The discussion surrounding Netflix’s “Making a Murderer” has come roaring back.
That’s because Brendan Dassey, one of its subjects, has just had his murder conviction overturned.
But what if you don’t know about his case or the show?
The true-crime series is primarily about Steven Avery, a man exonerated for a crime after spending 18 years in prison only to find himself charged of a heinous new crime. Dassey was convicted of the crime along with him.
Whether you believe Avery and Dassey are innocent of the murder or not, it’s impossible to walk away from the documentary without having some doubt in the American justice system and its process.
Here’s a quick recap of all 10 episodes of “Making a Murderer”:
Episode 1: Steven Avery’s freedom is fleeting.
Home at last: Steven Avery returned to his family in 2003 after being exonerated for the 1985 rape and assault of a woman, Penny Beerntsen, in his home county Manitowoc County, Wisconsin. He had already served 18 years in prison for the crime. New DNA evidence proved him innocent.
He’s welcomed back with open arms and given the full attention of media and state politicians.
But this isn’t the kind of treatment Avery is used to — and his luck is about to change.
Steven Avery had a spotty past: The Avery family weren’t ones to mix with the community in Manitowoc. They stuck to themselves and lived close to each other or on their family property, where they also ran an auto-salvage yard. They’ve been known to get in trouble with the law.
Avery’s record before the rape arrest wasn’t what you’d call clean. It included a few burglaries and cruelty to an animal — he doused a cat with gasoline and placed it in a fire. Avery, who’s revealed to have an IQ of 70, chalks it up to hanging with the wrong people.
But his family insists he would always admit to his wrongdoings if he actually did them.
And Avery seemed to be getting his life together. He got married and had kids.
Steven Avery crosses the police: Avery was accused by a local woman, and an Avery relative, of running her off the road and pulling a gun on her.
He admitted to doing so, though he claimed the gun wasn’t loaded. His reason for doing so, he said, was that she had previously reported that he harassed her and made lewd gestures toward her.
She was married to a county deputy, which may have made matters worse for him, according to one theory of the case. Before he knew it, Avery was facing the charges of sexual assault and attempted murder. Beerntsen, who was brutally attacked while jogging, would later identify him as her attacker.
Even though Avery had an alibi and another police department identified a different possible suspect, Avery was convicted of the crimes and given 32 years without a chance for parole.
As we know, he would later be freed because of DNA evidence. In fact, the assailant was the police’s other suspect, Gregory Allen, who attacked two other women while Avery was in prison.