WISN radio reporter Dan O’Donnell was in the courtroom during Steven Avery’s now-infamous murder trial. And after hearing the evidence first-hand — and seeing Netflix’s hit documentary “Making a Murderer” — he’s speaking out, detailing exactly why he believes Avery is guilty.
O’Donnell, who has called the documentary “one of the more slanted, one-sided pieces of storytelling in recent memory,” has launched a podcast series, aimed at diving deep into evidence that he believes implicates Avery, beyond a reasonable doubt, in the 2005 murder of 25-year-old photographer Teresa Halbach.
Titled “Rebutting a Murderer,” the podcast series tackles the narrative presented in “Making a Murderer” through a point-by-point analysis, with O’Donnell telling The Church Boys podcast on Wednesday that he embarked on the project after seeing that so many people have “such a misled idea about this case and what the evidence actually showed.”
When asked to explain the single piece of bombshell proof that convinced him of Avery’s guilt, O’Donnell was quick to answer that it was the bullet fragment with Halbach’s DNA that was found in Avery’s garage.
“There was almost, literally a smoking gun found. To me, it was the bullet,” O’Donnell told The Church Boys. “And this is presented as somehow being planted, but remember it wasn’t until Brendan Dassey’s confession that they even knew … that Teresa Halbach was shot — and shot in Steven Avery’s garage. It was a tiny little bullet fragment.”
Listen to O’Donnell explain this evidence, and respond point-by-point to individual theories presented by the defense:
The fragment, which was found to have Halbach’s blood on it, has been a point of contention, with critics pushing back with claims that the analyst who found the DNA on the bullet might have contaminated it with her own DNA. But others have said that this had no impact on finding Halbach’s DNA on the fragment.
Listen to episode one of O’Donnell’s “Rebutting a Murderer” below and check out his entire series here.
O’Donnell is hardly the only person who believes that Avery is guilty of murder, as Jodi Stachowski, Avery’s ex-fiancée, made a series of bombshell claims in an exclusive HLN interview that aired on Wednesday, saying that she believes that the convicted murderer is guilty of killing 25-year-old photographer Teresa Halbach and that he once threatened to murder her as well.
“He threatened to kill me and my family and a friend of mine,” she said, explaining that she was once in a bathtub when he said he would “throw a blowdryer in” and allegedly told Stachowski that he believed he could get away with it.
Others, though, insist that Avery was framed or that, at the least, the police did a poor job investigating the case. Listen to Dean Strang, one of Avery’s defense attorneys, telling The Church Boys podcast why he believes Avery is innocent below:
In case you want more background on the case: Avery was originally convicted of sexual assault in 1985, serving 18 years until he was exonerated in 2003 based on DNA evidence.
Two years after his exoneration and release, Avery sued the Manitowoc County sheriffs department for $36 million over his false imprisonment. But in 2005, just weeks after depositions of local cops who were associated with the case and subsequent lawsuit took place, Avery was, again, arrested — but this time on an entirely different charge: murder.
In a shocking twist of events, Avery went from a well-known exoneree in a sexual assault case to an accused killer, as prosecutors claimed that he murdered Halbach, a photographer who had come to his house on Oct. 31, 2005, to photograph a van for Auto Trader magazine.
Avery and his nephew — then-16-year-old Brendan Dassey — were eventually convicted of the crime in 2007; both men are currently serving life sentences, with the former having no chance of parole, as the New York Times reported.
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