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

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!

Steven Avery's trial from "Making a Murderer"
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Steven Avery's trial from "Making a Murderer"

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