Ryan Hillegas: Did You Kill Teresa Halbach?

Ryan Hillegas grimacing

Time zips by when your mind is on murder, doesn’t it?  Seems like just yesterday that the molten, red-hot meteoroid Netflix series, Making a Murderer, impacted the small screen of our laptops and television sets and left quite an indelible impression.  The initial hubbub has cooled down considerably from it’s peak, but most who follow the Brendan Dassey and Steven Avery case even casually suspect there’s plenty more in store, and tomorrow is set to be a watershed day as many in the news media and elsewhere expect Zellner to file her long-awaited brief.

While we, the humble supplicants tarry on the Delphic oracle from Downer’s Grove (by way of Midland, Texas), I thought I’d take a look back, and do a final examination of all the reasons I don’t think it was Steven Avery who killed Teresa Halbach.  Of course, once Steven Avery is eliminated, one is left with who did kill her, and, as everyone knows, I have not changed my view about that from day one, so Ill also go over why I still think Ryan Hillegas is still the most likely culprit.

 The crusher was not used.  If Avery had been the killer, wouldn’t he have done that?  Even a person with a low IQ would know that parking the vehicle on the edge of the salvage yard wouldn’t prevent detection for very long.  If the killer was someone else besides Avery, he probably wouldn’t have known how to use the crusher, or, if he did, wouldn’t have known how to use the forklift to carry the vehicle off to some nondescript location.  Additionally, the killer, if it wasn’t Avery, would have wanted the car found on Avery’s property.

The car was found on the Avery property in plain view.  If Avery had been the killer, it doesn’t make sense to me that he would have left Teresa’s car on the property at all.  Murderers generally take great pains to dispose of evidence and that often means moving it as far away as possible from anywhere that they are known to inhabit, and that would certainly include their home and property.  Avery had plenty of access to vehicles, money and time.  There is absolutely no reason for Teresa’s RAV4 to not have been found ten, twenty, a hundred miles away at the bottom of a ravine, or at the bottom of a body of water.

Not clear how Teresa would have ended up in Avery’s trailer.  The van being photographed, and the place that Teresa parked her car were maybe a hundred feet or more from the front door of Steven Avery’s trailer. Below is the prosecutions own reconstruction that give you a better visual idea of the distances between various objects:

image which shows the positioning of the red caravan for sale in relation to Steven Aery's trailer

image which shows the positioning of the red caravan for sale in relation to Steven Aery’s trailer

Next, look at this Auto Trader document that Avery must have taken from Teresa Halbach on October 31st, 2005:


Bill of Sale

Autotrader bill of sale

The reason why this is interesting to me is that it looks like a piece of paper that someone walked in the door with and set down somewhere.   Crucially, it doesn’t even look like it was put in Steven Avery’s pocket since it looks never to have been folded.  Unless Teresa Halbach voluntarily entered Steven Avery’s trailer (and if she did, that fact would certainly undermine Ken Kratz’s claim that she was afraid of Steven Avery), it is extremely difficult to imagine how me might have forced her into the trailer while at the same time preserving the relatively pristine state this document was found in.  Now, one might say he simply forced her in at gunpoint, thereby avoiding the struggle that might have taken place, but if that were so, why would he have let Teresa Halbach hand him anything?  It’s possible that Avery might have obtained this document some other way besides getting it from Teresa on the day she went missing, and it’s also possible that Teresa had given it to Avery on an earlier occasion.  But it would seem to me that most likely explanation is that Teresa gave it to Avery on the day she went there on the 31st of October.  Oh, and by the way, was the Autotrader bill ever tested for Teresa Halbach’s fingerprints?


You never find Steven Avery’s fingerprints with his DNA — Ken Kratz mad a big deal about Steven Avery’s DNA being found on the hood latch of Teresa’s RAV4, but if it makes no sense that a fingerprint or even a partial fingerprint wouldn’t also have been found.  I mean, you put your fingers right on a hood latch to open the hood of a car as everyone knows.  And since that hood latch is protected by the hood and the grill of the car, any transfer of biological material could only be from the tips of ones fingers (point being is that the hood latch is not a surface that is likely to come into contact with DNA any other way than by someone using their fingers to open up the hood).  I’m sure there are flukes that cannot be fully explained often enough with evidence is being examined, but when there is a repeating pattern, I believe there is cause for suspicion.  For example, the key to the RAV4 that was found in Avery’s bedroom–as if the fact that the key was found at all wasn’t enough, once again, we have Avery’s DNA, but not his fingerprint.  And Teresa’s DNA wasn’t found on the key at all.  Lastly, you find plenty of Steven Avery’s DNA in Teresa Halbach’s RAV4, but strangely, no  fingerprints!

He doesn’t act out of the ordinary — Steven fully cooperates with law enforcement.  He lets them in his trailer.  He answers questions without a lawyer even though he’s fully aware he doesn’t have to.  He does not seem nervous or shifty. He has explanations, he doesn’t contradict himself, and his answers flow in a natural way.  When attention sought him, he dealt with it, but he never sought attention.  Steven Avery never offered to lead a search party!  In my experience in studying and thinking about crime, it is impossible for the real killer to get each of these factors right.

The blood smear on the dash of Teresa’s RAV4 could not have been made by the cut on Avery’s hand.  Below is a picture of the cut on Avery’s right middle finger:



Next is a photograph that shows an area of Teresa Halbach’s RAV4 where this wound was supposed to deposited blood:

blood smear of Steven Avery's on Teresa Halbach's car console

Console of Teresa Halbach’s RAV4 where Steven Avery’s blood was found

Finally, a close up of the blood smear:




A few months back, I had a post up (no longer available now, alas) that went over these strange blood smears found in Teresa’s vehicle.  I had the same pictures up for months, and I asked everyone who still believed in Steven Avery’s guilt to please explain.  There wasn’t a single taker.

To be honest, there is a lot, lot more than all of this, and much of it I’ve tried to painstakingly document within the pages of this blog over the last eight months or so.  I should also like to say that I am not completely convinced of Steven Avery’s guilt, but I am convinced well beyond a reasonable doubt which is already a pretty high standard.

If tomorrow Zellner fingers someone else besides Hillegas, I will very carefully consider what she has to say.  If it is at odds with anything that I’ve supposed, namely that it was not Ryan Hillegas who killed Teresa, and I find her arguments compelling enough, I will be the first one, I promise, to offer Ryan a sincere apology.  That said, I will say that he is responsible for bringing some of it upon himself by not offering an alibi, something that I find highly troubling to this day.  At the end of the day, if it wasn’t Steven Avery who killed Teresa Halbach, someone should put forth the necessary effort to find out who it was.



  • I think it was Ryan Hillegas and Tim Halbach. I believe both had something to gain. Ryan was wanting to be with Teresa and she wanted nothing to do with him. I believe he was the repeated calls on her phone when a co worker noticed she would not answer it after she seen who was calling and Said Oh, not him again. He is the one that got into her voicemails and altered or deleted some making room for more calls to come through, otherwise it would leave a message mail box full. He also lead the search party and that’s a big flag and that shows how bold he is and like’s the attention for another and he didn’t start at the Avery property first for good reason because the heat would have been turned on and a lot of cop questioning happen. He was afraid on the stand in court which was obvious that he was guilty of something. Pamela Strum she said a bar patron mentioned that she go to the Avery property. Who was that, I don’t know. She found it way too quickly, I was thinking that she might have been covering for someone maybe a cousin of Teresa, Pamela’s daughter some how. Mot sure on the last part. Now Tim Halbach it is obvious since the Birth Certificate made out the way it was. Most of all the inheritance of 225 acres of farmland. His co partner in the DEED expertise business and court filing deeds. Teresa and Tim are the only blood relative mentioned in the estate inheritance, so he has a lot of billions to profit from if she were to die. Sad as it is, it makes me feel creepy typing it. Well. I have other suspects, but I will say that is it for my input for now. I hope everyone a good week and a safe one.

  • my suspects r either Allen or earl Avery for a number of reason went into before but the page kept error and not posting. they motive means and oputunity

  • that cut was an old cut from working on cars I’m in the medical field and that cut was way to healed at that time to come from the killing. beside if he transfer the blood to the rav 4 it would of been a drip not a smear that looks like it came from a q tip

  • I think its either earl or Allen Avery his brothers they had motive and opportunity. I live in Manitowoc and the consensus here by most residents is that it was a family member and they lived there so they would of been around the day she came there and they also live nearby the quarry where bones were found

  • I don’t think Ryan murdered Teresa. I think members of the sherrifs dept did. They had a motive.

    • The Sheriff’s dept. had a motive to FRAME Steven. They didn’t care who murdered her as it served their agenda to frame him so they wouldn’t have to pay out millions in compensation for putting away an innocent man 18 years earlier. Ryan is a VERY plausible SUSPECT given his relationship with Teresa and his strange behaviour after her disappearance, never mind the scratches on his hands.

    • I think zipper did it drunk AC and link talked him into letting SA take the fall RH was just a puppet they used to frame him they knew who actually killed her and where all the evidence was it wasn’t hard to dump it in Avery backyard

    • Look everyone it’s Ryan hillegas

  • Hi Chad,

    It is pretty obvious that the lawyer thinks the suspect is Ryan Hillegas, which 99 percent (or so) of killings to a woman are by bf, husband or x. Pretty sad. I think it was obviously him all along. I did not think it would come out because now this financially strapped city owes Steve Avery more millions than they did the first time they set him up which would have (and now will) take pensions from good and bad cops.
    This is why corruption should not occur within a police dpt. Well, many reasons. But it will come out of their probably non existent pensions now. Unless Netflix chokes something up for the few good cops in that town…….

  • Great article Daniel.

    RH is still on my list, but no longer number one.

    But never ruled out.
    That’s a certainty.

    But, in all that we do in this case let’s remember one thing…

    Whoever is jailed, “if” anyone in the future—let’s remind ourselves to allow them their innocence until a conviction is determined in a “fair trial.”

    We can theorize all day long.

    But a new person jailed awaiting the trial for the murder of Teresa Halbach does NOT make them automatically “guilty.”

    Let’s be fair to the arrested and weigh in on the trial evidence, less we have learned nothing.

    Keep up the good research and articles my friend.