Teresa Halbach’s teacher denounces Brendan Dassey’s overturned conviction: “A TV show just shouldn’t do that”

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Kayleigh Dray

Ever since Making a Murderer aired on Netflix, many have questioned whether Steven Avery and his nephew, Brendan Dassey, were truly guilty of Teresa Halbach’s murder in 2005.

And, earlier this week, it was revealed that Dassey’s murder conviction had been overturned after a federal judge in Wisconsin, USA, stated that police used “deceptive tactics” in order to get the 26-year-old (who was just a teenager at the time of his arrest) to confess to helping his uncle to commit murder.

While some welcomed the move, Jean Wollerman – Halbach’s first grade teacher – has condemned it, insisting that the Netflix documentary resulted in a “twisted” story.

Making a Murderer: Teresa Halbach

Teresa Halbach

“It is sad that a TV show can overturn things and can make changes in our justice system, and a TV show just shouldn't do that,” she told People magazine.

“It stirred up everything. They were tried and they were convicted, and end of story.”

The state has three months to file an appeal before Dassey is released from prison. Many fans of the hit Netflix series – who believe Dassey was not mentally fit to be questioned by police – took to Twitter to celebrate the news.

But Wollerman said the jury's decision should be respected over the TV show: “If a jury convicted both of them then the court did their job, but now you put it to a movie and obviously people are going to elaborate on a movie to make it interesting.

“And then you get it so it is twisted, so everybody in the world thinks that these two guys are innocent.” 

Wollerman added to the magazine that the decision to overturn Dassey’s conviction has simply served to victimise Halbach once again.

“Everyone feels for Teresa… she is the victim here.”

Read more: Teresa Halbach’s friend reacts to Making a Murderer Season 2: “It’s too hard”

As we learnt in Making a Murderer, Avery was wrongfully imprisoned for sexual assault, false imprisonment and attempted murder in 1985.

However, thanks to advances in DNA technology, he was found innocent in 2003, and released.

Just two years later, he was re-arrested and charged with the murder of freelance photographer Halbach, who had disappeared after photographing a vehicle at his salvage yard.

While bloodstains in her car matched Avery’s DNA, his attorneys went on to claim that Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department had planted the false evidence, in a bid to avoid the huge financial penalty they faced over the first case.

As a result, the Netflix crime documentary cast serious doubts over the decisions of the American justice system, with British fans staging a protest outside the US embassy in London to call for Avery and Dassey’s release.

However, since the show’s initial release, a number of articles have appeared online which suggest that filmmakers chose to show Avery in a biased light, leaving out numerous bits of evidence – including extra DNA evidence.

Read more: Reddit users believe they have found evidence proving Making a Murderer’s Steven Avery is guilty


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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