WBAY – Manitowoc County has been part of the national conversation since the release of a 10-part Netflix documentary focusing on a story that rocked Northeast Wisconsin, the murder trials of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey.
Emily Matesic traveled to Los Angeles to take part in a two-part Dr. Phil daytime television exclusive on "Making a Murderer", airing Friday, Jan. 15 and Monday, Jan. 18 at 4 p.m. on WSLS 10.
Emily was one of the first reporters to speak with Steven Avery after his arrest for the 2005 murder of photographer Teresa Halbach. (Watch that 2005 interview here).
She has continued to cover the story, including recent interviews with Special Prosecutor Ken Kratz and Avery's girlfriend Sandy Greenman.
The Dr. Phil special on "Making a Murderer" seeks answers to these questions: "Was the documentary one-sided or has justice been served? And why has this case polarized the country?"
People in Northeast Wisconsin have been closely following the story since Teresa Halbach disappeared on Oct. 31, 2005. She had made a trip to the Avery Salvage Yard to photograph a vehicle. Her remains were discovered in a pit on the Avery property and her vehicle was also found on the property.
Avery's attorneys defended their client based on a theory that Avery was framed for Halbach's murder, a retaliation by law enforcement for a $36 million wrongful imprisonment lawsuit Avery filed against the county. Avery sought compensation for the 18 years he spent in prison for a 1985 rape he did not commit.
In Part 1 of the Dr. Phil special airing Friday, Dr. Phil will interview Emily Matesic, speak with media personality Nancy Grace and talk with former Manitowoc County Sheriff Kenneth Petersen, who was Avery's arresting officer in the 1985 rape case and the sheriff at the time of Avery's arrest for the Halbach murder.
In Part 2 airing Monday, Dr. Phil continues his interview with Petersen about how he thinks the case was handled and that phone call made in 1995 claiming someone else had confessed to the rape for which Avery was serving time in prison.
"If he were here right now today," Dr. Phil asked, "would you have anything to say to him?"
"I'd tell him he's exactly where he belongs, and he should be there as long as he lives," Petersen answered.
"And you think the police did their job fairly and equitably?"
"Absolutely," Petersen said. "I have no reason to doubt the integrity of Detective Link or Colburn. I found them over the years to be very capable and forthright detectives."
Dr. Phil will also interview Avery's murder trial defense attorney Dean Strang, current Manitowoc County Sheriff Robert Hermann and Avery's girlfriend Sandy Greenman.
Again, the two-part Dr. Phil episode on "Making a Murderer" airs Friday, Jan. 15 and Monday, Jan. 18 at 4 p.m. on WSLS 10.