He died in a car wreck on Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. Just five hours earlier, he was talking to us on the phone, telling us the audios he had sent us a few days earlier were recorded during his meetings with social services and tribal court. He wanted his story to be public. He wanted others to know why child abuse thrives on the reservation.
He was a tribal member and BIA policeman at Spirit Lake. He had lived there all his life. He said he was raised to be a warrior – protecting women, elders and children… He said he can’t imagine doing anything else. He said, “That’s what warriors do.”
But too often, the tribal gov’t wants him to sweep abuse under the rug… He said lots of stuff on the Rez gets swept under the rug – because it was easier than investigating and dealing with it. He said too many on the Rez aren’t protecting the children – and many are upset with him because he keeps telling the truth and pushing for what it right, while many others just want to leave things as they are. Social services treated him like he was a pest.
Bundy was his nick-name. He was trying to protect his own children. He was bringing hospital reports and other evidence of his ex-wife’s abuse to social services to get them to DO something and protect his kids, ages 3 and 5. He had even taken drug paraphernalia out of his daughter’s mouth once after she had returned from visiting her mother. He turned it over to the crime lab, and has been waiting for three months to get the results back.
All he wanted was supervised visits. He made arrangements with SAAFE – a place near her house where she could easily visit with the kids. But tribal court wouldn’t make the order – and social services wouldn’t make the recommendation.
He sent us audio tapes between himself and a couple Spirit Lake, BIA social workers. The man in the audio, who is currently the superintendent for social services there, was telling him he looks like a fool for running around “yap-yap-yapping” all the time about his kids. “He said, “You seem obsessed. What is it that is REALLY bothering you. Is it because she left you?” He told Bundy, “I’m telling you this for your own good. Stop doing this.” “You have a ‘responsible position.’ You should think about what you are saying.”
Yes – he said that to him. We have the audio tape here on my computer.
The man who said that is currently the superintendent of Spirit Lake Social Services. We have his name – Bill McKie – his voice – and his effort to intimidate and shame Bundy.
But we don’t have Bundy. Most importantly, his children don’t have Bundy anymore.
The children were also in the car and are currently in the hospital.
God be with those children. We ask this in the Holy Name of Jesus.
Bundy wanted us to spread the documents. He had been asked to testify at the oversight hearing in June, but he was still too afraid at that time. Not for himself, he said, but because he was fighting for his kids and was afraid what would happen to them if he went against the tribe. But yesterday, he told us he had had enough. He was ready to talk to the world. He told me I could arrange a radio interview with one of the hosts we have gone on several times. He told me that just five hours before he died.
Bundy had sent the documentation to Senator Hoeven’s office last week. It was sent to Rep. Cramer’s office as well.
The pen – which Bundy brought to the Bismarck crime lab – is hard evidence. The hospital reports are hard evidence. The bruises, lice and scabies were hard evidence. The testimony of the dispatcher was hard evidence.
Yet, tribal Social services chose to ignore hard evidence and deride Bundy for attempting to protect his kids. That’s the whole point.
The BIA was called in two years ago to oversee, improve care, and protect the kids. Casey Family Services and the ACF were supposed to be overseeing, improving care and protecting the kids.
Tribal social services doesn’t protect kids, they protect neglectful parents. That is why we continue to see this cycle go on and on and on.
That’s why we need to honor Bundy’s request and publish his tapes.
The following is a timeline we put together based on the documents he had sent us. We were able to ask him a couple questions pertaining to the timeline during our hour long talk the afternoon of Monday, Sept. 22nd. We didn’t get a chance to finish the questions.
Italicized events are from Bundy’s statements. Events with bold dates are backed by documentation he had given us.
We will be posting the Documents and linking them to this time line as we go through and finish redacting from the documents.
(February 2, 2014 – Kids were dropped off by mom at Spirit Lake police dept. after a visitation. Daughter was chewing on hollowed-out pen. Bundy noticed the pen at a gas station on their way home. He told her not to chew on that kind of thing and took it from her. She said, “Give me back that pen. It’s mine. My mom gave me that.” Holding the hollow pen up to the light, white powder could be seen in it. Pen was brought to the Spirit Lake police dept., Criminal Investigator. Pen was put into evidence. 960 was never completed. Pen was left in desk drawer for months. 960 on the pen was never given to BIA In July, Bundy retrieved the pen and took it to Bismarck crime lab on his own. He has not yet gotten the results back. )
(February, 2014 – Kids treated by hospital for scabies after returning from visit with mother.)
April 25, 2014 – Document – Emergency order for visitation from tribal court based on second scabies report from Hospital
April, 2014 – AUDIO TAPED – Brief confirmation from Patty Twohearts, tribal court Secretary
– Bundy was told that the kids would stay with him until SS does an investigation.
(June 3, 2014, custody/visitation court hearing)
(June 20, 2014, court order resuming visitation for mother)
(June 26, 2014, Mother took daughter to ER, alleging Bundy’s older child from a different relationship hit the daughter in the groin with a baseball bat. ER report states daughter had a UTI.)
(June 27, 2014, BIA Social Services Daryl Lebeaux told Bundy that the children will remain with the mother until the investigation is completed.)
(June 30, 2014, BIA Social Services Mark Fryer told Bundy he will look into it and find out why the children are remaining with the mother until the investigation is completed.)
(July 2, 2014, BIA Social Services Mark Fryer told Bundy he believes the case was closed as evidence was unfounded. will look into it and find out why the children are remaining with the mother until the investigation is completed. It appears the investigation was on Bundy, not on the mother. Bundy asked that the children be returned to him by July 6, 2014)
(July 8, 2014, Bundy got hold of Special agent Jerard Hoegar as he was told this was the person who needed to close the case. Hoeger stated it was closed on June 26 – the day at the ER – after an interview with the daughter – evidence was unfounded. He stated that BIA social services knew this and the children should have been returned to Bundy on the 29th as there was no documentation for the mother to keep the children. will look into it and find out why the children are remaining with the mother until the investigation is completed. It appears the investigation was on Bundy, not on the mother. Bundy asked that the children be returned to him by July 6, 2014)
(July 9, 2014, children were returned to Bundy. Daughter needed treatment for lice)
(July 10, 2014, met with BIA Social Worker Jesse Hunt concerning lice, bruises, and reports by children of physical abuse and gun under seat of truck. Bundy gave her full documentation, pictures, reports. Hunt took notes of what was said.)
(July 10, 2014, Bundy took children to Mercy where bruises were documented. Discharge report was given to BIA social services and tribal court.)
(July 11, 2014 – Mother called police dispatcher to say she won’t be picking up the kids that weekend.)
July 11, 2014 – Document – 10 page statement by Bundy to the Spirit Lake Tribal court
(July 29 court hearing?)
July 15 or 16 – AUDIO TAPED – Judge Billy Dean Cavanaugh
– The judge says the court never got Bundy’s documents, med reports, 960’s. They need social services to send the documents.
August 22, 2014 – AUDIO TAPED – Meeting with BIA Social Services Supervisor Fernanda Shay
– said documents are missing. Said visits have to continue. Shay tells Bundy to talk to the judge about the abuse and take strong evidence. Bundy needs to get the judge to order supervised visits if that is what he wants.
She also said Bundy has filed too many 960’s – and BIA Social Services will take the kids away if he and the mother keep filing 960’s. Shay seemed unwilling to actually investigate the situation and find out what is really going on. She seemed to just want the reports to stop.
August 26, 2014 – Document – Additional Statement by Bundy to the court concerning BIA’s claim that his file – with its documentation – is missing. Abuse continues.
This below, I was unsure about dates and he didn’t get a chance to clarify….
August 29, 2014 – AUDIO TAPED – Meeting 1 with BIA Social Services Superintendent Bill McKie
– Said social services has to petition for supervised visits –Bundy can’t simply ask the court on his own for them.
Bundy responds that mother was told June 3rd that if there is more abuse, visits will be supervised.
McKie says Bundy has to give the mother her visits. He says there is no substantiation. McKie says, “Keep in mind we need “factual evidence” – physical, concrete evidence.”
McKie: “The court only made a recommendation. SW has to petition for supervised visits. And they won’t do it without physical proof.” The SW does not appear willing to investigate the allegations.
August 29 – AUDIO TAPED – Judge Billy Dean Cavanaugh
Can’t find the judge or Patti the clerk – then judge comes in. He says he can’t get answers from Social services either. Judge says to get social services to recommend supervised visits and he will sign it.
If anyone STILL has questions as to why abuse continues at Spirit Lake and other reservations, they only need to listen to this audio….
August 30 – AUDIO TAPED – Meeting 2 – BIA Social Services Bill McKie
– Bundy told him that the court wants recommendations for supervised visits from social services and they will change the court order.
McKie doesn’t appear willing – and seems to be accusing Bundy of having ulterior motive.
McKie appears to totally justify their lack of concern on the basis that Bundy has complained too much.
Finally says they will write a recommendation on Monday.
McKie appears to turns things around to blame the Dad. Also seems to attempt to threaten and intimidate, by telling Bundy he looks foolish and vindictive in his constant complaints – and that he has a “responsible position” and should think more about that before continuing with his complaints.
McKie also tells Bundy he is “obsessed” with the issue (protecting his own kids?) Tells him to take a different approach.
CALL TO ACTION
A few people have asked what they can do to stand up for Bundy and continue what he started.
1. Bundy wanted these documents to be seen. He wanted to prove that Social services is not doing its job and needs an honest, genuine shake-up and change, not just fluffy talk and pretend. So – Please share his stuff so that the Media and Congressman in New York and DC can’t ignore it as they have been. Especially share this last audio, the longest one. It really shows the attitude of tribal social services and the BIA.
2. Senator Hoeven and Rep. Cramer were given this material the week prior to Bundy’s passing and have had time to look at it. Now we need to know now what they are going to do to push for genuine change in tribal social services. We don’t want more fluff talk and posturing from DC, the BIA, Casey family services or the ACF. We want the people of Spirit Lake to finally get some honest respect and real action.
So please call their offices and ask them what is going to be done to change tribal social services. Be persistent. Don’t allow anyone to snow you with nice words that are only meant to pacify.
Senator Hoeven: 202-224-2551
Rep. Cramer: 202-225-2611
Rep. Cramer was very good to call the BIA on the carpet in June. His office actually asked Bundy to testify at the hearing that month, but Bundy was nervous about the Custody battle and thought the tribal government might use his kids against him if he did that. That was very understandable – as many of us have seen that kind of thing happen.
We are very grateful to Rep. Cramer’s for what he did in June. He has been a hero doing things others have been too afraid to. But we can’t let our politician’s rest on their laurels. We want to know what Rep. Cramer’s next step is.