PETA: Netflix series ‘Making a Murderer’ downplays Avery’s animal cruelty

Steven Avery
FILE - In this March 13, 2007 file photo, Steven Avery listens to testimony in the courtroom at the Calumet County Courthouse in Chilton, Wis. The Netflix documentary series “Making a Murderer” tells the story of a Wisconsin man wrongly convicted of sexual assault only to be accused, along with his nephew, of killing a photographer two years after being released. An online petition has collected hundreds of thousands of digital signatures seeking a pardon for the pair of convicted killers-turned-social media sensations based on a Netflix documentary series that cast doubt on the legal process. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

Greenbay, Wis. (WBAY) – The largest animal rights organization in the world with more than 3 million members and supporters is taking issue with the recent Netflix series ‘Making a Murderer.’

Colleen O’Brien, a senior director with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), said the documentary made light of Steven Avery’s abuse of animals.

Early on in the series, it’s only briefly mentioned that Steven Avery lit a cat on fire.

“Too often, cruelty to animals is swept under the rug, as seems to have happened in Making a Murderer when filmmakers omitted specific details about how Avery, at age 20, doused the family cat with lighter fluid before throwing him onto a fire. Avery was convicted of misdemeanor cruelty to animals for killing the cat and served only nine months,” O’Brien said in a written statement.

Ken Kratz, then Calumet County District Attorney and special prosecutor during the Avery trial argued that setting a cat on fire demonstrated a propensity for extreme violence, VOX is reporting.

Further, the link between animal cruelty and violent crimes against humans is something the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is closely monitoring, according to O’Brien.

“Fortunately, today, the FBI recognizes cruelty to animals as a precursor to further violence and tracks animal abuse like it does homicides, and cruelty to animals is also a felony in most states. The filmmakers were wrong to gloss over this important information, and viewers are rightly upset,” O’Brien.

Netflix could not be reached for comment prior to publication.

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