This story has stayed with me, and it made me think about the ways narratives sustain ideas. Narratives can almost supernaturally suspend ideas for an indefinite period of time, like a note played on a wind instrument that is held beyond what we believe is possible. Sometimes they sustain ideas that are worth maintaining, ideas that would otherwise be fleeting. But by the grace of the author in general, and Ricciardi and Demos specifically, we focus on ideas longer here than we might otherwise, which leads us to new thought-associations that might not be realized if an idea were to emerge and drift away without the framework of a story.
Narratives do many things: they concretize ideology, they over-simplify chaos, they impose conformity where there is diversity. But when a narrative suspends an idea, as it does in Making a Murderer, so that we can walk underneath it, view it from multiple perspectives, sit down and stare at it, forget it when we doze off and then think of it again...the elephant in the room stays there a bit longer.
Sometimes a narrative represents an elephant in the room that is surprisingly calm, patient, impressive and awe-inspiring, and we never realized that such harmony within nature was possible. At other times, as we find here, the elephant in the room--in this case specifically the corrupt judicial system of Manitowoc County--keeps violently ramming into things, destroying precious objects, and it won't go away--and its presence is troubling because it is preventable.
This narrative sustains an idea, based on a historical circumstance, beyond our level of comfort...so what are we going to do about it? That's a good question here.
"The truth always comes out": Making a Murderer Trailer on YouTube