REPORT FOR PINE RIDGE INDIAN RESERVATION, SOUTH DAKOTA

Accounting For Native American Deaths
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota
Report of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Minneapolis Division
May 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.

For many years, rumors of unresolved murders of Native Americans have come to our attention. At times, these allegations represented that there were hundreds of murdered Native Americans that had not been investigated by the FBI. The names of murder victims were not attached to the rumors and addressing the allegations could not be accomplished.

In December of 1999, the South Dakota Advisory Committee of the United States Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) held a community forum in Rapid City, South Dakota to discuss the criminal justice system and how it impacts Native Americans. These allegations were proffered during the hearings and the Commission was sufficiently impressed by them to incorporate the allegation in its findings. (See Native Americans in South Dakota: An Erosion of Confidence in the Justice System, March 2000; p. 38)

Shortly after the forum, the FBI received a list of fifty-seven names with allegations that their deaths had not been investigated. This list came from a number of media outlets and for the first time, provided the FBI with specific information to address. We reviewed our records of these deaths and found that most had been solved either through conviction or finding that the death had not been a murder according to the law. The remaining unresolved murders were known to the FBI and remain under investigation.

The following pages include the allegation and the results of our investigations. The names of unindicted suspects and some other identifying information must be excluded to protect privacy interests. It is hoped the dissemination of this information will clear up allegations of unresolved murders and protect the confidence the FBI must have to accomplish its mission.

Douglas J. Domin
Special Agent in Charge (May 2000)
Minneapolis Division

Leon L. Swift Bird

Allegation:

AIM member killed at Pine Ridge by GOONs ["Guardians of the Oglala Nation"].

Investigation "ongoing."

Finding:

On 01/05/75, Leon L. Swift Bird was killed near Pine Ridge, SD, by Dorothy Iris Poor Bear. Poor Bear stabbed Swift Bird to death with a knife. On 09/15/75, Dorothy Iris Poor Bear appeared in U.S. District Court, Rapid City, South Dakota, and entered a guilty plea to an indictment which charged her with Voluntary Manslaughter in violation of Title 18, U.S. Code, Sections 1153 and 1112. On the same date, Poor Bear was sentenced to the custody of the Attorney General for a period of three years. Execution of the prison sentence was suspended, and Poor Bear was placed on probation.


Lydla Cut Grass

Allegation:

AIM member killed at Wounded Knee by GOONs.

No investigation.

Finding:

On 01/05/76, Lydla Cut Grass died at a residence in Wounded Knee, SD. Initial information suggested that Cut Grass may have died as a result of a beating that took place three weeks prior to her death. An autopsy determined her death was not linked to the prior beating, but was a result of over consumption of liquor.


Edward Means, Jr.

 

Allegation:

AIM member found dead in Pine Ridge alley, beaten.

No investigation.

Finding:

On 01/07/74, Edward Means, Jr. was found dead in an alley behind the Wesleyan Lakota Mission, Pine Ridge, South Dakota. The autopsy determined the cause of death to be hypothermia related to acute alcoholic intoxication.


Byron DeSersa

Allegation:

OSCRO organizer and AIM supporter assassinated by GOONs in Wanblee. Arrests by local authorities resulted in two GOONs - Dale Janis and Charlie Winters, serving two years of five year sentences for "manslaughter." Charges dropped against two GOON leaders, Manny Wilson and Chuck Richards, on the basis of "self-defense" despite DeSersa having been unarmed when shot to death.

Finding:

Byron De Sersa was shot and killed 01/31/76 while driving his motor vehicle on the outskirts of Wanblee, SD. The defendants were acquitted by a jury on 03/2/77. Codefendant Charles David Winters pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact to second degree murder and was sentenced to 5 years in prison. A juvenile defendant was tried on second degree murder charges and found guilty by a federal jury and was sentenced 05/16/77, under the Federal Youth Corrections Act, 18 U.S.C. 4219.



Anna Mae Pictou Aquash

 

Allegation:

AIM organizer assassinated on Pine Ridge.

FBI involved in attempt to conceal cause of death. Ongoing attempt to establish "AIM involvement" in murder. Key FBI personnel never deposed. Coroner never deposed.

Finding:

In September, 1976, Anna Mae Pictou Aquash's partially decomposed body was discovered in a remote area in the northeastern part of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota. Cause of death was determined to be a gunshot wound to the head. The Aquash murder has been linked by media reports to the RESMURS investigation. In June, 1975, FBI SAs Jack Coler and Ron Williams were ambushed and killed execution-style on Pine Ridge. The ensuing major case investigation, RESMURS, resulted in the trial and conviction of Leonard Peltier, and the trial and acquittal of two other individuals. Some attention had been focused on Aquash for her possible knowledge of the slayings. Rumors circulated that Aquash cooperated with the government and was an FBI informant. These rumors were untrue. The coroner, who died shortly after performing the autopsy on Aquash, was not deposed. The Aquash murder has not been solved.


Lena R. Slow Bear

 

Allegation:

AIM supporter killed at Oglala by GOONs.

No investigation.

Finding:

On 02/06/76, Lena R. Slow Bear was found dead beside a road near Pine Ridge, South Dakota. The autopsy determined that death was caused by alcohol intoxication and exposure.


Edward Standing Soldier

 

Allegation:

AIM member killed near Pine Ridge by "party or parties unknown."

No investigation.

Finding:

On 02/18/74, Edward Joseph Standing Soldier died of a gunshot wound to the abdomen. Investigation by the FBI revealed Standing Soldier died of a .22 caliber gunshot wound fired by Gerald Janis.

Investigation revealed that three juvenile subjects, including Standing Soldier, were involved in an armed robbery in Janis' residence at Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Janis shot Standing Soldier with a .22 caliber rifle as a result of this armed robbery. The matter was presented to a U.S. Grand Jury on 2/22/74, and a no bill was returned resulting in no prosecution and the FBI investigation being closed.


Martin Montileaux

 

Allegation:

Killed in a Scenic, South Dakota, bar. AIM leader Richard Marshall later framed for his murder. Russell Means also charged and acquitted.

Finding:

On 03/07/75, Martin Montileaux died after being shot in the neck in a bar in Scenic, South Dakota. Montileaux's dying declaration was "Russell Means' friend" was the person who shot him. Russell Means and Richard Marshall were arrested by the Pennington County Sheriff's Office for the shooting of Montileaux. Scenic, South Dakota, is approximately 20 miles north of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation border. The FBI had no investigative jurisdiction in this matter.


Hobart Horse

 

Allegation:

AIM member beaten, shot and repeatedly run over with automobile at Sharp's Corners. No Investigation.

Finding:

Hobart Kenneth Horse died on 03/27/77 from multiple gunshot wounds. Roger James Cline was charged with the death on 03/28/77, and found guilty of voluntary manslaughter on 09/08/77. Cline was sentenced to 10 years.


Stacy Cotter

 

Allegation:

Shot to death in an ambush at Manderson.

No investigation.

Finding:

Stacy Cotter, true name Stacy G. Cortier, aka Stacy G. Cottier, was found 03/21/75 in Manderson, SD with numerous bullet wounds. Cortier was shot sometime during the evening or early morning of 03/20-21/75. Investigation revealed that after apparent arguments and a car being shot up, Jerry Bear Shield may have been shot in the neck by Cortier and Bear Shield in turn killed Cortier. Jerry Bear Shield was convicted 10/23/75 upon a plea of guilty in U.S. District Court, Rapid City, SD to an information charging violation of 18 USC, Section 1153 and 1112, Voluntary Manslaughter. Bear Shield was sentenced to one year in custody.


Edith Eagle Hawk    (and her two children)

 

Allegation:

AIM supporter killed in an automobile accident after being run off the road by a white vigilante, Albert Coomes. Coomes was also killed in the accident. GOON Mark Clifford identified as having also been in the Coomes car, escaped. Investigation closed without questioning Clifford.

Finding:

Edith Eagle Hawk died 03/22/75. She died as a result of a two-car automobile accident four miles north of Scenic, South Dakota, in Pennington County, outside the exterior boundaries of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Her injuries described on her death certificate indicate the immediate cause of death was a crushed chest.

This matter was not investigated by the FBI because it occurred off the reservation, outside of federal jurisdiction.


Cleveland Reddest

 

Allegation:

AIM member killed at Kyle by "person or persons unknown."

No investigation.

Finding:

Cleveland Reddest died 3/26976, as a result of a hit and run accident 18 miles east of Kyle, South Dakota. Evidence points to Reddest lying in the road before the accident. Two suspects were identified. One of the individuals acknowledged driving the car. The case was not prosecuted because there was insufficient evidence of criminal conduct.


Jeanette Bissonette

 

Allegation:

AIM supporter killed by sniper at Pine Ridge. Unsuccessful attempt to link AIM members to murder. No other investigation.

Finding:

Jeanette Bissonette died 03/26/75, as a result of being shot about eight miles north of Pine Ridge, South Dakota, when her car broke down. No positive information was developed to identify the individual responsible.


Richard Eagle

 

Allegation:

Grandson of AIM supporter Gladys Bissonette killed while playing with loaded gun kept in the house as protection from GOON attacks.

Finding:

Richard Eagle died of a gunshot wound to the head which occurred on 03/30/75. Eagle was shot with a .22 caliber sawed off rifle that he and other children were handling at a relative's home on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The South Dakota U.S. Attorney's Office declined to prosecute the case which appeared to be accidental.


Hilda R. Good Buffalo

 

Allegation:

AIM supporter stabbed to death at Pine Ridge by GOONs.

No investigation.

Finding:

Hilda R. Good Buffalo was found dead 04/04/75, in her home in Pine Ridge. She had a superficial stab wound on her neck and there had been a small fire in her home. The autopsy determined the cause of death to be carbon monoxide poisoning, acute alcoholism and other factors. There was insufficient evidence of a crime to support filing of criminal charges.


Jancita Eagle Deer

 

Allegation:

AIM member beaten and run over with automobile. Last seen in the company of federal agent-provocateur Douglass Durham. No investigation.

Finding:

Jancita Eagle Deer died near Aurora, Nebraska on 04/04/75. She was the victim of a car/pedestrian accident, and her death was reported as accidental. Since her death occurred outside the jurisdiction of the FBI, no investigation was conducted by the FBI. However, a motor vehicle accident report from the State of Nebraska indicated that Eagle Deer was standing in a lane of traffic at night and was hit by a driver who did not see her. The driver stopped, called for an ambulance and police assistance at the time of the accident.


Priscilla White Plume

 

Allegation:

Aim supporter killed at Manderson by GOONs.

No investigation.

Finding:

Priscilla White Plume was found dead 07/14/73. She was believed to have been struck and killed in a hit and run accident, near Manderson, South Dakota, by a vehicle. On 09/28/76, the South Dakota U.S. Attorney's Office declined prosecution in this matter because there was insufficient evidence to establish a Federal crime. Further, there was inadequate information to identify a perpetrator. In view of the declination, no further investigation was conducted by the FBI.


Frank Clearwater

 

Allegation:

AIM member killed by heavy machine gun round at Wounded Knee.

No investigation.

Finding:

Frank Clearwater, true name Frank J. Clear, was shot at a road block in Wounded Knee, South Dakota, in April 1973 during a gunfight which started when Federal agents were fired upon. They returned fire. Clearwater died in a hospital on 04/25/73. The facts gathered indicated Clearwater's death was the result of gunfire received from Federal law enforcement officials after 6-8 individuals began firing at Deputy U.S. Marshals at a road block on 4/13/73.


Roxeine Roark

 

Allegation:

AIM supporter killed at Porcupine by "unknown assailants."

Investigation open, still "pending."

Finding:

Roxeine Roark, a teacher at the Porcupine Day School, was shot in stomach with a .357 magnum pistol at her residence in Porcupine, South Dakota. Investigation revealed that Roark and a friend were handling the weapon when it discharged accidentally. Roxeine died enroute to the hospital. No prosecution was undertaken due to the lack of sufficient evidence of a crime.


Buddy Lamont (True Name Lawrence Dean Lamont)

Allegation:

AIM member hit by M16 fire at Wounded Knee and bled to death while pinned down by fire. No investigation.

Finding:

Buddy Lamont, aka Lawrence Dean Lamont (TN), was shot and killed 04/27/73 during a gunfight with Federal officers at a roadblock in Wounded Knee. The facts of the matter, along with the autopsy report, were reviewed by the U.S. Attorney. No charges were filed.


Betty Jo Dubray

Allegation:

AIM supporter beaten to death at Martin, South Dakota.

No investigation.

Finding:

Betty Jo Dubray died 04/28/76, approximately three miles north of Longvalley, South Dakota, on Highway 73, in Washabaugh County, as a result of a brain injury in an automobile/truck accident.

Her death was the result of an automobile/truck accident, and no investigation was conducted by the FBI.


Marvin Two Two

Allegation:

AIM supporter shot to death at Pine Ridge.

No investigation.

Finding:

Marvin Two Two died in Portland, Oregon on 01/02/93. David Martin Two Two died 05/06/76. A review of death certificates in all surrounding counties in South Dakota and Nebraska reflect no record of his death.

The FBI had 27 Agents assigned to Pine Ridge during that time and would have addressed this case if Two Two had been murdered on Pine Ridge.


Julia Pretty Hips

Allegation:

AIM supporter killed at Pine Ridge by "unknown assailants."

No investigation.

Finding:

Julia Pretty Hips was found 05/09/76, near the public school at Pine Ridge. An autopsy was performed. The cause of death was attributed to carbon tetrachloide poisoning which led to pneumonia. No signs of trauma were observed on her body. Since there was no evidence of a crime, no charges were filed.


Ben Sitting Up

Allegation:

AIM member killed at Wanblee by "unknown assailants."

No investigation.

Finding:

Ben Sitting Up was killed in May, 1975, by an individual using an axe. A suspect was identified but was not prosecuted because of impairment caused by a mental condition.


Sam Afraid of Bear

Allegation:

AIM supporter shot to death at Pine Ridge.

Investigation "ongoing."

Finding:

Sam Afraid of Bear was discovered on the Pine Ridge Reservation on 05/20/76. He had been beaten to death. Two subjects were identified. Rudolph Running Shield pled guilty in 07/77. Luke Black Elk, Jr. was found guilty in U.S. District Court of 2nd Degree Murder and sentenced to serve 15 years on 02/09/78.


Kenneth Little

Allegation:

AIM supporter killed at Pine Ridge by GOONs.

Investigation still "pending."

Finding:

Kenneth Lee Little died on 06/01/75, in Pine Ridge after being struck with a tire iron by Antoine William Bluebird during a quarrel. Bluebird was found guilty in U.S. District Court, Rapid City on 10/14/75, and sentenced on 10/14/75, to 7 years; 6 months probation.


Kevin Hill (true name Kenneth Mansfield Hill)

Allegation:

AIM supporter killed at Oglala by "party or parties unknown."

Investigation "still open."

Finding:

Kenneth Mansfield Hill, a resident of Los Angeles, was hitchhiking in Oelrich, SD when picked up by four individuals. He was stabbed 19 times, presumably for his money, by a 17-year-old Indian youth. The juvenile was convicted of second degree murder on 10/12/76 in U.S. District Court. He was sentenced on 01/03/77, to 15 years in prison.


Leah Spotted Elk

Allegation:

AIM supporter killed at Pine Ridge by GOONs.

No investigation.

Finding:

Leah Spotted Elk was murdered near Wolf Creek, SD on 06/15/75. Her husband, Kenneth John Returns From Scout, was charged. Subject pled guilty on 10/13/75, to shooting his wife while the two were drinking. He was sentenced to 2 years with 5 months probation.


Clarence Cross

Allegation:

AIM supporter shot to death in ambush by GOONs. Although assailants were identified by eyewitnesses, brother Vernal Cross, wounded in ambush, was briefly charged with crime. No further investigation.

Finding:

This was a color of law-law enforcement brutality case involving two BIA police officers who allegedly shot victims during an arrest on 07/11/73, near Batesland, SD. Clarence Cross died and another family member was wounded. The victim's car was stopped by the subject officers and when victims resisted arrest they were shot by the officers. Vernal Cross was treated at Gordon, NE hospital and released. Clarence Cross was shot in the stomach and right thigh and ultimately died of complications at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, Aurora, CO. An autopsy was performed and cause of death was linked to the gun shot wound to the abdomen. The U.S. Attorney's Office advised that there was insufficient evidence to charge the officers with a crime.


Joseph Stuntz Killsright
(true name Joseph Bedell Stuntz)

Allegation:

AIM member killed by FBI sniper during Oglala firefight.

No investigation.

Finding:

Joseph Stuntz Killsright, aka Joseph Bedell Stuntz (TN), was shot and killed 06/26/75, during the RESMURS investigation. Stuntz was seen shooting at FBI SA's Williams and Coler at Jumping Bull Community and his body was subsequently found alongside the Green house near the edge of the cliff. Stuntz was apparently shot by a law enforcement officer at the scene. When the body of Stuntz was found, he was wearing a SWAT fatigue jacket with "F.B.I." on the back, belonging to SA Coler, that had apparently been taken from the trunk of SA Coler's vehicle after SA Coler was murdered.


Betty Means

Allegation:

AIM member killed at Pine Ridge by GOONs.

No investigation.

Finding:

On 07/03/76, Betty Lou Means was found dead along Highway 18 several miles east of Pine Ridge, South Dakota. She was apparently hit by vehicle. Investigation reflected that an individual was driving a vehicle which struck the victim. Investigation also reflected that the passenger, Arlene Good Voice, grabbed and jerked the steering wheel which caused vehicle to hit Ms. Means. On 12/02/76, the U.S. Attorney's Office, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, declined prosecution of the driver. Although he left the scene of an accident, his actions were not a violation of Federal law. On 07/08/77, Arlene Good Voice pled guilty to Assault, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1153 and 113(d). She received a sentence of 18 months probation on 08/22/77, in United States District Court, Rapid City, South Dakota.


James Briggs Yellow

Allegation:

Heart attack caused by FBI air assault on his home.

No investigation.

Finding:

James Briggs Yellow, true name James Brings Yellow, was in the Pine Ridge Hospital at least one day prior to his death and may have been in for five days prior to his death. A review of his death certificate showed that he died of three causes. The three causes were ascending cholangitis, gram negative sepsis and resulting shock. Other significant conditions included pneumonia and lung shock.


Andrew Paul Stewart

Allegation:

Nephew of AIM spiritual leader Leonard Crow Dog, killed by GOONs on Pine Ridge. No investigation.

Finding:

On 07/26/75, a Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Officer, Rosebud Indian Reservation, South Dakota advised that Andrew Stewart was dead on arrival at the Rosebud Public Health Service Hospital. Stewart was shot in the head. On 02/05/76, an Assistant U. S. Attorney at Sioux Falls, South Dakota declined prosecution. The autopsy report revealed the cause of death was probably a self-inflicted gunshot wound. No credible information was developed suggesting that any specific person caused the death.


Julius Bad Heart Bull

Allegation:

AIM supporter killed at Oglala by "person or persons unknown."

No investigation.

Finding:

Julius Bad Heart Bull was the victim of an assault occurring near Oglala, South Dakota, on 07/30/73. Witnesses to the incident said Bartholomew Joseph Long knocked the victim to the ground with his fist, picked up a 2 x 4 board, approximately three feet long containing several protruding nails, and hit victim in the head several times. Victim died at Rapid City, South Dakota on 07/31/73. Long was arrested on 08/03/73, and charged with Second Degree Murder. On 01/11/74, he appeared in United States District Court, Rapid City, South Dakota and was sentenced to the custody of the Attorney General. On 04/19/74, Long was committed to the custody of the Attorney General for 10 years.


Sandra Wounded Foot

Allegation: AIM supporter killed at Sharp's Corners by "unknown assailants."

No investigation.

Finding:

On 08/16/76, Sandra Ellen Wounded Foot, age 15, was found shot in the head in a remote area of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Suspect Paul Duane Herman, Jr., who was a Bureau of Indian Affairs Investigator, was believed responsible for the murder. The victim was last seen alive with Herman in the early morning of 08/14/76. On 08/16/78, a Federal Grand Jury for the District of South Dakota, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, returned a true bill charging Paul Duane Herman, Jr., with violation of Title 18, U.S. Code, Sections 1153 and 1111. Herman was arrested on 08/24/78, at Fort McDowell, Arizona. On 12/19/78, Herman pled guilty in U.S. District Court, Rapid City, South Dakota, to a superseding information charging him with violation of Title 18, U.S. Code, Sections 1153 and 1112, Voluntary Manslaughter. On 02/09/79, he was sentenced to ten years in the custody of the Attorney General.


Randy Hunter

Allegation:

AIM supporter killed at Kyle by "party or parties unknown."

Investigation still "ongoing."

Finding:

On the evening of 08/25-26/75, Randy Hunter was shot to death in Kyle, South Dakota. Vern Carlin Top Bear was identified through witnesses as threatening victim with a rifle and subsequently shooting the rifle which resulted in Hunter's death. On 10/13/75, Vern Carlin Top Bear was found not guilty by a jury in United States District Court, Rapid City. The indictment had charged him with Second Degree Murder in violation of United States Code, Title 18, Sections 1153 and 1111.


Dennis LeCompte

Allegation:

AIM member killed at Pine Ridge by GOONs.

No investigation.

Finding:

On 09/07/74, the Pine Ridge, South Dakota, Police Department officers responded to a fight at the Glenn Three Stars residence, Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Upon arrival, police found children in living room and Dennis LeCompte dead in the northwest bedroom. Three Stars admitted shooting Dennis LeCompte during a struggle after LeCompte stabbed Three Stars' son with a knife. On 06/23/75 Three Stars was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury, Sioux Falls, South Dakota. On 10/15/75, his trial commenced in U.S. District Court, Deadwood, South Dakota. On 10/17/75, Three Stars was acquitted of the charge Voluntary Manslaughter.


Howard Blue Bird

Allegation:

AIM supporter killed at Pine Ridge by GOONs.

No investigation.

Finding:

On 09/04/75, the Pine Ridge, South Dakota Police Department received a telephone call from an unknown female who reported a fight and stabbing at the Le Roy Apple residence in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Pine Ridge Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) police officers found the victim, Howard Blue Bird, lying in the kitchen. On 09/05/75, a Federal Grand Jury, Rapid City, South Dakota returned a true bill charging Le Roy Apple with violation of Title 18, USC, Sections 1153 and 1112. On 09/10/75, Apple was interviewed and admitted stabbing Blue Bird. On 10/15/75, Apple appeared in U.S. District Court, Deadwood, South Dakota, and pled guilty to violation Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 113(c), Assault with a Deadly Weapon to Commit Bodily Injury. He was sentenced to one year in the custody of the Attorney General.


Jim Little

Allegation:

AIM supporter stomped to death by GOONs in Oglala.

No investigation.

Finding:

On 09/10/75, James Little was kicked and beaten to death at Oglala, South Dakota. Tom Chief Eagle, Cecil Bear Robe, Fred Marrowbone and a juvenile were identified by witnesses as having participated in the beating death of Mr. Little. The suspects were arrested by Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Officers on 09/11/75. On 10/20/75, a Federal jury sitting in trial at Rapid City, South Dakota found subjects Thomas Chief Eagle, Fred Marrowbone and the juvenile guilty of Voluntary Manslaughter, Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 1112(a). Cecil Bear Robe was acquitted. On 12/05/75, Thomas Chief Eagle was sentenced to the custody of the U.S. Attorney for a period of six years, the juvenile was sentenced to the custody of the U.S. Attorney General for a period of four years pursuant to the Federal Youth Corrections Act and Fred Marrowbone was sentenced to the custody of the U.S. Attorney General for a period of six years.


Jackson Washington Cutt

Allegation:

AIM member killed at Parmalee by "unknown individuals."

Investigation still "ongoing."

Finding:

On 9/11/73, Jackson Washington Cutt was found dead in front of a residence in Parmelee, South Dakota. Information from witnesses indicated the victim was involved in fight earlier in the morning. An eyewitness observed a suspect hit the victim over head with hatchet. The suspect was arrested on 12/27/73 in Parmelee, South Dakota by the Rosebud Police Department. On 01/29/75 a witness was re-interviewed and advised that he did not actually see the suspect strike the victim with a hatchet. On 01/29/75 the suspect was re-interviewed. He admitted being near the scene but denied involvement and denied knowledge of who perpetrated the crime. An Assistant U.S. Attorney, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, advised that a motion and order to dismiss the indictment in the above captioned matter was filed on 03/13/75. There was insufficient evidence to achieve a conviction.


Robert Reddy

Allegation:

AIM member killed at Kyle by gunshot.

No investigation.

Finding:

Robert Reddy was found dead on 12/16/1974, near Kyle, SD, on the Pine Ridge Reservation. An autopsy revealed Reddy died of two stab wounds through the heart. Although a suspect was identified, there was insufficient evidence to charge and convict the suspect.


Melvin Spider

Allegation:

AIM member killed in Porcupine, South Dakota.

No investigation.

Finding:

On 09/22/73, a BIA officer requested FBI assistance with regard to Melvin Spider, who was found dead on the road between Porcupine and Sharp's Corner on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Initial investigation suggested Spider was either a victim of a vehicular hit and run or a severe blow to the head. Interviews revealed Spider was drunk prior to his death. An autopsy on 09/22/73 revealed Spider died on 09/21/73, of extensive cerebral lacerations of the brain, which were traumatic in nature, the cause of which was not obvious. Although a suspect was developed, there was insufficient evidence to charge that person with the death.


Philip Black Elk

Allegation:

AIM supporter killed when his house exploded.

No investigation.

Finding:

On 06/30/73, the private residence of Phillip Black Elk was completely destroyed by a propane gas explosion. Investigation determined that the explosion was caused by a leakage of propane gas within the residence. A thorough neighborhood investigation was conducted which revealed there had been a previous problem with propane gas leakage in the neighborhood over the previous two weeks. Immediately after the explosion, Black Elk advised he entered the residence and attempted to light the pilot on the hot water heater when the explosion occurred. Black Elk suffered severe burns and was immediately taken to the Pine Ridge Community Hospital, where he was listed in serious condition. Shortly thereafter, Black Elk was flown to Fitzsimmons General Hospital, Denver, Colorado, where he died. Since the injury was accidental and caused by actions of the victim, no further criminal investigation was conducted.


Aloysius Long Soldier

Allegation:

AIM member killed at Kyle, South Dakota, by GOONs.

No investigation.

Finding:

On 02/09/77, South Dakota DCI advised the FBI of investigation into the death of Aloysius Long Soldier. He died on 10/07/74. On 02/16/77, a family member requested a review of the death investigation. The BIA investigative file into the death was reviewed. It was the conclusion of the BIA that there was no evidence that the death of Aloysius was anything other than a suicide. The BIA case was closed. In view of the BIA investigative results, and since the family member was unable to offer any factual evidence suggesting that the death was a homicide, no further investigation was conducted.


Phillip Little Crow

Allegation:

AIM supporter beaten to death by GOONs at Pine Ridge.

No investigation.

Finding:

On 11/14/73, on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Irby Leroy Hand killed Phillip Emery Little Crow by striking him with his fists. Hand signed a confession. Autopsy results revealed Little Crow died of a skull fracture. On 08/28/74, Hand was sentenced to five years custody of the Attorney General.


Pedro Bissonette

Allegation:

Oglala Sioux Civil Rights Organization (OSCRO) organizer and AIM supporter assassinated by BIA Police/GOONs. Body removed from Pine Ridge jurisdiction prior to autopsy by government contract coroner. No investigation.

Finding:

Pedro Bissonette was killed on a highway four miles north of Pine Ridge. BIA officers tried to arrest Bissonette on two fugitive warrants, one stemming from his Wounded Knee activities. When Bissonette advanced on the officers with a raised 30.06, he was shot. Five hours prior to the time he was shot, Bissonette had eluded two other BIA police officers. Autopsy results revealed Bissonette was killed by a single shotgun blast in the chest fired by a police officer.


Olivia Binals (True Name Olivia Bianas)

Allegation:

AIM supporter killed in Porcupine by "person or persons unknown."

Investigation still "open."

Finding:

On 10/26/75, BIA police contacted the FBI to advise that Olivia Bianas was found dead at her home. An autopsy revealed Olivia died of a cerebral hemorrhage caused by a severe beating. Witnesses observed Norman Bianas beat his wife on the day she died. On 10/27/75, Norman Bianas was arrested. On 11/13/75, he made an admission of his role in the death. On 01/23/76, Bianas pled not guilty to voluntary manslaughter. He subsequently withdrew the plea on 03/08/76. On 07/09/76, he was sentenced to eight years custody of the Attorney General. The U.S. Federal Appeals Court upheld his conviction.


Janice Black Bear

Allegation:

AIM supporter killed at Manderson by GOONs.

No investigation.

Finding:

Janice Joyce Black Bear died on 10/26/75. An autopsy revealed the cause of Black Bear's death was cerebral contusions. Contributing death factors were acute alcoholism and phenobarb/qualude intoxication. A suspect, George Michael Twiss, admitted to spending the evening with the victim. Twiss recalled that he woke up at home and had blood on his arms, shirt and pant leg. Twiss was arrested by the BIA when they arrived at his home and he was washing his hands. On 07/06/76, Twiss pled guilty to Involuntary Manslaughter. On 09/03/76, Twiss was sentenced to three years custody of the Attorney General.


Michelle Tobacco

Allegation:

AIM supporter killed at Pine Ridge by "unknown persons."

No investigation.

Finding:

Michelle Linda Tobacco, age 9 months, died on 10/27/75. A relative of the victim advised that she consumed liquor, tripped and fell with the baby. When the relative awoke, Michelle was dead. Autopsy revealed victim died on 10/27/75, of acute pneumonitis and hemorrhage to her adrenal gland. The U.S. Attorney's Office declined to prosecute the relative.


Delphine Crow Dog

Allegation:

Sister of AIM spiritual leader Leonard Crow Dog. Beaten by BIA police and left lying in a field. Died from "exposure." No investigation.

Finding:

Delphine (Crow Dog) Eagle Deer died 12/06/72. The cause of death listed on her death certificate was exposure and sub-zero weather. Other significant conditions included acute alcoholism. More specifically, the death certificate indicated that the injury occurred as the result of "accidental freezing to death," in an open field approximately 2.3 miles southwest of St. Francis, South Dakota, within the exterior boundaries of the Rosebud Reservation. An autopsy was conducted and the findings of the autopsy determined the above-listed causes of death.


Elaine Wagner

Allegation:

AIM supporter killed at Pine Ridge by "person or persons unknown."

No investigation.

Finding:

On 11/30/74, the body of Elaine Wagner was found in a creek bottom in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Autopsy showed Wagner died of exposure. Interviews revealed that at about 4:00 p.m. on 11/29/74, Wagner joined two car loads of persons and drank with several individuals on the evening of 11/29/74. After drinking for several hours, Wagner went to a nearby home. At approximately 10:00 p.m. on 11/29/74, Wagner left the house. Her body was found on the afternoon of 11/30/74 approximately 100 yards from the house. No subject has been developed and all available investigative leads were exhausted. From all the evidence, this matter appeared to be a non-felonious death. The U.S. Attorney advised that there was insufficient evidence to charge any person.


Allison Fast Horse

Allegation:

AIM supporter shot to death near Pine Ridge by "unknown assailants."

No investigation.

Finding:

Allison Fast Horse, aka Allison Little Spotted Horse, Jr. (TN), was found shot to death on Chadron Road approximately one mile south of Oglala, SD on the morning of 11/23/73. He had been shot in the chest with a .22 caliber bullet. An autopsy indicated death was attributed to the bullet wound. Examination of physical evidence failed to provide any indication as to the identity of any possible suspects.


John S. Moore

Allegation:

20 year old Penobscot from Maine, AIM supporter stabbed to death in Lincoln, Nebraska. With stab wounds through the neck and face, and with other cuts and bruises, death was ruled a "suicide." Eight years later, the "suicide" ruling was changed, but no further investigation.

Finding:

On 12/02/74 Lincoln, Nebraska, Police Department executed a search warrant for the barracks housing the Wounded Knee Defense Offense Legal Committee. The warrant was based on the armed robbery of local residents by four Indian males. Three individuals, Laurence V. Red Shirt, Garrett E. Wounded Head and Larry J. Martinez, were arrested in connection with the robbery. John S. Moore, the fourth suspect in the robbery, was found dead in the barracks. He was fatally stabbed through the neck and the right side of his face. The autopsy report indicated death was caused by suicide. This matter was not investigated by the FBI.


Carl Plenty Arrows Sr.

Allegation:

AIM supporter shot to death near Pine Ridge by "person or persons unknown."

No investigation.

Finding:

At 6:30 p.m. on 12/05/75, Glen Thomas Janis shot Carl Plenty Arrows, Sr. and Frank Claude LaPointe at Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Carl Plenty Arrows, Sr. was pronounced dead at the scene. Frank LaPointe subsequently died at Gordon Hospital, Gordon, Nebraska, on 12/05/75. Janis voluntarily turned himself in to Pine Ridge authorities on 12/05/75. During an interview with FBI Agents on 12/06/75, Janis admitted shooting Carl Plenty Arrows, Sr. Janis was also identified by witnesses as the person who shot both victims. On 03/29/76, Glen Janis pled guilty to second degree murder and voluntary manslaughter (Title 18, USC, Sections 1153, 1111, and 1112). On 06/15/76, Janis was sentenced to 20 years on count II and 10 years on count I, sentences to run concurrently.


Frank La Pointe

Allegation:

AIM supporter killed at Pine Ridge by GOONs.

No investigation.

Finding:

At 6:30 p.m. on 12/05/75, Glen Thomas Janis shot Carl Plenty Arrows, Sr. and Frank Claude LaPointe at Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Carl Plenty Arrows, Sr., was pronounced dead at the scene. Frank LaPointe subsequently died at Gordon Hospital, Gordon, Nebraska, on 12/05/75. Janis voluntarily turned himself in to Pine Ridge authorities on 12/05/75. During an interview with FBI Agents on 12/06/75, Janis admitted shooting Carl Plenty Arrows, Sr. Janis was also identified by witnesses as having shot both victims. On 03/29/76 Glen Janis pled guilty to second degree murder and voluntary manslaughter (Title 18, USC, Sections 1153, 1111, and 1112). On 06/15/76 Janis was sentenced to 20 years on count II and 10 years on count I, sentences to run concurrently.


Floyd S. Binals

Allegation:

AIM supporter killed at Pine Ridge by GOONs.

No investigation.

Finding:

On 12/25/74 Floyd Sherman Bianas, age16 months, was killed at the residence of Marion High Bull. High Bull stated he fell with Bianas. No one else was present. The body of Yvette Lorraine Lone Hill, age 7, was discovered on 12/28/74. Lone Hill had scars and bruises all over her body and had obviously been beaten. A witness advised he observed Marion High Bull hit Yvette Lone Hill. On 12/30/74, Marion High Bull was arrested by FBI Agents. Marion Allen High Bull was tried by a jury and on 10/08/75 High Bull was found guilty of one count of voluntary manslaughter (Title 18, USC, Section 1112) and one count of second degree murder (Title 18, USC, Section 1111). On the same date he was sentenced to 10 years count 1 and 20 years count 2, sentences to run concurrently.


Yvette Loraine Lone Hill

Allegation:

AIM supporter killed at Kyle by "unknown party or parties."

No investigation.

Finding:

On 12/25/74, Floyd Sherman Bianas, age 16 months, was killed at the residence of Marion High Bull. High Bull stated he fell with Bianas. No one else was present. The body of Yvette Lorraine Lone Hill, age 7, was discovered on 12/28/74. Lone Hill had scars and bruises all over her body and had obviously been beaten. A witness advised he observed Marion High Bull hit Yvette Lone Hill. On 12/30/74, Marion High Bull was arrested by FBI Agents. Marion Allen High Bull was tried by a jury and on 10/08/75 High Bull was found guilty of one count of voluntary manslaughter (Title 18, USC, Section 1112) and one count of second degree murder (Title 18, USC, Section 1111). On the same date he was sentenced to 10 years count 1 and 20 years count 2, sentences to run concurrently.