Steven Avery’s children, who are scarcely mentioned during Making a Murderer, have largely remained quiet since the show first debuted in 2015. Many fans have posed the question of whether or not his children believe him to be guilty in the murder of Teresa Halbach. What do his children think of their father’s charges?
Avery has four biological children with with ex-wife Lori Mathieson, who he split from after his rape charge in 1985. Mathieson, who was a 19-year-old single mom when they first met, had a son before she and Avery started dating. Together, according to the first episode of Making a Murderer, they raised her son, Jason, and then had four more children: Rachel, Jenny, Steven Jr., and William.
According to Making a Murderer, things became strained after he was wrongly convicted and imprisoned on a rape charge back in 1985. Avery claims to have received threatening letters from his now ex-wife, telling him that she “can’t handle [their] kids anymore,” and prison records show that Avery also sent threatening letters to Mathieson, writing things like “I hate you, you got your divorce now you will pay for it,” and “if you don’t brang [sic] up my kids I will kill you.” The two divorced in 1988, and Avery was eventually exonerated after DNA from that case was re-examined and proved he did not commit the crime.
Mathieson went on to marry Avery’s former brother-in-law, Peter Dassey after the two divorced. According to Post-Crescent, the children have mostly cut ties with their father, and that “four or five [of the children] have said Avery should not have been let out of prison [the first time].”
Although the Avery children have primarily kept out of the spotlight since Making a Murderer aired, his twin sons, Steven Jr. and Bill Avery, broke their silence on their father’s second time in prison shortly after the release of Making A Murderer, part one. The pair spoke of their confusion on the topic when they appeared on Crime Watch Daily in 2015.
“He had so much coming for him. Why would you throw it all away?” Bill Avery said during the interview with Crime Watch Daily.
Steven Jr. Avery claimed that it had been 20 years since he last spoke with his father and Bill agreed. “I just see him as a complete stranger,” Bill said. “I know that he’s my father, but I grew up without a father for so long that it just kind of feels like I don’t have (one).”
They told Crime Watch Daily that they declined to participate in the docu-series mainly due to the fact that they don’t remember being asked. They told Crime Watch Daily that they have conflicting feelings about the series, and it is often uncomfortable to watch their father’s case play out so publicly. “It sucks having everything out in the open like that. At the same point, it’s good because a lot of people see a little bit of a bigger picture,” Steven Jr. told Crime Watch.
Regarding whether or not he thinks his father murdered Teresa Halbach, Steven Jr. told Crime Watch that he doesn’t know. “I have no idea,” Steven Jr. said. “I mean, only one person can answer that and that is Teresa, but she can’t answer it no more. The only thing I know is that the entire case was very shady. It’s clear that there was corruption.”
He continued: “I don’t wanna live life saying he’s guilty when he’s really innocent or he’s innocent when he’s really guilty, and I would just — I just wanna know the truth from him. If he did do it, why? So this way I can finally move on and then I can tell his grand-kids the truth and so they know the truth.”
His twin told Crime Watch that he doesn’t believe that their father killed Halbach. And when asked what they thought if their father didn’t actually commit the crime he was imprisoned for? “That’s the scary part. That means some random person is just running free with a murder hanging off of them. No matter what I want justice for her,” Bill and Steven Jr. said.