The Innocent Killer

The Innocent Killer: A True Story of a Wrongful Conviction and Its Astonishing Aftermath - Michael Griesbach

It's rare, but what happened here is a good example of what happens when cops and prosecutors lose sight of their calling, when they're so convinced that what they're doing is right that they don't care about how they get the outcome they're seeking.

What happened in real life with Steven Avery seems like something out of a legal thriller. In fact while reading this book I had to keep reminding myself that these events are real and actually took place. As an American who is really interested in the criminal justice system I find myself in shock at what happened and hope that we as a country can learn from what happened.


Steven Avery was wrongfully convicted of an attempted sexual assault and spent 18 years in prison (not all of those 18 years were for the crime that he did not commit). After his release he went on to sue for wrongful conviction and just when it looks like he has built a really strong civil suit, Teresa Halbach goes missing and Steven Avery was the last person to see her alive.


Michael Griesbach really knows the ins and outs of this case and you can really tell that when reading this book. Griesbach played a role in getting Avery released from prison and also the subsequent trial for the murder of Teresa Halbach and does disclose this in the book.


I was surprised and impressed at the opinions that Griesbach expressed towards those police officers and prosecutors that dealt with the wrongful conviction of Avery. Quite frankly as someone that works as a prosecutor you wouldn't think that he would be that critical towards those who worked on the case and did everything possible to convict Avery. Griesbach shows refreshing honest in this book.


Griesbach did a great job in laying out both cases for the reader and while keeping it somewhat technical still making it interesting for laymen. I'm not a big reader of true crime (I've read a few) but I still found this to be really interesting and zoomed right through it. I would recommend this book if you enjoy true crime or if you are interesting in reading more about someone who was wrongfully convicted. There are important lessons to be learned from this situation and others like it and I only hope that our criminal justice system can truly learn those lessons and make some changes.


Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the galley.