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tv   Nightline  ABC  January 20, 2016 11:37pm-12:07am CST

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>> tonight, behind "making a murderer" with the stran saga of steven avery consuming so many americans we traveled to wisconsin where the story played out. avery wrongfully convicted of rape only to be later chaharged with murder. >> i didn't do it, i'm innocent. >> our investigation leading us to the main players in the case. the defense attney now an internet star. >> i want him out of prison. >> the prosecutor who many now see as a villain. i hope your daughter gets raped. >> his life turd upside down. we know you the evidence the makers of this controversial netflix documentary left out. >> wake up, netflix! also tonigh one on one with director spike lee, opening up about the oar uproar, growing anger about the lack of diversity in the nominations. will smith speaking out as well. >> that's not the hollywood that you want to leave behind. first the "nightline 5." >> get rdy to show your roots. with root touchup from nice and easy.
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seconds. good evening. perhaps not since the o.j. trial has america been so fixated on a criminal case. the new netflix documentary series "making a murderer" has millions of us dissecting and debating the bizarre story of steven avery. tonight we're going to take you to the place where it all unfold to meet the central
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the documentary left out. here in this tiny frozen over speck on the mapap the scene of a crime that has become a national obsession. >> now to a hot trend ticking over tv -- >> a netflix do you want tear series captivated the nation -- >> reporter: "making the murderer" explores the strange odyssey of steven avery,2007 sentenced to life in prison without parole for t murder of a 25-year-oldd woman. in the four weeks since the series was released a frenzy of binge watching fueling conspiracy tories and outrage. both among those who think avery was wrongly convicted, framed even, and those who think the documentary is at best misleading. >> wake up, netflix! >> reporter: i've come to machlt anitua county, wisconsin. >> after having absorbed ten hours of this story, to be here is strange. >> reporter: to see if i can wrap my head around the mysry
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steven avery a killer? the documentary begins in 2003. steven avery had just been released from prison after rving 18 years for a rape he didn't commit. honey. evidence. then two years later, just as avery is in the middle of a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the authorities who put him away, those very same authorities charge him with murder. >> i didn't do it, i'm innocent. >> reporter: the once-celebrated face of wrongful convictions now accused killing and dismembering teresa hallback, a young photographer who had come to the avery family scrap yd to take pictures of a vehicle he was selling. her charred remains found near avery's trailer. >> it's hard enough going to prison for something you didn't do, then you got to do it all over again? >> reporter: the story caught
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filmmakers, moira demos and laura richar who packed and up moved to wisconsin. >> we were there becausese we wanted to ask bigger questions about the system. >> is it guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, is the process fair, can we trust the verdict? >> reporter: they devoted a decade to the project, gaing extraordinary access to the main players, from avery who spoke to them by phone from jail -- >> they wouldn't look at nobody else. they're paying all their attention to me. >> reporter: to his family waiting on the outside. >> they d't care. they'ltake an innocent man and make him guilty and that's what they're doing right now. >> reporter: to avery's defense team who argued that their client was being railroaded, alleging that the local eriffs, furious about avery's lawsuit, framed him. >> how many times will steven avery be charged with rapes he didn't commit? >> reporter: the filmmamakers capture key moments. >> this is a red letter day for the defense. >> rorter: when avery's
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their client's blood, evidence from his first wrongfull conviction, appears to have been tampered with. >> some officer wentnto that file, took a sample of steven of ary's blood, and planted it. >> reporter: also in the film we see that the lawyers believe the police planted something else. the key to teresa hallback's toyota. >> when you came into that bedroom the first time, there was no key on the floor, was there? >> that's correct. >> reporter: it wasn't discovered until the seventh search of avery's bedroom. and it just so happened to have been found by two members of the local sheriff's department who had recently been deposed in avery's civil lawsuit. as you sit here today, all these years later, do you still believe the department or members of department framed steven avery? >> i'm still left with real reason to suspect that. >> reporter: "making a murderer" transformed avery's former defefense torney, the eloquent and emotional dean strang, into
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>> redemption will have to wait as it often does in human affairs. >> reporter: we met him in his office where he said the case still troubles him nine years later. >> i want him out of prison. i really am haunted by the concern that he's sitting there innocent. >> reporter: in stark opposition to strang, some on the internet have identified a villain, the man who put avery away. prosecutor ken kratz. when we arrived he showed us nasty e-mailsls -- >> i hope your daughter gets raped and murdered. >> reporter: and threatening voice mails. >> i going to do everything in my power to free steve avery, then i'm coming after you. >> reporter: kratz blames the filmmakers. >> this is not a documentary at all. it's still a defense advocacy piece of what they pick and choose, causes only one reactio and only one conclusion, that mr. avery was innocent. >> reporter: kratz points out there was a mountain of evidence against avery. hallback's remains and her car
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and avery's dna found on that key which kratz says was only discovered on the seventh search because that's when it fell out of the back off this bookshelf. kratz also points out the jury rejected the framing defense. >> we the jury find the defendant, stephen a. avery, guilty of first degree intentional homicide. >> reporter: in part because they saw vital pieces of evidence the documentarians excluded, including that steven avery's dna from sweat was also undd on theood latch of teresa hallback's rav 4. >> why is that important? because you can't plant, first of all, sweat. how w do you leave that out of the documentary? >> if his hand was there, why didn't you find fingerprints? >> they're looking for dna. that's what was looked for and that's what they found. >> they didn't look for fingerprints? >> i don't know. >> i would imagine it would be an important thing to know. you're alleging that he drove
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i would imagine his fingerprints would be all over the thing. >> they might have. i don't have the case file. >> reporter: according to krat s kratz, perhaps t the most damnining omission in the series, avery made three calls to hallback the day she went missing and also requested her by name to come photograph the van he was selling. >> steven of aavery did not just come upon teresa hallback by accident. he targeted her. >> if as you say avery was targeting teresa hallback, why would he call and specifically request her? wouldn't that just be a trail right back to him? >> he believed, at least my theory is, that using a different name and a different phone number was good enough. >> that would require him to be pretty stupid. >> okay. >> reporter: we ran kratz's complaints by the filmmaker. >> his argument that is you left
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and that in the end, it was pro-steven avery misrepresentation. >> i disagree. >> it would be impossible for us to include all of the evidence that was presented at trial. that's called a trial. what we made was a documentary. kratz himself later said that he presented a circumstantial forensic science case and that's what we tried to show in the documentary. he did not have direct evidence of steven avy's guilt. i'm sure if he did he would have used it. >> reporter: sometimes lost in the uproar over the avery case, that he was not the only one convicted for the murder of teresa hallback. his 16-year-old nephew was also sent to prisison, in part because of wt he told police. >> who shot her in the head? >> he did. >> why didn'you tell us that? >> i couldn't think of it. >> reporter: was this admission coerced? the controversial confession up next. and the surprising twist that
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be honest. you went back into that room. we know you were back there. >> reporter: for some viewers of the netflix documentary series "making a murderer" this is the most infuriating part of the story. >> brandon, were you there when this happened? >> no. >> okay. was she dead there then or not? >> yeah. >> how do you know that? >> rorter: brandon dacey, steven avery's 16-year-old nephew then, admitting he helped his uncle kill teresa halbach. >> tell me where he shot her. >> like in the head and in the belly and stomach.
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video shows dacey, who has a low iq, being manipulated into giving a false confession. >> looking at the interrogation tape of brendan dacey, what leaps out to you? >> cognitively impaired, naive young man, led by intelligent, well-trained adults, using a manipulative set of techniques to try to get him to reveal details or adopt a storyline. suggested to hihim. >> am ioing to be at school before school ends? >> probably not. >> reporter: but the judge ruled that the confession was given freely and willingly so it was allowed into evidence during dacey's trial. >> you feel cfident what we're seeing is a legitimate confession? >> yes, i would invite any of your viewers to read the entire transcript. and before again buying what is spoonfed them. >> reporter: even though furg during his trial brandon said he made it all up, he was sentenced
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>> we the jury find the defendant brendan r. dayec guilty -- >> reporter: while so many people across the country are be obsess with this story. >> how many times have you been here? >> three. >> reporter: this woman has ken it to the nt level. >> they're okay letting you rummage through the file? >> yes, you havave to makapoint. >> mcbride has become a sort of freelance gumshoe. >> there's so much more that didn't even get through the funnel of the documentary. >> reporter: combing through the court documents herself. she drove us around mishicot, wisconsin. >> the closer you g to the area where the averys actually live, theore likely people are to say, we're certain they're guilty. >> people did not want to speak to us on camera about this case. andd i feel sorry for teresa halbach's family who have to
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the real victim here is almost forgotten in the media hype. >> reporter: a sentiment we heard echoed when we visited man eded manitowoc's county sheriff. >> a decade later you have no concern some of your people might have done something inappropriate with the evidence? >> no. i do not. >> zero? >> zero. >> reporter: in fact, the sheriff revealed to us that one of the deputies who found teresa halbach's key in steven avery's bedroom, then patrol sergeant colburn, now has a new position. >> he handles our evidence here and our investigative division. >> reporter: here's how former aver defense attorney dean strang responded when weold him what we'd heard. perhaps the strangestwist in this whole saga is three years after the trial, prosecutor ken kratz became embroiled in scandal.
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a third woman saying he sent inappropriate messages. >> reporter: he pled no contest ter the associated press unearthed racy texts kratz had sent to a domestic violence abuse victim. >> i hope to regain the trust of the crime victims community. >> reporter: he says his dependency. >> being the center of attention for 18 months every day, being in the limelight. i started medicating. >> reporter: he lost his wife and his job. but now, five years later, he says he is sober and running a business as a defense attorney. although he says his business has now dried up because of the bad publicity from "making a murderer." >> if this costs me my private law practice, i'll take that trade. because i know i did the right thing. >> reporter: kratz macy be embattled but prominent voices are coming to his side including nancy grace. >> steven avery is the killer.
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the overelming evidence, is left out of the netflix documentary. >> jimmy: steven avery and brendan are fighting back hard. avery has a new attorney with a history of freeing the wrongly convicted. dacey is waiting on a dececision from a federal judge that could allow a newew trial. it's easy to walkkaway from the documentary thinking they may not have done it. >> i think i had a good life before all the trouble started. >> reporter: but the more time i spent on the ground in wisconsin with people like jessica mcbride -- >> should we go to the high school where brendan went to school? >> reporter: the more is. whatever conclusion you land on, you really have to ge comfortable with some very uncomfortable facts. for example, if he did it -- >> you have to swallow the fact that everything was going right in his life and yet at the moment he was about to successfully sue law enforcement, was going to do something that would bring the full weight of law enforcement down upon him? >> i agree with thatat. so what the documentary did is
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facts that are weird for the law enforcement authorities. and i think they're legitimate estions. >> reporter: in the end, i left wisconsin more confused than when i arrived. >> does any part of you suspect that he may, in fact, be guilty? >> a big part of me worries that he might be guilty. and even bigger part of me says, you know, if c convictin people on maybe's or possibly's was how the e system worked, that's great, we could slap each other on the back and go out for a beer. but that's not how the system's supposed to work. >> reporter: in the end avery's former defense attorney and the makers of "making a murderer" say this case may remain a mystery. and a bitterly contested mystery at that. we should say that we reached out to the hallbach family for mment about "making a murderer" and they declined. they told our local station "we are saddened to learn that individuals and corporations continue to create entertainment and to seek profits from our
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coming up on "ninightline, a different kind of controversy, the uproar over race and the oscars. what will smith and spike lee are telling abc news tonight. "beth" by kiss beth, i hear you calling... but i can't come home right now... me and the boys are playing... ... all night text beth, what can i do... [siri:] message. pick up milk. oh, right. milk. introducing the newly redesigned passat. from volkswagen. (ray) i'd like to see more of the old lady. d like to see her go back to her more y you know social side. (vo) pro plan bright mind promotes alertness and mental sharpness in dogs 7 and older. (ray) it was shocking.
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finally tonight we're going to hear from two of hollywood's biggest stars about a
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here's my "nightline" coanchor juju chang. >> there's a regressive slide toward separatism, towards racial and religious disharmony. that's not the hollywood that i want to leave behind. >> reporter: hollywood heavyweight will smith speaking out as stars across tinseltown lambast the monochromatic class of oscar nominees for a second year. >> talent is everywhereut opportunity isn't. >> reporter: many thought idris elba deserved an oscar nod for his role. >> in my opinion haven't done enough to nurture a talent -- >> reporter: george clooneyon for "syriana," speaking out in supportf diveity. i think african-americans have a real fair poin that the industry isn't representing them well enough. >> every ten years, we get lucky. then when it happens, thehe
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turned around, look howuch we've made progress. then a drought for n nine years. >> reporter: director spike lee says even though he's skipping the glittery night in protest he's not calling for boycott. he believes the problem goes deeper than awards shows. >> we're not in the room in these green light meetings. unl that happens, we'll continue to have these stories about the lack of diversity at the oscars. >> reporter: and yet lee says the message transcends hollywood. >> you're going to make more money if your product and your workforce reflects the diversity of this great country. let's go to the bottom line. if you don't change, you're going to lose money. >> reporter: for "nightline" i'm juju chang in new york. >> we'll see more of juju's interview with spike lee in a few weeks talking about his new documentary "michael jackson's journey from motown to off the wall." tune into gma tomorro for the full exclusive interview with
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as always we're online on our "nightline" facebook page and abcnews.com. thank you for watching. the "insider" from hollywood. your 24/7 celebrity conversation i feel it's important for me to share that i have ms. >> the tr behind her personal strugg newlywed jamie-lynn sigler opens up about he multiple sclerosis diagnosis. >> i didn't feel sick. >> inside the soprano daughter's secret 15-year battle. >> then sarah gives trum a thumbs up. >> no more pussyfooting around. you deserve the best. >> does trump now have the
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