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Gasoline was used on 31 October 2005 to clean a "red fluid" from Steven Avery’s garage floor, according to the confession and trial testimony of Brendan Dassey.

DCI agent Gary Steier collected 5 gas can containers in March 2006.

Summary

Following Brendan's confession the DCI and Calumet County, with the help of some Manitowoc County resources, headed back to Avery’s Auto Salvage property. In his confession Brendan admitted the victim was shot in the garage behind a green lawnmower. Earlier, Wisconsin State Crime Lab forensic scientist John Ertl had noticed a stain behind the lawnmower, 4'x3' in size, that had lit up with luminol.

Brendan told investigators, and later repeated at trial, that on the evening of 31 October 2005 he and Steven went into Steven's garage. Steven was working on a car, and while working underneath the car he, according to Brendan who was present at the time, “poked” somewhere under the car and it caused a leak of a fluid that was red in colour. Possibly transmission fluid.

To clean this fluid, Steven and Brendan first used gasoline, and later added some paint thinner. Brendan said this did have some effect. Apparently not enough, as they later added some chlorine bleach from Steven's laundry room.

To investigators Brendan would sometimes say the car fluid was actually blood. At trial he maintained it could've been blood.

Discovery

Crime Lab

Trial

Critiques

  • Is it possible to cause a transmission fluid leak by “poking” somewhere “under” a car?
  • How was it possible to park this car so close to the green lawnmower, that the red fluid stain could end up right behind it? According to Brendan's description the lawnmower had not been moved.
  • Is gasoline a good solution to clean transmission fluid?
  • If Brendan was present when the leak happened, he must know the fluid can not be blood. Yet at trial he maintained it could've been.

See also