[Pnews] Omaha 2 - Murder tape used by FBI for training instead of catching Omaha killer

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Jun 22 13:52:11 EDT 2015

  Murder tape used by FBI for training instead of catching Omaha killer

June 22, 2015 11:19 AM MST

The August 17, 1970 bombing murder of Omaha Patrolman Larry Minard, Sr. 
quickly led to a police conspiracy 
<http://crimemagazine.com/j-edgar-hoover-and-framing-omaha-two> to 
withhold evidence in order to convict Nebraska leaders of the Black 
Panther Party for the crime. Edward Poindexter 
and Mondo we Langa 
then David Rice, were arrested and prosecutors sought the electric chair 
for the two men. A recording of the anonymous 911 caller who lured 
Minard into a deadly trap was the only evidence police had to work with 
at the start of the investigation.

The FBI quickly stepped in to conduct a comparison test of the recorded 
voice with suspects. However, J. Edgar Hoover gave a verbal order on 
August 19 to Ivan Willard Conrad, the director of the FBI Laboratory, to 
withhold a written report on the identity of the anonymous caller. On 
August 21, Special Agent in-Charge Paul Young called FBI headquarters 
and requested an agent from the FBI Laboratory come to Omaha to guide 
the police investigation. Hoover gave written approval to Young’s plan 
the next day.

Duane Peak, a fifteen year-old, soon confessed to planting the bomb and 
making the call. Peak offered half a dozen versions of his story before 
implicating the two leaders of the National Committee to Combat Fascism. 
In exchange for his testimony, Peak was allowed to plead guilty toa 
juvenile delinquency charge and walked free when he became an adult. 
After Peak claimed he made the 911 call, the planned FBI tests presented 
a problem as Peak’s soft voice did not match the deep, gravelly voice on 
the recording leaving an unaccounted for accomplice on the loose and 
undermining the prosecution case against the two leaders who Peak had 
implicated. The Omaha FBI office cancelled the lab tests over concern 
the tests would defeat the prosecution of the two leaders.

On September 17, Hoover returned his attention to a recording of the 
anonymous 911 telephone call that lured Minard to his death a month 
earlier. However, this time Hoover was not interested in screening 
suspects or verifying Peak’s voice. Hoover wanted Paul Young to obtain a 
new, better copy of the 911 recording so it could be used at FBI 
headquarters for dramatic effect while training agents on 
counterintelligence technique. The request was a classic example of 
Hoover’s bureaucratic hubris referring to himself as the “Bureau” and 
his office as the “Seat of Government.”

“The Bureau desires a tape recording of the anonymous telephone call 
received by the Omaha Police Department on 8/17/70 to be used as a 
training and instructional aid at the Seat of Government.”

“The Dictaphone belt recording enclosed with reairtel is of poor 
quality, difficult to understand, and is not satisfactory for 
instructional purposes.”

“You are requested to endeavor to obtain another tape recording from the 
original in the possession of the Omaha Police Department utilizing a 
high quality or Cassette type recording device.”

“In the communication forwarding the recording to the Bureau, you are 
requested to furnish the identity of the unknown caller along with any 
information linking him to the racial extremist groups or individuals.”

On October 13, Paul Young provided the requested information to Hoover 
and reminded the FBI director that no use of the tape was wanted in 
Omaha because it might be “prejudicial” to the police case. The testing 
of the tape had already been called off and Young wanted it left unheard.

The jury that convicted Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa never got to 
hear the 911 caller’s voice. The recording was withheld from the defense 
by prosecutors and Duane Peak’s story was unsubstantiated by comparing 
his voice with that of the anonymous caller. The two Panther leaders 
were spared the electric chair by the jury but sentenced by the judge to 
life at hard labor. The Omaha Two, as the men are now known, remain 
imprisoned at the maximum security Nebraska State Penitentiary where 
they continue to proclaim their innocence.

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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