Thursday, December 31, 2015

Episode 5: The Last Person to See the Victim

Steven on phone: Now, there's a chance. Maybe the truth will come out. I want everybody to know I'm innocent. You know, that's all I'm asking for. 

 Kratz: Teresa Halbach had her whole life in front of her and the evidence is going to show... that on Halloween of 2005, that all ended. That ended in the hands of the defendant... Steven Avery. Who is this man? Virtually all of you knew something about Steven Avery before serving on this particular jury. Mr. Avery achieved some degree of notoriety back in 2003 when he was exonerated. And at the close of this case, I'm gonna point to every one of you potential jurors and say that has absolutely nothing to do with this case. When deciding who's accountable... for the death of 25-year-old Teresa Halbach, Mr. Avery's past and his past exoneration have nothing to do with this case. The State intends to prove to you that the defendant restrained... murdered and mutilated Teresa Halbach. The mutilation of this little girl... Excuse me, not this little girl, this young woman, absolutely occurred because this is what's left. Small, tiny pieces of bone fragment. Now, despite Mr. Avery's efforts to completely obliterate all these bones by burning, to incinerate these bones completely, this bone survived. It's Teresa Halbach's shin bone. It's Karen Halbach's daughter's tibia. Remembering the humanity of Teresa Halbach, remembering who she is, what she meant to these people, is an important part of this process. Ultimately, this process includes assigning accountability for the murder and the mutilation of an innocent 25-year-old young lady. And I'll ask at the conclusion of this case that you return verdicts of guilty. Thank you. Thank you, Judge.

 Judge Willis: Thank you, Mr. Kratz. 

Steven on phone: They wouldn't look at nobody else. They're paying all their attention to me. And they shouldn't be doing that. That's what they did before. 

In a long trial like this, openings are very important. Really, probably more important even than the closings. Because by the time they get to that point, um... it's gonna be a matter of arguing for a few of them probably. I think most of them will probably have already decided. So we want to get 'em early. Just get 'em thinking that there's another side to this they have not heard. All they've been hearing, for what, 15 months, is, you know, Teresa Halbach was burned. Bones were found on Steven Avery's property. Which is a horrible fact. But what they don't know is that there's evidence those bones were moved. And so... And neither does the media. So it's gonna be interesting to see the reaction when that little tidbit finally becomes public. The blood I'm more... a little bit more worried about than I was when I first discovered it and was very happy and you know. Because I don't trust the FBI at all and I think that they're gonna come up with some dishonest test that somehow claims that the blood in the vial is different than what was found at the scene. And that'll be a little bit harder to overcome. I'm not worried about the key at all. I like the key. I'm glad they're using it. [clears throat] It shows that if they would be willing to go to that length of planting a key, which I think is... the jurors are gonna get, then... the blood follows easily. It does. 

Strang: In 2004, Steven Avery filed a lawsuit seeking some recompense for the hole in his life. The time he had spent as an innocent man for the crimes that Gregory Allen committed. In October 2005, James Lenk and another ranking officer of the Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department, Sergeant Andrew Colborn, both were pulled into the lawsuit, questioned about their own activity and conduct with respect to Mr. Avery's imprisonment. It's Thursday evening about 5:00, November three, when Mrs. Halbach reports Teresa missing. That very night, Calumet is calling the Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department for a little bit of help. And who do we get? We get Sergeant Andrew Colborn. And he's told, "Look, two places we'd like to sort of check out and see if Teresa Halbach showed up on Monday: the Zipperer residence... and Steven Avery." Well, that's a name that rings a bell. You better believe. Less than three weeks, or about three weeks after his deposition. And it is interesting that of those two places that Sergeant Colborn is asked to check out and inquire after Teresa Halbach... he only goes to one. Goes to Steven Avery's home. Out of the blue, the same night, Lieutenant James Lenk calls Calumet about this missing person report. Let's be clear. It's in another county. It's not even Manitowoc County at all. And nobody has called for Lieutenant Lenk. Nobody's called looking for him. But the Chief Detective of Manitowoc County takes it upon himself that night to call Calumet and offer to get involved in the missing person investigation where one of the appointments that was to be kept was Steven Avery. November five, Saturday, Pam and Nikole Sturm find the Toyota they suspect, correctly as it turns out, is Teresa's. And folks, from that point forward, before the police say they've even opened the car, before they say they know of any blood of any sort, in or on the car, before anybody even knows whether this young woman has been hurt or killed... the focus is on Steven Avery. Hear it yourself. When Detective Jacobs was calling after the police have arrived at the Avery property, after Teresa's car has been found there. [recording of phone line ringing] woman: Good morning, Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department. Katie speaking. Jacobs: Katie, just rolled into the parking lot. Can you tell me, do we have a body or anything yet? Katie: I don't believe so. Jacobs: Do we have Steven Avery in custody, though? Katie: I have no idea. This is 30 minutes after they found the car. Indeed, they wouldn't find the first bone fragment for three days. "Do we have Steven Avery in custody, though?" Now, if you're thinking though that the evidence will show you that Manitowoc County bowed out because of the conflict of interest after it turned the investigation over to Calumet County... If you're thinking that, it's reasonable, but you're wrong. Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department stays very much involved in this investigation. The police didn't kill Teresa Halbach, obviously. They have that in common with Steven Avery. But they wanted to believe he did. And whoever did kill her or burned that body exploited that tunnel vision pretty skillfully. In the end, after the full and fair consideration of everything and everyone, the full and fair consideration that Steven Avery did not get from the Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department... we're gonna ask you to send him home. We're gonna ask you to send him home again. We're gonna ask you to get it right this time. We're gonna ask you to set it right. 

Police   So Teresa takes a picture, you come outside. She and you are both outside and you give her the money. She goes and gets in her truck and then gives you an Auto Trader magazine, is that right? 

Avery:  Yeah. 

Police:  OK. Is she in the truck or out of the truck when she gives you the magazine? 

Avery:  She's in the truck. In the truck.

Police:   OK, then what happens next? 

Avery:  Then she gave me the book, shut the door, I walked toward the house, I put the book on the computer. Mm-hm. I came back out. And then I was gonna walk over by Bobby... but then his vehicle was gone. 

Police:  So you walk in the house, you put the magazine down, you come out and Bobby's vehicle's gone? 

Avery: Bobby's vehicle's gone. 

Mr. Dassey, do you know the defendant Steven Avery? 

Bobby: Yes, he's my uncle. 

Prosecutor: You have to speak up just a little bit, please. 

Bobby:   Yes, he's my uncle. 

Prosecutor:  And is he in the courtroom here at this time? 

Bobby:  Yes, he is. 

Prosecutor:  Would you point him out for the record? Tell the judge where he's seated? 

Bobby: He's right over there, to my right. 

Kratz: Mr. Dassey, do you know where your uncle lived? 

Bobby: Yes, he lived right next door to us. 

Kratz: Please tell the jury what we're looking at. 

Bobby: Well, basically this is my mom's house. Um... The red thing is Steven's trailer. 

Kratz: Now, Bobby, on October 31st, 2005, do you remember anything unusual that happened at about 2:30 that afternoon? 

Bobby:  A vehicle had drove up and started taking pictures of the van. 

Kratz:  Well, let's back up just a minute. What did you see? 

Bobby:  I seen a vehicle pull up in our driveway. 

Kratz:  And how do you know that it was about 2:30 in the afternoon? 

Bobby;  'Cause I was going hunting that night and that's the time I wanted to get out. 

Kratz:  All right. Tell the jury what you saw then.

Bobby:   I seen Teresa Halbach get out of the vehicle and start taking pictures. 

Kratz:  After seeing her taking any pictures, did you see her do anything? 

Bobby;  She started... Before I got in the shower, she actually started walking over to Steven's trailer. 

Kratz: When looking at exhibit number 61, could you point to the window that you looked out and watched things from? 

Bobby: It would be that window there. 

Kratz: The left-most window on the trailer, is that right?

 Bobby: Yes. 

Kratz:  About what time do you think that you left to go hunting? 

Bobby; Twenty to three. Quarter to three. 

Kratz:   Mr. Dassey, when you walked out to your vehicle to go bow hunting, did you notice if Teresa's vehicle was still in the driveway? 

Yes, it was. 

It was? 


Did you see Ms. Halbach? 


Did you see any signs of her at all? 


Now, Bobby, on the 3rd of November, a Thursday, I believe it is, do you recall having a conversation with your Uncle Steven regarding a body? 

Bobby:  Yes. 

Prosecutor Kratz:  Could you tell us what your Uncle Steven told you that day? 

Bobby:  Well, my buddy Mike was over too and he asked us... It sounded like he was joking, honestly. But he asked us if we wanted... He wanted us to help him get rid of the body

This sensational testimony today accounted for a dramatic response from the Defense. male reporter: Defense attorney Dean Strang said that... [overlapping dialogue] Well, Cammie, as Elizabeth said, Bobby Dassey's testimony and the mistrial issue took up quite a bit of time this morning. male reporter: The Defense made a motion for a mistrial. We have no written summary of an interview of Bobby Dassey in which that statement is recited. We do have a report of a contact with a Michael Osmundson. "Michael indicated he was aware Steven was one of the last people to see the missing girl and jokingly asked Steven if Steven had her, the missing girl, in a closet. At this point, Steven asked Michael if Michael wanted to quote 'help bury the body' closed quote. And they laughed about this together." 

Buting: This is not changing the theory at all. This fits perfectly to show that they have not followed up this investigative lead because this investigative lead points elsewhere than Mr. Avery. And here we are in the middle of the trial and it hasn't been investigated. The jury has a right to know that. All right, I'm... I guess having trouble seeing the apparent relevance of it at this stage of the trial. Let's, uh, bring the jurors back in. [indistinct chatter] Buting: The State wants to argue and in fact put out into the media as quickly as November 4th and maybe even November 3rd, that Steven Avery was the last person to see her, when they didn't know that, and they don't know that to this day. You know, there's more to come. You know, examples of one after another after another of decisions that were made in the investigative process, all of which went just towards Steven Avery and no one else. 

Steven on phone: They're always saying I'm the last person to have seen her. Now, how can I be the last one? I saw her leave. So I'm not the last one. Whoever did this is the last one

Fassbender: Want to tell us about that? 
Wiegert: Tell us about that. 

Tammy told me that. 

Tammy told you? 


She a friend of yours or something or...? 

Yeah, I know her. 

What did she tell you? 

That... she heard... She told me that she'd heard that a cop put it out there and planted evidence. 

Put what out there? 

That vehicle. 

And that's Teresa's vehicle?

 Yeah. So Tammy told you that somebody told her... 

Yeah. ...

that a cop put that vehicle, Teresa's vehicle, out on your property. 


Strang: One of the things road patrol officers frequently do is call in to dispatch and give the dispatcher the license plate number of a car they've stopped or a car that looks out of place for some reason. Correct? 

Yes, sir. 

And the dispatcher can get information about to whom a license plate is registered. 

Yes, sir.

 If the car is abandoned or there's nobody in the car, the registration tells you who the owner presumably is. 

Yes, sir. 

I'm gonna ask you to listen, if you would, to a short phone call. 

woman: Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department, this is Lynn. Colborn: Lynn. Hi, Andy. Colborn: Can you run Sam-William-Henry-582? 

Lynn: OK. It shows that she's a missing person. And it lists to Teresa Halbach. 

Colborn: OK. 

Lynn: OK, that's what you're looking for, Andy? 

Colborn: Ninety-nine Toyota? 

Lynn: Yep. Colborn: OK, thank you. 

Lynn: You're so welcome. 


Strang: OK. What you're asking the dispatch is to run a plate that's "Sam-William-Henry-582"? Did I hear that correctly? 

Yes, sir. Sam-William-Henry would be S-W-H-5-8-2? 


This license plate? 

Yes, sir. 

And the dispatcher tells you that the plate comes back to a missing person or woman. 

Yes, sir. 

Teresa Halbach. 

Yes, sir. 

And then you tell the dispatcher, "Oh, '99 Toyota?" 

No, I thought she told me that. 

Lynn: It shows that she's a missing person. And it lists to Teresa Halbach. 

Colborn: OK. 

OK, that's what you're looking for, Andy? 

Colborn: Ninety-nine Toyota? 

Lynn: Yep. 

Colborn: OK, thank you.

 Lynn: You're so welcome. Bye-bye.

 Were you looking at these plates when you called them in? 

No, sir. 

Do you have any recollection of making that phone call? 

Yeah, I'm guessing eleven-oh-three-oh-five. Probably after I received a phone call from Investigator Wiegert letting me know that there was a missing person. 

Investigator Wiegert, did he give you the license plate number for Teresa Halbach when he called you? 

You know, I just don't remember the exact content of our conversation then. 

But you think... He had to have given it to me because I wouldn't have had the number any other way. Well, you can understand how someone listening to that might think that you were calling in a license plate that you were looking at on the back end of a 1999 Toyota. 


 But there's no way you should've been looking at Teresa Halbach's license plate on November three on the back end of a 1999 Toyota. 

I shouldn't have been and I was not looking at the license plate. Because you're aware now that the first time that Toyota was reported found was two days later on November five. Yes, sir. [theme music plays]

Read more at:


Michele said...

Oh, wow. That section about the Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department offering to get involved in a missing person's case and suggesting Avery. THEN add to it, Colborn calling in the plate on 11/3 when the car is found on the 5th.
I'm in LE, there has to be a valid reason to run things through NCIC and our state system. Why would he call for it to be run, when the dispatcher should have that handy. Just ask for the plate on the missing person. Not ask for it to be run.
Something is rotten in Manitowoc.

Anonymous said...

It is possible that SA or one of his junkyard friends used the plate on another vehicle-though it was still in the yard. I once saw one of these type killers use three plates from two different states (he was letting out dogs in the area).

Only finding a tibia is shoe-in for the police and DA. It's the real horror story. The untold truth lies in the lanyard and why someone would lie about it.

Sus said...

I know you felt Strang was nondeceptive, but I feel some of his speech is misleading.

"That very night Calumet is calling the Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department for a little bit of help."
This establishes Calumet asked Manitowoc for help. I doubt it was "a little bit". That is to make it look as if the Manitowoc were over zealous.

"Look two places we'd like to sort of check out and see if Teresa Halbach showed up on Monday: the Zipperer residence and Steven Avery."
Again, "sort of check out" is to paint Colburn as bias and overzealous. Calumet knew Avery was Teresa's last appt that day. Calumet knew Avery had been calling her.

"Out of the blue, that same night, Lieutenant James Lenk calls Calumet about this missing person report. Let's be clear. It's in another county. It's not even Manitowoc County at all. And nobody has called for Lieutenant Lenk. Nobody's called looking for him. But the Chief Detective of Manitowoc County..."
It was not "out of the blue" as Calumet called his county. He is the Chief Detective. From watching other cases, I believe that is normal protocol.
"Offer to get involved" Calumet called his county.

Anonymous said...

After watching Brennan's full taped interviews, there is no question in my mind that Avery planned the attack on Teresa at least two days before the actual attack. Brennan notes that Avery dropped the key when the phone rang, and never picked it up. It makes sense why the cops researched the premises. Brennan admits he spoke to his cousin what he did. It appears from his interviews the family knew.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

I have not explored premeditation yet, but the link between animal abuse and fires with sexual abuse is noted.

Anonymous said...

The youtube interview police tapes are really interesting. Peter, if you have the time, I strongly recommend them. I'd love to know what you think. Grooming and premeditation are introduced by brenden. The police apparently even suspected sexual abuse. After viewing the family in the documentary, it costed my mind of incest. Alot of low iq individuals. Inbreeding? Alot of circling the wagons. Those welcome into the family appear to have "issues".

Not a Robot said...

Michelle, it's also notable that he called for the tag info using a phone, rather than a radio. Usually if an officer is running plates, they just radio dispatch. I don't know what it means, but it doesn't seem like standard practice.

Anonymous at 12:18, what do you mean the police re-searched the property to find the key? The key was found during the time they had the property secured in early November. It was March when they went back, supposedly finding the bullet. They had searched that tiny bedroom numerous times before the investigators who weren't even supposed to be on the premises "found" the key that supposedly fell out of a nightstand on to the floor and UNDER a pair of slippers.

From what I've seen, there isn't any info that Brendan comes up with that isn't suggested by the investigators first. He was trying really hard to guess what they wanted him to.say, and still couldn't get it without their assistance.

The police there suspected the family of everything. The Averys were not favored by anyone in the community. I think it's likely that SA did kill TH, but I don't think Brendan helped him, and I think the police planted evidence because they wanted the conviction to stick like glue this time.

Anonymous said...

Not a robot, did you see the full interviews on youtube, not just the sections that the documentary showed? The sections on the documentary show a clear bias.

Not a Robot said...

I haven't watched those yet, but I read transcripts of the first interviews they did with him, and they were feeding him info even then. I will watch the YouTube videos, though.

Anonymous said...

I just finished episode 5. That officer had to have seen the SUV when calling in the plates! What is up with that? Even if Avery did kill this lady, the police are really messed up!

Anonymous said...

"While in prison for the 1985 rape he was later cleared of, Avery 'told another inmate of his intent to build a ‘torture chamber’ so he could rape, torture and kill young women when he was released,' Kratz said. “He even drew a diagram.” "

above quote is from this:

Jenny said...

Is there any way to get unbiased information about this case? The documentary is biased obviously. I want to read more about it.

Anonymous said...

I really feel like there's some information missing about the plates situation. Couldn't he have just been calling in to confirm the info given to him about the missing person? I'm not sure why he'd felt the need to confirm it, but maybe this was a practice of his (just to be extra sure he was looking for the right vehicle).

That said, there is something super strange about Colburn. Peter, what are your thoughts on him? Is he a very deceptive person in your opinion?

MzOpinion8d said...

Jenny, there's a websleuths thread on it that is from when it happened. You have to have a member login there to view it, however,becauae it's in their members only section. It has a lot of articles quoted from the first few days.

Unknown said...

I was going to discuss the set up to Colburn's license plate testimony but after viewing the footage, I noticed something about the Steven Avery 2nd interview with Fassbender and Weigert. The documentary showed that interview out of sequence. You can tell by the videotape time stamps. What we saw was not how the interview happened. Note that it is an over 3 hours interview, and we are shown only a rough estimate of 5 minutes. The following is the proper order of how that interview went. I also indicated time gaps in the interview. I will note those, as well as the time stamps from the best I could see (white text on a white table made the seconds difficult to see and I may have paused not exactly on the exact times the edits occurred so those may be slightly off).

(3:17:45 - 3:17:50)
Weigert: OK. What about this cop?
Fassbender: Want to tell us about that?
Wiegert: Tell us about that.

(5 seconds missing time)

(3:17:55 - 3:18:01)
Steven: Tammy told me that.
Weigert: Tammy told you?
Steven: Yeah.

(16 seconds missing time)

(3:18:17 - 3:18:43)
Weigert: What did she tell you?
Steven: That... she heard... She told me that she'd heard that a cop put it out there and planted evidence.
Weigert: Put what out there?
Steven: That vehicle.
Weigert: And that's Teresa's vehicle?
Steven: Yeah.
Weigert: So Tammy told you that somebody told her...
Steven: Yeah. ...
Weigert: that a cop put that vehicle, Teresa's vehicle, out on your property.
Steven: Yeah.

(just under 2 minutes missing time)

(3:20:54 - 3:21:32)
Weigert: How do you think that truck got on that property? Which way do you think they came in or...?
Steven: Well, when I seen tail lights by me and Chuck had seen headlights by him. I don't know who drove it.
Weigert: Which way was it pointed?
Steven: What?
Weigert: The truck.
Steven: I don't know.
Weigert: You don't know? What... Was there a different way in there or... two ways into there or what?
Steven: There's a bunch of ways in there. There's the main road, there's by me, there's in the pit.

(1 minute missing time)

(3:22:31 - 3:22:34)
Weigert: She a friend of yours or something or...?
Steven: Yeah, I know her

Anonymous said...

If one saw taillights and the other saw headlights, wouldn't that make it fairly obvious in which direction the vehicle was pointed?

Unknown said...

"Avery: Well, when I seen tail lights by me and Chuck had seen headlights by him. I don't know who drove it." Wouldn't this statement fly in the face of this question exchange between Weiget and Avery: "Weiget: that a cop put that vehicle, Teresa's vehicle, out on your property. Steven: Yeah." This could be a slip, an accidental confession by Avery.

lynda said...

Heather..I think on the "Lock and Load" blog, the prosecutor (that was disgraced later by texting scandal) answered some questions. He pointed out exactly what you did. That the videos shown of interrogations were out of sequence.
This doc was made for the is obviously edited quite a bit to me.

Anonymous said...

I think one MUST read or watch the original Brendan interrogations-none of which appear in the doc - to see him as anything other than slow & coerced.

In one of these interviews, Brendan says that Steven was having trouble adjusting to life after prison, & wanted to go back to prison. This jives with the bit about Steven living in a tiny ice-fishing cabin, bc je was comfortable with the small space, & was having trouble with relatives...


Anonymous said...

“He’s not going to be able to pay anybody,” Strang added. “Money isn’t in the equation. But what is, right now in our eyes, is, what’s best for Steven?”

Steven's attorneys want to pick up the fight for Steven. Notice that money come before Steven twice. They say there is no money but there are Go Fund Me sites popping up left and right to help Steven. They know there is more money to be made.

Anonymous said...

T-shirts, get your t-shirts.........

Dee said...

Okay, haven't watched any of the full interviews on YouTube, and I was aware that they were out of sequence, but guys... what they did to Brendan was heartbreaking. I'm a teacher, I have a lot of kids with diverse needs, and this kid was obviously in way over his head without a fair play at providing him with his rights. I read up that it isn't illegal for minors to be interviewed without their parent's presence, but I feel like this has to be a violation of the IDEA given he was not made aware of his rights, because he processes things more slowly/differently than other people. Regardless of whether his full statements implicate him, this was basically like taking a 10-year-old kid into an interrogation and coercing them to tell you what you want to hear. The funny thing is, he couldn't even do that, he kept adding to the story, and there were so many details unsubstantiated by evidence. I feel like it is the duty and obligation of investigators not to just secure convictions, but to secure the RIGHT convictions, and that means ruling out suspects when you have the information to do so. Seriously, does anyone know about the lack of blood evidence in the bedroom? How is it that this did not cause the investigators to question the legitimacy of the statement.

I just saw Brendan as one of my own students and was so appalled at the way these adults were speaking to him. It wasn't exactly the same way that I've seen interrogations put pressure on the suspects (like on the first 48), but it almost seemed to me like they were aware that he was slow, and basically taking advantage of the fact to get him to say what they wanted to hear. And he couldn't even get that right, "what happened to her head?" "We cut her throat," then, "We cut her hair," then "Steve punched her," I think. Just awful for that to have been done to a child who undoubtedly has an IEP, taken out of SCHOOL, and according to his mother never having the chance to have an adult on his side in there with him! He was Mirandized, but he was not CAPABLE of understanding what that meant, asking to go to 6th period to turn in a project. I know we are about the statements here, and I get all that, but regardless of how this was spun, terrible things were done to that kid because of his disability, and that's wrong.