Thursday, January 21, 2016

Making a Killing off a Murderer: An Analysis of the Crime and Documentary - Part Three



While not all criminals are psychopaths and not all psychopaths are criminals, certainly a good portion of criminals have personality disorders and a good portion of psychopaths commit crimes of one sort or another. But, first I want to talk about what crime is.

A crime is something that society has deemed illegal, as something you should not do because it is harmful to others or the community. Drug use is often included as a crime because it is believed to not only harm the individual, but to bring blight and crime to the neighborhood, but let's put drug use aside and talk about other crimes; drug dealing, burglary, robbery, fraud, arson, rape, and murder. These are crimes that when an individual commits such acts he has done so in a premeditated fashion, knew he was going to break the law, knew he was going to cause harm to another person, and, yet, went ahead and committed the act anyway. There are only two reasons for stepping over that line: desperation (benefit triumphs harm) and selfish desire for power and control (what I want is more important than your rights; my ego needs to fed). Desperation might be something like stealing food to feed your child or committing a theft to pay for medicine for your very ill wife. You know it is wrong but you believe committing the crime is the only way to save a life and the harm it does is minimal in comparison. A person who commits this kind of crime may not be a bad guy or have a personality disorder; he just can't think of any other way to deal with a bad situation. Sometimes a drug dealer could fit in this category if he cannot find a way to earn legitimate money and he lives in a houseful of starving siblings. If he shows up on the corner with a lot of bling and is driving a BMW, probably he is not dealing out of desperation.

And most crime is not committed out of desperation. It is committed out of selfishness. I am more important than you and I will get mine. Even shoplifting is an act of selfishness; thrill seeking or a ha-ha to big business or desiring instant gratification rather than working to earn money to then purchase what you want. When shoplifting isn't about stealing food for your family, it is about selfishness. The reason criminals are so often repeat offenders is because they LIKE committing crime. Since the majority aren't committing crimes out of desperation, they are doing it because it make them feel good, it makes them happy. And since they don't care too much that they are harming others, there is no reason for them to stop unless they feel the punishment isn't worth it. If they don't get caught or don't mind the time in jail, they will repeat offend until the punishment is severe enough to keep them off the streets forever or until they get tired of incarceration or until they become physically unable to commit crime.

So by the time you get to repeat offenders - especially violent repeat offenders - you are usually looking at psychopathy or another serious personality disorder. Serial rapists and serial killers are always psychopaths...you just can't commit that kind of heinous premeditated crime without being a psychopath.

Steven Avery, as I pointed out in the previous post, has all the traits of a psychopath. He has all the traits of a serial killer. His claims about desiring a quiet life with a good woman is a lie; he would find that boring; he needs to have a much higher level of power and control and excitement. The police were well aware of his criminal capabilities which is why he was on their radar. When the sexual assault was committed on the beach and the woman gave a description that matched Avery, it is no surprise they thought it was him.

The mistake the police made was immediately thinking it must be that guy: there is often not a shortage of violent sexual offenders in the radius of any town or city. Attacking a female jogger is a very common crime for a rapist or serial killer. In fact, the majority of serial sexual crimes involving strangers are just this sort; few actually involve kidnapping and imprisonment and torture. Hollywood tends to make people think all serial killers are deranged geniuses who plot intricate crimes but this is simply not true. Most serial killers just see an opportunity (read: woman walking or jogging alone) and jump out and brutalize her. Consequently, there isn't much that looks different from one of these crimes to the next. There is no "signature," some calling card that would point to a specific guy. Pretty much any violent sexual offender could have done the crime, so you need physical, circumstantial, or witness evidence to link him to the crime. Unfortunately, the police just went with a witness ID from the victim and used this to put Avery away. It was unfortunate for Avery that he looked enough like the guy who really did the crime to be misidentified. Since there was DNA left in the crime, if it happened today, Avery would not have been charged, but at that time, DNA was not so advanced. However, even today, the right guy might not have been charged either because the police might have no clue who he is; they might just have to put his DNA into the CODIS system and hope he was previously a felon and get a lucky hit.

Now, to the Halbach crime. I am not going to detail all of what makes Avery guilty. If you want to examine each issue in depth, here is a fabulous analysis of each and every segment of "Making a Murderer" by a non-profiler - broadcaster Dan O' Donnell.

http://www.newstalk1130.com/onair/common-sense-central-37717/rebutting-a-murderer-14280387/

What I want to do here is just point out the basic profiling and crime analysis issues relating to the Halbach crime.

1) Where victim's body is found

The body was found on Avery's property. This is why the police went to Avery and talked to him. He wasn't targeted. You have the corpse of a murdered individual on your property; you are going to become a person of interest.

2) Where the victims' vehicle is found.

That was on Avery's property as well. Again, police are not targeting Avery. They are doing their job which is to investigate where the vehicle was found and who could have put the vehicle at that location. Since it was hidden on Avery's property, he is going to become a person of interest.

3) The last place the victim was seen

That was on Avery's property. Anyone who lives on the Avery property is going to become a person of interest; this includes Steven Avery

4) The last person to have contact with the victim

That would be Steven Avery. The police are obviously going to investigate the last person who was in contact with the victim or was with the victim.

5) Where physical evidence of the crime exists

That would be in the Avery fire pit, in the Avery burn barrel, in Steven Avery's house, and in the victim's car on Avery's property. All the physical evidence implicates Steven Avery (his DNA in the car), the victim's body parts, DNA, and personal items in the firepit and barrel, and the key and his DNA in his house.

6) Witnesses

The only people that claim to have seen Teresa Halbach right before or after her disappearance are Bobby and Brendan Dassey. Bobby Dassey states he say Halbach photographing a car and then heading toward Steven Avery's house. Brendan Dassey states he saw Halbach tied up in Steven Avery's house, saw Steven Avery kill her and saw Steven Avery burn her. There are no witnesses saying they saw Teresa Halbach anywhere else or with anyone else.

So, it comes down to this. Overwhelming evidence that Steven Avery is guilty of the murder of Teresa Halbach. Unless he was framed.

Framing Steven Avery would require:

Someone knowing or getting lucky that Halbach was coming out to Avery property that day.
Someone getting lucky that there are two witnesses to say she was with or near Steven Avery that day
Someone getting lucky that a witness can describe the crime in detail so that most of it matches the evidence
Someone has to kill Halbach for some reason and burn her body on the property right under the nose of Steven Avery (or bring her burned body parts (this did not happen) to the property and mix them in with the stuff Steven Avery had already burned.
Someone had to hide the victim's car on the Avery property
Someone had to hide the victim's car key in Steven Avery's house
Someone had to plant Steven Avery's DNA in the victim's car and on the key

So either law enforcement found out Halbach was going out to Steven Avery's house and just as she was leaving, they kidnapped her, killed her, burned her up, and spread all the evidence and DNA around Avery's property and house OR someone else saw the opportunity to kill Halbach, killed her, burned her up somewhere and spread her cremains and personal items around the Avery property and then law enforcement saw a great opportunity and jumped on board by planting Avery's DNA and the key.

Or maybe Steven Avery is just guilty as hell and all the evidence proves it.


Part Two 

Part One


Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

January 21, 2016





16 comments:

Anonymous said...

The school bus driver also witnessed Teresa at the house. I think Avery was attempting to claim Teresa never showed up, with the last phone call he made to her after she had arrived that day, but the witness from outside the family circle destroyed this feeble plan.

rob said...

When I watch a true crime show on tv, I usually figure out if I think the person is guilty or not. But I do not take everything in the show as the gospel truth.
People's reaction to this show has amazed me. I just not jumping on the bandwagon.

Uli said...

It bothers me that Lenk called in the RAVs license plate. It makes me wonder if that is when he found the car.
I am curious how one goes about swabbing for sweat DNA under a car hood.
I am surprised that, after 18 years hob-nobbing with prisoners that Avery wouldn't know to put the body in the smelter, and the car in the crusher.
Some of the interview tapes with BD made me feel like he would have said anything those detectives wanted him to say, and he often guessed things until they got frustrated and gave it away.
It's also curious that originally they believed things happened in the bedroom, yet there was no DNA evidence in there.
I think it would be a lot easier to believe in Avery's guilt if there hadn't been so much misconduct in the LE in that county.

Pat Brown said...

Uli,

You are still buying the clips that the defense driven documentary is giving you There ARE answers to some of those questions and answers that do not support conspiracy but they are not given and what has been show is often out of context. You need to see the FULL files and tapes and trial to understand how they have manipulated what you see. Some of your answers are at the link I provided.

Avery is a psychopath and not necessarily brilliant at everything he does. We all make choices that sometimes don't quite turn out well...how do you think even masterminds get caught? They screw up.

Retread the list about why Avery is guilty. It is ridiculous to think that all those links to Avery are coincidental. It is only the documentary playing with your mind and suggesting (but never proving) police misconduct in the case that causes people you discount a ton of evidence supporting the conviction of Avery.

Anonymous said...

I believe Avery most likely killed Teresa but would he really be so stupid as to leave her body on his property,her car on his property? Or did he not have time to dispose of it? Also, I do believe he thought he would never be charged twice for a crime and would get away with it. But I also have questions because he just filed that lawsuit...timing is strange and what about the key that wasn't found until 3 days later? in plain sight? what about the tube of blood that was supposedly tampered with? and showed up in her vehicle with no fingerprints.
Also,I'd like to know more about this cat incident. He tells it like its a child's prank and he was just tossing it over the fire and it lit up. I'd like to read or hear from witnesses exactly what happened. And why did Jody change her tune 10 years later....did she gets some type of deal? There are a lot of questions that aren't answered. But in a nutshell, I believe he is guilty of murder, that Brendan his nephew went along just as he seems to go along with anyone who is smarter and stronger. However,I am left wondering not if the Police framed him (cause if he is guilty you can't be framed) but if they helped the case along because there wasn't enough evidence to prove it was Avery. I think Avery made sure there wasn't evidence left cause he even said they didn't find anything well other than the body and her car which is huge but doesn't prove anything. It just seems like nothing really adds up so you are left questioning some things. I think its possible the police or some police helped the case along which is not a fair trial although in the end the right person is in prison. The documentary just opened my eyes to the way our Judicial system seems to be lacking. Innocent till proven guilty doesn't seem to apply here.

Pat Brown said...

Anon 3:01

::sigh:: You are a good example of just how this documentary has deceived many people. You are asking questions (that are good ones) but that the documentary either lied about the answers or carefully avoided the truth. The key was not in plain sight; it was hidden in a piece of furniture and fell out later; the tube of blood was never proven to be tampered with and this was proven in court. Yet, the documentary does not tell you this; instead, they slander the heck out of the police department by saying it was tampered with (not even COULD have been tampered with - I hope they are sued for defamation). The cat incident was also lied about in the documentary which I wrote here about. Did you actually read my blog? Avery poured flammable liquid over the cat and then threw it into the fire; that is why he was charged with animal abuse.

I also wrote about Brendan who confessed enough times - including to his mother unprompted - with enough info - to believe he was there. Brendan is the type to go along with his Uncle because he is the kind to just follow. So, the police didn't coerce a confession (although I do think some info was fed to him accidentally because the interrogator wasn't the best).

Now, is it POSSIBLE the police could have added evidence? Yes, it has happened before. But, there was already overwhelming evidence Avery committed the crime so, really, they didn't have to.

I don't know why a lying, slanted documentary would open you eyes to problems in our judicial system. All it opened my eyes to was problem with documentaries being able to slander people and make a killing. Avery was not railroaded. He WAS innocent until proven guilty in court. Just because he was quickly investigated in the Halbach crime doesn't mean the police though he was guilty before they had evidence; the evidence was all over his property and they followed the evidence.

There ARE case of police misconduct and prosecutorial misconduct. I have worked cases I have spoken public about but THIS is not one of them. Just like that horrible book and movie about Rubin "Hurricane" Carter that proclaimed him an innocent man railroaded by a racist system...well, black men HAVE been railroaded by our system, but not Carter. Carter committed the homicides; he was a violent psychopath and guilty as hell. But, a political agenda got people to believe the opposite, slandered the police detectives, and put this evil man back out on the streets. He got rich and went around the country speaking to college students....it is nauseating. Yet, no one seems to care that they were lied to...because almost no one read Carter's book in which he, himself, contradicts the movie with Denzel Washington (and the book written that the movie was made from). People do not do enough research but believe what they are fed.

chrissmit said...

I've only watched the first two of these programmes. As far as the rape was concerned the Sheriffs office in my opinion behaved appallingly and should have checked the other guy who turned out to be guilty before locking Avery up. They appeared to be over keen to get back at Avery for various personal reasons. By not doing this another 2 women at least were raped.

However Avery set fire to a cat amongst other crimes and was obviously not exactly Mr Squeaky clean - people say why was he so stupid to leave evidence on his property? Didn't he have an IQ 0f 70? He's not very bright 70 is a really low IQ! I haven't watched the whole series but I'd say he's probably guilty of the murder.

Anonymous said...

So, why is there no dna of Teresa on the key?

Pat Brown said...

Chris,

I don't believe the police were aware of the other suspect at the time. So, when Avery matched the description and the victim ID"d him, they thought they had their man. I don't know enough about how that case was handled to know what else they had or should have done.

Pat Brown said...


I am glad you thought better of your previous comment and removed It.

As to the key, there are a number of issues here (which I will address in the next part of the blog but I will bring up some points here.

1) Sometimes there just isn't someone's DNA on something. Why? Sometimes we don't know. The victim could have wiped it off herself. Maybe the key was someplace that affected what was on the key.

2) But, let's say Teresa's DNA was removed from the key. Who would do that? The police? I would think if they were planting the key in Avery's room and adding his DNA, they would WANT her DNA on the key. That they would remove it, makes no sense. For that matter, it doesn't much make sense anyone would do it because it is still her key and whose possession it is in is most important. Steven could have removed her DNA from they key so the key wouldn't be connected to Teresa but that is pretty silly because, again, it is in his possession and matches her car. It would make more sense to remove someone's DNA if it were an objects that couldn't be linked to them except by DNA (like a pen or some other common object). A cop could have handled the key and then wiped it clean before planting it. This is one of the theories running around but this assumes that police officer either found the key with the car or a killer other than Steven gave it to him (the first is certainly more likely than the second). However, The MOST likely reason the Teresa's DNA wasn't on the key was that Steven put his own blood on the key (his finger was cut) and wiped the blood off. He wasn't worried about his DNA, so he simply handled it again after he got rid of the blood.

3). How did the key get into Avery's house? We'll, the key was either taken from the car by the killer or the key was taken by someone other than the killer. Most likely, Steven Avery parked the vehicle and took the key with him, perhaps, thinking he might have to move the car later to a better spot or crush it. If someone else killed Teresa, then they would have had to take the key and plant it in Avery's house (but then it shouldn't have Steven's DNA on it). Or someone would have to kill Teresa and give the key to the police to plant. Finally, the key could have been left in the car and the police took and then planted it in Steven's room. There is no proof of this so it is still most likely Steven wiped his blood off the key and kept the key in case he needed to do something with the car.

anon said...

Thank you for taking the time to reply. (I removed the first comment because I mis - worded it). Interesting stuff.

Anonymous said...

Yes the key fell out later or was planted those are the only two options...because after being searched by 7 to 10 officers over a period of days,there was no key until Lenk discovers the key on the 4th visit. The cabinet being moved isn't proven.
Your explanation of the key being placed by and wiping his own blood off the key by Avery makes perfect sense if Avery is the killer.
The bones were moved and found in different areas, only 1 tooth was found where were the rest? Also, a DNA expert testified that the bonfire could not have burned the bones down to fragments. What are we suppose to believe?
Yes I read more on the cat burning incident,however, its not evidence of a murder either. Was Avery diagnosed a Sociopath or is this just your opinion?
And yes the documentary opened my eyes about problems in our judicial system...how can you explain the fact that that 4 of the key members of Manitowoc County Sheriff Dept. who were deposed on Oct.13th and therefore,after the murder of Halbach the DA handed the case over to a neighboring county because conflict of interest due to the lawsuit, yet these deposed officers took the lead in searching Avery's property? Then comment from Sheriff Ken Petersen saying it would have been easier to kill Avery than to frame him...then Dassey's counsel Len Kachinsky saying Avery is "close to evil incarnate" (innocent until proven guilty?) also stating that he can find no good in any member.....these people are pure evil...one branch family tree...cut down this tree....we need to end the gene pool here. All he cared about his getting Dassey to give a confession to convict Avery. He didn't care one bit about his client.
It seemed that the Defense and Prosecution were working together in this case.
Guilty or not guilty....the judicial system is flawed and that is what I took away from this documentary.

anon said...

My sentiments exactly.

Pat Brown said...

Anon 8:03

Yes the judicial system is flawed especially with our adversarial system and our civilian jury system. But there is no perfect judicial system anywhere in the world nor any perfect police system. If u r too tough, then innocent people might be wrongly incarcerated; if you are to lax, innocent people are mowed down on the streets. What is really bad though about this documentary is they used slander, severe bias, and a guilty evil man to make a point about the system. If they wanted to discuss the wrongs ofssystm they could dos in an ethical and intelligent manner without encouraging the public to free a sexual psychopath, but, then, that wouldn't have made much money.

Mailman Stan said...

Pat - I'm very interested in your take on Avery and certainly open to it being correct. But there are deeper issues here that the documentary highlights, ones that do not appear to be being discussed here or any place else.

Documentary bias or no bias, certain facts and documented behaviours speak for themselves. And what they reveal is a culture of institutional bullying that appears to permeate law enforcement agencies across the board.

That the interrogations of Brendan Dassey ought to be declared unlawful, and made use of bullying psychological techniques against a clearly vulnerable learning disabled teenager, is not in doubt. That this fact absolutely torpedoes any credibility Dassey's now retracted account may have had is not in doubt.

That the Manitowoc Sheriff department had relished convicting Avery first time around, and in doing so neglected to correctly investigate that crime properly, is not in doubt.

That officers, who for very obvious reasons had no business being anywhere near the Holbach murder crime scene, were allowed full access is not in doubt. That this happened at a time when there was clear conflict of interest and obvious bias towards wanting Avery to be guilty of this crime is not in doubt.

In such circumstances, the end is seen to justify the means. Always. As is the case with psychopaths and narcissists.

You talk about Avery's possible psychopathy. Well, all of the above - and many more examples (I hopefully don't even need to get into Kratz and his obvious personality disorder, or Kachinsky and his investigator's eugenicist leanings!) - are narcissistic / psychopathic behaviours. Institutional bullying is essentially a manifestation of collective psychopathy / narcissism.

As the defence team correctly point out, to pull off a conspiracy of this kind would not necessarily need a large, concerted group of people, all of them in the know. In such a culture, for most involved, it would be more a case of being only too happy to bend the rules significantly in order to help things along and nail whoever they consider to be the guilty party. Even if it means fabricating evidence and bullying vulnerable people along the way.

When you understand that collective psychopathy / narcissism is not only present but inevitable in our society, it is is not hard to see how and why a conspiracy of the kind the documentary seeks to expose could happen. Anyone doubting that, I would encourage to read this excellent article on the subject: http://www.cognitivepolicyworks.com/blog/2012/07/24/how-will-the-99-deal-with-70-million-psychopaths/

All that said, I acknowledge that it is entirely possible that Avery is also a psychopath and did indeed carry out the murder and pull the wool over people's eyes. But for me, the end never justifies the means, if what we are talking about is basically allowing and justifying clearly dangerous and dysfunctional behaviour in one sphere of society - the one with all the power - while brutally punishing it elsewhere.

Pat Brown said...

Stan,

All that you mention certainly are issues in our society. If you are at all familiar with my work and stances, you will be well aware that I have great concerns over how our police and judicial system is run. I am a support of oversight for law enforcement and stronger penalties for misconduct. However, this documentary is about as appalling in its behavior, lies, and manipiulations as the system they claim to be exposing. The problem with this new sort of documentary is that it is a massive propaganda piece devoid of honesty and reasonableness. Avery does not need to be presented as a choir boy and Kratz the devil incarnate to discuss flaws in our system. And this is the whole point. The documentary is not urging intelligent analysis of wrongs; it is intended to inflame and make the documentary makers a hit. It has succeeded in those aims. And if you claim that the police should not abuse the law and truth to gain its ends, neither should the documentary makers.

Likewise, with the treatment of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter by the media and Hollywood. The claim was to expose a political system that railroaded an innocent black man. They tarred an feathered, destroyed the lives of law enforcement officer to "expose" systemic racism. However, although there is racism and there is wrongdoing in the system, Carter was guilty as hell of murder and was a very psychopathic dangerous human being. Hollywood got him out of prison, made him rich, and put him on the speaking circuit. The true ills of the system were never addressed following the film; they just made a hero out of a villain and inflamed the public.

I would love to challenge some documentary makers to spend time with me analyzing the system. I can take them to cases of railroaded individuals and failed police investigations and show exactly what happened in the system. I can help them make a documentary that will show how complicated the issues are and how to improve the system we need to change much of the basic ways the justice system deals with criminal investigation, prosecution, and the media. But, I doubt I will ever have any takers because I want to see an evenhanded piece, not some "explosive" propaganda piece filled with manipiulations and half-truths.

There is a reason I am working to develop better investigation methods of police detectives; because I have seen that one issue as to why cases I have worked on have gone south is lack of training in crime analysis and profiling. I can hate on police departments that have failed (and sometimes slandered me in their quest to protect their reputations) or I can get to the root of the problem. You can hate on the police for targeting Avery in the first crime or you can examine and improve how rape investigations are handled. You can hate on Kratz (and it is easy to do that) or you can look at the flaws in our adversarial system and the use of incompetent civilian juries and do something about that because it is the REAL cause of crappy prosecutors and defense attorneys who have no ethics when it comes to winning cases instead of insuring that justice is served.

One of the problems we suffer as a country is the inability to have discussions without taking sides to the point of total impasse. The "with us or against us" mentality results in far less progress in change than being able to understand how a complicated issue needs to be address with a level of sanity. If you cannot discuss how there are many elements that all together can result in a less than stellar handling of a problem, you cannot truly solve it. In fact, you may see the opposite happen.