Zellner Names Ryan Hillegas!

Ryan Hillegas in sunglasses, waving

After what seemed like forever, the long anticipated Zellnami struck the shores of Lake Michigan landing somewhere near the town of Manitowoc, Wisconsin.  Actually, this phase feels more like the waters near the shoreline eerily pulling back like the string of a bow before the wave finally comes crashing in.  As expected, there are still a few fools tarrying in the tide, scratching their heads as such an unusual phenomenon.  They lack the sense to make for high ground, apparently.

Of course, given the poor state of justice in Wisconsin and America in general, who is to say what will come?  Corrupt men do not care about evidence or innocence.  The only thing we do know is that they can be relied upon to obstruct justice with all of their might.

For this reason, please bear in mind that the primary goal of the filmmakers Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi was to engender discussion about whether the justice system that we have is the justice system that we want.  No matter the proximal outcome of this sordid saga, keep the larger picture in mind.  If you don’t like Ken Kratz, make sure, at least, that your local DA cares more about justice than his own career ambitions.  You are not powerless, and you can hold these people to account if you make the effort to at least make yourself aware of what is going on in your own backyard.  There are a lot of unscrupulous DAs just like Ken Kratz.  Nothing will change until people get involved and demand change, and even if Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey walked out of prison tomorrow, our fight is far from over.

Reading over the documents that are now available (I’m still waiting for all of them to be released as of this writing), I can’t deny that I am pleased that my theory about who killed Teresa Halbach has largely been vindicated.  Zellner’s theory mirrors my original theory in almost every particular.

I am also quite relieved that Zellner’s brief corroborates my long held view that the blood of Steven Avery’s found in the RAV4 came from the active, bleeding cut on Avery’s right middle finger as opposed to the blood in the vial collected in 1996 (which Dean Strang and Jerry Buting, Avery’s original attorney’s sited as the source).

Nevertheless, I am still not entirely clear on when Steven Avery cut his finger, and I’m hoping that the documents forthcoming will shed light on this.

For example, Kurt Chandler, writing for Milwaukee Magazine, Blood Simple, May 1, 2006:

In a jailhouse interview with Milwaukee Magazine, Avery skillfully explained away each piece of incriminating evidence. The blood in his bathroom came from a work accident, he claimed, when he loaded a flatbed truck with tin roofing and cut his finger. ‘Then every time I broke it open, it bled like a stuffed pig.’

This matches, at least to a point, the following text in Zellner’s brief filed June 7th, 2017:

Mr. Avery then walked next door to his sister’s trailer, where he attempted to unhitch the trailer. In so doing, Mr. Avery broke open the cut on the middle finger of his right hand. His finger was dripping blood as he walked back to his car to retrieve his cell phone charger. While in his car, Mr. Avery dripped blood from his finger onto the seats and the gear shift. From his car, Mr. Avery walked to his trailer, entering through the door at the south end. Mr. Avery dripped blood on the floor as he entered the bathroom to find a piece of tape to put on the cut. Mr. Avery dripped blood onto the rim and basin of the sink and the bathroom floor. He did not wash away or wipe up the floor or sink because his brother Charles A very (“Chuck”) was waiting for him to go to Menards in Manitowoc with him.

There is not necessarily a contradiction here, and in fact, the story Steven Avery told Chandler is consistent with the statement in the brief, but it would still be helpful to know the exact time and date Steven Avery sustained the cut to his right middle finger.  We also must presume, if the tin roofing material that cut into Avery’s finger had been obtained at Menards, then the trip mentioned in the brief had to have been the second trip.  To wit, Avery tells Chandler that the original cut occurred while loading tin roofing material (presumably from Menards).  Then, sometime later, the wound was reopened when he unhitched a trailer.   He then went to Menards with his brother Chuck shortly thereafter.  Is there any documentation to support the claim that there was a prior trip to Menards occurring sometime close to the second trip that happened just after the wound was reopened?  If so, given the statement that Avery made to Kurt Chandler, such documentation would be very helpful in firmly, irrefutably, establishing the credibility of Avery’s claim.

The relevance of the timing of the cut to Steven Avery’s right middle finger cannot be overstated in this case because the prosecution claimed that it had occurred on the evening Steven Avery purportedly killed Teresa Halbach.  If it can be definitively established that the cut happened before or after October 31, 2005, the day it is believed that Teresa Halbach was killed, then the entire prosecution’s theory goes out the window.  At the very least, it should be interesting to read through the entirety of the documents forthcoming.

In the meantime, I have assembled all of the articles that I wrote dating back to practically the day the Netflix series, Making A Murderer, was released.  I’ve never waivered on who I’ve fingered as the culprit, but some things did change over time.  For instance, I initially believed that Ryan Hillegas planted the blood which I believed he obtained, given that he was an RN, from a local clinic or hospital.   I also stated that I believed he planted other items of evidence including the bones and the key.  Much to my astonishment, it is this original theory, formulated in the tail end of 2015 that Zellner’s own theory cleaves to most closely.

Gradually, however, my theory altered.  Instead of Ryan Hillegas being the primary planter of evidence, I became convinced that it had been Ken Kratz because I thought it would be difficult for one person outside the circle of law enforcement to plant so much evidence.  Ken Kratz, on the other hand, had access to all of the evidence because all of the evidence was indeed brought back to Calumet County where he, as the person in highest authority would have had unrestricted access to all of it.  I also couldn’t bring myself to quite believe that Ryan Hillegas would be depraved enough to dismember Teresa and spend five to ten hours incinerating her remains with the goal of planting her bones on Steven Avery’s property in mind.  To me, it ultimately seemed more likely that after murdering Teresa Ryan simply buried her somewhere.  Ken Kratz, in his tendency to overdo everything, had found a skeleton in the Calumet County evidence locker, likely from an old forgotten case, and used these bones in the burn pit during some opportune moment.

As for the blood in the RAV4, my theory is identical to Zellner’s except that I believe that it was Kratz instead of Hillegas.  That said, my theory could easily be dispelled if the cut to Avery’s finger happened several days prior to November 5th.

We do know that Zellner names at least two evidence planters: Lenk, who planted the key, and Hillegas who planted the blood and the bones.  But I believe she suggests an unnamed third as the one who planted the DNA on the hood latch.

The last item worth mentioned is that while Zellner clearly believes that the key found on the floor of Steven Avery’s trailer was planted, she never attempts to explain why they key does not seem to match the official evidence key.  I surely hope to one day find out why that is.

Listed below are all of the articles that I’ve written about

Ryan Hillegas over the last eighteen months detailing why he’s been my prime suspect from day one.



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