'Making a Murderer' Special Reveals New Evidence About Steven Avery's Blood

steven averyIf you're one of the many true crime enthusiasts obsessed with the Netflix docuseries Making a Murderer, then chances are you tuned into last night's Dateline special, "The State of Wisconsin vs. Steven A. Avery." But just in case you didn't, here are some of the highlights!


The special featured new interviews with several key players in the case of Teresa Halbach's killing, including prosecutor and former district attorney Ken Kratz, Avery's former defense attorney Jerry Buting, and Penny Beernsten (Avery was wrongfully convicted of her sexual assault and sent to prison for 18 years). And while none of the subjects featured in the special have changed their opinions about Avery, per se (Kratz still thinks he's guilty, Buting still thinks he was framed, and Beernsten still feels bad about mistakenly identifying him as her attacker), there were a few interesting revelations. 

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As in Making a Murderer, one of the most heated and fascinating debates in the special centered around the vial of Avery's blood Buting claims was tampered with (a small hole in the top of the vial led the defense to theorize that someone took a sample of the blood and planted it in Halbach's car). Kratz continues to argue that the vial is no different than any other vial of blood used as evidence:

"Every one of these vacu-sealed tubes is exactly the same," he said. They're all going to have that. There's nothing magic, or 'Oh, my goodness! It was tampered with!'"

Well, that's what we expected Kratz to say. But more telling, perhaps, is that a blood collections expert who was apparently not involved with the case also said that the hole in the top of the vial "meant absolutely nothing" because "there is always a telltale puncture mark in the tubes that are properly filled."

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Huh. And there's more: According to court documents found by Dateline, a prison nurse had agreed to testify that she made the hole when drawing the blood from Avery in 1996. 

For anyone who was convinced of Avery's innocence after watching Making a Murderer, this is a pretty big deal -- the idea that his blood had been tampered with was one of the most shocking and convincing pieces of the defense puzzle. But there might still be hope: Avery's new lawyer, wrongful conviction specialist Kathleen Zellner, told Dateline that she has new evidence she believes could free him, thanks to "significant advances in forensic testing" since 2007.

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If she's right, let's hope that the evidence frees Brendan Dassey, too. 


Image via Netflix

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