The Dateline episode “12 Minutes on Elm Street” investigates the murders of teenagers Nicholas Brady, 17, and his 18-year-old cousin Halie Kiefer. They were shot dead on Thanksgiving Day 2012 in the small town of Little Falls, Minnesota. Nicholas’ mother Kimberly Brady tells Dateline she was worried sick that day about Nick and her niece Halie not showing up for Thanksgiving dinner. She knew something wasn’t right so she went to the Morrison County’s Sheriff’s Office. While Kimberly Brady was at the Sheriff’s Office, the neighbors of retired security expert and military veteran Byron Smith noticed a van approaching Smith’s house on Elm Street. They were worried as Smith’s house had been broken into a few times when he wasn’t home. But on that Thanksgiving Day, Smith was home and he had his guns loaded. He waived his Miranda rights and admitted to shooting the intruders.
Smith told the police that after shooting Nicholas Brady in the hallway, he sat down and “was just tingling. Adrenaline. I hate adrenaline.” Smith said he wanted to “calm down” but then heard the footsteps of Kiefer and shot her too. The state of Minnesota has a “Castle Law” which allows residents to use deadly force to protect themselves and their property — but prosecutors say nine shots is “overkill” and claim Smith lured the intruders into his home by making it seem like he wasn’t home. (Smith parked his car far away from the house and used newly installed surveillance cameras to watch them from the inside.) When an audio recording of the murders was found, Smith’s second degree murder charge was changed to first degree murder. On the chilling recording, Smith is heard calling Kiefer “cute” for “thinking she was a real pro,” among other things. Smith was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Dateline airs Fridays at 10pm on NBC.