Below is a copy of a letter to the editor from Diane (Lykkens) Bruns that was published in the Sunday Argus Leader April 20. 2014. Diane gave me permission to use it here at Dakota Today. I thought the letter should make people think about law enforcement and judicial behavior in South Dakota. It seems like a rather remarkably calm and sensible statement considering what law enforcement and courts did to abuse and persecute her and her family.
Scriptures say, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
The truth will not bring back Pam or Cheryl to the Jackson or Miller families and we, the Lykken family, are and have been saddened by their loss and not knowing what happened. We NEVER were a part of their disappearance as we have maintained and people now realize. We do feel that leads were NOT followed up on and disappointed as to how the investigation was handled by law enforcement in 1971 and in 2004 until now.
The truth will not make up for almost 10 years of persecution of our family in the name of “justice,” especially when the courts say it is legal. Our mom, Esther Lykken, turned 94 on April 5. On Aug. 24, 2004, more than 20 vehicles with officers, guns drawn, surrounded the farm, to secure the “crime scene.” Esther, accused of being the mother of murderers, an accomplice, a liar, destroying evidence, was kicked out of her home along with a brother and family and a sister-in-law. Under questioning with no lawyers present on our part, because we all were telling the truth; in order to support their version, we heard that our deceased father and brother were a part of the crime as well.
Lies were told to each of us separately hoping we would verify the theories they had created. Kerwyn was taken in for hours of questioning and a lie detector test. We were kicked off the farm for five days, but reporters roamed it along with South Dakota’s version of CSI, paid for by Homeland Security money, known as the Cold Case Unit of retired DCI agents and state of the art equipment using the electricity to run it from the farm and later paid for by our mother.
Remember, this was and still is the United States of America, and there was NO EVIDENCE of any crime that had ever been committed.
The truth is not innuendo, but innuendo has been rampant in both law enforcement and media. The purse, the rusted pieces of metal, bones, the license plate, the 10 boxes of evidence that the state is now willing to give back to our family but had been held because of potential evidence — even though charges were dropped against our brother David in 2008 — the tape-recorded confession, the reliable snitch, the location of our place to the gravel pit, the connection of how our family knew the Millers and Jacksons, the lies being fed to the Miller and Jackson families about evidence to turn them against us to alleviate their pain. Law enforcement, media and our attorneys general, Larry Long and Marty Jackley, made an art of “hating someone because they may be guilty and if they aren’t, we are going to make sure it looks like it” mentality.
The truth is our brother, David, is in the penitentiary for a crime he committed in 1990. The truth is our family loves him, but we are not and were not raised to be criminals. The truth is hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars were spent, maybe even millions, to prove the cold case theory, “make the puzzle fit the piece,” and the piece was David and he had to be found guilty.
The truth is this happened to us: Name and photos in the newspapers, on televisions, YouTube, Facebook; every holiday was affected for years because of new evidence or more digging or another theory, neighbors questioned, grand juries convened, testimony, court houses, the Lykken name being throw like manure from the back of a spreader in spring.
But the most important truth of all is we were raised to love our Lord and Savior, to love each other and live our lives so that others will see the real truth.
Diane Lykken Bruns, 63, lives in South Dakota. She is a sister of David Lykken, who was falsely accused in the disappearance and death of two Beresford teens in 1971.
Source: Argus Leader April 20, 2014 Diane Bruns Letter to Editor
Maybe it is time South Dakota puts together a "blue-ribbon" committee of researchers, historians, law professors, lawyers, and a number of "joe six-packs" with a fine sense of outrage.
***Stay tuned and reread your old civics books and see how that meshes with current behavior of law and courts.--- Doug Wiken