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Who Is Brenden Dassey's Brother? New Details About The Man Steven Avery's Lawyer Says Killed Teresa Halbach

Photo: Netflix
Who Is Brenden Dassey's Brother? Details Steven Avery Lawyer Killed Teresa Halbach

Netflix's Making A Murderer dove into Steven Avery's conviction for the murder of 25-year-old Teresa Halbach, a crime he says he didn't commit. So who killed her?

Avery's post-conviction lawyer Kathleen Zellner believes his nephew Bobby Dassey is behind the young photographer's death.

Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey were put behind bars in connection to the murder of Halbach despite both denying any involvement in the crime. Avery was wrongly convicted of the sexual assault and attempted murder of Penny Beerntsen before and served 18 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. He was exonerated in 2003 through DNA evidence and was in the process of suing the state for $36 million when he was sentenced to life in prison in 2007 for Halbach's murder.

Now, Zellner is committed to proving Avery's innocence and has some questions about Brendan Dassey's brother, Bobby. Part two of the true crime documentary series focuses on her journey to find the truth — and her doubts about the testimony of Brendan Dassey's brother, Bobby, which was critical in putting Avery in prison.

“I’m actually more driven by the desire to find out what happened because once I figure out what happened, then the state’s case collapses,” she said. “Both things have to be done because most courts are not going to vacate a murder conviction.”

Zellner suggested that Avery, who has an IQ of 70, was coaxed into confessing to killing Halbach because of his intelligence level.

Bobby reportedly didn't like Avery and told the Calumet County Sheriff’s Department that Avery would lie in order to stab ya in the back," and that Steven had done this to him in the past.” This is a possible motive, Zellner said.

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In Part One, “The Last Person To See Teresa Halbach Alive,” Bobby testifies that he witnessed Halbach enter Avery's auto yard to photograph a vehicle, which was the last time she was seen alive. Then, he claimed Avery asked him to help him dispose of a body.

"Well my buddy Mike was over too and it sounded like he was joking honestly, but he asked us if we wanted us to help him get rid of the body,” Bobby testified. But the alleged joke was made after Halbach's body was discovered.

Bobby's accusing testimony landed his uncle behind bars but Zellner is convinced he lied. She said she has an affidavit that says Bobby's other brother, Bryan Dassey, saw Halbach leaving the Avery property, which contradicts Bobby's claim.

“I distinctly remember Bobby telling me, ‘Steven could not have killed her because I saw her leave the property on October 31, 2005.'” Bryan recounted.

“Bryan should have been called to the defense to impeach Bobby,” Zellner said.

She then switches her focus to Bobby's search history, downloads, and his fascination with death. 

“We have found thousands and thousands of images that could only have been accessed by Bobby Dassey,” she said.

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She revealed documentation she found during her investigation that shows Bobby had searched for violent porn and things like  “11 year old sex,” “rotten girl,” and “drowned girl nude."

Zellner alleges Bobby's computer contained “images of Ms. Halbach, many images of violent pornography involving young females being raped and tortured, and images of injuries to females, including a decapitated head, bloodied torso, a bloody head injury and a mutilated body.”

In an email to Rolling StoneZellner said the photos were strikingly consistent with Halbach's body when she was found.

“The [women in the] violent pornographic images on the Dassey computer are strikingly similar in appearance to [Teresa Halbach],” Zellner wrote. “The viewer — whom we believe is Bobby — has a morbid fascination with the death of young women plus torture, rape, pedophilia etc.”

The documentary quotes a Division of Criminal Investigation report, which states “a physical examination of Bobby showed that he had scratches on his back. He told law enforcement that the scratches were from a puppy. The examining physician stated that the scratches looked recent and that it was unlikely they were over a week old.”

But Bobby continued to deny any involvement in Halbach's death. 

"I know I didn’t do it,” he said a police interview in 2017.

Zellner is intent on continuing to dig into the case. She filed a motion to have Avery tried again based on the evidence against Bobby but it was denied in September. But Zellner says this s just the beginning.

"Steven Avery is at the BEGINNING not end of the appeal process," she tweeted. "Our appellate brief is due 12/20. We have multiple opportunities to overturn this wrongful conviction."

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Sarah Gangraw writes about all things news, entertainment and crime. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.