Brendan and his uncle Steven Avery were both convicted in 2007 for alleged involvement in the murder of Teresa Halbach. Dassey was found guilty of sexual assault, party to homicide and mutilation of a corpse, while Avery was convicted of intentional homicide and being a felon in possession of a firearm. They have each maintained their innocence and have been appealing the convictions against them ever since.
The most recent development to come from Brendan's camp was announced on October 2, when his legal team of Steven Drizin and Laura Nirider revealed that they were seeking clemency for their client from the state's Governor Tony Evers. In an unexpected twist, reality TV star Kim Kardashian West publicly shared her support for the plea, something that was welcomed by Nirider.
As part of the move, a handwritten letter from Dassey (addressed to Evers) was shared on social media.
Brendan introduced himself and listed a number of his favourite things, so that the governor could get to know him. A later excerpt of his letter read: "I am writing to ask for a pardon because I am innocent and want to go home. If I would get to go home, I would like to get a job involving video games. I would like to help take care of my mom and one day have a son and a daughter of my own."
As well as this note, Brendan has also given his first interview since Making a Murderer. One of his lawyers, Laura Nirider, appeared on a special episode of the Wrongful Conviction podcast with host Jason Flom.
As part of the instalment – entitled 'Un-Making a Murderer' – Brendan Dassey opened up about his original interrogation with police, which lead to his widely-debated 'confession', as well as his hopes for the future.
"There have been so many people out there who watched Making a Murderer and were moved, disturbed, by Brendan's story," Laura Nirider said in the podcast.
Dassey's trial was based on the words garnered from his police interrogations – footage of which was included in Making a Murderer's first season.
Many believe that he was coerced into confessing to a part in the murder of Teresa Halbach. In fact a number of judges have previously ruled that it was coerced while others have defended the confession.
"I just wanted it all over with," Dassey said, reflecting on his time in the interrogation room. "I said whatever they [the officers] wanted to hear, you know?"
"I thought anything I can do to help them I would," he later added.
Dassey, who was 16 at the time of the interrogation, had no lawyer or adult present. There was a moment though when the investigators momentarily left the room and Brendan got to speak to his mum Barb.
"It felt that I can be safe and I could tell her the truth, you know, that they got into my head. They got me to say whatever they wanted," Dassey said, referencing the now-famous clip that many Making a Murderer fans will remember.
Nirider has a theory about this moment. She believes that the investigators were outside the room watching the exchange between Brendan and his mum, hoping that he would make more admissions and that they would have that on camera too.
But instead, Brendan recanted. "One of the clearest recantations I have ever heard," Nirider said on the podcast. "Brendan using his own words, his own ability to express himself, to tell his mom what he had just been through."
At the moment that Brendan does this – when he says "they got to my head" – the investigators "barge back through that door into the interrogation room" and Brendan stops talking, Nirider claimed.
A lot has been said about Brendan's learning difficulties, and how that might have impacted his understanding of the situation he was in.
"Of course he's got disabilities, everybody knows that," Nirider explained. "But his disabilities in particular are clustered around speech, the way he speaks, the way he hears language, the way he processes words and the way he uses his own words. This is not a person who can weave sophisticated stories or lies or things like that. And of course these are disabilities that are at the centre of an interrogation, right?"
There was a moment of slight confusion in Making a Murderer Part 2, leaving many wondering whether or not Brendan had actually been released. In scenes that unfolded, the immediate family – as well as Steven Avery's attorney Kathleen Zellner – were all of the belief that Brendan would be released imminently. We now know, of course, that this was blocked and he is still, as of time of writing, behind bars.
"Yeah I was a little depressed, you know," Brendan said of that time. "Called my mom that night and I was upset and so was she. She thought I was going to be coming home, you know, and I was willing to give up all my stuff. Just walk out the doors with nothing."
Brendan was sentenced to life in prison and not eligible for parole until 2048. With his post-conviction lawyers still pushing for him, he is hoping to get released sooner rather than later.
Discussing his dreams for his future, Dassey discussed "getting into making and playing video games" as a job.
Also asked a hypothetical question about what superpower he would choose, he replied: "I would want to have the power to heal illnesses and diseases all over the world" because he "just like[s] helping people."
As for whether or not he would ever want to sit down and watch Making a Murderer, which has resulted in worldwide support for him, he said: "I might, I don't know if I can though."
Brendan elaborated that it would be hard to watch "more or less because I lived it, so why would I want to watch it again?"
Making a Murderer is now streaming on Netflix.
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