‘Making a Murderer’ lawyer offers $100K reward to catch ‘real’ killer of Teresa Halbach

Steven Avery looks around a courtroom in the Calumet County Courthouse before the verdict was read in his trial, March 18, 2007, in Chilton, Wis. AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps

A lawyer for Steven Avery, the subject of the Netflix documentary Making a Murderer, has announced a US$100,000 reward to catch the “real” killer of Teresa Halbach.

Avery, 57, and his nephew Brendan Dassey, 29, are currently serving life sentences in prison for the 2005 murder of Halbach, a photographer in Wisconsin. They were convicted of first-degree murder at trial in 2007, without the possibility for parole.

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The Netflix series about Avery spreads doubt about the convictions and accuses investigators of planting evidence and manipulating the outcome of the trial. Avery previously spent 18 years behind bars for a sexual assault he did not commit. He was freed after new DNA evidence came to light in 2003.

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Avery and his legal team argue he was set up to take the fall for Halbach’s death, but their attempts to get the conviction overturned or re-tried have failed.

Avery’s lawyer, Kathleen Zellner, says a “private individual” is offering the $100,000 reward for evidence that convicts someone else of Halbach’s murder. Zellner has been on the case for years and has proposed numerous alternative theories about who killed Halbach.

She says the reward has nothing to do with an appeal hearing Avery has scheduled for Oct. 10.

Zellner sought a new trial for Avery last month, when she argued that investigators had mishandled bone evidence. A judge denied her request. Dassey was moved to a less secure facility in April. His lawyers have argued for years that investigators coerced him into a confession when he was 16.

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READ MORE: Steven Avery of ‘Making a Murder’ loses bid for new trial in death of photographer

The two cases against Avery are the subject of Making a Murderer, a hit documentary series that debuted in 2015 on Netflix. The series won many people over with its skeptical approach to the cases against Avery. A sequel series, Making a Murderer 2, followed up on Avery and Dassey’s respective legal battles.

Halbach’s burned remains were found in Avery’s family salvage yard in Manitowoc County, Wis., in 2015.

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