From a farm house to the courtroom, one KELOLAND woman is sharing her story of how she became a well known expert witness for violent crimes. 

Signing copies of her new book, Rosemary Erickson was surrounded by fans, family, and lifelong friends. When asked what inspired her to write the book she says it was to honor her father, crediting him with her success.

“That’s what lead me to go away to school and begin to get my education and which lead me to get my PHD in sociology which lead to forensic sociology and violent crime.” author Rosemary Erickson Said

Erickson attended Augustana University in Sioux Falls, then went on to earn her master’s degree in sociology from San Diego State University. Erickson then got her doctorate in sociology and justice at the American University in Washington, D.C. But no matter where she went, she always remembered where she came from.

“Growing up in the plains from the early 1900 to the mid 1900’s was extremely fierce and, for example, my brothers took a horse and buggy to school.” Erickson said.

Maxine Leaders taught Erickson in a one-room schoolhouse for two years. Over the years, she has been following her former student’s accomplishments. 

I’m so proud of her and I just love my students. I really did and I’m still trying to keep up with them and hear of all the good things they are doing it’s wonderful,” Leaders said.

Besides being an author and an expert witness Erickson is also a mentor to young girls. She hopes to inspire them to reach their full potential.

“She is really an influential person she is so warm and kind and you just feel smart talking to her” Erickson’s mentee Mary Wilka said.

In the end Erickson says none of this would have been possible without the loving support of her father.

“It’s the prairie patriarch that brought me to where I am today,” Erickson said.

Erickson’s book is called “Prairie Patriarch: A Farmer’s Daughter Who Becomes an Expert Witness on Violent Crime.”

It came out this summer, and she is planning on publishing another book about her time on the witness stand next year.