Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murder of Teresa Halbach

'A Little Slow'

According the complaint against Brendan Dassey, he told detectives that he and Steven Avery threw Teresa Halbach's body onto a fire pit that had already been burning when Dassey returned from school earlier that afternoon.  They put "tires and brush on top of her" to accelerate the fire.  While her body burned, they drove her car to a remote area of the property and concealed it with "branches and a car hood."  They returned to the garage and cleaned Teresa's blood off the concrete floor with "gasoline, paint thinner, and bleach."  Avery noticed that his finger was bleeding and covered it with a Band-aid that he got from his trailer when he went inside for the bleach.

Brendan Dassey
Brendan Dassey

Later that evening when Brendan Dassey returned to his own home, his mother, Barb Janda, who is Steven Avery's sister, noticed bleached-out splotches on her son's jeans and asked how that had happened.  Dassey told her that he had been helping his uncle clean the floor of his garage.

Dassey told the detectives that Avery later informed him that he had broken up some of Teresa's remaining bones with a shovel and buried them elsewhere on his property. 

Dassey's great uncle, Arland Avery, a retired Manitowoc County sheriff's deputy, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Dassey was "a little slow." 

"I don't think he [Dassey] could do anything on his own," Arland Avery said.  "He doesn't have the initiative or the ability to do anything on his own.  He had to be told what to do."



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