Thursday, March 16, 2017

Avery by Ken Kratz

Full disclosure time: I've never had the chance to watch Making a Murderer. I have heard that it exposes the injustices of the justice system, but I don't have Netflix so I never did get around to watching it. And if we're talking about true-crime, I ended Serial thinking that Adnan Syed was guilty, and after looking at the full case files, felt even more certain that he was.

So I thought this book would be interesting, to see how 'the other side' explains itself. And since I've already heard about the injustice of the system, I read with an eye out for that sort of thing.

Avery is a surprisingly gripping and readable account of the Theresa Halbach case. And if even half of what the book says it's true, then the Making a Murderer people are committing an injustice by trying to get a guilty man out.

What makes me doubt Steven Avery's innocence is the fact that his own defence (and the Making a Murderer team) has to bend over backwards to make him seem innocent.

That cat incident? Avery chased down the cat, doused it in oil and threw it into a fire. That is clearly not goofing around.

His ex-wives talks about his abusiveness, and one called him a monster (claims are corroborated by an article in The Rolling Stone)

And the show itself splices courtroom video together in a way that changes the meaning of the conversation entirely. Lines are cut, to the extent that a "yes" becomes a reply to a question that was left out, rather than the question in the video.

That, I think, is very problematic.

As for the justice system part, I am inclined to take Ken Kratz at his word because of how honest about his sexting scandal he is, and the remorse he feels.

Plus, I also agree that framing Avery requires a ridiculous amount of effort and hatred would be needed, and that the cops that were involved (who were only involved because they weren't involved in the previous case and because of a lack of manpower) had no reason to have so personal and deep a grudge.

The writing in this book is enjoyable and engaging, though overly emotional at times. And while most of the book was spent on the claims and evidence against Avery, I appreciate the fact that the book starts with a portrait of Theresa, to remind everyone just who the real victim was in this case.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

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