If the state of Wisconsin had gotten their way, Making a Murderer would've never seen the light of day.
During an illuminating Twitter Q&A on Wednesday, creators Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos were asked what the most challenging part of creating the incredibly popular Netflix series, prompting them to reveal that once they had to fight in court to keep the filming process on track. "There were many challenges. One was when the State of Wisconsin tried to subpoena our footage," the filmmakers replied over a series of tweets. "We had to hire a lawyer and file a motion to quash the subpoena which we won. If State had won, they would have effectively shut down the production."
That was far from the only eyebrow-raising admission in the hour-long exchange with fans and critics alike. Ricciardi and Demos were able to address concerns regarding omitted evidence, their true intentions in making the series, and Steven Avery's ex-fiancée Jodi's claims that she was forced into participating. What follows are nine more fascinating takeaways.
The "Missing Evidence": "We included all of the State's strongest evidence. What's left out is less significant, circumstantial evidence, disputed by the defense and/or excluded by the judge."
Avery Always Asked for Teresa: "Teresa was the only Auto Trader photographer who covered Manitowoc. As the only Auto Trader photog in the county, if he asked for her, there is nothing suspicious about that."
No Mention of Avery Greeting Teresa in a Towel: "The judge excluded the evidence. The woman who outside the presence of the jury testified about conversation with Teresa was the receptionist for Auto Trader who said it was 10-15 second conversation about unusual or funny things that happened with customers and here Teresa said 'Ew' and laughed. You can check the trial transcript."
Brendan and the (Absent?) Psychologist: "The defense called Dr. Gordon to testify about Brendan's suggestibility. It did not make the final cut of the series."
Making a Murderer, the Director's Cut: "While we're not in a position to release extended footage, the full trial transcript is available online for free. Thanks to viewers who pooled resources to order the transcript and posted it online."
The Jodi of It All: "We saw no indication [that Jodi was afraid of Steven or threatened into lying.] We saw a woman who was very supportive of Steven and Brendan and under a tremendous amount of pressure from law enforcement...We had her permission to use all the footage. It's not true that she asked us not to be part of the documentary...We have no idea what's behind Jodi's recent statements. The filming we did with her nine years ago accurately captured her views and state of mind at the time."
The Curious Case of Avery's DNA & Teresa's Car: "The question is how it got there. A crime lab expert testified that he went under the hood after handling other evidence and did not change his gloves. The defense argued there was the potential for contamination. The alternative argument was planting. It was disputed evidence and neither side was presented in the series with respect to this less significant evidence."
The Thing About Intent: "Biggest misconception is that we went into the project to try to prove something. The truth is we set out to examine something and ask questions. We went where the record, events and facts led us. After 10 years of research and production, we responsibly presented what we found as a documentary series."
A Difference in Opinion: "Yes," they replied when asked if they'd feel differently about Avery's guilt if they'd never made the series. "It was only because we went through all of the materials in depth that we could begin to understand how these convictions came about."
All 10 episodes of Making a Murderer are available to stream now on Netflix.