With Law & Order twists, Fargo-esque characters straight out of central casting, and a story fit for Dateline (seriously, this story was on Dateline), Netflix’s Making a Murderer is a bonafide pop culture obsession. The 10-part documentary series centres on the wrongful conviction of Steven Avery and spins into a moral and legal examination of socio-economic profiling, police corruption, the long arm of law enforcement in fly-over states and the very meaning of justice. Driving the story is the urgent real-time stakes highlighted by jailhouse phone calls, passionate lawyers and hours of interview footage with the unsophisticated Avery family.
If you’ve burned through the 10 hours, you know the story is far from over. And you probably have urgent questions and maybe even your own theory about the details of the case. Here’s where to feed your Making a Murderer obsession with like-minded armchair sleuths.
Note: The following links surely contain spoilers, so explore at your discretion.
The Reddit Rabbit Hole
If, like me, you found yourself a little afraid of venturing into the comment abyss, rest assured that the Making a Murderer thread is moderated, so you won’t find any of the following: personal attacks or accusations, “doxxing” (releasing private information), GIFs, memes, off-topic ranting or general trollish behaviour. Here’s what you will find: court documents, fascinating theories that range from logical to bonkers, detailed timelines and first-hand information from residents of Manitowoc County. Have a burning question? This is where you start. Just be prepared to lose a few hours online.
Start with the filmmakers behind MaM, Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, who (this week, at least) find themselves in the eye of a media storm. You can find them on Twitter: @allhs (Ricciardi) and @filmgreek (Demos).
They have given a few great interviews, one to The Wrap (in which they respond to former DA Ken Kratz’s allegations of bias), and a revealing chat with the Today show, in which they offered unsettling information on how the jury deliberated the verdicts.
Attorney Jerome Buting, one half of Steven’s intelligent and tempered defense team, is also active on Twitter (@jbuting). The other half, Dean Strang—an appealing cross between Atticus Finch and Dustin Hoffman—answered a few questions in a Facebook video, and talked about his current feelings on the case. Watch it below:
Local Flavour: Manitowoc County Media
The role of media, and media coverage, comes up quite a bit in MaM, and there were several local reporters who spent months (and even years) covering Steven Avery. Their inside knowledge is incredibly valuable—start with the daily digital paper, OnMilwaukee, which has a section devoted to fascinating articles, including alternate suspects, a list of evidence not mentioned in the documentary and a follow-up with a reporter who covered the case. The latest piece is an exclusive interview with a juror who refutes the documentarians’ Today show claims that a juror’s verdict was influenced by fear of retribution.
MaM as a Pop Culture Phenom
James Franco could only say “WTF”:
Yes, Rashida Jones knows she looks like one of the reporters:
Flattered to share her bespectacled skepticism & distaste for Kratz. https://t.co/5mBnTrvKWf
—Rashida Jones (@iamrashidajones) January 4, 2016
Mindy Kaling doesn’t know where to start:
Making a murderer or the first Serial? I need to know which murder thing to be obsessed with. Thanks
— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) December 27, 2015
We know just how you feel, Mandy:
#MakingAMurderer I. Can’t. Stop. Watching. It’s crushing but utterly spellbinding.
— Mandy Moore (@TheMandyMoore) December 21, 2015
And the tabloids are catching on, too. TMZ’s roots lay in celebrity crime (Harvey Levin was a fixture at the O.J. Simpson trial), so it’s no surprise they’ve caught Making a Murderer fever. They’ve uncovered some documents that point to a few previously unconsidered suspects.
Over to you, detective.