Steven 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.
When directly asked if she believes that Avery is guilty, Jodi Stachowski answered affirmatively and went on to share some troubling claims about her own two-year relationship with Avery.
"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.
Steven Avery looks around a courtroom in the Calumet County Courthouse before the verdict was read in his trial, March 18, 2007, in Chilton, Wis. AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps, Pool, File)
She also described purported abuse that she suffered at the hands of Avery.
"He'd beat me all the time," Stachowski said. "Punch me. Throw me against the wall."
The problems that the couple had were reportedly so intense that Stachowski said that she once ingested rat poison in an effort to escape him.
"I actually ate two boxes of rat poison to get away from him ... get to a hospital and ask them to get the police to help me," she said.
Watch Stachowski's entire HLN interview below:
These claims might seem confusing to anyone who has viewed "Making a Murderer," the hit Netflix series that details Avery's past legal problems as well as his trial and conviction in Halbach's death.
In the documentary, Stachowski is observed fully supporting Avery, but she said that the reality was much different, as he was purportedly coaching her along and threatening that she would face consequences if she didn't paint him in a favorable light.
"It was all an act. He told me how to act," Stachowski told HLN. "He said, 'Smile, be happy.' I didn't know what to do. I didn't want to get hurt."
Without spoiling too many of the documentary and case details, let’s briefly recap the key events in 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.
Listen to Dean Strang, one of Avery’s defense attorneys, telling The Church Boys podcast why he believes Avery is innocent below:
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