“What did the Sheriff say?” I will not make you wait, like I had to, for this somewhat anticlimactic statement. Simply put, years ago in 1995, when the phone call came in from Brown County to let Manitowoc County know they had the guy (Gregory Allen) who committed the crime Avery was doing time for, Sheriff Peterson was aware of the phone call when it happened – not in 2003 like the Sheriff’s office said on the stand. But I will clear this up later.
The Dr. Phil show began with Dean Stang, Steven Avery’s attorney and one of the star’s of “Making a Murderer.’ He said any case that has a lot of pretrial publicity is an uphill challenge. Dr. Phil asked if his theory of “planted evidence” was a hail Mary. Are you kidding me? Dean Stang deserves so much more respect than this. Stang said it was a legitimate suggestion because the evidence led them to this conclusion.
Dr. Phil then brought up the “easier to kill” statement Peterson made. Stang said at the time Peterson was under enormous stress and this was an enormous mistake to say, but other than that, Stang wouldn’t comment on Peterson’s motivations because he is a good person as well as a good attorney.
So back to the Big Reveal! When asked about this phone call from 1995, Peterson didn’t remember it so Dr. Phil plays a clip from the documentary. What happened was the day after Avery was released from prison in September 2003, Sgt. Colborn suddenly remembered this phone call from 1995, eight years earlier. He was told to write a report and then the report was placed in a safe. Peterson said he didn’t place the report in the safe, probably the prior sheriff, Tom Kocourek, did. The problem with that theory is Kocourek resigned in 2001. The point is, several people at Manitowok County Sheriff’s department knew about this 1995 phone and did nothing about it. Stang said officials in this county suffer from the “not my problem” mentality. To say the least.
When ask by Dr. Phil who killed Teresa Halback, Stang said he doesn’t know and we may never know. In 98% of cases in our country, there isn’t scientific certainty. People have to decide whether to take away civil liberties when there’s uncertainty. The last time Stang spoke to Avery was the day before Netflix released the documentary to prepare Avery for what might happen. I don’t think they could have even begun to grasp the nation’s captivation. Dr. Phil then asked if it was a close call not to put Avery on the stand. Stang respectfully refused to answer the question so as to not disclose his clients confidentiality. And lastly, Dr. Phil told Stand that Sheriff Peterson said if Avery were to get out of prison he would murder again – Stang doesn’t answer and we go straight to a commercial. Weird.
Next was a reporter who interviewed Avery two days after Halbach went missing. Though the interview was uneventful at the time, she later learned she was standing on Halbach’s human remains. She is no longer a reporter but blogs about this case and has come under fire for her stance that the documentary is one-sided. Here is what she said, “Blah, blah, blah, blabity, blab, blab.” All kidding aside, she is of the opinion that anyone who will kill a cat and enjoy it, is capable of anything, and she may be right. She also insists it’s a crucial piece of evidence that Teresa and Steven knew each other beforehand. Another thing she’s right about is the forgotten victim in all of this is Teresa Halbach.
Have you heard of burying the lead? That’s how I felt about Sandra Greeman’s Skype interview with Dr. Phil. She was Steven Avery’s girlfriend at the end of “Making a Murderer” and had a lot of interesting information to provide, yet was placed third to last during two episodes of interviews. One, she is no longer Avery’s fiancé. They broke up due to ideological values and not because of this case. Two, Avery doesn’t think his brothers are involved anymore. Three, Avery’s new attorney has a plan to vacate the conviction. Four, Avery is an active participant in his defense. Five, she would feel perfectly safe living alone with him. Six, Avery knows about the public’s reaction and this has helped his depression. Seven, she still believes he’s 100% innocent.
The current Sheriff of Manitowoc County, Robert Hermann, joined Dr. Phil via Skype and shares that he spends a lot of his time deleting the hater-messages left by people from across the globe after watching the documentary. It was his decision back in 2003 to let Calumet County Sheriff’s department take the lead on the investigation. Had they known “planting evidence” would have been Avery’s defense team’s strategy, they wouldn’t have been involved at all. If only. Hermann explained that in order for Avery to get a new trial, new evidence would need to be discovered and that’s probably not going to happened (unless someone plants it.) Dr. Phil then makes a plea to the haters to quit calling the Sheriff’s department so they may frame help other people.
And lastly, Dr. Phil invited Steven Avery’s new attorney, Kathleen Zellner, to the show but she is too busy trying to free this man to answer his questions. Can I just tell you this woman is a bad ass. If she can’t help Avery – no one can. Zellner did submit a statement that she was “confident Mr. Avery’s conviction will be vacated.” Currently she has filed a motion to have Avery released on bond pending the appeal and new case.
In closing, Dr. Phil’s thoughts are that since Dassey’s original attorney admitted to working for the prosecution and muddied the waters to secure a conviction against Avery, both individuals deserve a new trial. I concur.