Skip to main content

Crime Experts Explore Netflix's 'Making a Murderer'

Image Making a Murderer

VERMILLION, S.D. -- A panel of law enforcement experts on Monday will answer questions about the Netflix Original “Making a Murderer” and explain how the situation portrayed in the documentary would play out in South Dakota.

The series, filmed over 10 years, tells how crime suspect Steven Avery was cleared through DNA evidence while exposing corruption in local law enforcement, according to the plot summary.

The Criminal Justice Education Project at the University of South Dakota School of Law will host the panel “A Local Perspective on the Roles and Actions in ‘Making a Murder’” from 6-9 p.m., Monday, Feb. 29, in the law school courtroom.

Speakers include Traci Smith, Minnehaha County (S.D.) Public Defender’s Office; Kevin Koliner, assistant U.S. attorney in South Dakota; Detective Kevin Heinman, Sioux City (Iowa) Police Dept.; Crystal Brady, Vermillion Police Department; and Darin Cunningham, South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation.


USD’s Knudson School of Law prepares students for leadership in the administration of justice in South Dakota, including in rural areas where the demand is great, and for private practice, public service, business and other law-related endeavors anywhere. Its joint degree program allows students to also earn one of nine master’s degrees within the traditional three-year law curriculum, which includes course tracks in business, commercial, constitutional, criminal, employment, environmental, Indian, real estate and tax law as well as civil litigation and estate planning.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News