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‘Making a Murderer’ case: Emails blasting Manitowoc County police released

Steven Avery of 'Making a Murderer' is led into prison. Netflix

Netflix’s Making a Murderer is a pretty rare TV phenomenon. People around the world streamed the docuseries about Wisconsin native Steven Avery, and found themselves emotionally invested in the case.

So much so that the Manitowoc County police received countless emails from viewers near and far, chastising the police’s alleged mishandling of evidence and framing of Avery. Among other complaints in the emails, cops were mostly accused of being corrupt; there are several excerpts below.

READ MORE: Steven Avery’s lawyer: We have a new suspect in Teresa Halbach murder

Avery is currently serving a life sentence (without the possibility for parole) for the murder of Teresa Halbach and illegally possessing a firearm. Avery, who had previously been jailed for 18 years for a sexual assault in 1985, was exonerated in that case by newly discovered DNA evidence in 2003.

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Two years later, Avery brought a US$36-million lawsuit against Manitowoc County, Wis., for the wrongful conviction. Making a Murderer calls into question the investigation and trial that put Avery and his nephew, Brendan Dassey, behind bars, and alleges the investigators and police in the case planted evidence and otherwise manipulated the outcome of the trial.

READ MORE: Steven Avery case: New information questions if bones found were Teresa Halbach’s

The emails, which were released to USA Today under a U.S. public records request, show how strongly the worldwide public feels about the case. Much of the vitriol is directed at Manitowoc County Sheriff Rob Hermann.

A Wisconsin resident stated that they’re ashamed to be from the state after watching Making a Murderer.

“Your entire sheriff dept are the ones who should be tossed in jail … it makes me ashamed to be from Wisconsin and you can bet I won’t be in a hurry to ever drive past your cesspool of evil. Ever … God will deal with everyone who had a hand in this mess, you can be sure of that.”

WATCH: Steven Avery’s lawyer says case has “hallmarks of a wrongful conviction”
Click to play video: 'Steven Avery’s new lawyer says case has ‘hallmarks of a wrongful conviction’' Steven Avery’s new lawyer says case has ‘hallmarks of a wrongful conviction’
Steven Avery’s new lawyer says case has ‘hallmarks of a wrongful conviction’ – Feb 23, 2016

Others claimed Avery was innocent and framed for the murder.

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“Tell me please, what has Steve Avery done to this community that he deserved to be set up for murder? All evidence points towards the incompetence of your department.”

Some told the sheriff’s department to “rot in hell,” prompting Manitowoc County Board Chairman Jim Brey to send an email asking for support for the police.

“Some of the emails, in my opinion, have been borderline threatening,” wrote Brey. “Not to myself but to members of our law enforcement community. I have never been a big paranoid person… but after one of the emails I received contained the line and I quote ‘ROT IN HELL FOR ALL ETERNITY YOU EVIL BASTARD!’ I felt that at the very least, the Sheriff’s Department should place these on file in case something shows up later.”

READ MORE: Steven Avery case: Blood evidence “not properly protected” by cops, says expert

This almost came to fruition when a bomb threat was called in to the Manitowoc Police offices.

Ultimately, there were no bombs, but Manitowoc County assistant district attorney Michael Griesbach said that in early 2016 the sheriff’s department was receiving multiple threats on a daily basis.

READ MORE: Ex-detective says Steven Avery was framed, serial killer responsible for Teresa Halbach death

Here are more samples of the emails sent to the department:

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  • “I would be fearful to ever take my family on a trip and stop in your county to even get fuel. I’d run the grave risk of being arrested for arson and armed robbery before my tank was filled with gasoline. According to social media, people all across America feel the same way. How sad for your county’s image. I truly feel sorry for the residents of your county who will be judged according to the actions of a few.”
  • “You should be ashamed of yourself and the crooked department you run. The injustice that Steven Avery experienced during the murder trial of Teresa Halbach is INSANE! Your department is a JOKE. Your entire county is FILLED with white trash idiots and you have the audacity to bully and pick on him all this after falsely imprisoning him for 18 of his prime years of his life. God Bless his mother and father who have had to live through this … I would NEVER EVER visit your town in fear that if I were to run a stop sign, you would have me arrested on a murder charge. Shame on you.”
  • “I know you keep defending your crime mob department saying that people don’t know all the facts and by discrediting the documentary, but whether he is guilty or not, how in the hell do you and your mobsters sleep at night?… Your office might be the most corrupt organization in North America now that El Chapo has been captured. You and your department are the very reason that great officers and departments throughout our country are losing respect and trust from the American people.”
  • “As the father of a Down syndrome age 16 daughter, I know how easy it is to manipulate a mentally challenged person by promising what they want at a precise moment. Regardless of guilt or innocence, what your office did to manipulate that young man’s testimony in the Avery case was repulsive and I would suspect unconstitutional. That will be determined in federal court, I hope … Hopefully you run a more honest and transparent ship than did the prior sheriff.”
  • “I am sure that after you are all exposed, you will not feel any regret for putting an innocent man in prison for the majority of his life; I am sure the only regret you will feel is that of being caught. But I hope that one day you will perhaps feel the embarrassment and shame that your families will feel and then maybe you will begin to understand that what you do has an [effect] on others.”
  • “The actions towards the Avery family by the Manitowac [sic] Sheriff’s Department are among the most deplorable examples I have seen of pure evilness in human society … I hope you are aware that a growing portion of this country, if not this planet, is under the opinion that your department is corrupt and a great shame to the American people, our government and our Constitution.”

(To read more emails, you can head on over to USA Today‘s Post-Crescent publication.)

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