In this post I am going to discuss statements made by law enforcement members of Calumet County Sheriff’s Department about the photograph you see below that leaves serious doubts about whether it was taken on November 8th, 2005, as claimed. There is now reason to think that it might have been taken on November 5th, 2005.
Do you seen anything which jumps out when you look into the brown bag in the lower left of this image?
Have you spotted the handcuffs? No? That’s because there aren’t any.
..there is a pair of what are called fingercuffs in the image. This time the image is not too blurry, I hope, for anyone not to be able to clearly see this or for there to be any question about the fact that these are the fingercuffs collected at the scene and introduced as evidence in a court of law for the purposes of convicting Steven A Avery of the capital offense of murder.
Should there by any doubt, please do not take my word for it. Rather, take the word of Sgt. Bill Tyson of Calumet County Sheriff’s Department who, on page 95 of the official report dated OCTOBER 5, 2005, marked down as happening at 19:47 hours the following:
Sgt. COLBORN indicated he did locate a pair of leg irons and a pair of handcuffs, which were located in the nightstand next to the desk.
The fingercuffs in the brown bag shown in the picture to be next to the nightstand (next to the desk), are not the leg irons, obviously. And the pair of “handcuffs” that he is referring to are actually the fingercuffs. These are the leg irons (more about them in a bit). The reason I feel the need to provide this disambiguation is because these fingercuffs were always referred to as handcuffs in all written documentation that I could find.
According to Sgt Tyson’s report, after Sgt Colborn found the leg irons and fingercuffs, he, Detective Remiker, Sgt Colborn, and Lieutenant Lenk continued their search of the trailer for about another two and a half hours. The bathroom, livingroom, and kitchen were searched as photographs were taken, and swabs of suspicious looking stains were collected.
Then, beginning at 22:01 Sgt Tyson documents that the following occurred:
Lt. LENK was in charge of documenting each bag of evidence that had been collected. Those bags were assigned an item number and the evidence document showing those items with their number will be attached to this report.
All items of evidence were placed into the vehicle of Det. REMIKER [emphasis mine] and we did leave the STEVEN AVERY residence at 2205 hours.
Upon arriving back at the command post, I did remove the items of evidence and place them into my squad car. Those items were then taken back to the CALUMET COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT and secured in the evidence room.
In the photograph containing the brown bag in which the finger cuffs can be seen, you did happen to notice a single key with a black handle attached to the blue-colored (or blue-coloured if you’re from the UK) female end of a lanyard on the blue and white flecked carpet adjacent to a bookshelf, I trust? Make a mental note of that because I will be coming back to it.
Before going forward I will note several important things. First, there were six sets of handcuffs collected at the Avery property, but I could only find two documented pair that were collected from Steven Avery’s trailer, and those are the two mentioned in Sgt Tyson’s report.
If Sgt Tyson and the others he was with that evening collected more than who sets of handcuffs, he doesn’t mention it in his report.
Sgt Tyson’s report indicated that handcuffs and leg irons were found in the nightstand (also inconsistently referred to as “the cabinet”, or, “the bookshelf” by other members of law enforcement in that same report). We see a set of cuffs in the brown paper bag next to that nightstand in an image that was supposed to have been taken on 11/8/2005. Is it possible that there were more cuffs of one variety or another in the nightstand that were missed on 11/05/2005? It doesn’t seem likely, and neither does it seem likely that they would have been missed anywhere in the room or trailer unless someone took scrupulous care to hide them. But if hidden leg irons and handcuffs had been found in the trailer or, for that matter, anywhere within a five mile radius of Avery Salvage Yard after the discovery of Teresa Halbach’s RAV4, I’m pretty sure that would have been regarded as important and carefully noted as to time and place, etc.
Strangely, the report which goes with the image of the brown bag with the fingercuffs inside is written by Deputy Dan Kucharski. Kucharski’s report indicates that this image was taken on the 11/08/2005 immediately after the discovery of a key which looks to be a Toyota key. Nowhere in Kucharski’s documentation is there any mention that anyone in the trailer that day in an official investigatory capacity found, over the course of almost 12 hours, more sets of handcuffs, leg irons, or fingercuffs even though he is careful to note several other items. But almost the entire report is devoted to the moment when the key is discovered:
After approximately two minutes, Lt. LENK came back to the room. He entered the doorway of the room approximately one foot away from me, pointed to the floor and said, “There’s a key here.” He pointed to the floor next to the cabinet by a pair of men’s slippers. All three of us looked at the key that was lying on the floor. The emblem on
the key appeared to be a Toyota manufacturer’s emblem. The key was connected to a blue
canvas key fob with a black buckle on the end of it approximately two to four inches in length. Immediately we stopped searching. I photographed the location of the key. I collected the key and placed it into an evidence bag. The bag was a brand new evidence bag out of the stack of bags that I brought into the residence from my evidence kit. I was wearing rubber gloves when I collected the key. When I went to pick up the key, I used a fresh pair of gloves that were new directly out of the package. At the time the key was first found, I had already taken off my rubber gloves from the previous searching because we were almost finished searching the room. At no time did I handle any other pieces of evidence or any other items inside the bedroom or inside the trailer with this pair of gloves. At no time did Lt. LENK or Sgt. COLBORN touch or have physical control of the key. From this point forward, I had the key in my physical control. I called the command post and informed them that we had found this key. Special Agent TOM FASSBENDER and CALUMET CO. SHERIFF’S DEPT. Inv. MARK WIEGERT came to the residence to look at the key. With my gloved hand, I took the key out of the evidence bag and retaining physical control of it, I showed it to them. They left the residence saying they would be sending a special agent back to take possession of the key to immediately take it to the crime lab in Madison for processing. I secured the key back into the evidence bag and sealed the bag with red evidence tape putting my initials on the tape. Special Agent TOM FASSBENDER and Special Agent MATTHEW JOY, Badge #N516, came back to the residence at short time later. Special Agent JOY took physical control of the evidence bag containing the key. I filled out the Evidence/Property Custody sheet and had Special Agent JOY sign that he had taken possession of this piece of evidence. Special Agent JOY left the residence and we continued with the search
Given these odd circumstances, I have to wonder whether the photograph showing the key on the carpet next to the bookshelf was really taken on November 5th.
If only two sets of cuffs came from Steven Avery’s trailer on 11/05/2005 when there were possibly another three additional sets in the trailer, it is beyond strange that the other sets were not found by four trained, experienced men of law enforcement who spent nearly two-and-a-half hours each looking for precisely that kind of evidence.
I wonder if there is any way to find out exactly when the cuffs were logged in as evidence because if they were all in by 11/08/2005, there is no other conclusion that I could come to but that the photograph of the key lying on the blue and white carpet in Steven Avery’s room was taken on 11/05/2005.