GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – The Netflix series “Making a Murderer” featuring Steven Avery continues to create a lot of buzz.
Hundreds of thousands of people have watched the series. More than 200,000 people from coast-to-coast have signed online petitions calling for Avery’s release.
Avery and his nephew, Brendan Dassey, both from Manitowoc County were convicted of the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach.
The case first made headlines about 10 years ago, but after Netflix’s release last month it’s gotten a whole new following.
“One of the reasons it’s so popular is that it came around at the right time,” said Mark Glantz, Assistant Professor of Communication and Media Studies at St. Norbert College. “Recently in the media there’s kind of been a resurrection of the true crime genre.”
The trailer has gotten more than 1.1 million views on YouTube.
“I think that it’s the kind of narrative that grabs people in one way or another,” Glantz said. “It does feel like it could sorta happen anywhere.”
It has people and celebrities, like Alec Baldwin, watching and sharing their opinions.
People aren’t just watching, they’re taking to the web.
“There are people putting together petitions for his release,” Glantz said.
Facebook pages and GoFundMe sites have popped up as some who’ve watched the 10-part series believe Steven Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey have been wronged.
A petition on Change.org has nearly 200,000 signatures at the time of publishing and another, through the White House, has just short of its 100,000 signature threshold.
“If a petition reaches that threshold, then the president of the United States has to have somebody in the federal government, somebody in his cabinet, somebody who’s under his employ to actually respond to this,” said Glantz.
But all of the signatures may not mean a whole lot.
“The president of the United States cannot pardon someone convicted in a state case,” said the Wisconsin Attorney General’s office in a statement.
“Rarely does somebody who works for the federal government say ‘you know what, you’re absolutely right. let’s change this immediately,” said Glantz.
In a statement released to Action 2 News prior to the release of the series, the Halbach Family said, “Having just passed the 10-year anniversary of the death of our daughter and sister, Teresa, we are saddened to learn that individuals and corporations continue to create entertainment and to seek profit from our loss. We continue to hope that the story of Teresa’s life brings goodness to the world.”