More Proof Evidence Was Planted to Frame Steven Avery

Factory original keys to 1999 Toyota RAV4

Evidence of Evidence Planted to Convict Steven Avery

Timeline and Important Events Taken Directly from official Documentation

  • 11/05/2005—Teresa Halbach’s 1999 Toyota RAV4 leaves Avery Salvage Yard at 8:42pm along with DCI agents John Ertl and Guang Zhang and arrives at the Wisconsin State Crime Lab in Madison sometime in the early morning hours of 11/06/2005.  Ken Kratz signs out of the Avery Salvage Yard crime scene at this exact time (8:42pm).  It is reported that before the Toyota RAV4 left Avery Salvage Yard, no access to the vehicle was possible on account of all of its doors being locked.
  • 11/06/2005 Ronald Groffy, a photographer for the Wisconsin Crime Lab, shows up in the late morning to take official evidence photographs of the RAV4.  He reports that the driver side door of the 1999 Toyota RAV4 was unlocked.
  • It is reported that while the RAV4 was at the Wisconsin State Crime Lab in Madison, a key was made for the RAV4.  There are no reports currently available to the public indicating when this key was made.
  • 11/08/2008—Key attached to blue cloth attached to black plastic female-end lanyard coupling found on the floor of Steven Avery’s bedroom near bookcase by Lieutenant Lenk
  • 11/08/2005—Key found on the floor of Steven Avery’s bedroom bagged as evidence by DCI agent Matthew Joy and sent to Wisconsin Crime Lab in Madison, WI
  • 11/11/2005—Toyota RAV4, along with the key that the Wisconsin State Crime Lab in Madison, WI made for the vehicle is returned to Calumet County where it is logged in as evidence and give tag #8037  The RAV4 is put in unit #7 of a purpose-built storage shed off Mary Ave. in Chilton Wisconsin.  They key (#8037) is brought back to the sheriff’s department and placed in storage locker #1
  • 12/19/2005—The key found on the floor of Steve Avery’s trailer by Lieutenant Lenk returns to the Calumet County Sheriff’s Department from the Wisconsin State Crime Lab in Madison, WI. (where it had been sent on 11/08/2005)  It is logged and also placed in the secure evidence by Mark Wiegert.  It is at this time that it has tag #7620.
  • 01/13/2006—Calumet County evidence custodian Jeremy Hawkins logs out evidence item #7620, the key found on the floor of Steven Avery’s trailer by Lt. Lenk, to Mark Wiegert.  The exact time is not recorded.  No report, currently available to the public, is made my Wiegert explaining why he logged out this piece of evidence.
  • 01/13/2006—Calumet County evidence custodian Jeremy Hawkins logs in evidence item #7620 after it is returned by Mark Wiegert.  The exact time is not recorded.
  • 06/21/2006—Mark Wiegert calls Katie Halbach, Teresa Halbach’s sister, and asks her information about a “royal blue” lanyard that she had give to Teresa in the Spring of 2005.  It is the neck portion of this lanyard (as opposed to the coupling, or female end, that serves as the portion of the lanyard that might detach and function as a keychain) which is tagged as evidence item #8719
  • 07/12/2006—Jeremy Hawkins of the Calumet County Sheriff’s Department photographs evidence item #7620.  Evidence item #7620 corresponds to the key found on the floor of Steven Avery’s trailer by Lt. Lenk
  • 07/12/2006—Jeremy Hawkins of the Calumet County Sheriff’s Department describes in detail that the key and coupling associated with evidence item #7620, and the neck portion of the lanyard with white “AIR NATIONAL GUARD” lettering snap together, and match in color.
  • 07/12/2006—Jeremy Hawkins of the Calumet County Sheriff’s Department photographs evidence item #8719.  Evidence item #8719 corresponds to the neck portion of the blue lanyard found in Teresa Halbach’s 1999 Toyota RAV4
  • 11/20/2006—Jeremy Hawkins is asked by Mark Wiegert to  retrieve evidence item #7620 from storage with the purpose of determining whether this key can be used to start Teresa Halbach’s 1999 Toyota RAV4.  Jeremy Hawkins goes down to Mary Ave. in Chilton along with Lt. Kelly Sippel, and uses key (#7620) to successfully start said vehicle.

The preceding timeline, along with the reports referenced in the CASO document therein, firmly, unequivocally establish the following three propositions:

  1. The key and lanyard coupling found on the floor of Steven Avery’s bedroom on 11/08/2005 by Lt Lenk, and tagged as evidence item #7620 are presented by the Calumet County Sheriff’s Department as being one in the same.
  2. If the key and lanyard coupling shown in this photograph (1) does not match the key  and lanyard coupling shown in this photograph (2), it means that that the key and lanyard coupling in the first photograph (1) were planted.
  3. The planting of the key evidence on the floor of Steven Avery’s bedroom was done with the malicious and willful intent of at least two actors, Ken Kratz and Mark Wiegert, in order to secure the conviction of Steven Avery for the murder of Teresa Halbach

Of the first proposition, the conclusion to be reached is inescapable, and one that the Calumet County Sheriff’s Department itself went to great lengths to establish.

Because the first proposition is so firmly established, the second proposition must also follow from it, and it does, easily.

Of the third proposition, given the level of documentation which accompanied establishing dates, times, personnel, and protocol, it is impossible that this happened accidentally.

In a previous posts, (1), (2), (3), (4) I presented irrefutable evidence that the teeth on the two keys in each respective photograph do not align.  There is also irrefutable proof that the blades of the two keys don’t match either: one clearly is serrated (cut) on both sides, while the other one is flat on one side, and serrated only on the other.  But this is hardly their only points of departure.  In fact, there are many, many more to look for.

Before going any further, I want to make it clear that I understand that it might seem odd that this is the first time anyone has blown up key (1) and (2) in order to do a thoroughgoing comparison.  I don’t think I ever would have been led to either except for the fact that I am the only one with the theory, so far as I know, that Ken Kratz planted the evidence (or ordered the evidence to be planted by Mark Wiegert).  This led me down a certain path of reasoning, and it was while going down this path that I began to start making discoveries.

Because I came to the conclusion that the blood in the RAV4 that was matched to Steven Avery had come from the cut on Steven Avery’s finger, I had to first, reject the notion that any of the blood came from the vial held in the evidence locker over at Manitowoc County Sheriff’s.  Also, because I believed that Steven Avery cut his finger on November 5th, just before he left for Crivitz at around 6:00am, I had a much, much tighter timeline to piece together.

IF law enforcement personnel arrived at the scene shortly after Teresa Halbach’s RAV4 was discovered at around 10:30am on 11/05/2005 by Pam Sturm, and the doors to it were locked, there was only a VERY narrow window of opportunity to plant evidence if Crime Lab photographer Ronald Groffy arrived in Madison, Wisconsin on 11/06/2005 to take pictures (which would later show areas of blood deposit matching Steven Avery’s DNA profile) of the interior of Teresa’s vehicle.  I had hypothesized that it had to have been Ken Kratz, and I also hypothesized that the door to the RAV4 would have had to have been open by the time Ronald Groffy arrived the next morning.  Both predictions proved to be true, and this gave me confidence that I was on the right path.

I knew that a key for the 1999 Toyota RAV4 had been made by the crime lab, (tagged evidence item #8037), so there was nothing suspicious about that, but I somehow began to wonder whether the key found in Steven Avery’s bedroom, one which everyone who has done any research has presumed was the spare, or “valet” key, would match the factory spare key made for that vehicle, or whether it looked more like the key that might have been made by a locksmith.  My hunch was that it would not match the factory key, and I believe I have been proven correct in this (as we’ll shortly see), but while I was comparing the black plastic handles of various Toyota keys, I suddenly realized that the key blades themselves didn’t match!

As for the planting of evidence goes, everyone has heretofore suspected Lenk and Colborn, and if you go with the theory that the blood found in the RAV4 came from the vial of blood held in evidence in Manitowoc, this would make a lot of sense.  So why did I suspect Ken Kratz over Lt Lenk and Andy Colborn, you might ask?  Because all of the evidence that was sent or came back from the Wisconsin State Crime Lab in Madison went through Calumet County, and it was out of this county that Ken Kratz and Mark Wiegert worked.  If the duplicate key (#8037) made by the Wisconsin State Crime Lab in Madison came back on 11/11/2005, at some point either Ken Kratz or Mark Wiegert could have copied it and substituted it for the key that they found on the floor of Steven Avery’s bedroom on 11/08/2005 once it came back from the crime lab on 12/19/2005.  The key found on the floor of Steven Avery’s bedroom would have been disposed of at this time.   Diabolical, huh?

And so it is that we see that on 1/13/2006, Mark Wiegert inexplicably checks out the key (#7620).  He makes no report about why he is doing this, and he returns the key within the very same day!  Very strange.

Ken Kratz, Mark Wiegert, and Jeremy Hawkins were very careful and clever about how they went about doing this but there were a few things they simply overlooked, and could hardly have known about at the time.

For example it might not have occurred to a middled aged man in 2005 that a picture taken with a digital camera might easily reveal more detail if zoomed in on.  If this crucial, crucial photograph looks like it was deliberately taken from a bit of distance, and if it looks like the subject of the photograph is too indistinct to make out fine detail (like the pattern of the key cut), this might have been much to your satisfaction if this were the dummy key you were using to frame someone for murder.

It was my hypothesis that the key now kept in evidence (that is supposed to be this key (#7620) would have been a new key used maybe only once or twice.  As such, it would look new, and the planters were worried that this might be noticed at some point and maybe questioned.  But they had a solution!  The solution they had was to put a yellow filter on the photograph to obscure how new and shiny it really was.  What was the mistake, you may ask?  Well, this photograph was taken at the same exact time (or maybe a few minutes apart) that these two (1), (2) photographs were taken.  This is not speculation.  It is documented in the CASO.  To wit:

On 07/12/06 I (Deputy JEREMY HAWKINS of the CALUMET COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT) was asked to photograph Property Tag#8719, the AIR NATIONAL GUARD lanyard alongside Properly Tag#7620, the Toyota key. Both items were taken out of their package and placed on a table over freezer wrap. The items were photographed. After the items were photographed, I repackaged the items and placed them back into secure storage.

First, notice that the picture of the lanyard is indeed done on “freezer” paper (perhaps called “butcher” paper where you live?).  But isn’t it a curious thing that there is no yellow tinting to the photograph?  There are two pictures of the lanyard as well, (1), (2), and in neither picture is there any hint of yellow tinting.  But for some reason, there is of the keys.  If my hypothesis is correct, you already know the reason.

I should also note, however, that it does look like some attempt was also made in one of the pictures of the lanyard to make it look a darker shade of blue to better match the darker shade of blue of the female coupling attached to the key.  Additionally, sine it was Hawkins who took the picture, I presume it was he who applied the filter to make the key look less shiny.  If this is true, he also has to be suspected as being a knowledgeable participant in this wretched scheme along with Wiegert, Kratz, and Fassbender.

I was able to locate a PDF of a manual for a 1999 Toyota RAV4.  The two key types for the vehicle are show in illustration form below:


I went on to Craig’s List, and I was able to obtain photographs of three master ignition switches which go to the vehicle, plus the original factory valet key.  The first key that came in was this one.

It’s a little beat up, but it is quite clear that it matches the drawing in the Toyota manual for that year and model.  So far so good.

Speaking of which, in the manual, it mentions that the vehicle was actually sold with three keys altogether: two master ignition keys (like the one pictured above) and one valet key.

Locksmiths keep these keys, and they look very close to the originals which you can see by the second set of keys that came in.  Take a look at the image below:


The key on the left is a factory key.  It’s been used so much that it has the same defect that the other key has shown in the first picture of the master ignition switch.  Now, you might think the key on the right is the matching master ignition switch from the factory, but you’d be incorrect.  It’s actually a locksmith’s key made to closely resemble the original.  It’s just a shade off here and there, and, besides, it doesn’t have the Toyota logo on it.  How is it off?  In the off chance that it isn’t obvious after a few seconds of staring, the black plastic portion of the one on the left has a smoother, rounder bottom curve.  It also has a different bevel (smoother) and it looks like it’s a little bit thicker.  There are probably a lot of other minor differences even though at first glance they do, admittedly, look very close.

Now look at these two keys:


The one on the right is the key found on the floor of Steve Avery’s bedroom, rotated into the position that you see, and the key on the left is the key currently in evidence in Calumet County Wisconsin.  They look to be similar, but they are actually more different in appearance than the the two master ignition switches shown in the photograph above.  The thing that matters in this image, the sameness of the shape of the key’s handle (the black plastic portion), isn’t the same, and no amount of saying that this is because of lighting or the angle at which the picture was taken can explain away these differences.  Note too that the Toyota logo is not remotely visible on the bedroom floor key.  This is the same thing you see in the picture above of the side-by-side comparison of the two master ignitions switches.

Of those two earlier keys, you can see the Toyota logo clearly on the one from the factory, but on the copy, there is no Toyota logo, and you can’t even make out the name of the maker of the copy.  In the picture above, you can, however, make out the faint outline of an oval, and if you compare the shape of the two ovals in each respective image, they don’t match either.

Finally, here is a what the original, factory valet key looks like:


Here is another key sold to locksmiths that is supposed to go for a 1999 Toyota RAV4 (among, perhaps several other kinds of Toyotas):

This is the key shape the more closely resembles the key planted on the floor of Steven Avery’s bedroom.

Finally, here is a comparison of the key kept in evidence in Calumet County with the evidence tag 7620 and the verified, original factory valet key for a 1999 Toyota RAV4:



These two keys are a perfect match.  Though I had earlier intimated that when Mark Wiegert took evidence item #7620 out of evidence on 1/13/2006 he went to go make a copy of it somewhere, I believe that it is also possible that they key came from Teresa Halbach’s belongings that were sent in to Calumet County to be processed.







  • Interesting article DL. The keys are clearly different even considering having to zoom in a bit. Key differences aside, a much larger issue is there not being one speck of Teresa’s DNA on this key that supposedly belonged to her. How the jury ignored this blows my mind.

    Kratz going so far as to saying in his closing arguments, so what if the Cops planted the key? What did you just say? And this jury just accepted that?

    • I’m not sure that I agree. Any object in that could have been expected to have Steven Avery’s DNA on it. It was the fact that they linked that key to Teresa Halbach that made the key mean anything. They had to prove that the key belonged to Teresa Halbach. As far as not having her DNA on it, that can easily explained: he cleansed the key of all DNA by soaking it in bleach, and then later reintroduced his own DNA.