On February 22, 2018, Transition Studios announced a new docu-series with a working title of "Convicting A Murderer." This is the official press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
THE STEVEN AVERY SAGA CONTINUES: PRODUCTION BEGINS ON ‘CONVICTING A MURDERER’, A FOLLOW-UP TO NETFLIX’S SENSATIONAL 2015 SERIES ‘MAKING A MURDERER’
Manitowoc, WI – February 22, 2018 – Production begins today on ‘Convicting A Murderer’, a follow-up to Netflix’s sensational 2015 documentary series ‘Making A Murderer’. Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Shawn Rech (A MURDER IN THE PARK, WHITE BOY, WRONG CAT) will direct the 8- episode series. He’ll also produce along with his long-time partner, Chicago Attorney Andrew Hale. ‘Convicting A Murderer’ will investigate the controversial case built by the State of Wisconsin against Steven Avery for the 2005 murder of Teresa Hallbach, in which police were accused of tampering with crime scenes and planting evidence to manipulate the investigation and implicate Avery of the murder. Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey are currently serving life sentences.
Shawn Rech, who has creative control over the series, has exclusive, unprecedented access to District Attorney Ken Kratz, Lead Investigator Tom Fassbender, and other major players in State v. Avery. “When ‘Making A Murderer’ was produced, many on the law enforcement side of the story could not, or would not, participate in the series, which resulted in a one-sided analysis of the case,” Rech explains. “This docu-series will examine the case and the allegations of police wrongdoing from a broader perspective. It will also share with viewers the traumatic effects of being found guilty and vilified in the court of public opinion.”
Rech and Hale are no strangers to wrongful conviction cases. Together, the filmmakers have helped free three men facing wrongful or unlawful convictions, one of which was the longest wrongful incarceration in US history.
Their first film, IFC Films/Sundance Selects’ A MURDER IN THE PARK (2014), presented evidence that led to the release of Alstory Simon, an innocent man wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for a 1982 double homicide in Chicago. A MURDER IN THE PARK is currently streaming on Netflix. In their upcoming film WRONG CAT, Rech documents Hale’s uphill battle to free alleged cop-killer Cleve Heidelberg, in a story that reaches back to the 1960s killings of Black Panthers by Chicago Police. When Hale earned his freedom last year, Heidelberg was the longest-serving wrongfully convicted prisoner ever released, at 47 years.
During their investigation for their new documentary, WHITE BOY, to be released exclusively on iTunes May 22, Rech and Hale presented evidence that cleared the way for Detroit’s infamous Richard Wershe Jr., aka “White Boy Rick”, to be paroled after serving 30 years of a life sentence for drug-trafficking as a minor in 1987, while also exposing deep corruption within Detroit city-politics. Sony is expected to release a film chronicling Wershe’s life, starring Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Jason Leigh, sometime in 2018. On Rech and Hale’s past and current projects, Rech added, “We fight for the truth. We’ll present all of the evidence in the Avery case from the perspective of both the prosecution and the defense and see if viewers feel the same way they did two years ago following the first season of ‘Making A Murderer’.” ‘Convicting A Murderer’ is being produced by Rech’s Cleveland-based Transition Studios, which secured independent financing. Rech adds, “Our focus is creating an engaging, entertaining viewing experience that helps set the record straight. When we succeed, the series will have no problem finding a home.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Is this Netflix' Sequel to "Making A Murderer? No. Netflix has a follow-up series in production. This is different. Is this being produced by the original filmmakers? No. They are producing the follow-up series. This is being produced by Transition Studios. Is this being produced by anyone from law enforcement or the prosecution in this case? No. Does anyone associated with the Avery or Dassey cases - on either side - have creative control, final cut, or any control over the storytelling? No. Did anyone associated with the original case fund this docu-series? No. Will Avery and Dassey's attorneys be included in this project? Steven and Brendan's attorneys, both past and present, will be invited and can participate if they wish. Will viewers hear from police or prosecutors from the original case? Yes, many have agreed to sit for interviews for the first time. Do the filmmakers have a bias? The filmmakers have no bias. It's best to present as much evidence as clearly as possible and let viewers decide for themselves. Why do some consider this "Law Enforcement's Answer" to "Making A Murderer?" Because members of law enforcement are willing to be interviewed and address allegations in detail. Will the public have a chance to submit questions to police and representatives of the State? Yes. There will be a form on this site that will be enabled as Transition Studios confirms interview subjects. Will this series be available on Netflix? There has been no communication with Netflix. Our focus is on creating quality, engaging content. The series will find a home at the appropriate time. When is the series expected to be completed? Fall 2019.