MILWAUKEE -- No one knows for sure, but an estimated 19 million people watched the Netflix docuseries "Making A Murderer." The series, filmed here in Wisconsin, thrust two defense attorneys into a national debate on our justice system. They are now about to embark on a national tour.
If you wonder why Dean Strang didn't binge watch "Making A Murderer" like so many of us did, consider this: He lived it, and he lost.
Netflix "Making A Murderer"
"I watched it like everyone else, but probably more slowly than everybody else. That is to say it took my wife and me three or four days -- that is, three or four sittings to get through," Strang said.
So while he was loath to watch the real-life drama play out again on his TV, Strang says he doesn't regret that countless people (Netflix won't say how many) were glued to it.
"That's not to say I would do it again," Strang said.
The docuseries became an instant sensation -- the talk of lunch halls, bar room and websites, often with conversations so flippant and callous, it's as though people were talking about characters in a TV crime drama.
Does the entertainment aspect of this bother Dean Strang?
Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey
"Yes, and I'm hoping the viewers are not forgetting that it's real life -- that real people are having their stories told, and as long as you're not forgetting that, I understand the appeal of a 'who done it?' I understand the interest into a peek into a real-life criminal case for people who don't work in the justice system," Strang said.
The series draws into question the way Steven Avery and his nephew, Brendan Dassey were convicted in the murder of Teresa Halbach.
Teresa Halbach, Steven Avery
Viewers are left to form their own opinions as to whether justice was served.
The docuseries is coverage neither Dean Strang or co-counsel Jerry Buting asked for. The decision to allow cameras during his trial was made by Steven Avery himself.
"I thought the film did a good job of not becoming voyeuristic, intrusively looking into people`s grief, but rather telling the story of a real case that in a way, is really more powerful than fiction would be," Strang said.
Because the series has so many people talking about the murder and the justice system, Strang and Buting are going on tour. They'll visit 28 cities in the United States and Canada.
"A Conversation on Justice" with Making A Murderer's Dean Strang and Jerry Buting
"I was just stunned on the idea that there would be a broader audience for listening to two people talk about the justice system," Strang said.
The tour is called "A Conversation on Justice," and it will be as non-frills as a "show" can get, as Strang explained inside Milwaukee's Riverside Theater, where the tour stops on Friday, March 18th.
Dean Strang in "Making A Murderer"
"It'll be a question and answer format. As I understand, the audience will have a chance to ask questions that would be screened and then asked by Mitch Teich. I don't think there's an opening monologue or anything schmaltzy to it," Strang said.
Dean Strang in "Making A Murderer"
Since the docuseries debuted on Netflix on December 18th, Strang and Buting have been in demand. Strang recently went to St. Paul, Minnesota because two lawmakers there wanted his input on changing Minnesota's justice system. Strang says he was happy to do it.
"There was a bi-partisan group of Minnesota legislators. When I sat down in the Minnesota Capitol -- I thought we had a very positive discussion. I'd like to see the same thing happen here," Strang said.
While Strang's office is a block-and-a-half away from Wisconsin's Capitol, not a single lawmaker there has reached out.
Ken Kratz text messages
The prosecutor who tried Avery and Dassey, former Calumet County District Attorney Ken Kratz later received unwanted coverage for lurid text messages he sent to victims of domestic abuse cases he tried.
Kratz said an addiction problem was to blame for those incidents.
"I was really sad about it. Really sad about it. Ken is not a bad human being at the end of the day. He made mistakes. I think those mistakes have had a horrible impact on the women involved. They`ve had an impact on his career. They`ve had an impact on the profession that he and I share," Strang said.
Change.org petition to free Steven Avery
Viewers of the Netflix series were so outraged after watching it, thousands signed a petition asking for a presidential pardon -- a moot point because the presidential pardons don't apply to state murder cases.
Strang's advice if you're really mad about the way law enforcement and prosecutors did their job in the Avery case?
Do your job as a citizen.
"Serving as a juror is our only chance. Stop treating it like a root canal. Treat it like an opportunity -- like a duty that`s just as important as defending the country if our shores are invaded. You are defending our country when you serve honestly as a juror. You're defending the very values we stand for," Strang said.
Strang and Buting are no longer Steven Avery's attorneys, although they keep in touch with Avery and said they'll do what they can to help with any potential appeal.
CLICK HERE for more information and tickets to "A Conversation on 'Making A Murderer' with attorneys Dean Strang and Jerry Buting.
Can't get enough of the Steven Avery story? Check out the "Avery Archive" at FOX6Now.com.