March 27, 2017
Tom Fassbender was the co-lead investigator on the 2005 murder case of Teresa Halbach, a Wisconsin photographer, whose death became the focus of the Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer. The docuseries, which follows the investigation into Halbach’s death, focuses on suspect Steven Avery, who had previous troubles with the law, and his 16-year-old nephew, Brendan Dassey, who was reportedly with his uncle the night Halbach disappeared after going to Avery's property to take pictures.
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After the documentary series aired, which included interrogation footage of Fassbender and his counterpart interviewing Dassey, many believed Fassbender coerced Dassey into confessing to the crime. On Monday’s episode of Dr. Phil, he asks Fassbender, “Did you bully a confession out of this boy?”
“No, I did not,” Fassbender replies.
WATCH: Investigator Featured In ‘Making A Murderer’ Adamant There Was No Planted Evidence Or Coercion
Dr. Phil explains that false confession is a phenomenon where a person is treated in a way that they are broken down psychologically and will tell you what you want to hear. Fassbender denies using that tactic with Dassey.
In the video above, watch some of Fassbender’s interrogation with Dassey and hear his explanation for his demeanor and line of questioning. And, hear why Fassbender and former prosecutor Ken Kratz say Dassey didn’t have an attorney or parent present during his interviews.
WATCH: Why Defense Attorney Featured in 'Making a Murderer' Says He Believes Police Planted Evidence Against Steven Avery
Avery and Dassey were convicted of Halbach’s murder, although both maintain their innocence. Avery is currently serving life in prison without the possibility of parole at the Waupun Correctional Institution in Wisconsin. In August 2016, a federal magistrate overturned the murder conviction of Dassey because he found that the teen’s confession was unconstitutionally coerced by Fassbender and his partner. Yet, he is still in prison today as that ruling is being appealed.
On Monday’s episode, Fassbender and Kratz reveal more details about the case that they say were omitted from the documentary. And, hear from Avery’s former attorney Jerry Buting and why he says he believes evidence was planted and that Avery is innocent. Check here to see where you can watch.
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