Netflix’s recent foray into true crime, Making a Murderer, has caused an enormous outcry within the past week as viewers were horrified by the blatant corruption, incompetence, injustice, and frankly, evilness, of those involved in Wisconsin’s judicial system.
Just as The Jinx detailed the failures of a system that allowed alleged murderer Robert Durst to walk free for years before filmmakers captured him in confession, and Serial delineated the deficiencies of detectives and attorneys that allowed a very possibly innocent Adnan Syed to be jailed for murder, Making a Murder is a blood-boiling glimpse into the ways in which both law enforcement and our courts utterly failed an individual.
In Manitowoc County, Steven Avery was wrongfully convicted of rape and spent 18 years in prison before DNA evidence exonerated him—the wrongful conviction was primarily a result of police bias, and after his release, Avery sued the county for $36 million. Only two years later, he was charged with the rape and murder of a photographer Teresa Halbach, but as the documentary reveals, this was no straightforward case.
There is a high likelihood of police planting evidence, tampering with evidence, engaging in unlawful questioning practices, coercing witnesses, and due to personal hatred, doing everything possible to send Steven Avery to jail. Yet it doesn’t stop there—we see morally reprehensible detectives, attorneys, prosecutors, judges, and even jury members. It’s a terrifying look into a system collapsing in on itself; what should ostensibly be checks and balances in the judicial system somehow mean nothing when you are a poor, uneducated, not particularly well-liked member of society.
One of the most egregious offenders to emerge from the documentary is District Attorney Ken Kratz. In his case for the state, he argues that Avery is to blame for Halbach’s death, announces a false, graphic, coerced confession from Avery’s nephew to news outlets as a way of causing public opinion to turn against Avery, and generally behaves reprehensibly. He was recently accused of sexting a sexual abuse victim (five other complaints of sexual harassment have emerged), which only exemplifies his personality.
Yelp reviewers took this into their own hands, posting both hilarious and pointed reviews for Kratz.
"Not sure if people where you live use Yelp much, but if they do, they are in for a treat. False confessions, framed homicides, and the occasional sext if I'm a sexually abused female.
Here, we have a winner."
"Are you a victim of a sex crime in need of some self-esteem-enhancing sexts from an older affluent (by Wisconsin standards) mustachio-ed lothario?
Are you a vindictive dirty cop who needs a charismatic prosecutor to help you put an innocent man in jail?
…If you answered "YES" to any one of these questions, then Ken Kratz is your man!"
"A horrendous example of how corrupt a police system takes advantage of the uneducated. You should be ashamed of your tainted mind and black soul, every day of your life."
Kratz maintains that there is another side to the story the documentary does not show and that he was not asked to participate (the filmmakers have stated Kratz refused requests for interviews).
At the very least, at least Yelp is doling out some form of public justice.
Banner Image Credit: Twitter, @TheWrap