Friday, February 19, 2016


Dear Supporters:

Predictably, every February 6th Peltier sends a message noting the anniversary of his arrest and beginning of his incarceration for the brutal murder of Agents Coler and Williams.

This year’s story is no different and it would be too kind to call most of it just fabrications. Since the creation of the first Leonard Peltier Defense Committee (LPDC) in 1977, Peltier and Peltierite’s goal has been to create an ongoing myth and folklore that twists the facts and ignores the truth of what happened that fateful day at Jumping Bull.

Observations on Peltier’s latest message:

--What can I say that I have not said before?

          Nothing really, because Peltier has been repeating the same fabrications for four decades.

--(Peltier, speaking of those who have passed on…) We Natives don’t like to mention their names. We believe that if we speak their names it disrupts their journey. They may loose (sic) their way and their spirits wander forever. If too many call out to them, they will try to come back. But their spirits know we are thinking about them, so I will say safe journey and I hope to see you soon.

          This is a wonderful recitation, if completely accurate, of native beliefs, but we would imagine Peltier never mentions two names, Jack Coler and Ron Williams.

          Another native belief is that if a vanquished enemy is rolled over to face, Mother Earth, they will not meet the Creator in the afterlife. Jack and Ron were both shot in the face, yet were found rolled over and face down in the dirt.* So, which one of the AIM cowards at Jumping Bull, counted coup, and touched the lifeless bodies? Peltier, or one of the other brave warriors that sorrowful day? Or maybe all of them? But this journey may take Peltier some time, considering whether any Native Americans believe in the interim stopping ground called purgatory (a fundamental Christian belief to which some Native Americans may or may not ascribe). But it’s a certainty that Peltier, as each of us, will face their Creator at some point and he may even face his victims. They would be whole again, ageless, dedicated, vibrant young men who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line-of-duty and not the mutilated lifeless bodies Peltier left at Jumping Bull. Perhaps, they would then offer forgiveness.

          However, Peltier has remained a remorseless and unrepentant coward and adulterator of what otherwise is a proud and noble heritage. The family and friends and all those who identify with their fallen brothers would just as soon show Peltier the exit. It may be debatable whether or not there is a devil in Native beliefs, but there is a hell, and that elevator will take him straight to it.

--On February 6th I will have been imprisoned 40 years. I’m 71 years old and still in a maximum security penitentiary. At my age, I’m not sure I have much time left.

          The clock is ticking for everyone. Deal with it. Jack and Ron would have chosen and deserved to live out their lives and face the predictable issues of aging. You stole that from them.  

--I have earned about 4-5 years good time that no one seems to want to recognize.

          Let’s dig a bit deeper here. Yes, prior to the abolishment of parole in 1984 (and Peltier falls under the old sentencing guidelines), the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized that good-time is the equivalent of 87.1% (about 54 days/year) of the sentence. However, there was this little incident called Lompoc in 1979, so, let’s do the math. Assuming 1979 as a starting point, there would be about 5.3 years of good-time credit allegedly due Peltier. But, and it’s a big but, the armed escape from Lompoc brought with it a sentence of seven (7) consecutive years. (A fact that Peltier and Peltierites always avoid.) That could possibly amount to roughly 1,944 days, after Lompoc. But, and there is another but to poke a hole in the folklore: there was a little incident on June 27, 2011 that put Peltier in the “hole” and probably contributed to his ultimate transfer to another maximum facility. Peltier will cry foul over this one but the details are readily available.[i] From that 2011 date there’s roughly 1,623 days of incarceration that could count toward good-time of about 242 days, roughly eight months. To give Peltier the benefit of the doubt (a real stretch for sure), let’s petition the Bureau of Prisons to reduce his consecutive seven (7) year sentence from Lompoc by eight months. (Seems fair enough.)

--And when I was indicted the average time served on a life sentence before being given parole was 7 years. So that means I’ve served nearly 6 life sentences and I should have been released a very long time ago.

          Wait just a second. This is total Peltier B.S. and doesn’t even rise to the level of qualifying for folklore but just plain fabrication (i.e. yet another lie). Historically a life sentence was considered to be, on average, 30 years (with a possible eligibility for parole consideration at 25 years). So let’s pose the question (it’s been asked before, of course): Peltier, please provide any proof or documentation or statistics that when you were convicted in 1977, a life sentence meant seven (7) years. (The silence from the Peltier camp is deafening.)

--Then there’s mandatory release after serving 30 years. I’m 10 years past that. The government isn’t supposed to change the laws to keep you in prison—EXCEPT if you’re Leonard Peltier, it seems.

          OK, now you got it. The magical 30-year sentence. And that’s where you’re much closer to the mark. But, for all those wide-eyed Peltierites out there in Disneyland, Peltier received…gosh, repeating this for the umpteenth time, is getting old…not one, but TWO CONSECUTIVE LIFE SENTENCES. (In other words, serve one, then the other.)

          For the mathematically challenged Peltier supporters, that’s 30 plus 30 for a grand total of 60 (plus the additional 7 for Lompoc, but we’ll let that go for the moment).

          So, another question for Peltier: exactly what law was it that somehow morphed into your understanding of the 30-years-and-out scenario? Please, impress us with your acumen: provide something, anything that supports this spurious mythological claim. (Hopefully, Peltier isn’t suggesting that there was a bill passed in Congress entitled, Special Sentencing Guideline for Inmates EXCEPT Leonard Peltier that was signed into law by the then President.)

--Now I’m told that I’ll be kept at USP Coleman 1 until 2017 when they’ll decide if I can go to a medium security facility—or NOT. But, check this out, I have been classified as a medium security prisoner now for at least 15 years, and BOP regulations say elders shall be kept in a less dangerous facility/environment. But NOT if you’re Leonard Peltier, I guess. 

          Lots of great Peltier propaganda here:

First, prove it. No only “check this out,” but please post on the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee (ILPDC) website any proof that you’ve been classified as a medium security prisoner for 15 years. Really, it’s quite simple. Have the folks at the ILPDC in Hillsboro, Oregon create a .pdf file and put it on the website.[ii] (See, we’re not intimidated or shy about referencing the Peltier website…matter of fact, it’s been on the NPPA home page for almost sixteen years. Of course, its changed a bunch of times and has had to be repeatedly updated.)

While they’re at it, to further support your contention that you’ve been such a model prisoner, have them also post on the website the transcript (certainly one exists) of the July 28, 2009 parole hearing at Lewisburg. There should be plenty for Peltierites to digest there…things you certainly don’t want them to know or ever hear about. I was there, so I know some of the particulars.[iii]

          Well, true enough, Peltier is old, and a Native American (of French lineage), so maybe he considers himself an Elder. Elders though, in Native American culture, are not only just old, but wise, possessing great wisdom, guidance and leadership for younger generations to emulate. Peltier is elderly but a far cry from anyone’s role model, let alone young Native Americans who are struggling on the Reservations to find their own identity.

          Less dangerous facility? Last time we checked Peltier is a convicted double murderer in a prison of his peers, with an armed escape added to his prison résumé. Just because he’s gotten long-in-the-tooth doesn’t make him eligible for the white-collar criminal country clubs (that are also inappropriate for those who stole from the unsuspecting). But…there was that incident where some gangbangers weren’t buying into the notoriety of the big-shot wannabe Indian Chief and beat the snot out of him. Proving only that he’s not as much the tough, ruthless thug he was back at Jumping Bull or when he stuck a gun in Anna Mae Aquash’s mouth to force her to confess to being something she wasn’t. She didn’t, she wasn’t, but was ordered killed by AIM anyway.[iv]

--Ronald Reagan promised President Mikhail Gorbachev that he would release me if the Soviet Union released a prisoner, but Reagan reneged.

          Wow! Exactly in which alternate universe or on what planet did this happen? Uranus? (No pun intended.) Not even the dimmest Peltier sycophant can believe that load of donkey dung. Imagine, President Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev dithering over Leonard Peltier?  Although, there is a grain of truth to this tall tale: Actually, it was radical leftist attorney William Kunstler’s brilliant idea to engage the communist nation in April 1988 for possible political asylum. As a result “signatures of twelve million Soviet citizens have been sent to the White House demanding clemency for Peltier…”

          Perhaps Peltier or Kunstler didn’t get it, but Peltier biographer Peter Matthiessen sure did. He recognized that Peltier was just being used as a propaganda tool against the United States. Engaging the Soviets in issues of alleged political prisoners is the proverbial pot-calling-the-kettle-black and backfired anyway because the U.S. Media paid little attention. But it is worth reminding everyone about it at this point.[v] (Enough said.)

--George H. W. Bush did nothing. The next app was with Bill Clinton, He left office without taking action even though the Pardon Attorney did an 11-month investigation (it usually take 9 months) and we were told she had recommended clemency. George W. Bush denied that petition in 2009. And in all the applications for clemency, the FBI has interfered with an executive order. That’s illegal as hell.

Houston, we have a problem. President George W. Bush served from January 2001 to January 2009. The long standing Pardon Attorney Roger Adams was transferred in January 2008. His successor, Ronald Rodgers was appointed in April 2008, serving until November 2014. So, we have an obvious gap of only three months. Peltier claims his clemency investigation took 11 months. (Research was unable to identify whether there was an acting (female) pardon attorney between Adams and Rodgers or perhaps a (female) deputy who may have just assumed at least the administrative role in the interim.) A question perhaps Peltier can easily answer is: since 11 months doesn’t fit into 3 months very well, then aside from the timeliness issue, who exactly was the “she” Peltier refers to who allegedly recommended clemency? A simple question, prompting an even simpler answer. (Or like the New York wiseguys were fond of asking: “Give me a name.”) The real answer? Just more Peltier pandering (fabrications, also known as lies) to the dramatically dwindling supporters. (So, prove us wrong.)

By Department of Justice administrative process the agencies (investigative and U.S. Attorney) involved in a case that is being considered for clemency are entitled to provide their response either for or against the petition. The completed application is then either denied by the Pardon Attorney or sent to the President for consideration. Occasionally, the system is adulterated. Perhaps the most notable instance involved Eric Holder and Bill Clinton and the despicable, unprecedented mockery of the pardon of Marc Rich.[vi] Obviously Peltier didn’t have that kind of pull with President Clinton. (No pun intended.) The FBI has every right to voice its opposition to a bid for clemency, as does the non-governmental associations of current and former FBI agents.[vii] Notwithstanding that, let’s not forget Peltier’s seminal comment on politicians: “These politicians are such sleazebags that you just don’t know.[viii] 

--“…the FBI has interfered with an executive order, That’s illegal as hell.”

Really? Once again, it’s very simple, exactly what Executive Order are you talking about? If there is such an animal out there (that animal would more likely be on the order of a Jackalope), have the folks in Oregon post it on the website. (Not likely to happen either.)

--You made donations to the defense committee so we could continue fighting for my freedom.

          This remains Peltier’s dirty little secret. Do Peltierites ever wonder why he and the ILPDC no longer beg for “tax deductable” donations? (We know why.) Truth is that the fundraising and charitable activities have the appearance of a front. Fact is, no one knows how much they’ve taken in or where that money has gone, no matter how many times Peltier has been challenged for proof (even from his own people[ix]). This has been going on for a very long time. For some relevant details, see this footnote.[x]

--I believe that my incarceration, the constitutional violations in my case and the government misconduct in prosecuting my case are issues far more important than just my life or freedom.

          Come on! All Peltier wants is crystal clear, out of FCI Coleman, and he’ll say and do just about anything, tell any lie, create any fabrication to help bolster a lost cause. And there’s a concept that Peltier ignores and Peltierites either forget or don’t understand, that if there was just one (1) constitutional violation in his case, he would have been out a long time ago and this conversation would have never taken place. The fact remains that Peltier’s case has arguably received more scrutiny than inmates on death row. Every aspect and allegation concerning Peltier’s conviction has been under the proverbial microscope for decades, and its outcome never altered. The legal history is here along with a concise history of his guilt.[xi]

--With YOUR encouragement, I believe Obama will have the courage and conviction to commute my sentence and send me home to my family.

          Not so fast. The President has made it clear that he does want to and will exercise this sole Constitutional authority but has laid the groundwork to grant clemency to those serving long incarcerations for minor drug offenses and excluding crimes of violence. Slaughtering two federal agents pretty much falls outside of that benchmark. Clemency, like parole, is off the table.

* * *

Peltier’s 40th Anniversary Statement is just what is outlined above, worn-out efforts to spew the same tired drivel hoping that the dwindling myths and folklore will remain alive for just a while longer. Peltier is now at a crossroad. The clock is ticking loudly and will stop around noontime on January 20, 2017. Peltier is also getting desperate as witnessed by a recent development that will be the topic of subsequent NPPA blogs.[xii]

Peltier believes that repeating the same fabrications (and adding some astonishing and unbelievable ones along the way) will eventually take hold and miraculously become fact. Let’s, at least for the President’s sake, establish that Peltier had his days in court and over many years none of his claims have been anything more than terminally defective. It’s not a foreign concept in the Peltier legal history that “Peltier’s arguments fail because their underlying premises are fatally flawed. (A) The Government tried the case on the alternative theories; it asserted that Peltier personally killed the agents at point blank range, but that if he had not done so, then he was equally guilty of their murder as an aider and abettor.” [xiii]  “…the direct and circumstantial evidence of Peltier’s guilt was strong.” [xiv]  To add another overlooked indication of Peltier’s character and demeanor, even during his own trial: “The two witnesses testified outside the presence of the jury that after their testimony at trial, they had been threatened by Peltier himself that if they did not return to court and testify that their earlier testimony had been induced by F.B.I. threats, their lives would be in danger.” [xv] (Shades of the ghost of Anna Mae.)

But, more so for the President’s understanding of the issues beyond Peltier’s conviction is that of an individual who has remained unrepentant and remorseless for his crimes. Anyone who would state, as Peltier has, “I seen Joe when he pulled it out of the trunk and he gave me a smile.” (As told by Peltier to his biographer relating to the crime scene on June 26, 1975 while two dead and mutilated FBI agents lay at his feet.) After thirty-five years, in a 2010 public statement, showing his true heart and nature, “And really, if necessary, I’d do it all over again because it was the right thing to do.” And as late as 2014, thirty-nine years after the murders, “I don’t regret any of this for a minute.”

One more important element of Peltier’s character to consider is that an innocent person would have no need to create an alibi that has been a proven an outrageous lie. For almost two decades, even on film[xvi], Peltier claimed that someone they knew, the phantom Mr. X in the infamous red pickup, killed the agents.[xvii]

How do we separate the Peltier lies and fabrications from the truth? Simple, with some fundamental facts.

Rhetoric, myths and folklore aside, Leonard Peltier is exactly where he belongs and shall remain until he eventually faces that day of reconning.

“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”
Ed Woods

*The crime scene and Mr. X

[v] Peter Matthiessen, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse (New York: Penguin Books, 1991) 572-573
[vi] Congressional Report, 107th Congress, Committee on Government Reform, March 14, 2002; (Last accessed 2/13/16)
[vii] Society of former Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI Agents Association
[ix] Bob Free calls for “transparency” in Peltier’s finances
[xii] As a convicted felon, Peltier is still entitled to his First Amendment right of freedom of speech and expression as he and his supporters have freely exercised. So to, others have that same right to respond to Peltier’s public statements, especially those that are inaccurate, false or demean the sacrifice and memory of two young men murdered in the line of duty.
[xiii] Eighth Circuit, 997 F.2d 461, 1993
[xiv] Eighth Circuit, 585F 2d 314, 1978,
[xv] Eighth Circuit, 585 F 2d 314, 1978,
[xvi] “This story is true.’ Leonard Peltier, Incident at Oglala,

Thursday, February 11, 2016

PELTIER: BRUCE ELLISON Esq., Co-conspirator & Incompetence, Part 1

Part 1: Co-conspirator

Dear Supporters:

(1) Any attorney who feels compelled to plead the “Fifth” against potential criminal self-incrimination unquestionably has something to hide. (2) Any attorney who is incapable of understanding a straightforward government memorandum, and turns it into something it clearly is not, promotes a fraudulent agenda. Former Peltier attorney Bruce Ellison is the perfect example of both.

Occasionally, old news is good news and life sometimes provides these little gifts.

Recently added to Peltier’s website is a somewhat dated, bargain-basement film entitled, WARRIOR The Life of Leonard Peltier.[i]  There is much to criticize here, but a good place to start, and end, is with the appearance of Bruce Ellison.[ii]

The timing of the offering of this film is odd, and like other Peltier flagging efforts to bolster his vaporizing folklore, it’s not unexpected Peltier is incapable of  recognizing that the film’s credibility is destroyed within the first three minutes.[iii]

To place Ellison’s shameful intimacy with Leonard Peltier and the American Indian Movement (AIM) in its proper context, and to what degree his actions as in-house counsel to the corrupt and dangerous organization AIM was during the 1970s, we need to briefly review some AIM history that the vast majority of Native America would just as soon forget. Woven throughout its sordid past, Ellison’s presence was less as a defense attorney than the consigliere to the American Indian Mafia.[iv]

AIM as a Revolutionary Organization: It is a frankly revolutionary organization which is committed to violence, calls for arming American Indians, has cached explosives and illegally purchased arms, plans kidnappings, and whose opponents have been eliminated in the manner of the Mafia. Some of AIM’s leaders and associates have visited Castro Cuba and/or openly consider themselves Marxist-Leninist. (Congressional Report, 1976)[v] 

This is the group that Ellison chose to launch his legal career and get in bed with.

Background: Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash, a vibrant thirty-year-old Mi’kmaq from Nova Scotia dedicated herself as an activist for native rights, joined the American Indian Movement and participated in a number of AIM led incidents including the takeover/destruction of the hamlet of Wounded Knee in 1973, the 1972 Trail of Broken Treaties and the occupation and ransacking of the Department of Interior headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Anna Mae was well known and respected and intimately familiar with the founders and leaders of AIM, namely Russell Means, Dennis Banks, the Bellecourts’ (Vernon and Clyde) and U.S. Penitentiary inmate #89637-132 as well as many others.

Within the convoluted, greed-filled, conflicted and power-hungry AIM leadership, all was going as well as could be expected until raging paranoia and infighting created an atmosphere of suspicion that some among their ranks were disloyal. There were other reasons—some based on more interpersonal relationships and jealousies, that AIM leadership began to suspect everyone as a collaborator, or provocateur as they were fond of branding those even superficially suspect, and unfortunately, Anna Mae was high on the hit list.

This led to a well documented incident where AIM bodyguard, Leonard Peltier, did what he did best, certainly not a leader but just a cowardly thug, who, while at the AIM National Convention in Farmington, New Mexico in June 1975 confronted Anna Mae to make her confess she was an FBI informant, punctuating his interrogation by putting a gun her mouth.[vi] This occurred mere days before Peltier would attack, wound and murder FBI Agents Coler and Williams at Pine Ridge, SD,

In quasi-legal terms and AIM’s version of vigilante justice, this was akin to Anna Mae’s preliminary hearing.

Added to this was Anna Mae’s misfortune: While escaping with Peltier and others from Pine Ridge after the agents’ deaths, she heard Peltier’s description (his confession actually) for the slaughter of the wounded agents. “The M…F… was begging for his life but I shot him anyway.”[vii]  As suspicions persisted, this was even more dangerous knowledge for Anna Mae to possess. 

History has proven that Anna Mae was not an informant, but it mattered little as AIM leadership ordered her execution and the finger pointing as to who gave the final order continues to this day. Although, among the Native community, the list of suspects is very short.[viii]

In late December 1975 Anna Mae was forcefully removed from Denver and taken to Rapid City for further interrogation. Included was a brief stay at the Wounded Knee Legal Defense/Offense Committee (WKLDOC*), of which, Bruce Ellison was an integral member/collaborator. Not long after, an unidentified female body was found on February 24, 1976 in a ravine about ten miles from Wanblee, the most eastern community on the Pine Ridge Reservation and later buried in a pauper’s grave as a Jane Doe.  

It would be a little later (early March) that the FBI identified the female remains—Anna Mae Aquash, who had been raped and shot in the head. However, before this announcement, AIM leader Dennis Banks had informed several AIMsters that the (as yet unidentified) body found near Wanblee was actually Anna Mae and that she had been shot in the head. Present during one of these admissions were the Bellecourts.

Dennis Banks, and others, have a lot of blood on their hands.[ix]

To further AIM’s obvious culpability; On March 14th, a cold day of blowing snow, Anna Mae was buried with traditional Oglala prayers on the bare ridge above the Wallace Little ranch…it was noticed that no AIM leaders came to honor her.[x]

Enter Candy Hamilton, 1996.

Candy Hamilton, a non-native, self-described reporter from Tennessee, no friend of the government and an activist for native rights, wrote a scathing piece for a Native publication entitled No Results After 20 Years. She criticized the government for grand jury investigations that went nowhere to solve the crime and find justice for Anna Mae and her family. Hamilton wrote of the widespread knowledge that Anna Mae was murdered within about two weeks of her forced removal from Denver and interrogation by AIM members at the WKLDOC office in December.[xi]

Criticism aside, Hamilton would, however, hammer a well-deserved nail in the credibility of Bruce Ellison over his knowledge and possible involvement in the kidnapping, rape and murder of Anna Mae Aquash. Ellison is not being accused of rape, but his knowledge of the kidnapping and eventual murder of Anna Mae Aquash cannot be discounted or ignored.

To be clear, Anna Mae believed she could convince her AIM accusers of her innocence.

Years later, in March 2003, AIM members Arlo Looking Cloud and John Graham (aka John Boy Patton) were indicted for Anna Mae’s murder. They were convicted, Looking Cloud in 2004, Graham in 2010, both receiving life sentences.

Re-enter Candy Hamilton, 2004.

At Looking Cloud’s 2004 trial a crucial witness regarding the culpability of Bruce Ellison was none other than Candy Hamilton.

Hamilton’s sworn testimony clearly established that on or about December 11, 1975, at the WKLDOC office in Rapid City, Ellison and other AIM members conducted what can only be described as an interrogation of Anna Mae Aquash. The others included Laurelie Means, Ted Means, Clyde Bellecourt, Madonna Gilbert and Thelma Rios.

Hamilton testified of Anna Mae: there were tears in her eyes, that she had been crying and she appeared very unhappy. Hamilton related that she believed Anne Mae would be safe in Oglala (a hamlet on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation), but Anna Mae replied, I don’t think I will get to, or I don’t think I will, (something to that effect). Anna Mae then said, I have to go back in there now.

(Back-in-there, of course, was to continue her interrogation by Ellison and the other AIM accusers. Since Peltier conducted Anna Mae’s preliminary hearing, this then was Anna Mae’s trial with presiding judge, Attorney Bruce Ellison, and the jury of her peers. Well, her former peers from the American Indian Movement.)

During Hamilton’s cross-examination, in response to the prosecutor’s question, she stated “When, I heard Bruce Ellison at Thelma’s, I heard him say…” This was met with an objection from the defense attorney, Rensch, which was followed by a side-bar (out of the hearing of the jury):

(Assistant U.S. Attorney Mandel) Frankly, my read on this is that this is a co-conspirator statement made in furtherance of the course of the conspiracy. I know we don’t have a conspiracy charge, that’s not the rule of evidence, and in fact I point out that Mr. Ellison, according to Mr. Rensch, said he is going to exercise his 5th Amendment rights and won’t testify here, and we have had the same experience we had with the grand jury regarding this on a number of occasions. Mr Rensch of course has received the transcript through discovery, he’s exercised his 5th Amendment right. He is a co-conspirator, it is a co-conspirator’s statement made in the furtherance and course of the conspiracy. The statement is simply that, you know, she’s here, they have her in town, something like that. (Emphasis added).[xii]   

Hamilton continued that she then left WKLDOC with Ted Means, Clyde Bellecourt, Web Poor Bear and another individual heading to Sioux Falls, stopping on the Rosebud Reservation at Ted Means’ brother, Bill Means’ house.

It is widely believed that the stop at Bill Means’ amounted to the final phase of AIM (in)justice, her sentencing. Anna Mae had already been convicted by Ellison and the AIM kangaroo court and now the sentence was handed down. Capital punishment, AIM style, a bullet to the back of the head and the lifeless body dumped unceremoniously into a barren ravine.[xiii]   

The last to see Anna Mae alive

This is where Ellison’s culpability becomes evident as he skirmished in typical AIM fashion to divert attention away from himself and the truth.

After the unidentified body was found it wasn’t until March 3rd that the FBI confirmed the abandoned body was Anna Mae and her family was notified on March 5th and made public on March 6th.

Ellison immediately jumped into action “demanding” that the recently buried Anna Mae be exhumed (the FBI had already applied for a court order) and was personally and intimately involved in all the activities that followed, most notably to shed any suspicion of AIM’s involvement while pointing a crooked finger elsewhere.

So brazen and self-effacing were Ellison’s actions that during a March 8,1976 visit to the FBI’s office in Rapid City, when requested by an agent to furnish any information he might receive concerning Anna Mae’s death to the FBI, Ellison replied that it would depend on who they (meaning certainly, he and AIM) determined was responsible for her death and that would dictate whether or not this information would be furnished to the FBI.[xiv]

So what was the secret that Ellison kept so close to the vest? He knew that he and the others at the WKLDOC office, those who also drove off with Anna Mae, were the last to see her alive.

Did Ellison have an attorney-client privilege with everyone in AIM and particularly those who interrogated Anna Mae before she took her last ride, before she wound up dead in a ravine? Perhaps he could lamely try to claim that privilege but nonetheless he had first-hand, personal knowledge of those, including himself, who knew Anna Mae’s exact last known whereabouts; at WKLDOC. A secret he kept, a co-conspirator’s intimate and personal knowledge, around which he wrapped himself in the protection of the 5th Amendment as the crosshairs of the government’s prosecution swung in his direction. Ellison knew all too well his criminal exposure was significant.  

One must consider how did those hours with Anna Mae in the WKLDOC office unfold? Odds are the shyster Ellison played the good cop routine (“Annie, we can work through this, It’s simple, we’ll just feed the Feds with a little information, just enough to keep them interested but at a distance. Let them think you’re still cooperating. We can give them some disinformation too, to throw them off the trail, keep them guessing. We can have a little fun with them and even make AIM look positive and successful and cast suspicion on those who are not on board with us.” Or something like that.) While the others played the bad cop, threatening role, maybe just like Peltier, gun-in-her-mouth and all.

Ellison knew of AIM’s suspicions of Anna Mae, said nothing, but continued to work with and represent the very people who were most responsible and suspected of her murder. Ellison is no better than the worst of the AIM leaders, this episode being among the most heinous and reducing whatever existed of Ellison’s character to all the permanence of writing on water.

It was, and is, a damn shame Ellison was not further pursued for his involvement, knowledge and seeming culpability in Anna Mae’s abduction and murder.

But then, there is no statue of limitations on murder. Perhaps Ellison’s day is yet to come, and pleading the 5th will make no difference at all. We can only hope.

“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”
Ed Woods

*WKLDOC: There is no greater example of a despicable group of lawyers than those who defended Peltier and the others. The court records are replete with specific examples of Ellison, Et Al, not just ensuring that the government proved it’s case beyond a reasonable doubt (which was their sworn duties as officers of the court), but making every effort to subvert, impede and obstruct justice. They sought to prevent any Native Americans, whether witnesses, knowledgeable or not, to even talk to the FBI about what they knew of anyone even associated with the murders of Coler and Williams. They overtly hindered the investigation at every turn. They purported to represent all Native Americans involved in any way with the events of June 26, 1975. They engineered witnesses being unavailable, or mysteriously disappearing for trial. Of the most blatant examples was Angie Long Visitor, only a witness to the initial attack on the agents, who later told the government the names of those from WKLDOC who arranged for her “vacation” and absence during the Robideau-Butler trial. Even pressured and spending time in jail for contempt, this critical witness would not cooperate because of pressure from the “friends of Peltier.” At Peltier’s trial, she chose, much to the dismay of Peltier, Ellison and the rest, not expose herself to perjury and testified truthfully. Long Visitor, a totally unimpeachable fact witness corroborated to the letter the testimony of Michael Anderson and Norman Brown as to the position of Leonard Peltier’s red and white suburban when the shooting started; that there were no other vehicles aside from the agents’ present at the time and placing shooters, Joe Stuntz, Norman Charles and Bob Robideau in the same approximate locations they were placed in by Anderson and Brown. Long Visitor's testimony at Peltier’s trial made the culpability and involvement of those at WKLDOC clearly evident.

[i] (last accessed 1/17/16)
[ii] Bruce Ellison, 328 E. New York St. Suite 5, Rapid City, SD 57701,
(855) 761-9934,
[iii] At just 2:37 into “Warrior” Peltier biographer, Peter Matthiessen (1927-2014), author of In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, a book described on Peltier’s website as “The definitive work on the American Indian Movement (AIM) and the Peltier case,” makes a definitive statement that dismantles Leonard Peltier and this film. Matthiessen was arguably one of the most well informed writers about AIM, Peltier and the murders of Agents’ Coler and Williams through unfettered access to those who were closest to this critical event. Matthiessen states: “…the plight of a young man spending his life in prison for something he almost certainly did not do.” “Almost certainly?” Through the years of research and involvement with Peltier and AIM and with his intimate knowledge of June 26, 1975, this is the closest Matthiessen can come to even suggesting that Peltier is allegedly innocent. Since Matthiessen, undeniably knew all the dirty little secrets, this is the absolute best he can reach on this subject, “almost.” Even within the pages of ITSOCH Matthiessen casts a very large wet blanket of doubt on Peltier’s version of how it all started at Jumping Bull that fateful day. Late in the book (p.544), Matthiessen had to inject some measure of conscience into his reporting and admitted that the evidence demonstrated that the agents “…had indeed been chasing one or more vehicles…” and “…they heard a warning shot or had been taken under fire; if there is another persuasive explanation of the location and position of their cars, I cannot find it.” He couldn’t find it. There is no better way to destroy Peltier’s version of how the shooting began than from his own biographer, Peter Matthiessen.
[v] Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Ninety-Fourth Congress; Revolutionary Activities within the United States, The American Indian Movement. 76-598 O, September 1976. (Author’s note: This report, although completed prior to, and published in September 1976, did not include the murder of Agents Coler and Williams, June 26, 1975. Peltier would no doubt respond with Cointelpro, however, the response to that can be found here:
[x] Peter Matthiesen, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse (New York:  Penguin Books, 1991) 262.
[xiv] Matthiessen,  255
[xv] (Summary taken from the court record) and,