A brief review:
In 1979 Peltier claimed that a government assassination plot followed him from Leavenworth to Lompoc penitentiary in California and that he had no alternative but to escape, which he did, with shots fired at prison guards, only to be captured five days later, disoriented, in the woods.
Flash back to February 1976; Peltier fled to Canada after the murders of FBI Agents Coler and Williams in June 1975, narrowly escaping being caught, (and was slightly wounded), by an Oregon State Trooper, but eventually made it to Small Boy’s camp near Hinton, Alberta where he was ‘snitched-out’ by the old man “Yellow Bird” and arrested by the RCMP. Peltier was housed in the ‘observation ward’ at Oakalla Prison, Burnaby, British Columbia where he tried desperately, and did get the attention of, Amnesty International, which was gaining some traction in an effort to be moved into general population to make an escape more feasible. (Please see previous Blogs dated, February 5th, 19th, & March 12th.)
Peltier has not responded to requests to answer a few simple and straightforward questions about his first escape plan, so we’ll continue from here:
Peltier hatched a plan, neatly writing out the details in a small note; he needed a jeweler’s wire snuck into the prison, maybe through “some good Indian brothers who get open visits,” and added some codes; that if successful with obtaining the escape tool, “your baby has got a new tooth,” and when someone was found who could get the jewelers saw into the prison, “your baby has two new teeth,” and finally when the escape plan was in place a final message that Peltier was “going to buy me a pizza tonight.” He also needed a “car (placed) south of the parking lot on a residential street, just in case.”
Presumably, some of the ‘coded’ messages would be sent with the regular mail. Imagine the mailroom screening personnel seeing that Peltier would be buying a pizza? Like that wouldn’t raise a flag or two? Inmates generally don’t have pizzas delivered. Anyway…great secret code.
The next problem was how to sneak the note out of Oakalla to someone he trusted.
AIM at that point, and with what’s left of that motley crew still to this day, are a paranoid lot and suspected many in their ranks as being ‘agent provocateurs’ (informants). AIM justice was simple; suspicion, put a gun in her mouth as a polygraph substitute; still not convinced, a ‘trial’ of opinionated guilt, a fatal sentence and then getting shot in the head and dumped in a ditch on the Reservation. They suspected Anna Mae Aquash as such only to find out she remained loyal to her AIM brothers and was not an informant. Too late though.
Now, how to get the escape plan note out of Oakalla to someone he trusted, a brother perhaps, a real family member, yes, maybe, Russell Peltier.
Actually, this had been Peltier’s second attempt to get word to conspirators on the outside. Peltier added a request to contact the other person with the first note to make sure it didn’t get into the wrong hands.
Prison inmates are being transferred in and out all the time, and Oakalla was no exception. Peltier found a willing courier and the neatly handwritten note was slipped to a fellow ‘observation ward’ cellmate. Maybe the guy was a “little mental(ly) disturbed, (but) slip him a $5.00 bill so he’ll have some pocket change,” the note suggested.
Another question for Leonard Peltier:
Is any of this starting to sound vaguely familiar?
And the best part is yet to come…
“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”
In a 4/2/13 release Peltier and the LPDOC are showing exactly how desperate they’ve become: “We are asking for something special. We want you to HAND-write a letter or postcard, put your voice, your prayer, your demand in physical evidence form. The electric petition medium has not proven very successful, for Leonard, and in some ways easier to ignore.”
Very special…handwritten notes…making demands? Physical evidence? The evidence of Peltier’s guilt is already well documented in the public record and it’s not easy to ignore.