In an exclusive interview with HLN, Steven Avery’s ex-fiancée Jodi Stachowski, who defended the convicted killer in the Netflix docuseries “Making a Murderer,” reveals why she now believes he is guilty of murder.
Avery, now 53, is serving a life sentence at Waupun Correctional Institution in Wisconsin for the 2005 murder of 25-year-old Teresa Halbach. Also convicted of Halbach’s murder was Brendan Dassey, Avery’s then-teenage nephew, who confessed to being an accomplice in the killing but later recanted.
Avery was convicted in the 1985 rape of a female jogger on a beach near her home in Manitowoc. After serving 18 years in prison, he was exonerated based on DNA evidence and released in 2003. After his release, Avery filed a lawsuit against Manitowoc County for wrongful conviction and imprisonment. It was during that lawsuit that Halbach went missing.
Netflix released the 10-part series in December, highlighting Avery’s legal troubles and leaving many viewers convinced of his innocence in the Halbach case.
Stachowski, who appeared throughout the docuseries, told HLN Avery was abusive throughout their two-year relationship, and threatened to kill her, her family and a friend. She even goes as far as describing Avery as a “monster.”
Even more disturbing, Stachowski says she once ate two boxes of rat poison just so she could go to the hospital and get away from Avery.
While Stachowski appeared to be in support of Avery throughout the documentary, she now says it was all an act and that Avery told her how to act -- to smile and be happy -- adding that Avery threatened her if she didn’t follow his demands.
It’s been more than 10 years since Halbach’s murder, but Stachowski say she still feels incredible guilt, revealing that she was supposed to be with Avery the night Halbach disappeared and feels she could’ve stopped him.