- Catherine Gee
Making a Murderer Part 2 will focus on the fight to free Brendan Dassey
Netflix have revealed that the second chapter of their hit true crime documentary series Making a
Murderer will be available globally on the streaming service from October 19.
It's been almost three years since the first series launched, with countless similar true crime documentaries following in its wake hoping to capture some of the public appetite whipped up by the murder conviction of Steve Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey.
Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos return to Wisconsin to pick up the story of the two men who, they believe, were wrongfully convicted.
The first series was filmed across 10 years, following the death of a woman named Penny Bernstein in 1985. Avery was convicted of rape and attempted murder, and spent 18 years in jail before being exonerated in 2003 on the basis of new DNA evidence.
In 2005, both Avery and Dassey were charged with another murder, following the disappearance of photographer Teresa Halbach. Avery was found guilty of first-degree murder, while Dassey was convicted as an accessory to the crime. Avery maintains that he was wrongly convicted, and has petitioned for a retrial, but his appeal was rejected in 2011.
The series itself called into question the guilt of both men, and has since had a real-life side effect: Brendan Dassey's conviction was overturned by a judge at the end of 2016, but his release was blocked at the last minute in February, with the Supreme Court then refusing to hear the case in June.
Over the course of 10 episodes, Making a Murderer Part 2 will follow the legal processes since 2015 and the effect that it has had on their families.
“Steven and Brendan, their families and their legal and investigative teams have once again graciously granted us access, giving us a window into the complex web of American criminal justice,” said Ricciardi and Demos. “Building on Part 1, which documented the experience of the accused, in Part 2, we have chronicled the experience of the convicted and imprisoned, two men each serving life sentences for crimes they maintain they did not commit. We are thrilled to be able to share this new phase of the journey with viewers.”
The two men's defence lawyers, Dean Strang and Jerry Buting, became cult figures after the first series. But now Avery and Dassey have new legal representation. Kathleen Zellner is a "hard-charging postconviction lawyer" who is fighting to prove that Avery was wrongfully imprisoned, while Laura Nirider and Steven Drizin from Northwestern University’s Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth are trying to prove that Dassey's confession was involuntary.