He was one of the featured players in the Netflix series Making a Murderer.
But Tom Fassbender hasn’t spoken about his role as co-lead investigator in the Steven Avery case, until now. In an interview for tonight’s Dateline NBC, Fassbender, who investigated the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach, responds to allegations that he coerced a confession from Avery’s nephew Brendan Dassey.
Canning: What do you say to those people who’ve made you part of this big discussion about false confessions and who were yelling at their TVs because they didn’t like the job that you did?
Fassbender: Just that it’s easy to armchair quarterback… We didn’t try to manipulate Brendan. We tried to get at the truth… and I don’t believe that it was a false confession. Are there parts of it that he may have not done, I don’t know. You know, I just don’t know.
Last August, a judge overturned Dassey’s conviction pending an appeal. Dassey and Avery were both convicted of Halbach’s murder, in a case that returned made national headlines last year when Netflix released its true crime mini-series. On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago heard arguments about Dassey’s release. For now, he remains in prison in Portage, Wisc.
For tonight’s Dateline, Canning also spoke with Avery prosecutor Ken Kratz, as well as Avery’s ex-fiancée Sandy Greenman, Halbach’s friend Kim Peterson, and Avery’s former defense attorney Jerry Buting.