Trial of Arlo Looking Cloud
MR. McMAHON: We call Mathalene White Bear, Your Honor.
MATHALENE WHITE BEAR,
called as a witness, being first duly sworn, testified and
said as follows:
DIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR. McMAHON:
Q. Would you state your name, please?
A. My name is Mathalene White Bear.
Q. Where do you live?
A. I live in El Monte, California.
Q. How long have you lived in California?
A. About 46 years.
Q. How old are you now?
Q. So you grew up in California?
A. Yes, I did.
Q. Were you a member of AIM?
A. Yes, I was.
Q. What was your involvement with AIM?
A. In what context?
Q. Well, when did you become a member of the AIM movement?
A. When I turned eighteen.
Q. And what types of activities did you partake in?
A. Shelter mainly.
Q. Did you travel around the country to different events?
Q. Did you have an occasion to meet someone by the name of
Anna Mae Aquash?
A. Yes, I did.
Q. When did you meet her?
A. I believe it was in 1974.
Q. Do you remember where it was?
A. Yes, I do. We were at a sweat lodge, we had met at a sweat lodge.
Q. Where was that?
A. Hacienda Heights, California.
Q. Did you have occasion to see her after that?
A. Yes, I did.
Q. Where at?
A. The AIM house in Venice Beach, and then my own apartment
in Santa Monica, and then my parents home in Baldwin Park and
then in El Monte.
Q. Let's focus on 1975. Was there an occasion when she
came to see you in 1975?
A. Yes, there was.
Q. When was that, approximately?
A. It was September, the first part of fall. September,
around in there.
Q. Were you still living with your parents at that time?
A. Yes, I was.
Q. How old would you have been then?
A. About 20; 19, 20, somewhere around there.
Q. How old would Anna Mae have been then?
A. About thirty.
Q. Why did she come to visit you?
A. She was seeking refuge, and looking for help.
Q. What was she seeking refuge from?
A. She didn't get too specific, but she was afraid of
threats that had been made on her life.
Q. Did you have any conversations with her in which she
indicated she was being accused of being a government informant?
A. Yes, I did.
Q. Was she scared?
Q. Did she ever indicate to you that she was worried that
something might happen to her safety?
Q. How long did she visit you in 1975?
A. It was a few weeks. I am not exactly sure of the exact
amount of days, but a couple of weeks, somewhere around there.
Q. This visit would have been after she was arrested in
South Dakota on weapons charges?
Q. She was also, correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't she
also afraid of the FBI?
Q. What type of conversations did the two of you have with
each other concerning her safety?
A. Well, the conversations that Anna Mae and I had mainly
had to do with her family, her daughters, and messages she
wanted me to give to her daughters. And they also consisted
of her being afraid for her well being, and she was worried
about my safety and not letting me know too many details. She
wanted to clear up whatever the problem was, and she asked me
pretty much to be ears for her and try to, you know, if I
heard anything or whatever. And otherwise just to stay back
and not get myself in any deeper.
Q. Did the two of you make any types of arrangements
whereby she could signal you if she was in danger?
A. Yes, we did.
Q. What was that arrangement?
A. Okay, there came a point where she had to leave, and I
didn't want her to go, but she had to leave, and my mother and
I helped her disguise her, cut her hair and dressed her
differently, and she left my home, but before she left my home
she gave me some messages for her daughters. And then she
showed me a ring, and it was a very unusual ring, silver, and
a sort of an S filigree shape. And she told me, she gave me a
phone number also, okay, and she told me 'that hopefully the
next time I seen that ring it would be on her finger, but if
it were to come to me another way, then what I was to do was
to call that phone number.
Q. Do you know whose phone number it was?
A. At the time I wasn't really sure.
Q. Did you find out?
Q. Whose was it?
A. John Trudell.
Q. Who is John Trudell?
A. John Trudell is a brother of ours, he was very good to
both of us.
Q. Was he involved in the AIM movement?
A. On the level of being a spokesperson.
Q. I have laid Exhibit 27 in front of you. That is a
picture of Anna Mae, correct?
Q. Is that what she looked like when she was in California?
A. I cut her hair.
Q. You said she left, do you recall approximately when she left?
A. The end of September, first part of October, somewhere
around in there.
Q. Did she tell you why she was leaving?
A. She was going underground is what I was told.
Q. Did you later hear from her at all?
A. Yes, I did.
Q. A letter, phone call, what was it?
A. I received three phone calls from her.
Q. Can you give us a timeframe of when the first one might
A. The end of September, first of November, somewhere
around in that area somewhere.
Q. Around the first of November?
A. Somewhere around there, yeah.
Q. Tell us what she told you during that telephone call?
A. She was okay, she was with a couple, and they had given
her a room, and she was just waiting for word as to where she
was supposed to go next.
Q. Did she say where she was calling from?
A. At the time, no, she didn't. She, we had a code name at
that point, and she didn't give any information other than she
was okay, and she asked how my family was doing, how I was
doing, and that was about it.
Q. Then you said you received a second phone call, when was that?
A. Maybe a week or two later.
Q. Tell us about that telephone call?
A. She was a little more upset, a little more distraught.
She said she felt like she was being caged in. The people she
was with had her afraid to go outside. They had her afraid
to, that she was being watched is the feeling she got. You
know, they were being watched closely, and for her own safety
they kept her in doors, and she felt like she was being
MR. McMAHON: Your Honor, I offer Exhibit 27.
MR. RENSCH: No objection.
THE COURT: Exhibit 27 is received.
BY MR. McMAHON:
Q. When was the third phone call?
A. About, it was within a week, a week of that, or it came
sooner than the space between the other two.
Q. So are we somewhere around the first part of December,
in that area now?
A. Yeah, it would be in that area, that time of the year.
Q. Do you know where she was calling from at that time?
A. We had received a phone bill from her previous, collect
calls, because she had called collect and they were from Colorado.
Q. Any particular place in Colorado?
Q. Tell us what was said during the third telephone call?
A. She was scared. She was being trapped, she knew
something was going wrong, and I offered to go get her or to
find a way to go get her, or to do something, and she said we
will see about that, and she told me have you heard from
anyone? And I told her no. And she says tell my, something
to do with tell my or something, and then the phone went dead.
Q. The phone went dead? Did you ever talk to her again?
Q. Are you ready to continue?
A. Yes, please.
Q. Did you ever receive anything from her in the mail?
A. Yes. Within three, four days, something like that, I
got a little box in the mail, and there was no return address
on it, and when I opened it up, all that was in there was the silver ring.
Q. That was Anna Mae's ring?
A. The one she had shown me.
Q. What did you do with the ring?
A. I just put the cover back on the box and I called the
phone number, and when John answered I just told him I
received the ring.
Q. What did do you after that?
A. Well, I waited and John was there within 24 hours to
pick the ring up, and then I spent 28 years of hell waiting to
find out what happened, the truth.
Q. Did you ever go to South Dakota?
A. I did go to South Dakota. It was in December, January,
I don't remember the exact dates.
A. Well, a friend of ours was on trial, and I went to sort
of be moral support for him, and also to make my presence
known so that Anna Mae would know she had a friend here, and
if there was any way possible that she could get in touch with
me and I could see what I could do to help her.
MR. McMAHON: That's all I have, thank you.
THE COURT: Cross exam.
CROSS EXAMINATION BY MR. RENSCH:
Q. You were present when Ms. Pictou-Aquash agreed to blow
up a building in Los Angeles, weren't you, Ma'am?
A. I never heard of any such thing.
Q. You have never told anybody that you heard that Anna Mae
agreed to blow up a building in Los Angeles after Banks
ordered her to do that?
Q. As a loyalty test to Dennis Banks?
A. You mean for her to be loyal to Dennis Banks?
Q. Did you tell Special Agent Alan Garber that on August
A. Not that I recall.
Q. Do you remember speaking to a member of the FBI in 1981?
A. Okay, there were two agents that I was led to believe
were special agents from the Canadian Mounted Police that I
spoke with. I never at any time agreed to speak with the FBI.
Q. Did you talk to somebody in 1981 about the happenings
surrounding when Anna Mae was with you in 1975?
A. The only people I ever spoke to about that were the two
special agents who came from the Canadian Mounted Police.
MR. RENSCH: Nothing further, thank you.
THE COURT: Anything further.
MR. McMAHON: I have nothing further, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Thank you, Ma'am, you may step down.