Now, the feisty lawyer has set her sights on freeing Steven Avery – one of the most talked about convicted murderers in the world – and the man at the centre of Netflix’s Making a Murderer – after discovering 'explosive' new evidence.
Steven was convicted of the murder of photographer Teresa Halbach in 2007 – and when we last saw him in the finale of series one in December 2015, he was sentenced to life imprisonment with no parole.
Series two has now dropped on Netflix and shines a light on what happened post-trial.
Lawyer Kathleen is at the forefront of fighting for justice for Steven, whom she believes has been wrongly accused.
Kathleen claims she has an "air-tight" alibi for Steven on the night of the 2005 murder in Wisconsin, and has taken to social media to condemn anyone who stands in her way – blasting the State for "failing miserably" to find her "real" killer.
She shamelessly antagonises the Manitowoc Police, labelling them "lab rats" and accusing them of framing her client by tampering with evidence.
Kathleen refers to herself as a "justice fighter" and has overturned more than 20 wrongful convictions.
So could the second series see her make that total 21?
She's solved more murders than homicide detectives
A force to be reckoned with, she wears leather and drives a 4×4 before swapping for sharp suits in the courtroom, and warns any potential clients that if they are guilty “I will find out”.
The case garnered worldwide attention as viewers were torn over theories of wrongful convictions, police corruption, and the tampering of evidence.
A White House petition to pardon Avery, protests outside the county’s courthouse, and a Change.org notion with over half a million signatures peaked the attention of Kathleen.
Kathleen and her justice fighting team, based in Chicago, have famously won pay outs in millions for their clients and aren’t afraid to take on what she calls "institutionalised evil" in sectors such as the State and the police force.
With a history of overturning cases which have resulted in the conviction of the "real" murderer, Kathleen says: “I’ve probably solved way more murder cases than most homicide detectives.”
Avery and his 16-year-old nephew Brendan Dassey were accused of raping and murdering 25-year old photographer Teresa Halbach when she came to Stephen’s family scrapyard in Manitowoc County in Wisconsin, to photograph a car he wanted to sell for Auto Trader.
Framing a killer?
Bone fragments were found in a fire pit on the property and Avery’s DNA was found on Teresa’s car – the key to which was also found in his trailer days later.
Yet the documentary cast considerable doubt over the evidence used to convict Avery and Dassey, and questions arose as to whether Manitowoc County Police were so desperate to find a killer that the wrong men were framed.
Other strands of the cover-up theory suggest the police had a vendetta against Avery – his conviction for a 1985 sexual assault and murder was overturned in 2003, after he'd already spent 18 years in prison.
In this series we'll see how Kathleen filed a 1,272 page document – a "tsunami of new information" – to Manitowoc County in June 2017, claiming that the real killer is Teresa’s ex-boyfriend.
She says that he had visible injuries to his hands, including fingernail scratches, and gave a false name to authorities.
The retrial request was turned down in October, but Kathleen filed an amended petition and is still fighting for his release.
The lawyer told The Times she now has a new suspect, and revealed that there is evidence to support that Teresa made two phone calls to a man who had recently been convicted of two sexual assaults in Arizona before her murder.
In June, Dassey’s conviction was overturned due to the claims he was ‘coerced’ into a confession, but after a granted appeal by Manitowoc County, he remains in prison awaiting a final decision.
Taunting police officers and teasing new evidence
Since taking on Avery’s case in 2016, Kathleen has taken advantage of the public interest in his ongoing fight for freedom and has used Twitter to drop bombshells and tease new findings.
Her profile describes her as “representing Stephen Avery and dozens of wrongfully convicted” and earlier this month, she revealed Steven’s case was to be reviewed by 10 other judges.
“If he is not freed, we will file again. Never going to end until he is free,” she tweeted.
Kathleen also goes as far as to implicate "bad cops", referring to them as "lab rats" for planting evidence in one post and accusing them of framing Avery.
She adds: “It’s not the science, it’s WHO is doing the science” that must be exposed in every wrongful conviction case. #labrats #forensicfraudsmakingamurderer.”
It doesn’t end there, as the sharp-tongued attorney also blasts the State for “failing miserably” in finding the real killer, and tells the “sceptics, doubters and haters”: “We are really going to make you mad”.
Her regular hastags include “#onestepahead” and “notsmartenough” as she riles her opposition ahead of court room appearances.
Freedom fighter for all walks of life
But the proof is in the pudding, and Kathleen, who has been working in law for 26 years, has overturned more guilty convictions than any other US private law firm.
The cases she takes on are often very sensitive in nature.
In 2010, she overturned the conviction of Kevin Fox for the murder of his three-year-old daughter Riley after finding new saliva evidence.
He was freed after eight weeks in prison and awarded $15.5m in payouts.
Her team also successfully sued a hospital for medical malpractice after they refused to admit a patient who then died from suicide.
Kathleen also overturned the conviction of a father who had spent 20 years in prison for the molestation of his three children.
It’s also not the first time she’s taken on the police force, after reaching as settlement with the city of Chicago, after police failed to respond in a timely manner to four 911 calls that were made by a woman before she was murdered by her husband.
The outspoken lawyer isn't afraid to criticise, and take on the legal system, either.
The list goes on.
The firm have reached settlements totalling over $108 million, and a report by News Week claimed Kathleen was so thorough that in one case, the real murderer confessed while in the stands.
One thing is clear, this is a lawyer you do not want to mess with – and right now, she’s Steven’s best chance at freedom.
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