Annie Mae Time Line Part 2
News From Indian Country

Posted January, 1997

Updated March 18, 1998
Updated October 26, 1999
Updated October 10, 2001

Return to Annie Mae Part 1
This time line by NFIC can be accessed through ETHNIC NEWS WATCH
at your school or public library:

NFIC Late January, 1997:
original NFIC Time Line of Annie Mae Aquash;
Denver Post: Murder of Indian Still Unsolved
by Patrick O'Driscoll (reprinted by permission)

NFIC Mid February, 1997:
Updates and Clarifications to Time Line

NFIC Late February, 1997:
Letters and Commentaries about Time Line

[NOTE: For more NFIC articles and information on Annie Mae's case please visit the NFIC site.

All links to First Nations sites have been supplied by JS Dill. Would also suggest that all who visit this page jump to The net closes.. where you will find recent info re Anna and Her killers.]

Subsequent Key Dates

November 1984:
Second Federal Grand Jury convenes in Sioux Falls, S.D. to hear evidence in the Aquash case. Sugar Bear Martin, from Oklahoma, is another subject of Grand Jury inquiries along with members of the Nelson family. Martin was transported in custody during a 1984 grand jury inquiry in the case.

Robert Ecoffey, named acting superintendent of the Pine Ridge BIA in 1992 leads an effort to resurrect an active investigation into the case. Denver detective Abel Alonzo joins the efforts and makes several successful inquires into the activities and events of November 1975 in Denver.

June 1994:
Paul DeMain conducts an interview with Dennis Banks regarding Annie Mae in which several members of AIM are named. Banks does not deny that the answers to her demise could be found from further inquiry within AIM. Banks continues to insist that he and others within AIM believe that someone associated with her killing was working for the FBI or some other government entity.

August 1994-95:
Third Grand Jury in Pierre, S.D. convenes to hear evidence in the Aquash case.

September 1994:
A South Dakota grand jury inquiry hears evidence from at least 25 individuals from 1994-1995. The grand jury's term expires at the end of 1995 without issuing any indictments to NFIC's knowledge and material is conveyed to new grand jury.

January 1995:
Bob Robideau recites the same general November-December scenario when confronting John Trudell during a public appearance in Albuquerque, New Mexico on December 3rd, 1994. Information about the confrontation becomes public through Internet correspondence in January of 1995. Trudell acknowledges to NFIC that he had heard much of the same information and the names over the years, but denies any advance knowledge of the events when Annie Mae was taken in 1975. A transcript from a secret recording made by Robideau during the Trudell conversation basically shows the same sequence of events chronicled above. Trudell's only public response was “the story is Bob Robideau's and David Hill's to tell.”

August 20, 1996:
Headstones are placed at the graves of Joe Stuntz and Annie Mae Pictou Aquash. Conspicuous to many people by their absence, and the talk of the day, is the absence of AIM leadership. Banks does not attend, even though the event was scheduled to accommodate his schedule.

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Ellison Demands Retraction of Annie Mae Assertion

Letter to Editor
NFIC Late February, 1997

Dear Editor:

I received a FAXed copy of an article from your paper regarding the death of Anna-Mae Pictou. As Anna-Mae's attorney at the time of her death, I was grateful to previously be sent copies of some of the documents your paper had “uncovered” regarding the investigation of her murder. Although they contained nothing new (and left out much available), it appeared to me that perhaps your paper was pursuing a serious investigation into the murder of this mother of two. However, you never sent me a copy of the story you published. I had to get a copy from a concerned individual by FAX.

When I read the story, I was disappointed to find it sounding more like an FBI press release or National Enquirer piece than hard journalism. I found it surprising and disturbing to see the paper claim a “source” told you I had encouraged the rumor that Anna-Mae was an informant. Had you bothered to ask me, I would have told you that this was not true. I HEREBY DEMAND A RETRACTION of this garbage.

Not only was Anna-Mae my friend, but I was also her attorney. Rather than encourage the FBI-generated idea that she was an informant, a rumor I never believed, since well before her death I have continuously spoken out on her behalf against those who were tempted to believe it. There is no credence to the contention Anna-Mae was an informant. You dishonor her and my name to repeat this lie and publish that I had any part in it.

It is terribly unfortunate that one of the leading and few Indian newspapers is so willing to publish such trash in name of journalism. I demand a retraction and a copy thereof to be sent to me. Perhaps you should examine the “source” of your information and ask why he or she would want to spread such a distortion of reality. I further demand that you identify your “source” in the retraction so the community can see who is currently generating these distortions.

Whoever pulled the trigger and murdered Anna-Mae, it is clear that the FBI was responsible. They started the rumor she was an informant, as they did to cause the death of Black Panthers a few years earlier. It is curious why in your fixation with Anna Mae's murder, you, like the government investigators, continue to ignore the similarly motivated government sponsored terrorism on Pine Ridge during this same period involving the murders of over 60 men, women, and children. You do not, by your distorted piece, encourage enlightenment and a commitment from the People of this land that will prevent the United States from again violently crushing the efforts of an indigenous movement to obtain a return of sovereignty, enforcement of treaty rights, and basic human and civil rights.

Next time, check the facts.

Bruce Ellison
P.O. Box 2508
Rapid City, South Dakota 57709

Editor's Note: Assertions found in the Late January 1997 Aquash chronology were double checked with sources and in many cases crosschecked with other information, both on and off the record. NFIC extended confidentiality to some of these sources as allowed under press law and we continue to stand by those sources.

News From Indian Country refuses to retract. Since the January 1997 issue was printed, NFIC has had several, new confirmations about our assertion that Bruce Ellison made comments alleging Annie Mae was an informant in 1975, and that he participated in the questioning (some describe as an interrogation) of Annie Mae when she was in physical custody against her will at WKLDOC headquarters on or around, December 11 or 12th, 1975. In addition, we have obtained copies of correspondence from Attorney Bob Riter indicating that he was appointed by the court to represent her during legal hearings in November 1975, not Bruce Ellison. Some friend and attorney. Go ahead and sue us Bruce. We'd love to get you in a court of law.

November 3, 1999:
Russell Means and Robert Pictou Branscombe conduct a news conference in which Means accused Vernon Bellecourt of giving orders to his brother Clyde to have Annie Mae executed. Clyde Bellecourt is allegedly at the home of Bill Means December 12, or 13, 1975 on the Rosebud Reservation when the alleged phone call takes place. (See Annie Mae Aquash Special Issue:
Denver Press Conference). Native American Calling pre-empts its regular programming to carry the information.

November 4, 1999:
Native American Calling dedicates a second program with Vernon Bellecourt and Ward Churchill as guests. (See Annie Mae Aquash Special Issue: Native America Calling, November 3, 1999 or Native America Calling, November 4, 1999).

November 17, 1999:
Russell Means testifies before a fourth Grand Jury convened in Sioux Falls, South Dakota to hear information on the execution of Annie Mae. No charges are issued.

June 16, 2000:
Richard Two Elk is interviewed by several members of the Native American Journalists Association and discusses what he has learned about the execution of Annie Mae.

November 8, 2000:
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, The Fifth Estate broadcasts “Silenced: The Execution of Anna Mae.” For transcripts or video tape call 1-800-363-1281.

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©News From Indian Country Updated October 20, 2001

Anna Mae Chronology

First Nations Front end to Anna Mae

For more NFIC articles and information on Annie Mae's case please visit tthe NFIC site.