“Making a Murderer” reporter Dan O’Donnell says all have ignored possibility that Steven Avery molested Dassey
Steven Avery did not sexually assault Brendan Dassey, according to a 2006 psychological evaluation that raises new questions about a reporter’s theory of the “Making a Murderer” case.
Dan O’Donnell, who covered Steven Avery’s trial and now hosts the popular “Rebutting a Murderer” podcast, told TheWrap last week that everyone involved in the case — including the “Making a Murderer” filmmakers — ignored the possibility that Avery molested his nephew, Dassey. Both Avery and Dassey are serving life sentences, convicted of killing Teresa Halbach.
O’Donnell pointed to a May 2006 phone call in which Dassey told his mother that he had told police Avery “would grab me somewhere where I was uncomfortable.” In his interview with police, Dassey said Avery sometimes tried to grab his penis “through the pants.”
But when Avery was interviewed for the psychological evaluation in November 2006, psychologist Robert H. Gordon concluded that he had not been molested.
“Brendan reported having no history of being physically or sexually abused,” Gordon wrote.
Avery’s lawyer, Kathleen Zellner, strongly denied her client molested his nephew.
“Mr. Avery categorically denies this unsubstantiated allegation,” she said in a statement to TheWrap.
Just as O’Donnell has contended that Dassey may have been manipulated by Avery, Zellner has argued that Dassey was manipulated by police into a false confession. The psychological evaluation said that he was in the “low average” range of intelligence and that he was “nervous and scared” when interviewed by police.
“Making a Murderer” filmmakers Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi have declined to comment on O’Donnell’s argument that their docu-series ignored the possibility that Avery molested Dassey.