Years before Making a Murderer hit the airwaves, I explained in my 2012 book, Tried and Convicted, how the police indoctrinate kids at an early age in order to win their trust. (Think Deputy Friendly.) This, in turn, pays dividends down the road.
Many of my clients—not only my 17-year-old clients whom Wisconsin considers “adults” for criminal prosecutions, but much older clients as well—tell me how they’re in utter disbelief that they’re sitting in jail facing criminal charges. At the time of their interrogations—or, as the police call them, “interviews”—the clients were convinced that the police were on their side and were there to help.
I explain in my forthcoming book, Anatomy of a False Confession, that while suspects like Brendan Dassey don’t realize it at the time, the police use several tricks of the interrogation trade to lull their targets into this delusional state. And in a recent radio interview, a teacher called in and said how horrified she was by what Mark Wiegert and Tom Fassbender did to Brendan Dassey. She explained: “I could see that happening to any one of my students. Being brainwashed like that. I thought it was shameful.”