Dream/Killer is a 2015 documentary that tells the story of the wrongful conviction of Ryan Ferguson and his family’s quest to prove his innocence while facing a judicial system that puts roadblocks in their way.
Columbia Daily Tribune reporter Kent Heitholt was tragically murdered at his workplace parking lot on November 1, 2001. The case went cold for two years until they arrested Chuck Erickson who was pointed to the police by a friend and later Ryan Ferguson in 2003. Despite having no evidence, then prosecutor Kevin Crane (who is now a circuit judge) charges Ferguson using eye witness accounts. He is found guilty and sent to prison. His divorced parents reunite in order to exonerate their son and soon find evidence of evidence tampering, witness intimidation, and prosecutorial misconduct that led to their son’s conviction. Attorney Kathleen Zellner takes the case and is shocked by what she finds.
The documentary is definitely an eye-opening about how the system can fail an individual. Ferguson was clearly railroaded with no fingerprints, DNA evidence, and even the witness testimonies were all absent, but the Columbia prosecution team wanted a conviction and by golly, they got one. Fortunately, he was proven innocent and set free after many years in prison.
After viewing it, I wanted to see what happened later. As of the writing of this review, Kevin Crane still sits as a judge in Illinois and has been invited to give speeches. Ferguson later sued the county and other parties for damages. Kathleen Zellner would go on to be Steve Avery’s attorney in the infamous Making Of A Murderer Netflix documentary.
The documentary is well shot, well filmed, and it tells its cautionary tale with precision. You are stunned by how a system can let down a person who had nothing to do with a crime and was railroaded at every turn.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Foul language, Minor violence
Check out the trailer below:
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