Blood Redemption: What The Avery’s Might Know That Could Help Free Steven and Brendan
The blood evidence in the Toyota RAV4 was probably the single most important piece of forensic evidence tying Steven Avery to Teresa Halbach’s murder. Indeed an unhealed cut on the outside surface of Steven Avery’s right middle finger was discovered when his body was subjected to close examination after his arrest on November 9th, 2005, four days after the discovery of Teresa’s vehicle on the Avery property. But did you know that Brendan Dassey and Steven Avery give conflicting stories about how this cut occurred?
In May 2006, Blood Simple by writer Kurt Chandler was published in Milwaukee Magazine. It includes some interesting information that has heretofore been largely overlooked (to my knowledge). Chandler writes:
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.”
According to Avery, he did not cut his finger while he was in the process of murdering Teresa Halbach. But when did it happen? Chandler steps in for Avery to strongly suggest when that would have been:
Avery was at the cabin in Crivitz helping to install a tin roof and butchering chickens on the day Halbach’s car was found
The day that Avery went up to his cabin in Crivitz was November 5th, 2005, when, yes, Teresa Halbach’s RAV4 was found on the Salvage yard by Pam Sturm at around 10:30 a.m. If Avery is lying here about cutting his finger on tin roofing, his motive had to have been to convince others that the cut on his finger happened after the murder of Teresa Halbach. That is what Chandler is trying to suggest. If that is so, it seems rather odd that Steven Avery needs Chandler to make this connection as he has clearly failed to do it himself. If the point is deception, why leave out the most vital detail of that lie? Why did Steven Avery not go out of his way to make sure everyone knew that the cut happened immediately before he left for his family cabin in Crivitz on November 5th, 2005, and long after Teresa Halbach was declared missing?
Without Mr. Chandler’s helpful assistance, Steven Avery’s own words make it clear that he doesn’t understand the significance of the cut on his finger, or why it would be worth mentioning that it happened immediately before the trip to Crivitz, and therefore long after Teresa Halbach went missing. Yet, if the murderer really had he cut his finger while he was stabbing Teresa Halbach as Brendan claimed (under duress), he would have every reason for wanting to stress when the injury occurred.
Thomas Fassbender and perhaps others must have understood the importance of placing the timing of the cut to Steven’s finger to almost the exact time that Teresa was murdered. Without this timing, there would have been a greater risk that planting of evidence would have been obvious. Blood coagulates after only fifteen minutes, and after that it becomes difficult to work with.
Therefore, for the prosecution’s purposes, It’s not enough to have a source of blood from Steven—if the cut occurred days before the day Teresa was presumed to have died, 10-31-2005, then the wound would not obviously be still expressing blood on the 31st, and thus the transfer of blood that the prosecution presented in photographic evidence showing, say, blood near the ignition switch, could not have taken place. I would have been an obvious fraud. The only way out of this would have been to show that there had to have been another source of blood from Steven besides the one on his finger, and that this wound, too, had been created in the process of murdering Teresa (and thus as the exact same time). No evidence of such a wound exists, to my knowledge, and if it does, I don’t recall Brendan being asked whether this wound was also self-inflicted by Avery while he was murdering Teresa.
In fact, most surface cuts such as the one Avery had stop bleeding after about fifteen minutes. If the prosecution team hadn’t been able to get that cut on Steven Avery’s finger where they needed it to be, at almost the same time the murder occurs, they would have been easy pickings for the defense.
Brendan Dassey to the rescue!
FASSBENDER: Did you see any abrasions at all, bandaged up at all anywhere? Did he tell you that he hurt himself or she hurt him….
BRENDAN: He said he cut his finger
FASSBENDER: He said he cut his finger on what?
BRENDAN: By the garage……he cut his finger on glass…..
WIEGERT: Did he say what he did with his clothes? Cuz there had to be blood on his clothes.
WIEGERT: Are you sure? I heard he told you something about that. I heard he told you how he cleaned things up. Be honest now, if he didn’t it’s OK but if he did, you need to tell
WIEGERT: You didn’t see it, did he tell you about it? BRENDAN: WIEGERT: No? Sav ves or no.
FASSBENDER: We had heard that he cut himself during the….Did he say that or not? What did he say cutting himself during it?
BRENDAN: ……..hurt himself
FASSBENDER: Did he say where he cut himself?
FASSBENDER: On the knife that he used to kill her, yes or no.
WIEGERT: Tell us what he told you exactly?
WIEGERT: That’s OK, go ahead.
WIEGERT: Go ahead.
FASSBENDER: Take a second, it’s all right.
WIEGERT: He said that he cut himself, while he was stabbing her? Yes or no.
There are actually many reasons to believe Steven’s version of how his finger was cut over Brendan’s. Firstly, fresh blood was found on the shifter of the Pontiac Grand Am the day it was seized as evidence on November 6th, 2005. If the cut happened right before Steven Avery got into his vehicle and set out for Crivitz, this would fit the twenty minute coagulation window.
But maybe the blood that was deposited in the Grand Am happened around the same time that the murder took place, and thus the same time it would have been deposited in Teresa’s RAV4. Keeping in mind the twenty minute coagulation window, I find this highly unlikely because not even the prosecutor puts Steven Avery behind the wheel of the Grand Am within several hours after he killed Teresa. Remember that it would take a bare minimum of six hours to reduce human remains to ash and small pieces of bone. If Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey had Teresa Halbach on top of a bonfire, they went making trips to the nearby Dash N Go to buy milk and bread.
But by the time they were finished with the bonfire that they used to dispose of Teresa’s remains, Steven’s hand would definitely have stopped bleeding. If he didn’t get into the Grand Am until the next day, even early in the morning, say, after 6:00 a.m. November 1st, 2005, there is absolutely no way Steven’s hand would have still have been bleeding from that gash. All of this assumes, by the way, that Steven never bothered to apply a bandage, and if that is true, we right back to not only having to wonder about all of of Teresa’s missing blood, but also all of Steven’s.
The other problem with Brendan’s version is the problem someone would have in cutting themselves on the finger attached to the hand holding the ablative edge in question. Now this has been known to happen, but the placement of where the cut is on Steven Avery’s right outer middle finger makes it seem unlikely that it happened this way. I guess it’s not too late to ask at this point whether Steven is right or left handed? If Steven is left handed, then it really seems odd that he would have wounded himself on his right hand at the angle the wound was inflicted if he was holding the knife in his left hand.
If we are to believe Brendan’s version of how the cut was inflicted, and when it happened, we must assume that there was a lot of blood coming from Steven’s finger at that point. Did Steven try to bandage his wound? If he did, you would think that he would have been hyper conscious of the fact that he was bleeding and therefore needed to be especially careful in making sure none of it got anywhere in the RAV4.
On the other hand, if the cut on his finger was something Avery had overlooked in the heat of the moment, one would expect to see a lot more blood than the few evenly distributed drips that were found in the RAV4.
The fourth reason: it seems implausible that someone who wanted to deny involvement in a murder would talk about the very thing that would incriminate him in that very murder. What I mean to say is that in talking with Chandler, Avery admits that the wound would open up and bleed after the initial period of coagulation had sealed it.
The drive from Manitowoc to Crivitz is about ninety minutes. Yes, Steven said that the seal of coagulation on his cut finger would break and that he would bleed like a “stuffed pig”, but this pattern is consistent with what would happen over the course of maybe two hours, immediately following the point in time when the injury was sustained, and far less likely for any amount of time greater than that. I can actually speak from experience on this because I once nearly sliced off my thumb. I can assure you that it was a much worse injury than the cut on Steven Avery’s finger. The bleeding had completely stopped within two hours, and it certainly was done bleeding by morning when I had to go in for surgery to have it sewn back together.
Do you know what else is massively important? If we believe Steven’s story about how he cut his hand, it must have happened on the Avery Salvage Yard property right before he left for Crivitz, as he was loading the tin roofing as he claimed, and it had to have happened only a few hours before the RAV4 was found when members of law enforcement, and Ken Kratz, and lots of different cops arrived from different agencies began to descend like a swarm of locusts on a cornfield at harvest time.
What did Steven Avery do with the material he surely must have used to stanch the flow of blood from his finger? How much blood would there have been? If Steven Avery did not kill Teresa Halbach, this is the by far the best explanation for how someone could have obtained fresh, blood still containing a sufficient amount of moisture to be daubed onto a surface with something like a QTip. Keep in mind, also, that it was rainy and cool out that day, and those conditions would have been perfect for maintaining the freshness of blood discarded on a rag or a towel somewhere in the junkyard, or even in Steven’s trailer in which he probably chose not to keep the heat going while he was away for the weekend.
But the most telling clue of all is the fact that there is no record that I can find of anyone in law enforcement asking Steven about how he cut his finger, or where he was when it happened. I find this omission very telling.
If the blood in the RAV4 was pivotal in convicting Avery, and the blood came from Steven Avery’s right middle finger, here are a few questions they could have asked even members of the Avery clan:
- Did anyone notice whether Steven’s right middle finger was bandaged when he got to Crivitz?
- When Steven was loading the tin roofing into the flatbed truck was anyone helping him?
- Whose flatbed truck was it?
- Did any of Steven’s blood get on the tin?
- Can we swab the surface of the truck and some of the tin to check for DNA?
- When Steven came up in his Grand Am was anyone riding with him? in that Grand Am
- Did either Brendan or Brian Dassey help Steven load the flatbed truck with the tin roofing material, and if so, do they remember whether he cut himself?
- Did Steven buy any bandages along the way to Crivitz? Did he leave any behind there?
- If he had bandages and dressings on his finger while he was in Crivitz, are they still around to be inspected?
There is one last question that needs to be answered: How did anyone know that there was a source of blood at all, and that it was from a finger on Steven’s right hand? Here is my guess. If Steven cut his finger just before leaving for Crivitz, as he claimed, there is a very good chance that he left bloody material of some kind behind. If this was found on the property, it would have raised suspicions, and it is very easy to imagine that someone in law enforcement made phone calls to members of the Avery family on the very day, November 5th, 2005, that the RAV4 was discovered. Someone might have asked an Avery family member if they knew whether Steven was bleeding from somewhere. If this was known by any member of the Avery family who happened to have spoken to law enforcement that day, the follow up question would have been, “From where?”. To me, this is a chilling thought, if true, because it would mean that a member of Steven Avery’s and Brendan Dassey’s own family would have been used to seal their fate.
For this reason, I want to openly ask any and all members of the Avery family whether you recall if Steven Avery had cut his finger on the day you all went to Crivitz? Do any of you recall being asked by any member of law enforcement where the source of the bleeding came from?
[if there are errors in this of grammar or usage, etc., I will try to fix shortly. Thanks for being patient and getting through it all in its raw form]