Trial of Arlo Looking Cloud
MR. MANDEL: United States would call Candy
Hamilton, Your Honor.
called as a witness, being first duly sworn, testified and
said as follows:
DIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR. MANDEL:
Q. Could you state your name, please?
A. Candy Hamilton.
Q. Spelling on your last name?
Q. Candy with a C, right?
Q. Where do you reside?
A. Oglala, South Dakota.
Q. Can you tell us what your current occupation is?
A. Yes, I am a grant writer and coordinator for the Tiwahe
Tipi, and that's a group of Tiospas that are organizing to do
self help projects, and I teach for the Black Hills State
University in the career learning center.
Q. Are you a native South Dakotan?
Q. Where are you from originally?
A. Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Q. When did you first come out to South Dakota?
A. In October of 1973.
Q. Could you tell us how it is that you came to come out to
this area of the country?
A. I had been active in some political movements around, I
lived in Atlanta at the time, I had been involved there, and I
was then a reporter, and a friend of mine who I had done
reporting work with had been out here and during the siege at
Wounded Knee. And when we were both back in Atlanta she asked
me to come out and work with the media and help the committee
and the Wounded Knee Defense-Offense Committee in that way,
and she after many months finally talked me in to it.
Q. Is Wounded Knee Offense-Defense Committee often referred
to as WKLDOC?
Q. What was your intention when you came out here, what
were you going to do for them?
A. My intent originally was to put together a press packet
for the committee, put together a list of media contacts,
train somebody to do the media work, and leave after about six weeks.
Q. Is that what happened?
A. No. I got very interested in the whole situation, and
in the people and the issues that were involved, and ended up
staying with the Wounded Knee committee until '75, '74-75, and
then after that I returned to work with the Oglala Legal
Committee after the shoot-out at Jumping Bulls.
Q. How long did you stay involved with WKLDOC?
A. Well, I guess when we formed the Oglala Legal Committee
it was sort of an adjunct of the Wounded Knee Committee. I
was less active with them and more active with the people
right there in Oglala than with the committee, but I was a
part of it through '76.
Q. You live in Oglala on Pine Ridge today?
Q. Are you still actively involved in political causes down there?
A. Well, with the people who are organizing there through
the Tiospas, I work with them.
Q. Are you familiar with an individual named Anna Mae
Q. Can you tell us how you first came in contact with her?
A. When I first went to Oglala after the shoot-out, she
was, we lived across the road from each other. I was at the
Weasel Bears, and she had a little trailer across the road at
June Little and Wanda Sills house, and we visited back and
Q. This would have been the end of 1973 about?
A. No, that was after the shoot out in seven --
Q. Excuse me, '75?
A. '75, yeah.
Q. In terms of your involvement with WKLDOC at that time --
first of all, where was the WKLDOC office located?
A. On Allen Street here in Rapid.
Q. And is that still an existing structure today?
(Exhibit 34-35 marked For identification.)
BY MR. MANDEL:
Q. I have handed you what are marked Exhibits number 34 and
35. I will ask you if you recognize what is in those
A. Yes, that is the house that the Wounded Knee Legal
Offense-Defense Committee rented and used for offices and some
living space in '75.
Q. These are current photographs, or more current than that?
Q. Things look pretty much the same as they did back then?
A. The back looks very much the same. The front appears
Q. Did you have an opportunity to go in to that house recently?
A. Yes, in the fall I went in and looked at it.
Q. Was the interior the same?
A. No, it was very different. There was a room as you
walked in the front door, there used to be a room that was
closed off to the left of the front door. And then kind of an
open room. That had changed, there was no separate room there
any more, and somebody had put in a fireplace that took up a
great deal of space that was free when the committee was there.
MR. MANDEL: Your Honor, I offer Exhibits 34 and 35 at this time.
MR. RENSCH: No objection.
THE COURT: Exhibits 34 and 35 are received.
BY MR. MANDEL:
Q. You mentioned that WKLDOC had the office up here in
Rapid City. Did they have any other offices?
A. I think at that time there might have still been a
committee house in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and there was the AIM
school and a house where a number of AIM people lived, and
then we had the little house and office first at Weasel Bear's
and then Jumping Bull's where the Oglala Legal Committee worked.
Q. Was the Oglala Legal Committee part of WKLDOC, or how
did that fit together?
A. Some people thought so and some didn't. It was, I
suppose in essence it was.
Q. Did you work down in Oglala or up in Rapid City?
A. When I first came back after the shoot-out I worked in
Rapid City at a house, I think it was on Fairview right off
Mount Rushmore, and did the media work there. Before I moved
Q. Just so we know. Exhibit 34 I am showing now, that would
be the front of the WKLDOC house?
Q. Then Exhibit 35 that is now displayed, that would be the rear?
A. That's the back of the same house.
Q. Going back to 34, looking at it on the screen there, if
I can get it straight, keep myself out of there. Drawing a
circle around a window on the front, do you see that?
Q. And is that where that little room was located that you
are talking about?
Q. Do you remember a time in December of 1975 when you were
present at the WKLDOC house?
Q. Can you tell us how that came about?
A. I came up to Rapid City with Jeanette Eagle Hawk and
Charlie Long Soldier, because for one reason the next day I
was to catch a ride to go to Sioux Falls to testify at Russell
Means' Sioux Falls trial. And also I was to meet a friend who
I had worked with at the Wounded Knee Committee earlier who no
longer was, well, she didn't work in Rapid City, and she was
going to be in town, and so I came up to see her the night
before and catch my ride to Sioux Falls the next day.
Q. You were going to testify the day after that?
A. The day after I arrived, yeah. Well, I testified, we
came up one day, we left the next day, the next day I testified.
Q. Came up on Wednesday, December 10th?
A. Probably, yeah.
Q. And then Thursday you were in Rapid City?
A. Thursday I was in Rapid, Thursday night we left and got
to Sioux Falls late Thursday night, and I testified on the Friday.
Q. Was there anything in particular going on on that
Thursday that helped you pin down the date when this happened?
A. It was during the trial for Dick Wilson from the time he
and some of his supporters had beaten up some of the workers
for the Wounded Knee Committee, and they were on trial at that
time, that's why Kathy was in town.
Q. How did you travel from Oglala to Rapid City on Wednesday?
A. In the committee car with Jeanette Eagle Hawk and
Charlie Long Soldier.
Q. When, do you remember when you arrived in Rapid City?
A. We got here that night, and we probably went by the
committee house, but then I went on to an apartment where
Thelma Rios and her mother lived, because that's where Kathy
was waiting for me.
Q. Where was that located?
A. It was an apartment, I think that is Maple Street very
close to where the Mall is now. They used to be called the
alphabet apartments because they had big letters on them.
(Exhibit 38 marked For identification.)
Q. I placed Exhibit 38 down there next to you which is an
overhead photograph of Rapid City. I will ask you to look at
that. Can you identify where those apartments are on that photograph?
A. It will take a minute to get my bearings. I think it
must be these down in the corner.
Q. The upper right-hand corner?
MR. MANDEL: I offer Exhibit 38 at this time.
MR. RENSCH: No objection.
THE COURT: Exhibit 38 is received.
BY MR. MANDEL:
Q. When you arrived at -- was this Thelma's apartment, or
her mother's apartment?
A. I think it was her mother's apartment, and Thelma was in
the process of moving in to live with her mother.
Q. Thelma also have an apartment of her own?
A. She had had a house over on Milwaukee, and she may have
later had her own apartment, but I don't think she had her own
apartment then. I don't know, I just saw her at her mother's.
Q. What time in the evening was it when you arrived at the apartment?
A. Oh, I would say maybe early evening, maybe some time
between 6:30 and 8:00.
Q. When you arrived who was present?
A. You know, I remember being there and I remember sitting
at the table visiting with Thelma and Kathy, but I don't have
a real sharp recollection of getting there or what happened
when I arrived.
Q. Did anybody else arrive at the apartment after you got
there that evening?
A. Yes, much later in the evening when Thelma and Kathy and
I were sitting there visiting Dave Hill came in.
Q. Who is Dave Hill?
A. He had formerly been, he and Thelma had formerly been
together as a couple, and he had, he was an active member of AIM.
Q. What happened when Dave Hill arrived, if you recall?
A. He just walked in, and we all said hello, and shortly
after that he sat down, and shortly after that Kathy and I went upstairs.
Q. Did you go to bed then?
Q. What happened then the next morning?
A. The next morning before we had gotten up, very early, I
heard somebody come in downstairs, and I heard Bruce Ellison's
voice saying --
MR. RENSCH: Objection, hearsay.
THE COURT: Sustained.
BY MR. MANDEL:
Q. Well, you see Bruce Ellison that morning?
A. Later that morning I did.
Q. When he was there at the house did you see him?
A. No, but I recognized his voice.
Q. You heard him speak?
Q. After he spoke, can you tell me what took place?
A. Well, I didn't leave my room, but shortly after that I
heard people leave downstairs.
Q. You know who left?
A. Well, Thelma wasn't there when I got up, so I assume she
left with Bruce.
Q. About what time in the morning did you get up?
A. Probably about 8:00 or 8:30.
Q. Did you head over to the WKLDOC house at some point?
A. Yes, Charlie and Jeanette picked me up and took me over there.
Q. When you arrived there -- first of all, about what time
of day was that?
A. It was probably late morning, maybe ten, ten or eleven o'clock.
Q. What was your purpose in going over there?
A. I was to wait there for my ride to Sioux Falls, and I
had understood that it would be late in the morning or early
in the afternoon when we would leave.
Q. When you arrived at the WKLDOC house who was present
there that you saw initially?
A. Initially I saw Bruce Ellison, and there was a young
legal worker there that we all called Red, I think maybe his
first name was Norman, I don't remember his last name, and
Wesley Hollander were the people that I saw first.
Q. Over the course of the day did you see some other
A. Yes, I did. I saw Anna Mae, I also saw in the course of
the day Laurelie Means, Ted Means, Clyde Bellecourt, Madonna
Gilbert, Thelma. I think that was all.
Q. What did you observe taking place on that day?
A. Well, all of them were in that front room that we
identified earlier, and I would hear voices occasionally, but
no distinct words, but they were all in there most of the day.
I didn't go in there, but I saw all of them in that area when
we were leaving later that night.
Q. So who all, which of these people were actually in that
front room during the course of the day?
A. I don't know, because I never went in there.
Q. Well, did you ever see people come out of there?
A. When I came downstairs and we were getting ready to
leave they all came out of that area.
Q. All meaning?
A. All the people I named.
Q. Did you at some point in the day see Anna Mae Aquash?
A. I did. I was upstairs probably most of the day, and
once when I came down into the kitchen area she was in there
getting a cup of coffee.
Q. Can you tell us what you observed about her at that time?
A. Since the last time I had seen her she had cut her hair
and there were tears in her eyes, she had been crying.
Q. Did she appear distraught?
A. She appeared very unhappy.
Q. Did you have a conversation with her?
A. Yes, I greeted her, and we exchanged sort of greetings.
And then I said to her that it, as strange as it might seem,
that she really, that people in Oglala really missed her and
that I did, and that strange as it might seem, that Oglala
could be a really safe place for her to stay. And she said
well, I don't think I will get to, or I don't think I will,
something to that effect.
Q. What happened then?
A. We talked maybe another less than a minute probably, and
she said, well, I have to go back in there now, and went back
to that front room.
Q. Did you hear anything of the conversation that was going
on in there?
A. No. I could hear voices, but I didn't hear any of the conversation.
Q. Did you see her leave the WKLDOC house?
Q. When did you leave?
A. It was after dark in December, must have been 5:00 or
5:30 that we left.
Q. What did you do next?
A. I got in the car with Ted Means, Clyde Bellecourt, Web
Poor Bear was there, and another man I didn't know and still
don't know who he was, and we were on our way to Sioux Falls,
but we stopped in Rosebud on the way at Bill Means' house.
Q. Can you just point, stand up and point if you would to
where Thelma's apartment was on this roughly?
A. It is this apartment complex, and this is reversed from
the way it looks, but it was over in here.
Q. Can you point about where the WKLDOC office was on here?
I told you Allen Street was about there, would that help you?
A. Yes. It was back in the second block off of Main. This
Q. Before the flood.
A. Right in here. (Indicating).
Q. The lower left-hand corner of Exhibit 38?
Q. Thank you. Does that photograph show Anna Mae about as
she looked on that day?
Q. She had her hair cut short?
THE COURT: That's Exhibit what, counsel?
MR. MANDEL: Exhibit 27, Your Honor.
BY MR. MANDEL:
Q. After leaving the -- first of all, when you left the
WKLDOC office, did a ride arrive for you, or how did that take place?
A. I was upstairs and somebody just yelled Candy, we are
ready, and I came down. And about that time all these people
came out of that front room.
Q. Who did you leave with?
A. With Clyde Bellecourt, Ted Means, Web Poor Bear and a
guy I didn't know.
Q. When they came out of that front room, just so I
understand, first of all did Anna Mae come out at that time?
A. I didn't see her then.
Q. Laurelie Decora?
Q. Did you say Madonna Gilbert?
Q. Bruce Ellison?
Q. Thelma Rios?
Q. Anybody else?
A. Did you say Clyde?
Q. Clyde Bellecourt?
A. I think that's all.
Q. So then you left with Clyde Bellecourt, Webster Poor
Bear and Ted Means you said?
Q. I have to ask you to answer yes or no?
Q. Did you say Ted Means was in the room too, or no?
A. He was in the group that came out when I came after I
Q. And then where did you head to from the WKLDOC office?
A. We were on our way to Sioux Falls. We went through
Rosebud and stopped at Bill Means' house.
Q. Bill Means also known by the nickname Kill(s)?
Q. What happened when you got to his house?
A. Everybody got out. Nobody said anything to me about
coming in, so I just stayed in the car and everybody else went inside.
Q. Was there any discussion of what they were doing there?
Q. Did you know why they went in there?
A. Pardon me?
Q. Did you know why they went in the house?
A. No, I had no idea. I thought maybe they stopped to see Kill(s).
Q. Was there any discussion of Anna Mae on the way from
Rapid City over to Rosebud?
A. No. I don't think anybody said a word the whole way.
Q. A long ride without saying anything.
Q. How long were you there at Kill's place in Rosebud?
A. Well, I didn't time it, but it was probably more than
ten minutes, less than 45.
Q. Then what happened?
A. They came back out, Ted and Clyde came back out and we
drove on to Sioux Falls.
Q. You testified at Russ's trial there?
A. The next day, yes.
Q. That would have been a Friday?
Q. After that when did you first hear of the death of Anna
A. I heard it on the radio after the official announcement came out.
Q. Shortly after the body was found?
A. No, it was in February -- well, I guess it was maybe two
weeks between the time we heard that the body of an unknown
woman was found, and then about I don't know, ten days, two
weeks later they announced that it was Anna Mae.
Q. After you found out who it was, did you ever have any
discussions with anybody about it?
A. Well, with a great many people. It has been a constant
topic of conversation for 28 years. We have wondered exactly
what happened. As far as with any of the people mentioned in
my testimony, some time later, I don't remember whether it was
before or after we knew Anna Mae was killed, I asked Madonna
what became of her after they talked to her, and she said oh,
we just told her to get out of there.
Q. Madonna Gilbert?
A. Yes. Otherwise with other people, we have been trying
to figure this out for years.
Q. When you saw Anna Mae there at WKLDOC that day, were you
surprised to see her?
A. Yes. Well, not when I saw her, I was surprised, I had
heard earlier that morning --
MR. RENSCH: Objection, hearsay.
THE COURT: Excuse me, what?
MR. RENSCH: Hearsay.
THE COURT: Not yet, but maybe. Overruled.
A. When I heard Bruce Ellison at Thelma's, I heard him say
MR. RENSCH: Objection.
THE COURT: Sustained.
MR. MANDEL: Your Honor, can we approach on this for a moment?
THE COURT: You may.
MR. MANDEL: Frankly, my read on this is that this
is a coconspirator statement made in the 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
coconspirator, it is a coconspirator's statement made in the
furtherance and course of the conspiracy. The statement is
simply that, you know, she's here, they have her here in town,
something like that.
THE COURT: I want to hear argument on this, because
this is news to me. The conspirators, because if so, the
rules of evidence change when you have a coconspirator, but I
want to hear argument.
MR. RENSCH: Also want to say I don't think I have
gotten Bruce Ellison's grand jury stuff. I mean I have broken
this big bunch of documents I have down in the file, and it's
possible for me to misplace something, but I have looked and I
don't think I have got that. It would be our position that he
is not a coconspirator. This would be an effort simply to get
this in front of the jury for the truth of the matter
asserted. As it is going to turn out she has already
testified that she saw Ms. Pictou-Aquash at the Wounded Knee
Legal Defense-Offense Committee house, and from that
standpoint I don't know if it would be worth injecting that
type of error in this record when it is, well, it could turn
out to be a non-issue. But to throw Bruce Ellison in to this
mix and now call him a coconspirator, and then allow that
information in on this new theory that we have now heard, we
have not heard before, I think would work an injustice and I
think it is in violation of the rules of evidence.
MR. MANDEL: I don't think it's in violation of the
rules of evidence, but frankly I don't want to hold things up,
so I am going to drop it for that reason.
THE COURT: Alright.
(End Bench Conference).
THE COURT: Ask your next question.
MR. MANDEL: Nothing further, Your Honor.
CROSS EXAMINATION BY MR. RENSCH:
Q. Morning, Ma'am. If I ask you a question that seems
confusing, would you stop me so nobody gets confused?
Q. What is your educational background?
A. I have a undergraduate degree in English from Auburn
University, and a Masters Degree from the University of South
Dakota in English.
Q. You didn't grow up around these parts, did you?
Q. Where did you grow up?
A. Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Q. You were a reporter by trade, weren't you?
Q. So do you think you have sharpened your ability to look
at events and kind of try to remember the details of them?
Q. And you were trained as a reporter back in December of
1975, were you not?
A. I wasn't trained then, but that had been my career
through all those years.
Q. You had been a reporter by then?
Q. And Ms. Pictou-Aquash was a friend of yours, wasn't she?
Q. You offered to let her come and basically stay with you,
Q. You would have let her stay in your house?
Q. So before this day in December of 1975 you knew her well?
Q. You knew that she was subject to rumors of being an
informant, did you not?
Q. You heard an individual by the name of John Stewart say
that she was an informant, isn't that true?
A. I think so, yes.
Q. Who was John Stewart?
A. He was a man who lived in Oglala. He was from Rosebud
originally, but he was living in Oglala, and he turned out to
be an FBI informer.
Q. Where were you when you heard this FBI informant say
that Ms. Pictou-Aquash was an informant?
A. Probably at a meeting in somebody's house in Oglala. It
wasn't just a personal conversation.
Q. When would that have been?
A. Probably around October, November. October probably, of '75.
Q. So you have heard this FBI informant say this about
Ms. Pictou-Aquash before you saw her there at the law office
Q. Now that Wounded Knee Legal Offense-Defense Committee
house was a law office, wasn't it?
A. The lawyers probably did some of their legal work there, yes.
Q. Did you have a position with that committee at that time?
A. Well, as I said earlier, I was really with the Oglala
Legal Committee, and we were somewhat separate.
Q. What was your job?
A. By then I was actually the only member of the, who had
originally been with the Wounded Knee Committee in Oglala, and
I worked with Charlie Long Soldier and Jeanette on the Oglala
Legal Committee. We did some media work to try to get the
story out about what was happening on the reservation. We
tried to help people who were constantly being harassed by the
FBI, and we worked with people, many people were getting
arrested at that time, or threatened with arrest, and we tried
to help all of them that we could.
Q. But you actually worked under some people who were at
the Wounded Knee Legal Offense-Defense Committee house, didn't
Q. Did you ever do any work up there at all?
A. I was there occasionally, and may have done work while I
was there, but I wasn't there much.
Q. You showed up, or we looked at the pictures of the
house. Was the kitchen on the front of the house or the back
of the house?
A. You walked in to sort of the back porch sort of area and
then straight in to the kitchen.
Q. See the back of the house there on your screen?
Q. Was that the area where you walked in to the kitchen?
A. Well, you went through a little room, sort of a, I don't
know, shed-like, before you were actually in to the kitchen.
Q. Take a look at that picture, is that the shed-like room
you are talking about?
Q. How many feet would the kitchen be from that door right
there would you say; are we talking ten feet?
A. Oh, no. Probably like three or four steps.
Q. Three or four steps. So the kitchen was close to the back door?
Q. The back door was visible from the kitchen?
Q. Was this little room a part of the kitchen? I mean was
the wall pushed out so that is a part of the kitchen?
A. No, it was more like a shed than a room.
Q. When you were in the kitchen, Ms. Pictou-Aquash was
getting some coffee, is that right?
Q. Who else was in the kitchen at that time?
A. Just the two of us.
Q. How many telephones were there in this house?
A. Gee, I don't know, probably a couple downstairs and
maybe one upstairs, maybe two upstairs.
Q. How long did you talk to Ms. Pictou-Aquash?
A. Probably not more than three or four minutes.
Q. Did anybody come in to the kitchen during the course of
Q. You offered Ms. Pictou-Aquash a place to go, didn't you?
Q. And at first you said that she said I don't think I will
get to, and then you said you weren't sure, but she may have
said I don't think I will?
A. It was just an indication that she didn't, she probably
couldn't do that, or wouldn't do that.
Q. I am trying to get to --
A. I don't remember the exact words 28 years later.
Q. Sure. It is possible she could have just simply said I
don't think I will?
A. Something like that.
Q. She didn't ask you to help her in any way, did she?
Q. She didn't ask you to call the police?
Q. She didn't say to you that people were trying to kill her?
Q. And as you spoke to her in the kitchen that day, you
never dreamed that anything would happen that would result in
her death, would you agree?
A. That's right.
Q. As you came to the house that day, about what time did
you get there?
A. I would say it was late morning. I can't be any more specific.
Q. And what rooms are in the upstairs of this house?
A. What rooms are in the upstairs?
A. Oh, I think there was maybe two. There was sort of a
landing area at that time that was set up with a desk and
phone and stuff, and then I believe there was at least one
other room behind it, and there might have been one more
Q. Incidentally, was there a phone in the kitchen?
A. No. Well, I don't think so, no.
Q. Now when you were upstairs could you see what was
Q. When you were upstairs could you hear what was happening
A. I could hear voices, I never heard any distinct words.
Q. Could you identify whose voices you could hear?
A. They weren't that loud, no.
Q. So how long were you upstairs?
A. The better part of the day.
Q. You don't know who came in and out of that room because
you were upstairs, would you agree?
A. No, I know who came out when I left.
Q. But you don't know who went in or who went out in the
meantime, do you?
Q. When you drive with these people down to Rosebud to the
Bill Means' residence you are telling the jury that nobody
said a word?
A. I don't remember any conversation significant enough to
know what anybody said.
Q. Kind of hard to remember what people say 28 years later, isn't it?
A. Well, if it is just general conversation.
Q. You don't know the purpose of the stop at the Bill
Means' house, do you agree?
A. That's right.
Q. Could have been stopping to get something to eat?
A. I think if it had been that, I knew Ted fairly well, I
knew Web, I think if it had been something like that they
would have said Candy, you better come in and eat, you better
come in and get a cup of coffee, if it had been that casual.
Q. Even if they didn't talk to you on the way down?
A. Sure. I mean they may have talked among themselves.
Q. Well, the reality of it is you don't have the slightest
idea what happened in that house, would you agree?
A. That's right.
MR. RENSCH: Nothing further, thank you.
MR. MANDEL: Nothing.
THE COURT: You may step down.