It’s a familiarly damp and dismal Sunday evening in Galway city, as a steady stream of vehicles piles its way into the car park of the Black Box Theatre. Spectators young and old, all exuding a similar sense of anticipation, flood the seats of the Galway playhouse as they await the evening’s entertainment. While the Black Box is known for its participation in the performing arts, it is not a play that these people came to see, but rather an evening of conversation with two criminal defence lawyers, all the way from the state of Wisconsin. As the audience chatters on with talk of perfectly placed keys, improbable blood splatter and Wrestlemania 2005, the men of the hour, Dean Strang & Jerome Buting, prepare themselves in a lavishly lit dressing room, far from the Manitowoc County court rooms they speak of.
Following a sold out stint of shows across the country, I caught up with everyone’s favourite internet idols to discuss the overwhelming success of the Netflix series, recent developments in both the Steven Avery & Brendan Dassey trials as well as what it’s really like to become the subject of teenage ‘fan-demonium’ overnight.
18 December 2015 marked a pivotal day in the lives of the Avery family, particularly that of now 54 year old, Steven Avery. It marks the day that he and his ongoing battle with the US legal system was thrust into the limelight by Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, directors of the award winning Netflix series ‘Making a Murderer’.
The 10 part docu-series explores the sexual assault of Penny Beerntsen and the murder of Theresa Halbach, both of which Steven was convicted and condemned for, while still pleading innocent. Steven, along with the rest of the Avery family, grew ever popular in the months that followed the release, but they were not the only ones who gained traction from the show’s continual popularity. Dean Strang & Jerome Buting, Steven’s defence lawyers, garnered an immense worldwide fan base after their participation in the show, due to their undeniable thirst for justice and desire to see the truth unveiled.
“Life is different this year than it was a year ago, I think for both of us, just in terms of our recognisability and our visibility,” states Strang as I ask about not only the professional, but personal implications of appearing on an internationally acclaimed documentary.
-By Rebecca Fisher
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