It has been eight years since Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey were convicted in the brutal murder of 25-year-old Teresa Halbach. Much talk has surrounded the guilt or innocence of the two men after the release of Netflix’s Making a Murderer, and less attention has been afforded the young woman who lost her life at the age of 25 that fateful 2005 Halloween night.
Today, friends of the young photographer say there isn’t a day that goes by that they don’t think about Halbach, including a friend who studied with Teresa at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
“She made me feel like I fit in,” Beth, who asked that her last name not be used, told People magazine. “Honestly, it was her smile. She made you feel like you belonged just by her nature. She had a very adventurous spirit, and she made you want to come along with her.”
— People Magazine (@people) January 16, 2016
In order to return the attention to Teresa to ensure that her life isn’t overlooked by the growing controversy surrounding her convicted killer, Steven Avery, who claims he was framed for the crime, friends and family are speaking out about the woman who lost her life at such a young age.
“She went out of her way to make you feel special,” says Tina Mills, 35, another former college classmate. “People were inspired by her and people wanted to be like her. She just had a way of listening that made you feel comforted and at ease. She made people love her, and obviously she had a lot of love to give away, too.”
She adds: “Caring, loving, any good quality you could come up with, that was Teresa.”
— Inquisitr News (@theinquisitr) January 16, 2016
Pastor Andy Behrendt, who worked with Halbach at the university’s student newspaper in 2001-2002 when Teresa was a staff photographer, said it is difficult to again remember losing his friend.
“She just radiated happiness and life,” he said. “Even after she died so tragically – and here we are again, faced with this awful, awful tragedy 10 years later – I still can’t picture her without a smile on her face. In the end, nothing can take that away.”
“She was always very positive,” says Katie Uttech, for whom Halbach served as a bridesmaid at her wedding in 2004. “I don’t ever remember her being mad about anything. She just had this positivity about herself. She didn’t have a bad bone in her body. She just enjoyed life, she enjoyed new experiences.”
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) January 13, 2016
Uttech said she refuses to watch the Netflix documentary out of respect for her friend.
“I try not to think of the story of what happened to her,” says Uttech, who has made a choice not to watch the Netflix series. “This Netflix thing is not something that’s made up,” she says. “This is somebody’s sister and somebody’s daughter and somebody’s friend and somebody’s cousin. This is real.
“It’s really easy for somebody to watch this show and come up with opinions, and everybody’s entitled to their opinions,” she says. “I can’t do anything but say who Teresa was, and she was a really great person I just miss her not being around and not being able to make more memories together.”