Because the documentary contains seemingly corrupt authority figures, potentially planted evidence, and an arguably coerced confession, many viewers are not convinced that Avery or his nephew Brendan Dassey are guilty of Teresa Halbach’s murder.
Petitions have even sprung up online with hundreds of thousands of people demanding the pardon of Avery and Dassey, who they believe were framed. One petition gained so many signatures it received attention from the White House.
But Jodi Stachowski, Avery’s ex-fiancée who appears in “Making a Murderer,” told HLN Senior Producer Natisha Lance in a “Nancy Grace” interview premiering Wednesday night that despite what she said in the docuseries, she now believes Avery is “not innocent.”
In a clip from the interview, Stachowski explains why she’s speaking out now:
Lance: What do you want people to know?
Stachowski: The truth.
Lance: Which is?
Stachowski: What a monster he is, and he’s not innocent.
She goes on to claim she never loved Avery and describes how she ate rat poison so she could escape his domestic abuse.
“I ate two boxes of rat poison just so I could go to the hospital and get away from him and ask them to get the police to help me,” she told Lance in the clip.
Her domestic abuse claims may have some merit. In 2004, Avery was arrested for disorderly conduct after an altercation with Stachowski, according to Milwaukee Mag, and he was ordered to stay away from her for three days and pay a $243 fine.
Lance said the “Nancy Grace” interview will have other recent accusations by Stachowski, including that Avery gave her directions to make himself look innocent and that she asked the filmmakers before “Making a Murderer” was released not to put her in the documentary.
She also said Avery threatened her in a letter.
“She showed me the letter, and actually she’s received four letters from him but this is the only one she opened,” Lance said. “She says that he was threatening her, asking her for money. She reported that letter to authorities. She called the lead investigator from his case and that lead investigator told her she needed to call law enforcement in her jurisdiction and the prison, which she did.”
Stachowski is a big part of “Making a Murderer.” She and Avery met after he was released in 2003 after spending 18 years in jail for a crime he did not commit. When Teresa Halbach was murdered in 2005 and Avery was arrested, Stachowski was in jail for a DUI. Avery called Stachowski twice for 15 minutes the day of the murder.
“I’m looking at the phone bill from October 31,” Stachowski told filmmakers in “Making a Murderer.” “I called Steven at 5:36 p.m. — supposedly when all this murder or whatever was supposedly happening. And we talked for 15 minutes, and the conversation was normal. He didn’t sound rushed or like he was doing anything. And if he was in the middle of doing something, we wouldn’t have talked for 15 minutes.”
And while Avery and Stachowski stayed together at first, their relationship ultimately ended before Avery’s trial. During one episode of the documentary, viewers learned after Stachowski was arrested for another DUI, her probation officer issued a “no contact” order between her and Avery. After she allegedly violated the no contact order by smiling at Avery in town as she passed him, Stachowski then broke up with Avery once and for all and left Manitowoc County in 2006.
According to Lance, Stachowski said “Making a Murderer” is “full of a bunch of lies.” We’ll have to wait for her interview on “Nancy Grace” to learn what Stachowski claims wasn’t true in the docuseries.
The interview will premiere Wednesday at 8 p.m. EST.
You can watch the full HLN clip here.
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