Video Replay- “Making A Murder” The Reporters Who Covered Steven Avery

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Bill Sorem

Tom Kertscher, Jessica Olstad and Jay Olstad covered the Steven Avery trial.

The documentary series “Making A Murder” suggests that Wisconsin police may have framed Steven Avery for murder. On Monday, three of the reporters who covered Avery and his trial talked about what they saw in the courtroom and how it compares to the popular Netflix series.

The Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists hosted the conversation in Minneapolis. You can watch the replay of it here on The UpTake.

Here is the Minnesota SPJ’s description of the panel.

The panelists:

Tom Kertscher is a PolitiFact Wisconsin reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He has covered the Steven Avery case since breaking the story in 2003 that new DNA evidence would exonerate Avery of a sexual assault after 18 years in prison. Kertscher, who has more than 30 years of reporting experience, also covered Avery’s 2007 murder trial.

Find Kertscher’s coverage of the Avery case here and his reflections on the case here.

As a reporter for WLUK-TV in Green Bay, Jay Olstad interviewed Avery several times and covered his exoneration and release from prison in 2003, as well as family and community reaction during Avery’s murder trial in 2007. He is a reporter at KARE-TV.

Jessica Olstad worked at WLUK-TV’s Fox Valley bureau from 2005 to 2007, when she went by the name Lauren Cook. She was one of the lead reporters who covered the Avery and Dassey cases and trials. Her interview with Ken Peterson, outgoing Manitowoc County Sheriff at the time of Halbach’s murder, was featured in “Making a Murderer.” She is now an account director at Kohnstamm Communications.

Jay and Jessica Olstad discuss their experience covering the case here.

Bill Sorem

Bill Sorem is a longtime advertising professional who started with Campbell Mithun and ended up with his own agency. After a tour as a sailing fleet manager in the Virgin Islands he turned to database programming as an independent consultant. He has written sailing guides for the British Virgin Islands and Belize, and written for a number of blogs. In 2010, he volunteered as a citizen journalist with The UpTake and has stayed on as a video reporter.

17 thoughts on “Video Replay- “Making A Murder” The Reporters Who Covered Steven Avery

  1. This is funny. If one honest journalist reported on this case as it happened Avery would be free. Please there were no reporters on the case back when they were government lap dogs

  2. It is funny that people like you that only watched the documentary think he is innocent. I spent weeks reading the 6000+ pages of trial transcripts and the documentary left out a lot of evidence. The defenses case was actually laughable. All Buting and Strang did was try to say every expert was lying, incompetent, or setup Avery. They couldn’t point the finger at anyone else because their high paid private investigator came up with zero evidence to the contrary. I suggest before you criticize others you actually take the time and read the transcripts for the trial and appeals. Until then your opinion is worthless and uninformed.

  3. Quite correct. The case was a slam dunk. That’s why Strang and Buting had to come up with all those outlandish theories. They knew what they were up against.

    Notice that not only the defense pushed hard with the “every expert was lying, incompetent, or setup Avery” defense, the movie only repeated and glorified the defense’s wild theories.

  4. Quite correct. The case was a slam dunk. That’s why Strang and Buting had to come up with all those outlandish theories. They knew what they were up against.

    Notice that not only the defense pushed hard with the “every expert was lying, incompetent, or setup Avery” defense, but also the movie only repeated and glorified the defense’s wild theories.

  5. It is sad when bad people watch the documentary and can not see the obvious that they never had any form of a trial. These type criminals are the root of America`s evil. The anti Christ party of IAN RAN. All the transcripts everything make this case as framing or railroading as you get, Glad you will never be set free as your post show. You think freedom is going to the day room

  6. The experts say that Kratz violated every law and rule in the book, So all you lawless animals can post anything you want. It just shows your perverts of the justice system

  7. You were banned under your old nic.

    I have never even received a parking ticket.

    You are on your way to getting another nic banned.

  8. Actually, maybe you should have spent some of that time reading the pretrial arguments where the judge told the defense that they could NOT point the finger at anyone else unless they had irrefutable proof of motive. Something the state was not required to show against Avery.

  9. If you actually read the trial transcripts that you claim to, you’d find that on day two, (page 5) Kratz brings up “First, Judge, was on the area of third party liability. This Court had previously excluded any mention of a possible third person,pursuant to the Denny analysis that the Court announced in its ruling, other than that of Brendan Dassey.”

  10. To which Strang replied ” It’s beyond irony to hear now, this morning, that while the State has the 5 billion people on this planet to whom it might point as possible culprits, the defendant can point only to Mr. Dassey.

  11. One-sided state sponsored Journalism. Read the conviction stories from all the exonerated wrongly convicted people. Steven Avery journalism 1985 is lesson 101, and never gets any better than that. From the time Avery was arrested to convicted all the stories were the same. The defense in 1985 couldn’t say these two words ‘Gregory Allen’. The same is true in 2005. The defense couldn’t point to another suspect, and the cops only investigated Avery. This is deja vu all over again. Those two Investigators guided Brendan Dassey into a confession, Well, they could have gone to Winnebago Mental Health Institute and got the same confession. Only words matter in journalism and in the American judicial system as well. Great Britain doesn’t charge anybody without corroborating evidence. Great Britain doesn’t have any more false confessions and they solve more homicides today with better improved methods. Brendan Dassey’s first lawyer who is related to the Halbach family said Dassey was guilty at the arraignment.

  12. So it looks like Zellner had the EDTA test done herself and found out that really was Avery’s fresh blood from an open wound dripping in the RAV4.

    How do I know?

    Because now she wants to exclude the entire vehicle as evidence.

  13. If there was one journalist at the Avery trial he would not have been convicted. This are public relations folks for huge government A protection racket for the DOJ

  14. Interesting. People are looking at this beyond just as being a docuseries to talk about at work at this point, that’s my biggest concern with the journo’s argument. I wasn’t at all convinced of a key planting…until now. If they were only ever presented a Prosecution’s case, well….. I’ve become convinced that the process was sped up, sped along. There is evidence of this. At first, even hearing such a thing (like a key being planted) sounded like a conspiracy theory to me. After looking at this seriously, and listening to real experts with good credentials, it seems like a conspiracy theory NOT to clearly see some things. I respect that these journalists were there and we were not, but perhaps they could also accept the parts where we compare raw data. Documents. Footage of the trial or interrogations. I don’t know if Steven Avery is guilty or not. I DO see that legally there is no way he should have been found guilty. If these reporters do not see it, then thank Netflix for creating something that we had the advantage of seeing from afar. It’s interesting seeing how being so entrenched in it all affected them. I’d love to hear their case for guilt.

  15. ack. Hearing a bit of bias in Tom Kertscher. I would love to tell them that what they did to Brendan was federally illegal. Seeing definite bias, sorry. Again, I still don’t know if Avery is guilty, but the biggest story out there for the “reporters” was the story of a guy who had been released from prison now being guilty of murder. The cops believed this and told the journalist the scoop. They believed it. They might be right, but for them to not be able to see evidence (I’m not referring to the documentary) is interesting to me. Not necessarily in a good way. They are experts at writing, reporting. They are not experts in investigation, however. I say consider your sources. 🙂