True crime fans, get this date in your diary…
If you were one of the millions of people who became hooked on Netflix’s Emmy Award-winning series Making a Murderer, we have good news for you; the sequel to the compulsive true-crime documentary is coming to your screens next month.
Netflix has announced that 10 new episodes of the show will drop on 19 October, exploring the next chapter of the story that had us all gripped when it was originally released in 2015.
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.
Making a Murderer 2 will continue to follow the story, as Avery – Dassey’s uncle – fights to clear his own name.
In a statement, the documentary’s executive producers, writers and directors, Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, said: “Steven and Brendan, their families and their legal and investigative teams have once again graciously granted us access, giving us a window into the complex web of American criminal justice.
“Building on Part 1, which documented the experience of the accused, in Part 2, we have chronicled the experience of the convicted and imprisoned, two men each serving life sentences for crimes they maintain they did not commit. We are thrilled to be able to share this new phase of the journey with viewers.”
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”.
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 in 2016, when it was first announced that the documentary would be returning for a second season, a close friend of Teresa Halbach – the 26-year-old photographer whose murder the show is framed around – 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.