Making A Murderer (2015) s01e05 Episode Script

The Last Person to See Teresa Alive

Now, there's a chance.
Maybe the truth will come out.
I want everybody to know I'm innocent.
You know, that's all I'm asking for.
The State clearly was freaked out.
Norm Gahn looks at it, and from that point on, you could tell that he was extremely worried.
Afterwards, Norm said, "This changes everything.
" The Defense intends to bring this vial into court and show it to the jury to demonstrate that the vial was tampered with by officers.
And when officers are accused of what they're being accused of, they deserve to have their reputations protected.
They're good, solid, decent family men.
I'm sure everyone in this room knows them.
We have to show the world that the blood that is in Teresa Halbach's car did not come from this vial of blood.
Buting? After two months, they have not been able to present the court with one single scientifically valid test that would somehow prove what they would love it to prove.
There are no tests.
Even the FBI stopped doing them because they're not reliable.
The FBI is only doing this test now because the State is desperate.
Again, I just cannot emphasize too much, give us the chance to meet this planting frame-up defense.
I believe it's fair to give them a chance to do so and that's what I'm gonna do.
- Mr.
Fallon? - Yes, and one final point.
If the Defense wants to put forth in their defense that they're suggesting and implying in their pleadings today, then they do so at their peril.
It is too late to sit on the fence.
The State has all the information it needs today.
It's had it for months to decide whether it's calling Mr.
Dassey to prove the three charges it added or not.
The three attorneys at this table have had long discussions about whether we should proceed with all six counts or whether we should proceed with the four counts that don't require Brendan Dassey's testimony.
If put to that question today, then it is our inclination to proceed on the four counts that do not require Brendan Dassey's testimony.
But if we have to start this case swimming upstream, if you will, in the face of some instruction given to the jury that they should be taking some negative view of the State, then we intend to proceed on all six counts.
Strang, briefly.
All due respect to Counsel, the State is supposed to start every criminal case swimming upstream.
And the strong current against which the State is supposed to be swimming is a presumption of innocence.
That presumption of innocence has been eroded, if not eliminated, here by the specter of Brendan Dassey.
And here's why the court needs to take some further curative action.
Up through the WFRV report last night, for example, Steven Avery has been presented as the The man who allegedly raped mutilated and murdered Teresa Halbach.
How many times will Steven Avery be charged in Manitowoc County with rapes he didn't commit? This makes two.
You know, forget getting the 18 years back on the first one.
Where do we go to get the last ten months back? Where do we go to get our presumption of innocence back from a public who believes and has heard time and again that he's an alleged rapist? Even before a murderer.
I do not believe that the State has engaged in any conduct to this point which would warrant the giving of some type of instruction unfavorable to the State should the State decide at this point to dismiss some of the charges that have been filed.
We've got a hundred and what is it, 130 of these jury questionnaires? One person, only one, has said they think he might actually be innocent.
"Yeah, I'm willing to assume him innocent.
" One.
Versus the more typical answer of, "Is there any reason you you think you should not be selected to serve in this case?" "Yes, I already think he is guilty.
" Well, OK.
"A trial is pointless" "Are you aware of the publicity?" "Yes, I read everything there was on the Internet and in the newspaper on this case including Dassey's interview confession with detectives.
" Um "This case seems pretty much cut and dry.
I believe the defendant is guilty as charged.
" - "Have you discussed this at length" - There's the American spirit! Right now, more than 15 months after Teresa Halbach was murdered The jury is picked and the trial of Steven Avery is ready to begin on Monday.
Thanks for joining us.
One of the most high-profile murder trials in Wisconsin history is set to begin.
Teresa Halbach's family is seeking justice.
It took all week to seat a jury.
These jurors range in age from 20 to 80.
They include a carpenter, an international recording artist, a homemaker, a mechanic, some working, some retired.
All Manitowoc County residents.
The jury will be bussed from Manitowoc to Chilton each day of the trial.
It's expected to last six weeks.
How are ya? Teresa Halbach had her whole life in front of her and the evidence is going to show that on Halloween of 2005, that all ended.
That ended in the hands of the defendant Steven Avery.
Who is this man? Virtually all of you knew something about Steven Avery before serving on this particular jury.
Avery achieved some degree of notoriety back in 2003 when he was exonerated.
And at the close of this case, I'm gonna point to every one of you potential jurors and say that has absolutely nothing to do with this case.
When deciding who's accountable for the death of 25-year-old Teresa Halbach, Mr.
Avery's past and his past exoneration have nothing to do with this case.
The State intends to prove to you that the defendant restrained murdered and mutilated Teresa Halbach.
The mutilation of this little girl Excuse me, not this little girl, this young woman, absolutely occurred because this is what's left.
Small, tiny pieces of bone fragment.
Now, despite Mr.
Avery's efforts to completely obliterate all these bones by burning, to incinerate these bones completely, this bone survived.
It's Teresa Halbach's shin bone.
It's Karen Halbach's daughter's tibia.
Remembering the humanity of Teresa Halbach, remembering who she is, what she meant to these people, is an important part of this process.
Ultimately, this process includes assigning accountability for the murder and the mutilation of an innocent 25-year-old young lady.
And I'll ask at the conclusion of this case that you return verdicts of guilty.
Thank you.
Thank you, Judge.
Thank you, Mr.
They wouldn't look at nobody else.
They're paying all their attention to me.
And they shouldn't be doing that.
That's what they did before.
In a long trial like this, openings are very important.
Really, probably more important even than the closings.
Because by the time they get to that point, um it's gonna be a matter of arguing for a few of them probably.
I think most of them will probably have already decided.
So we want to get 'em early.
Just get 'em thinking that there's another side to this they have not heard.
All they've been hearing, for what, 15 months, is, you know, Teresa Halbach was burned.
Bones were found on Steven Avery's property.
Which is a horrible fact.
But what they don't know is that there's evidence those bones were moved.
And so And neither does the media.
So it's gonna be interesting to see the reaction when that little tidbit finally becomes public.
The blood I'm more a little bit more worried about than I was when I first discovered it and was very happy and you know.
Because I don't trust the FBI at all and I think that they're gonna come up with some dishonest test that somehow claims that the blood in the vial is different than what was found at the scene.
And that'll be a little bit harder to overcome.
I'm not worried about the key at all.
I like the key.
I'm glad they're using it.
It shows that if they would be willing to go to that length of planting a key, which I think is the jurors are gonna get, then the blood follows easily.
It does.
In 2004, Steven Avery filed a lawsuit seeking some recompense for the hole in his life.
The time he had spent as an innocent man for the crimes that Gregory Allen committed.
In October 2005, James Lenk and another ranking officer of the Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department, Sergeant Andrew Colborn, both were pulled into the lawsuit, questioned about their own activity and conduct with respect to Mr.
Avery's imprisonment.
It's Thursday evening about 5:00, November three, when Mrs.
Halbach reports Teresa missing.
That very night, Calumet is calling the Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department for a little bit of help.
And who do we get? We get Sergeant Andrew Colborn.
And he's told, "Look, two places we'd like to sort of check out and see if Teresa Halbach showed up on Monday: the Zipperer residence and Steven Avery.
" Well, that's a name that rings a bell.
You better believe.
Less than three weeks, or about three weeks after his deposition.
And it is interesting that of those two places that Sergeant Colborn is asked to check out and inquire after Teresa Halbach he only goes to one.
Goes to Steven Avery's home.
Out of the blue, the same night, Lieutenant James Lenk calls Calumet about this missing person report.
Let's be clear.
It's in another county.
It's not even Manitowoc County at all.
And nobody has called for Lieutenant Lenk.
Nobody's called looking for him.
But the Chief Detective of Manitowoc County takes it upon himself that night to call Calumet and offer to get involved in the missing person investigation where one of the appointments that was to be kept was Steven Avery.
November five, Saturday, Pam and Nikole Sturm find the Toyota they suspect, correctly as it turns out, is Teresa's.
And folks, from that point forward, before the police say they've even opened the car, before they say they know of any blood of any sort, in or on the car, before anybody even knows whether this young woman has been hurt or killed the focus is on Steven Avery.
Hear it yourself.
When Detective Jacobs was calling after the police have arrived at the Avery property, after Teresa's car has been found there.
Good morning, Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department.
Katie speaking.
Katie, just rolled into the parking lot.
Can you tell me, do we have a body or anything yet? I don't believe so.
Do we have Steven Avery in custody, though? I have no idea.
This is 30 minutes after they found the car.
Indeed, they wouldn't find the first bone fragment for three days.
"Do we have Steven Avery in custody, though?" Now, if you're thinking though that the evidence will show you that Manitowoc County bowed out because of the conflict of interest after it turned the investigation over to Calumet County If you're thinking that, it's reasonable, but you're wrong.
Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department stays very much involved in this investigation.
The police didn't kill Teresa Halbach, obviously.
They have that in common with Steven Avery.
But they wanted to believe he did.
And whoever did kill her or burned that body exploited that tunnel vision pretty skillfully.
In the end, after the full and fair consideration of everything and everyone, the full and fair consideration that Steven Avery did not get from the Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department we're gonna ask you to send him home.
We're gonna ask you to send him home again.
We're gonna ask you to get it right this time.
We're gonna ask you to set it right.
So Teresa takes a picture, you come outside.
She and you are both outside and you give her the money.
She goes and gets in her truck and then gives you an Auto Trader magazine, - is that right? - Yeah.
Is she in the truck or out of the truck when she gives you the magazine? - She's in the truck.
- In the truck.
OK, then what happens next? Then she gave me the book, shut the door, I walked toward the house, - I put the book on the computer.
- Mm-hm.
I came back out.
And then I was gonna walk over by Bobby but then his vehicle was gone.
So you walk in the house, you put the magazine down, you come out and Bobby's vehicle's gone? Bobby's vehicle's gone.
Dassey, do you know the defendant Steven Avery? Yes, he's my uncle.
You have to speak up just a little bit, please.
Yes, he's my uncle.
And is he in the courtroom here at this time? Yes, he is.
Would you point him out for the record? Tell the judge where he's seated? He's right over there, to my right.
Dassey, do you know where your uncle lived? Yes, he lived right next door to us.
Please tell the jury what we're looking at.
Well, basically this is my mom's house.
Um The red thing is Steven's trailer.
Now, Bobby, on October 31st, 2005, do you remember anything unusual that happened at about 2:30 that afternoon? A vehicle had drove up and started taking pictures of the van.
Well, let's back up just a minute.
- What did you see? - I seen a vehicle pull up in our driveway.
And how do you know that it was about 2:30 in the afternoon? 'Cause I was going hunting that night and that's the time I wanted to get out.
All right.
Tell the jury what you saw then.
I seen Teresa Halbach get out of the vehicle and start taking pictures.
After seeing her taking any pictures, did you see her do anything? She started Before I got in the shower, she actually started walking over to Steven's trailer.
When looking at exhibit number 61, could you point to the window that you looked out and watched things from? It would be that window there.
The left-most window on the trailer, - is that right? - Yes.
About what time do you think that you left to go hunting? - Twenty to three.
Quarter to three.
- Quarter to three? Mr.
Dassey, when you walked out to your vehicle to go bow hunting, did you notice if Teresa's vehicle was still in the driveway? - Yes, it was.
- It was? Yep.
- Did you see Ms.
Halbach? - No.
- Did you see any signs of her at all? - No.
Now, Bobby, on the 3rd of November, a Thursday, I believe it is, do you recall having a conversation with your Uncle Steven regarding a body? - Yes.
- Could you tell us what your Uncle Steven told you that day? Well, my buddy Mike was over too and he asked us It sounded like he was joking, honestly.
But he asked us if we wanted He wanted us to help him get rid of the body.
This sensational testimony today accounted for a dramatic response from the Defense.
Defense attorney Dean Strang said that Well, Cammie, as Elizabeth said, Bobby Dassey's testimony and the mistrial issue took up quite a bit of time this morning.
The Defense made a motion for a mistrial.
We have no written summary of an interview of Bobby Dassey in which that statement is recited.
We do have a report of a contact with a Michael Osmundson.
"Michael indicated he was aware Steven was one of the last people to see the missing girl and jokingly asked Steven if Steven had her, the missing girl, in a closet.
At this point, Steven asked Michael if Michael wanted to quote 'help bury the body' closed quote.
And they laughed about this together.
" This conversation clearly is placed on Thursday, November ten.
I now have a different witness to whom this statement has never been attributed, identifying the statement as having been made on November three.
The implication is that this may have been before Teresa Halbach even is reported missing.
What I'm left with is this jury having heard testimony from the first blood relative of Mr.
Avery to testify here, his nephew and next-door neighbor, that amounts to a confession of a crime.
There is no way to unwind this from the jury's mind.
It has enormous unfair prejudicial impact.
If there were a remedy short of a mistrial, and I don't know that there is, it would be something like the court instructing the jury that it may disregard as false all of Bobby Dassey's testimony because of his false testimony on this point.
Are you ready? Are you ready? I'm always ready.
Go ahead.
You said when you asked the question of Bobby that the conversation was on November 3rd, but later you said in reference to the police report on Mike Osmundson that he said the conversation was November 10th.
- Was there a question there? - Can you clarify that? Where'd you get the date November 3rd? I can't clarify that.
The testimony from Bobby Dassey today, that's the in-court evidence.
He, uh, identified that conversation as happening on the 3rd.
No, you identified it.
You said "On November 3rd, I believe it was a Thursday, do you recall a conversation with Steven Avery about a body?" - All right.
- So you established it as November 3rd and I'm wondering where Did that come from a report we don't know about? That came from preparation of, uh, Bobby Dassey.
I talk to my witnesses before I call The police reports, were they strictly from this Mike's statements to police or did Bobby Dassey actually tell 'Cause it sounded like in court that Bobby Dassey never mentioned this conversation or these jokes with investigators, that was only Mike that mentioned them.
I understand that you're all very excited about this one piece.
Please don't forget the real reason that Bobby testified today.
Establishing the timeline and establishing that Teresa Halbach walked towards Mr.
Avery's house before she was murdered.
Why didn't you put Mike on the witness list and call him? Instead of avoid So that you could have avoided this entire issue? I didn't think this was an issue.
I get to call my witnesses that I think is gonna prove the State's case.
Bobby Dassey was a central figure in this trial to establish again the timeline and to establish the last person to see her.
This was not and is not, at least from the State's perspective, a central part of this case at all.
This will be very short.
But if you If you have questions, we'll take two or three minutes.
What the hell happened? That's cutting right to it.
- Uh - Well, we're on deadline, so Give me a little direction on Does this rise to the level of prosecutorial misconduct? I'm No, I'm not gonna comment on anybody.
- I'm not here to throw stones.
- But the comment The reference to the joke, it wasn't Dassey who told police about the joke, it was the third party who told police about the joke.
That's right.
So Dassey never actually told a detective, "This is what I heard.
" He didn't say what he said in court today to a detective.
So far as the written reports we have, you are exactly correct.
How can Ken even ask that question then? How can Ken ask that? That's horrible to look at.
That stuff isn't even the truth.
You don't feel too good when he says stuff like that.
We always thought he liked Steven, but it doesn't sound like it.
We're really worried that the jury might think, "You know, can we really acquit this man when we don't know We can't tell them who we think did it?" That's gonna be, on a human level, the hardest thing, I think.
And the judge has really tied our hands on that.
We can't point the finger at other suspects.
All we're gonna be able to argue is failure to follow this lead and that lead which, in a way, points at other suspects, but there's a lot of leads that if they had been followed up, might have led to motive, opportunity and access and a direct connection to the crime.
But in a case like this, where there's such tunnel vision, you can't go too far down that road because they didn't go very far down the road.
And by the time we're on the case, the trail's cold.
Or it's been altered.
My mom had called me, um, that Thursday, November 3rd, that afternoon about Teresa and said that she had tried calling her and Teresa's inbox was full.
So, um, I guess what I was interested in was, um why it was full or when the first new message was, you know, received in her inbox.
Um I I had a feeling that I might know her voicemail password and so, you know, I that's why I did call her voicemail.
Did you listen to at least some of those messages that day? I did.
Did you listen to all of 'em? - I believe that I did.
- OK.
And you said that you called that on the 3rd of November? That's correct.
Halbach, did you erase any of the messages? I don't believe I erased any messages.
All right.
Thank you.
Kratz, you may call your next witness.
Thank you, Judge.
Via telephone, Your Honor, we're gonna be calling a gentleman by the name of Tony Zimmerman.
Zimmerman, how is that you're employed? I am a network engineer with Cingular Wireless.
Now as a network engineer, have you been asked to review reports that deal with the wireless usage of a young woman by the name of Teresa Halbach? Yes, I have been.
After October 31st, 2005, at 2:41 p.
, was there any activity in Ms.
Halbach's account after that time? Not from the mobile itself.
No, there was no activity.
Turning to exhibit number 372 for a moment, do you have an opinion about whether or not this would fill up the capacity of this subscriber's voice mailbox? This appears that it would not have filled up the full capacity of the mailbox.
All right.
And so if one was getting a message on November 3rd, when calling this particular phone number that said "Mailbox full," would that indicate to you that some messages had been erased that are not reflected on this exhibit number 372? If somebody heard that recording that the mailbox was full on November 3rd, then at least one or more messages had to have been removed before the new message at the top of this document was received.
If at some point people were calling and finding her mailbox was full, then some of the messages that were on that mailbox are gone.
They were erased.
Now why? Why would you erase the messages of a woman who is missing and later then found to have been killed, um when those messages might have clues to her whereabouts, to where she went, where she was going, perhaps.
Her brother testified that he did listen on Thursday afternoon, or right when the police were called, to some of the messages.
He did have her password, but he denied erasing any of them.
Well, if he didn't erase them, then who did? About three weeks before she disappeared, Teresa Halbach, you were aware had been getting a lot of telephone calls that she was not answering on the cell phone? Yes, sir.
She was standing almost right next to me in a day and she got this phone call and she looked at it and went Oh, she made "Oh, not them again" or "Not him again" or whatever.
And just kind of forgot about it.
And she was She looked a little upset so I questioned her a little bit about this and she just told me "just forget about it" and that somebody keeps calling at all different hours and blah, blah.
Just a nuisance call.
Um And that was about two to three weeks And she had mentioned that she had been getting them for a while.
And I said, "Well, why don't you give me the number and I'll call and find out, and, you know, intervene a little bit.
" And she said, "No, don't worry about it.
" And she rec Whatever the number was that came up on her phone, she recognized it? Yeah, she knew what it was, but she wouldn't let me know.
Thank you.
So if your records show that, on a certain date, messages were opened all the way up to that date on Teresa Halbach's phone, that would mean that somebody had listened to those voice messages.
I'd like to be heard outside the presence of the jury.
Kratz? He's about to show her some retrieved voicemails on the 2nd.
If Mr.
Buting's position, if his theory as the Defense is that Teresa Halbach is alive on the 2nd of November, we're entitled to know that.
We're entitled to notice of that.
That's my objection, is that it's irrelevant.
Kratz may draw the conclusion that because messages are opened as of November 2nd, that means that Teresa Halbach was alive on that date.
I don't.
And I don't think the jury needs to either.
But I do intend to introduce records that show that her voicemail was picked up at 8:00 a.
on November 2nd.
Something was going on with this phone in a very, very critical period of time for this trial, which is between October 31st and November 5th, when her car was found, or November 3rd when she's reported missing.
How does that help this jury decide who killed her? That's what the jury's here to do, Judge.
Because unless the State's prepared to establish that Mr.
Avery had her password, then he's not the one who's listening to her messages on Wednesday, November 2nd at 8:00 a.
So that And their theory is that he's already destroyed the phone.
- I never said - Somebody who knew her, somebody who may have had a motive that he doesn't have and somebody who may have had opportunity was doing that.
- I'm not suggest she was still alive.
- Sounds like a third third-party liability, Judge.
That's what it sounds like.
I don't, um I'm not gonna argue that part to the jury because that's what the court says we're not gonna do.
But as far as what's relevant is, the police have had this report and the police have not followed up to find out what's up here.
Does the State know who accessed the voicemail? I suppose we If there was an inkling that Mr.
Buting was going to suggest that Ms.
Halbach was alive at that time, this is something that could've been looked into investigatively.
It's another thing that we could do, Judge, if the Defense is changing its theories.
This is not changing the theory at all.
This fits perfectly to show that they have not followed up this investigative lead because this investigative lead points elsewhere than Mr.
And here we are in the middle of the trial and it hasn't been investigated.
The jury has a right to know that.
All right, I'm I guess having trouble seeing the apparent relevance of it at this stage of the trial.
Let's, uh, bring the jurors back in.
The State wants to argue and in fact put out into the media as quickly as November 4th and maybe even November 3rd, that Steven Avery was the last person to see her, when they didn't know that, and they don't know that to this day.
You know, there's more to come.
You know, examples of one after another after another of decisions that were made in the investigative process, all of which went just towards Steven Avery and no one else.
They're always saying I'm the last person to have seen her.
Now, how can I be the last one? I saw her leave.
So I'm not the last one.
Whoever did this is the last one.
Human endeavors are muddy, they are imperfect by definition, and a chase for the truth in a criminal trial can be vain.
Justice, it seems to me, is staying true to the set of principles we have about what we do when confronted with uncertainty about the truth.
On which side do we err? Do we err on the side of depriving a human being of liberty or do we err on the side of a human being sustaining his claim to liberty when we're uncertain as we almost always are? Was Steven Avery the only person being investigated? - No.
- Explain that.
We go into an investigation and you're not gonna lock and load.
You're gonna listen to all the intelligence and information being brought in, look at all the evidence.
Um You're there to find the truth.
That's what we go there for, is to find the truth.
And the object is to allow the evidence and the facts that are uncovered as you go along to lead you to the most logical suspect.
I think you mentioned before the last person to see her alive, - obvious place to start, is that right? - Most certainly.
You said that you Mr.
Avery was not the only person being investigated.
But that you felt he was the most obvious place to start.
If I have to pick a place to start, the person who last saw that person alive - is a pretty logical place to start.
- All right.
Often the most obvious suspect in a homicide is a spouse, you look at the spouse, right? Yes.
The people we love the most.
Or you look at a boyfriend or an ex-boyfriend.
Don't you? Yes.
How about a roommate who doesn't report the victim missing for three, almost four days? - Yes.
- Somebody you'd want to investigate? That's a possible area to look at.
That'd be somebody you'd want to ask for an alibi? In most cases, the people who are close to a victim are the ones who are in fact the killers.
And in this case, in every single instance, all those people who are close to her, the police never investigated.
Any of them.
They never from the minute the case was reported considered seriously considered the possibility that Teresa Halbach was killed by somebody she knew.
How did you know Teresa? Um, I guess she was a long-time friend.
We had dated for five years or so.
End of high school and early part of college.
Were you aware of Ms.
Halbach's living arrangements? - Yes.
- And what were they, if you recall? She lived in a house with a friend of ours, Scott Bloedorn.
And was it your understanding that Scott and Teresa had any kind of a romantic relationship? - No.
No romantic relationship.
- All right.
Just roommates? Just roommates.
Hillegas, when was the first time that you heard your friend Teresa had gone missing? Scott had called me and said that Teresa's dad had went over and asked if he had seen Teresa, and Scott called me and I went over to the house that afternoon and we printed off her cell phone records off the Internet.
Just to see, you know, calls she had made or, you know, if there were other numbers of friends that we could find on there.
Finding her cell phone records, how does something like that occur? Um well, there were a couple of us that tried figuring it out, but basically I figured out her password and made up a user name that worked and got into her her phone records and, I mean, they printed right off.
All right.
Now, tell me about this online search.
She had never shared her password with you? No.
So you just went online to Cingular Wireless or whatever, dot com, and just guessed her password? Well, we had just kind of figured that it would apparently be something relating to her sisters.
And I believe it was their I think it was their birth dates that got into it for us.
I'm not exactly sure about what the password was, but OK.
Let me ask you about the weekend of October 29th and 30th.
The 29th being the Saturday.
Did you see her or talk with her that day? I don't believe I talked to her on Saturday.
Yeah, I don't think so.
Did you talk with her or see her on Sunday? - Yes.
- And where was that? Uh, at her house.
And how did that come about? I had just stopped briefly I think I was dropping something off for Scott and she was sitting there at her computer.
So the last time you actually saw Teresa was Sunday? - Yes.
- Do you know about what time that was? No.
I don't know.
I mean, we talking morning, afternoon, night? - I don't know.
- You don't remember at all? All right, by the time that Calumet County investigators arrived, I take it you guys were pretty concerned about Teresa's well-being, where she was.
Did the police interview you and Scott together or did they put you in separate rooms when they talked to you, or how'd they do that? Um I believe we were I believe we were in the same room.
Did the police ever ask you for any kind of alibi for October 31st? No.
They never asked your whereabouts whatsoever? - I don't believe so.
- OK.
So it'd be fair to say that you weren't in any way treated like a suspect, - that you could tell? - That's correct.
And even on the 5th and thereafter when the search narrowed into the Averys, the police actually let you through some checkpoints along with some other searchers, you leading them to come and search the area, right? - Yes.
- The area around the Avery property that they had made off-limits to the general public, right? Yes.
Now, with you being the coordinator of this citizens search effort on that Friday, that is the day after Teresa was reported missing, what efforts were being developed to try to find Teresa? Friday night, we kind of planned a a road search I guess you could call it, where everybody got in their vehicles and drove certain parts of roads and maps that we had plotted out for 'em just to make sure we'd cover everything, but Maps of what? Maps of county highways out in, you know, the Manitowoc area near the Averys Let me ask you something, Mr.
Hillegas, why would you center or why would you direct some of your search efforts around the Avery property? Well, mostly for the fact that, you know, the media had covered so much of it, you know.
All you'd heard about was, you know, around the Avery property and I believe by that point we had known that, you know, her last kind of whereabouts were in that neck of the woods.
So even as an untrained law enforcement officer, you knew to look for the last place she was seen alive, is that right? - Yeah.
- OK.
Do you know Pam Sturm or her daughter Nikole Sturm? I had met them Saturday morning.
They showed up after the good majority of everybody else had left.
But that was the first time I had met them.
What did you and Pam Sturm discuss? She just basically came right out and said, "Has anybody went to the car yard yet? You know, the Avery salvage yard.
" And we just said no, that we hadn't been sending anybody in there and she offered to and said she'd be willing to and Before Pam left then to travel to the Avery salvage yard, was she provided a map or any other information? Yes.
Yes, I gave her a map.
What other information was she provided, if you know? Scott had borrowed her his camera just in case they were to find something.
You said that Scott had "borrowed" Pam Sturm a camera, is that right? - Yes.
- But you mean "lent.
" - Had lent her, given her a camera? - Yes.
- A digital camera? - Yes.
He didn't give every one of those members Saturday morning a camera, did he? No.
He just gave it to Pam Sturm who he knew was gonna go out to the Avery salvage yard.
That's correct.
That's the only person he gave a camera to, right? Yes.
Hey, um, kind of a change of plans here.
The boss has got something he wants us to do.
He wants us to go back over and re-interview Avery again.
And the search party is out there and he wants to ask them if they would allow us to have the search party come on the property - and go through the junkyard.
- OK.
So if it's OK with you, we'll meet you over at your sheriff's department.
- OK.
- If you don't mind? - Help us out today? Stop over.
- Yeah.
That's fine.
Sturm, were you familiar with the Avery salvage property? No, I'm not I wasn't at all.
All I knew, it was a 40-acre plot salvage yard for vehicles.
Now, Ms.
Sturm, prior to your arrival at that location, had you had any contact or direction from any law enforcement officials? No, sir, we didn't.
Why don't you show us then, where did you and Nikole start looking? We had searched all of these.
Then we went down here south and there were, like you can see there's two rows here.
So I searched the first row and my daughter was on the second row.
Let me stop you right there, Pam.
Can you tell the jury what you were looking for? We were looking for any trace of Teresa.
Be the car or herself.
All right.
And after looking at those rows of cars, where did you then look? I continued up here and I saw these vehicles up here and this is like a ridge up here.
So up on the top, there's a little car path and you can see there's some vehicles here and I thought, "I have to search up there.
I have to search each and every one.
" And did you do that? So I went up there and I went through, like, three cars and I came upon this car that had all these branches on the top of it and leaning against it and there was an old hood of a car leaning up against it and it was kind of bluish-green and I thought, "This is really strange.
This is really strange.
" And it looked like a little SUV that, like, I was looking for, a RAV4 Toyota SUV.
And I went around to the back of the vehicle and again there were branches leaning up against it and I noticed that it said RAV4.
Well, my heart starting going, you know, "Oh, my goodness.
Maybe this is it.
" - Because OK.
- Let me stop you right there, Pam.
When you saw this, Ms.
Sturm, what did you do? I became very, very worried for our safety.
Because 90 percent, this was probably Teresa's car and we're in danger.
So I called Nikole's name.
I think I maybe even screamed.
I shouldn't have, but I did.
And I went running to the area where she was.
I said, "Nikole! Nikole! You have to come and see this car.
It must be her car.
" Did you attempt to verify the identification of this vehicle? - Yes.
- And how was that done? My daughter Nikole brought her cell phone along and we I should back up.
Ryan gave us a direct line to Sheriff Pagel in case we found something.
So I called Sheriff Pagel.
And I said, "I think I found the vehicle.
" How long from when you entered that property did it take you to find Teresa's vehicle? I believed we entered at ten to ten and by 10:20 to 10:25, we had found the vehicle.
Sturm, do you know how many vehicles are on this property? I didn't at the time.
I had no idea.
Looking at it now, do you think you got lucky? Yeah.
Well, not lucky.
God showed us the way, I do believe that.
All right, do you think looking at this exhibit now that you and your daughter Nicky could have searched that entire salvage yard? We would've tried.
We would've came back the next day if we had to.
All right.
I never believe and to this day don't believe Ms.
Sturm's "Holy Spirit guided me there" theory.
Not that I don't believe that that's possible.
But I just don't believe her.
I do not believe her at all.
I never She just seemed too weird.
- Right.
- And, um You know, it's They went right to that thing.
Somebody knew that vehicle was there before they ever went there, I'm convinced of it.
How do you think that truck got on that property? Which way do you think they came in or? Well, when I seen tail lights by me and Chuck had seen headlights by him.
I don't know who drove it.
Which way was it pointed? - What? - The truck.
- I don't know.
- You don't know? What Was there a different way in there or two ways into there or what? There's a bunch of ways in there.
There's the main road, there's by me, - there's in the pit.
- OK.
What about this cop? - Want to tell us about that? - Tell us about that.
Tammy told me that.
- Tammy told you? - Yeah.
She a friend of yours or something or? Yeah, I know her.
What did she tell you? That she heard She told me that she'd heard that a cop put it out there - and planted evidence.
- Put what out there? That vehicle.
- And that's Teresa's vehicle? - Yeah.
So Tammy told you that somebody told her - Yeah.
- that a cop put that vehicle, - Teresa's vehicle, out on your property.
- Yeah.
One of the things road patrol officers frequently do is call in to dispatch and give the dispatcher the license plate number of a car they've stopped or a car that looks out of place for some reason.
- Correct? - Yes, sir.
And the dispatcher can get information about to whom a license plate is registered.
- Yes, sir.
- If the car is abandoned or there's nobody in the car, the registration tells you who the owner presumably is.
Yes, sir.
I'm gonna ask you to listen, if you would, to a short phone call.
Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department, this is Lynn.
- Lynn.
- Hi, Andy.
Can you run Sam-William-Henry-582? OK.
It shows that she's a missing person.
- And it lists to Teresa Halbach.
- OK.
OK, that's what you're looking for, Andy? Ninety-nine Toyota? - Yep.
- OK, thank you.
You're so welcome.
What you're asking the dispatch is to run a plate that's "Sam-William-Henry-582"? Did I hear that correctly? Yes, sir.
Sam-William-Henry would be S-W-H-5-8-2? Yes.
This license plate? Yes, sir.
And the dispatcher tells you that the plate comes back to a missing person or woman.
Yes, sir.
- Teresa Halbach.
- Yes, sir.
And then you tell the dispatcher, "Oh, '99 Toyota?" No, I thought she told me that.
It shows that she's a missing person.
And it lists to Teresa Halbach.
- OK.
- OK, that's what you're looking for, Andy? - Ninety-nine Toyota? - Yep.
- OK, thank you.
- You're so welcome.
Were you looking at these plates when you called them in? No, sir.
Do you have any recollection of making that phone call? Yeah, I'm guessing eleven-oh-three-oh-five.
Probably after I received a phone call from Investigator Wiegert letting me know that there was a missing person.
Investigator Wiegert, did he give you the license plate number for Teresa Halbach when he called you? You know, I just don't remember the exact content of our conversation then.
- But you think - He had to have given it to me because I wouldn't have had the number any other way.
Well, you can understand how someone listening to that might think that you were calling in a license plate that you were looking at on the back end of a 1999 Toyota.
But there's no way you should've been looking at Teresa Halbach's license plate on November three on the back end of a 1999 Toyota.
I shouldn't have been and I was not looking at the license plate.
Because you're aware now that the first time that Toyota was reported found was two days later on November five.
Yes, sir.

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