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21st Oct 2018

Making A Murderer viewers are absolutely furious with Ken Kratz… again

Paul Moore

He has really annoyed people

Given the litany of divisive opinions, theories and emotions regarding the murder of Teresa Halbach – documented in Netflix’s series Making a Murderer – it’s obvious that passions and debate will run high.

As previously reported, the timeline of events, allegations and developments is extraordinary, and while the majority of viewers are united in their belief that Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey are innocent, Ken Kratz has been placed in the position as ‘Public Enemy Number One’ for most people.

To begin with, it’s worth noting that Kratz refused an invitation from Moira Demos and Laura Riccardi, the directors of Making A Murderer, to be interviewed for Part Two.

This being said, Kratz does appear throughout the documentary as the filmmakers use local media footage and interviews that Kratz gave to various outlets.

For anyone that’s familiar with the case, Kratz is a very well known figure.

As the former special prosecutor, he was the District Attorney who successfully prosecuted Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey for the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach, a conviction that proved highly controversial due to accusations of a conspiracy on behalf of the law enforcement officials to frame both men for the murder.

Since the documentary originally aired in 2015, Kratz has been involved in various disputes with Demos and Ricciardi because he refutes their account of events.

This being said, Kratz did give a bizarre interview in which he admits “I was a d*ck” and he has also published a book which he claims to be “the whole story” about the Making a Murderer experience.

If you’ve seen Part Two then you’ll know that Kratz made his presence felt on 14 February 2017 because he decided to hold a press conference at the Federal Court House in Chicago.

At that exact moment and location, Brendan Dassey’s legal team of Laura Nirider and Robert Dvorak were making their oral arguments before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeal in Chicago. 

Dassey’s legal team were arguing that their client was coerced into confessing to the rape and murder of Teresa Halbach.

There was no DNA or other physical evidence linking Dassey to the crime, and his conviction rested solely on his confession. Dassey was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole until 2048 but U.S. Magistrate Judge William E. Duffin reversed this conviction. On appeal, the Seventh Circuit panel consisting of Judges Illana Rovner, Anne Claire Williams, and David Hamilton affirmed the reversal.

Teresa Halbach’s family were also present at the hearing.

Demonstrating an extreme lack of decorum and tact, Kratz used this court hearing as the opportunity to arrive and ensure that the focus was very much on him.

After this media circus unfolded, Steve Drizin, Brendan Dassey’s post conviction lawyer, said that the: “Federal Court is a sanctuary of sorts” and Kratz’s actions had “soiled the process.”

To compound matters, three days after these oral arguments were heard, Kratz and the co-lead investigator of Teresa Halbach’s murder, Tom Fassbender, gave an interview to the TV show Dateline.

Kathleen Zellner, Steven Avery’s attorney, has said that Kratz’s continued interest in this case is “unprecedented” and that he’s solely interested in “an active character assassination tour” in 2017. 

When asked if he was afraid of Zellner, Kratz said: “No, I’m not involved in the case anymore. I shouldn’t be afraid of anything. My involvement is concluded.”

Kratz isn’t a prosecutor anymore and the Associated Press reported in 2010 that he sent “repeated text messages trying to spark an affair with a domestic abuse victim while he was prosecuting her ex-boyfriend,” citing a police report. After two more women came forward alleging he sexually harassed them, he resigned from his office in October 2010.

Part Two of the documentary also argues that Kratz’s behaviour is a violation of constitutional rights because its impairs Avery’s right to a free trial.

With regards to the press conference that he held to coincide with the oral arguments that took place before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeal in Chicago, people were not impressed.