Amid widespread popularity received by Netflix’s Making a Murderer, almost 2,000 pages of emails from the Wisconsin Department of Corrections have been released that suggest concern for the safety of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey.
The emails received were part of a January 26 request for records under government transparency laws. These emails reference the 10-part docuseries Making a Murderer, Avery and Dassey.
The documentary chronicles the convictions of Avery and his nephew, Dassey, who were arrested for the 2005 murder of photographer Teresa Halbach. Avery had previously spent 18 years in prison on a sexual assault charge before, in 2003, results from DNA tests confirmed he was not involved in the crime. However, two years later the 25-year-old Halbach was killed, then Avery and Dassey were arrested.
After overwhelming response and attention from the media received by the show in January, the then Department of Corrections Secretary Ed Wall called for the staff to address the concern for Avery’s and Dassey’s safety.
“My worry is that someone seeks their own 15 minutes of fame by doing something to him,” Wall said.
As reported by Post Crescent, Bill Pollard, warden of the prison where Avery was being held, said Avery did not share Wall’s concerns. “[Avery] seems to relish the notoriety,” Pollard said. “The only correspondence I received from him was a request to view the docu-drama from Netflix which I denied.”
Although Avery remained in the same prison, his nephew was transferred from the prison in Green Bay to another one in Portage. The emails released did not highlight the reason for Dassey’s transfer, but Corrections spokesman Tristan Cook said it was because of a conflict of interest with a member of the staff.
According to NBC 26, the emails also contain requests for information that came from people who sought to send their good wishes to the convicts through letters and money. With one email that asked whether “anything special” was to be done with the funds being received from the outside, “$50 here and $25 dollars there” were approved to be given to Avery and Dassey.