Bizarre Plot Twist In Making A Murderer Case
A convicted murderer has reportedly confessed to the killing of Wisconsin woman Teresa Halbach -- and it's not Steven Avery.
The alleged confession reportedly comes from another inmate in the Wisconsin prison system, and could theoretically exonerate both Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey for Halbach's murder.
According to Newsweek, it was reportedly obtained by the production team behind a new documentary examining the famous case which is the focus of Netflix series Making A Murderer.
Convicting A Murderer, produced by Transition Studios, bills itself as a follow to the Netflix's smash hit, but it is not connected to the original series or Netflix in any way.
"We haven't confirmed the legitimacy of the confession, but seeing as it was given by a notable convicted murderer from Wisconsin, we feel responsible to deliver any and all possible evidence to law enforcement and legal teams," filmmaker Shawn Rech told Newsweek.
"Having been in production for 20 months, we've uncovered an unfathomable amount of information and evidence that is leading us to the truth. Our investigation does not end here."
Avery and Dassey are currently behind bars for Halbach's murder, both have denied involvement since their 2005 arrests. Two seasons of Making A Murderer argued their innocence.
Hours after the story broke on Newsweek, Avery's lawyer Kathleen Zellner tweeted her team had "received the handwritten confession".
"It is worthless unless it is corroborated," she said, with hashtags implying she was "working on it" and "not so fast".
Last week, Zellner's team announced a US $100,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of "the real killer of Teresa Halbach". A statement said the reward was being bankrolled by a "concerned citizen".
"Our investigators are checking out the credible ones and disregarding the ones w/o corroboration - just like good cops should do," Zellner tweeted on Tuesday.
Halbach's murder in 2005 and the subsequent investigation, arrest and conviction of Avery and Dassey has been picked apart by true crime sleuths.
Avery was wrongfully convicted of a 1985 rape and sentenced to 32 years in prison, later being exonerated and released in 2003 when DNA testing proved another man, Gregory Allen, had committed the crime.
The first wrongful conviction has given some weight to the theory -- founded or not -- that this second conviction was also wrongful, and formed much of the basis of Making A Murderer.
So convincing was the documentary, more than 125,000 people signed a petition calling for then US President Barack Obama to pardon Avery and Dassey. (The White House declined to do so.)
Avery is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole after being found guilty of first-degree murder. Dassey, who was 16 at the time of the Halbach's death, is serving a life sentence with the possibility of parole in 2048.
In August, a Wisconsin circuit court judge rejected Avery's bid for a new trial. The legal team has argued investigators mishandled bone evidence related to the case, but the judge said the defence failed to meet the burden of proof necessary to grant another trial.
Transition Studios and Zellner have been contacted for comment.
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