Inspired by a newspaper article from 2005, directors Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos have spent the last decade documenting an unprecedented real-life thriller that spans more than thirty years. Set in America's Heartland, this series follows the harrowing story of Steven Avery, an outsider from the wrong side of the tracks, convicted and later exonerated of a brutal assault. His release triggered major criminal justice reform legislation, and he filed a lawsuit that threatened to expose corruption in local law enforcement and award him millions of dollars. But in the midst of his very public civil case, he suddenly finds himself the prime suspect in a grisly new crime.
The series takes viewers inside a riveting, high-stakes criminal case where reputation is everything and things are never as they appear. The filmmakers have documented every angle of the story, following the second investigation and ensuing trial of the accused, petitioning the court to avoid having to turn over their footage, gathering archival materials, and interviewing those closest to the case.
The series examines allegations of police and prosecutorial misconduct, evidence tampering and witness coercion. The filmmakers look at what went wrong in the first case and question whether scientific advances and legislative reforms over the past three decades have gotten us any closer to delivering truth and justice in the system.