Steven Avery’s ex-fiancee says “he’s a monster,” and she believes he killed Teresa Halbach

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MANITOWOC COUNTY — She was portrayed as a loving, loyal fiancee in the popular Netflix series “Making A Murderer,” but Steven Avery’s ex-fiancee had some very negative things to say about him when speaking with HLN’s “Nancy Grace” on Wednesday night, January 13th.

Steven Avery is the subject of the 10-part Netflix docuseries released on December 18th.

Netflix "Making A Murderer"

Netflix “Making A Murderer”

Avery was convicted in 1985 in the rape of jogger Penny Beerntsen on a beach near her home in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. After serving 18 years in prison he was exonerated based on DNA evidence connecting the attack to another man.

Steven Avery released from prison in 2003

Steven Avery released from prison in 2003

Avery was released in 2003 and filed a lawsuit against Manitowoc County for wrongful conviction and imprisonment. Two years later, he was arrested in the death of Teresa Halbach, a young photographer whose charred remains were found on his family’s auto salvage yard.

This week, Avery filed two motions alleging violations of due process rights in his prosecution for the 2005 rape and murder of Halbach.

Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey

Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey

Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey are each serving life sentences for her death — Avery without the possibility of parole.

Avery said he wants to be released from prison while the Wisconsin Court of Appeals considers his latest challenge to his 2007 murder conviction.

The Netflix series has renewed interest in Avery’s ongoing legal troubles, leading to calls for his release and a petition seeking a presidential pardon. It was declined because the President cannot pardon someone convicted of a state criminal offense. The only person who can, Governor Scott Walker, has said he won’t do so.

Steven Avery and Teresa Halbach

Steven Avery and Teresa Halbach

Wisconsin prosecutors and law enforcement have accused the documentary directors of cherry-picking the evidence to cast it in a light favorable to Avery.

The docuseries shows how prosecutors laid out their case: Halbach’s Toyota RAV4 (which had blood in it, including Avery’s) was found on the Avery family’s lot. Tissue and bone fragments that matched Halbach’s DNA profile were found outside Avery’s mobile home. Avery’s then-16-year-old nephew, Brendan Dassey, confessed to authorities that he had assisted his uncle in raping and killing her.

The docuseries shows how the defense made the case that officers investigating Avery had a conflict of interest and stayed involved after they were ordered to hand over the investigation to a neighboring county. When key pieces of evidence were found by Manitowoc officers involved in Avery’s first case, the defense implied the evidence could have been planted. The defense suggested Avery was framed for the murder of Teresa Halbach amid the pending multi-million lawsuit he filed against Manitowoc County following his exoneration.

Jodi Stachowski

Jodi Stachowski

Jodi Stachowski, Avery’s ex-fiancee, who can be seen in the docuseries, told HLN’s Nancy Grace she believes Avery killed Teresa Halbach. When asked why she feels that way, Stachowski said:

“Because he threatened to kill me and my family and a friend of mine. I was in a bath, and he threatened to throw a blow dryer in there and told me he’d be able to get away with it,” Stachowski said.

In the docuseries, you’ll see Avery and Stachowski holding hands — and Stachowski defends Avery.

Jodi Stachowski speaks exclusively with HLN

Jodi Stachowski speaks exclusively with HLN

“It was all an act. I — he told me how to act. You know, smile, be happy. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to get hurt. Steven is one person I don’t trust. He’s like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” Stachowski said. “A nice person, semi-nice person and then behind closed doors…he’s a monster. He told me once — excuse my language — ‘all (expletive for females) owe him’ because of the one that sent him to prison the first time. We all owed him — and he could do whatever he wanted.”

Avery’s appeal was written and filed by Avery himself before noted defense attorney Kathleen Zellner took on his case. One of the motions claims a search warrant executed on the property was invalid, meaning evidence from the search should have been inadmissible. The second motion claims a juror pressured others into voting guilty.

The motion seeks a stay of enforcement of the judgment and release on bond. If the court decides to vacate Avery’s conviction based on his claims, prosecutors would have to decide whether to retry him without the impermissible evidence.

Can’t get enough of the Steven Avery story? Check out the Avery Archive at


  • Amarie

    did anyone else notice in the old home video of Teresa Halbach when she is talking about her life and what she wants others to remember about ” then she hesitates and seems almost tearful as she says “I love all my family” I thought it very odd that she did not mention her brother who seems to be the spokesman of the family. I am certainly not alleging ANYTHING just stating what I noticed and that I found that statement from her odd and I am certainly not going to argue for steven Avery’s guilt or innocence personally I think its a 50/50 toss up but I will say if the documentary is accurate he CERTAINLY did not get a fair trial.

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    • Ann

      I absolutely noticed exactly what you say here about the brother (Mike). Unless the documentary was deficient (which is now being claimed) it seems as if this one person in Ms Halbach’s family was not open to the facts and was too much of a media hog for taste. I wish someone would explore the relationship between “Mike” and the ex-boyfriend of Ms. Halbach) – see the video in which the two seem to be collaboratively covering up their accesss to a supposed crime scene Also the “roommate” and the whole thing about he and the ex getting the woman’s voice mails off the phone was very suspicious and yet no one did anything about it.

  • Bianca

    Quite possibly the most apathetic and condecending interviewer I have seen in a while. This woman is pouring her heart out and this woman is borderline disrespecting her with her outlandish tone and repetitive questions with not a stitch of emotion or empathy for the trauma this woman has endured. It’s almost painful to watch due to this interviewers affect.

    • midwestbarbie

      Maybe because the lady is lying her a@# off. How much is she getting paid? Paying off multiple people even for thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars is pennies compared to the lawsuit they were going to have to pay.

  • Suzanne Cordier

    Is this the same Jodi who, during the course of the documentary, was arrested and jailed several times on alcohol abuse-related charges, DUII among them? If so, I think it’s safe to flush her credibility potential down the plug hole.

  • Mary

    A basic Psychology class will teach excessive blinking is a sign someone is lying. Now this may not be true in every situation BUT she does not blink excessively when being truthful, Ex; she sates, “yes, that’s true” she does not blink like crazy BUT all the other questions she looks as if she has something in her eyes. ?????

    • S C

      She’s expressing a “duper’s smile” too; she’s lying outright to this interviewer, and she’s just so proud that she’s getting paid to say this stuff, probably hoping that it’ll seem like a bombshell in light of the attention he’s been receiving lately. Interesting timing on her part, and I don’t believe a word of it.

  • Ryan

    She is lying you can just tell, whats that saying? A woman scorn? And only 2 good times? Maybe she should listen to her phone calls to avery begging avery to stay with her saying you better not leave me this is while she was locked up and he was out. Theres alot more to.

  • Catherine

    There is a high probability she’s lying, she sais that she had to eat rat poison to get away from him yet she called him constantly from jail and when she got out he was already taken into custody she stood by him. She said she did all this because she was scared that he would beat her if she didn’t make him look good, so she was scared of someone who was locked up facing murder chargers and still remained by his side again, the guy she calls now a “monster”. Her credibility is lost to me. Not believing her!

    • barbaramulle

      I think there’s something wrong with her Steve Avery And Brandon. All stories change and twist. We did do a little digging he has a pretty nasty past throwing gas on cats and stuff and setting them on fire. Do some digging either way he’s creepy

  • Tammy Hannesson

    I have been a huge Nancy Grace follower. I will never watch again. This interview is so coaxed by the interviewer, who should have been Nancy Grace and not some inexperienced newcomer for HLN. Whether Avery is guilty of the murder or not, this interview is so coaxed. I have interviewed lots of women incarcerated that are victims of domestic violence and this is not my experience with the “stereotypical” battered woman. I’m not sure that I will ever watch any HLN program again. I have not decided whether or not Avery is guilty of the murder, however I am confident that his nephew (Brendan) is not guilty of a crime. Clearly the Avery family members are “slow”, below average intelligence, and if anyone knows anything about below average intelligent people they are not very good at fabricating the truth. This is truly a miscarriage of justice for Brendan and Barb. I truly believe that Brendan is innocent of any wrong doing. It infuriates me that anyone would watch the video of Brendan and think that he is guilty of anything. Some questions that I have are : where is the blood of this horrific crime anywhere in the trailer, bedroom or garage? Why was this trial even allowed to take place in either County and why was the jury not sequestered?
    On a side note I have a bachelor degree in social work and have worked in a prison educating male batterers in heterosexual relationships with female victims. I also have worked with CPS , various types of law enforcement agencies, hospital social work, etc. I am currently disabled and no longer practice social work or counseling. I grew up in a home where my father started out as a “beat cop” and worked his way up to detective. Upon his retirement he later went on to work as a Federal Transport Officer for another County and has since retired from law enforcement. My father was my inspiration to pursue a career working along side of law enforcement agencies in a “helping career”. I am by no means without my own issues. I have been arrested for shoplifting on numerous occasions. I am real and I believe that I am able to communicate with others effectively and with genuine interest in the lives of criminals.
    Tammy Hannesson
    2525 15th St S apt 25
    Fargo, ND 58103

  • Debbie Mosakowski

    I am calling BS! She went to jail on more than one occasion because she was ordered to stay away from him and she didnt. She is just pissed off because he has met another woman and moved on!

  • Anna

    Steven was supposed to pick her up the day of Teresa’s murder, but “for some reason – which I still don’t know to this day, the jail didn’t let me out.” Maybe because they were in on the scheme and knew if she was out Steven would have a solid alibi & it would compromise their scandal!..

    • Anna

      & judging by the other “evidence” they used to convict two people for life in prison, that comment could be used as new evidence – Bring on a new trial!!

  • blanca c

    In the documentary, the last thing Jodi says is “I’m not going anywhere”, as she referrenced her parole officer/police telling her to leave Steven. Jodi, you are a liar.

  • Cindi

    This seems like such a lie from this woman. She is a detriment to women who really have suffered abuse and she can say all she wants to but, anyone that was so abused like she says and had the opportunity to immediately leave when he was incarcerated and didn’t immediately leave…sorry…she is not telling the truth. I survived a VERY abusive relationship and I am telling you she is doing this either because she was paid off or got some sort of kick-back or she is siding with the officers and legal bunch on the other side for some reason. This is just bizarre that she is saying this now.

    He did not get a fair trial even if he did do it because there is definitely a “shadow of a doubt” on this case due to the interference and just the way it all went down with things that don’t match up. He should not be in prison because you do not convict unless guilty “beyond a shadow of a doubt”. This was not Civil court with “preponderance of the evidence”, this was a Criminal court with conviction only being “beyond a shadow of a doubt”. I am also suspecting the brother or the officers.

  • J R

    You have to sign a release form for them to use you in this docuseries. Let alone he was so capable of murder but you just said that if you didn’t say nice things in this series your biggest fear is he would be you. Then you also state he would beat you when your a drunk you 1st met him and offered him a drink drunks always are the ones starting the problems 90% of the time the drunk is the one starting the problem why would your words be believable

  • arugala

    yeah, she believes steven did it for $10 and a crackpipe, look at that snaggletooth, if she thought he did it, why is she running to visit him EVEN THOUGH THE POLICE TOLD HER NOT TO. i think snaggletooth and nancy grace-jones were crackin it up back stage, did you see nancy’s eyeballs? she was tweaking like a freak, “hey snaggletooth, its nasty-nancy grace, lets smoke some of that rat-poison you ate, hahaha”

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