Saturday, January 10, 2009

Update on Murders and Disappearances Attributed to the American Indian Movement (AIM)

"Two men charged with the 1975 slaying of a woman on the Pine Ridge Reservation can be tried together, a magistrate judge has ruled in denying their requests for separate trials.

John Graham and Richard Marshall have pleaded not guilty to charges they committed or aided and abetted the first-degree murder of Annie Mae Aquash.

They’re scheduled to stand trial together in Rapid City starting Feb. 24 – 33 years after her body was found in the Badlands near Wanblee...

[Arlo] Looking Cloud was convicted in 2004 for his role in [Anna Mae] Aquash’s [1975] murder and sentenced to life in prison. He is cooperating with the government in its case against [John] Graham and [Richard] Marshall."--Indian Country News (January 2009)

"Clyde Bellecourt, Russell, Bill, and Ted Means, Lorelie DeCora, Madonna Gilbert Thunderhawk, Attorney Bruce Ellison, Troy Lynn Irving and her auntie Theda Nelson Clark...may still be indicted...

Even Leonard Peltier, the last ranking AIM security enforcer not to have a verifiable location on December 9-13, 1975 has to be concerned about what may become public, beyond his already waning claims of innocence.

But justice will not be served when just the gang of three, Arlo, John Boy and Theda Clark, those who moved against Aquash are behind bars. Justice will only be served when those in AIM leadership/security roles are brought to justice for the manipulation and orders they gave others to do their dirty work"--Paul DeMain, Editor of News from Indian Country

Retired FBI agent Joe Trimbach, the author of American Indian Mafia, says that the AIM militant Leonard Crow Dog is worried that the remains of people "disappeared" by the American Indian Movement (AIM) during the 1973 occupation of Wounded Knee might be discovered buried in the ruins of the village.

Mr. Trimbach observes:

In one of his more lucid moments, AIM's...spiritual advisor, Leonard Crow Dog, warned that at least seven spirits haunt the village ruins. He urged a land purchase of the area in order to prevent a gastly discovery. To illustrate, Crow Dog drew lines in the sand while explaining to this Indian, "There's a Mexican, an Italian, a black man, three white women..." Could these be the forgotten souls AIM leaders do not want people to know about? Was it feared their departure might compromise internal security, should they decide to cooperate with authorities once safely inside a hospital recovery room?...With the possible exception of [the black man Perry Ray Robinson], the deaths remain mysteries (American Indian Mafia p. 323. The book is availible in hard-copy or as a searchable e-book).

News from Indian Country, edited by Paul DeMain, tells the story of the 1973 disappearance of Perry Ray Robinson:

Perry Ray Robinson Jr., was a civil rights activist who worked with Martin Luther King, Jesse Jackson and Andrew Young in the the south during the 1960's. Robinson went to Wounded Knee in 1973 to support the American Indian Movement, was seen inside during the occupation, but was never heard from again after April 25, 1973 after a confrontation with AIM Security guards Carter Camp, David Hill and Leonard Crow Dog inside the village.

The Lakota journalist Tim Giago explains:

The mainstream media made heroes of the occupiers of Wounded Knee. They became legends in their own minds. Even today there is still talk among the Lakota people of Pine Ridge that some terrible things took place within the AIM camp at Wounded Knee. There were rumors of other murders within the confines of the encampment. There was talk of the rape of young white and Indian women at the camp. One Lakota elder, fluent in the Lakota language, said during the occupation, "All they do is smoke dope and make the women take their pants down." There is a strong suspicion among some Pine Ridge residents that there are other bodies buried in secret graves at Wounded Knee including the body of an African American man named Perry Ray Robinson who apparently entered the camp at Wounded Knee in 1973 and has not be seen or heard from since.

News from Indian Country (January 2009) has new information about the upcoming trial of Anna Mae Aquash's killers. The most interesting new information is that Arlo Looking Cloud is among those who are cooperating with the government's case against Anna Mae's accused killers:

Two men charged with the 1975 slaying of a woman on the Pine Ridge Reservation can be tried together, a magistrate judge has ruled in denying their requests for separate trials.

John Graham and Richard Marshall have pleaded not guilty to charges they committed or aided and abetted the first-degree murder of Annie Mae Aquash.

They’re scheduled to stand trial together in Rapid City starting Feb. 24 – 33 years after her body was found in the Badlands near Wanblee. Marshall was indicted in August, five years after Graham and Arlo Looking Cloud were initially charged.

Looking Cloud was convicted in 2004 for his role in Aquash’s murder and sentenced to life in prison. He is cooperating with the government in its case against Graham and Marshall.

Witnesses at Looking Cloud’s trial said he, Graham and Theda Clarke drove Aquash from Denver in late 1975 and that Graham shot Aquash, a fellow Canadian, as she begged for her life. [See the full text]

The old American Indian Movement (AIM) leadership have presented themselves as heroic advocates for Indians, but really they were more like the criminal cult leader Charles Manson or like the Middle Eastern terrorists who deliberately endanger and murder their own people.

According to Paul DeMain, the editor of News from Indian Country, Indian journalists have reportedly developed new evidence that the AIM murdered 13 people, but I don't know the specifics of the journalists' evidence except for Anna Mae Aquash and Perry Ray Robinson. Keep checking Indian Country News to see if new information is published about these thirteen disappeared people.

Mr. DeMain wrote in an earlier article about his hopes for justice for the victims of AIM:

[I]t has always been hard for me to get off the subject of justice for victims of the American Indian Movement that were murdered in the 1970s because of revolutionary fever and paranoia. Two of the thirteen victims Native investigative journalists have identified include Black civil rights worker and Martin Luther King disciple Perry Ray Robinson Jr., and Micmac mother Annie Mae Pictou Aquash.

As the federal government prepares for the trial of John Boy Patton Graham...in Rapid City, South Dakota, I note a few things. Only one other man, Arlo Looking Cloud has been convicted and is now serving a life sentence to being Party to 1st Degree Murder.

While Dennis Banks basks in the sun of his latest Longest Walk in Honor of Mother Earth and All Living Things, I often wonder if he ever thinks of the former mistress he allegedly conspired to have executed as a traitor and possible FBI pig – while some Native and non-Native media hold him up as some kind of “hero” in our community.

The trial of John Boy Graham, and other AIM leaders and affiliates like Clyde Bellecourt, Russell, Bill, and Ted Means, Lorelie DeCora, Madonna Gilbert Thunderhawk, Attorney Bruce Ellison, Troy Lynn Irving and her auntie Theda Nelson Clark that may still be indicted, can’t happen fast enough for vetting of information and transparency.

Even Leonard Peltier, the last ranking AIM security enforcer not to have a verifiable location on December 9-13, 1975 has to be concerned about what may become public, beyond his already waning claims of innocence.

But justice will not be served when just the gang of three, Arlo, John Boy and Theda Clark, those who moved against Aquash are behind bars. Justice will only be served when those in AIM leadership/security roles are brought to justice for the manipulation and orders they gave others to do their dirty work, and are forced to concede their roles. Only then will justice be served, and even then it is a hollow replacement for the Robinson, Aquash and other families watching others enjoy the freedom of major movie roles, or nice long walks.

Mr. DeMain keeps archives of stories about the Aquash murder investigation here and here.

I am really appreciative of the fact that Joe Trimbach, who is retired and has many grandchildren, is still trying to set the historical record straight and get justice for the people murdered or "disappeared" on Indian lands by the AIM. He and his son John are telling the story of Indians overcoming historical suspicions and malicious rumors and working with their government to get justice for crime victims. The Trimbachs continue to expose AIM propaganda on their blog AIM Myth Busters.

As the Minneapolis FBI said in a well-known document titled "Accounting For Native American Deaths" (2000):

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and its Agents in South Dakota can only operate effectively where we have the trust and help of the American people. For South Dakota, much of our work revolves around crimes occurring in Indian Country. The trust and help of reservation residents are vital to the accomplishment of our sworn duty.

I think that the trial of John Graham and Richard Marshall will show that this trust is being built and that people are no longer so manipulated by the lies of the AIMsters. I am glad that the Trimbachs and Indian journalists like Richard Two Elk, Paul DeMain, Tim Giago, and many witnesses will be chronicling the information that emerges during the trial of Graham and Marshall.

There is speculation that the trial may bring to light more information about the murder of Perry Ray Robinson.

According to an AP article by Carson Walker, as reprinted in Indian Country Today (1-16-04):

As prosecutors probe the 1975 killing of American Indian Movement member Anna Mae Pictou Aqaush they might unearth details of the unsolved death of a black civil rights activist two years earlier at Wounded Knee.

Ray Robinson left his home in Bogue Chitto, Ala., for South Dakota's Pine Ridge reservation in April 1973 to answer a call from AIM for help but never returned, said his widow, Cheryl Robinson, 59, of Detroit.

That was during a 71-day occupation of Wounded Knee, South Dakota by members and supporters that included the exchange of gunfire with federal agents who surrounded the village.

Robinson, 35, later was declared dead. But his body never was found.

"Reliable sources let it be known positively that Ray had been shot and killed at Wounded Knee by an Indian man and buried there. We have been told that a participant in Wounded Knee has heard a definite confession from the man who did it," Cheryl Robinson wrote in a February 1975 request for a meeting with AIM...

Based on her recollections and letters she wrote in the years after her husband's disappearance, Cheryl Robinson believes he probably was killed because he naively thought he could turn an unorganized situation into a focused demonstration.

His nonviolent approach probably was not well received at what was a violent situation, she said. And it's possible AIM members suspected he was a federal informant, which he was not, Cheryl Robinson said...

Clyde Bellecourt, one of AIM's founders met with her in St. Paul but she said Dennis Banks, another AIM leader present during the Wounded Knee uprising, refused to talk.

Banks has not answered requests for an interview to discuss what he remembers about Ray Robinson.

In a telephone interview, Bellecourt said he doesn't remember meeting with Cheryl Robinson or recall the name Ray Robinson.

"I don't know who you're talking about," he said.

His brother, [the late] Vernon Bellecourt, said he only heard the name recently and knows nothing about the disappearance...

Paul DeMain, editor of the News From Indian Country newspaper, has researched the Aquash and Robinson cases and believes there are more unsolved deaths from Wounded Knee. Based on interviews, he believes Robinson was killed because AIM thought he was an FBI spy.

"I think there were elements of racism involved in his death. He was an outspoken extrovert, from everything I've read and everyone I've talked to. And within the paranoia of Wounded Knee was birthed this idea that if you had a turncoat, you executed him," DeMain said.

"I don't think Anna Mae Aquash or Ray Robinson were the only ones to meet their fate at the hands of the American Indian Movement after they were labeled informants or turncoats."

AIM's [now deceased] Vernon Bellecourt disputes that.

"I have no idea what he's talking about," he said. [See the full text of this revealing 2004 article.]

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The government were the criminals. You should be ashamed of your propoganda.

2:42 PM  

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