Lawless America

Documentary Films, Magazine, Radio, TV




Menu Style


Janklow, William

Accused Party Type
Official - Appointed
Accused Party Title
Court or Office
U.S. House of Representatives
Accused State
South Dakota
State of Complaint
Rating of the Accused Party
Image 1
Claims to fame: Former Governor of South Dakota, 1979-1986 and 1995-2002; Indian-hater; would-be rapist; reckless driver; killer

Boys will be boys moment: In 1955, at age 16, appeared in juvenile court (Moody County, South Dakota) for allegedly assaulting a 17-year-old girl. Janklow denied charge was rape, but inadvertently tipped off public with smug statement, “It didn’t go that far, but it was preliminary to that sort of thing.” Charge dropped, records sealed.

Not-so-youthful indiscretion: In 1967, attorney Janklow was accused of rape by Jancita Eagle Deer, 15-year-old babysitter for Janklow family. Janklow, then working for the Office of Economic Opportunities on the Rosebud Sioux reservation, denied charge, said enemies were trying to smear him.

Consequence: Disbarred from legal practice on Rosebud reservation in 1974 for “assault with intent to commit rape, and carnal knowledge of a female under 16.”

Unsolved mystery: A few months after testifying in Tribal Court that she was raped at gunpoint by Janklow, Jancita Eagle was found dead, struck down by a car near Aurora, Nebraska — inexplicably, hundreds of miles from home.

What happened next: Janklow lost libel suit and attempt to block publication of book, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, by Peter Matthiessen, exposing alleged crimes.

Perverse injustice: Janklow’s animosity toward AIM (American Indian Movement) worked to plan; he garnered more support from bigoted white voters, won two gubernatorial races, and then the state’s only congressional seat.

Now appearing: In a kangaroo court destined to let him off the hook for running a stop sign at 75mph and killing a motorcyclist. (Janklow’s long and well-documented history of speeding and recklessness behind the wheel will not be allowed as evidence; plus, his lawyer is blaming the incident on Janklow’s diabetic condition.) Stop the presses! Janklow has just been convicted of second-degree manslaughter, reckless driving, running a stop sign and speeding, and has announced his resignation, effective January 20, 2004. Good God, there is justice!



William John "Bill" Janklow (born September 13, 1939) is a former American politician with the Republican Party. He was the 27th and 30th Governor and 25th Attorney General of South Dakota, and also served in the United States House of Representatives for just over a year before he resigned after being convicted of manslaughter following an automobile accident. He is currently a lawyer and lobbyist.

Janklow pardoned his son-in-law, William Gordon Haugen II, for marijuana possession and driving while intoxicated. The pardon was sealed until after Janklow left office.
[edit] Accomplishments while Governor

Dubbed by some as the "pirate saint," Janklow amassed a fairly impressive list of achievements[4] on behalf of the people of South Dakota during his 16 years as their chief executive.

Although controversial,[5] Janklow is among the more electorally successful politicians in South Dakota's history. He was elected to statewide office six times.
[edit] Election to Congress, car crash, and aftermath

In 2002, Janklow ran for the Republican nomination for South Dakota's only House seat. He defeated Democrat Stephanie Herseth, an attorney and granddaughter of former governor Ralph Herseth and his wife, former state Secretary of State Lorna Herseth, by a vote of 180,023 to 153,656.[6]

On August 16, 2003, Janklow was involved in a fatal traffic collision when he struck and killed motorcyclist Randolph E. Scott, while driving his white Cadillac Seville. The accident occurred at a rural intersection near Trent, South Dakota. Scott, a 55-year-old Minnesotan, was thrown from his motorcycle and killed instantly. Janklow suffered a broken hand and bleeding on the brain. In the ensuing investigation of the accident, it was determined Janklow was driving at least 70 miles per hour in a 55 mph zone and that he ran a stop sign at the intersection where the crash occurred. His vehicle stopped after hitting a sign in a field 300 feet from where the accident occurred. [7]

Robert O'Shea, accident reconstruction expert, testified at Janklow's trial that he estimated the speeds to be 63 or 64 miles per hour at the time of impact. O'Shea downloaded the information from the Electronic Data Recorder of the Cadillac. This data was in contrast to the State Highway Patrol's estimate of "at least 70 mph." The State was not able to download the information because they did not have a connector needed and did not attempt to procure one to transfer the information. With Janklow’s speed now at 63–64 miles an hour (while failing to stop at a stop sign), Scott's motorcycle’s speed was then at 65 mph, faster than the Highway Patrol's estimate of 59.[8][9]

Janklow was arraigned on August 29. In response, he said he "couldn't be sorrier" for the accident. His trial began on December 1. In his defense, his lawyer argued that he suffered a bout of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, and was thus "confused" and "mixed up." Janklow testified that he had taken an insulin shot the morning of the accident and had subsequently not eaten anything throughout day, resulting in low blood sugar. Jurors were not informed of his record of three previous accidents and twelve speeding violations, though his driving history had been widely reported in the local media. He once got a ticket for speeding on his motorcycle four blocks from his home to the Capitol, and another for not having the proper license endorsement to drive it. A Colonel, the superintendent of the state highway patrol, reported that Janklow had 16 traffic stops by troopers during his last term as governor but was not ticketed, due to "respect for his authority," and out of a "fear of retribution." (Janklow has long been an unapologetic speeder; in a 1999 speech to the state legislature, he said, "Bill Janklow speeds when he drives – shouldn't, but he does. When he gets the ticket he pays it.")[10][11][12]
Bill Janklow
Charge(s) Manslaughter
Conviction(s) Guilty verdict
Penalty 100 days in jail, daily community service after 30 days served.
Status Released

On December 8, 2003, Janklow was convicted by a Moody County jury of second-degree manslaughter. A few days later, he resigned his seat in Congress effective January 20, 2004. This was because the conviction substantially limited his role in Congress; House rules do not allow congressmen who are convicted of felonies to vote or participate in committee work until the House Ethics Committee conducts an investigation. On January 22, he was sentenced to spend 100 days in jail. After 30 days, he was able to leave the jail for several hours each day in order to perform community service. He was released on May 17, 2004.

Scott's family sued Janklow for damages, but the court ruled that because Janklow was on official business at the time, he was protected from any monetary claims by the Federal Tort Claims Act, which ascribes liability to the government as opposed to the individual who is acting in a governmental capacity. In July 2006, Scott's family filed a $25 million wrongful death suit against the U.S. government. The lawsuit was settled for $1 million on May 14, 2008.



Congressman charged with second-degree manslaughter
FLANDREAU, S.D. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Bill Janklow was charged Friday with second-degree manslaughter in the death of a motorcyclist, killed in a crash at a rural intersection earlier this month.
Rep. Bill Janklow, R-S.D., faces manslaughter charges. Below is his car after the crash.
AP file, 2002

If convicted of the felony charge, Janklow could face up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The House of Representatives ethics committee will also investigate.

The 63-year-old congressman, one of the state's most powerful politicians, is still recovering from injuries sustained in the crash and was not immediately available for comment Friday.

Janklow was driving more than 70 mph when his Cadillac went through a stop sign at a rural intersection Aug. 16 and the motorcycle hit the side of the car, according to a Highway Patrol report. The motorcycle rider died at the scene.

Moody County State's Attorney Bill Ellingson said the facts of the case establish probable cause for second-degree manslaughter. He said he ruled out a stronger charge of vehicular homicide, which requires the driver to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Janklow also was charged with three misdemeanors: failure to stop, going 71 in a 55 mile an hour zone and reckless driving. The first two violations carry a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail and a $200 fine. The top penalty for reckless driving is one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The congressman had been on his way home to Brandon after an event in Aberdeen and a stop in Flandreau when his car and the motorcycle collided.

The car he was driving was struck just behind the driver's door by a Harley-Davidson driven by Randy Scott, 55, of Hardwick, Minn. Janklow broke his right hand and suffered a head injury in the crash.

Scott's mother, Marcella Scott, and family thanked the Highway Patrol for its investigation and Ellingson for his consideration of charges.

By Doug Dreyer, AP file
Janklow's car is shown after the crash in South Dakota.

"Although no judge or jury can bring Randy back to us, we view the criminal charges filed today as both reasonable and appropriate," she said in a statement.

Janklow, a Republican, was elected to the state's only U.S. House seat last year and previously served 16 years as governor and four years as state attorney general.

His son and his doctor have said it's unlikely Janklow will return to work next week when Congress reconvenes because he's still recovering.

Now that the charges are filed, the question for some is whether Janklow will keep his job.

Because he is charged with a felony, the U.S. House of Representatives ethics committee will automatically investigate. The committee's rules say representatives who plead guilty or are convicted of a crime that carries more than two years in prison can't vote in the chamber until his or her record is cleared, or until re-elected.

If Janklow were to resign, Republican Gov. Mike Rounds would call a special election within three months to fill it.

Janklow's initial court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday in Flandreau. If he wants a preliminary hearing, one would be scheduled then and bond would also be set, Ellingson said.

A self-proclaimed speeder, Janklow got 12 speeding tickets in 11 South Dakota counties from 1990 to 1994 and paid more than $1,000 in fines. He often drove 15 mph to 20 mph faster than legal speed limits and once got caught going 90 mph in a 65-mph zone.



Judicial Corruption is rampant.  Our rights to a fair trial are a myth.  Many judges are totally corrupt.


Our fundamental rights have been taken away by a government of wrongs. Stolen by corruption.


Misconduct is everywhere. Dishonesty abounds. Perjury, subornation of perjury, corruption!


Abuse, Dishonesty, Corruption.  It's all common with Police and Law Enforcement.


Government Dishonesty is Bad.
We must find honest people
and make them accountable
to We the People.
You are here: Corruption Reports Official - Elected Janklow, William