If you were one of the millions of people who became hooked on Netflix’s Making a Murderer in 2015, we have good news for you; a sequel to the compulsive true-crime documentary is coming to your screens later this year.
The first 10 episodes of Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos’s documentary were filmed over the course of a decade, allowing viewers to watch the murder trial and subsequent conviction of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, for the 2005 killing of Teresa Halbach.
The series cast serious doubts over the decisions made by the American justice system, sparking global protests, debates, and petitions. And, in November 2016, a judge overturned Dassey’s conviction, claiming that the young man (who was just 16 at the time of his arrest) was coerced by the Manitowoc County Police Department into making a false confession.
It has been announced that Making a Murderer 2 will continue to follow the story, as Avery – Dassey’s uncle – continues to clear his own name.
Netflix’s VP of original content, Cindy Holland, told USA Today: “The story is still ongoing, so you will see new episodes coming sometime this year as this story continues to unfold.
“We [just] don't know when for sure new episodes will be coming.”
Holland continued: “Laura and Moira are on the ground [in Manitowoc] shooting regularly and working on what the right story is to tell in the next set, so we're deferring to them on when it will be ready.
“Very few people inside of Netflix actually know the details of what we're getting because we're wanting to keep it really under wraps and it is an ongoing case so we're trying to be sensitive to that.”
The new episodes will offer “exclusive access” to Avery’s new lawyer, Kathleen Zellner, and Dassey’s legal team, led by Laura Nirider and Steve Drizin – as well as “intimate access to the families and characters close to the case”.
“We are extremely grateful for the tremendous response to, and support of, the series,” said Ricciardi and Demos.
“The viewers’ interest and attention has ensured that the story is not over, and we are fully committed to continuing to document events as they unfold.”
However, while armchair detectives are no doubt excited by the news, not everyone is happy to hear that Making a Murderer is returning.
Speaking to PEOPLE, a close friend of Teresa Halbach – the 26-year-old photographer whose murder the show is framed around – has said that she will not be watching.
However she added that she hopes the Halbach family will make an appearance in the second season of the show, so they have the chance to express their own thoughts and feelings about what happened.
“Maybe the second season, I’ll be hopeful there’s more perspective from her family.”
As viewers of the documentary will already know, Avery was wrongfully imprisoned for sexual assault, false imprisonment and attempted murder in 1985.
But, in 2003, he was released when advances in DNA technology proved it was another man’s crime.
Just two years later, Avery was re-arrested and charged with the murder of Teresa Halbach, who had disappeared after photographing a vehicle at Avery’s salvage yard.
Bloodstains in her car matched Avery’s DNA, although his attorneys later accused police officials at the Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department of planting false evidence and of having a “conflict of interest” in the investigation.
This, conspiracy theorists have suggested, was due to the fact that officers faced a huge financial penalty over the first case.
As a result, the series cast serious doubts over the decisions of the American justice system, with British fans staging a protest outside the US embassy in London to call for Avery and Massey’s release.
However, since the show’s initial release, a number of articles have appeared online which suggest that filmmakers chose to show Avery in a biased light, leaving out numerous bits of evidence – including extra DNA evidence.