The case of Steven Avery, the subject of Netflix’s Making a Murderer, is one of the hottest cultural and political topics of discussion. The true crime docu-series is this year’s Serial, as it examines the multiple and somewhat questionable cases for which Wisconsin resident Avery has been incarcerated. The filmmakers spent a decade shooting the documentary and they raised a lot of valid questions, all while glossing over other evidence that didn’t fit their narrative. That said, in 2016, Avery remains in jail, having been convicted of the 2005 murder of photographer Teresa Halbach. But what about the other key players in the case? What are they up to? Let’s see where they are in the here and now.
LAURA RICCIARDI AND MOIRA DEMOS
The filmmakers (and real-life partners, according to The Daily Beast) spent 10 years of their lives working on the film after discovering Avery’s plight by reading about his story in The New York Times. Currently, Ricciardi and Demos continue to vehemently promote and defend their series, which has come under fire for being unbalanced and biased towards Avery in such a way that it “forgets” the victim. Demos is vociferous on Twitter, responding and reacting to comments and questions from fans and critics of their lightning rod work.
Kratz was the Calumet County district attorney and special prosecutor appointed to the Avery case. He was also embroiled in a sexting scandal with a victim of domestic violence in 2009 and 2010. Because of that particular drama, in which he was prosecuting the victim’s ex, he was forced to resign from his post. The sexting situation effectively cast negative light on the portrayal of Kratz in the doc, despite being far removed from and having nothing to do with the Avery case. Kratz is now a criminal defense attorney, per Maxim. He works on immigration and DUI cases via his own firm in West Bend Wisconsin. He has also been doing lots of press and damage control in the wake of the documentary, which stained his rep. He speaks out to offer the side of the case that wasn’t presented in the Netflix series.
Avery was married with several children before he was shipped off to jail the first time. He was imprisoned on a rape conviction for which he was eventually exonerated. His first wife was Lori Mathieson—now Lori Dassey. Yes, that last name is familiar for a reason, but more on that shortly. Mathieson was married to Avery in 1982 and the couple split in 1988. Bustle notes she now lives in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. Now about her curious last name? It’s not so curious at all. She has since remarried and is now the wife of Brendan Dassey’s father Peter Dassey. Yes, that Brendan Dassey, who was convicted of Halbach’s murder alongside his uncle Steven Avery, despite an unsettling and obviously coerced confession. So Mathieson is still a part of the Avery family, according to Milwaukee Magazine. What a tangled web.
STEVEN AVERY’S CHILDREN, LIKE HIS SON BILL
Before his first jail stint, Avery and then-wife Mathieson had four kids: Rachel, Jenny, and twin sons Steven Jr. and William. The pair also raised her son Jason. We haven’t heard too much about his offspring and that’s not an accident. Avery’s children are reportedly quite private and don’t have much contact with their natural father, according to The Post Crescent. However, the lack of contact doesn’t mean they believe in his guilt. In a news segment and interview with WLUK from 2009, Avery’s lookalike son Bill (pictured) was 10 days old when his father was shipped off to jail. He has a few memories of visiting his father in prison but that’s about it. The twins both eventually enlisted in the Army, each serving tours of duty in Iraq. Both were out of the country during the Halbach trial. Bill believes in Avery’s innocence and does think his dad was framed. But he also said he is used to not having a father figure in his life, since you can’t miss what you don’t know and never had. The report notes that one of his sisters does maintain contact with Avery.
Stachowski and Avery were in a two-year relationship and were “engaged” before he was arrested for Halbach’s murder. She was actually in jail when he was arrested. They eventually split and she has now gone on record to reveal that she believes her ex-fiance is guilty of killing Halbach. She resurfaced and did an in-depth interview with HLN, saying that her ex was abusive, that he beat her, and that he once threatened to throw a blowdryer in the bathtub while she was in it. Stachowski also said that she once ate rat poison in order to escape Avery’s clutches and revealed his preference for kinky stuff, noting that he once tied her to a bed. Bustle reports that Stachowski now lives in Appleton, Wisconsin and that she has had an extensive rap sheet through the years.
Mike Halbach was the family’s spokesman when his sister was murdered back in 2005. He was vocal and visible. He works for the Green Bay Packers and has been employed by the team since 2005, according to Bustle. He works in the information and technology arms of the team’s operations. He is married to a woman named Stephanie and they have three sons, as well. The family did not participate in the documentary, so there isn’t too much information out there about the other surviving members.