The filmmakers behind "Making a Murderer," Netflix's smash true-crime hit, defended themselves Sunday against charges that they ignored key evidence that proves Steven Avery and his nephew raped and killed Teresa Halbach in 2005.
Appearing at the Television Critics Association press tour, directors Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos said they did their jobs as thoroughly as possible and questioned the motives of those who have attacked the veracity of the 10-part series.
"What we're seeing is history repeating itself," Ricciardi said. "Now on a national scale, the media is demonizing this man in order to prove his guilt. We documented the case as it was unfolding. We showed Steven Avery, warts and all. We showed all of his priors and we included information to the extent that we could accurately fact-check and had multiple sources for.
"Just because someone is coming forward now with a narrative, their interpretation doesn't make it factual, doesn't make it truth."
Avery, a Wisconsin resident, served 18 years in prison following a wrongful conviction of sexual assault. Two years after his release, he was charged in the death of Halbach. The documentary questions Avery's treatment by the justice system.
Prosecutors have claimed that "Making a Murderer" film omits key physical evidence against Avery. A former fiancee of Avery's, Jodi Stachowski, told HLN this week that he was "a monster" who had threatened to kill her.
Halbach's charred remains were found on his Avery's auto salvage property in 2005.
The filmmakers insisted that they did not set out to exonerate Avery. Their prime objective, they said, was to shed some light on the blatant flaws of the legal system.
Said Demos, "If you watch the series, I think it's clear that the American criminal justice system has some serious problems and I think it's urgent that we address them. It's not just in Wisconsin. It's writ large across out country."
The filmmakers said Avery sought permission from officials at Waupun Correctional Institution to watch "Making a Murderer," but his request was denied. They have had some taped conversations with since the documentary came out, but have not returned to Wisconsin for additional filming.
"We are ready to follow if there are significant developments and we are looking at other stories, as well," Demos said.