By now, you may have seen the Netflix documentary Making a Murderer, a series about a man named Steven Avery who was falsely accused of rape. In 1985, a Manitowoc County, Wisconsin court convicted him of raping Penny Beerntsen. After spending 18 years in prison, the Wisconsin Innocence Project helped Avery gain his freedom after DNA testing proved his innocence. Had DNA testing been available, Steven Avery wouldn’t be on anyone’s radar today.

The courts would learn that a man namedGregory Allen raped Beernsten. DNA testing proved this. If you have seen the documentary, it’s easy to see how she may have confused the men.

Both men had sandy blond hair, beards, and looked similar. Most of us cannot imagine spending time in prison for a crime we didn’t commit. After Avery’s 2003 release, he filed a $36 million dollar lawsuit against the county that had imprisoned him.

Steven Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey are convicted of killing Teresa Halbach

On October 31, 2005, someone murdered Teresa Halbach, a much loved 25-year-old freelance photographer. Authorities believe Halbach died on Avery’s property. In 2007, Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey were both convicted for her murder. Both men now sit in prison. Supposedly, Halbach died in Avery’s home, but authorities didn’t find Halbach’s DNA or blood inside Avery’s home.

The entire crime leaves viewers scratching their heads. As the documentary moves along, other pieces of evidence (or the lack thereof) create a shadow of doubt on the investigation.

Was Avery obsessed with Halbach?

The prosecutor also made valid points. For instance, Halbach mentioned to her boss that she didn’t feel comfortable taking photos at the Avery Salvage yard.

On the day Halbach died, she visited the Avery’s Auto Salvage yard to photograph a minivan forthe Auto Tradermagazine.Phone records also indicate that Avery called Halbach on several occasions, and requested that Auto Trader specifically assign her to take photographs. The prosecutor suggested that Avery had a fixation on Halbach, who had taken pictures at the Avery Salvage yard many times before.

She told her boss that Avery made her uncomfortable, and that he had once answered the door only wearing a towel.

Why should we care about Steven Avery?

The documentary is definitely in favor of Avery, even so, it does make valid points that viewers cannot discount. The law says that a man is innocent until proven guilty and a jury cannot convict if there is reasonable doubt. Defense attorneys Jerry Buting and Dean Strangdid an excellent job of defending Avery and placed doubt in terms of his guilt.

So, why should you watch this documentary or care about Steven Avery? The answer is simple: you, your children, or a family member could easily be the next Steven Avery. If the Manitowoc County Sheriff could take Avery’s freedom for 18 years, what’s stopping local authorities from taking away your freedom? Although we don’t know who really killed Teresa Halbach, we know he didn’t rape Penny Beerntsen, and, either way, Avery still lost 18 years of his life that he cannot get back.