Statement from PETA Senior Director Colleen O’Brien in response to Making a Murderer‘s incomplete treatment of Steven Avery’s prior abuse of animals:
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. 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.