The Post-Crescent newspaper just obtained more than 1,900 pages of emails about “Making a Murderer,” Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey. It requested them under Wisconsin open records laws. Here are six revelations the emails include.
1. Officials feared for safety of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey
An email by corrections employee Donald Strahota on Jan. 10 said that officials “offered [Avery] the opportunity to change housing and possibly a cell by the staff desk. He declined. We also discussed the possibility of moving to another institution and he didn’t think it was necessary.”
Department of Corrections Secretary Ed Wall was concerned that Avery would be harmed if “someone seeks their own 15 minutes of fame by doing something to him.”
2. Dassey was transferred
Avery’s nephew was transferred from Green Bay to Columbia Correctional Facility in January. Although the emails didn’t mention the reason for the move, Wisconsin Department of Corrections spokesman Tristan Cook said it was due to a “conflict of interest.”
3. Dassey and Avery received donations from all over the globe
The emails also revealed that Avery and Dassey received wire transfers ranging from $10 to $50 from around the world. A Jan. 5 email by a staffer said prison officials decided not to deny a $10 transfer because Dassey “is not engaging in an enterprise or business.”
4. Avery’s requests to watch “Making a Murderer” were denied
Bill Pollard, warden of the Waupun prison where Avery is being held, wrote, “He seems to relish the notoriety… The only correspondence I received from him was a request to view the docu-drama from Netflix which I denied.”
Pollard is no longer the warden of Waupun prison.
5. All media requests were also denied
Emails revealed that Bill Pollard, former warden of the Waupun prison where Avery is being held, rejected a TV station’s request to interview Avery. (He mistakenly called Teresa Halbach “Jessica Halbach.”)
“I am not inclined to participate in adding any credibility or inmate perspective on a case that has already been tried,” he wrote Dec. 30. “Nor do I think we should participate or authorize this which could victimize the family of Jessica Halbach by allow (sic) such an interview. Money has already been coming in from all over for him due to the notoriety and I do not think is (sic) a good idea to make it any bigger deal than it actually is.”
No media requests have been granted to date.
6. Brendan’s brother and his sincerity was questioned
NBC26 reported that in another email, officials thought Brad Dassey’s visits to his brother may have been “for secondary gains.”
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