Anonymous gets involved in Steven Avery case, claiming police corruption
It is well known that the online hacktivist group, Anonymous takes sides against the police brutality. This time it has chose to side with Steven Avery who the police say murdered 25-year-old photographer Teresa Halbach Anonymous says it has evidence that could exonerate Steven Avery, the star of a recently released Netflix documentary series called “Making a Murderer.” It said it would get involved in the legal dispute between the Manitowoc County Sheriff Department and Steven Avery to reveal police corruption.
Steven Avery, was accused and sent to prison in 1985 for the rape of a Manitowoc (Wisconsin) woman, Penny Beerntsen. He served 18 years in jail and was released in 2003, the same year when he was exonerated for his crime, following DNA analysis.
In 1985, Avery was charged with the sexual assault and rape of Manitowoc (Wisconsin) woman, Penny Beerntsen, and was sentenced to 32 years in prison for the rape as well as other alleged crimes. After a number of unsuccessful appeals and a petition for DNA testing, attorneys from the Wisconsin Innocence Project, which seeks to exonerate innocent prisoners, obtained a court order that allowed a state crime laboratory to perform DNA testing on hairs found on Beerntsen at the crime scene. Avery was exonerated in 2003 following DNA analysis after spending 18 years in jail, as the evidence linked the hairs to convicted felon Gregory Allen.
Two years later, Avery filed a $36 million civil suit against Manitowoc County, accusing the Sherrif’s Department of finding and not releasing evidence that would have released him from jail years earlier.
However, when Avery in midst of the lawsuit against the county, he was arrested for a new crime: the murder of a woman named Teresa Halbach, a photographer for Auto Trader Magazine. Halbach, who reportedly scheduled a meeting with Avery to photograph a car at his family’s auto salvage yard on Halloween of 2005, disappeared that day. Less than two weeks later, Avery was charged with the photographer’s murder. Though Avery claimed that police were trying to frame him, he was found guilty of Halbach’s murder in 2007 and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of early release.
The series provides viewers with plenty of reasons to believe Avery was indeed Halbach’s murderer. Avery could have very well been the last person to see Halbach. When Halbach failed to return home, a search began which led to Avery’s family property. Shortly afterwards, police found bone fragments, teeth, a camera and mobile phone pieces in a burn pit near Avery’s trailer. They were later confirmed to be Halbach’s. Authorities also found Avery’s blood inside Halbach’s car, along with Ms Halbach’s. Also, Avery’s DNA was found on her car keys and Halbach’s DNA was discovered on bullet fragment found in Avery’s garage.
Avery’s nephew, Brendan Dassey who was also found guilty of intentional homicide for Halbach’s death, confessed to helping Avery commit the murder.
The Sheriff’s Department Sergeant Andrew Colborn and Sheriff’s Department Lieutenant James Lenk, two of the people involved in the murder investigation and responsible for finding crucial evidence, were also two of the people named in the civil lawsuit.
In 2007, both Avery and his nephew were sentenced to life in prison without parole.
On December 18, Netflix released a ten-episode documentary called “Making a Murderer,” which investigated all of Mr. Avery’s crimes don’t shy away from suggesting that there is validity to Avery’s protestation of a plot by law enforcement to frame him.
Some members of the Anonymous group announced their intentions to investigate the case following the uproar created by the documentary, but by using some non-standard methods.
Using the new Twitter account @OPAveryDassey, the group promised to release evidence on Tuesday that shows that two Manitowoc County, Wisconsin Police officers, Andrew Colborn and James Lenk, were conspiring in the case against Avery and his cousin Brendan Dassey. Anonymous gave police 48 hours to release phone records between Colborn and Lenk and an evidence list that would show the officers’ behaviour at the time of the investigation.
Anonymous went ahead and released Officer Lenk’s personal email address to the public when the phone records weren’t released by the police.
The group still had not released the phone records or emails they claim will exonerate Avery.
The documents are now set to be released on December 30 on the @OpAveryDassey Twitter account.