Making a Murderer is an American web television series that first streamed on Netflix on December 18, 2015. The ten-part documentary, written and directed by Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, explores the story of Steven Avery, a Manitowoc County, Wisconsin man who served 18 years in prison for the sexual assault and attempted murder of Penny Beerntsen, and who was exonerated in 2003. In 2005 he was arrested and in 2007 convicted of the murder of Teresa Halbach, a local photographer. The series also covers the arrest, prosecution, and conviction of his nephew Brendan Dassey, who was also charged in the murder.
The series was filmed over the course of ten years, with the creators moving back and forth from New York City to Wisconsin during filming. To promote the series, Netflix released the first episode concurrently on YouTube and on Netflix streaming, which it had not done for any other original programming.
The series was favorably compared to the HBO series The Jinx and the podcast Serial. Making a Murderer has generated considerable controversy, both in Manitowoc County, where the documentary is set, and nationwide. A petition to the White House to pardon Avery garnered more than 128,000 signatures. In response, President Obama stated he had no authority to act in a state case.