Searching for God in nature, photography, whiskey, books and art…. whatever rant I am compelled to voice


All excerts are in italics and from THE UNQUIET GRAVE by Steve Hendricks.

Previously young Jancita who grew up on the Rosebud Reservation has been placed in foster and the future Governor of the State of South Dakota Bill Janklow has taken her under her wing helping her with boarding school placement, adoption by her foster parents, family dinners with his wife and small children. All of this interest in a young girl has led to an accusation of rape by Jancita…and very suspicious behavior from the future Governor Bill Janklow

Dennis Banks became interested in the story of Jancita Eagle Deer in 1974…

But there was not proof , no investigative reports from Pitchlynn or the FBI, no medical exam, no physical evidence. The case was a classic he -said/she-said.

…Banks was shown Peter Pitchlynn’s BIA  report by officials of the Rosebud tribal government who were friendly to AIM. Whatever the origin and nature of the new discoveries, they convinced Banks to file a claim against Janklow. he did not, in Rosebud Tribal Court, in October 1974…

Because tribal courts do not have jurisdiction over major crimes on reservations (federal courts do), AIM accused Janklow not of rape per se but of conduct unbecoming a member of the tribal bar. (Janklow had been a member of the bar since his legal aid days on Rosebud.) In addition to the rape claim, Banks accused Janklow of drunken driving, disobeying police officers, perjury, and malpractice. Judge Gonzalez received the complaint, ordered a hearing to determine whether the would-be-attorney general should be disbarred, and appointed Banks special prosecutor-a rare turnabout of an Indian prosecuting his white prosecutor.

…a small weekly newspaper of discreetly leftist views called a press conference in Sioux Falls. The featured speakers were Jancita Eagle Deer and Peter Pitchlynn. Eagle Deer, looking exhausted and frail, was given the microphone first. She said, in a voice almost too faint to be heard, (a common occurrence for someone who has had their power taken away.) that seven years ago she had been raped by Bill Janklow. Reporters asked her to speak up. She did for a few moments, but her voice dribbled back down again. The reporters asked again, she tried again, failed again. After a few minutes, the host, publisher Richard Barnes, suggested that Eagle Deer take some time to collect herself and gave the podium to Peter Pitchlynn.

Pitchlynn said that when he investigated the case in 1967 he believed Eagle Deer’s claim that Janklow had raped her, and he still believed her today. He had recommended Janklow be prosecuted. He assumed the FBI agent who had investigated the case after him, and whose investigation trumped his, had disagreed, but he didn’t know. The agent and the assistant who declined to prosecute were both white; Pitchlynn was Indian.

When the microphone was returned to Eagle Deer, a man named Jeremiah Murphy took over the questioning. Murphy was not a reporter but a lawyer, Bill Janklow’s lawyer to be precise.

“Wasn’t Bill Janklow your guardian?” he asked Eagle Deer.

“No sir,” she said. “It was my foster parents, Mr. and Mrs. Johnny Arcoren.”

“But didn’t Bill get you into this girl’s dorm, and didn’t he sign as your guardian?”

“No, he didn’t get me-“

“Why do the records show that?”

Eagle Deer said she had no idea.

“Another question. To constitute a rape there must be penetration. According to the prosecutor’s office on the Rosebud Reservation and the doctor’s reports at the Rosebud Hospital, there was no penetration. How could it be rape?”

“There was,” she protested.

“The doctor’s report shows there was no penetration, nothing happened, no physical abuse to you, no marks on your body whatsoever.”

“That’s not true.”

“It’s right there in black and white, on the reservation, in the hospital.”

“I guess Bill Janklow bought the doctor out-and the tribal chairman-” stammered Eagle Deer, clearly grasping at reeds.(This is so sad…I have to keep starting and stopping in order not to become enraged…many prayers for Jancita.)

“The records are still there,” Murphy said. “I looked at them last week.” He changed direction. “Isn’t it also true that you showed up on Bill Janklow’s doorstep since he’s been in Pierre? You’ve been to his house, you’ve called him on the telephone?”

“Yes, I called him once about two years ago.”

“And you’ve been at his house in Pierre.”

“No. I’ve never been to his house.”

“Now, there’s hotel records that show that you were in Pierre.”

“Yes, I was in Pierre.”

“And you were at his house, and Bill Janklow paid for that room so that you’d stay away from his house.” (WOW isn’t this whole exchange indicative of Bill Janklow’s inappropriate behavior??? If someone accuses you of rape do you pay for their hotel seven years later??? Jancita’s behavior is typical of someone who has never received treatment for their victimization.)

“I’ve never been at his house. he told me he would help me if ever I needed help. And so I called him. I was going through a divorce and, uh-“

“Well, if this man raped you, why in the hell would you call him for help? You said he’s threatened your life, you said he’s reaped you. And then you call this man and say, “Would you help me get a divorce?”

Murphy did not subscribe to the theory that victims could become psychologically attached to their victimizers.

“I didn’t ask him to help me get a divorce,” Eagle Deer said. “I figured he would probably do me some good if he would just help me.”

Murphy then begins to question Pitchlynn becoming more and more angry with each question.

Finally he ejaculated, “Somebody’s after Bill Janklow’s ass!…I’ve never been upset in my life, but there’s a man out there with a family, with some kids that he’s got to explain to in the morning things that were put on the television about him.”

Publisher Richard Barnes interjected, “Well, what about Jancita when she was a kid?”

“Jancita, when she was a kid, was represented by the man who’s now Attorney General Kermit Sand’s campaign chairman-Harold Doyle, the United States district attorney at the time. She was represented by good people. There was no case. It was a put-up job. You’ve been calling all over the state. Why didn’t you call and check the records on the reservation? You’ll find out that you need the U.S. attorney before you look at the damn things.”

With that, Murphy shoved papers at Eagle Deer, Pitchlynn, and Barnes-summonses for a defamation lawsuit Janklow intended to file against them-and the conference came to a close.

The story does not end here…more later…many prayers to all involved.


2 responses

  1. i have been to many websites and read many different stories about my aunt jancita..i think it is so sad how she was treated and wished that something would have been done…on the other had i now see how hard many native people had it back then and how so many people got away with many cruel things and still go on with thier lives as if nothings happened..many years before i knew what really happened to my aunt everybody would always tell me how beautiful she was and that it was wrong what he did..but i also believe in karma and wether he is punished by law or just by the saying what comes around goes around, i seriously believe he will get what is coming to him sooner or later…i never knew my aunt but i do know that her memory will live on through me and i will never forget her..i only wished she had all the support then that so many people show now that she is gone……

    December 2, 2009 at 3:34 am

  2. elizabethtool

    Well you have been truly blessed to carry your Aunts name. And your Aunt even in death continues to bless… I came upon this story when a woman named Monica Charles who was at the occupation of the BIA building and Wounded Knee left a comment on my blog. I confess to being your typical 44 year old white person who knows nothing of the history of America. The story of Anna Mae is compelling but Jancita’s story is the one that just brings everything straight to my heart. I am at this moment working on a new blog and have moved the story there

    When doing all of the posts on THE UNQUIET GRAVE I had much anger, sadness, disbelief and grief..the new blog I am trying to keep the posts to being more positive and graceful. I only yesterday copied your Aunt’s story and realized that I never finished it. I had to take a long break and get my heart in the right place. I don’t want to add more turmoil to the story and I was arguing with those who still support bill janklow. I believe in Karma too but must admit I have been wishing it would work a little faster in this case. But I don’t want to become what he as those of his ilk have in their hearts.

    I hope that the support that your Aunt did not have will touch others as deeply as it has me…and that more will be supportive of those who are today in similar situations as Jancita was. I hope that you and your family are ok with my putting her story up. I have had much criticism and accusations over the Anna Mae posts and even had to quit once to get permission from Steve Hendricks who was quite nice and said have at it. And please if anything I have written offends or you feel is disrespectful know that it is not intentional and bring it to my attention…I am listening.

    December 2, 2009 at 8:44 am

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