Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Steven Avery Case

The Steven Avery case in Wisconsin has made things tough for everyone in the Midwest with innocence claims. I received an average of 35 verbally abusive, bordering-on-hysterical e-mails each day for the past week (since the nephew’s “confession”) at Truth in Justice from idiots who think we had something to do with Avery’s exoneration for a rape he did not commit. The “thinking” (I use quotation marks because these people are doing precious little thinking) is that he should have stayed in prison even though he was innocent because then Teresa Halbach would still be alive.

Well, I don’t think Teresa Halbach is dead. I think she ditched and headed way out of town, probably Canada. She had help from at least one person, whoever drove her car out to Avery’s junk yard and left it there, and I expect the key was left in the ignition. They didn’t “find” it in Avery’s dresser drawer with his DNA on it, nor did they find Avery’s blood in Teresa’s car, until after they took blood from Avery. Who carries just an ignition key, not even on a ring? She took the other keys with her, or gave them to the person who helped her run off. I don’t think Teresa in her wildest dreams thought something like this would happen, and once the ball started rolling, she didn’t dare come back. Remember how everyone turned on the “runaway bride” last year when she came back? They were preparing to present a murder charge against her fiancĂ© to the grand jury! When she turned up, they charged her with felonies for lying to police about what happened to her.

The crime lab and FBI have not said that the DNA of tooth and bone fragments in the burn pit match Teresa’s DNA. They said it’s “consistent with” Teresa’s DNA. “Consistent with” is a junk science red flag. DNA from a dog or a cow would be “consistent with” DNA from a human because they are all mammals. “Consistent with” is not the same as “match” and they use the “consistent with” term to deliberately mislead because most people don’t understand the difference. Now, if Teresa had gone down in a terrible airplane crash, you can bet they’d be all over her hair brush, her tooth brush, the shower drain and such for her DNA, and she wouldn’t be declared dead until they made a match with whatever burned fragments they found. No, she isn’t dead.

And his nephew Brendan Dassey’s story is utter poppycock elicited from a kid who’s developmentally disabled and trying to tell the cops what he thinks they want to hear. It is not consistent with the evidence. If you stab someone in the abdomen and cut her throat, you’ll have to dispose of a lot more than the sheets. And just think about trying to strangle someone—for 2 to 3 minutes yet—after you’ve cut her throat. My God, you’d be covered in blood head to toe. It would be everywhere, especially in a trailer. And then, covered in blood, you carry someone who’s gushing blood through the trailer and out to a garage, without leaving a trail. You then shoot her 10 times with a .22 rifle, come back and clean up the mess (which apparently is only in the garage) with gasoline and bleach, but you leave the shells where they fell. Sure. His “confession” is straight out of “Grand Theft Auto,” a violent video game that includes shackling a prostitute begging for mercy. He threw in the story line of the zombie movie “Land of the Dead” with the baloney about how she wouldn’t die so they had to use all those methods to kill her. It doesn’t take much to figure out the sources for this story. Apparently the cops don’t stay up to date on adolescent entertainment. Neither does the frighteningly ignorant general public.

Now they’ve added charges based on the statements of prison snitches stepping on one another to get a deal for themselves, claiming that Avery was already planning to commit a crime like this while he was in prison (like he knew all along he’d get out short of Mandatory Release), and that Avery bought handcuffs three weeks after he got out. That would have been when he was living in an ice shack. Yes, Avery lived in an ice shack for the first six months after his release. The lawyers at the innocence project found out and got someone to donate the trailer so he’d have something better than a shanty to live in.

This is how they do it. What do I think will happen next? Avery and his nephew will be convicted on absolutely every charge the Calumet County DA can concoct. Hell, they have already been convicted. Hopefully, the Department of Corrections won’t toss them into the general population, because they’d be killed. That would make it even worse when Teresa is finally “outed” as alive and well and living someplace like Vancouver. Because, yes, I think she will eventually be found, but she won’t come forward voluntarily—someone who knows her will spot her, or she’ll make contact with family and be discovered that way.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This was a fantastic article. It needs to be made public how scary it is that prosecutors would rather put innocent people away as opposed to finding out who the real criminal is. My significant other is going through a wrongful conviction right now. The lead detective only had one year experience prior to the case and during the trial, he lied repeatedly on the stand. How can we prove that he lied?