Some tense moments on Wednesday evening in downtown Manitowoc as the Sheriff’s Department and Jail went into lock down. Manitowoc Police Captain Larry Zimney said the caller gave a specific reason for the bomb threat. “The caller made reference that they were going to get justice for Steven Avery.”
The story of Avery’s conviction in the 2005 murder of photographer Theresa Halbach is at the center of a 10-episode Netflix series, “Making a Murderer,” that premiered in December. The series raised questions about the guilt of Avery and his nephew, Brandon Dassey.
The call came in to the joint dispatch center serving the police and sheriff’s departments at about 6:40 p.m. and the area of the Sheriff’s Office, the County jail and the Courthouse was immediately cordoned off. Officers did a complete sweep of the area. After about 2-hours and with the help of a K9 unit from Brown County the all clear was given, and no explosives were found.
Then about 9:20 p.m., another call was received in the joint dispatch center from a similar sounding male voice with the same threatening message.
Zimney was asked if the public should be concerned. “I think the citizens of Manitowoc are already concerned,” he said. “Obviously the citizens don’t know the extent of the threats made towards the employees of both agencies and staff of the courthouse, but there have some been some significant threats made towards staff in general, and aimed towards specific people. That should be concerning to anybody.”
Zimney indicated investigators from the Manitowoc Sheriffs department and Police Departments are deploying resources to trace the call.
Manitowoc County Sheriff Rob Hermann says law enforcement agencies involved in the trials of Avery and Dassey have faced a lot of criticism since the Netflix series was released. “It’s pretty much consumed our days,” he told WOMT this week, referring to countless e-mails, phone calls, and media requests coming in to his office. There have even been protests in the city — a week ago, dozens of people gathered outside the Manitowoc County courthouse for a rally in support of the two men.