I was seduced into reading this book, not because I had watched the Netflix Documentary (if that’s what it can be called) but by the hope to cut through some of the hype and get to facts. Michael Griesbach’s book does that – though it takes a long road to get there.
As a true crime author I carefully watched the chatter/buzz about the Making of a Murderer documentary. What I took note of was the gross omissions that many claimed the producers made. In fairness, I’ve only seen snippets of the documentary myself. I wanted to know the truth about the crime without having to binge-watch the documentary. I wanted the truth.
Mr. Griesbach gets us there. The first few chapters tell us why he wrote the book and his role in the prosecutor’s office. It was okay, but dragged. I found myself chomping at the bit to get to the details of the crime.
When I finally got there, I got the book I purchased…it delivered. I have seen some professional debunking in true crime before, (Gerald Posner’s JFK book Case Closed as well as Vince Bugliosi’s Reclaiming History). This book isn’t on par with those epics, but does a stalwart job of tearing apart the documentary with the skill that only a professional prosecutor could.
The author did a masterful job of picking apart even the background story of Mr. Avery as presented in the films. The entire incident of the cat being set on fire, which I found online, was presented in almost a “boys having fun,” manner when in reality, it was pure, vicious animal cruelty.
I’m not getting into his guilt or innocence and the book does a good job of not laying that framework – only dismantling of the “evidence” presented in the documentary.
With a slow start – I give this book four out of five stars. My only words of caution: I think you’ll enjoy it more if you have watched the documentary.