‘Making a Murderer’: This New ‘Missing Evidence’ Theory Could Get Steven Avery Released from Prison

Ever since the documentary Making a Murderer premiered on Netflix in 2015, fans have been obsessed with the idea of Steven Avery being released from prison. Even though multiple sources confirm that the series intentionally made Avery, 56, seem innocent when he wasn’t, people can’t help but wonder: what if Steven Avery is wrongfully convicted (again)?

Thanks to the newfound popularity of the case, new evidence – or looking at old evidence in a new way — is coming to light every day. Poring over missing details could help exonerate and even free Steven Avery from prison. The latest theory comes courtesy of Avery’s new lawyer, Kathleen Zellner.

Steven Avery
Steven Avery in court | Netflix

Why does Kathleen Zellner think Avery is innocent?

No one is more convinced of Steven Avery’s innocence than Kathleen Zellner, Avery’s new defense attorney. On her website, Zellner says, “The deeper we dig into the Avery conviction, the more evidence we uncover of his innocence.  It does not matter how long it takes, what it costs or what obstacles we have to overcome — our efforts to win Mr. Avery’s freedom will never stop.”

Anyone who watched Making a Murderer knows that there are credible suspicions of tampering with evidence. The Manitowoc County sheriff’s department wasn’t supposed to be involved in the investigation at all because of the pending lawsuit against the county. Yet county officers were caught multiple times being left alone with vital pieces of evidence, making it feasible that they could have tampered with it.

What is the new evidence that could help free Steven Avery?

Making a Murderer
Steven Avery’s salvage yard | Netflix via YouTube

The so-called “new evidence” that could help exonerate Steven Avery isn’t actually new – it’s just being looked at in new ways. Bone fragments from the murder victim in the case, Teresa Halbach, were supposedly discovered in a burn pit and burn barrel located on the Avery property. But what original reports failed to say was that more bone fragments were found in a third location, too.

Did those additional bone fragments come from Teresa Halbach? If so, it would call into question if the body was moved at any point. A report filed on September 20, 2011 found that “human bones” discovered during the investigation were collected from various locations, but prosecutors deemed these irrelevant to the investigation. Now, Zellner claims that these bones could be the proof that Teresa Halbach was killed somewhere besides the Avery’s property.

Where did the bone fragments come from?

Evidence in the Steven Avery case
Evidence in the Steven Avery case | via Netflix

Steven Avery’s defense attorney Kathleen Zellner has been attempting to get the bone fragments tested since 2016, but she’s been unsuccessful so far. Her request for testing was approved, then denied, and is now pending examination by the Court of Appeals. However, she’s afraid the bone fragments may have been destroyed. State law says that evidence must be preserved until the defendant is discharged from prison. But Steven Avery is serving a life sentence.

“It isn’t just the pelvic bone, there’s about 10 bones that were recovered from the quarry,” Zellner said during an interview with Rolling Stone. “By giving them [to the Halbach family]…they have just confirmed they believe those bones are human. It’s a very sneaky way to get evidence destroyed. It seems very deliberate that the thinking was, ‘We need to get rid of those bones, but we can’t just go in and cremate them ourselves.’”

It’s unclear if the evidence is destroyed yet. But one thing is certain: Kathleen Zellner will stop at nothing to get these bones fragments tested if they do still exist.