest were on that property for 8 entire days. They likely had metal detectors and unearthed everything they could. Seeing the shells in the garage, that rifle likely has been fired thousand of times on the property. They had 5 months to make sure the numbers matched from all the flattened bullets they found to the locked up rifle.

  • Difficult to get mad at the filmmakers; see film, Quiz Show. Oh, I wish you would. If it is on tv it is cheap entertainment and they, sadly, are not obligated to be honest or fair. I do think documentaries have gone down a dark hole no longer being part of a respectable art form. It is much easier showing one side. These women had such ediitng issues as is, imagine if they let the whole story in? Netflix would have to have bought 20 episodes and they were only willing to commit to 10.

  • Check out that link. It has some very interesting suggestions and reports in it. I think if Avery is innocent this perhaps is more probable than the ex bf or brother. Maybe the guy who you encountered is the murderer. It certainly holds suspicion.

  • I might of if Mr. Kratz has some VERY good answers to many of the questions he's avoided. You can be assured that I'm not going to avoid his questions though. I'm keeping an open mind, but everything needs to looked at very, very closely. I'm going to find out the truth, believe that. IF the film makers were manipulating us the whole time, they will not be spared my wrath. If the facts point to Avery, then that's where I'll go.

  • Do you still think Avery is innocent ?

  • God Damn Hollywood. Land of make believe. And the filmmakers run to the bank and laugh at YOU. You all thought that was real? If you have what is called an editor anything can look like anything. That's all folks. Move on.

  • Yes, Mr.Kratz, those two facts make a huge difference to me. I had a feeling I was being duped by the one sided film makers. They would not have had an emotional reaction from people if they let in more of your facts. Thank you for sharing the letter Daniel.