Jerry Buting, one of the lawyers who defended Steven Avery in the 2007 murder trial chronicled in Netflix’s Making a Murderer docuseries, welcomes the findings of Internet sleuths who are interested in the case. “We were only two minds,” he tells Rolling Stone, referring to himself and fellow defense attorney Dean Strang. “What I’m discovering is that a million minds are better than two. Some of these people online have found things with a screen shot of a picture that we missed.”
One thing web users uncovered that surprised Buting was a photo of victim Teresa Halbach with a keychain that had many keys on it. In the investigation of Halbach’s murder, police had found the key to the woman’s vehicle in Avery’s bedroom – but it was only one key on a fob, and the comparison to the photo could have strengthened the case that someone had planted the single key there.
“I’ve looked at that picture a thousand times,” Buting says. “Those other keys were never recovered. Instead we found this single key. Now we did challenge that, how unusual it was for her to be walking around with one key, but I don’t think I caught the fact that there was a photograph showing that what she really carried around was a bunch of keys, and none of those keys were ever found.”
The lawyer hopes Avery could get a new trial, should sufficient evidence be found. “These kinds of new facts that a million minds have collectively come up with might be addressed and presented to a new jury,” he says.