A Wisconsin inmate reportedly confessed to the 2005 murder of 25-year-old Teresa Halbach, the crime at the center of the 2015 Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer, and for which Steven Avery, 57, and his nephew, Brendan Dassey, 29, have served over a decade in prison.
The inmate, who has not been publicly identified, made his confession to the filmmakers of Convicting a Murderer, a series made in response to Making a Murderer, which includes more input from law enforcement officials involved in the case. According to the show’s director, Shawn Rech, the crew had been dealing with this particular inmate, a convicted murderer, for about 18 months. Earlier, he wrote filmmakers a nine-page letter trying to further implicate Steven Avery in the 2005 killing. But when they went back to fact-check some of his claims, Rech says the inmate immediately said the contents of his letter were false, and that he was the one behind Halbach’s death, which he characterized as a tragic accident.
Rech handed an audio recording of the confession over to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, as well as Avery and Dassey’s lawyers. But he says he’s skeptical of the claim.
“He already admitted to lying, he’s a convicted felon, so that tells you, maybe he’s not the most believable guy in the world,” Rech told Fox News. “But, at the same time, he killed someone in the state of Wisconsin and he was walking around free when all this happened, and maybe this was the reason he was trying to point the finger at Steven Avery in the first place. So, it’s kind of a balancing act you kind of have to do.”
Avery’s lawyer, Kathleen Zellner, also did not seem to give the confession much weight, telling Fox that her office had received a handwritten letter this month from another unidentified inmate claiming to be Halbach’s killer, after her firm had announced a $100,000 reward for credible information about the case. “Let’s see. You be the judge of the credibility of this confession,” Zellner tweeted, before sharing pictures of the note.
In January, Rech told Newsweek that he wanted to make his series after researching the Halbach case, and feeling like Making a Murderer had left out information.
“I watched Making a Murderer, like tens of millions of others,” Rech said. “After watching the series I was angry with law enforcement, and even embarrassed as an American because of what appeared to have happened to Steven and Brendan. But after doing a little bit of follow-up research I learned that not only did I not have the whole story, but I was misled by the series. And I’m saying this as a fan, not as an established documentary filmmaker.”