The 10-part Netflix series Making a Murderer is the latest entry in America’s newfound obsession with serialized true crime storytelling, coming on the heels of the hugely popular podcast Serial and HBO’s The Jinx. In each case the show ends but the story continues – and questions persist.
Filmed over a decade, the docu-series follows the strange case of Steven Avery, a Wisconsin man exonerated after spending 18 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, only to be arrested and ultimately convicted of a murder for which he also maintains his innocence.
There are, of course, some major questions that people have been asking since the show first started streaming in mid-December: Why did it take so long to find the RAV4 key and the bullet? Why was anyone from Manitowoc law enforcement even allowed on the site that late in the investigation? Here are some other questions we have – some smaller, some bigger, all perplexing (spoilers galore).
1. Who the hell is the international recording artist who was released from the jury?
Richard Mahler, listed in the documentary as an “international recording artist,” is actually just a local dude with a local band, according to TMZ. Mahler’s outfit, the Rick Raybine Band, played the National Anthem at a NASCAR event once; as for how he got the label, Mahler told the site that a reporter described him that way once and it just stuck. Mahler was ultimately dismissed from the jury for a family emergency after he sat in deliberations for four hours.
2. What went on with the jury deliberations?
The much more interesting part about Mahler is his new allegation that two fellow jurors were related to officials in Manitowoc County, where Avery was initially wrongfully convicted. Once the trial was over, Mahler discovered, “[one juror] was the father of a Manitowoc County Sheriff’s deputy,” and that “another juror, his wife works for the Manitowoc County Clerk’s Office,” according to an interview he gave to People.
Maybe that’s what defense attorney Jerry Buting was getting at in the final episode, when he made a comment about unanswered questions that he had about jury deliberations. After all, according to Mahler, the original count was that only three jurors were convinced Avery was guilty. In an interview with the Today show, filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos said a juror contacted them after the series aired and claimed his or her decision to vote guilty was made under duress. “The person lived in the county, feared for their safety, and also said, ‘If they could frame Steven Avery, they could do it to me,'” Ricciardi said in a follow up interview with Time.