(1999) 24 Years Ago It Was Annie Mae (Letter by Abe Alonzo)

March 15, 1999
by Detective Abe Alonzo

To All Native Americans,
I am Detective Abe Alonzo with the Denver Police Department, Denver, CO. I am involved in the kidnapping/homicide case of Anna Mae Pictou Aquash 24 years ago. In 1994 Robert Ecoffey who at the time was the United States Marshal for the State of South Dakota introduced me to this case. Since 1994 the investigation has lead to three individuals who are responsible for forcibly taking Anna Mae from Denver and then taking her to the northeast end of the Pine Ridge reservation and killing her.

I don't claim to understand the ways of the Native American People. If I have learned anything about Native American people I have learned that you are a very proud and determined people. People have been willing to give their lives in the name of many issues important to your community.

This investigation has taken me to different parts of the country and the individuals contacted have been very gracious but cautious. I'm beginning to understand the reasons why there hasn't been a lot of cooperation with the law enforcement. In the process of conducting the investigation on Anna Mae, I have found many inconsis-tencies with the tactics used by law enforcement back in the mid and early 1970's.

I'm specifically talking about the way people were treated on the reservation. I've been in the law enforcement business for over 27 years. I know we have our flaws and even in the 90's mistakes are made. What I've investigated concerning Anna Mae weren't mistakes Ð it demonstrated that this woman's life didn't matter at the time. But Anna Mae wasn't the only person to die during that time, that no one cared about.

It's been five years for me and some 23 years since Anna Mae was murdered and she does matter to me. And I'm sure that the untimely death of Anna Mae matters to many Native Americans. I've heard from many of you.

Now is the time to hold those responsible for Anna Mae's death and put this matter to rest. More importantly, allow Anna Mae to go to her final resting place.

It has been documented during this investigation that Anna Mae had requested to pray before she was 'executed.' Anna Mae was never allowed this final request. I know and have felt Anna Mae's spirit, she deserves the dignity to rest in peace.

I'm making a request, which is unusual concerning investigations that I have handled. I'm asking anyone that can assist me with this investigation to call me, write me or email me with any information you may have so we can close the investigation on Anna Mae's murder. I assure you that any information I receive will be kept in the strictest of confidence. I've seen the fear of many people when questioned about Anna Mae's murder. The only fear people should have is their inner fear for not bringing justice to those responsible for Anna Mae's death.

The United States Government has been unsuccessful with prosecuting this case. The state of South Dakota has given the state of Colorado permission to pursue this matter. This may be the last effort to prosecute those responsible for her murder.

I trust in your help, please trust in me. It's my obligation as a sworn officer to bring those responsible to justice and bring some type of finalization to the family of Anna Mae Pictou Aquash.

My sincerest appreciation,

Detective Abe Alonzo
Denver Police Department
Intelligence Bureau, 1331 Cherokee Street
Denver, Colorado 80204

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