Bobby Dassey has been identified by Kathleen Zellner, Steven Avery’s post-conviction lawyer, as someone who could be responsible for the grisly 2005 murder of 25-year-old Teresa Halbach. This Bobby Dassey wiki takes a look at what we know about Dassey and the latest theory being touted by Zellner on Making a Murderer, Season 2.
In 2007, Avery was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for murdering Teresa Halbach. The Netflix documentary Making a Murderer, which premiered on December 18, 2015, questioned whether police fumbled the case or, perhaps, even planted evidence, and if an innocent man is in prison.
|About Bobby Dassey|
|Siblings||Bryan Dassey, Blaine Dassey, Brendan Dassey|
|Parents||Peter Dassey, Barbara Tadych|
|Address||Two Rivers, Manitowoc County, WI|
|Related To||Steven Avery|
Zellner, the indefatigable lawyer who has a storied history of winning unwinnable cases and freeing wrongfully convicted men, was incensed when she watched Making a Murderer.
She believed Avery was innocent and that the overly zealous prosecutors and state saw him as being disposable. It was, she said, “almost like a class thing. [His family] didn’t matter, they had no power,” Zellner said. “The longer I watched it, the more angry I got.”
In January 2016, Zellner announced that she was representing Avery and had every intention of overturning his murder conviction.
Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey (who was 16 when he confessed to the murder) are in prison for murdering Halbach, but Zellner has narrowed down a list of potential suspects she believes better fit the profile of the murderer.
One of the suspects in her crosshairs is Bobby Dassey, the brother of Brendan Dassey. Bobby was never an official suspect in the murder of Halbach, but Zellner believes he should have been. And should be.
Who Is Bobby Dassey?
There isn’t a lot of personal information out there about Bobby Dassey. And for good reason. Before Making a Murderer pushed his family into the spotlight, Bobby was a typical kid living on a rural property in Two Rivers, Manitowoc County, Wisconsin.
Bobby’s once-public Facebook page is no more. What we do know is that he was born in 1987 and is the older brother of Brendan. He also has two other brothers, Bryan and Blaine, and a half-brother, Brad.
His parents Peter and Barbara did not have a picture-perfect marriage, and the couple eventually divorced. Bobby and his brothers lived with their mother in a trailer on a 40-acre property.
The sprawling compound is located off Highway 147, about 3.5 miles northwest of Mishicot, Wisconsin, and is home to Avery’s Auto Salvage. Bobby’s maternal grandparents and uncles, including Avery, all lived in mobile homes.
Bobby Dassey is an avid hunter and, before the attention that came with Making a Murderer, he used to post pictures of his adventures on Facebook. But his profile has long since been deleted.
In 2012, seven years after Halbach was brutally murdered, Bobby married Kendra Sheck, a graduate from the University of Wisconsin. In December 2013, the couple welcomed a son.
His mother Barbara is now married to Scott Tadych.
Bobby Dassey’s Testimony in Making a Murderer
Bobby has never commented publicly on the Netflix series. In fact, the only time we hear Bobby Dassey make any kind of comment during the series is when he is shown being questioned on the witness stand.
Zellner, who is working feverishly to get Avery a new trial, believes there are plenty of reasons to suspect Bobby of murdering Halbach. His testimony is just one piece of the puzzle.
While on the stand, Bobby claimed to have been home at Avery’s Auto Salvage on October 31, 2005—the day Halbach was murdered. In fact, both Bobby and his stepfather Tadych provided each other with alibis.
They both testified to having driven past each other on the road outside the salvage yard on their way to go hunting on that fateful afternoon. Bobby also claimed to have seen Halbach walking toward Avery’s trailer at around 2:45 p.m. that Halloween afternoon.
Bobby testified that in the days following the disappearance of Halbach, Avery told him he needed help to “get rid of a body.”
“It sounded like [Avery] was joking, honestly,” Bobby said on the stand.
Bobby’s testimony caused a stir. It was the first time Avery’s defense team had heard this story. The controversial—some would say “convenient”— testimony would come back to haunt Bobby Dassey.
Does Blaine Dassey’s Testimony Expose Bobby Dassey?
There have been lingering doubts about Bobby’s 2007 testimony. His brother Blaine may be able to set the story straight. In an affidavit filed in July 2018, Blaine claimed he was pressured to lie by authorities. It was those lies that helped send his brother Brendan to jail.
Blaine says parts of his testimony were “not true,” including the description of a fire he saw in Avery’s burn barrel on October 31, 2005.
Prosecutors said that Avery killed Halbach and burned her remains in the burn barrel and/or in a nearby fire pit.
Blaine also said his description of the actual bonfire was not true. He initially told investigators that the flames were three feet high.
“The police tried to pressure me into saying that the flames of the bonfire were much higher, so at trial I testified that the flames of the bonfire were four to five feet high but that testimony was not true. The police put the height of the flames in my head and I agreed to it,” Blaine explained.
Blaine now says his brother Bobby drove a “bluish or greenish vehicle toward Mishicot” on Highway 147 on the afternoon of October 31, 2005. Highway 147 runs along the north side of Avery’s Auto Salvage.
Blaine also said Bobby was not at home for the rest of the evening.
Zellner has argued that the vehicle Blaine said he saw Bobby drive was the same color as Halbach’s Toyota RAV-4. Halbach’s SUV was found hidden on the Avery property by volunteer searchers on the weekend after her disappearance.
Is it possible that Blaine saw his brother Bobby driving Halbach’s SUV?
Zellner said other witnesses claimed that they saw the SUV parked near an old dam along Highway 147, close to Avery’s Auto Salvage. This was a lead investigators did not properly follow up on, according to Avery’s lawyer.
Blaine and the other witnesses’ claims cast a huge shadow on the state’s theory that Avery and Brendan killed Halbach. They also call into question the idea that Avery had possession of Halbach’s SUV from October 31, 2005, the day she died, to November 5, 2005, the day the car was discovered.
Do Violent Porn and Back Scratches Incriminate Bobby Dassey?
In July 2018, Zellner filed a 599-page motion. In it, she asked the Wisconsin Circuit Court in Manitowoc County to let her supplement Avery’s current appeal with previously suppressed evidence: specifically, a CD containing 2,449 pages of data downloaded from the Dassey family’s laptop.
The family laptop was indeed used by the entire family: Barbara, Brendan, Bobby, and their brothers. But Zellner contends that the CD contains evidence that shows Bobby lied on the witness stand and is a legitimate suspect in the murder of Halbach.
In fact, the outcome of the trial could have been different had the evidence been given to the defense. Zellner argued that withholding the evidence that challenged the state’s case denied Avery his due process rights. And, as a result, she said he deserves a new trial.
The CD contained images of violent pornography depicting women being raped and tortured. Zellner argued the images were mostly accessed at times when only Bobby Dassey was at home. Zellner also said the women in the violent pornography had an uncanny resemblance to Halbach.
Zellner pointed out that the laptop evidence contradicts what Bobby testified to about the day Halbach disappeared.
Halbach worked for Auto Trader and had an appointment to take pictures of a car Avery’s sister Barbara was selling.
Bobby testified that he saw Halbach walk toward Avery’s trailer. When Bobby left a short while later, he said her SUV was still parked on the property, next to the Plymouth van she had just photographed.
Prosecutors said that Bobby had been home alone and was the last person to see Halbach alive. But Bobby also testified that he was asleep all morning and didn’t wake up until 2:00 p.m., just before Halbach got to the salvage yard.
There’s the rub. Zellner said there is time-stamped evidence on the laptop that shows the Internet was accessed throughout the morning. Avery’s defense team could have used that evidence to challenge Bobby Dassey’s story.
Taken together, Zellner contended that Internet searches and the thousands of violent porn downloads (including images of women with a decapitated head, a bloodied torso, a bloody head injury, and a mutilated body) suggest Bobby had a predilection for sexual violence. This could have established a motive for murdering Halbach.
Blaine Dassey Backs up Zellner’s Claims
Blaine echoed the findings of Zellner. He said that Bobby had primary access to the family computer. Blaine maintained that he only used the computer to do homework and send instant messages.
Blaine added that he did not search for porn on the computer, nor did he search for information on the Halbach case.
Furthermore, Blaine said that Bobby was asleep when he got home from school around 3:40 p.m. on October 31, 2005. It would therefore be impossible for Bobby to have seen Halbach when he claimed he did.
Puppy Love Caused Bobby Dassey’s Back Scratches?
A medical examiner looked at pictures of scratches on Bobby Dassey’s back, taken a few days after Halbach disappeared. Bobby blamed the scratches on his Labrador puppy. But the medical expert said the scratches were more consistent with those made by a human hand.
Another brother of Bobby Dassey signed an affidavit that contested Bobby’s testimony that Teresa was still at Avery’s Auto Salvage when he left to go hunting. In fact, even the hunting story is suspect.
Bobby and Tadych provided each other’s alibis. Yet no one saw Bobby go hunting. Moreover, Bobby claimed he left his home to hunt in the mid-afternoon on October 31, 2005, which isn’t a common time to go deer hunting.
Zellner also said that she had been able to determine where Bobby Dassey was that day via his cell phone, and her findings were incriminating.
— Kathleen Zellner (@ZellnerLaw) October 23, 2018
If anything, it appears as though Scott Tadych and Bobby Dassey collaborated on their alibis.
Another witness signed an affidavit saying he saw Halbach’s SUV parked on property owned by Tadych, who is named as Bobby’s alleged accomplice.
An Explosive Phone Call
Suffice it to say, Barbara Tadych is not pleased that Zellner has implicated her son and husband in the murder of Halbach. At one point, she called Avery in prison to complain about his lawyer’s tactics.
“Why is she starting up with Scott and Bobby again?” she angrily asked Avery about Zellner.
“Well, it’s going wherever the evidence is going,” Avery replied.
“Yeah, so she’s gonna take down my f—ing family again?” Barbara demanded.
“If that’s where the lead is gonna go, I don’t know,” said Avery, seemingly unsympathetic to his sister’s frustration.
Avery maintained his innocence during the call, while Barbara asserted that Bobby and Tadych weren’t responsible for the murder either. “So [Zellner] better get it right out of her f—ing mind,” Barbara said.
Members of Bobby Dassey’s family have been vocal about the Netflix series, but Bobby himself has stayed quietly in the background. Viewers may have to wait to see if there’s a third season of Making a Murderer to hear from him.