12 Burning Questions About “Making A Murderer” Answered

Filmmakers Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi take BuzzFeed News inside the year’s biggest true crime obsession. WARNING: SO MANY SPOILERS.
1. How did they come to make this documentary?
Demos and Ricciardi first learned of Steven Avery’s case in November 2005, when it made the front page of the New York Times while they were film students at Columbia University. “I found it riveting and kept elbowing poor Moira and saying, ‘I cannot believe this,’” Ricciardi said. “The focus of that story was the backlash the Wisconsin Innocence Project was experiencing as a result of having been instrumental in freeing Steven. Of course, as it got deeper into the article, I realized that there was an apparent conflict of interest between the county and him.”
So Ricciardi called the Manitowoc County Clerk’s Office and discovered reporters were allowed to watch, and given access to, video footage from inside the courtroom. The two headed to Wisconsin in November 2005 to attend Avery’s preliminary hearing (which is seen at the beginning of Episode 3 of Making a Murderer). In February 2006, Avery’s trial was scheduled for that September. Demos and Ricciardi were packing up to return home and await that date when they got an unexpected call saying the police were going to hold a press conference.
“We couldn’t figure out why they were holding a press conference,” Demos said. “They hadn’t held one for three and a half months.” That was when officials first named Dassey as a suspect in Halbach’s murder. “It caught everyone off guard,” Demos said. “It caught the family off guard, as you can see — they’re reeling from it. At that point, we knew that this was going to be more than we had thought.”
The two decided to move to Wisconsin. “Part of that was so we could be there for every court date and every development, but also so that we could start to reach out to subjects and do interviews about the past and go through archival materials,” Ricciardi explained.

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