Recap: Making a Murderer

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If you want to know why the caged bird sings, just take a trip to Wisconsin and some residents may be able to answer that for you.

In the Netflix original documentary series, Making a Murderer, it tells the terrifying and heartbreaking story of Steven Avery, a man convicted of a crime he did not have commit, spending 18 years behind bars before finally being freed and then thrown back in jail for the murder of Teresa Halbach.

It is truly a thrilling and breath taking drama, that at some times plays out like a film, just without the happy endings or true justice being delivered. While the subject of the documentary series is the trials involving Halbach’s gruesome murder, a hidden meaning is laced throughout the series as audiences are allowed to come up with their own opinion throughout the series.

The series asks the following:

Is our legal system truly that corrupt to jail an innocent man once again in an act of vengeance and use the heinous murder of an innocent girl to do so, or was Avery really the vicious killer the prosecutors made him out to be?

Scarily enough, the audience may not know the answer for some time, but the documentary takes you into a world full of corruption, murder, and a battle between good and evil that will surely keep you hooked from the first episode until the very last.

With camera shots, exclusive clips from the trials and interrogations, and interviews from everyone involved, it truly is a murder mystery and a corruption piece that will keep you up at night.

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As a viewer of the series myself, I request for you to not Google the case and be surprised by the outcome of the series, or infuriated as some may readily say. The documentary is truly unlike anything I have ever seen, and is just a feat of its own by showing us this dark underworld of corruption in a world where sickly it is not surprising.

As you hear the cases of Avery and his nephew Brandon, who is a young teen with learning disabilities at the time of conviction, you are left speechless as you crave for answers to be shown, when none are presented in the fashion you wish, and that is the real beauty of this documentary.

You feel as if a real sense of true life is being shown to you and you are left with the decision as to what happened and what didn’t happen.

The show is similar to that of HBO’s The Jinx, which told the series of a man who, unlike Avery, got away with murder three times until the documentary crew caught him in one of the most shocking moments in television history. If you haven’t seen that series, I highly suggest it.

In Making a Murderer, however, the message is not one of guilt but one of innocence, a message Avery had been saying for over 18 years before someone finally believed him and is now back to crying out those silent words once more. Is Avery really guilty, or is he an innocent man who just pissed off the wrong people at the wrong time?

That is the message filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos are trying to figure out, and they did a remarkable job. With truly skillful camera work and direction, the series had a life of its own from its conception and you can sincerely see the sense of professionalism and determination both these ladies had when handling this delicate subject.

While the real ending of this story is left ambiguous for audiences, it is the true genius of this show that gets your heart pumping and your brain thinking. This is what makes Making a Murderer such a fascinating subject matter and show to begin with, the sense of mystery and fear left in this case.

The show truly is a marvel and one that will go down in history books, if not for its development alone but for the potential new evidence and trials this television event may bring for Avery and his nephew in the future.
All in all, the series is one that should be viewed by everyone not as just some fascinating show to kill an evening with, but something to educate yourself with in the matter of corruption and how our legal system works in small towns like this and sometimes in bigger ones. By the end of the series you will have already formed your opinion and full-fledged feelings on the matter and that is what differentiates this show from others, by making you feel real emotions for people you may never meet in your life and giving you a sense of attachment to this trial and case. It may even change your definition of what truly is innocent in your book.

With expert storytelling like this, it will come as no surprise when Ricciardi and Demos are awarded an Emmy and hopefully even bigger awards than that come award show season, and in this critics opinion it will be highly and well deserved.

Making a Murderer Rating: 10/10

Hello!
My name is Laura Dengrove. I am currently a Junior at Rutgers University, double majoring in Journalism/Media Studies and Cinema Studies. I am a film critic and interviewer by choice, professional Linda Belcher impersonator by birth.