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Wrecking Crew: Demolishing The Case Against Steven Avery

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In 2016-17, while working for the USA TODAY NETWORKs Wisconsin Investigative Team, author John Ferak wrote dozens of articles examining the murder case again Steven Avery, who had already beat one wrongful conviction only to be charged with the murder of Teresa Halbach in 2005. The case became the wildly successful Netflix Making A Murderer documentary. In WRECKING CREW: In 2016-17, while working for the USA TODAY NETWORK’s Wisconsin Investigative Team, author John Ferak wrote dozens of articles examining the murder case again Steven Avery, who had already beat one wrongful conviction only to be charged with the murder of Teresa Halbach in 2005. The case became the wildly successful Netflix “Making A Murderer” documentary. In WRECKING CREW: Demolishing The Case Against Steven Avery, Ferak lays out in exacting detail the post-conviction strategy of Kathleen Zellner, the high-profile, high-octane lawyer, to free Avery. To write this book, Zellner, perhaps America’s most successful wrongful conviction attorney, gave Ferak unique access to the exhaustive pro bono efforts she and her small suburban Chicago law firm dedicated for a man she believes to be a victim of an unscrupulous justice system in Manitowoc County.


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In 2016-17, while working for the USA TODAY NETWORKs Wisconsin Investigative Team, author John Ferak wrote dozens of articles examining the murder case again Steven Avery, who had already beat one wrongful conviction only to be charged with the murder of Teresa Halbach in 2005. The case became the wildly successful Netflix Making A Murderer documentary. In WRECKING CREW: In 2016-17, while working for the USA TODAY NETWORK’s Wisconsin Investigative Team, author John Ferak wrote dozens of articles examining the murder case again Steven Avery, who had already beat one wrongful conviction only to be charged with the murder of Teresa Halbach in 2005. The case became the wildly successful Netflix “Making A Murderer” documentary. In WRECKING CREW: Demolishing The Case Against Steven Avery, Ferak lays out in exacting detail the post-conviction strategy of Kathleen Zellner, the high-profile, high-octane lawyer, to free Avery. To write this book, Zellner, perhaps America’s most successful wrongful conviction attorney, gave Ferak unique access to the exhaustive pro bono efforts she and her small suburban Chicago law firm dedicated for a man she believes to be a victim of an unscrupulous justice system in Manitowoc County.

30 review for Wrecking Crew: Demolishing The Case Against Steven Avery

  1. 5 out of 5

    Valerity (Val)

    Wrecking Crew: Demolishing The Case Against Steven Avery This is the next chapter in the Steve Avery saga. This book was written by author John Ferak based upon Kathleen Zellners post-conviction strategy for overturning Steve Averys case. She allowed Ferak access to her and her firms dedicated pro-bono efforts to get Avery set free as she believes he was wrongly convicted by a crooked Manitowoc justice system. Zellner spent two and a half years investigating Averys case and all of what went on Wrecking Crew: Demolishing The Case Against Steven Avery This is the next chapter in the Steve Avery saga. This book was written by author John Ferak based upon Kathleen Zellner’s post-conviction strategy for overturning Steve Avery’s case. She allowed Ferak access to her and her firm’s dedicated pro-bono efforts to get Avery set free as she believes he was wrongly convicted by a crooked Manitowoc justice system. Zellner spent two and a half years investigating Avery’s case and all of what went on and it’s amazing what she found. Previously I’ve bounced from one viewpoint to the other, not sure who is telling the truth so far. I’ve read books from both sides. But this book has been eye-opening. Lots of little bombshells going off throughout. Lots of revelations. If you have been following the story, you will want to read this book. I thought my position was pretty firm, but after reading what I have in this book, I have to say that I see things very differently now. It has changed my mind about many things, and I look forward to seeing how this plays out in the courts now. My thanks for the advance electronic copy that was provided by NetGalley, author John Ferak, and the publisher for my fair review. WildBlue Press 292 pages Pub: Nov 20th, 2018 My BookZone blog: https://wordpress.com/post/bookblog20...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    In the interest of full disclosure, I did not actually finish this book. I made it to chapter 9 before I had enough. The Steven Avery case is polarizing. This is not new information. It is imperative that the facts, and only the facts, be presented. My assumption when I purchased this book was that it would contain a scholarly approach to all of the evidence and would advance real theories that might help to exonerate Steven Avery, and, by extension, Brendan Dassey. Instead it is basically one In the interest of full disclosure, I did not actually finish this book. I made it to chapter 9 before I had enough. The Steven Avery case is polarizing. This is not new information. It is imperative that the facts, and only the facts, be presented. My assumption when I purchased this book was that it would contain a scholarly approach to all of the evidence and would advance real theories that might help to exonerate Steven Avery, and, by extension, Brendan Dassey. Instead it is basically one long op/ed piece that is very poorly written at the best of times. The author uses hyperbole regularly and after a few pages it got exhausting. This might be classified as a good read because it certainly does utilize sensationalism. But it is not academic at all and is frankly offensively bad. Surely a case as horrific as this one deserved better. We all deserved better.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Hadley Schwierking

    Some grammatical errors here and there and repeating and reiterating in some chapters, but overall a good read about all of the information about the case.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    I don't think I was the target audience for this book. It was certainly convincing. Kathleen Zellner is a true American hero. I'm very happy to know Steven Avery has her in his corner. I've never seen Making a Murderer. We don't have Netflix.But being a true crime buff who doesn't live in a cave I am familiar with the story. My problem with this book is that the author assumes everybody has seen Making a Murderer. But, that's my minor complaint. This isn't really a book. It's a report. A bundling I don't think I was the target audience for this book. It was certainly convincing. Kathleen Zellner is a true American hero. I'm very happy to know Steven Avery has her in his corner. I've never seen Making a Murderer. We don't have Netflix.But being a true crime buff who doesn't live in a cave I am familiar with the story. My problem with this book is that the author assumes everybody has seen Making a Murderer. But, that's my minor complaint. This isn't really a book. It's a report. A bundling of affidavits. There's no story. And that's what's missing. The story. The personalization. How is Steven holding up? What does his family think? Is his family in his corner, or his sister Barb's corner? I'm a fan of Ann Rule, Joe McGinniss, Dominick Dunne, & even John Grisham's one true crime that I'm aware of. They tell you a story & make you care. Like I said, maybe I'm not the target for this book. Maybe today's busy readers want a "just the facts" approach, but I found it very hard to connect with. I want to thank WildBlue Press for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

  5. 4 out of 5

    TRACE

    A+ content, just needs a little more editing kathleen zellner is a queen

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Ohm

    The book is just really hard to follow, theres so many people and so many different titles of people, the history of events flops all over the place. I love this case and the documentaries, and I super love Kathleen Zellner but I cant read this book. Made it about 35% of the way through before giving up and moving on unfortunately. The book is just really hard to follow, there’s so many people and so many different titles of people, the history of events flops all over the place. I love this case and the documentaries, and I super love Kathleen Zellner but I can’t read this book. Made it about 35% of the way through before giving up and moving on unfortunately.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bibliophan (Angie M.)

    Minor Updates Made to Review on 12/24/18: So I don't usually write book reviews... I usually just add private notes with my thoughts in the section provided by Goodreads because it's what I prefer to do. But I noticed that this book had very few written reviews and the reviews are mixed so I wanted to try and help anyone that's maybe on the fence. I'm going to attempt to write a fair review, but seeing as I don't usually write these things, I beg that you guys not judge my reviewing skills too Minor Updates Made to Review on 12/24/18: So I don't usually write book reviews... I usually just add private notes with my thoughts in the section provided by Goodreads because it's what I prefer to do. But I noticed that this book had very few written reviews and the reviews are mixed so I wanted to try and help anyone that's maybe on the fence. I'm going to attempt to write a fair review, but seeing as I don't usually write these things, I beg that you guys not judge my reviewing skills too harshly (please!). 😋 First, I'll share my review on the book, then my opinions on the overall case. I'll end the review with my recommendation for those who want to skip ahead - but please read my notes directly below before proceeding! VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: Anyone that hasn't watched Making a Murderer (MaM) Part I and II, should probably watch it before reading this book - or maybe skip the book altogether because I don't think there's any way you would be able to keep up without having the details of the "docuseries" presented to you first. As pointed out very eloquently by another reviewer (Barbara), when I first wrote this review, I didn't realize that there was no real "story" to the book. So much of it was missing! The author fully depends on the reader to get the story from MaM1 and MaM2 so, in reality, this book just reads as an expansion of the case details and as a brief update to the docuseries. (Sorry, Mr. Ferak! I honestly hadn't realized it until someone that hadn't watched the series but was familiar with the case pointed it out. I still think it's a great read though!) I'm a complete novice at True Crime books so I didn't realize that a large chunk of the story was even missing, especially since my mind automatically filled in the gaps with the storyline created by the series. I stick mostly to fiction because I can convince my brain that the atrocities I'm reading about are not being truly done to actual victims. 💔 It's easier to sleep at night that way and not live in constant fear and paranoia. MY REVIEW: 3.35-Stars Ok - so, I'm in complete agreement with the comments regarding this book needing some better proofreading and editing. In my private notes, I did comment that the writing itself was a bit scattered, repetitive and not entirely cohesive at times. The content was good, even great at times and sometimes incredibly shocking, but the writing itself was not. As for the content, I do believe that the people that have not been following the case online (after watching Part I and Part II of the Making a Murderer series), may find this book to be much more informative than perhaps people like me, who have continued to follow the case regularly / even after the series ended through different online forums (Twitter, Reddit, YouTube, etc.). I think that Kathleen Zellner (Avery's current post-conviction attorney) has done an excellent and amazing job at disproving a lot of (if not all of) the evidence and testimony that was presented at the trial by the Prosecution and the author has done a great job at sharing the details of Kathleen's case with us and how she hopes to present it when the time comes. (The woman is a force!) The author has basically created a book using everything that Kathleen Zellner and her A-Team (her firm and entire kickass legal team, her phenomenal investigative team and her team of outstanding experts) have put together in the past several years since she took on Avery's post-conviction case. I don't know how much of the research or info is the author's own though. I didn't find that to be clear. A lot of the book's content is just a reiteration of what many of us watched in MaM2. There were a few things scattered throughout the book though that were new to me and that had not been shared (or at least not in as much detail) on MaM2 so that was definitely interesting. I read, or rather listened, to this book with an open mind, just as I watched Part I and Part II of Making a Murderer with an open mind. I am currently reading Ken Kratz's book with an open mind (even though I think it is awful and outrageously narcissistic, ignorant, and very hard to get through - and on several occasions incredibly disrespectful to the memory of Teresa Halbach and disrespectful to her family). I will soon be reading Jerome Buting's book on the case with an open mind as well. No doubt he will have had more tact and respect than that foul, slimeball Kratz. MY OPINIONS As for a comment made by another reviewer (and made by many individuals in general), I agree that the case in and of itself is very polarizing and that you will have people that are 100% sure Steven Avery did it and others that are 100% sure that he didn't. While I don't, at this time, believe that Steve Avery and/or Brendan Dassey did it, I am and will continue to be interested in learning more about the case until I can make a fully educated decision on who I believe really killed Teresa Halbach. Kathleen Zellner is no joke - she's the real deal, she is a bulldog and will fight for justice until she is out of options, and even then she'll fight and find a way. And I'm with her on one thing she said on the series (I'm paraphrasing): If Stephen is guilty, then he's an idiot for getting me involved because I will find out the truth one way or another and if he's guilty, he'll be exposed. . She literally has nothing to lose. If things go bad for him or if they go well, whatever the outcome, it will only go to reinforce her stance and views on true justice in the U.S.'s legal system. Either she is able to prove he didn't do it, or if he did, then she will sink him with the evidence she'll discover and it will be the last chance Stephen Avery ever gets. Regardless of who did or did not do it - I do not feel, AT ALL, that this case was tried properly through our legal system and I feel that our legal system has failed over and over and over again when it comes to getting justice for Teresa Halbach. I also believe that any shot that Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey had at having a fair trial, went out the window with Ken Kratz and his entirely unprofessional and unethical behavior in all pre- (and post-) trial media. Talk about character assassination while also presenting unproven details as fact to the media! He's a disgrace. Forget his nasty sexting scandal with the domestic abuse victims he was representing or his perverse sexual fantasy addictions.... Even not knowing all that, the guy is still pure slime. His cocky and condescending facial expressions at most, if not all, of the horrible of press events and media coverage should tell you more than enough about how almighty and god-like he thinks he is. It's disgusting. Repulsive. He's an embarrassment to the legal institution and to our country. Karma is a bitch. I cannot wait to see him get what's coming to him (Order up! A handful of very long jail-time sentences, please)! Going back to the case though, I still have a hard time understanding how a jury decided that there was no reasonable doubt - because I sure as hell had doubt after watching the first season of MaM - I had even more doubts after MaM2, and I almost quadrupled my doubt after reading this book. As a juror in either trial, I would have worked my ass off trying to convince the other jurors of all of the reasonable doubt there should have been in their minds after reviewing the cases presented by the prosecution and defense in the two separate trials - AND I would have requested more details from the prosecution and defense in order to help prove to my fellow jurors that there was, in fact, more than enough reason to not convict either of them for the heinous crime committed upon Teresa Halbach. Not to pass such a harsh and horrible judgment but I don't know how the jurors in both those trials sleep at night seeing as reasonable doubt existed in both cases at that time and even more so now. To be fair though, SO MUCH WAS WITHHELD FROM THEM... Knowing all that they knew then plus all we know now, I'd have loved to have heard from those jurors in Wrecking Crew! That would have been a great addition to this book! This whole case was so grossly mishandled by everyone involved that at the very least, both Steven and Brendan deserve new trials. I want to believe in our justice system though, so I hope and pray that they'll get that second chance (if they are not completely exonerated of the crimes first). Now, I will be the first to say that it is quite possible that I have it all wrong, but unlike the people that are 100% certain that Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey killed Teresa, I would be willing to admit that I was wrong if, in the end, the refuted evidence and expert testimonies prove that either one or both of them, in fact, killed her. However, I think there is too much that doesn't fit when it comes down to it all. All that said, I honestly look forward to seeing how this all ends. And soon, I hope. All of the families and people involved in this very globally publicized legal battle and media storm circus deserve a chance to live as close to a normal life as they possibly can again after this is finally put to rest with ALL of the true perpetrators of the heinous crimes paying for their part in the murder and cover up of Teresa Halbach's death. But more than anything, I think that Teresa Halbach deserves justice and I hope and pray that the true killer(s) will pay for it! MY RECOMMENDATION TO THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE UNSURE WHETHER YOU SHOULD READ THE BOOK OR NOT... I suggest that you keep an open mind and GIVE IT A CHANCE. If you still think it's baloney afterward, then that is your prerogative and I applaud you for at least having had an open mind and giving the book a shot. But if you read the book and it helps you to realize that some things just don't add up or piece together, and/or that there seem to have been some major gaps and slip-ups in the way the Prosecution handled both cases, then I am glad that you gave yourself the chance to come to that conclusion after giving this book a fair shot.

  8. 4 out of 5

    IDaniele

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Thoroughly written book that discusses the fundamental aspects of how incredibly flawed the investigation of the Avery case was. Not only that, the backstory of how corrupt the Manitowoc sheriffs office is even prior to Halbachs murder, only reinforces the idea that there was a significant amount of foul play during this investigation.This case is quite literally infused with criminal misconduct and judged purely on hearsay. There are no concrete physical evidence linking Steven to the crime Thoroughly written book that discusses the fundamental aspects of how incredibly flawed the investigation of the Avery case was. Not only that, the backstory of how corrupt the Manitowoc sheriff’s office is even prior to Halbach’s murder, only reinforces the idea that there was a significant amount of foul play during this investigation.This case is quite literally infused with criminal misconduct and judged purely on hearsay. There are no concrete physical evidence linking Steven to the crime scene. And don’t get me started on Brendan Dassey - the system failed him miserably. The most compelling inculpatory piece of evidence used against Steven is of course the blood stains found inside RAV4. However when you consider the position and placement of the blood stains, it makes you really think how unrealistic the placement of blood was. I won’t deny, I’m not sure how I feel about the proposition that Bobby stole and placed the blood inside RAV4, however it’s obvious that it was not natural and was planted. There’s another part that the prosecution never followed - alternative suspects. Surely in such a huge and important homicide case, you would aim to research all possible perpetrators. There was Teresa’s ex-boyfriend, the married man with whom she had an affair and the nature of her photographic work. Seeing how many perverts there are in this time and age, a competent investigator would’ve explored these options. That’s one of the reasons why I had give the book 4* - it did not explore alternative suspects not related to the Avery and Dassey clan. It’s mind boggling how this was not investigated to its core. Scott Tadych and Bobby Dassey are the prime suspects and based on Zellner’s investigation, who by the way spent hundreds and thousands of her firm’s money on hiring the *best* and most credible experts in their fields and conducted thorough experiments, they’re are 101% hiding something. The fact that their DNA was never tested against the physical evidence, fingerprints were not matched and their alibi was never confirmed only showed that the state wanted Steven to rot in the prison for the rest of his life. And Colborn? His incompetency is the single most frustrating thing about this case. His call to the dispatch to confirm RAV4 plate number clearly nailed him down to the crime scene only days before the RAV4 was discovered. Also, the amount of police coverups that he was involved in is astonishing. I believe Zellner’s credibility and resilience as a criminal attorney. She will succeed in proving his innocence although it’s a whole matter if the state will ever grant retrial for Steven Avery. We’ve all seen how determined they are to keep Brendan in jail and he was convicted on hearsay only!!! I gave the book 4* only because they didn’t explore the alternative motive and suspects from Teresa’s POV. I don’t remember seeing any affidavits from Ryan Hillegas or any of her housemates. Surely there had to be one as he tripped himself by contradicting that the headlight at the front of RAV4 was smashed before the murder, whereas it’s evident that it wasn’t. Additionally, the book followed season 2 very closely and provided a small amount of new information. The style of writing was also quite confusing, especially the affidavits. At some point it was unclear who was asking questions, making observations or answering questions. It did however provided a lot of footnotes and an extensive bibliography on all the sources. Overall, as someone who’s highly invested in criminal cases and legal misconducts this book was brilliant.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kath Lambert

    Anyone who has followed the Netflix series Making a Murderer, this book is a more in depth look at the investigation that is being undertaken by Kathleen Zellner to clear Steven Averys name. Its also a closer look at the Mantiowok County Sheriffs Office who investigated and prosecuted Steven Avery originally for a vicious rape he was later cleared of, and then for the murder of Teresa Hallbach, along with his cousin Brendan Dassey who has clear learning disabilities. Its an absolutely Anyone who has followed the Netflix series Making a Murderer, this book is a more in depth look at the investigation that is being undertaken by Kathleen Zellner to clear Steven Avery’s name. It’s also a closer look at the Mantiowok County Sheriff’s Office who investigated and prosecuted Steven Avery originally for a vicious rape he was later cleared of, and then for the murder of Teresa Hallbach, along with his cousin Brendan Dassey who has clear learning disabilities. It’s an absolutely fascinating insight into other cases that have been mishandled, or where cover ups have been initiated to hide the fact that cops from their own organisation have been directly involved. The corruption in Mantiowok is certainly rife if this book is to be believed. Towards the end of the book (and throughout) fingers are pointed at two particular suspects that Zellner believes are the real perpetrators, and I for one have no doubt of their guilt. The only reason for the 3 stars instead of 4 is that it’s not the most well written book. And it does repeat itself quite a lot. But it didn’t really detract from my overall enjoyment of the book, and for fans of Making A Murder this is a must read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    I enjoyed both seasons of Making a Murderer. My dad recommended and let me borrow this book and honestly that is the only reason I finished it rather than quitting within the first 40 pages. It seemed to me that this book was rushed out to capitalize on the hype from the tv series. Much of it is long quotes and excerpts from court filings, police records, and public statements pieced together with a few awkward transition sentences. Not well written at all. It didnt seem like there was any new I enjoyed both seasons of Making a Murderer. My dad recommended and let me borrow this book and honestly that is the only reason I finished it rather than quitting within the first 40 pages. It seemed to me that this book was rushed out to capitalize on the hype from the tv series. Much of it is long quotes and excerpts from court filings, police records, and public statements pieced together with a few awkward transition sentences. Not well written at all. It didn’t seem like there was any new information or analysis. The book condemns the Wisconsin police re-investigated the case, because they didn’t do a real, impartial investigation in search of truth, they just were just trying to solidify Avery’s conviction. While that may have been the case, the tone of the book suggests that the author’s analysis of the evidence is similarly biased in the other direction. I do not recommend.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jodie

    I highly recommend you see the Netflix documentary, Making a Murderer before reading this book. There are a lot of references and I think everything in this book would make more sense if you have seen it. I live in Wisconsin, so I already had been following the case of Steven Avery. I do believe that he is innocent of this crime and after this book, my feelings of his innocence are even stronger. I hope Teresa Halbachs real killer will be found soon. Her poor family. I just feel terrible for I highly recommend you see the Netflix documentary, “Making a Murderer” before reading this book. There are a lot of references and I think everything in this book would make more sense if you have seen it. I live in Wisconsin, so I already had been following the case of Steven Avery. I do believe that he is innocent of this crime and after this book, my feelings of his innocence are even stronger. I hope Teresa Halbach’s real killer will be found soon. Her poor family. I just feel terrible for them. I can’t imagine what they are going through and have gone through. I received this audiobook from the narrator via Audiobook boom at my request and have voluntarily left this review. The narrator, Kevin Pierce, was excellent. I love his voice and definitely will need to see what other books he has done.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    For anyone who has watched MaM and MaM2, this is a great follow-up. While many of the contents of this book are already discussed in MaM2, there are many revelations in this book that were either only briefly touched upon or not mentioned at all - the most notable to me being Bobby Dassey's computer. In my opinion, the book delves much deeper into area that are both highly relevant and significant. As such, I felt that reading the book was well worth the time. No, it wasn't a literary For anyone who has watched MaM and MaM2, this is a great follow-up. While many of the contents of this book are already discussed in MaM2, there are many revelations in this book that were either only briefly touched upon or not mentioned at all - the most notable to me being Bobby Dassey's computer. In my opinion, the book delves much deeper into area that are both highly relevant and significant. As such, I felt that reading the book was well worth the time. No, it wasn't a literary masterpiece, and there were redundancies and grammatical errors and often times the context just didn't "flow", but I wasn't reading it expecting to discover the next To Kill a Mockingbird. Overall, it was enlightening and by the end of the book, I was convinced that Zellner is absolutely correct in who murdered Teresa Halbach (which I was not convinced at the conclusion of MaM2). The only minor point that detracted from the book in any way was the author's apparent and obvious disdain of certain players in the case - not that it was not warranted - but I felt like the book would have been better served to simply state the facts without adding the snarky comments and personal swipes. Overall though, for any fan of Making a Murderer, this is a must-read. 4 stars.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jenni

    I will add this in now, as I'm aware that this may make me a little biased - I am in the 'not guilty' camp when it comes to Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey (I'm not saying innocent, but I just don't think the court case proved guilt, in case you ask). A lot of what was covered in this book is mentioned in Season 2 of Making a Murderer, but there were enough extra tidbits of information to keep me interested until the end. I feel that Kathleen Zellner played a big part in the creation of this book I will add this in now, as I'm aware that this may make me a little biased - I am in the 'not guilty' camp when it comes to Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey (I'm not saying innocent, but I just don't think the court case proved guilt, in case you ask). A lot of what was covered in this book is mentioned in Season 2 of Making a Murderer, but there were enough extra tidbits of information to keep me interested until the end. I feel that Kathleen Zellner played a big part in the creation of this book (whether that's true or not I don't know), based on the information included and the how the story was laid out, but it enjoyed it as an addition to all the furore surrounding this case. I doubt that it will change any minds, but there's enough in this book to at least make people look a little deeper at certain things and certain people. A great book for fans of true crime, MaM, and Murderinos!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Wendi Ballew

    I loved this book. It presented Ms. Zellners case to free Steven Avery while also covering the states case, or rather demolishing it. A lot of it was covering evidence from Making a Murderer 2 in greater detail, but there was a good amount of new information and background on key players. Its really mind boggling how anyone out there can still think either Steven Avery or Brendan Dassey were involved in anyway with this crime. I loved this book. It presented Ms. Zellner’s case to free Steven Avery while also covering the state’s “case”, or rather demolishing it. A lot of it was covering evidence from Making a Murderer 2 in greater detail, but there was a good amount of new information and background on key players. It’s really mind boggling how anyone out there can still think either Steven Avery or Brendan Dassey were involved in anyway with this crime.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Robin Holmes Richardson

    Needs a new proofreader... Informative read , but so many typos and missing or incorrect words, it became a distraction. Good fill-in for MAM.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    After the two Netflix seasons and this book I am 80% convinced Avery is innocent and 99.99999% convinced Brendan Dassey is innocent. The evidence leads me to believe it is more likely than not that Bobby Dassey murdered Teresa Halbach a mile or so from his home, that he then called his stepfather Scott for assistance in dismembering and burning the body, and that the Manitowoc police committed a crime of opportunity by planting Halbach's RAV4 on Avery's property, and that Bobby had already After the two Netflix seasons and this book I am 80% convinced Avery is innocent and 99.99999% convinced Brendan Dassey is innocent. The evidence leads me to believe it is more likely than not that Bobby Dassey murdered Teresa Halbach a mile or so from his home, that he then called his stepfather Scott for assistance in dismembering and burning the body, and that the Manitowoc police committed a crime of opportunity by planting Halbach's RAV4 on Avery's property, and that Bobby had already planted his uncle's blood in the vehicle. However, as the police never did a thorough search of Bobby's garage, where he had oh so coincidentally hung a dead dear and thus created a pretense for the blood and bones, I cannot say that I could convict anyone here beyond a shadow of a doubt. So things I learned from the book - Halbach was shooting some "adult" content as a photographer; Tadych had an extensive history of violent thuggery, against women especially; officers in Manitowoc county may have covered up a pedestrian death caused by the brother of one of their own a few years earlier; Tadych received a frenzied call at work on the day of Halbach's death; Bobby Dassey showed up to work 2 hours late that day; the fire Tadych described would likely have engulfed Avery's trailer if it were really that large; it's well nigh impossible for a bullet that passes through bone to not retain some of the matter, yet that's the bullet the prosecution claimed killed Halbach; the actual murder of Halbach was framed in a completely different manner in Avery's trial versus Brendan's trial, and yet the judge said nothing. Also, Ken Kratz is a creep ... and Buting and Strang's performance was average at best, all things considered. (I don't know if they could have afforded more expert witnesses in ballistics, burned bones, and such, but that they got hung up on the apparently false idea that the cops planted Avery's blood in Halbach's SUV harmed them irreparably). The author made a lot of assertions, had a lot of grammar errors (made worse by his insistence on using 'sic' when quoting someone else's grammar issues), and should have done a bit more investigation on Halbach's offputting ex-boyfriend, but was overall fairly compelling for most of the book. My takeaways from the case: - if a town or employer, or neighborhood, family, whatever, decides that they hate you, then you need to leave. I don't care if it isn't fair. Avery did himself a disservice and set himself up for major issues by staying in Manitowoc while suing the police department for $36M - some people are straight cursed. Avery did 17 years for a rape he did not commit, and is now likely going to die in prison for a murder he most likely did not commit - taking a confession from a mentally challenged, browbeaten boy as evidence is unjust - the biggest victim in all this is Halbach, obviously, since she was murdered in her mid-20s for no reason and no matter who goes to prison it will never bring her back - and, finally, don't be poor. The wheels of justice are much more likely to turn in your favor if you can afford bail and competent representation To conclude, perhaps the best evidence that the 2nd paragraph of this review is how the murder occurred is that it's what is thought to be true by Kathleen Zellner, the closest thing to a hero this whole ugly tale has. And my best argument for that belief? Has Kathleen Zellner ever been wrong about someone's guilt once she's investigated the case? As the greatest mind to cover it, she's the one I believe.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mephala

    I had a hard time rating this book. On one hand, it's a pretty good summary of what happened (and is still happening) with Steven Avery's case since Kathleen Zellner involvement. On the other, it's so disjoined, choppy and poorly edited. Not to mention all the snide little comments the author makes about not only people involved with the case (LE especially), but... even the state of Wisconsin in general. WRECKING CREW: Demolishing The Case Against Steven Avery is definitely a great book for I had a hard time rating this book. On one hand, it's a pretty good summary of what happened (and is still happening) with Steven Avery's case since Kathleen Zellner involvement. On the other, it's so disjoined, choppy and poorly edited. Not to mention all the snide little comments the author makes about not only people involved with the case (LE especially), but... even the state of Wisconsin in general. WRECKING CREW: Demolishing The Case Against Steven Avery is definitely a great book for anyone who watched the first season of Netflix's worldwide known documentary, but didn't really follow the story after, and wanted to catch on. Basically, it's mostly a recap of what the second season of Making a Murderer was all about. There are some additional information here and there: some details about Zellner's theory who was the real perpetrator in Teresa Halbach's murder, a few very interesting stories about LE members involved with the case, and a lengthy retelling of Ken Kratz's sexting scandal. It's a good companion piece to the tv series, but doesn't really deliver any ground breaking new information. I watched both seasons of the documentary, so for me the most interesting parts of the book were the stories about people involved. Those don't paint a pretty picture about the state of LE agencies in Manitowoc and surrounding Counties. So at face value, it's a good and informative book. Unfortunately, poor editing (numerous grammatical and spelling errors), clear padding to make the book longer, and lack of... I'm not sure how to described it - maybe diplomatic tone - strips a little of the book's value. Grammatical errors and such are self explanatory. When it comes to padding, John Ferak has a tendency to repeat the same information over and over again. Sometimes only after two chapters we have a repeat of the same points with more or less the same quotes or information for context. It's annoying and make me think the author thinks the readers have serious problems with memory. This book could've been a lot shorter if it was more cohesive. Or it might be a case of bad editing. "WRECKING CREW..." feels very disjoined, almost like a collection of articles in a series. There is no flow in narration, one could almost rearrange the chapters and nothing would be amiss. Last but not least, the questionable tone. Of course true crime novels or documentaries tend not to be objective, even when they try. My issue with this book's tone is not its lack of objectivity - because let's face it the amount of proof something unsavory happened around Avery's case is staggering - but use of snide and deprecating generalizations. It was almost like the author had a personal dislike of Wisconsin in general. When talking about John Dedering lack of experienced in working such a high profile murder case, the only argument was because JD's state was "largely cow country". Calling all people involved with the case a "country bumpkins". The list goes on. I mean, Ferak is not wrong per se it just could've been worded better. It was the first time when I came across such tone in true crime book and it was weird to me. In sum, good book for a recap of the "Zellner era" of Steven Avery story, but not much new information beyond what was presented in the documentaries. Unfortunately, poorly edited. ~3,5/5 stars

  18. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    This book is a seriously in depth account of the Steven Avery murder case. On Halloween day 2005 Teresa Holbock was murdered and the local Police department has pinned it in Steven Avery. A man who had a 36 million dollar case against the same police department for another wrongful incarceration case where he spent most of his adult life in prison for a crime he did not commit. There are several books and even a Netflix series called Making a Muderer on this case. I am not sure what exactly has This book is a seriously in depth account of the Steven Avery murder case. On Halloween day 2005 Teresa Holbock was murdered and the local Police department has pinned it in Steven Avery. A man who had a 36 million dollar case against the same police department for another wrongful incarceration case where he spent most of his adult life in prison for a crime he did not commit. There are several books and even a Netflix series called Making a Muderer on this case. I am not sure what exactly has drawn me to this case that I follow it closely . Maybe this poor man has spent over 35 years in prison for things he did not do or the fact that I was raised in a small town in Georgia that also had a corrupt Police Department and I saw many people take the fall for things they had no hand in. I also love true crime. If you have heard of this case and even if you have not thus book is well worth the time to read or in case listen to this book. The book takes you through the evidence. It gives you reasons why it is believed this us a very corrupt case and also why Steven Avery is not guilty. It also points fingers at people who done the corruption, reasons why they may have done it, and even some people who should of been the true suspects. I personally cannot wait to see this case played out the rest of the way. I honestly do not know if Steven is guilty or not but it jest seems like he is a scapegoat in a crooked town. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ned

    Bad writing but good info Despite the fact that the writing is amateurish, overwrought, and peppered with unnecessary adjectives and grammatical errors, good information and a decent narrative remains. Much of the credit is due to direct quoting from various experts, primarily attorney Zellner. That does not bother me. I am grateful for the compendium, and it delivers the reader from further bad writing. It is unconscionable to release a book so frought with poor grammar that even a family friend Bad writing but good info Despite the fact that the writing is amateurish, overwrought, and peppered with unnecessary adjectives and grammatical errors, good information and a decent narrative remains. Much of the credit is due to direct quoting from various experts, primarily attorney Zellner. That does not bother me. I am grateful for the compendium, and it delivers the reader from further bad writing. It is unconscionable to release a book so frought with poor grammar that even a family friend with a passing knowledge of English could have edited and vastly improved. I don't get it. I guess rushing to press is more important than the author's reputation. This book is obviously biased and one-sided, the writer firmly established in Steven Avery's camp. Nevertheless, I have come to the conclusion that the opposition really has nothing more to say. Their sole rebuttal is to circle the wagons, point fingers, and repeat themselves. What a corrupt, vile bunch of bad actors. Anyone who bothers taking an objective look at the evidence and investigatory malfeasance has to come away filled with disgust.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    After watching Making a Murderer on Netflix, I decided to read this book as I was looking for more information on the case. The book did provide that. I learned more about the individuals involved in the investigation, the victim, additional witnesses, the prosecutor, and evidence. However, I didn't care for the way the book was written/edited. Many times information was repeated almost word for word. I can understand perhaps jogging the reader's memory on a fact presented earlier in the book After watching Making a Murderer on Netflix, I decided to read this book as I was looking for more information on the case. The book did provide that. I learned more about the individuals involved in the investigation, the victim, additional witnesses, the prosecutor, and evidence. However, I didn't care for the way the book was written/edited. Many times information was repeated almost word for word. I can understand perhaps jogging the reader's memory on a fact presented earlier in the book but sometimes repeated information was close enough that I'd say, "Didn't I just read that?" and I'd go back and find almost the exact wording and paragraphs. After a while I just accepted it. Also, there are many quotes in the book because of the use of affidavits, etc. I appreciated that. What I found annoying was often times I didn't know who was being quoted. I had to look at the footnote to find out. I think anyone looking for additional information on the Steven Avery case will find that this book delivers. I read the paperback edition.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    This book very nicely summarises the holes in the Steven Avery conviction and gives some insight into the approach that will be taken by Kathleen Zellner in her attempts to overturn the case. What is obvious from this is that any overturning of the conviction would cause huge rolled on the WN legal system. This book is a very useful companion to season 2 of the Making a Murderer TV show on Netflix, I would recommend watching the series prior to reading the book as this nicely fills in any has This book very nicely summarises the holes in the Steven Avery conviction and gives some insight into the approach that will be taken by Kathleen Zellner in her attempts to overturn the case. What is obvious from this is that any overturning of the conviction would cause huge rolled on the WN legal system. This book is a very useful companion to season 2 of the Making a Murderer TV show on Netflix, I would recommend watching the series prior to reading the book as this nicely fills in any has and provides extra background on the various last enforcement characters. Enjoyable and recommended. I removed 1 star purely because I would have rather a but more new info on the case although it is just possible that there is no more available.... Or possibly keeping the powder dry for a potential retrial ... All in all a fascinating real life story that continues to unwind.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tim Jin

    "Wrecking Crew" is a recap of season two of the Netflix's docuseries of Making a Murderer about Steven Avery. I'm not sure who to believe, if Avery is guilty or he was setup from the District Attorney of Calumet County, Wisconsin. The best chapters are toward the end of the book. Ken Kratz, the former district attorney is way more disturbing than Steve Avery and Brendan Dassey. I'm not sure why haven't more women aren't speaking out from sexual harassment against Ken Kratz. If they ever find out ​"Wrecking Crew" is a recap of season two of the Netflix's docuseries of Making a Murderer about Steven Avery. I'm not sure who to believe, if Avery is guilty or he was setup from the District Attorney of Calumet County, Wisconsin. The best chapters are toward the end of the book. Ken Kratz, the former district attorney is way more disturbing than Steve Avery and Brendan Dassey. I'm not sure why haven't more women aren't speaking out from sexual harassment against Ken Kratz. If they ever find out who really killed Teresa Halbach, I can see Kratz being charged for tampering evidence in the case. Ken Kratz as a district attorney is frightening because there is no recourse for what he has done.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Carl Nelson

    New Wisconsin AT Josh Kaul needs to read this book There is official police corruption in Manitowac county Wisconsin that contributed to the convictions of Stephen Avery and Brendan Dassey and the failure to find the murderer of Teresa Halbach. Former Wisconsin AT Brad Schimel was complicit in the cover-up of Manitowac county police corruption to the point of taking the very unusual step of requesting an En Banc review from the Seventh Circuit Appeals court. The review needs to include the New Wisconsin AT Josh Kaul needs to read this book There is official police corruption in Manitowac county Wisconsin that contributed to the convictions of Stephen Avery and Brendan Dassey and the failure to find the murderer of Teresa Halbach. Former Wisconsin AT Brad Schimel was complicit in the cover-up of Manitowac county police corruption to the point of taking the very unusual step of requesting an En Banc review from the Seventh Circuit Appeals court. The review needs to include the relation between Schimel and the sexual pervert Ken Kratz. And everyone who wants the full background information on the Netflix series Making a Murderer should read this book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ferdi

    Interesting read, but very poorly written. This is the second novel by John Ferak I read, the first being 'Bloody Lies'. In both instances the source material is great and these are important stories to tell. However, the author is not a story teller, and though he is a journalist does not a attempt an objective narration of events. It might be that after years of writing about this apparently very questionable law enforcement, the author decided that there was no room for subtlety. The result, Interesting read, but very poorly written. This is the second novel by John Ferak I read, the first being 'Bloody Lies'. In both instances the source material is great and these are important stories to tell. However, the author is not a story teller, and though he is a journalist does not a attempt an objective narration of events. It might be that after years of writing about this apparently very questionable law enforcement, the author decided that there was no room for subtlety. The result, however, is a rant that shames many a internet troll. It could have benefited from a few extra weeks of editing.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Amy Shimerdla

    Ive been fascinated by Steven Averys case for a couple of years now and am familiar and fairly up to date on the case. So I was hoping there would be lots of new information provided in this book. There was some new information about how deep the corruption goes in the Manitowoc county law enforcement. And there was also a lot more details about Creepy Kratz and his sexual deviancy. Why is Creepy Kratz not in jail?! What a disgusting human being! Beyond that, there was a lot of regurgitation of I’ve been fascinated by Steven Avery’s case for a couple of years now and am familiar and fairly up to date on the case. So I was hoping there would be lots of new information provided in this book. There was some new information about how deep the corruption goes in the Manitowoc county law enforcement. And there was also a lot more details about Creepy Kratz and his sexual deviancy. Why is Creepy Kratz not in jail?! What a disgusting human being! Beyond that, there was a lot of regurgitation of information from MAM2. I listened to this on audible until the end, but it was not as good as I hoped.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Shell Martin

    THIS is the book in the Halbach/AVERY case that is the most informative & has the most clues. Well written too. This is the book to start with when going deep in the case. It even tackles the enigmatic Sikikey letter that many ignore. Dont. Its a vital piece of the puzzle. A solid book that values FACTS! Not emotions & silly conventional wisdom media tried, justice denied bandwagons. It illustrates how hard it will be to get AVERY & Dassey out of prison. Too much liability & THIS is the book in the Halbach/AVERY case that is the most informative & has the most clues. Well written too. This is the book to start with when going deep in the case. It even tackles the enigmatic “Sikikey” letter that many ignore. Don’t. It’s a vital piece of the puzzle. A solid book that values FACTS! Not emotions & silly conventional wisdom media tried, justice denied bandwagons. It illustrates how hard it will be to get AVERY & Dassey out of prison. Too much liability & embarrassment at stake for the cheesy & goofy state of Wisconsin...even if we already know what charlatans & grifters they are! Read it first!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    This book fairly closely follows the format of the Netflix documentary. Unfortunately, this case is far from concluded, but it's incredible that this case has gone on for so long, and still, the powers-that-be continue to perpetuate the injustice. It's absolutely unconscionable that law enforcement isn't being held accountable for their corruption. It's a truly scary prospect for the average citizen. Kevin Pierce delivers his customary professional performance. NOTE: I was given this free review This book fairly closely follows the format of the Netflix documentary. Unfortunately, this case is far from concluded, but it's incredible that this case has gone on for so long, and still, the powers-that-be continue to perpetuate the injustice. It's absolutely unconscionable that law enforcement isn't being held accountable for their corruption. It's a truly scary prospect for the average citizen. Kevin Pierce delivers his customary professional performance. NOTE: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    I think Id realistically give this a 4.5 if it were possible. It is true that a lot of the contents of this book are already discussed in Season 2 of MaM; however, there are many revelations in this book (that werent in Season 1 or 2 of MaM) that, in my view, are highly relevant and significant. As such, I felt that reading the book was well worth the time. As a very minor point, I did find that some of the book was a bit repetitive at points, but that didnt significantly detract from the I think I’d realistically give this a 4.5 if it were possible. It is true that a lot of the contents of this book are already discussed in Season 2 of MaM; however, there are many revelations in this book (that weren’t in Season 1 or 2 of MaM) that, in my view, are highly relevant and significant. As such, I felt that reading the book was well worth the time. As a very minor point, I did find that some of the book was a bit repetitive at points, but that didn’t significantly detract from the quality of the book overall.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I almost stopped reading this book multiple times. I really didnt care for the sensational writing style. I meant to write down specific examples from the book that really turned me off but I didnt want to give this book more of my time. I love true crime, was hooked on this story like many other people and I believe Steven Avery is innocent, but this book really didnt do it for me. One irritating thing was when he would write Kathleen Zelner told this author.... This phrase showed up multiple I almost stopped reading this book multiple times. I really didn’t care for the sensational writing style. I meant to write down specific examples from the book that really turned me off but I didn’t want to give this book more of my time. I love true crime, was hooked on this story like many other people and I believe Steven Avery is innocent, but this book really didn’t do it for me. One irritating thing was when he would write “Kathleen Zelner told this author...”. This phrase showed up multiple times in the book. Strange.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jimmy Herndon

    I am absolutely obsessed with the show and follow periodically any news regarding the case. This is a perfect tie-in to the show Making a Murderer. People state that it is hard to follow, which I get, but having seen the show twice all the way through, I was very familiar with the people and found it pretty easy to follow the thread. It doesn't bounce around the timeline as much as "MaM", which I found to be really revealing as to how evidence showed up just in the nick of time. If you love the I am absolutely obsessed with the show and follow periodically any news regarding the case. This is a perfect tie-in to the show Making a Murderer. People state that it is hard to follow, which I get, but having seen the show twice all the way through, I was very familiar with the people and found it pretty easy to follow the thread. It doesn't bounce around the timeline as much as "MaM", which I found to be really revealing as to how evidence showed up just in the nick of time. If you love the show and are obsessed, READ IT NOW! so much information that is not mentioned in the documentary

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