Anna Mae was returned to the earth today in her homeland, her family at last being able to offer her some dignity and peace for her long journey, something that was denied them, and Anna Mae, twenty-eight years ago when Anna Mae's life was brutally taken.
Twenty-eight years ago others claimed to have prepared her body and spirit for her journey in a sacred way, but now we know better. Now Anna Mae can make her journey with the love of her family and honor of her people who came together to celebrate a beautiful life that was ended by cowards who, by their actions, continue to show the world that they are traitors to their race and a disgrace to Native people. What kind of warped individuals would have sought to stop Anna Mae's burial at the eleventh hour? The same warped individuals who murdered her. All can now see the lack of compassion Graham has for Anna Mae and her family, and the lack of respect his "do and say anything attorneys" have for the victim, or the family, that was demonstrated by this cruel stunt and the number of times Howard Rubin "misspoke" in his affidavit to the court to be granted the injunction to stop the family and Mic-Mac Nation burying Anna Mae. All have now clearly seen that Graham was no friend of Anna Mae's, and that he is still following the lead of Vernon Bellecourt . . . so what else is new twenty-eight years on?
On Sunday night Graham and his attorneys again declined to respond to an offer made by Anna Mae's family, that they would make available to them the results of DNA testing conducted by a respected, independent pathologist. It was not the result Graham hoped for, or the result his attorneys could spin and exploit, for the pathologist found that Anna Mae's remains were skeletal from the waist down so there was no possibility to gather DNA that might relate to semen and the charge that Graham raped her.
This morning Graham's attorneys at last relented, but the damage was done and the pain inflicted - just as it was twenty-years ago. And what would it have proved if DNA could have been collected for analysis? Anna Mae did not die from rape, she died from being shot in the back of the head, and Graham is not indicted with rape - he's indicted with first-degree murder.
The Indigenous Women for Justice stand by our previous position, a position based upon statements from an eye-witness who was at Thelma Rios' and David Hill's apartment and who says that Graham raped Anna Mae there. The statute of limitations has expired on the rape charge, making it mute, but there is no statute of limitations on first degree murder, the crime for which Graham is indicted. Graham has put himself at the crime scene(s) in his own words, on tape; other witnesses have testified in court to his participation in Anna Mae's murder.
So we are left with the ridiculous notion put forth by Graham's lawyers that if they didn't find his DNA on Anna Mae's body it would have proved that he didn't kill her. How totally absurd when you consider the condition of the body. If they couldn't find Dr. Peterson's DNA on her body would it mean that he didn't perform the second autopsy? Get real. The only possibility of finding DNA in regards to Anna Mae's body was if any traces of Graham's semen could be found in her body - but her remains were skeletal from the waist down. And what DNA did they think might be found on the exterior of Anna Mae's body now? There have been two autopsies, she has been buried and exhumed twice, and she was not dressed and buried in Oglala in the manner that it was claimed.
The more realistic option is to test the clothes Anna Mae was wearing when Graham shot her, but Graham and his attorneys had to have yet another day in court to spin their convoluted, farcical theories, as opposed to pursuing the clothes issue. Even with her clothes, fibre analysis, and to some extent hair-fibre analysis, may be useless as the assassins would still have to have - and make available - the clothes they wore at the time of Anna Mae's murder in order for a comparison to be made; however, there may still be a possibility of finding hairs from Graham, Clark and Looking Cloud on the clothing, and a possibility of finding traces of semen in the underwear Anna Mae was wearing.
For now Graham can breathe a sigh of relief, he's not going to have to concoct another story to explain how his semen got inside Anna Mae. But let's not forget that Dick Marshall is on the record as stating that when Graham, Clark and Looking Cloud showed up at his house with Anna Mae as a prisoner, he recalled that his wife gave Anna Mae a different set of clothes to put on. Why would they want a different set of clothes for her to wear? It doesn't take much to figure that out . . . she had been beaten and raped, so what kind of condition would the clothes she had on be in after that?
And what kind of forensic evidence would those clothes have yielded? Killers aren't altogether stupid, and neither are those who give them their orders. These guys escaped justice for twenty-eight years. For all the negative things that can be cataloged about this clique of "has-been" and "never have-been" Ojibwa Warrior leaders, it has to be conceded that they are wily and conniving, with an aptitude for cover-ups and misinformation. It takes a certain skill to run from the law, hide from the law - and then source the kind of attorneys who make it possible to hide behind the law.
The real issue here is what did John Boy do with the clothes he was wearing when he shot Annie Mae? Those clothes will have been bloody after a shooting such as this. Which house in Wanblee did Theda take John Boy and Arlo to after they shot Anna Mae so that John Boy could get cleaned up? Is this the house in Wanblee where Clyde Bellecourt and Dave Hill were apparently waiting? How many people in Wanblee did they trust enough to visit after committing the murder? It's a pretty short list. That's the real story, where John Boy ditched his bloody clothes - who seriously thought that John Boy would ride all the way back to Rapid City or Denver wearing blood-splattered clothes? Particularly back then when a car load of Indians was likely to be stopped for no reason other than they were Indians (come to think of it, you still get stopped for no other reason than being Indian).
In the Spirit of Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash, may our sister make her journey in peace.
In the spirit of Anna Mae Pictou, Marley Shebala (Navajo/Zuni) — Spokeswoman-Indigenous Women for Justice — firstname.lastname@example.org
We are no longer silenced by fear
The IWJ is a unity sisterhood of women from indigenous nations located