(Address updated 7/11/15)
John Graham #04321
South Dakota State Penitentiary
Souix Falls, SD 57117-5911
(Address current as of January 29, 2012)
John Graham, native of the Yukon and father of eight who has been living quietly in Vancouver for several years, was charged in the U.S. on March 30, 2003, along with Arlo Looking Cloud, 49, with the first-degree murder of Anna Mae Aquash twenty-eight years ago.
There are many tragedies which resulted from the shootout on the Pine Ridge reservation and subsequent events of nearly 30 years ago. These include the deaths of Lakota people, members of the American Indian Movement (AIM), two agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Canadian activist Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash.
While John Graham was not present at the actual Pine Ridge shootout, he was in the area at the time working with AIM as a junior security guard and assisting with routine activities. In the months following, AIM activists and other aboriginal people were regularly rounded up and interrogated, causing many to fear for their safety.
Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash was a friend and fellow activist from Canada. A Mi’qmak aboriginal woman from Nova Scotia, Anna Mae was also experiencing continued harassment by the FBI who believed she knew the identity of the shooter responsible for the FBI deaths. Several months after the shootout, after having expressed concern for her own safety to friends and family, Anna Mae was found dead on the Pine Ridge reservation, having suffered a fatal bullet wound to the head.
There are many questions that surround the death of Anna Mae, including the failure of the FBI agents to identify her while examining her body — even though they had interrogated her just weeks before. She was buried in an anonymous grave, and her hands were ordered cut off and sent to FBI Headquarters for identification. The FBI-led autopsy also failed to detect a bullet wound and bullet lodged in her cheek, blood-matted hair and blood stained clothing — prominent features which were immediately detected in a second independent autopsy — stating only that she had died of exposure. In an effort to gain convictions for the deaths of the FBI agents, a continuing abuse of the justice system by the FBI has ensued, involving the fabrication of evidence and the use of false testimony and fraudulent affidavits. Perhaps the most infamous result of these tactics was the illegal extradition of Leonard Peltier from Canada to face charges for the deaths of the two agents.
Over the past decade, members of the FBI and BIA have made four trips to the Yukon to visit John Graham, asking him to identify Anna Mae’s murderer while offering him immunity from any related charges. They also warned that if John did not comply, they would in turn bring charges against him for the crime. During their fourth and last visit to the Yukon, the agents informed John that it would be the last time they would come to see him — the last chance to accept their offer of immunity.
Living up to their promise, and after questionable interrogations of John’s co-accused, Arlo Looking Cloud, the FBI charged John Graham with the murder of Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash.
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