Lori Dassey, Steven Avery’s Ex-Wife: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Those who follow Steven Avery’s case are aware that Avery’s (now former) fiancee, Lynn Hartman, is set to be interviewed on the Dr. Phil show Monday night. Since the show was taped, however, Avery has dumped Hartman, saying she was “a gold digger”.

Avery’s friend, Sandra Greenman, went to Facebook with a post that read, “Steve called me two times tonight and wants everyone to know that Lynn and him are done. She has been in this relationship for money and publicity. His eyes are finally opened!!!” The post then went on to say that Lynn was paid “at least $5,000 for being interviewed by Dr. Phil, and about $1,000 from other shows.”

Now that their relationship is caput, people are wondering who else is considered an “ex” of Steven Avery.  Read on to learn about Avery’s ex-wife, Lori Dassey.

1. Her Former Name Is Lori Mathiesen

Steven Avery and Lori Mathiesen were married on July 24, 1982.  Though they fell in love almost immediately, the first few months of their marriage weren’t smooth sailing– four months after tying the knot, Steven pleaded no contest for animal cruelty for dousing the family cat with gasoline and oil and throwing it on an open fire, according to The Steven Avery Trial.

Then, in 1985, a woman named Penny Beernsten was raped while running on the beach near her home in Wisconsin. She identified Avery in a police lineup, and he was sentenced to 32 years in prison. For 18 years, Avery was imprisoned, until he was finally exonerated because DNA evidence proved the assailant was, in fact, a man named Gregory Allen.

After a series of hateful, angry letters between Lori and Steven while he was in prison, the couple finally divorced in 1988.

2. Avery Was 19 When He Met Her

Mathiesen and Avery were just 19-years-old when they met in 1982. In episode 1 of the Making a Murderer, Avery discusses Mathiesen and their relationship. “She was pretty. Beautiful, that’s what I thought. She had a good head on her shoulders. She was making it on her own.” They married shortly after meeting, and within three years, they had four more children. Two of their kids are twin boys.

Romper writes, “[Avery’s] prison sentence put an understandable strain on their marriage. Mathieson (then Avery) had five small children to care for on her own.” While Avery was in prison, Mathiesen wrote a letter that read, “I just can’t handle these kids anymore. Between the crying, yelling, talking back and fighting I just can’t anymore.”

3. He Has Five Children With Lori Dassey

When Steven met Lori, she was a single mother to her son, Jackson. The couple then went on to raise four more children together: Rachel, Jenny, Steven Jr., and William. And where are the children nowadays? What is their stance on their father’s case?

Romper writes, “…according to Post Crescent, Avery’s children — now all grown adults — have seemingly cut ties with their father: four or five [of the children] have said Avery should not have been let out of prison [the first time].”

4. She’s Since Married Brendan Dassey’s Father

Mathiesen has gone on to marry Peter Dassey– the father of Brendan Dassey, who is Steven Avery’s nephew and was initially charged in the murder of Teresa Halbach.

In October 2005, Brendan Dassey was found guilty on the charges of first-degree murder, mutilation of a corpse, and second-degree sexual assault at the age of 17. Then, in August of 2016, Dassey’s conviction was overturned. Judge William E. Duffin said that Dassey’s initial confession was clearly coerced by the police who were questioning him.

5. Avery Says Mathiesen Sent Her Letters Threatening the Lives of Their Five Children

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Avery claims that during his first 18 years in prison, he received letters from his wife that “threatened the lives of their five children”, according to Bustle. However, according to an article in Milwaukee Magazine, Avery also sent Lori letters in which he threatened to kill her.

Milwaukee Magazine reports one of Avery’s letters as reading, “I hate you, you got your divorce now you will pay for it. If you don’t brang up my kids I will kill you. I promis. Ha. Ha.”