It Had to Be Ryan Hillegas Who Killed Teresa Halbach

If you murdered someone, the dumbest way to get rid of the body would be to toss it on top of a gigantic bonfire that you started in your backyard for that purpose, mere feet away from your own house, on Halloween.  Think of the smell of burning flesh.  Wouldn’t everyone around notice that if they didn’t also notice the fire?  I’ve heard many people say that the smell of burning flesh is something you will never forget because it’s so awful, and I would think that this would be doubly true if you had to smell that smell for the four to six hours it would take to to reduce a body to ashes in a backyard fire pit.  

Did everyone in the Avery family just ignore the smell of burning flesh?  Did they think, “Well, it must be Steven burning a human body to cover up a murder, but because we love him so much we’re not going to say anything?”  This makes no sense because there were a lot of people in the Avery family, as we know from the Netflix documentary, Making A Murderer who were clearly willing to tell the truth that they had seen a fire.  If they were covering for Steven, why mention it?  Or, if mentioning it was unavoidable, someone might have said that they got close to the fire but didn’t see or smell anything.  No one did that.

But let’s say no one noticed the smell of burning flesh for five or six hours.  Maybe the wind was blowing it all off in a direction away from everyone’s noses.  He nevertheless still had to go on nothing but blind hope that no one was going to walk by and not notice a charred corpse engulfed in flames.  Think of the flames!  A big fire is like a neon sign that says, “LOOK OVER HERE!!!”.  There is something in the caveman brain the draws the human ape to a fire.

The house was not surrounded by a fence or a gate, so I wonder why someone otherwise very careful about destroying evidence would nullified that concern by take such a huge risk?   Couldn’t any one of Brendan’s many school aged siblings have wandered over to the fire?  Why would Steven Avery have been so confident that they wouldn’t have noticed a body?  And if someone did, how could he be sure that they would remain silent to all of their friends?  Was he prepared to throw them into the fire too?  How many kids would he have been prepared to throw in the fire that evening, I wonder?

But it gets even stranger.  Think of the enormous amount of work it would have taken to get rid of a body this way.  How odd that a similar amount of diligence did not go into disposing of the RAV4.  Five hours for the fire, and only five minutes for the vehicle?  There’s a great mismatch in effort there.  Why did Steven Avery suddenly become so lazy and careless when it came to what would have been the equally important task of getting rid of the vehicle?  He drove it a few hundred yards across the property, and then bled everywhere on the inside?  He even opened the hood to disconnect the battery for some mysterious reason and left his DNA on the hood latch, but not on the lever on the inside of the RAV4 to pop the hood, nor on the battery cables?  Very strange indeed.

Since Teresa’s blood was found in the cargo area of the RAV4, I wonder what the sequence was that would have been followed to get her body on the fire?  If Steven Avery was the murderer, he must have loaded Teresa into the back of her vehicle right after killer her.  But where was he going to take her?  Why didn’t he follow through with the original plan?  And after abandoning that plan, what made him decide on the outlandish idea of starting a bonfire in his backyard?  That is a very unexpected shift in thinking!

If Steven AVery was going to burn the body, wouldn’t that have been his plan from the beginning, and not just a spur of the moment afterthought?  Ken Kratz claimed that someone Steven Avery had served time with said that Steven had stated that he had carefully planned to murder and rape a woman, and then use fire as a way to dispose of her.  IF that is so, then the fire couldn’t have been an afterthought, but yet it was.

We also have to take into consideration that if Steven didn’t hide the RAV4 as quickly as possible, it would have been noticed by more people, and those people might have been willing to attest to when they saw it, and where, if it had been moved.  We know from court testimony that several people testified to seeing it as it was around the time Teresa showed up at the house.  

So, if concealing the RAV4 was the first things he did, he would have had to leave the body somewhere while he drove the RAV4 off to the distant corner of the lot.  Did he start the fire first and leave the body unattended while he did this?  He certainly didn’t drive off with the body in the car, and then carry Teresa’s remains back to his house on his shoulders, I wouldn’t suppose.  People definitely would have remembered seeing that.  You might think that he left Brendan Dassey behind to tend to the body if, say, the fire had been started first, but this can’t be true because it was Brendan who agreed, when prompted by Thomas Fassbender to do so, that he saw his uncle Steven “go under the hood.”  That means Brendan would have had to have gone with Steven out to the corner of the lot where the RAV4 was found, with God’s help, by Pam Sturm.  But I wonder why he would have brought Brendan along?  What purpose did his presence serve?  

The sequence would have been: Murder -> body loaded into RAV4 -> RAV4 driven somewhere for disposal of body -> mind changes -> RAV4 driven back to trailer -> body unloaded -> body left somewhere while RAV4 is driven to corner of the salvage yard -> killer inexplicably takes his young nephew with him in the RAV4 while body is left completely unattended -> killer bleeds in four or five places in the interior of the RAV4 -> killer magically manages to leave no fingerprints, just his blood on the inside of the vehicle. -> killer and his nephew fail to notice that he is leaving blood all over the the interior of the RAV4 -> killer opens the hood of the RAV4 and leaves his DNA on the hood latch -> killer walks back to where the body is (presumably somewhere near the trailer -> killer collects materials to start a bonfire -> killer drags body out to bonfire and hoists her on top of it.

I’m sure I’m leaving something out, but to my way of thinking, all of this represents a very unlikely scenario.

Then there is the mismatch of brilliant and stupid to consider.  The cleanup of blood in the garage had to have been done by criminal masterminds if any part of what Brendan Dassey confessed to was true.  Teresa was stabbed in the stomach, shot in the head, and her throat was slit?  Blood would have been everywhere, one would expect.  It must have taken hours and hours and hours to get every microscopic mist of blood off every surface in that place, and I guess the trailer too, depending on which continually shifting story of Brendan’s you choose believe.  How scrupulous they must have been!  But darn it if they didn’t overlook that ONE and only piece of evidence that the cops found in the garage after looking for it on more the five previous occasions: the bullet with Teresa Halbach’s DNA!  It was just laying on the ground in plain sight the whole time!

The same thing with the fire.  Brilliant job of getting rid of the body.  I mean, somehow they got lucky after choosing the dumbest method imaginable.  Not one of the dozen or so people who lived there happened to pass by at an inopportune moment, and no one noticed the smell of burning flesh.  How were they caught?  According to the theory by which they were convicted, they left bone chunks in the fire pit.  Somehow they forgot to rake them out and bury them or throw them in a nearby lake where they would never have been found.  Instead, they only raked out some of the bones, and then threw them in burn barrels on the very same property?  It makes no sense.

And there is another mismatch with the timing of the discovery of evidence.  Okay, the odds that a small battalion of men could go into the garage and search for days and not see a BULLET lying on the ground in what we know was plain sight already sounds about as likely as a black man getting a fair trial in Alabama in the 1950s.  But for the identical thing to happen with the other two major pieces of evidence?  The problem with the state’s evidence is that its discovery all followed the same unbelievable pattern:  despite hundreds of people highly trained to know what to look for and how to look for evidence at a crime scene, nothing is discovered for many days, and then, suddenly it is revealed that all of the crucial evidence was hiding in plain sight all along?  Without knowing all of the details, people intuitively know something is amiss.

But the phenomenology of such a thing is such that without knowing the specific details, intuition can be challenged by a skillful liar because it is very easy to get something wrong in the particulars of your theory.  Without anything else to go on, what one thinks about how the sequence of events might have occurred must necessarily be highly speculative, and often, probably wrong.  IF you are in any way attached to your theory, what happens when someone comes along to point out its inconsistencies?

For example, once you determine that Steven Avery wasn’t the killer, you will be naturally be tempted to identify who was.  As things now stand, almost eighteen months after the airing of Making A Murderer, dozens of alternative killers have been proposed.  That means millions of people are also wrong!  This is a bigger problem than you might imagine because no one in this case is unified against an obvious alternative killer, and without such unification, there is rancor in the ranks.

Contrast this with those who believe Steven Avery is guilty.  Their overall cognitive burden is much, much less, because they are all unified in their agreement that Steven Avery is guilty.  That’s a huge advantage, and in the time that has passed since the airing of Making A Murderer, they have made tremendous headway, lead by none of than Ken Kratz and Thomas Fassbender, in swaying public opinion away from what it had been when it was officially released at the tail end of 2015.

I do have to confess that there is one little problem with all of this.  Well, at least the part about the bones.  If Steven Avery killed Teresa Halbach, then this had to be what he did, and all of the bizarre circumstances around the discovery of evidence are just weird accidents.  The hundreds of investigators and technicians who were at the Avery Salvage Yard over the course of several weeks really were blind.

If the bones that were in the fire pit belonged to Teresa Halbach, then someone did burn her down to ashes, and if that is so, it seems as likely as not that it was Steven Avery.

It also must be acknowledged that on the face of it, it is just as bizarre for someone else to have killed her, cremated her, and then moved the bones to the location where they were found.  The real killer, if it wasn’t Steven Avery, would have had some, if not all of the problems that I listed that Steven Avery would have had.  Maybe even more, depending on the situation.  It is not enough to opine that Steven Avery didn’t kill Teresa Halbach and burn her body.  One must also make a compelling case for why the real killer would have made the decisions he did, and then follow all of the implications of one’s reasoning.

If we can imagine for a second that the killer was not Steven Avery, we must try to think the way the killer would have thought.  In this scenario, the killer drove Teresa’s RAV4 to the Avery property and parked it in the far corner of the yard where it was found, and then spent a few minutes piling on some branches and brush along with the rusty hood of an old Rambler.  

Our first task is to realize that if the killer was trying to pin the murder on someone else, he must have assumed that in the absence of an alternative suspect, suspicion would have naturally fallen on him.  Now, who, but on the ex boyfriend, would suspicion have fallen most heavily?

Returning to the RAV4, if the whole point of planting it at the salvage yard was to incriminate Steven Avery, wouldn’t it have made a lot more sense to just leave the body in the car?  There isn’t a single scenario I can think of in which the killer would have needed to burn the body all the way down to ashes except for one, and that scenario would involve something that would have caused the killer’s DNA to be left on the victim, and in such a way that it could not be easily removed.  Ryan Hillegas had scratches on his hands, so maybe his DNA was underneath her fingernails, but another very strong possibility is that he also raped her.

Obviously rape would have left the killer’s DNA inside Teresa’s body, and it would have been impossible to get rid of by any other means except burning.  This should explain, perhaps, why the killer made the wise choice to not leave her body in the RAV4.

But even in the scenario in which rape had occurred, burning the body still would have been de trops.  What would have been the point of getting rid of DNA if the chosen method was a de facto neon sign that a body was being disposed?  If Steven Avery was the killer, it still would have made more sense to bury the body somewhere far off in the wet secluded, dreary countryside.  One might even countenance the notion, if we must have a fire, that the killer would have set the body ablaze while it was still in the RAV4, but in some very remote area.  

But going to all of the trouble of cremating the body fits only one scenario.  The killer had more than one goal.  How would someone go about getting rid of the DNA they left on a victim’s body, yet still use that body to suggest someone else as the killer?  There really is only one solution to that puzzle.

If Teresa Halbach was killed by someone other than Steven Avery, it would have had to have been someone very close to her.  Someone who knew that she had been to the salvage yard and nowhere else after that.  It had to have been someone who might have had access to her schedule, or even to her voicemail and email.  

Think about it: If Teresa Halbach had been murdered by someone who didn’t know her extremely well, or even someone who didn’t have specific knowledge of her movements that day, they wouldn’t have known that Avery Salvage had been the last place she’d been, so it would never have occurred to such a person to drive her RAV4 back to Avery Salvage hoping to raise suspicion that someone on the Salvage Yard had been the one involved in her murder.  

If Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey killed Teresa Halbach they wouldn’t have disposed of her body in a bonfire in the backyard.  They would have driven at least thirty miles away and dumped her in a wooded area, put her in a body of water, or buried her.  They certainly would not have left the RAV4 on the salvage property with Steven Avery’s blood in several locations in the interior.  Either Brendan, if we are credulous enough to believe he was involved, or Steven would have driven the RAV4, and the other would have followed in the Grand Am to give the other a ride back once the RAV4 had been dumped somewhere.  If Steven’s hand had been bleeding from the huge gash on his right middle finger, he would not have failed to notice this, and if there had been a fire that day to get rid of evidence that there had been a murder, it would have been to torch the RAV4.

What about Avery’s brothers or someone like Scott Tadych?  It must be true that a murderer’s primary objective after a murder is to take whatever steps necessary to elude detection.  Pinning a murder on someone else would only be an option insofar as it achieves this first goal.  No one in the Avery family killed Teresa Halbach for the primary purpose of taking out revenge on Steven Avery in the hope that they could successfully frame him for their murder.  So it would had to have been a secondary purpose, if one at all.

Someone would have needed to hate Steven Avery a whole lot to do this.  But if another Avery had those feelings toward Steven, why stop at merely planting evidence?  Why not go one step further and offer false testimony to corroborate the state’s theory?  All that anyone needed to say would have been something like, “Yeah, I saw the body being placed onto the fire,” or, “I smelled burning flesh,” or, “Steve Avery confessed to me that he did it.”

Additionally, since it was widely expected that Steven was about to come into money, it is very difficult to imagine that anyone in the family would have wanted to negatively affect the family fortunes just at that particular time by ensuring, merely for the sake of spite, that Steven go back to prison for murder.

Using this logic it is possible to rule out just about everyone but Ryan Hillegas.  He was unemployed at the time, and he didn’t have an alibi.  We also know that it took him only a couple of minutes to gain access to her voicemail and her username and password for her wireless mobile account.  This makes it very easy to imagine that he already had access to everything Teresa assumed was private.  Ryan alone would have been in a position to know of Teresa’s movements on a given day.

From a criminal profiling standpoint he also matches up well.  These kinds of murders are almost always committed by someone who knew the victim, and that is doubly true for former lovers, which Ryan was.

This isn’t all though.  I will write a follow up post on my thoughts on the bones in the very near future.

55 comments

  • > He was unemployed at the time, and he didn’t have an alibi.

    What was Steve’s alibi?

    > We also know that it took him only a couple of minutes to gain access to her voicemail and her username and password for her wireless mobile account.

    No. He didn’t access Teresa’s voicemail. And he and Teresa’s girlfriend worked out how to go the online phone account.

    > This makes it very easy to imagine that he already had access to everything Teresa assumed was private. Ryan alone would have been in a position to know of Teresa’s movements on a given day.

    Build on axioms. Not imagination.

    Teresa was in Steve’s vicinity. Steve took the afternoon off work which he never did. Steve had no phone activity for a couple of hours after Teresa was there. Teresa made no more phone activity at all after arriving there.

    • 1) We know where Steven was. We also know that he made a call to his girlfriend I think at around 9pm.
      2) He did access her voicemail, and then he bragged about it to his co-worker
      3) Build on axioms? I think what you mean is fact. It’s a fact that Ryan was able to access her phone and email. Mike Halbach admitted under oath that he was able to gain access to her vm. This is not wild speculation.
      4) Taking the afternoon off of work is hardly makes someone a murderer, and I would suppose that it was Steven himself who was the source of that information. Who else could it have been? FUnny that he would admit such a thing, isn’t it? NOt having phone activity for a few hours is a normal pattern I should think, for almost everyone, isn’t it? And funny how you say for a couple of hours. So, like, after two hours there was phone activity? There goes the significance of that thought. I mean, Steven had a fire to tend for at least five or six hours, right, or are you suggesting that only after two hours he was ready to take calls again because the body had already been burned down?

      At this point, the timing of when Steven Avery cut his finger is of paramount concern, and it matters far more than any of the questions you’ve asked. The prosecution claimed that Steven Avery cut his finger while he was in the middle of stabbing Teresa Halbach. This was offered by Brendan Dassey while he was being interrogated by Thomas Fassbender and Mark Wiegert.

      The first thing to mention is that it’s interesting that they even asked him this question. But Thomas Fassbender and Mark Wiegert need Brendan to shore up their case against Steven Avery, and one of the biggest (but massively overlooked pieces here) is when the cut on Steven Avery’s finger happened. Just as Thomas Fassbender needed Sherry Culhane to find evidence in the garage, “Can we put him in the garage”, he once wrote in a note to her, he needed that cut on Steven Avery’s to have happened also within a narrow time frame. Obviously if the cut came 5 days after Teresa Halbach was killed, the blood in the RAV4 that was belonging to Steven Avery couldn’t have gotten there until after she was already dead, the the RAV4 already move into the location where it was found.

      The only thing you could argue is that Steven Avery went back to the RAV4 after he cut his finger on the 5th immediately before he left for Crivitz at 6am, and that he apparently tried to start the vehicle even though, according the the prosecution, he had already disconnected the battery cables.

      Getting back to Brendan Dassey’s confession concerning how the cut to Steven Avery’s finger occurred, apparently the knife slipped, but there is no way a knife slip could leave a gash in the pattern we see on the outside of Steven Avery’s right middle finger. Go grab a butter knife and see for yourself. The prosecution claimed that the blood in the RAV4 came from the cut on Steven’s finger. The blood around the ignition switch in the RAV4 could only have come from a cut from someone’s right hand, and no on who believes in Steven Avery’s guilt disputes this. Therefore, if it can be shown that Steven AVery didn’t cut his finger on the 31st, but actually on the 5th of November we know that the evidence was planted and the Steven Avery is innocent.

  • All these comments are made by people who watched the one sided movie. How many times did the movie show the law enforcement side? Its like going to court and listening to one argument and not the other.

    • It wasn’t one sided. It showed what happened in court. Use your brain a little, huh?

      • I live in the area where this happened. I watched it every day! Totally one sided!

        • I’m afraid I’m going to need to ask you a few questions, then. Your answers will determine whether there is any point in further discussion: 1) Do you believe in Global Warming?; 2) Do you believe in the theory of Evolution?; 3) Did you even watch Making A Murderer from beginning to end?; 4) Do you have any conception of how much the world deeply distrusts Manitowoc after Avery spent 18 years in prison behind something he didn’t do? One would think, given the town’s track record, they of all would be extra careful in accusing Steven AVery of violence again, but it appears that the opposite of this is true. If Making A Murderer had been made twenty years earlier and had concerned only the first miscarriage of justice, do you seriously think you would be among the group backing up Steven’s claims of innocence? Of course you wouldn’t have been, because there were no such people doing that at the time. They were all saying “GUILTY AS FUCK”. What an affront it is to all that is decent that the townsfolk have no contrition. THey so want AVery to be guilty because that makes the bitter pill of their ptolemaic error from the first round that much easier to swallow. I’m here to tell you Jeff, the rest of the world clearly sees this, even if you refuse to. What the town of Manitowoc needs, and probably much of Wisconsin too is humility. What they ought to do is inaugurate a memorial day of apology for Steven Avery and his family, and those who the rest of society regards as wretched and miserable.

  • One other fact has bugged me since the very beginning of the trial.
    I think it’s fair to say that Steven is not academically gifted. He will never win the Nobel prize for his contributions to English Literature. I don’t believe he was college educated. In short, he’s not particularly bright.
    But….. he was smart enough to have begun a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Manitowoc LE, with many leading figures there being deposed, Sgt. Andrew Colborn being one of them.
    He helped his parents run the family business. He may not have been the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I wouldn’t say that he was mentally deficient. A little slow, maybe, but not outright stupid.
    There was a cheque (I’m English, so it isn’t ‘check’) for $400,000 sitting on an LE desk, with his name on it, waiting to be sent any day.
    That was altogether apart from his $36m lawsuit. After 18 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, he may well have got close to that figure, especially since LE had been notified years earlier that it was Gregory Allen that committed the crime.
    Steven had an awful lot to gain, and it was all starting to come together.
    Why, just why, would he have jeopardised all of that, so close to his settlements? Yes, he’s a little slow, but he isn’t so impaired that he doesn’t know right from wrong. I cannot believe that he would have gambled everything he stood to gain so soon, on one impulsive crime; one that apparently left clues all over his house, burn pit, and garage, and also involved a third party, his own nephew.
    The whole world knows that Brendan was not capable of knowing the possible outcome of such actions, but Steven would have known, especially having been wrongly imprisoned once before. I should imagine that it would have made him a little more cautious, not a raping/killing machine.
    None of it makes any sense, not to me, anyway. There are too many holes in this case.
    He also had no motive, unlike Ryan Hillegas, who hacked into her voicemail before LE could access all of the messages left for her. It was proved in court that some messages had been deleted, almost certainly by Hillegas, or Mike Halbach, or both.
    I absolutely cannot understand how anyone could ever think that Steven is guilty, I really can’t.

    • I agree w your comment Sally.
      I know he had that money waiting for him and the state or county just didn’t want to give it to an ‘alternative’ man. They didn’t view his horrendous time in prison worthy of millions or even the 400k.
      They had to pin it on him so they can save money and get their pensions. Yes, it comes from same place in many states.

      They do not care who the real killer is which is obvious b/c of how they treated Ryan. I also agree, only the GUILTY would delete messages from your alleged X gf’s machine. What could he have said that was so bad?

  • Whoever did this murder could not have acted alone,lf they wanted to frame Avery. He must have had help to dispose of the body and then try to bury the car on the Avery property for the same reason as you state one of them would have drove the Grand Am. lf Hilligas did this then l think Halbachs body is still out there somewhere because burning it would have been a very big risk and unless he walked home after dumping the Rav on the Avery property he needed a lift , but l don’t think that’s what happened.

    l strongly feel he would have put the body in the boot and dumped the car after burying the body and driving the car away from where he buried her and then dumping it and not on the Avery property .

    LE found the Rav but not the body nor was it on the Avery site. They had to of taken it from there for the way it panned out if Hilligas framed Avery there must have been at least two of them involved to plant everything on the Avery property. The way it was found he would have been taking an extremely large risk driving on the site in a dead girls car unless he knew the Avery’s were not on the the site.

    LE had to have framed him,the other thing that always bothers me is why LE would not allow the coroner on the site, the reason though is quite obvious. The bones were not found there nor were they Hallbach’s bones, and the coroner wouldn’t have gone along with it. l think once the car was found and they found the blood in the boot the tunnel vision was directed on Steven Avery because they were desperate to get his law suit out of there hair and they were going to nail him no matter what it took. Even if it let a murderer walk.

    • If you think LE framed Avery, who do you think killed her?

      • I think the evidence points to Hilligas but l don’t think he intentionally set Avery up, we know the Rav was found about 3 days before LE said they found the car, so the car was hidden somewhere other than the Avery site.

        l think coulburn found the car and called it in but didn’t actually state they had found the car, he asked about the number plate and verified the car belonged to halbach but stopped short of reporting the car found.

        which tells us they had 3 days to plan whatever they were going to do with it, but the car was not on the Avery site when they found it. lt was towed there.

        LE would have known steven and the family were at a holiday home around the same time Hilligas would not have known this, he would of considered it a huge risk to drive on the Avery property in a dead girl’s car ,WHY WOULD HE TAKE THAT RISK.

        once they found the car Hilligas took full advantage of the opportunity to help pin it on Avery, for some unknown reason there were something like 33 calls recorded to hilligas’s phone from LE officers .What could that possablly be about ? maybe they wanted him to ld the the car or maybe they even suspected him l don’t know, but somewhere in-between he became involved in the framing.

        Also remember he was directing the search party to so where-ever he buried the body he would have directed the searchers away from where it was buried had he raped her he would not want her found would he because his DNA would be all over it.

        lf he did Rape her l also feel it would have been somewhere they both knew so maybe the deleted (text’s) phone calls where talking about her meeting him somewhere and l actually think she was killed at home because that would have the most familiar place to both of them once wha t happened -happened he would have wait for the right moment to take the car somewhere secluded with her in the back and buried her l don’t think he burnt her because it would have took to much effort and planning, he drove the car away from where he buried it and dumped it and it lay there till someone either made a call or found it.

        That’s my scenario.

        • That’s your scenario? Well my friend you need to think it through a little more carefully. This is the problem to which I alluded in my last post. Among those who agree that Steven Avery is innocent, there is very little agreement on anything else. There is probably no way to fix this, and I don’t blame anyone for it, but the upshot is that hurts, rather than helps Steven Avery’s and Brendan Dassey’s cause. But there is a great deal about your proposed scenario that doesn’t make any sense to me. It’s not enough to come up with an idea about how something might have happened to explain something that happened. You have to look at probabilities.

          If you believe that Ryan Hillegas murdered Teresa Halbach, then it is he, and he alone who has the biggest motive for framing Steven Avery, because if he hadn’t, he would have quickly become the primary object of suspicion, and it wouldn’t have been so easy for authorities to avoid asking him the normal set of questions the ex boyfriend gets asked when his former girlfriend ends up murdered. And compared to what would have needed to be true in your scenario, Ryan’s path to action was profoundly more simple. If Ryan Killed Teresa, how did the cops found out she was dead? Was one of Ryan’s first tasks to call the police to confess? That doesn’t happen too often. In your scenario, something like this must have taken place, and that is just the first thing that makes it difficult to believe.

          • Here’s a possible scenario. Hillegas is angry and jealous with TH, knowing that she has been intimate with SB and ‘others’. He was still a very clear presence in her house, and her parents’ house, and is also her brother Mike’s BFF, giving some credibility that he hadn’t moved on, and wasn’t over her. He tries, she refuses, bam, lights out, goodnight Vienna.
            Hillegas doesn’t notify LE, but takes Teresa in her vehicle, to a place we don’t know, possibly the Randant (sp?) quarry/hunting area and dumps her there. At this point, he is without a doubt, suspect no. 1. But…. LE, possibly Colborn himself, finds the car, (calling in the plates in the process), and Teresa. He now has a major moral dilemma. Should he and his colleagues try to establish a direct line from Teresa back to Hillegas for prosecution, or do they realise that the weird guy up the road, who’s already done time for rape (wrongly, but mud appears to stick in Manitowoc), and who is suing them for a monster $36m might make a better suspect no. 1? It’s so hard to tell, everyone there is so corrupt. Serpico wouldn’t have made it through the combined forces of Manitowoc and Calumet, especially with an openly biased and hostile judge, (Fox), and a DA who was hooked on drugs *at the time of the trial*. How can people not see this?
            It may also explain the Halbach’s failed court motion to freeze Steven’s assets even before the trial began, hoping he would have to rely entirely on a public defender. Why would they do that if they weren’t protecting someone? JMHO.

            • So in your scenario, Colborn stumbles upon the vehicle with the body still in it out in the hinterlands of Radiant’s quarry? Instead of trying to force a theory of LE involvement on the level you are suggesting, the spirit of Occam is telling you to look at it some other way. The whole thing about Colborn finding the RAV4 and calling in the plates was just Dean Strang’s way of throwing shade. The likelier scenario, in my mind, is that he had been given one of the flyers that went up in the wake of Teresa’s disappearance and was confirming its accuracy. I encourage you to think through all of the ramifications of your alternate theory, and try to be open to being wrong. A false theory about why Avery is innocent is almost as bad as a false theory of his guilt. Therefore, when you propose a half-baked theory, you bear the responsibility of hurting Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey.

              • Why is my theory ‘half-baked’? Because it differs from yours?
                If LE came across a deceased Teresa in her car, regardless of how she died – it could even have been suicide, you cannot rule anything out – then they had a number of options.
                Ryan Hillegas was the most obvious choice. He had a motive and no credible alibi. He also had vivid red gouges in his left hand, as shown in MaM.
                All I’m trying to imply is that LE may very well have suspected Hillegas, but prosecuting him would not have benefitted them in the same way that prosecuting Steven would. Avery had become the poster child for wrongful imprisonment, tarnishing the careers of many LE officers in Manitowoc. Hillegas was not suing them for $36m.
                I believe that Hillegas killed Teresa, and LE manipulated that into a ‘lucky find’, taking all the heat off Hillegas and putting together a case against Avery, using every dirty trick in the book.
                During his evidence in court, a smiling Ryan Hillegas was asked if he had ever felt that he had been considered a suspect, and he replied that he had not.
                Ryan Hillegas, Teresa’s ex-boyfriend, who was still very much a part of her inner circle, and that of her family, and whose body displayed recent and quite severe gouging on his left hand, never felt that LE treated him as a suspect.
                I think LE know that Hillegas was responsible, but Teresa’s death gave them the perfect opportunity to put Steven behind bars (again), and the lawsuit would be dropped, which it was.
                Which part of that is ‘half-baked’ please? If you disagree with my opinion, I’m happy for you to say as much, but please, no derogatory digs. We both agree that Steven is innocent. We both agree that we think Hillegas killed her. Neither of us knows how she died. My opinion, which is no more than guesswork, is no less valid than yours or anyone else’s.

                • What I think, at the very least, is that if any member of law enforcement was involved with something less than above board, it was because they were convinced of Avery’s guilt from the very beginning. I don’t think they all knew that it wasn’t Avery, and decided to go through with framing him. I certainly don’t think anyone in LE murdered Teresa. The lawsuit and all of that doesn’t make logical sense to me, although I can understand why others can be easily led astray by that. We don’t even know whether that would have killed the town’s budget. We don’t know whether the town could have afforded to pay off the debt. There’s just a lot we don’t know. But the idea that the police department would unilaterally take it upon themselves to avoid this debt by framing someone for murder does not seem plausible to me in the least.

                  To some of your other comments, I would personally want someone to tell me why my theory is half-baked if that’s what they think. DO yo realize that most people don’t have the balls to tell another person the truth and that’s 87.9% of the problem right there? Ken Kratz is sort of right about the conspiracy stuff. It is highly, highly, highly unlikely that there was collusion on the part of the entire department. I don’t think LE ran into the RAV4 and then towed it to the property. Way too much risk.

                  • The idea that the police department would sit, in silence, on the knowledge that Steven Avery’s raping of Penny Beernstein was, in fact, almost certainly committed by Gregory Allen, – even going as far as to lock that information in the Sherriff’s safe for 8 years – does not seem even remotely possible to me.
                    But it happened. That’s not some half-baked conspiracy theory, that is pure fact. If they can do that, they can do anything.

                    • I should have added to my reply that Manitowoc LE had information that could have been investigated, but was not; it was hidden. Steven could have been released after just 10 years, instead of the 18 years that he served.
                      I don’t believe that anyone in LE killed Teresa, but I do think they took advantage of her death to build a semi-credible case against Avery. Why? I can’t say I know. If you want to take the $36m lawsuit out of the picture, we will.
                      The fact remains that Manitowoc LE allowed Steven Avery to sit in jail a full 8 years longer than was necessary. He had to wait for the advancement of DNA profiling to exonerate him.
                      Manitowoc LE had good reason to believe that Steven Avery was innocent of the rape of Penny Beernstein 10 years into his sentence, but they took no action on it. They hid that evidence in a safe for 8 years.
                      This happened a full 12 years before Teresa Halbach went missing.
                      What does that tell you about Manitowoc LE’s contempt for Steven Avery, years before the Halbach case?
                      For me, that silence speaks volumes. Long before Teresa vanished, LE did all they could to keep him behind bars, knowing that he was almost certainly not guilty.
                      And you don’t think there was any foul play from LE the second time around?

                    • Prosecutors in the United States let innocent men rot in jail all the time, and do everything within their power, usually, to keep them from getting out. For an eye-popping account of this, read Jerry Buting’s new book, Illusion of Justice. He writes about a guy, Ralph Armstrong, who got it even worse than Avery, if that is imaginable. In the United States, prosecutors have almost total immunity when it comes to the thing they do in their official capacity, and in the entire history of the United States, only one prosecutor has ever done any jail time for withholding evidence. The guy got four or five days in jail, as I recall. This is what the first case was about. All that I said about the prosecutor is also basically true of the cops as far as paying a penalty for sitting on their hands when it comes to investigating leads and evidence. The second Steven Avery is not comparable to first because it involves PLANTING evidence. That is way, way way way different. IF that could be proven, and it could be proven who was responsible, they would all immediately go to jail for a very long time. Once again, this case requires careful thinking. An incorrect theory of innocence is no better than a false theory of guilt. YOur unsound ideas are actually hurting the case because it raises the level of rancor. Clearly, everyone wants their pet theory to be true, and they’re offended when someone points out its flaws. My objective is to help get the men out of prison, so none of this is about indulging my pet theory.

                      You made a comment, Sally, about I didn’t like your theory because it wasn’t mine. That is very not true. I played chess a lot when I was younger, and through that experience, you learn that some people are just going to be better than you will ever be. Chess is a way of teaching you that some “theories” if you want to call them, are better, the theory in this case is a way of thinking that leads to the opponents checkmate. If you study the game, you realize that you have to have respect for those who know the game really well. There’s a massive hierarchy.

                      So in this game, if you will, you might have doubts about why my theory is incorrect, but you haven’t expressed what those doubts are unless stating your theory is the same thing as doing this (which in a way it is, I guess). THe mere fact of posting a theory that is alternative to mine is effectively challenging my theory. Therefore, I have to defend it. That said, I welcome your challenge. I NEVER want anyone to assume I got it right somehow. I want my theory to be knocked down, if possible. IF I respond to you at all, it means that I have some respect. What you presented just doesn’t seem plausible, and I wonder if you’ve read all of my content on Overthrow about the case? I directly address a lot of the things you bring up.

              • positive motivation

                There weren’t any fliers put out on Nov 3 of a missing person. Just a phone report.

          • I don’t weather he confessed or not neither do you , and yes your right he would have the a motive to frame Avery as would LE, 38 million dollars worth.

            How do the cops know she was dead apart from her blood in the back of the Rav you tell me, why would her blood be there if she is alive and well and living in seattle ?
            If Hilligas killed Hallbach and deliberately framed Avery which l think is very unlikely because it suggests,he followed her to Avery’s, stopped, killed, burnt, and planted evidence including the Rav all by himself. l don’t think so.

            If this is so he must have help to do it ,and l don’t buy the brother helped kill his sister theory, nor do l buy the cops killed her anymore than l believe Steven Avery killed her nor do i buy Hilligas killed her and set Avery up just get away with murder.

            LE on the other hand where quite willing to frame Avery for it no matter who or how she was killed. but it seems the simple theory’s are always the more far fetched.

            • I suspect that Ryan did have help. I’ve written about his extensively. I happen to think that it was Teresa’s little brother Mike who offered assistance.
              Part I and Part II

              I don’t think that RYan necessarily killed Teresa at Avery’s. She could have driven home first. I also think that the only evidence that Ryan planted, maybe, was the blood in the back of the RAV4. I’ve laid out my case here, within the pages of this site. I’d love to hear what you think I got wrong.

              • Dan l just can’t see any logical explanation as to why the Halbach’s would go along with Ryan killing their Daughter / sister, and agreeing to help him cover it up unless he convinced them that Avery had killed her, and was going to get away with Murder, but how would he of explained the scratches on his hands for instance to Halbach, surly he would of noticed them.

                which do as you say suggest that she had been strangled rather than bludgeoned to the back of the head.
                Although the blood in the Rav suggests she had an obvious wound to the head you also rightly presume this blood could have intentionally planted to frame Avery. l am though still of the opinion that her actual death was more towards an accident rather than murder. could he have convinced them of that ? and even he did why would they cover it up why become involved ?

                Imagine it someone comes to you and say’s ,”l’ve just had an argument with your sister, l grabbed her by the throat realised what l was doing, let go of her and she fell down the stairs and smashed her head in. l’ve buried her in the woods and want to plant the car and her belongings on some fella’s scrapyard”. will you help.

                Although also one could assume that he could have buried her before he went to Mike Halbach with some story of how she died l just don’t see any logical explanation’s for the Halbachs becoming involved in help cover it up let alone framing Avery and watching Dassey get dragged into it also. whilst Ryan Hilligas walks off into the sunset and two innocent people go to prison and their loved one lays in a shallow grave in the sticks .

                l agree with you about mike Halbach behaving very suspiciously on MAM as does Hilligas but l always felt this was because they had been snooping around the Avery property without permission rather than planting evidence and they’d been caught with there hands in the cookie jar.

                l wasn’t aware that Hilligas had signed into the Avery SY by LE using a false name but even so there is no mention of Halbach doing the same.

                Another thing l have been thinking about which probably takes us in another direction is the law suit the Halbachs brought against Avery for the money that he used to hire the lawyers could they have been worried the lawyers could discover something they didn’t want known,Who’s suggestion was this ?
                the problem with this case Dan it raises more Questions than Answers.

                • I def hear what you’re saying, Carl. I also think it’s unlikely that someone would cover for the person that killed a family member, and it is with great reluctance that I put forth the idea. Just know that I did so only very careful consideration.

        • Another thing that makes me think about how she was killed is nowhere near as gruesome as Mr Kratz makes out is that in the boot of the car. we find her blood on the rear wheel arch and it doesn’t point to her being mutilated.

          what l think it does suggest is that there a blunt instrument involved, but l actually feel one of these two wanted to get back together the other didn’t, or she possibly told him she was seeing someone or he found out and confronted her, and became angry about it and lashed out at her after an argument.

          He may not have intentionally meant to kill her. And remember there is no evidence of any kind that she was raped except in Kratz warped mind.

          • No evidence? Consider that something can be evident without there needing to be evidence. Also, it is the lack of reasonable that is needed to convict someone, not ironclad evidence. People are hung up on physical evidence. The fact is, logical deduction is also a form of evidence. Going forward, I don’t want to hear your theories. I want you to tell me why my theories are somehow logically inconsistent. If you are able to do that successfully, we can move on to your theories.

            • Theories are like arseholes mate everybody’s got one, yours is no better than mine, and to convict someone of murder l want to see ironclad evidence, not theories or hearsay ,people are hung up on physical evidence because it proves fact.

    • Agree Carl.

    • I believe Steven–definitely Brendan–are both innocent. Hmmm. I waffle sometimes on SA (guilty?) but not for long. I’m not sure about Ryan Hillegas. I feel he’s involved…but to what degree? I have many issues/questions. I’ve read everything I can find about this case including trial transcripts (<word for word, that was a lot of reading) and absolutely everything I can find online in addition: every site, every crazy conspiracy theory, every crazy defense of law enforcement theory. Facts & documents–try http://www.steveavery.org.–actual court documents are the most compelling (so far.) Not necessarily because they're all about TRUTHS but at least the court proceedings are on record…in front of jurors…and the media…and 2 families…and the rest of us. I encourage anyone and everyone to discern from there. "Making a Murderer" brought us all here…but read the court transcripts too. That being said…

      Did the stars align (sorry, being morbid here) and drop a young woman's remains at ASY for the police to find? What are the odds? Slim to none, less than none, negative 1 billion. This has "set up" written alllllllllll over it. My thoughts. Plentiful.
      1. Ryan did kill Teresa (followed her that day, Oct. 31st) and killed her in a crime of passion and abandoned her, her Toyota as well. Later police did find her & her SUV, some evidence of Ryan involved, and made a 'deal' with him. "Ssssshhhh. We'll take care of it." Not likely. Close…!!…but not likely. Meaning Ryan didn't kill Teresa…why?…

      Two gunshot blasts to the head? That's not a crime of passion. Not normally. It could be…but it's not common…and if Ryan did that he'd have to know the bullets would be traced. So you're thinking as I write this "Of course he knows this and burnt Teresa to hide everything!" One guy? Seriously? No. He also didn't EXECUTE her. That's a gangster or a cop's method. If Ryan was furious with Teresa for some (whatever) reason, he's still not going to ambush her and shoot her in the head…TWICE.

      Strictly my thoughts. Theories would be a better word. I think it's very possible Ryan hurt Teresa (but didn't shoot her). Annnnnnnnnnnd….I think it's more likely, much more likely, that PD had Avery under surveillance. Right from the time the depositions started, mid Oct. I think they were watching him like a hawk and watched the comings & goings at ASY. I believe they killed Teresa–I truly do–and planted eeeeeeeeeverything on his property. Teresa's SUV being 'found' in 25 min.'s by Pam Strum? (<And that's if we even believe her, I don't, I think she found it in 10 min.'s by being LED there.) Apparently she went in the CORRECT driveway and made the CORRECT turn and started her "Mission from God" on the CORRECT path, annnnnnnnnnnnnd….."Hallelujah Jesus! I just found a 1999 Greenish–blueish Toyota Rav4 covered in sticks!" Screw…..off. I have more to say. I'm sure there will be replies. Post.

  • Well thought out and also agree totally… kz .She Knows !

  • There also was the keys in pain site the police couldn’t find in the trailer. No blood, no DNA put her keys after how many people searched

  • Come to oconto county ! They make their own laws change court transcript’s arrest you for riding in cars where drugs are found threw out the inside but not on you ! Only guestion you are asked is are the drug in truck yours you say no ! You go to jail they give you a public pretender ! Who filed a companitcey hear on her own client, who she has never met only talked to on phone twice for five minutes in total ! Now mind you not near the travisty of this case but even if it’s right in plain view the people who are to protect you can an will take your life to hell an act like we didn’t do nothing ! In fact they did !But does the state or most people care ? Most not they’d rather crawl in bed an help cover it up. An leave the truth just waste away ! So where’s the point I ask ! A old man told me the point is up the dogs ass ! I took that even hour you know where it’s at , is anyone going to dig to get it ???.

  • Penelope Muldoon

    Based on all the true crime shows I’ve viewed there’s a few reasons a murder victim is destroyed by fire..
    1 Destroy ID of victim (to delay/make impossible the ID).
    2 Destroy DNA & evidence of perp.
    3 Destroy clues to location of the murder its self if victim moved.
    4 Destroys the way in which the victim was killed.
    Whoever did this not only knew this …but had the time afforded to perform it.
    Most murderers commit the crime & hastily attempt to cover it up & make all evidence disappear or hard to locate.
    Nothing about this case makes sense.
    The only clarity is Steve Avery & Brendan Dassey are innocent & were most definitely framed & Brendan was coerced into a false confession.

  • This is a theory I have thought of since watching his questioning portion of the documentary.

  • Given that Teresa was not reported as ‘missing’ for several days was a little alarming, for a woman who lived in a shared house, with her immediate family living close by.
    Once she was reported as missing, there is footage of Ryan Hillegas, and, I believe, Mike Halbach. They were ‘co-ordinating a search party’. In that clip, Ryan’s left hand is clearly shown to have vivid red gouges in it, yet that, apparently, is not considered to be suspicious. OK Manitowoc.
    The search party culminates with the late arrival of Pam Sturm, who, was given not only the same area maps given to everyone else, but also a camera, and a direct hotline to the Sheriff’s office. Why was she the only one given those items? Was it already known what Pan would find, and where to find it?
    In her call to LE, Sturm is trying to sound as if she has just made a shocking discovery, but as the conversation proceeds, she asks dispatch (having forgotten her instructions to ring the Sherriff directly), ‘is this the car’. Dispatch say they can’t tell her yet, she needs the VIM number, and she again says words to the effect of ‘no, you gotta tell me, is this the car?’. Listening to that last audio, there is a barely suppressed giggle from Sturm. Almost, maybe, a nervous laugh, as in ‘Am I doing it right? Am I doing OK’?.
    All that can be said about Andrew Colbourn is that he clearly lied under oath. Very obviously, too.
    As Steven was engaged in a civil lawsuit with Manitowoc LE, it was decided that NO Manitowoc LE would be allowed near the case, and it was handed over to the jurisdiction of Calumet County. This arrangement was violent multiple times, with Colbourn and Lenk, to name just 2, visiting the Avery property on multiple occasions.
    With all of the information given in the original post regarding the actions of Ryan Hillegas, I believed that Dean Strange and Jerome Buting HAD proved a reasonable doubt. I would not have convicted Steven with so many glaring errors.
    The corruption here is so layers deep, it’s incredulous. Thankfully, footage from MaM showing the state of Ryan’s gouged hands will be admissible in any new trial or exoneration plea.

  • I still maintain that Siegfried saw something. I never thought he was involved…. but I think he may have seen or found something that caused the LE to “hide” him and cover up his actions during those few days.

  • Brilliant!

  • Don’t forget the cops went to Teresa’s house and collected some of her personal items that had plenty of her DNA. Several pairs of her worn undies, plus other items. Any of these items could have been used to transfer her DNA to the bullet and bones.

    There’s far to much suspicion connected to just about every single piece of evidence. And the events surrounding the collection of her pap smear are weird as hell too.

    I am not ready to say Ryan did it, but I think he’s involved up to his neck in this. I think at minimum the two lead investigators know far more than has been released publicly. Why did Ryan get 20+ calls from them the evening of Nov 4. Something happened that day, something they want to keep buried.

    To many questions for that jury not to have returned a verdict of NOT guilty. There is reasonable doubt all over this case. Ryan LIED his ass off on the stand. Guessed a username and password that worked? Bullshit.

  • Her cellphone perhaps?

      • Do you find the missing 90minutes from Colburns account after he visited Avery and went past Zipperer on his way back to the station suspicious? I am thinking there could be something to that. Could he have actually been over there and helped Zipperer come up with a plan to frame Avery? He would have known that Avery saw Theresa prior. Maybe he was friends with Zipperer and saw this as opportunity to frame Avery. Maybe nothing was planted on Avery’s property at this point yet. Thoughts?

        • I don’t find any scenario involving Zipperer plausible. The act of murder is highly concentrated in younger males. It drops to almost zero when you get up to the age that Zipperer was at this time.

          • hos_gotta_eat_too

            Think Jason, not George

            • Very unlikely. THanks for dropping by, by the way. I was banned from Reddit, as I am sure you’re aware because I was falsely accused of trying to circumvent a ban from one of the guilers groups. Those people were total assholes as they started a thread to basically attack me, and then banned me from being able to respond. Never once did any of them successfully challenge a single post I put up in their group. I saw, too, that they were trying to pressure you into piling on, and I give you major props for telling them all to go fuck off in so many words. For those who don’t know, this commenter runs https://www.reddit.com/r/TickTockManitowoc/ where all matters related to Making A Murderer and Steven Avery’s and Brendan Dassey’s innocence.

          • Zipperer had a son that was there too. Mrs. Zipperer saw Teresa arrive bit didn’t see her leave. George was short and rude to the police. George said he would shoot anyone on his property. A father/son murder?

  • What about Zipperer or “the German” as suspects?

    • HOw would either the German or Zipperer have known where Teresa had last been?

      • hos_gotta_eat_too

        Her lead sheet from Auto Trader may have been in her car and found after the killing? Just a thought..

        • Even if her lead sheet had been in her car, an unfamiliar killer would not have known whether she’d stopped by a friends house, gone to a store, dropped by her parents, and any number of a zillion scenarios. It is simply not plausible (to me) that an unfamiliar killer, would have decided to look at a lead sheet in the car somewhere and going off of this, drive the car back on to the Avery property. Think of all the risk that would involve for someone who wasn’t familiar with those grounds. Why not drive the car 100 miles away and bury the body somewhere remote? If Steven Avery didn’t Kill Teresa, the point of framing Steven Avery would have been to get out from under where the suspicion would have naturally fallen.