"It's surreal to watch it," Emily Matesic tells PEOPLE
What happened to the journalists who covered Steven Avery‘s trial?
Netflix’s new documentary Making a Murderer follows the case of Steven Avery, a man who was convicted for sexual assault in 1985 and served 18 years of a 32-year sentence before being exonerated by new DNA evidence. Then, in 2005, he was arrested and eventually found guilty of murdering photographer Teresa Halbach.
PEOPLE checked in with some of the reporters prominently featured in the 10-part series to find out where they are a decade later.
Matesic is still working for the WBAY-TV Action 2 News, but was promoted from reporter to Fox Valley Bureau Chief in 2010.
“It was very surreal to watch it [the documentary] because it’s been 10 years,” Matesic tells PEOPLE.
Matesic has been covering this case for 10 years, and while she doesn’t write full articles, she does still occasionally write updates if there’s new paperwork going back and forth between the courts and lawyers.
“I can’t believe it’s been 10 years, she says. “[This is] probably the biggest story that I’ve covered in 15 plus years since graduating and working as a reporter.”
During the trial, Alvear was a reporter for NBC26. She interviewed Steven Avery shortly after it was determined he was one of the last people to see Halbach as well members of his and Halbach’s family.
“It’s the kind of case you’ll never forget because it was such a big deal in that community,” Alvear tells PEOPLE. “It’s also a case that affected us deeply.”
She says she felt very “disappointed’ after watching Making a Murderer, which she expressed in a piece she wrote on Medium about the series’ treatment of Halbach.
“The thing that infuriated me the most was that Teresa Halbach got maybe a few minutes explaining who she was, and from then on, she was just the woman who was murdered,” Alvear says. “I felt Teresa was being done a tremendous disservice, and I wanted to, at the very least, just remind people that there’s a victim in this case who was given her death sentence 10 yeas ago and there needs to be just as much outrage about that. ”
As she watched the documentary, she says she kept thinking, “Wait a minute, what about this? Why didn’t they mention that? And what about this testimony and that piece of evidence?”
In 2008, Alvear left NBC26 and moved on to ABC News and then NBC News. She has covered other murder trials, but says she thinks about Halbach every Christmas because she remembers it’s another holiday her family has to spend without her. Now, Alvear works in marketing.
Since the show was released, Keller, who covered the trial for NBC26 with Alvear, has gained a lot of attention because many viewers find him very attractive, dubbing him the “silver fox.”
“It just feels odd,” Keller, speaking about the Internet’s reaction to him, tells PEOPLE. “It’s very different for me, having left broadcast television for many years, to suddenly be thrust back into it and in a way that I never, frankly, played when I was journalist.”
He adds, “My greatest fear is that it’s distracting us from the more serious issues that the documentary presents.” He hasn’t finished watching the entire series yet.
Keller was 25 going on 26 when he was reporting on the Avery trial. “I can’t explain how much this case weighed on me,” he recalls.
Since the trial ended in 2007, he has returned to academia. According to his LinkedIn, he attended University of New Hampshire School of Law from 2010-2013. Now, he’s a professor of English and communications at NHTI, Concord’s Community College.
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At the time of Steven Avery’s trial, Levy (pictured at the top of this story) was a reporter for WFRV-TV in Green Bay, Wisconsin. In 2010, she moved over to WKRC-TV and was a reporter for Good Morning Cincinnati, but now she reports live during the evening news at 10 p.m.
Since Making a Murderer was released, Levy hasn’t said much about the case apart from answering a follower’s tweet about Brendan Dassey’s case.
“Brendan is very, very sad,” she replied to a tweet that called Dassey “the biggest victim here.”
Kertscher is interviewed toward the end of the first episode of the documentary. As a reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, he covered Avery’s exoneration, specifically focusing on how quickly Avery became a suspect and how the police didn’t consider Gregroy Allen, the man who actually assaulted Penny Beerntsen. This reporting included going through police documents and putting together a chronology of the Manitowoc police’s contact with Allen. He also covered the murder trial.
Today, he still works for the Journal Sentinel, but now he’s part of PolitiFact Wisconsin.
Since the documentary’s release, he has live-tweeted his binge. He comments on the series’ perspective, evidence presented during the trial, and what it was like to cover it.
“After 4 hours of #MakingAMurderer, I remember how spending years covering a murder case seeps into your pores, alters your dreams. Scary,” he tweeted.