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Avery: The Case Against Steven Avery and What Making a Murderer Gets Wrong

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It's time to set the record straight about Steven Avery.

The Netflix series Making a Murderer was a runaway hit, with over 19 million US viewers in the first 35 days. The series left many with the opinion that Steven Avery, a man falsely imprisoned for almost 20 years on a previous, unrelated assault charge, had been framed by a corrupt police force and district attorney's office for the murder of a young photographer. Viewers were outraged, and hundreds of thousands demanded a pardon for Avery. The chief villain of the series? Ken Kratz, the special prosecutor who headed the investigation and trial. Kratz's later misdeeds—prescription drug abuse and sexual harassment—only cemented belief in his corruption.

This book tells you what Making a Murderer didn't.

While indignation at the injustice of his first imprisonment makes it tempting to believe in his innocence, The Case Against Steven Avery and What Making a Murderer Gets Wrong and the evidence shared inside—examined thoroughly and dispassionately—prove that, in this case, the criminal justice system worked just as it should.

With Avery , Ken Kratz puts doubts about Steven Avery's guilt to rest. In this exclu- sive insider's look into the controversial case, Kratz lets the evidence tell the story, sharing details and insights unknown to the public. He reveals the facts Making a Murderer conveniently left out and then candidly addresses the aftermath—openly discussing, for the first time, his own struggle with addiction that led him to lose everything.

Avery systematically erases the uncertainties introduced by the Netflix series, confirming, once and for all, that Steven Avery is guilty of the murder of Teresa Halbach.

192 pages, Hardcover

First published February 21, 2017

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About the author

Ken Kratz

1 book3 followers
Ken Kratz is a lawyer and the former district attorney of Calumet County, Wisconsin. He gained prominence for trying the highly publicized homicide case, State of Wisconsin v. Steven Avery (2007), in which Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey were both convicted.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 121 reviews
Profile Image for Amy.
154 reviews
February 23, 2017
This book was a wasted opportunity. While Ken Kratz had a platform and medium to tell a more complete story of the Steven Avery case from the prosecution point-of-view (as we have seen the lawyers on both sides of the Casey Anthony case do), he choose instead to write a book that is disjointed and reads more like a blog of a jilted lover than of the prosecutor of one of the most publicized cases in recent history. The book is disjointed and full of repetition - almost as if the author thought if he told the reader the same thing enough times, the reader would finally believe him. Most of the book was spent scolding the directors and viewers of Making a Murderer for forgetting about the victim in this case. Unfortunately, he spent so much time mentioning how the defense, viewers, and documentary ignored the victim of this case, he ignored her himself, despite having one or two very, very short passages about who she was.

It read more like a defense of Ken Kratz or a rebuttal to a reddit post and less like a book on the Steven Avery case where opinion is key and fact is sometimes thrown in. It truly was a wasted opportunity and it is a book that left me disappointed. I don't say this often about books, but this was a book that was just poorly thought out and executed.
Profile Image for Debra .
2,287 reviews35k followers
May 15, 2017
3.5 stars

I think I am the rare person who did not watch Making a Murderer. I tend not to read other reviews after I receive a book, but I did read then with this book. I read that a lot of people have made mention of Making of a Murderer and that they did not like how it was mentioned so much in this book. The televisions show was mentioned a lot in this book. I believe that Author did so for many reasons. He was a prosecutor on this case and did not like that not all the evidence was provided on the show and that what was provided was skewed and did not give the viewer the full story.Is this book guilty of being a tell all? Isn't that what this book is? The Author telling the story from his viewpoint as a prosecutor?

Was this writers bias skewed because he was the Prosecutor and felt a need to not only give the full story but also to paint himself into a more positive light after he tarnished his own professional career and ended his marriage after being reported for inappropriate texts he sent? I believe both. I believe he felt the need to tell the entire story and to give the reader (and perhaps viewer of the TV show) a picture of the victim, how she was lured and how she was murdered and her body burnt. I also feel this was his attempt to tell his story and explain why he choose the inappropriate actions he took. The Author makes no bones about having an issue with the the show. As I mentioned, I never watched the show, but Kratz does make a point to show excerpts of full testimony vs. condensed testimony that was shown on the TV program. I can't speak about the validity of the television program, but this man was the prosecutor on the case and I do believe he is giving the prosecutors point of view.

I mention quite often in my reviews that I have a forensic background and that is what speaks to me in this book. I like reading about all things related to forensics. While some people may find blood spatter analysis or autopsy results boring, forensics gets my juices flowing. I do wish there was more about the forensics in this case - I think most readers would be able to follow and be able to draw their own conclusions. I would have liked to see actual testimony transcripts.

Was Avery guilty of murder? He seemed definitely capable of it. Women in his life paint an ugly picture of him - specifically his abuse, there are letters he wrote in prison, recorded phone conversations. This man was not a nice person. In fact, he comes off as a misogynist. Plus, his story changed multiple times. I do agree with the prosecution, specifically when it comes to Avery's accounts of the day in question. If you are innocent, why do you need to keep changing your story and would so much forensic evidence and bones be on your property? If he was framed as his defense claims he was, someone went to a lot of detail to hide her vehicle, have the license plate, DNA and her body burned on his property. I do not believe he was an innocent man.

I enjoyed the book. I have no desire to watch the Netflix series. I do feel the Netflix program was mentioned quite a bit but if information was skewed or given in a misleading way, then I can understand this writer's attempt to set the record straight. I understand that the Author tarnished his reputation following this case - I'm sure he included that to show that he is being honest and upfront in this book. Crime buffs and perhaps those who watched the show may find this book interesting.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

See more reviews at www.openbookpost.com
Profile Image for Lisa.
294 reviews140 followers
February 22, 2017
While I don't think Stephen Avery is completely innocent by any means, I think Ken Kratz is exactly where he needs to be. Without a job or wife....He's shady and the law enforcement in Manitowac County isn't free of blame either. There's something not quite right going on there. I do agree with Brandon Dassey being set free. At this point, I feel like all of Kratz's options were exhausted and he tried to redeem his name by writing a 'tell-all'. Except there's really nothing new here.
Profile Image for Ionia.
1,430 reviews66 followers
April 22, 2017
It's rather amusing that in the blurb for this book the word "indignation" is tossed out, considering what you find when you open the cover and read the contents.

When I first saw this book, I was intrigued by the idea that this might contain crucial details about the Steven Avery case that the Netflix show did not offer to viewers. Perhaps it does just that, but it is so buried in the mire of Ken Kratz trying to systematically take down "Making a Murderer" and defend his position (no pun intended) that one nearly forgets at times that this book is about Mr. Avery at all.

Whether you like him or don't, believe him or not, this book, for me, seemed to be more about why the author should not be viewed as a criminal than the man at the heart of it all. I really can't keep track of the number of eye rolls that came with the reading of this book.

I understand that there are various addictions out there that do not get the proper respect and attention, and I am certainly not trying to discount those, but, according to the blurb, this book was supposed to be about Stephen Avery and the evidence against him. I thought, after finishing it, that it was more about the author than anyone else.

Needless to say, I found it disappointing.

My opinion of this case has not been swayed either way by reading this, but my opinion of Ken Kratz has gone down another few points, for all the good it does.

This review is based on a complementary copy from the publisher, provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Valerity (Val).
955 reviews2,741 followers
November 19, 2018
I received this book from Netgalley and BenBella Books to read and review just yesterday, the first day it was published.

Edited review 11/19/2018: I found Kratz's book to be quite slanted to his view of things as a disgraced former prosecutor. It's hard to view it impartially in light of that as I don't feel he was impartial from all that has since come out. I think that future happenings will show how bad his actions were in this case, and it will all come out when the truth is brought to light.
Profile Image for Christy.
139 reviews45 followers
June 12, 2017
It so obvious that Steven Avery is guilty and yet a one sided documentary has everyone believing he is innocent...again. I really feel like he completely thought he could get away with this because of that wrongful conviction. Everyone is so focused on this "innocent" man that they forget all about the actual victim in this. Teresa Halbach. A 25 year old woman raped and murdered. While it was an interesting read I only gave it 3 stars instead of the 4 I had considered. Mainly because I feel the author also completely forgot about the victim here also.
Profile Image for Mbgirl.
244 reviews8 followers
November 3, 2018
I didn’t want to support this guy, so I borrowed it from the library. No proceeds to a licentious, unethical narcissist sexter who annihilated my belief that man can be integrity-filled, upright, ethical, and urbane.

I only read his account in order to understand the ongoing manipulation that he stirred.

So KK confesses and outs himself, deplorable creature that he is. He’s got nothing left, he has filed for bankruptcy, lost his $350K house and left Superior, WI


and with nothing left to lose, and having taken accountability for his sexual addiction, he wants to manipulate the reader into thinking, “ why wouldn’t I tell the whole truth and nothing but at the eleventh hour? I am the most sincere brand of honest, because I am a broken vessel of a man, here to inform American readers that my version of the truth is what everyone ought to believe”

He is reprehensible. The way he gloated and would immediately rush to give press conferences everywhere, the latest in the federal building lobby... anyone with a jot and tittle of an IQ could see that this guy is full of himself.

Can’t fight forensics. Regardless of whether justice is served, and corruption and immorality escape the rule of law, I find the author as sad of a human as I do the current POTUS. Create hate and tear people down: their expertise. I don’t believe any of it. And as millions have uttered, shame on him.

KK, you can live with your conscience, if indeed you have one.

384 reviews42 followers
March 1, 2017
This is the response Ken Kratz puts together to hit back at Making a Murderer (MAM) documentary on Netflix? Is this all he's got-the Lead Prosecutor that was able to achieve guilty verdicts against both Steven Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey?? This book is his big gun that shoots down the circumstantial case that MAM presented in their documentary? Seriously? It did not sway me at all. He was not able to put forth any strong argument that included any real evidence that was not mentioned in either the documentary or CASO records on line regarding the case. He did keep mentioning how great Weigert, Fassbender, Lenk and Colburn were and how the two latter would never stoop to planting evidence against an Avery. An Avery who was sleazy, Kratz states and goes on to basically say--that if Steven was not wrongly jailed all those years he likely would have killed or raped someone the years he was incarcerated for a crime he did NOT commit because he was a manipulative narcissist.-I guess it may take a narcissist to know one. He constantly belittles Strang and Buting regarding their defense tactics but he himself is inconsistent in what he writes-for example, early on Kratz mentions that there was no blood found in Steven's garage because he likely used a tarp and then laid Teresa down on it and shot her--hmm.. (pss..what about blood spatter? There was none found).. In addition, Brendan later "confesses" in one of his many meetings with the cops Fassbender and Weigert that he and his uncle washed the garage floor with bleach and pain thinner and that is why he had jeans with bleach on them. Which one is it? Was there a tarp or not.. It can't be both.. In addition, the threats and violence against Lori and Jody do not prove that Steve Avery would pick an innocent woman off the street and premeditate to torture her and then murder her. That is not evidence. Do I know that Steven Avery is innocent-no, but Kratz did not prove to me with this book that he is guilty. I still have reasonable doubt in my mind. I came to believe that Mr. Kratz convicted Steve Avery on circumstantial evidence and although he does not lose sleep over it-he convicted a teenager with low IQ and low self esteem who did not get a fair trial and most definitely gave a forced false confession and many false statements in total. I believe he owes Brendan Dassey the decency to admit that he did not get a fair shake in the courts of Wisconsin. Instead, Kratz just says he feels bad for him. I think he should take some responsibility for what happened to Brendan. Mr. Kachinsky -Brendan's first public defender and O'Kelly the investigator make me sick --they worked the whole time AGAINST their client and Mr. Kratz definitely played a part in that. Mr. O'Kelly was working with the prosecution (Kratz is the prosecution) at the same time.. disgusting. I think that Mr. Kratz made mistakes and paid for them and he admits them in this book and whines about them a bit.. but he is not in jail for his mistakes and Brendan Dassey still is and he deserves a fair trial. Neither Kachinsky nor O'Kelly are mentioned in the book.
I did not find this a poorly written book and that is why I still gave it a 2 star review. It was a fast read and clearly put together. I kept my mind open before I read the book thinking it was going to give some impressive new evidence on what MAM missed but it didn't. Bottom line is Teresa Halbach and her parents and family deserve to get some real answers as to what really happened to her. I don't think this book accomplished that.
Thank you to Net Galley and the publisher Ben Bella for the opportunity to read this book and give an honest review.
Profile Image for Kristina Weber.
209 reviews8 followers
March 11, 2017
Wow. So much bitter animosity toward the series and viewers, and so little depth. Kratz had the opportunity here to really take readers inside, to make us feel as though we were there with the investigators and prosecutors. There wasn't a 3D sentence to be found in the entire book. The people didn't feel real, and huge chunks of the narrative are missing. Did he even read any good true crime before writing this? He really should have found a ghost writer, because he was obviously in over his head here. I wanted this book to be so much more than it was. If you want to feel like Kratz is sitting at the end of the bar with a drink, complaining about Making a Murderer and apologizing for his transgressions, this is for you.

Great graphic design on the cover, though- really well done.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for this e-ARC.
Profile Image for Kathleen Kirchner.
962 reviews1 follower
March 15, 2017
This book was poorly written, patronizing (if I read "not us cheeseheads!" about some folksy midwestern tradition or something one more time, I might move.), and, at the point where Kratz suggests that if Dassey is freed he might kill someone too, aggressively nasty towards the defendants.

To be fair, he does do a good job of explaining exactly how things were spliced in Making a Murderer to be sympathetic to Avery. But he never actually proves beyond a reasonable doubt (even when allowed to run his mouth for 169 pages uninterrupted.) that there was no tampering with the evidence.
Profile Image for Mallory Stoll.
6 reviews
July 29, 2017
I was hoping there would be some value to this book to help the public uncovered the truth. This did not come true. Ken Kratz presents his bias version of the story in a condescending and narcissistic way. He claims he is able to suppress his narcissism, but he surely did not do it here. This book would have been better of he did not cherry pick and highlight responses to a few pieces of evidence the defense called into question. I continue to be left with reasonable doubt that Avery is not guilty.
Profile Image for Dawnie.
1,245 reviews128 followers
February 25, 2017
Thanks to NetGalley, the publishers as the author for providing me with a free ecopy if this be in exchange for a free and honest review!

Overall this book is good, it handles the facts, tells you how things where handelnd and in which order and at what timeline, so exactly what a non fiction book should do!
The writing is mostly nicely done as well, not too dry or in any way making this book hard to read and I personally appreciated that pictures of the crime were included so that the reader gets a feel of the actual case. So all that was good.

What I didn't like so much was the constant pointers towards the tv show. I think this book would have worked way better if the author wouldn't have focused so much on pointing all the little things out that the tv show did "wrong" or showcased in a different view point and instead focused on simply showing his side of how this crime went down, the evidence and what happened.

I personally thing everyone is allowed their own opinion, and let's be honest if a tv show I still made about the side of the murderer the chances are pretty high that the production people will try to at least give the audience the doubt if the guy really did what he has been convicted of doing. We all know that going into a show like "making a murderer" right? And if we don't we certainly will not be interested to read the ither side of the story!

So to me, I would have liked this book a good amount better if the author would have not constantly be pointing fingers and basically doing the same thing as he was complaining about the tv show doing: pressing his own option and slight spin in how he saw the events go down unto the reader!

I am not saying that Kratz is right or wrong, because honestly I don't think any of us outsiders can actually really ever get a real understanding of what happens during those investigations and within the mind if the murderer, and while I can understand why a book written from the investigations/prosecutors side will definelty tend more towards " look how guilty he is!" I would have still appreacted if Kratz could have kept a bit more natural in the "presentation" of the case so that the reader can a read least try and build their own option with "all" the evidence they get.

And after all that, let me end this and say this:

This book is good,
it could have been better in my option if the author could have kept a bit of a more natural tone and not focused so extremely in building this book around the tv show

BUT if you enjoy non fiction true crime books I am sure you will have an intersting time reading this.

And if you are someone that loves the show?
You might want to read this just to get the other side of the story, since let's not forget that every story has at least two versions and both side deserve to be heard if you listen to one of them!
Profile Image for Kristi Olson.
1 review
September 3, 2018
I read this book almost immediately after watching Making A Murderer. I was hoping it would help me off the fence of Guilty or Innocent. Instead, it left me with more questions than answers. I needed to investigate. After seeing where the case in now in 2018 and reading everything about Steven Avery's post conviction case, I have come to the conclusion that this book was pure prosecution biased. Ken Kratz offers no explanation to any of the questionable evidence. He didn't in court and he didn't in this book. Thank you, Ken Kratz, for helping to convince me of Steven Avery's innocence.
Profile Image for Sarah.
951 reviews6 followers
March 1, 2017
Thank you NetGalley for the copy of Avery: The Case Against Steven Avery and What "Making a Murderer" Gets Wrong by Ken Kratz that I read and reviewed.
I can honestly say when I stated this book my mind was made up that Avery was innocent and should be freed from jail because of what I had seen on Making a Murder. I only wanted to read this book to see if Kratz really was the cocky jerk he was in that television series. Boy did this book give me different view of the crime and Kratz as a man.
After reading this book and having more of the case laid out I realize how biased the TV version of the crime was and now I question a lot of my beliefs that were made after I watched that show. I is really sad how if what Kratz laid out in this book is true how him and the officers have been disgraced and threatened again all these years later because of editing and how evidence was shown and spun to help a murder get freed by a Netfix TV show and looking at what Kratz had and the actual parts of the trial he uses in the book that was not in the TV series I am starting to believe that that is what is happening.
The book also change my opinion of Kratz as a man. He is not afraid to admit he made mistakes in his life. He is not going to blame them on others and hide. He is man enough to admit he messes up and that says a lot about his true grit. He may not be the kind of man you what to hang out with but he would be the kind of guy you would want to fight for you in the courtroom because he knows about mistakes and second chances.
Did Steven Avery kill Teresa Halbach? Probably. There really is no one else who could have done it as Kratz points out in this book. Did his nephew get a raw deal? Yes but he took part in the crime so he is not innocent either. There are only three people who know what really took place that day and one of them is dead. We will never know what happened that October day on the Avery Land but I can honestly say that Ken Kratz's book opened my eyes to the problems with the Making a Murder TV Series. I was ready to jump on the Free Steven Avery Bandwagon until I read this book and was reminded that people with a camera can do whatever they want to make you see what they want. All it takes is some great editing editing and some really good cliffhangers and you are eating out of their hands and maybe just maybe you are starting to believe a man really did not rape, murder and burn and woman in a pit to get rid of her body just because he was mad at women because he spent 18 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.
Avery: The Case Against Steven Avery and What "Making a Murderer" Gets Wrong gets five out of five stars from me.

Profile Image for Amanda.
1 review
December 13, 2018
If I could give this book negative stars I would. I guess I gave Ken Kratz too much credit. I read this book hoping for something I didn't already know. I went in with an open mind but ended up disappointed. Kratz promised facts that would prove Avery's guilt but he didn't present anything that someone that has read the court transcripts don't already know. He constantly undermines his readers as unintelligent and uninformed. He poses a demeanor of superiority in which he seems to talk down to his readers except when he's portraying himself or Jim Lenk or Andy Colborn as human beings with families and hobbies just doing their jobs but bad guys can have families and hobbies too. I don't care what Jim Lenk or Andy Colborn do in their spare time. As a person that is trying to get fans of the show Making a Murderer on his side that isn't the way to go about it. He contradicted himself several times when talking about the facts he presented in his case not to mention one of the longest chapters in the book wasn't about the case at all but about himself and the trouble he got himself into with sexting a victim of domestic violence! The whole point of the chapter seemed to be a way for him to give an excuse for his behavior but there is no excuse. He went into explaining his sex addiction and narcissistic behavior and that he has gotten treatment for it but this whole book plays into his narcissism so perhaps he should go back for more treatment because it didn't work. Oh and another thing, this book was published well after Kathleen Zellner took over Avery's case and she is barely mentioned. This book is just Kratz trying to extend his fifteen minutes of fame which is funny because in the book that is exactly what he accuses Steven Avery of doing. My advice, don't waste your time with this book. It can't even pass as a good fiction novel.
Profile Image for Trisha.
4,639 reviews161 followers
May 12, 2019
"After his wrongful conviction, she explains, Avery believe "all bit**es owed him."
Jodi believes that Teresa was just unlucky enough to have been standing there when Steven decided to collect on his debt."

Reading reviews on here, I must be one of the few who saw Making a Murder and was instantly angry. I knew they didn't tell the whole story - and I knew they were manipulating how things played out for the cameras.

I was quick to jump on my computer and look for articles and information. It didn't even take more than a few seconds to find a lot of the evidence the documentary left out. This new book gives some insight into the left out things and some of the police procedure. Sure, the author still suffers from maybe a tad bit of narcissism, but he's quick to point that out as well. I enjoyed the other side of it and I'm glad he told his part.

I'm not sure where I sit with these new podcasts and documentaries showcasing certain criminals. I think things like the innocence project are good and I'm glad they exist. Someone needs to cover the crime like Investigation Discovery or 20/20 and tell it from Teresa's POV. We can't forget there was a victim here in all this - and it wasn't Steven Avery.
Profile Image for Andrew Skretvedt.
87 reviews19 followers
January 29, 2020
Witness this encore performance of the prosecution's case.
Witness the faux regret over the fate of at least one person whom this specific prosecutor ground into the dirt.
It is an odious non-sequitur that Kratz should in any way now feel some twinge of guilt or regret over the fate of Brendan Dassey. Do not fail to notice that Kratz was part of the team prosecuting both Avery and Dassey. From this realization the reader may catch sight of threads in this sick tapestry which, if pulled, may rend to shameful dust the whole dank and besotted fabric woven of the tale of his prosecution. If no other voices are sought, you will here find only one, presenting you only false choices tailored to lead you to agree with his conclusions, and perhaps make that feeling natural.

What really happened here?

Do read this book, but do not make it the only one you read on this subject.
Illusion of Justice: Inside Making a Murderer and America's Broken System
Profile Image for Andrea.
206 reviews
May 17, 2017
If you haven't watched the Netflix documentary, don't read this book - it very much assumes you have watched it and would be hard to follow otherwise. Kratz lays out the evidence that was missing from Making a Murderer and points out the creative editing in the series as well, which is nice to have all in one place, especially for people who watched the series and took everything at face value without doing even a little bit of research online. But the writing is severely lacking and repetitive - we know you're from Wisconsin! He is very sarcastic and obviously still very bitter about how his life has played out since Avery's conviction. And the book is very short - I finished it in just a few hours.
Profile Image for Ana.
44 reviews
September 26, 2020
wow where do I begin?... like many people I first heard about this case due to Netflix documentary Making a Murderer. I decided to give this book a try because I'm a person who likes to hear all versions of the story. Due to the negative reviews I decided not buy the book but to rent it from the local library and thank god I did. Very simplified writing style (I've read better and more detailed materials in high school) but what really disappointed me from the book was that instead of really providing facts that "Netflix chose to leave out" he spent most of the time giving his personal opinion about Steven Avery. In general the book was disorganized and I was not impressed with information he provided. Looking forward to reading Kathleen Zellner book.
Profile Image for Nancy Hand.
7 reviews1 follower
February 21, 2017
Two Thumbs down

This book is terrible, It is full of Falsehoods and parts of the Truthful information was left out to make you believe things are the truth but are not when you compare them to court documents and police reports, and 3rd party statements were from different people than it is leading you to believe it came from in this book. Clearly court documents say the opposite than this book is telling you. I found it disturbing and unsettling and now I completely believe after seeing it for myself he is not telling the truth it's obvious.
1 review
February 25, 2017
The truth

I believe Steven Avery is where he belongs in jail, it saddens me to know how corrupt Making a murderer is. They should of made the focus on the victim, Theresa and family!
1 review2 followers
March 15, 2019
MAM is hardly a “documentary.” Anyone that critically and honestly assesses the case will conclude that the “planting theory” was the defense’s feeble attempt at deflecting all of the damning evidence against Avery and Dassey. The defense attorneys and producers of MAM tried to exploit society’s distrust of law enforcement to distract people from the truth. They painted Kratz as the villain and described Avery as an innocent family man. Unfortunately, people fell for it, ignoring the physical evidence against Avery and forgetting Halbach in the process.

In his book, Kratz does a nice job of roping readers back to the evidence. The DNA on the hood latch, the burn barrel remains, and Avery’s obsession with Halbach show that this was a premeditated killing. Avery targeted her, lured her to his property, and killed her after raping her. It’s that simple.

I wasn’t interested in Kratz’s apology for his horrendous conduct while serving as the County DA. He lost everything and deserved it, so let’s move on.
Profile Image for Shelley.
172 reviews
October 20, 2020
A quick, easy read for true-crime enthusiasts like me. It did offer a completely different look into this case as seen on the Netflix series. It was a bit ill-written, as though the author wrote like he spoke, and seemed pretty straight and to the point. By no means promoting the writer or agreeing with his actions, but a decent, interesting fast read of you can ignore the author for the 141 pages, lol!
Profile Image for Debra Barstad.
1,388 reviews11 followers
June 28, 2021
I so wanted to like this book but what I felt was the opposite. I felt that the author was butt hurt because of his involvement in this case caused him to lose everything. I have followed this case from start to finish and things just don't add up. but with every true crime case the only ones that know what truly happened are the offender and the victim of the crime all others only speculate.
Profile Image for Rowena McCall .
6 reviews1 follower
March 25, 2017
Brilliant book! Anyone influenced by the clearly one-sided documentary and conspiracy theories need to read this book, it takes the story from tabloid sensationalism to give insight into the real people behind the story, and how irresponsible journalism impacts real lives.
Profile Image for Lynn.
736 reviews
April 17, 2021
Interesting, quick read-if you’re into that Dateline kind of thing.
Profile Image for Jessica.
14 reviews
March 14, 2017
A great book from the prosecution side of the Steven Avery trial. Gives you lots of insight about the case and the fallout the years after the trial.
Profile Image for Laura Grable.
348 reviews1 follower
May 25, 2017
Like most people, I binged watched "Making a Murderer" and was pretty horrified at what appeared to be a blatant mishandling of justice. I was not entirely convinced Avery was innocent, but I was convinced that Dassey was and that the local police were up to something. When I picked up this audio book I did not see that it was by Ken Kratz, the prosecutor in the case. I just grabbed it because I was been interested to know more about what wasn't shown on camera. Again, like most viewers, I did not come away from the show with a positive view of Kratz, so once I realized this was his book, I was prepared for the worst.

That being said, I found this to be a well-written, well-documented account of the case and events surrounding it. It answered all my questions and filled in all the blanks that has been lingering in mind. Because he cited actual court documents and transcripts, I see this case in a whole new light. Spoiler alert: I know longer think that Avery is innocent. I still think some things were handled poorly by the police department (they should have never been involved due to the ongoing lawsuit), but once all the evidence was laid out (not the highly edited TV evidence), the case looks so bad for Steven that the murder looks almost premeditated. I am aware that it is in Kratz's best interest to make it look this way, but based on the facts alone, I can't help but agree. In fact, I feel hoodwinked by the TV show to a certain extent, as it is very obvious that they choose to omit damning evidence and even edit video footage to change testimony. I think at some point they went from documenting a trial to creating a good story. I would have much rather had all the facts and been allowed to make my own opinion than be told only the items that made sense for their narrative.

This doesn't mean that I loved every aspect of this book. To me, the largest injustice in this case has always been how Brendan Dassey was treated. Kratz does a great job methodically going through the Avery case, but barely addresses the Dassey case. When he does, he forgoes facts and sticks to mostly subjective opinions. He feels that the officers were justified in the way they interrogated Dassey. I personally disagree. It is well-documented that the types of techniques they were using have been known to lease to false confessions. I think Dassey saw something or was involved to a certain degree, but he was still a 17 year old left alone to incriminate himself. He deserved a better deal.

I also didn't love hearing about Kratz's addiction and subsequent fall from grace. I appreciate that he addressed his demons and approached them in an honest manner, but I picked up this book to hear about the case, not his poor life choices. Unfortunately there is no amount of explanation on the world that will make strangers forgive a person for sexting a domestic violence victim. However, his dirty laundry being dragged out for public consumption many years after it happened is an interesting commentary on today's social media-fueled culture. If anything, I suppose it should be a message that no one is safe from the ever-seeing eye of the internet. And, in the same vane, this book speaks to be the even bigger issue of public opinion being swayed by biased media with limited facts, but I'm certainly not going to get into that right now. All I can say is that I hope that if Avery ever does get another trial all facts are included in the media coverage (though based on this, I don't think another trial is going to happen) and I hope Dassey's case gets another look. I am definitely glad I picked this up and I highly suggest that anyone who watched "Making a Murderer" reads this to get the rest of the facts. You may not come to the same conclusion as me (and that's okay), but at least you will see both sides of the story.
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