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Dec. 8 “History Talks” presentation on Mathis murders

For December, the South Dakota State Historical Society’s virtual “History Talks” author speaker series features veteran journalist and former state legislator Noel Hamiel and his new book, “South Dakota’s Mathis Murders: Horror in the Heartland.”

This free virtual event will be held Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. CST on Zoom. To register, go to “History Talks” is a monthly program of the South Dakota Historical Society Press and the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation.

The book examines South Dakota’s most infamous murder case with a journalistic eye and a political insider’s wealth of knowledge. On Sept. 8, 1981, LaDonna Mathis and two of her three children were shot in the head at their home. Despite the thorough investigations conducted by numerous law enforcement officials, neither the murderer nor the murder weapon was ever found. Although Mathis’s husband was charged with the crime, he was acquitted, leaving the case unsolved. Over 40 years later, the case remains a mystery.

Noel Hamiel has revisited the case and those involved, offering renewed insight into this cold case. His research for the book brought him to the State Archives of South Dakota, where he found records significant to the writing of the book.

Published by The History Press in April 2022, “South Dakota’s Mathis Murders” may be ordered for $21.95, plus shipping and tax, from the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation at or at the Heritage Shops in the Cultural Heritage Center or the State Capitol in Pierre. For more information about the South Dakota Historical Society Press and its books, please visit and follow @sdhspress on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

About the South Dakota State Historical Society
The South Dakota State Historical Society is a division of the Department of Education. The State Historical Society, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution since 2013, is headquartered at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The center houses the society’s world-class museum, the archives, and the historic preservation, publishing, and administrative/development offices. For questions or memberships, call 605-773-3458 or visit for more information. The society also has an archaeology office in Rapid City; call 605-394-1936 for more information.