Making A Murderer Roundtable Discussion
Welcome to. You can't make this up a companion podcast from net flicks. I rave oughta and I'm back to host this week special episode since the first season of making dropped in two thousand fifteen. True crime fans have been wondering what happened to Steven Avery and brenda's. So we couldn't wait our usual two weeks for new episode. We know you've all been devouring making rigor apart too. So we got a great panel together to continue the conversation. Dan diversity, hosted the hip podcast, missing Richardson's will lead a round table discussion with Phoebe judge and David brutal Phoebe host one of the original true crime podcast criminal, and you might recognize even all from the Netflix original docu series, the staircase David represented by co Peterson and has first hand experience being in a true crime documentary. If you haven't yet, you might wanna watch partout of making a murderer before listening to this episode. There are some spoilers ahead now it's pass the mic over to Dan Beebe and David. Hi guys. How are you? Great time. Thank you. Good. Are you both down in North Carolina? We are. We're both in Chapel Hill right now. Oh, awesome. But not next to each other. Yes, actually across from each other. Oh, you are. You can roll your eyes at me at my whenever asked a question. Yes, we and we can do hand signals. Just high fives. It's going to be high fives. So you guys both making a murderer part one, right? Yes. Yes. We're you early adopters, late adopters, like where you on the wave, very, where you head of everybody else. I was behind the wave a little bit. I, yeah, I only watched. I think I watched the the episode where Daffy was interviewed interrogated, not interviewed and I had to. I had to stop. I couldn't watch anymore. Really. I I then went back and recently watched the entire series again. Wow. Tell me why you. Couldn't watch the Brandon interrogation because it was just horrific to me. You know what they did to that kid was just in my mind inexcusable. Yeah, it's pretty hard to watch. Yeah, it was. It was really upsetting to me on on a soda, fundamental emotional level, putting aside the the legal issues, right? What ya I have to say, I'm, I'm just going to jump right into this. I have to say that surprises me that you don't have more of a remove from seeing things like this. I, I would imagine you come across things like this all the time. You know, I've never quite been able to steal myself to that kind of behavior. It's a plus a minus. You know, it's it's a plus in terms of my commitment to what I do. It's a minus to my personal life. There's good and bad. But I, you know, I've been doing this a long time and I still get outraged every time I see an outrage. I guess that's a good thing. You don't wanna be come to numb to that sort of thing. Yeah. No, I've, I've never. I've never managed to become numb. Do you remember when you saw making a murderer one? I. Yeah, I don't think that I was behind the wave. I think I was just on the wave. I started hearing people talking about this documentary and that it was complex in their telling of it in the detail, and they'd followed these stories for so long and I was intrigued. I also remember that interrogation scene and finding an incredibly disturbing. I am not a lawyer in any way, but what was going on in that room seemed a bit suspect. To me, it was hard to watch and you saw this train of what was going to happen to this teenage boy you saw in coming in, you realize that he probably did not realize what was about to come. And I kept thinking to myself in that scene where his mother comes in afterwards and the look on her face of kind of what what did you say? Oh, no. What did you say that she also was seeing now that this was out of their hands that something much bigger was now going to happen. You're an and that also that moment, what was so chilling about that is that the mother comes in and the minute she starts asking questions. The prosecutors, they just with a prosecutors are investigators. They just rush right back in the room lay. They don't wanna leave her a moment with her kid to sort of almost. It almost seems like they don't want to leave her to ask the real questions and find out what really happened in that room. Will you know the reality is they were trained in the Reid technique, which is a particular interrogation technique. And a fundamental principle of that technique is to isolate the suspect from familiar surroundings from familiar people to leave the suspect sort of emotionally adrift. And that's particularly problematical. It's problematical for anybody, but it's particularly problematical when you have a mentally impaired sixteen year old and and that's part of what made it so hard to watch. You know, if we were watching a a really slick street person being interrogated that way, I, I don't think that the reaction would have been the same. It's. It's, you know to grownups really taking advantage of a mentally challenged sixteen year old, and it's just it's just disturbing on every single level. What are the normal rules of thumb for something like that in terms of interrogating somebody who is of a certain age, but potentially mentally incapacitated, but maybe at a disadvantage, what are the rules there or as are their rules? Well, each state varies. So in in the number of states, the parent has to be present for that. Interrogation in other states depends on on the age, but not so much. So it's really a jurisdiction by jurisdiction issue. And I think you know, I think people are beginning to come to grips with with the fact that especially teenage boys don't have even even mentally whole teenage boys. You know their frontal lobes haven't yet. Developed to the point where they can where they can really be held responsible for adult behavior. Wow. Well, I'll never forget the look of confusion on his face. Well, he he wanted to know whether he'd go back to school sixth period. Yeah, that's it right there. They've, I don't think he's seen partout yet, so I'm just gonna nerd out with AB first second. Sure. Phoebe, what did you think of the first two episodes? Well, you know what's really interesting to me as someone who kind of does this for a living talks about different crime cases. When you see the breakdown of the detailed testing that they're doing now to try to prove Steven Avery's innocence. I was shocked that when I saw that car pull up the same car that Theresa had and the fact that they spent so much time testing all these different theories. I mean, it's it's a puzzle you're trying to figure out. I was totally. I was totally fascinated by the different experiments they did in that car to try to disprove the DNA placement or where DNA of Steven. Avery was found thought that was, I just, I was couldn't stop looking away. Let stuff is so interesting to me. And also the tenacity of this lawyer who said, I'm going to do whatever I have to do. I'm I'm going to get out there in that car. I'm gonna drive through the auto salvage. I'm going to, you know, get on my hands and knees and drop real specimens of blood around. I found that also fascinating to watch so. Yeah, so so. If he was talking about Kathleen Zoellner, who is, you know, Kathleen Zellner. I don't. I, I know of her, but I've never met her. Okay. I was wondering if all you guys like hang out together, play Racquetball. Now we're, we're, we're a thousand miles apart. Okay. In spirit you're close together. Exactly. Well, so what happened is that she actually, she actually saw making a miniature apart one. And then she wrote Avery saying that she wanted to take on their case after they had been writing letters to her for years, trying to get it to do that. So I I want to listen to a clip from her just so everybody gets a million. I told Steven ivory the same thing. I tell everyone if you hire me and you're guilty trust me, I'll do a way better job than the prosecutors. I will find out if you're guilty and we're gonna do testing, we can't control the results. Results will be turned over to both sides. So really think about this, you would have to be an idiot to be hiring me to prove that you're guilty to David. I'm Jay. I'm just curious. That's a pretty shocking thing to say. I mean, is that is that your experience. What do you think of what you just said? Well, you know, I'm not sure the context in which he's talking because obviously, you know, if if I'm being represent, if I'm being hired to represent somebody at a trial stage, you know, my job is not to prove guilt, and indeed I would never start out with that sort of a speech and and you know each each lawyer has their own way of approaching things. But my approach is to explain to the person that if I am going to do a really good job for them that I need to know the truth, whatever the truth is, and I also don't expect them to tell me the truth until we establish a trusting relationship on until they believe that I really care about them as a person, and I'm not going to judge them based on what they tell me. Because if I had committed a crime, for example. And I go in and meet a lawyer for the first time. I'm going to be worried about what that lawyer is going to think about me if I just start spilling my gut. So you know, different strokes for different folks. I, I would just approach differently, but again, I don't. You know, it's one thing if if what she's saying is that you know if you're gonna hire me post trial, that may be a very different situation. You know, I'm always getting involved at the outset. So then Kathleen Zellner gets into all this. She she basically digs up all the original evidence and starts, you know, hacking away at at one by one sweaty enable bladder. I guess the question is like, and she she seems to find a lot of problems, especially with the blood splatter is the problem with DNA evidence blitz bladder evidence analysis or is a problem with how certain prosecutors deal with that and try to use that information to question. Makes sense. Sure. But, but just just so you can sound really informed. It's blood splatter not blood splatter. Oh, actually, I'm tying outlet splatter. That's a whole different thing. Sorry, I should have explained myself now let me Kate you David. And sorry, I'm kidding. What's better? Let's better. Yeah. No blood splatter evidence and DNA evidence are two very, very different things. There's actually science that underpins DNA evidence. There's no real science. I mean, there's a little bit of physics that that controls, blood spattered analysis, you know, blood drops down. It's, you know. Gravity takes control, or you know, it gets in, you know what's what starts in motion stays in motion until it hits something that stops it. You know there, there are certain basic physics that that control, but there's no real way. It's very subjective. Let's just put it that way. Extremely subjective as as people saw in the staircase. Yeah, where you had Duane Deaver you know, a alleged Espy. I expert come in and testify to things that were just absurd. So you know, personally, I think blood splatter testimony has very, very, very limited usage. I, I don't think it's, I don't think it's irrelevant, but I think it's it needs to be really closely cabin d. DNA evidence on the other hand, at least until you start getting into mixtures where where you can start having some. Some real, subjectively, if you will, is science based and and capable of testing and capable of of reproducing results. So so I see the two is very different. Phoebe and the, what did you think of the forensic brainwave analysis? Well, the I mean, I think David is right. I mean from everything that I know from reporting on a number of a lot of cases, is that any evidence that's up for interpretation is something that is going to potentially be problematic you? So we talked about lie detector tests and the same. We talk about blood splatter. You know, these are things that a so called professional can read. They will hear his my opinion, it's an educated opinion, but it is at the it is an opinion and another person could see another a million different ways. And so I think that you know the brain imaging is that what it's called brain wave. I think it's called brain friends. Brainwave analysis can. It's like it's like brain fingerprinting. So this is a way it's the same. We're speaking of the same thing, but I think that the idea here is that before when a lie detector some. One who's analyzing the lie detector test their interpretation. This brain fingerprinting mapping is a way to pinpoint in a more scientific way. So moving towards that more DNA level scientific of what's going on. I think it's interesting. It's still did not seem to me to be a hundred percent. Fail proof. I mean it. It seems like they're also is summer interpretation which is going on with the brain fingerprinting. But is it a more accurate way of lie detector new lie detector test. Looks like it's moving that way, but from what I'm understanding, lie detector tests. No one really thinking about anymore. So maybe this will have to be the next iteration of that during. What do you do you do? Do you know what this brainwave analysis things? No, and I'm not sure I wanna know. Well, that's what I say. You know, we, we have enough junk science in the courts right now. I don't know that we need another one, but, but I'm I'm, I'm all ears. I, I'm not even sure understand it either. Basically, it looked like a light of the the basically they hook Steven Avery up to a sort of a lie detector thing except. But instead of measuring the things that normal lie detector tests would would be measuring. It's measuring brainwaves. And so they gave him this test. And the test says, basically, if you were to believe this test so that it was one hundred percent accurate. It says he didn't do it. He doesn't know anything about it. And I'm just curious as to what planting that in my head as I'm watching this documentary, how real that is and how much weight should get well, that that's a whole different story. I mean, if we're talking about optics and we're talking about creating certain mindsets, certainly things like lie detector tests have been used forever to do that. There used by the police as an interrogation technique. And frankly, they're used by defense lawyers in in going to prosecutors and trying to negotiate a dismissal of the case or or a decision not to indict razz. Oh, you know, clearly, you know those things, whether they're scientifically valid or not have an effect on people and, and to that extent, I don't fault anybody for doing that. I don't know what the basis of the sciences, I, you know, I, I need to know a lot more about what brain waves are showing what things and why anybody thinks they're showing it, and whether you can actually reproduce that and test it do blind testing and and you know, there's a lot that has to be done before something ought to be scientifically acceptable and and given the fact that I haven't heard of it and I'm not living in a cave. I'm not. I'm not sure that works been done. On yet? Probably a bad sign that you haven't heard about it. So I won't pay attention to it. Then I'm going to forget. I saw that scene. Well, you won't forget about it. That's the whole point. That is the whole point, but we'll get to that later. Have a question about that. I, I wanna talk about the phantom of what came out of making a murderer part one. The first chunk of making a murderer partout is basically about the Polk reaction. They came out of the first part and how people saw it. And basically this huge outcry of support for Stephen and Brendan, you know, they're getting fan letters and scrapbooks one of them, you know, even got a quilt and actually I'm a quilter which is super weird that somebody would spend all that time making a quilt and send to somebody that they don't know just because they were touched in some way PB. What are people reacting to win? They see making a murder that makes them respond like that. I, there's a couple of things to say about it. I mean, look, what happened with cereal. Season one, right? This is people want to pick aside and they want to be armchair detectives, and also the whole way in which making a murderer was produced paints both of these characters Stephen in a very sympathetic light. So of course, as you're watching this as you're being presented with more and more evidence, but how these men may have been framed, you are getting more and more enraged. We as human beings. This is what we like. We like stories like this because we like to feel things. We like deal to pick a side. We like to able to investigate things on our own. So there's no, there's no question that this elicited a gigantic response from people, and these are the things that people talk about in the morning. They talk about it when they get to work. Did you see the latest up? So what do you think? And that just builds up the hype and it's bigger and bigger and bigger. And by the end of such a long series, you're made to feel like, you know, Steven, Avery in some way. And you've, you're now on his side. And so of course you make him a quilt. You write to him and letter. I mean letters we see in the first episode just how much time of the day. Now, Steven, Avery is spending responding to letters and he seems shocked by the impact it's had, but it it isn't surprising to me that this would have gained a cult following in some way, you know, to my mind, you know why agree with Phoebe about, you know why people like these things. I think there's a another level there, and I think the other level is that they got taken advantage of, you know, people feel like the cops didn't play fair, and the prosecutor didn't play fair. It wasn't really a question of guilt or innocence. For me, it was a question of watching the system, chew somebody up watching a district attorney, hold a press conference and put out a story. That was completely inconsistent with the physical facts. You know, in a way that would just prejudice anybody in that situation. And that's what came through for me, and and I think that's reality. And if that's what the, what the filmmakers thought, well, then I think they were. They were right on the money about that. Is, is this probably if we're if we're not going to focus on Brendan and Stephen here, and we're going to focus on the larger issue, which I think is what for me, it's a bit of a shame that I mean, I think empathy is always good. So if people are feeling something for people that feel was wrong, they were wronged and that's good. But I also think that it's bid off the Mark. I think the real target is to look at the things that you're saying David about the big issues about corruption in the criminal Justice system and whether or not we're giving people a fair shake. I couldn't agree more and and indeed, you know, when I talk about the staircase, you know, people ask questions about the owl theory or whatever, but but that's not really the point for me. Indeed, the point really isn't whether somebody thinks Michael is guilty or not guilty. You know, the real point is had this system work and why did it fail? Because clearly it failed. And that's the important takeaway. For me from the staircase from making a murderer and from an various, you know, west Memphis, three. There've been a number of documentaries that I and I think they're having. I hope they're having an effect on your average person that all of a sudden people are waking up to the things that that we criminal defense lawyers have known for decades Phoebe. It's when when we were talking about these first two episodes, what really got me the season, I love the most are just are the scenes with the with the Avery family with the mom and dad and the brother. And to me, I'm just drawn. I'm drawing less to the mystery. I might be the anomaly I'm drawing lesson the mystery, and I'm I'm more drawn to just the sadness of it and and the way that sort of real people take these incredible life struggles and just process them and to be able to see that is pretty remarkable. I would imagine. In that appeals to you as well? Well, it doesn't appeal to me because it's it's tragedy in in the worst way and it it. I actually as a viewer of this, I more drawn to the mystery because seeing the how this whole thing is aged. Steven, Avery parents face is Arbel to see, but also says everything you need. What what I admire about this series is how quiet it is when they deal with Steven, Avery's mother and father, they don't need to say anything. You can just watch them moving around the house, taking apart a carburetor and know all you need to know and, and that's the thing that the conversations are so banal to like when they're on the phone with Steven at the at the prisoner. They're always like, so what time you getting here? Like it's always these really sort of drawn out really mundane conversations. But for some reason that's more human than than you would imagine. Of course, because all anyone wants is to feel connected to the outside world, you know, and. I think that I think that what's what's so interesting in the whole representation of the family is that you have sympathy for these parents of Steven Avery, whether he is guilty or not, you know that that this is how we see how crime ripples out the effects of these things is that you don't that does it. It's a whole other side story going on to watch these parents into watch them over the years into watch them to continue to struggle. And in my opinion, in this in this new in these new episodes to start to see them almost give up the battle, you know, to be tired to be beleaguered in a way that they didn't seem to be years ago that I think is so tragic to watch. But I also think it's says so much because we have so much sympathy for them. Whether Steven Avery did this or not. I mean, it doesn't matter. You still get to see these parents just suffer. Do you worry about the part that that the filmmakers John. Have access to to the to the, the parents of of the woman who was murdered and the the ramifications of of not just hashing this out in in one making a murder but doing it apart to again, is there any responsibility there? I'm not saying there is. I just think it's I, I wonder it's always in the back of my mind as I'm watching it. Well, I make a crime show which from the beginning has been very, very aware of never trying to sensationalize or to put in scenes of violence or to talk about things just because it will get a rise or. Yes, that is incredible. That is why I created criminal to do because I was so unhappy with the type of true crime reporting that I had been seeing. It's why we started the show for of course, it means if four years ago there wasn't much out there in terms of true crime podcast or anything really. So, yeah, I mean, yes, I think that is incredibly important, but I think that that's why watching how Steven Avery's family. I don't think that that watching how it's impacted his family means that we don't take what happened to Teresa's and Theresa's family seriously. I think if it's done with respect, it's when you when you start be disrespectful that I think you get into. Very bad territory quickly. And from what I've seen at least how they've portrayed the Avery family, I feel like they've done it in a way that I don't think is harmful to. But of course, yes, this is popular entertainment made on a tragedy, and that's always got to give you pause. I think David. Are you true crime fan? No, I I actually live my life in true crime so so don't need to watch it in my spare time. Phoebe, what what? I guess I don't want you to say what true crime bothers you out there. But I mean, do you definitely other columns about good, true crime, Batra crime, somewhere in the middle stuff that you think is noble stuff that you think is? How does it? How does it shake out for you. People who speculate people who don't report in facts, people who depict violence just for the hell of it. People who don't take into account the fact that a victim's family might be listening or watching this people who exploit other people's sufferings. Those are all things which I think are in the bad column, which at I work all the time to try to never fall in that column. I is incredibly important to us. But yes, all those things are what I consider to be the problems with true crime reporting, Phoebe. Oh, I'm curious. And I'm curious to hear David's response to this answer. How much of an impact are you trying to have in terms of the criminal Justice system in terms of the way we look at certain types of evidence or the way we assume somebody's guilt or innocence? Are you motivated in that sense or you more motivated through telling stories? I'm not. I do not think our primary motivation is to shine a light on the criminal Justice system. The injustices that we see after doing the show and how complicated it is because I'm more confused by the criminal Justice system now than I was four years ago, I mean of the more you know, the more confused you get. Of course, I mean it because it's not as simple as oh, well, now I understand how the court system work know the the appeal system worked mean no, of course gets more and more complicated, but I have a showboat crime. But my always said that people really were just a a show about the human experience. All I want to know is why people do the things they do what gets them to the position where they might commit a crime. What happens after cerebral thing occurs where the victim of a crime that's that is really my main goal. And of course that sometimes collides with the criminal Justice system and talking about it, and we spent a lot of time getting court reports and things like that. But really, it's a, it's a show just trying to figure out why people do the things they do. I. I don't want to say, I'm not going to say that that answer would disappoint you David, but what do you wanna see from from true crime? I, I would imagine you you would have more of a motivation towards affecting system. Yeah, and and I think you know what Phoebe saying is that that her her focus, if you will, is not so much on the criminal Justice system or on the the, the problems in the criminal Justice system, but rather on the human beings who are interacting with the criminal Justice system, and I understand that and I think, you know, that's fine for me. I'm really hoping that these kinds of documentaries spur more questioning and in-depth analysis by people like Phoebe, who have an interest in it of the criminal Justice system and and and why things go wrong and how they go wrong and why so many people are wrongfully convicted and what kinds of reforms can can be put in place and how do they do things and. Other in other countries and other jurisdictions that may be better than what we do, what can we learn from them? What can they learn from us? I think there's a whole host of really, really important systemic issues that really need to have the the light of day shine on them. For me, the important thing is is much more the criminal Justice system and is not so much the life stories of the people who've been caught up in it. Although that's what I do on a daily basis is to is to delve into those life stories. Right? I would imagine they both go together like when you can take the sort of real human interest house, it's affecting people. And then you have the elements of the larger issue of the criminal Justice system and the wrongs that need to be right. You get a show you get probably series like making a murderer, and hopefully that's that's when it works really well. Now, I think that's exactly right. I think that's what. Would make staircase and it's what makes making a murderer and and some of these other documentaries successful is that they really meld those two complementary but separate strains on. So last question, what do you hope happens? I mean, do you think do you think there's any hope for Steven Avery or Bernard ASI, like, I mean, I don't wanna be. I don't want you to be super negative about it. There's always hope right. But in your in your crystal ball, what what do you? What do you see happening? What do you hope happens? I think David can probably answer what he thinks might happen just from a. Human being watchers standpoint. I mean, I hope that there's some piece for the threesomes family so that they no longer have to wonder what happened to their daughter. And I hope that there's some piece for the Avery family and that they can stop spending their lives in this terrible tortures cycle of what happens next is, will these men get out? I just I think that's what I hope something comes to a conclusion. What do you think too. Well, if if you're asking me what I hope for, I would hope that that's he gets out because if there is one person in this entire story of the prosecution who does not deserve to be in prison right now, it's acid so interesting talking to you guys, man. Well, thanks for having us. Yeah, right on I maybe I'll talk to you. I'll text you guys. When I'm watching every episode. I'll just text you guys. Thanks. Take care of yourself about. That was Dan in conversation with Phoebe and David. Now assigned to hear from you our listeners, here's what you've had to say about making a murderer part two. At 'em Garcia said, I am living for Kathleen Zellner in season. Two of making a murderer at memoirs says, making him where to where to buy weekend at medal liquor says, I'm watching making a murderer season two, but it's going to be frustrating like no matter what they do in ten hours documentary footage, nothing will really change. It's insane how they sentence a sixteen year old life in prison. Just for being related to Avery at Twitter erg says in honor of making a murderer season two coming out. Let's all take a second again to remember the best sentence ever heard on that flicks the victim identified the perpetrator as wearing white underwear and Steven. Avery doesn't even own underwear. Tell us your thoughts on making murder season two and any other Netflix true stories. Just send us a tweet a gram, even pocus on Facebook, whatever you wanna do, just search for you can't make this up where the verified folks with that shiny blue checkmark. That's all for this week's episode of you can't make this up. Next time we'll be talking with chef and author semi Nosrat about her new show salt, fat acid heat. In the meantime, you can watch your series streaming now on Netflix. You could find us on apple podcast, Stitcher, Google play Spotify, and wherever else you get your podcasts, make sure subscribe rate and review the show. It helps other people find it. So we can finally get enough people together to start a podcast goal. Aren't you excited? You can't make this up is a production pineapple street media, and efforts are music is by Hans sales. I'm Rivaldo and thank you for listening.