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Solving the Halbach Murder Mystery

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Medical Doctor & Lawyer Author


Who really murdered Teresa Halbach? Was it Detective Lenk's jail house snitch? Or was it an ex-con who owed Colburn a favor? And who informed him of the location of Halbach's vehicle two days before it was found? Was it Steven Avery or someone else?

I spoke to witnesses and could not believe my ears. Death threats. FBI harassment. The finished product contains 100,000 words and 380 references with citations that can be easily verified.

The best thing? I am unbiased. I live 2,000 miles away and have no connection to law enforcement. But I have professional degrees in medicine, law and science. I am not another tongue-ringed teenaged youtuber out to vent my spleen. Not a prosecutor or defense attorney with an ax to grind. And the book isn't a boring tome that will put your Aunt Helen to sleep, but it might just give her nightmares. 

I no longer lay awake wondering who killed Teresa Halbach. Its all in the book. No unwarranted certitude. No tragic lack of humility. Just the truth.


In the words of J. Achenbach from the "National Geographic" article, The war on science:

"Its the way science tells us the truth, rather than the way we'd like the truth to be... in science, its not a sin to change your mind when the evidence demands it. For some people, the tribe is more important than the truth; for the best scientists, the truth is more important than the tribe."

So, don't be strange.  The solution to "Making a Murderer" is reading, "Making a Martyr: Steven Avery v. Manitowoc County: Judging American Justice with Science." Copyright 2017. All rights reserved. 


I struggled in writing this book to balance the interests in a story that needed to be told against the need for privacy for the victims' families. I struggled in the interviews with witnesses who did NOT wish to rehash what has become a ten year ordeal. Steven Avery now is doing life without parole, and Brendan Dassey now has just won his Habeas Corpus appeal, but remains imprisoned.  Now the 7th Circuit En Banc  has overturned his victory and restored his life sentence. 

The film, Making a Murderer, has had a devastating impact on most involved. But it has created a search for truth and sparked a national discussion on our justice system. 1000 hours and 380 references later, I have a clear understanding of America's justice system, and how it compares with other countries, and exactly why we find ourselves in this mess.

 I propose both some simple and some complex solutions.  Come and walk the journey with me, experiencing the thought process and revelations along the way.


After I saw the beginning of Making a Murderer, I became engrossed, and binged watched the rest in one day. 

After I completed the docu-series, I was angry and upset. Soon, without more information, I became frustrated. I could never look at police the same again. I wanted to help Brendan and Steven. I needed to take some constructive action knowing that two innocent men were rotting away in prison. One option was to sign a petition on whitehouse.org for a pardon. Another was to contribute money to the free Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey fund. 

My third option was to find the real killer(s). And that is what I chose.

I am neither a prison-rights advocate nor a blind supporter of the police. I just wanted to find out what happened. I was not concerned with whether evidence was admissible or not, not interested in legal technicalities; I just wanted to know what occurred at the Avery Salvage Yard (or the Quarry, or elsewhere) that Halloween night in 2005. After watching Making a Murderer, I could not sleep for days knowing how  two innocent men were stuck in prison for a crime they did not commit.  Steven Avery now is doing life without parole. Brendan Dassey will not be free until he is nearly 60, unless he wins his appeal.

After office work each day, I stayed late and printed out trial transcripts. I googled news articles on the case. I used my law school background to help weigh the evidence, and I used my medical school background to analyze the science.  I reviewed many thousands of pages of trial transcripts in both the Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey cases. I looked at the fingerprint, DNA, luminol, and EDTA evidence. It was tedious, and there were no easy or quick answers. Ultimately however I uncovered the bombshells, the stuff no one else had discussed, at least in what I reviewed.

The truth is important not only for me, but for the country, as many are becoming increasingly skeptical of those in power. The truth matters. And it matters more than joining either camp of warriors. 

The great bombshell I discovered was what really happened with the infamous key, the true key to the case. The book has almost 400 citations and references which support what I found. The answers were shocking and unexpected. I no longer wonder what happened that Halloween night in 2005.  Come and experience the journey with me. Its not for the faint of heart.

Steven Avery's Brain Fingerprint

Watch the author discuss his scientific analysis of Avery's new evidence.



The full 7th Circuit Court of Appeals REVERSED the 3 judge panel decision from June 22nd, 2017 in a narrow 4:3 decision split with harsh dissenting opinions.

Judge Hamilton wrote for the majority stating that Dassey's confession was not coerced. 

Chief Judge Wood and Rovner and Williams all dissented:

" By turning a blind eye to these problems, the majority has essentially read habeas corpus relief out of the books"

"No reasonable state court, knowing what we now know about coercive interrogation technique, ....could possibly have concluded that Dassey's confession was voluntarily given."

"What occurred here was the interrogation of an intellectually impaired juvenile.., His confession was not voluntary and his conviction should not stand, and yet an impaired teenager has been sentenced to life in prison. I view this as a profound miscarriage of justice."

The Panel Decision on 6/22/17

On February 14th, 2017, a three-judge panel heard oral arguments to release Brendan. Their decision will be released any day now.  

On June 22nd, a 3 judge panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Judge Duffin's ruling that the confession was involuntary. The Circuit Court panel voted 2 in favor and 1 against the affirmation. This essentially stated that no reasonable fact finder could consider the confession voluntary. However, the dissenting circuit judge, obviously did. 

Now we await official action for the response from the Wisconsin AG's office. They have already indicated, unofficially, their desire to appeal this either en banc to the 7th Circuit, or in the alternative, to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Given the number of en banc requests, and the fact only a small percentage are accepted, and given the fact the odds are even lower for the Supreme Court to grant a writ of certiori, it is most likely the State of Wisconsin will have to decide whether or not to try Dassey again, without some of the statements. However, since Dassey made multiple incriminating statements, i.e., First in November 2005 to police, then two on 2/27/06 then another 3/1/06 and still another to police in May 2006 and still another to his mother in May 2006, it is likely the trial will proceed with the remaining allowable inculpatory statements. All of this could take years to unfold.

July 2018 UPDATE

Since the 3 judge panel decided in favor of Dassey on 6/22/17, and that the confession was involuntary, The State appealed to the full 7th Circuit Court "En Banc".

Although rare, the full 7th Circuit Court agreed to hear the case and to Dassey's great disappointment, reversed the 3 judge panel's decision. The full court reversed in a narrow 4:3 decision with harsh dissenting opinions where the Chief judge [Wood] led the dissent. That meant legally that Dassey was back to square one, convicted and doing life, unless he won the long shot, the appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Dassey through his lawyers applied for the appeal to the Supreme Court. After many months of waiting, the U.S. Supreme Court did what it does most of the time. In June 2018, the Court declined the Writ of Certiori. That meant officially the appeals were over, and that the lower court decision, The En Banc review,  would stand.

This means that as of today, 7/7/18, Brendan Dassey must remain in prison.



I have posted some youtube videos under the name of Justus Hope to review some of the Zellner arguments.

Feel free to peruse them.

Or just order the book, and review all of the evidence.