Steven Avery Case Trial – Murder – Teresa Halbach

Steven Avery Case

The Netflix documentary “Making a Murderer” follows the murder trials of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey. This is the timeline of events as told in the series.


Steven Avery Trial Timeline


10/20/80 – Steven Avery is charged with two counts of burglary for breaking into a bar, stealing two packs of beer, two cheese sandwiches and $14 in quarters.


07/24/82 – Steven Avery marries Lori Mathesin.

11/23/82 – Steven Avery pleads “no contest” for animal cruelty for dousing the family cat with gasoline and oil and tossing it over an open fire.


09/20/84 – Sandra Morris, Steven Avery’s cousin who is married to Deputy Bill Morris, files a complaint against Steven Avery for indecent exposure & for having sex with his wife during the daytime on his lawn.


01/02/85 – Steven Avery runs Sandra Morris off the road and points an unloaded gun at her.

01/03/85 – Manitowoc County Detective Larry Conrad interviews Avery about this incident. Avery claims it was in response to her “spreading rumors” about him. 

01/04/85 – Steven Avery is charged with Endangering Safety Regardless of Life and Felony in Possession of a Firearm for the incident involving Sandra Morris.

01/05/85 – Steven Avery takes his now-famous mug shot.

07/29/85 – Manitowoc County police have been conducting surveillance on Gregory Allen for 13 days, but are called away for several hours during the afternoon for another case.

07/29/85 – Penny Ann Beerntsen is attacked at approximately 3:50pm while jogging alone along Lake Michigan. Penny states that her attacker was approximately 5’6″-5’7″, stocky, with brown eyes, long sandy hair, in a black leather jacket. Deputy Sheriff Judy Dvorak, the deputy assigned to Penny’s case and a close friend of Sandra Morris, states this description sounds like Steven Avery. Due to this, Manitowoc County sheriff Tom Kocourek requests that Avery’s photo be included in the crime photo lineup to be shown to Beernsten.

07/29/85 – Lab technicians collect fingernail scrapings, pubic hair and perform a sex crimes kit from the sexual assault of Penny Ann Beerntsen.

07/29/85 – At 11:45pm, Steven Avery is arrested for the assault on Penny Ann Beerntsen. He is placed in a cell by himself, not allowed a phone call, not given access to an attorney, and not listed on the jailed list – based on instructions from Sheriff Tom Kocourek. Public Defender Reese Evans receives a call from Lori (Steven Avery’s wife) that Steven is in prison. Reese Evans goes to see Steven.

08/01/85 – Even though she states she could not see because her eyes are still swollen from the assault, Penny Ann Beerntsen is told to sign the incident report prepared by Judy Dvorak.

August – Manitowoc County Detective Thomas Bergner tells Sheriff Kocourek about the lack of surveillance on Gregory Allen from 07/29/85. Three women in the DA’s office tell DA Vogel that they thought Gregory Allen committed the crime…not Steven Avery.

09/18/85 – Steven Avery is denied bail by District Attorney Denis Vogel, based on Steven’s past record.

12/14/85 – Sixteen witnesses testify under oath regarding Steven Avery’s whereabouts from 1:00pm to 11:45pm on the day of 07/29/85 (a receipt from Green Bay with a time-stamp of 5:13pm is also presented). 


03/10/86 – Steven Avery is found guilty of Sexual Assault, Attempted Murder and False Imprisonment for the crime against Penny Ann Beerntsen. Manitowoc County Circuit Judge Fred Hazlewood sentences Steven Avery to 32 years in prison.


08/05/87 – A Wisconsin Court of Appeals denies Steven Avery’s request to overturn his conviction.


1988 – Steven Avery and his wife, Lori, divorce and Steven loses custody of his children.


1994 – The Wisconsin Supreme Court denies to hear Steven Avery’s appeal.

1994 – Attorneys Stephen Glynn and Robert Henak agree to re-examine Steven Avery’s case. 


07/09/95 – A woman in Manitowoc County is sexually assaulted in her home at 4:00am by Gregory Allen. Allen is soon arrested and booked into jail.

1995 – Manitowoc County Sergeant Andrew Colborn receives phone call from a detective in Brown County stating that an inmate admitted to a sexual assault crime in Manitowoc County in 1985 for which another man was currently serving jail time. Nothing is done. This information will not be filed until 09/12/03.


03/13/96 – Steven Avery’s blood sample from his 1985 conviction is sealed in a tamper-proof evidence box.

04/26/96 – Gregory Allen is convicted of sexual assault in the 07/09/95 attack and sentenced to 60 years in prison.

09/23/96 – At the request of Steven Avery’s attorneys, DNA experts re-examine the sex crimes kit collected from Peggy Ann Beerntsen in 1985. The results show that a third unknown DNA profile (that is neither Beernsten nor Avery) is present in the kit. Regardless of this information, Judge Hazlewood rejects the DNA evidence and does not release Steven Avery and does not allow a re-trial.


09/03/97 – The Wisconsin Court of Appeals rules against Steven Avery.

10/03/97 – The Wisconsin Supreme Court rules against Steven Avery.


2001 – The Wisconsin Innocence Project agrees to take Steven Avery’s case.


04/03/02 – Judge Hazelwood grants the Wisconsin Innocence Project permission to conduct more advanced DNA testing in Steven Avery’s case. Evidence from the 1985 case is sent to the State Crime Lab for analysis. The transmittal form, along with evidence from the 1985 murder conviction, is signed for by Manitowoc County Lieutenant James Lenk.


09/10/03 –  A single pubic hair from the sexual assault kit collected from Penny Ann Beerntsen unequivocally excludes Steven Avery and actually matches the DNA profile of Gregory Allen. Unknown to investigators at the time, a criminal complaint against Gregory Allen, dated 1983, is contained in the files of District Attorney Denis Vogel (who was the prosecuting attorney in Steven Avery’s 1985 case). According to Michael Griesbach, Manitowoc County Assistant District Attorney, this proves that the DA’s office should have considered Gregory Allen as a suspect in 1985.

09/11/03 – Steven Avery is released from prison.

09/12/03 – Sergeant Andrew Colborn writes and submits a statement detailing the phone call he received in 1995.

09/12/03 – Sheriff Kocourek forbids all employees from commenting on any matter related to Steven Avery’s case.

09/18/03 – Manitowoc District Attorney Peggy Lautenschlager asks the Wisconsin Attorney General to investigate Manitowoc’s handling of Steven Avery’s 1985 case.

December – State Representative Mark Gundrum develops the Steven Avery Task Force to review police and prosecutorial practices statewide. The Wisconsin State Legislature begins drafting The Avery Bill and recommends Steven Avery receive $450,000 in wrongful conviction compensation.

12/15/03 – After reviewing the evidence, Manitowoc County court clears the District Attorney’s office of any wrongdoing in Steven Avery’s 1985 case.


10/12/04 – Steven Avery, with help of lawyer Walter Kelly, files a civil lawsuit against (1) Manitowoc County, (2) Manitowoc County District Attorney Denis Vogel, and (3) Sheriff Tom Kocourek for $36 million ($18 million for targeting Steven Avery, personal hostility & obstruction of justice and another $18 million in punitive damages.)

11/24/04 – Stephen Avery’s girlfriend, Jodi, is jailed for driving under the influence. She will spend the next 7 months in jail.


05/12/05 – Special Agents Amy Lehmann and Debra Strauss are deposed regarding Steven Avery’s 1985 case. Lehmann testifies that “it appears that there was no real investigation done,” and the police “had a suspect and they were going to make it work.” Special Agent Debra Strauss also states that “the sheriff told the DA not to screw this one up because the sheriff wanted Avery convicted of this crime.”

09/08/05 – Douglass Jones, Assistant DA for Manitowoc County, has a telephone conversation with Chief Deputy Eugene Kusche. In that conversation, Kusche tells Jones that Sergeant Andrew Colborn disclosed that Gregory Allen might be responsible for Avery’s 1985 conviction, denoting that Kusche might have known Steven Avery wasn’t guilty.

09/22/05 – Mark Rohrer, Manitowoc County District Attorney, is deposed and acknowledges communications with Sergeant Andrew Colborn and Lieutenant James Lenk regarding Steven Avery’s case. He states that he provided this information to the Attorney Generals office, but no record exists of Rohrer doing so. He also confirms that Douglass Jones spoke with Eugene Kusche regarding the 1995 phone call. 

10/11/05 – Lieutenant James Lenk is deposed and acknowledges the phone call from Brown County in 1995.

10/11/05 – Sandra Morris is deposed regarding her 1985 complaint against Steven Avery.

10/13/05 – Sheriff Kenneth Peterson is deposed and denies any knowledge of evidence that could have cleared Steven Avery of the 1985 conviction.

10/13/05 – Sergeant Andrew Colborn states under oath that he doesn’t recall speaking with anyone else regarding Steven Avery’s case.

10/13/05 – Judy Dvorak is deposed and acknowledges that she suggested that Steven Avery looked like the description provided by Peggy Ann Beerntsen.

10/26/05 – Chief Deputy of Manitowoc County, Eugene Kusche, provides deposition regarding why his sketch used in the 1985 Beerntsen case (supposedly drawn based on Beerntsen’s memory of her attacker) looks nearly identical to Steven Avery’s mug shot from January 1985. Kusche denies that he had access to the mug shot before making the sketch. Kusche framed the sketch and displayed it for nearly 20 years. Kusche also questions the validity of the DNA evidence in the Avery case.

10/31/05 – Teresa Halbach disappears.


10/31/05 – According to the Prosecution in the Halbach case:

10/31/05 – That morning  – Teresa Halbach leaves a voicemail for Steven Avery stating that she planned to arrive around 2:00pm to take photos of his van for Auto Trader Magazine

10/31/05 – Approximately 2:30pm – Teresa Halbach arrives at the Avery residence to photograph his van. Avery will be the last person to see her alive.

10/31/05 – Approximately 2:30pm – Bobby Dassey, Steven Avery’s nephew and next door neighbor, sees Teresa Halbach arrive and take photos of Steven’s vehicle. Before Bobby gets into the shower, he sees Teresa begin to walk toward Steven Avery’s trailer.

10/31/05 – Approximately 2:45pm – Bobby Dassey leaves his house to go hunting. He notices that Teresa’s car is still in the driveway but there is no sign of Teresa.

10/31/05 – Between 2:45-3:00pm – Scott Tadych, Steven Avery’s next door neighbor, arrives home from the hospital and prepares to go hunting.

10/31/05 – Approximately 3:00pm – Scott Tadych leaves and passes by Bobby Dassey on the highway.

10/31/05 – 3:45pm to 9:00pm – Brendan Dassey, Steven Avery’s 16-year-old nephew, arrives home from school, checks the mail, and heads to Steven Avery’s residence with a letter addressed to Avery. As he approaches, he hears screams coming from inside Avery’s house. Dassey knocks on the door three times before Avery comes to the door sweaty and half naked. Avery invites Dassey into the house where they sexually assault, physically assault and attempt to kill Teresa Halbach. After the assault ends, they take her to the garage and shoot her in the head with Avery’s .22 rifle. They take her body to the burn pit, burn her body, and attempt to destroy the charred remains.


10/31/05 – According to Brendan Dassey’s testimony on the stand during his trial:

10/31/05 – 3:45pm – Dassey arrives home from school with his brother Blaine and plays PlayStation 2 until 5:00pm.

10/31/05 – 5:00pm – Deb, Dassey’s mother, arrives home, Blaine gets picked up, Deb leaves, Dassey watches TV until 6:00.

10/31/05 – 6:00pm – Dassey receives a phone call from Blaine’s boss. Dassey continues to watch TV until 7:00.

10/31/05 – 7:00pm – Steven Avery calls Dassey and invites him over for a bonfire. Together, they pick up items from the yard and ride in the golf cart.

10/31/05 – 9:00pm – Dassey returns home and goes to bed.


Known Facts

10/31/05 – 5:36pm – Jodi, Steven Avery’s fiancee, calls him. The call lasts 15 minutes and is recorded by the Manitowoc County jail where Jodi is serving time for a DUI.

10/31/05 – 8:57pm – Jodi calls Steven again and they speak for several minutes.

11/01/05 – Brendan Dassey is questioned by Monitowoc County investigators. He tells them he’s had no contact with Teresa Halbach and has no knowledge of what happened to her.

11/01/05 – The Avery Bill passes the Wisconsin state legislature.

11/02/05 – Someone accesses Teresa Halbach’s voicemail at 8:00am, potentially erasing critical messages.

11/03/05 – Teresa Halbach is reported missing at about 5:00pm.

11/03/05 – Bobby Dassey and friend Mike Osmondson speak to Steven Avery. Avery supposedly asks the pair if they’d like to “help him get rid of the body” in a joking manner. (According to court documents, this conversation actually occurred on 11/10/05.) Avery’s attorneys will request a mistrial because of Bobby Dassey’s inaccurate testimony. Judge Willis will deny the request. 

11/03/05 – Calumet County police call the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department asking for assistance is the Halbach missing persons case. Sergeant Andrew Coburn investigates two locations, one of which is the Avery residence. Lieutenant James Lenk also calls Calumet police and offers to provide assistance in the case.

11/03/05 – Mike Halbach, Teresa’s brother, accesses Teresa’s voicemail and listens to at least one voicemail message. Mike testifies that he did not erase any of the messages in Teresa’s voicemail box. 

11/03/05 – Sergeant Andrew Colborn calls dispatch to ask about a license plate number (SWH582) and states the year and make of the car (’99 Toyota) during the conversation. Dispatch confirms that the car belongs to Teresa Halbach.  

11/03/05 – Sergeant Colborn questions Steven Avery about his interaction with Teresa Halbach on 10/31/05.

11/03/05 – Search parties scour Wisconsin for Teresa Halbach. Ryan Hillegas (Teresa’s ex-boyfriend) and Scott Bloedorn (Teresa’a roommate) lead the search alongside the Halbach family.

11/05/05 – Detective Mark Wiegert calls Manitowoc County Detective Dave Remiker and states he wants to re-interview Steven Avery and ask for permission for the search party to enter the Avery property.

11/05/05 – Steven Avery and his family are at their cabin in Crivitz, WI (96 miles away). Earl Avery, Steven’s brother, is running the business. Earl gives the search party permission to enter the salvage yard.

11/05/05 – Pamela Sturm and her daughter discover Teresa Halbach’s Rav4 after searching Avery’s property for less than 20 minutes. 

11/05/05 – Sergeant Jason Orth is the first law enforcement officer to arrive. The time is 10:59am.

11/05/05 – Detective Jacobs calls dispatch less than 1 hour after the Rav4 is discovered and asks if Manitowoc County already had Steven Avery is custody.

11/05/05 – As many as 200 officers comb the Avery property. No evidence is discovered in Steven Avery’s garage. During the search of Avery’s bedroom, his nightstand is searched.

11/06/05 – Detective Anthony O’Neill interviews Brendan Dassey and asks him if he’s ever seen Teresa Halbach.

11/08/05 – Sergeant Andrew Colborn removes all contents of Steven Avery’s nightstand. No evidence is discovered.

11/08/05 – A Rav4 Toyota key is found by Lieutenant James Lenk inside Steven Avery’s bedroom next to the nightstand. Avery’s blood is found inside Teresa Halbach’s vehicle and Avery’s DNA is found on the Rav4 key.

11/09/05 – Steven Avery is arrested on possession of firearms. After waving his Miranda Rights, a nurse takes a swab of his saliva for DNA testing.

11/09/05 – Steven Avery is questioned by Detectives Fassbender and Wiegert. Avery does not admit to any crime. He does acknowledge that Teresa Halbach did take photos of his van but left when she was done. Steven Avery testifies that he went back inside his home after the photos were take. When he came back outside, he noticed that the vehicle of his nephew, Bobby Dassey, who lived next door, was gone. 

11/10/05 – Calumet County Sheriff Jerry Pagel announces that human cremains are found on Steven Avery’s property.

November – The state of Wisconsin discontinues its attempt to compensate Steven Avery for his 1985 wrongful conviction.

11/29/05 – Officers interview Scott Tadych, Barb’s husband and Steven Avery’s next door neighbor, regarding his alibi for 10/31/05. He tells them that he arrived home at 3:15pm and left to go hunting that afternoon.

12/06/05 – Steven Avery’s preliminary trial begins.

12/06/05 – Pamela Sturm testifies regarding the discovery of the Rav4.

12/06/05 – Special Agent Tom Sturdivant testifies regarding the burn pile and the human cremains found within it.

12/06/05 – Deputy Daniel Kucharski testifies regarding the key discovered in Steven Avery’s bedroom. He noted that Lieutenant Lenk was the one who pointed out the key’s location and that Sergeant Colborn was present.

12/06/05 – DNA technical lead, Sherry Culhane, testifies regarding the DNA evidence found on the Avery property.

12/06/05 – Judge Patrick Willis decides that enough evidence exists to hold Steven Avery over for a trial.

12/2005 – Steven Avery accepts a settlement with Manitowoc County for $400,000. The County doesn’t accept any fault or liability in Avery’s 1985 wrongful conviction in the deal.

12/19/05 – Detective Tom Fassbender requests that Steven Avery’s .22 caliber gun be swabbed for evidence of Teresa Halbach’s DNA.


01/16/06 – Steven Avery pleads innocent to the murder and mutilation of Teresa Halbach.

01/19/06 – FBI investigators determine the human cremains found in Steven Avery’s burn pit belong to Teresa Halbach.

02/15/06 – While she’s in jail, Manitowoc County investigators question Jodi regarding Steven’s involvement in Halbach’s murder.

02/16/06 – Steven Avery uses the money from his settlement to hire attorneys Dean Strang and Jerry Buding.

02/20/06 – Detective Mark Wiegert re-interviews the Avery family. During this process, Kayla (Steven Avery’s 14 year old niece & Brendan Dassey’s cousin) indicates that Brendan had been “acting up lately.”

02/27/06 – Detectives Wiegert and Fassbender go to Brendan Dassey’s high school, take him out of class, and question him alone…three times. During these interrogations, they get a verbal and written statement from Brendan. 

03/01/06 – Wiegert and Fassbender again question Brendan Dassey (without a lawyer present) about his knowledge of Halbach’s murder. Based on his videotaped confession, Brendan Dassey is arrested for the murder of Teresa Halbach. Once he speaks with his mother, he states that the investigators “got into his head.”

03/01/06 – The prosecution, led by Sheriff Pagel and Special Prosecutor Ken Kratz, holds its first press conference since November. They announce the detainment of Brendan Dassey for his involvement in the death of Teresa Halbach.

03/01/06 – Law enforcement officers return to Steven Avery’s property to search for additional evidence. During this search, a bullet fragment and 11 empty shell casings are discovered in Avery’s garage.

03/02/05 – Ken Kratz and Sheriff Jerry Pagel hold a press conference and release details of Brendan Dassy’s confession, including the rape, torture, murder and burning of Teresa Halbach. 

03/03/06 – Brendan Dassey is charged with 1st Degree Intentional Homicide, Sexual Assault, and Mutilating the Corpse of Teresa Halbach. At his arraignment, Judge Jerome Fox sets Dassey’s bail at $250,000. Len Kachinsky is appointed as Brendan Dassey’s attorney.

03/04/06 – Brendan Dassey’s mother, Barb, goes to see her son being held at the Sheboygan Juvenile Detention Center. Barb believes her son is innocent.

03/06/06 – Jodi Stachowski, Steven Avery’s fiancee, is released from jail. She hasn’t seen Steven (who is now in jail himself) for 7 months.

03/07/06 – Detective Wiegert re-interviews Kayla Avery and secures a written statement detailing Brendan Dassey’s involvement in Teresa Halbach’s murder.

03/08/06 – Based on Dassey’s confession, Special Prosecutor Kratz adds three additional charges to Steven Avery. These include Kidnapping, False Imprisonment, and Sexual Assault with a Dangerous Weapon.

03/17/06 – Steven Avery’s pre-trial hearing begins. Judge Patrick Willis increases Avery’s bond from $500,000 to $750,000.

03/21/06 – Steven Avery tells the Associated Press he believes Dassey’s confession was coerced.

04/27/06 – Attorney Len Kachinsky emails Michael O’Kelly, his investigator, outlining his plans to use Brendan Dassey to help convict Steven Avery.

05/09/06 – Michael O’Kelly emails Len Kachinski outlining how he plans to coerce a confession from Brendan Dassey.

05/12/06 – Judge Jerome Fox determines that Brendan Dassey’s statements to Wiegert and Fassbender were voluntary and ARE admissible as evidence.

05/12/06 – Attorney Len Kachinsky arranges for his investigator, Michael O’Kelly, to meet with Brendan Dassey immediately following Judge Fox’s ruling.

05/12/06 – During the videotaped interview, Michael O’Kelley convinces Brendan Dassey to admit remorse for the crime. Dassey is also instructed to describe his actions on 10/31/05 and draw a detailed diagram of the assault, murder and mutilation of Teresa Halbach’s body. 

05/13/06 – Detectives Wiegert and Fassbender interview Brendan Dassey again (without an attorney present) in an attempt to garner a full confession. The detectives instruct Dassey to call his mother that evening and tell her about his role in Halbach murder – which he does. This confession is recorded by the prison’s phone system.

05/15/06 – Brendan Dassey, in a recorded phone call, explains to his mother why he didn’t tell her about his involvement in the murder of Teresa Halbach.

May – Jodi is caught drinking and spends 5 nights in jail. Her probation officer issues a “no contact” order, prohibiting her from visiting or talking to Steven Avery.

May – Judge Willis forbids the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department from any involvement in Steven Avery’s upcoming trial. The trial is moved to Calumet County.

May – In a pre-trial hearing, Judge Willis rules that the Defense cannot suggest to the jury any alternative suspects by name except Brendan Dassey.

May – Judge Jerome Fox denies Brendan Dassy’s request for a new court-appointed attorney. Len Kachinsky remains his attorney.

June – Sergeant Andrew Colborn writes and files his report detailing his interaction with Steven Avery on 11/03/05 (8 months earlier).

06/30/06 – Brendan Dassey writes a letter to Judge Fox recanting his involvement in Teresa Halbach’s murder. After learning that Len Kachinsky allowed Brendan Dassey to be interrogated alone on 05/13/06, Judge Fox dismisses Kachinsky as Dassey’s attorney.

08/09/06 – Lieutenant James Lenk gives testimony that he arrived at the Avery property on 11/03/05 between 6:30-7:00pm. 

08/31/06 – Jodi is interviewed by Detective Wiegert and later ends her relationship with Steven Avery.


01/29/07 – Judge Patrick Willis dismisses two of the three charges against Steven Avery (kidnapping and sexual assault) because the State will not indicate if Brendan Dassey will or will not testify in the Avery case.

01/30/07 – Judge Willis denies the State’s motion to exclude the blood vial (that was discovered by Avery’s attorney and appears to have been tampered with) as evidence. As a result, the State asks the judge to allow the FBI to develop a chemical test to prove the blood in the Rav4 was not planted. Judge Willis allows the motion.

01/31/07 – The State requests the FBI develop at test to prove or disprove the existence of EDTA in a blood sample. A test like this has not been done in 10+ years.

02/12/07 – Steven Avery’s trial begins in Chilton, Wisconsin. Avery faces four charges: (1) 1st Degree Intentional Homicide, (2) Mutilation of a Corpse, (3) Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and (4) False Imprisonment

Testimony given during Steven Avery’s trial:

  • Detective Tom Fassbender testifies that other suspects were considered during the investigation, but that none of Teresa’s relatives, her roommate, nor her ex-boyfriend were asked about their whereabouts on 10/31/05.
  • Ryan Hillegas, Teresa Halbach’s ex-boyfriend, testifies that he accessed Teresa’s cell phone voicemail to investigate who might have called her. He states that he was never asked for an alibi for the time of Teresa’s disappearance.
  • Sergeant Andrew Colborn testifies that he called dispatch to ask about a plate number. He states that he was not looking at the car when he made this call to dispatch. He also states that the call was made on 11/03/05 following a conversation with Detective Wiegert. 
  • Special Agent Kevin Heimerl testifies that when he searched Steven Avery’s property on 03/01/06, a flattened bullet was discovered under an air compressor in his garage.
  • Detective Dave Remiker testifies that Lieutenant James Lenk was present during the search of Steven Avery’s garage on 03/01/06.
  • Forensic Anthropologist Dr. Leslie Eisenberg testifies that Teresa’s manner of death was homicidal violence. She testifies that two fragments of Teresa Halbach’s pelvis were found in a nearby quarry pile. She states that she cannot reasonably rule out another burn pile location.
  • Sherry Culhane from the Wisconsin Crime Lab testifies that DNA tests on the bullet fragment found in Steven Avery’s garage confirmed the presence of Teresa Halbach’s blood. She also states that her own DNA was accidentally introduced into the DNA testing procedure. This brings into question Sherry Culhane’s ability to provide accurate test results. She also testifies that Detective Tom Fassbender told her to “put (Teresa) in (Steven Avery’s) house or garage.” She states that Teresa Halback’s DNA was not found on swabs taken from Steven Avery’s garage floor, but that she did find Steven Avery’s DNA on the garage floor. She also didn’t find Teresa Halbach’s DNA on Steven Avery’s gun, carpet, knives, carpeting or bathroom fixtures. She also didn’t find Brendan Dassey’s DNA on any item that was tested.
  • Scott Tadych, Barb’s husband, testifies that he arrived home on 10/31/05 between 2:30-2:45pm and left to go hunting around 3:00pm. This contradicts the statement he gave to police in November 2005.
  • Lisa Buchner, the school bus driver, testifies that she dropped off Brendan Dassey and his brother between 3:30-3:40pm. She also states that she saw a woman taking photographs of a van at that time. 
  • Calumet County Sheriff’s Department Sergeant William Tyson testifies that he was teamed with Lieutenant James Lenk, Sergeant Andrew Colborn and Detective Dave Remiker to search Steven Avery’s property. He was instructed not to allow these men out of his sight and if any evidence was discovered, he was to take immediate possession of the item(s). He states that Lenk and Colburn returned to Avery’s residence without him on 11/08/05 – the day on which the Rav4 key was discovered in the bedroom. 
  • Calumet County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Daniel Kucharski testifies that when he searched Avery’s bedroom on 11/08/05, no key was present. 
  • Manitowoc County Lieutenant James Lenk testifies that the 11/08/05 search was his 3rd time to search the property. He also states that he and Sergeant Colburn volunteered to be one of the officers to search Steven Avery’s property and did not tell Detectives Fassbender or Wiegert about his deposition in the Avery’s 2003 lawsuit. 
  • Manitowoc County Lieutenant Andrew Colborn testifies that he asked Steven Avery if Teresa Halbach had been on his property and if she said where she was going. Avery tells Colborn that he didn’t know because he didn’t talk to her. He also states that on 11/08/05, he searched Avery’s bedroom with Lenk and Kucharski. He testifies that he was searching Avery’s desk and Deputy Kucharski was sitting on Avery’s bed filling out paperwork when Lieutenant Lenk says “there’s a key on the floor here.” He states that none of the three touched the key. His written report does not make any mention of the Rav4 key.
  • Sergeant Jason Orth testifies that he was the first law enforcement office on the Avery property after Teresa Halbach’s Rav4 was discovered. He states that no person, law enforcement or citizen, touched the vehicle once he arrived. He states that a log of arrivals and departures was started at 2:45pm. 
  • Lieutenant Lenk testifies that he arrived at the Avery property at approximately 2:05pm. This contradicts a statement he gave on 08/09/06.
  • Manitowoc County Clerk Lynn Zigmunt testifies that the Manitowoc County Sheriffs Department has access to the inner part of the Clerk’s office where evidence from Steven Avery’s 1985 case was kept.
  • FBI Chemistry Unit Chief Dr. Marc LeBeau testifies that the FBI investigates crimes of public corruption. He states that in the FBI tests, no evidence of EDTA was present in the swabs taken from Teresa Halbach’s Rav4 and thus did not come from a blood vial. He states that the FBI only tested 3 of the 6 swabs taken from the Rav4.
  • Laboratory Data Quality Auditor Janine Aryizu testifies that when EDTA is NOT found in a blood stain, it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t there because the people testing it might have done so improperly. She states that no testing information was provided by the FBI, so she could not conclusively confirm or deny the FBI’s results.
  • Steven Avery does not testify.
  • Brendan Dassey is not called as a witness.

March – Judge Willis removes the charge of False Imprisonment from the list of charges against Steven Avery because it invites the jury to “fill in the blanks” between Steven Avery’s case and Brendan Dassey’s case.

03/15/07 – Closing arguments end and the jury begins deliberation. In an initial, unofficial vote by jury members, 7 believe Steven Avery is innocent and 3 believe he is guilty.

03/16/07 – Richard Muhler, a juror is the Avery case, is dismissed for a family emergency and an alternate juror is brought in.

03/18/07 – Steven Avery is found guilty of 1st Degree Intentional Homicide and Possession of a Firearm. He is found not guilty of Mutilation of a Corpse.

04/16/07 – Brendan Dassey’s trial begins.

Testimony given during Brendan Dassey’s trial:

  • Marinette County Sheriff’s Detective Anthony O’Neill testifies that Dassey’s demeanor during his 11/06/05 interview indicated that he was hiding something.
  • Detective Mark Wiegert testifies that based on Kayla Avery’s statements on 02/20/06, authorities needed to interview Brendan Dassey again. He states that Brendan’s mother, Barb Tadych, declined to be present for the interviews. He admits that no DNA or fingerprint evidence exists that connects Dassey to the crime. He also says that in his 03/07/06 interview of Kayla Avery, she tells of a conversation with Brendan Dassey in which he described his involvement in Teresa Halbach’s murder and mutilation. 
  • Kayla Avery testifies that she made up the story of Brendan Dassey’s involvement in the crime.
  • Brendan Dassey testifies that he never participated in the murder of Teresa Halbach and that he made up his whole confession. He states that he got the facts for his lies from the book “Kiss the Girls.”

04/25/07 – Brendan Dassey is found guilty of 1st Degree Intention Homicide, Mutilating a Corpse and 2nd Degree Sexual Assault.

06/01/07 – Steven Avery is sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of early release.

08/02/07 – Brendan Dassey is sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of early release in 2048.


09/28/09 – Steven Avery has a post-conviction motion hearing and requests a new trial.


01/15/10 – Brendan Dassey’s post-conviction motion hearing begins. Steven Drizin, Co-Founder of the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth, is defending Dassey. Drizin claims that Attorney Len Kachinsky did not have Brendan Dassey’s best interests in mind and, therefore, he should be granted a new trial.

01/21/10 – Drizin shows that Michael O’Kelly, the investigator hired by Kachinsky, was only interested in convicting Steven Avery regardless of the legal effect on Brendan Dassey. Drizin also states that because Len Kachinsky was dismissed for allowing Brendan Dassey to be interrogated without an attorney present, the phone calls that resulted from that interrogation should not have been admissible in court…but were.

01/25/10 – Judge Willis denies Steven Avery’s request for a new trial.

September – Ryan Foley, an Associated Press reporter, interviews Ken Kratz. Foley questions Kratz about text messages he supposedly sent to a domestic abuse victim who’s case he was handling. The story gains national attention.

October – Ken Kratz resigns, thus ending his involvement in Steven Avery’s and Brendan Dassey’s cases.

12/13/10 – Judge Fox denies Brendan Dassey’s motion for a new trial.


08/24/11 – The Wisconsin Court of Appeals upholds Judge Willis’ decision denying Steven Avery a new trial.

December – The Wisconsin Supreme Court refuses to review Steven Avery’s case. Because this is the last opportunity for review at the state level, Steven Avery is no longer guaranteed a public defender.


06/05/12 – Steven Avery requests the files from his trial. He plans to defend himself in court since the Wisconsin Innocence Project won’t take his case.


01/30/13 – The Wisconsin Court of Appeals upholds Judge Fox’s decision denying Brendan Dassey a new trial.

08/01/13 – The Wisconsin Supreme Court refuses to review Brendan Dassey’s case.


12/18/15 – Netflix releases “Making a Murderer”.


Coming Soon.