6 times Hollywood shook up criminal justice before 'Making a Murderer'

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Judge Quashes 'Making A Murderer' Conviction

"Making a Murderer" subject Brendan Dassey had his conviction overturned by a federal judge on Friday. But "Making a Murderer" is not the first time a film or documentary has been a factor in a major legal reversal of fortune.

"Gimme Shelter" (1970)

A documentary directed by the Maysles brothers, "Gimme Shelter" started out as a simple concert film about The Rolling Stones, but turned out to be essential documentation of the fights and violence that erupted at the Altamont Free Concert.

"The Thin Blue Line" (1988)

Errol Morris' documentary depicted Randall Dale Adams, a man serving life in prison for a murder he did not commit. Adams was exonerated and released from prison a year after the movie's release.

"Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills" (2003-11)

In a series of three documentaries, filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky chronicled the arrest, conviction and imprisonment of the West Memphis Three, a trio of teenagers wrongfully accused of murdering three children with Satanic overtones. By the time the final installment aired on HBO, the case had generated enough publicity to with the trio's release from prison.

"The Invisible War" (2012)

The Oscar-nominated "The Invisible War" documented the culture of widespread sexual harassment and sexual assault in the military, and led to new legislation changing the way those cases are handled.

"Making a Murderer"

"Serial" (2014)

The first season of Sarah Koenig's podcast re-investigated the case of Adnan Syed, who was convicted of murdering his high school girlfriend Hae Min Lee in 1999. "Serial" became such a sensation that it in November 2015 a Baltimore circuit judge agreed to reopen the case for a hearing focusing on potential new evidence.

"The Jinx" (2015)

Released just a few months after "Serial," "The Jinx" played into the audience's current obsession with true crime stories. The night before the high-profile series finale aired, Durst was arrested in New Orleans and charged with murder. In February, he pleaded guilty to gun charges but still awaits trial in L.A. for the killing of his friend, Susan Berman.

"What the hell did I do?" Durst asked himself while still mic-ed in the final episode. "Killed 'em all, of course."

"Making a Murderer"

Check out more from "Making a Murderer" in the gallery below!

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Steven Avery's trial from "Making a Murderer"
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Steven Avery's trial from "Making a Murderer"
Steven Avery looks around a courtroom in the Calumet County Courthouse before the verdict was read in his trial, March 18, 2007, in Chilton, Wis. Avery was found guilty of first-degree intentional homicide in the murder of photographer Teresa Halbach. Avery, who spent 18 years in prison for a rape he didn't commit only to be convicted of committing a murder 3½ years after he left prison, said Tuesday, April 17, 2007, he is confident he will again be exonerated. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps, Pool, File)
This March 2007 file photo shows Calumet County District Attorney Kenneth Kratz giving his closing argument in the Steven Avery trial in the courtroom in Chilton, Wis. Police say Kratz sent repeated text messages trying to spark an affair with a domestic abuse victim while he was prosecuting her ex-boyfriend. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)
Karen Halbach, mother of Teresa Halbach, listens Tuesday, April 24, 2007, to testimony in the Brendan Dassey trial in Manitowoc, Wis. Dassey, 17, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide, mutilating a corpse and first-degree sexual assault in the death of 25-year-old Teresa Halbach on Oct. 31, 2005. His uncle, Steven Avery, 44, was convicted last month in Halbach's murder and is to be sentenced to mandatory life in prison in June. (AP Photo/Bruce Halmo, Pool)
Karen Halbach talks to the jury about her slain daughter, Teresa Halbach, during the trial of Brendan Dassey, Monday, April 16, 2007, at the Manitowoc County Courthouse in Manitowoc, Wis. Dassey, 17, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide, mutilating a corpse and first-degree sexual assault in the death of 25-year-old Teresa Halbach on Oct. 31, 2005. His uncle, Steven Avery, 44, was found guilty of her murder last month. (AP Photo/Dan Powers, Pool)
Tom Halbach, father of Teresa Halbach waits in the courtroom for the verdict in the Steven Avery Trial Calumet County Courthouse Sunday, March 18, 2007, in Chilton, Wis. Avery was found guilty of first degree intentional homicide in the murder of photographer Teresa Halbach, 25, on Oct. 31, 2005 near the family's auto salvage lot in rural Manitowoc County. (AP Photo/Patrick Ferron, Pool)
Sgt. Mark Wiegert with the Calumet Sheriff Department, testifies during Steven Avery's trial on Wednesday, March 7, 2007, at the Calumet County Courthouse in Chilton, Wis. Avery, 44, and his 17-year-old nephew are accused of murdering 25-year-old photographer Teresa Halbach and burning her body on Halloween 2005. The nephew, Brendan Dassey, is scheduled for trial in April. (AP Photo/Evan Siegle, Pool)
Steven Avery's attorney Dean Strang points to a photo showing a CD case that contained blood stains in Teresa Halbach's vehicle while questioning Nick Stahlke, a blood spatter expert with the Wisconsin Crime Laboratory during testimony in Avery's murder trial Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2007, in Chilton, Wis. Avery is accused of killing Teresa Halbach, 25, after she went to the family's rural salvage lot to photograph a minivan they had for sale. (AP Photo/Bruce Halmo, Pool)
Blaine Dassey, Steven Avery's nephew and the brother of Brendan Dassey testifies Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2007, during Avery's murder trial in Chilton, Wis. Avery is accused of killing Teresa Halbach, 25, after she went to the family's rural salvage lot to photograph a minivan they had for sale. (AP Photo/Bruce Halmo, Pool)
Manitowoc County Circuit Judge Patrick Willis listens to Steven Avery's attorney Dean Strang argue a point during Avery's murder trial Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2007, in Chilton, Wis. Avery is accused, along with his 17-year-old nephew, of killing Teresa Halbach, 25, after she went to the family's rural salvage lot to photograph a minivan they had for sale. (AP Photo/Bruce Halmo, Pool)
Marc LeBeau, unit chief of the FBI's chemistry unit, testifies in the Steven Avery homicide trial Monday, March 5, 2007, at the Calumet County Courthouse in Chilton, Wis. Avery is accused, along with his 17-year-old nephew, of killing Teresa Halbach, 25, after she went to the family's rural salvage lot to photograph a minivan they had for sale. (AP Photo/Mike De Sisti, Pool)
Steven Avery, left, exits the courtroom after closing arguments in his trial, Thursday, March 15, 2007 at the Calumet County Courthouse in Chilton, Wis. Avery is accused, along with his 17-year-old nephew, of killing Teresa Halbach, 25, after she went to the family's rural salvage lot to photograph a minivan they had for sale. (AP Photo/Dwight Nale, Pool)
Calumet County District Attorney Ken Kratz answers a question after the murder trial of Steven Avery Sunday, March 18, 2007, in Chilton, Wis. Avery was found guilty of first degree intentional homicide in the murder of photographer Teresa Halbach, 25, on Oct. 31, 2005 near the family's auto salvage lot in rural Manitowoc County. (AP Photo/Jeff Phelps, Pool)
The hands of Tom Halbach, father of Teresa Halbach, are shown as he waits for the verdict in the Steven Avery murder trial in the Calumet County Courthouse Sunday, March 18, 2007, in Chilton, Wis. Avery was found guilty of first degree intentional homicide in the murder of photographer Teresa Halbach, 25, on Oct. 31, 2005 near the family's auto salvage lot in rural Manitowoc County. (AP Photo/Patrick Ferron, Pool)
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