Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Meet the women behind Making a Murderer

Moira-Demos-and-Laura-Ricciardi.jpg

Stylist talks exclusively to the film-making duo who created the documentary series that’s had us hooked

It’s the 10-part Netflix series that’s turned us all into amateur sleuths but Making A Murderer was also a labour of love for filmmakers Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi. The two were dating and studying at film school in New York when, in 2005, the story of Steven Avery caught their eye. The trailer-dwelling Wisconsin man was exonerated and released from prison after serving 18 years for sexual assault, only to be arrested again and convicted for the 2005 murder of photographer Teresa Halbach. 

“We chose Steven as the subject but we always envisaged that the documentary would transcend his story and be a vehicle for us to explore the reliability of the justice system,” Ricciardi tells Stylist. “We didn’t need to believe in his innocence – we didn’t know then, and we still cannot be certain – but we firmly believe that only good can come of a dialogue about the ways in which the system fails people.” 

Making a Murderer

Steven Avery: the unlikely Netflix star

And so Ricciardi and Demos borrowed a camera and left New York for Manitowoc, Wisconsin. “Laura had previously been a lawyer, which was a huge help understanding the case,” says Demos. “And I had a background in film production and had worked as a documentary editor. We laugh about how crazy it is that the two of us could pull this off, but then again, perhaps we are the only two people who could pull this off, given our shared interests.”

“Living and working together on this film was intense, but I don’t think we’d have made it if we weren’t together,” adds Ricciardi. “At times it was a real struggle, and we self-financed the project (by taking occasional legal and freelance work projects) from 2005 until 2014, when we entered a deal with Netflix. For most of those ten years, we were on our own. If we hadn’t had total trust in each other, Making A Murderer wouldn’t have happened.”

During filmmaking, Ricciardi and Demos formed a close relationship with the Avery family, getting unprecedented access. But now, they find out about case developments at the same time as the rest of us, via the news. 

“We honestly had no idea how it would end up but it’s great to see the case getting the attention it is,” says Ricciardi. One thing’s for sure – the next time Steven Avery is in the courtroom, the whole world will be watching.


Making A Murderer is available on Netflix now

Words: Anna Hart
Photography: Netflix

To read this week's issue of Stylist, download from app.stylist.co.uk

Related

1985-steven-avery.jpeg

Will there be a second season of Making a Murderer?

steven avery making a murderer.jpg

Why Making a Murderer is set to become your latest TV addiction

4173.jpg

New, must-watch TV to see you through the winter chill

rexfeatures_1606166a.jpg

SATC creator says show ending “ultimately betrayed” its core values

art_rt.jpg

The women-only exhibit you must see

Malala Yousafzai.jpg

Who’s really going to change the world in 2016?

rexfeatures_4366229br.jpg

The Ellen DeGeneres Show is finally coming to UK TV

10955504_10152908772579576_1405952280309933512_o.jpg

Friends star shares details on the upcoming reunion

jada pinkett smith.jpg

Oscars to tackle lack of diversity after stars threaten boycott

Comments

More

MP brings House of Commons to tears telling of childhood rape

“Rapes happen because of the rapist, not because of the victim.”

by Amy Swales
09 Dec 2016

Craig Revel Horwood apologises for controversial rape comments

The BBC has been urged to sack the Strictly judge

by Kayleigh Dray
09 Dec 2016

Adele has been crowned 2016’s biggest Youtube star

Sorry vloggers.

by Amy Lewis
09 Dec 2016

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

Emily Ratajkowski steps in for Santa while Taylor Swift's cat shares the spotlight

by Nicola Colyer
09 Dec 2016

Kate Moss takes centre stage as Elvis Presley in new tribute

"Anything for Elvis"

by Amy Lewis
09 Dec 2016

Isla Fisher praises Donald Trump as an inspiration to “orange people”

The actress also mocked Melania Trump for plagiarising Michelle Obama’s speech.

by Moya Crockett
08 Dec 2016

Keira Knightley on daughter’s four-letter reaction to Trump victory

19-month-old Edie sums up our feelings perfectly.

by Amy Lewis
08 Dec 2016

Danish aid worker tops list of world’s most inspiring people

Anja Ringgren Lovén is saving the lives of abandoned children in Nigeria

by Sarah Biddlecombe
08 Dec 2016

Rihanna: “We don’t need to be putting black women against each other”

Ri-Ri responds perfectly to rumours that she’s been feuding with Beyoncé.

by Moya Crockett
08 Dec 2016

Lauren Graham – aka Lorelai Gilmore – on finding love with her co-star

The Gilmore Girls actor admits it was their love of reading that brought them together

by Kayleigh Dray
08 Dec 2016