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Netflix's Making a Murderer's first episode

Over the past couple months, Netflix's Making a Murderer has made a huge splash in the US — telling the story of a man who was convicted of horrible crimes he may not have committed not just once, but twice.

If you still haven't watched the series, Netflix has made it so you don't need a subscription for the first episode. Instead, you can watch the entire episode for free on YouTube.

The first episode mostly follows the 1985 case that wrongly landed Steven Avery in prison for 18 years. In that case, Avery was accused of trying to rape and kill a woman named Penny Beerntsen, and was convicted after she identified him as her attacker. DNA evidence later exonerated Avery — but only after he spent nearly two decades in prison for a crime he didn't commit. (Avery is currently in prison for the case the show follows after this one.)

There were several mistakes in the 1985 investigation. Most notably, police seemed to overlook Gregory Allen, a man who was deemed so dangerous that he was under constant surveillance — except on the day Beerntsen was attacked — and was later convicted of a sexual assault for which he's still serving time.

It's a haunting introduction that sets the tone for the series, which raises questions about the criminal justice system and the lack of accountability around it.

If you want to finish the rest of the series, you can do so at Netflix with a subscription. If you do, check out Vox's explainer for some of the details left out of the series.

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