Making a Murderer Part 2’s revelations about Bobby Dassey were perhaps the series’ most explosive. While we know all the latest news from Brendan Dassey, what about his brother?
The new episodes have introduced a wave – heck, a tsunami – of new evidence in Steven Avery’s case, as his post-conviction attorney Kathleen Zellner bulldozed her way expertly through his appeals process. But we’re certain that viewers are going to be left with a lot of questions for Bobby Dassey and his immediate family.
Zellner has a legal right to explore other persons of interest and to raise the possibility of other culprits; known as Denny suspects, any names put forward must adhere to the stipulations set out in an ’84 case heard in the Court of Appeals of Wisconsin. An attorney must show motive, opportunity and evidence that connects that particular subject to the crime.
Having taken on Avery’s case in 2016, Zellner made it very clear from the start that she would be following the evidence, and the science, wherever it took her. And it lead her right to Bobby.
We were first introduced to him during Part 1 of the Netflix series; he was called as a key witness in Avery’s trial, testifying for the prosecution. Bobby asserted that he had witnessed Teresa Halbach arrive on the Avery property, where he saw her taking photographs.
Bobby then claimed that he had seen Halbach “walking over” to Avery’s trailer, and that he did not see her leave the property. Zellner has now claimed that he lied on the stand, and Avery’s lawyer has an affidavit from another witness who undermines the version of events that Bobby told at trial.
This witness is none other than Bryan Dassey, Bobby’s brother, and he claims that Bobby told him that he had, in fact, seen Teresa leave Avery’s salvage yard after finishing her photography job.
“I distinctly remember Bobby telling me, ‘Steven could not have killed her because I saw her leave the property on October 31, 2005,'” the statement reads. Bryan has said this consistently since 2005, which is when Teresa went missing, but neither the prosecution or the defence called him to testify at Avery’s trial.
You might think that this evidence alone justifies suspicion of Bobby, but it was about to get a whole lot murkier. In episode eight, Zellner revealed that her law team had access to evidence from the hard drive of Bobby’s computer. They reinterviewed him, and her investigators said that Dassey became “unbelievably rattled” when they mentioned evidence obtained from the computer in his bedroom.
This isn’t exactly new information. The police had a search warrant and actually seized the computer back in 2006. Lead investigator Tom Fassbender transferred it to Detective Mike Velie for forensic examination.
Paperwork from the results of this testing was shared within Part 2 of the documentary, and it detailed the disturbing and violent pornographic imagery and search history found.
This incriminating information was not turned over to Avery’s defence team. Instead it appears that prosecutor Ken Kratz went to some length to “hide” it, mis-labelling the drive as Brendan’s. Fassbender still had the CD containing the findings.
The report would have greatly assisted the defence in Avery’s trial, offering a way for them to discredit the prosecution’s star witness while also providing a Denny suspect.
In light of this evidence, many have been questioning whether Bobby Dassey has been arrested or imprisoned for the contents of the computer. Responding to this on Twitter, Zellner has confirmed that (at the point of writing) “no legal action has been taken”.
Further to this, when asked whether or not Bobby had committed a crime in itself by viewing or downloading the contents in question, the attorney said: “I do not have any evidence that it has been reported by law enforcement or the prosecution.”
It is worth noting at this point that the Dassey computer was in the family home, although Zellner argues that “we know on the dates that we isolated in our filings that only Bobby Dassey was home”. Yet he was never treated as a suspect in the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach.
Bobby has not addressed these new allegations, and he has been listed among the names of those that refused to take part in Making a Murderer 2.
Making a Murderer Part 1 and Part 2 are now streaming on Netflix.
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