Making A Murderer: Six Theories On What Really Happened To Teresa Halbach

Making A Murderer Title Scene

Image Source: Netflix

Since the debut of Netflix’s docudrama Making A Murderer, the Internet has been abuzz with theories about the murder of Teresa Halbach that would support Steven Avery’s innocence. The release of case information not presented in the documentary, combined with what was revealed throughout the show, has become fodder for couch detectives everywhere. Below are the six sets of theories from Making A Murderer currently gaining traction:

Scott Tadych & Bobby Dassey

Scott Tadych

Image Source: Netflix

This theory alleges that Scott Tadych, step-father of the Dassey boys, and Bobby Dassey, nephew of Steven Avery, worked together to kidnap, rape, and murder Teresa Halbach as she was leaving the Avery property on October 31st.

By framing Steven Avery — their relative with a criminal past — theorists claim the pair would have had ample reason to think they’d get away with it. But questions emerged during the trial after it was discovered that they served as each others’ alibis and that there had been no formal investigation into either of their whereabouts on the night Halbach was murdered.

In court transcripts from Dassey’s cross-examination, Dassey and Tadych lay out the events of that evening as they recall them — events which were, at times, not in line with what they had originally told police.

As he recalled the series of events, Bobby Dassey remembered having a conversation on November 3rd with his friend Mike about Teresa’s disappearance. This was corroborated by the claim that they were together in order to tag and skin a deer they’d found on the side of the road.

Dassey claims Avery came into the garage and allegedly made a joke about the discovery of a body that turned out to be Teresa Halbach’s. Avery said, “want to help me get rid of a body?” According to Dassey, it was “clearly a joke” and they both laughed. Avery continued by implying that “people go missing all the time.” Dassey testified that the police never asked him about these jokes in the garage that night.

He then testified that on October 31st, he left for his hunting site at around 2:45 PM, at which time he no longer saw Teresa and Avery in the yard. Previously, he’d seen them milling about outside in the yard through his kitchen window. Being only mid-afternoon, it seemed a bit early to go out hunting deer (who are generally most active at dusk) but he maintained that he and his step-father would go early to set up, so as not to spook their quarry. When he left, he testified that he did not hear any screaming or cries for help from the Avery property.

However, the timeline established by Dassey was not congruent with placing Teresa on the Avery property at 3:30-3:40, which was established by a school bus driver who had driven by the property. The bus driver’s schedule did not deviate and thus, it was far more likely that her time was the correct one. Dassey departed on his hunting trip shortly thereafter.

Tadych was returning from a brief hunting trip himself. Neither had told the other of their hunting plans, but Tadych said that Dassey would have known he was hunting because he was wearing camo.

Tadych testified that when he saw Dassey on Route 147, they would have been traveling at about 55 miles per hour. If this was true, the speed would have made it relatively difficult to make out who was driving the vehicle, let alone what the driver was wearing.

That night around 11 PM, there was a bonfire on Avery’s property, reported by Bobby’s brother Brendan (who was coming home from trick or treating) and by Tadych, who was returning with Dassey’s mother from visiting Tadych’s mother in the hospital.

Later, the remains of Teresa Halbach’s camera and phone were found burnt in a barrel on Avery’s property. Throughout the trial, both Scott and Bobby were extremely hostile toward Avery and seemed overjoyed when he was brought to trial, saying that he’d “got what was coming to him.”

Abby Norman
Abby Norman is a writer based in New England, currently writing a memoir for Nation Books. Her work has been featured on The Rumpus, The Independent, Cosmopolitan, Medium, Seventeen, Romper, Bustle, and Quartz.
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