In the summer of 2006, Dr. Steven Haataja arrived at Chadron State College in northwestern Nebraska. That winter the mathematics professor disappeared without a trace and 95 days later his body was discovered tied to a tree and burned beyond recognition on a private ranch in the remote hills south of campus. Theories about what happened ranged from murder or suicide to even space aliens.
Author Poe Ballantine spent six years investigating the case while writing a memoir centered on the events. His book, Love and Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere, was published last year. A new documentary based on the book and directed by Philadelphia filmmaker Dave Jannetta came out earlier this year. The film screens at the Garage in Rapid City tonight at 7 pm.
Ballantine and Jannetta joined Dakota Midday and discussed the film.
You can see view the trailer for Love and Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere here.