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Native Crimes...The Book              by Steven Wright
email us at NativeCrimes@gmail.com
The Criminal Element of the Book- Clowns, Crime and Drugs
The books title "Native Crimes" is meant to provoke several different discussions including  the crimes of White American against the Native Americans, the acts of terrorism on both sides during the infamous Indian Wars of the 1800's, the high crime and poverty rate that is rampant on many reservations today and of course the actual criminal activities including murder that are documented in the book.  The central villain in the book is Ahtunowhino, a Cheyenne name meaning "one who lives below".   A complicated character, his misguided search for identity loosely identifies him as part of the Juggalo gang.  The Juggalo's are a name given to fans of the group Insane Clown Posse.  They are not an a nationally organized gang, but certainly several fans of the Insane Clown Posse identify themselves as Juggalo's and may be involved in gang acitivty regardless of race or ethnicity. The FBI identified the Juggalo's in their FBI Gang Assessment Report in 2011 as a "loosely organized hybrid gang"   The Insane Clown Posse and a group of fans sued the FBI in 2014 for classifying them as gang member.
Photo courtesy of ATF
The Lost Gold Mines in the book.
Apache legends are full of gold and silver mines that dotted the landscape of the Apache lands during the 1800's  The most famous case is the figures prominently in the book.   The Lost Dutchman Mine is rumored likely located in the Superstition Mountains, near Apache Junction, just east of Phoenix Arizona.   In the book, the most popular variant of the story intersects with Payat's quest to solve the mystery involving the famous artifact that is worth killing over. It includes a chapter involving  the family of a man called Miguel Peralta who  discovered the mine and began mining the gold there, only to be attacked or massacred by Apaches in about 1850 in the supposed Peralta massacre. Years later, a man called Dr. Thorne treats an ailing or wounded Apache (often alleged to be a chieftain) and is rewarded with a trip to a rich gold mine. He is blindfolded and taken there by a circuitous route, and is allowed to take as much gold ore as he can carry before again being escorted blindfolded from the site by the Apaches. The stories and legends hold several clues as to the murder of Payat's mother.
Weavers Peak in Arizona is a key landmark in modern day explorers looking for the lost mine
About the Skull and Bones Society alleged robbery of Geronimo's grave
Skull & Bones Society started in 1832. They funded and  built this crypt like facility in 1856, a nearly-blind-walled tomb on High Street on the Yale Campus. It serves as their headquarters today and is rumored to hold Geronomo's skull
Current building of The Skull & Bones Society 2010

Geronimo's grave as it appears today

The alleged theft of Geronimo's skull and other items by the Skull & Bones Society in 1918 is a modern day controversy that plays a prominent role in the book's plot.   History records that six members of the Yale secret society of Skull and Bones, including Prescott Bush, served as Army volunteers at Fort Sill during World War I. It has been claimed by various parties that they stole Geronimo's skull, some bones, and other items including Geronimo's prized silver bridle, from the Apache Indian Prisoner of War Cemetery at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. 

In 2009, Ramsey Clark filed a lawsuit on behalf of people claiming descent from Geronimo, against several parties including Robert Gates and Skull and Bones, asking for the return of Geronimo's bones.