The Bizarre Tale of Sam Lone Wolf, the "Spiritual Elder" in the Case of the White Buffalo
Earlier this month, I wrote a cover story so bizarre, I had to periodically check official documents just to be sure I had not wandered into the realm of magical realism. Yes, in fact, a sacred white buffalo was born to a Greenville rancher named Arby Little Soldier during a lightning storm in 2011. Indeed, Little Soldier, as far as I know, still maintains said white buffalo was slain as a result of a Cheyenne conspiracy.
Hunt County Sheriff's Office Sam Lone Wolf, aka a bunch of other names
I'm not spoiling much by saying we may never know the whole truth, but the white buffalo was not mutilated by conspiratorial Native Americans wielding skinning knives, perhaps at the behest of Ted Nugent.
There was another character, though, who I found even more fascinating, but I couldn't plumb his strange background as much as I would have liked, primarily for the sake of column inches.
If you watched the newscast of Arby Little Soldier castigating the Hunt County Sheriff's Office during its investigation of the white buffalo's death, you would have beheld a man named Sam Lone Wolf (I will never write another story populated by such awesome names). It was Lone Wolf who threatened "Indian Justice" if the killers weren't apprehended quickly. And it was Lone Wolf who said he'd "lost respect" for the Hunt County Sheriff's Office, based on his experience in law enforcement in Wichita, Kansas (there is no record, by the way, of him working for any agency there).
Nevertheless, Lone Wolf, it seems, was Little Soldier's "spiritual elder," offering wisdom on the proper treatment of the sacred creature.
It was Lone Wolf's guidance, for example, that prompted Little Soldier to bury the white buffalo soon after discovering its carcass, guaranteeing that by the time it was exhumed for investigators, no physical evidence remained. In my background research, I discovered there was much more to Lone Wolf, a man who runs a dojo out of his home in Palestine, Texas, and also a wolf sanctuary. He has said he never travels without a wolf at his side "for protection."
Who is this man? According to an online martial arts profile, he is half Mescalero Apache, half "Oglala Lakota Sioux" and a "Grandmaster in Hawaiian Kosho Ryu." I don't want to get into parsing who is and isn't a Native American. His Facebook profile says he's from Mescalero, New Mexico, which would make sense because there's a reservation there. On the other hand, I have an entry in the California birth index showing a Sam Lone Wolf with the same birth date, but born in Solano, California, instead. Even at the chronological starting point, we're on unsteady terrain.
Stranger still, there's an affidavit filed by a defense attorney in Rapid City, South Dakota, regarding a Sam Lone Wolf. Back in the early '80s, the attorney, James Leach, was representing a man named Collins Catch the Bear, an activist in the American Indian Movement who was charged with the murder of a Rapid City man at Camp Yellow Thunder. In the mid-'70s, the movement, agitating for better treatment of Native Americans and against broken treaties, was the target of an illegal domestic spying campaign waged by the FBI. Turns out, Lone Wolf was something of a movement hanger-on at the time, and became one of the prosecutor's key witnesses before a grand jury.
Apart from fingering Catch the Bear, he claimed AIM was running guns at Camp Yellow Thunder and had received military training in Cuba. So Catch the Bear's lawyer did a little digging. He discovered Lone Wolf had a bevy of aliases, birth dates and Social Security numbers.