Press "Enter" to skip to content

Suicide, Says Jackley of Benda Death

Richard Benda killed himself, says Attorney General Marty Jackley. Benda shot himself in the gut, says the autopsy. Here's the full release:

PIERRE, S.D - Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that the Division of Criminal Investigation has concluded its investigation into the death of Richard Benda, Sioux Falls.

On October 22, 2013, Benda was found dead in rural Charles Mix County by a family member, which was immediately reported to local law enforcement. The scene was secured by law enforcement at which time the Division of Criminal Investigation was contacted and asked to conduct a death investigation.

The autopsy, conducted by the Forensic Pathologist, Minnehaha County Coroner indicates that the cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the abdomen and ruled a suicide. No physical or digital evidence has been found to indicate foul play. The investigation scene reconstruction, interviews conducted, evidence collected at the scene and forensic testing do not indicate foul play and are consistent with the forensic autopsy findings. The forensic testing included, but was not limited to firearm functioning, ballistic testing, DNA and fingerprinting.

The Attorney General would like to thank the Charles Mix County Sheriff’s Office and federal authorities for their assistance during the death investigation. The Attorney General again offers condolences to the family and friends of Richard Benda during this most difficult time and appreciates the public further respecting these private family matters.

If you have any additional questions please contact Sara Rabern at 605-773-3215 [Attorney General Marty Jackley, press release, 2013.11.21].

Jackley gives no indication of the nature of the weapon used to explain the only prior press description of "a bullet hole in his side." Update 10:29 CST: In a follow-up email, the Attorney General's office confirms that the weapon was indeed a shotgun, and that that shotgun was the only weapon found on the scene.

Left out of the press release is an explicit conclusion that the death was deliberate suicide or some mishap with the shotgun. The fact that there were "interviews conducted" means that some folks were able to tell the Attorney General information that supports the conclusion of a self-inflicted wound. Perhaps now that they investigation is over, those folks can speak to the press and explain what leads the state to say Richard Benda took his own life.

At this point, I will add only this: If it was suicide, Benda must have wanted to suffer. Shooting oneself in the gut is an awful way to go.

Update 10:14 CST: The AG's office sends out a clarification, confirming that while Benda's brother-in-law Jim Johanneson found Benda's body on Tuesday, October 22, "it was determined that the date of death was Sunday, October 20."

Still not explained: How Jim Johanneson finds the body of a man who shot himself in the abdomen, sees no blood, and at first thinks the man had died of a heart attack.


  1. Rick 2013.11.21

    Clear as mud.

  2. J 2013.11.21

    Or he had life insurance he wanted to leave to he daughter.

  3. Sid 2013.11.21

    Well, if it was suicide, it would have been easily determined as such within 48 hours of the finding of the body. So, one wonders why the delay? The location of the wound is consistent with such as well as the description of the bullet hole. Suicide is by definition an irrational act so there is no "rational" way to commit it. A contact shotgun wound is also likely to be described by most as a [large] bullet hole. It would have left an imprint of the muzzle. Also, there would have been gunshot residue on the part of Mr. Benda's body which would have actuated the trigger. So, if it was suicide, the forensics are fairly straightforward. Still, the delay in releasing the results might be explained because of awaiting toxicology results to make certain that Mr. Benda was conscious at the time of death. Or, there may have been other reasons why the results were delayed. In any event, I have a feeling that we are about to witness the beginning of Act III of this drama. Also, the feds do not get involved with a shooting, much less a probable suicide, unless they were VERY interested in the victim either as a witness, a target, or both.

  4. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.11.21

    Anon J, life insurance policies don't pay out on suicide, do they?

  5. interested party 2013.11.21

    State of Broken Dreams.

  6. J 2013.11.21

    Depending on the time since the policy was written some don't. Based on all of the speculation on this blog I thought I would add some more.

  7. interested party 2013.11.21

    Pp's hypocrisy is maddening. He has taken political swings at Tim Johnson's health for years and now has the temerity to ignore the log in his own eye.

  8. Bill Dithmer 2013.11.21

    I once had an old friend that lived in Norris South Dakota. He was getting sick, tired, and just plain old. He decided to kill himself with a shotgun while sitting in his outhouse and he did succeed in doing so.

    The problem with doing oneself in with a long gun of any kind is the length of the gun. It is almost impossible to pull the trigger with the thumb, or finger on one hand while holding the weapon steady with the other. A wound in the side would make it even more difficult.

    To understand the problems that he might have had I suggest taking a yardstick and holding it to your side while trying to extend your other hand as far as you can. Notice the number of inches that you were able to reach. Now lower your hand about three inches to where the trigger would be.

    Now when the document of the exact cause of death is released, if that is ever done, look at the exact weapon used and go to the gun makers web site to find the length between the end of the barrel and the trigger. Take the yard stick again and try to imagine how he did it.

    My old friend shot himself in the head but still needed a forked stick to succeed in fulfilling his wish of death.

    All I can say here is dead people wont ever talk again.

    The Blindman

  9. Lynn G. 2013.11.21

    I've posted this before but feel saddened that the circumstances of Mr. Benda's death are an absolute tragedy and my sympathies go out to his family, friends and those that worked with him. Life and being around those you love is far more important than politics or investigations whether your involved or not.

  10. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    Yeah I believe that about as much as I believe that MI6 spy killed himself by crawling in a gym bag. Who in the heck shoots themselves in the gut with a shotgun when there are plenty of 45's laying around? Ministry of Truth.

  11. Lynn G. 2013.11.21

    Bree S. or anyone else Is there the possibility the Federal investigation will find or publicly declare differently what has been stated by the state AG? I see how it looks and understand what everyone is saying.

  12. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    I'm not a cop so I couldn't tell you. But all of these guys have proven themselves to be corrupt liars, and I don't trust anything they say especially when it defies all logic.

  13. interested party 2013.11.21


  14. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    Does this mean the death certificate has been released?

  15. interested party 2013.11.21

    Agreed, Bree. Trusting Jackley and his minions is a fool's errand.

  16. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    Hogwash, Larry. The mentally unstable don't become MI6 spies.

  17. Dave 2013.11.21

    Pat Powers' reaction to the news? A post on DWC with the headline, "Using a man’s death as political fodder represents the lowest class of politics." And, in his writings under the blog, he manages to use Mr. Benda's death as a vehicle to politically criticize Gordon Howie and Drew Dennert. Besides using terms that are rather obtuse (what exactly is the 'lowest class of politics?') he likely is trying to say that using a man's death in such a way is reprehensible, but lacks communication skills to form such a statement. Plus, Powers lacks the ability to recognize that he undertakes and encourages similar "low class" behavior on his blog time and time again.

  18. interested party 2013.11.21

    Right, Hun.

  19. interested party 2013.11.21

    Police: British Spy's Strange Death Was 'Probably An Accident'

  20. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    It's not possible to zip a gym bag all the way up from the inside so you can't get out. You know that, you're just egging me on.

  21. Lynn G. 2013.11.21

    Bree S and Larry I remember the story about the MI6 Spy when his remains were first found and then later the reasons for his death and thought to myself "Yeah Right!" He would of been one heck of a contortionist!

  22. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    You know what's darker and uglier than "using a man's death as political fodder" Dave?

    Human trafficking, and Republican legislators voting down a bill to make the employment of unauthorized aliens illegal in South Dakota, year after year. Much darker. Much uglier.

  23. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    Exactly, Lynn. Don't know who killed him but whoever it was had a dark sense of humor and wanted to play a joke on the British government. "Let's see them explain this one to the public" is what I got from that story.

  24. Roger Cornelius 2013.11.21

    Well now, this was just too predictable. Most people likely speculated that Jackley would call this a suicide or accident, murder was off the table from day one of AG's office.

    By delaying the announcement, Jackley has raised more questions.

    If there was life insurance on Mr. Benda that won't pay because this was deemed a suicide, I hope home the family asks for a new autopsy and further investigation.

  25. Rick 2013.11.21

    Bill Clay should be the last person in South Dakota declaring what constitutes "the lowest class of politics." He's only shilling for his client, Rounds, whose political hopes would be served by this messy scandal going away.

  26. Jerry 2013.11.21

    So who was the Dr. Kevorkian that assisted, I ask?

  27. interested party 2013.11.21

    If Benda and the other players were Democrats PP would be having a cow.

  28. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    What I want to know is if he was shot up close with a shot gun, in the gut by himself no doubt which would mean a very close range entry point, why there was no blood and somebody thought it was a heart attack. I don't want to get gruesome, but even though the spread wouldn't be great at that point, it doesn't make sense. And wouldn't the exit wound be rather large? No blood? I don't get it.

  29. Jessie 2013.11.21

    Concerning Cory's last question, how could the brother-in-law not see the blood? The answer is simple. When we are faced with a horrifying scene, our vision doesn't always take in and process correctly the images that are being transmitted to our brains. If the man was not expecting to see blood, he didn't "see" blood. So he interpreted what he saw in the way he unconsciously thought was most probable.

  30. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    The National Republicans should be having a cow the way PP went after that Young Republican leader. The way they keep going after him. I guess the current generation of RINOs is planning on living forever.

  31. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    Are you saying he was in shock Jessie? But you would think his vision and memory would have improved by the time he talked to the press about it.

  32. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    And does anyone go hunting by themselves, without a bird dog? Is there any mention of whether or not he had a dog? That would at least make the idea of him hunting by himself more possible.

  33. Jessie 2013.11.21

    No, Bree, shock is a different physiological response. This has to do with improperly reconciling visual data.

    As for a possible dog, I would think a suicidal person would not take a dog with him, which would be the equivalent of abandoning the animal.

  34. Joe 2013.11.21

    If it was suicide it was suicide, I'm a little surprised though as I figured they just go with hunting accident to keep everyone happy. My guess is now the Benda family will be suing or investigating it because my guess is he had life insurance.

    It sounds strange, shotgun, stomach, tree line, brother-in-law didn't notice any blood.

    Not noticing blood isn't a great surprise, I cut myself pretty bad Saturday night and bled all over my house, and I didn't notice how much blood there was until Wednesday. The gunshot wound is pretty surprising, to not explode if that is factual is surprising. Stomach is even odder but who is really thinking when they shoot themselves.

    I don't think we've heard the end of this, but then again what do I know

  35. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    But why would a suicidal person take a trip to someone else's property, tromp out to a tree line, and shoot themselves in the gut? I'd find it more believable if there was a dog, which would suggest an impulsive despairing act, and all he had was a shot gun available. But if there is no dog Jessie than this suggests a premeditated suicide in which case we come back to why the shot gun on someone else's hunting property? No matter which direction you go it doesn't make sense.

  36. Jessie 2013.11.21

    If the body is on someone else's property, it would make it less likely to be found by a family member. That occurred anyway in this case. As for the shotgun, I don't know.

    A few years back, we had a suicide here in Pierre in which a man killed himself in the federal building, rather than at home where his family would be the ones to find his body.

    What about suicide makes sense anyway?

  37. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    I don't find anything illogical in killing yourself in the federal building rather than at home. Some people are angry when they choose to take their life, they don't think anyone cares or notices their problems. They want attention. That's completely different from tromping out to the middle of nowhere with a shot gun.

  38. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    Well, I should say I don't see anything illogical in that choice from a suicidal person's viewpoint.

  39. Roger Cornelius 2013.11.21

    Depending on the positioning of the body when found, it is possible that no blood could be seen. I don't know how much cast off blood a shotgun wound would cause.

    What does bother me about this case, is the time frame. The coroner said Benda died on Oct. 20, but his body was not found until Oct. 22.

    Did his family report him missing and is there any evidence of that? if they didn't report him missing, why not?

    Did Benda have any history on depression or mental illness? It seems that family members or friends would be able to sense if Benda was depressed because of all the ongoing investigations and would have taken precautions or have gotten him help.

    The use of a shotgun in a suicide, as pointed out by above comments is questionable, possible, but not likely. You could also easily surmise that Benda was murdered by his own gun.

    And finally, how did the brother-in-law know where to look for Benda?

  40. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    On that last point, people have their favorite spots to hunt, so I'm guessing it was a tree belt since a tree was mentioned in the article.

  41. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    Also Roger, since Jackley has released this conclusion to his "investigation," does that mean people who have ordered a copy of the death certificate have received it? I don't see it mentioned anywhere.

  42. Roger Cornelius 2013.11.21

    Yeah Bree,

    I meant to ask about the death certificate in my last post. I'll anxiously await comment from those that are trying to get it. The delay in not only releasing the "investigation" results, but not releasing the death certificate only causes more questions.

    Jackley could easily have said a month ago that Benda died from a suicide and it will take about 30 days for a toxicology report, which is pretty standard in an investigation. Why the delay?

    I still think the family's response to the suicide claim will be telling, hope they issue a statement.

  43. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    What do you think of the Democrats getting rid of filibusters in the Senate, Roger?

  44. Roger Cornelius 2013.11.21


    Not sure if this is the proper forum to discuss the filibuster, but will go against my better judgement.

    The disappointing part of the Democrats rule change on the filibuster is that it only includes judicial nominees, It should have gone all the way and eliminated the filibuster completely.

    Regardless of the party in power, I have never liked the filibuster, I didn't like it when Republicans were in control and I don't like it when Democrats are in control.

  45. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    I see. So you disagree with the concept of the "tyranny of the majority."

  46. Jenny 2013.11.21

    Could it very well just have been an accident?
    Scenario: Mr Benda, taking a break from hunting, leans against a tree and sets his rifle right by him alongside the tree, slightly pointing at his stomach. Being stressed out from the Feds investigating him, he's thinking of other things instead of gun safety. Bang - the shotgun goes off, hitting him in the stomach. Mr Benda slouches over on the ground and dies, while the rifle stays where it was. Could a gun go off like this accidentally? I'm not a gun person, but a friend of mine who is a hunter says there can be all kinds of hunting accidents that have happened when a hunter is not paying attention, and that yes, there are hunters that will go hunting by themselves.

  47. Joe 2013.11.21

    It is possible that he didn't see blood or that he didn't remember seeing blood, eye witnesses are terribly unreliable however and shotgun wounds can be small if close.

    Not that people who are thinking suicide are rational and every case is different, but if I remember my psychology classes correctly most suicides are really planned out, most of it could be argued as planned out but using a shotgun on your stomach just sounds dumb to me. But then again I'm debating suicide

  48. Joe 2013.11.21

    a suicide, not debating suicide (don't want it to sound like I'm thinking about it)

  49. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    "Bang - the shotgun goes off, hitting him in the stomach."

    This is where the story breaks down, Jenny. Not bullying you, so don't take offense. Guns leaning against trees don't just go off. Guns don't kill people. People kill people, sometimes with guns.

  50. Jenny 2013.11.21

    Mental illness, relationships, drugs, alcohol are some of the main reasons people commit suicide. Could Mr Benda have been depressed with the FBI investigating him? Of course. Depressed enough to leave behind a teenage daughter? It happens all the time. People have found all kinds of ways to kill themselves, and so shooting yourself in the stomach is not that outlandish to me.

  51. Jenny 2013.11.21

    That's why I was asked about that, Bree. I'm not a gun owner.

  52. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    Agreed Joe, using a shot gun and shooting yourself in the stomach to commit suicide is dumb. But then, he worked for Rounds.

  53. Jenny 2013.11.21

    That why I asked about guns going off accidentally, I mean.

  54. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    I know, I could immediately tell you'd never used a gun. I'm not judging you. Don't use them much myself.

  55. Roger Cornelius 2013.11.21


    I anticipated your response to the filibuster, "tyranny of the majority" or something similar. When the ACA was passed by a clear majority in the Senate, leading Republicans were chanting the same thing.
    Recently in one of our conversations here on madville, you took a very adamant position on majority rules. If the concept of the majority rules is applicable to the American system of jurisprudence and law, why should it not be applied to the U.S. Senate?

  56. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    Hey Roger - you do realize that what Reid did means Obamacare will be repealed?

  57. Roger Cornelius 2013.11.21

    "Obamacare will be repealed?" Is that a fact or a what if?

  58. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    Thank you, Harry Reid for your shortsighted use of the nuclear option. Thank you, Obama for your complete incompetence. You have convinced the country that the federal government should not be involved in providing health care. You have ensured a Republican majority in the Senate... and now we can use the nuclear option to repeal Obamacare with 51 Republican Senators.

  59. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    Approval of Obamacare is at what... 31%? Obama's approval is at 37% I believe. 56% of the country believes the government should not be involved in providing health care.

    Yeah, its a fact.

  60. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    Oh, 65% don't support an individual mandate.

  61. owen reitzel 2013.11.21

    and again I ask you Bree, "what is your solution to healthcare?"

  62. Roger Cornelius 2013.11.21

    The nuclear option is for judicial appointees only!

  63. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    Owen, your blithering repetition of the same question that I answer over and over again... doesn't make liberals look smart.

    Expected Owen Response -> "That's not a real plan, cause I said so!"

    Roger, if the Democrats can use the nuclear option, then so can the Republicans.

  64. Roger Cornelius 2013.11.21

    Yes Bree, the Republicans can use the nuclear option if they have a majority of votes.

    Owen, on you can see the "House Republican Playbook" on Obamacare. It outlines the canned responses and talking points Republicans need to use to reinforce their arguments against Obamacare.
    Of course, it offers nothing in terms of healthcare reform, don't bother asking a Republican what they would do about healthcare reform, if the Republican Gods can't tell you, neither can they.

  65. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    Democrats idea of health care reform is the cancellation of 50-100 million health policies of small business employees right before next year's election.

  66. interested party 2013.11.21

    Curious that Rounds wimped out a debate before the suicide at the School of Mines today.

  67. grudznick 2013.11.21

    I noticed that too, Mr. Kurtz.

    I'll have you know, however, that Mr. Rhoden had a previous engagement elsewhere and did not wimp out.

  68. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    I'm having trouble getting what you're saying there Larry. Maybe I need coffee.

  69. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    Mr. Rhoden had a business meeting at the local sweat shop I'm sure.

  70. interested party 2013.11.21

    Howie, et al. clearly believed that a School of Mines venue would give the air of legitimacy to a joke: today's events look like the real news to me.

  71. grudznick 2013.11.21

    Do you mean Shotgun Willie's, Mrs. S? I'm quite sure Mr. Rhoden does not frequent establishments of that nature.

    Larry, was Mr. Howie behind that "debate" and setting it up?

  72. interested party 2013.11.21

    'Liberty' cockus caulk us caucus, right?

  73. owen reitzel 2013.11.21

    I never said it wasn't a plan Bree.
    Does the plan address preexisting conditions? Didn't see anything.
    Will the plan bring down costs and premiums?
    Were there insurance companies cancelling insurance policies before Obamacare? Yes.
    Republicans want a free-market solution and that hasn't been working. What insurance company going to take a person with preexisting conditions? My wife is a breast cancer survivor and she has insurance now. If she would lose her job could she get insurance under the Republican plan. I'd say no.
    Under the ACA she'd be able to get insurance. Which plan is better?

  74. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    Are you going to answer my questions about Rhoden's record on the employment of unauthorized aliens? I've asked you twice, this makes three. Afraid to debate and answer questions?

    The event was put on by the SD Citizens for Liberty. Howie doesn't strike me as the Liberty type, no matter what his website says.

  75. Rorschach 2013.11.21

    You're getting far afield here Bree. Catch your breath. Back up to the earlier thread where you unfairly attacked Charlie Hoffman. And do as the Starkist tuna commercial.

  76. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    Owen I'm not interested in your pipe dream blithering Obama cultist nonsensical statements about health care. I've already caught you in one blatant lie about your health care sob story. I suggest you take your great ideas and scare tactics to the American public, 69% of whom disapprove of Obamacare.

  77. interested party 2013.11.21

    In the parade of horribles Rhoden is likely the least insane of the GOP candidates.

  78. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    Charlie Hoffman voted in 2011 to oppose a bill that would have made the employment of unauthorized aliens illegal. I asked him why. He didn't answer. I find your characterization of that as unfair attack interesting. Are you merely trying to distract me from a different line of debate, or is it something else?

  79. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    What's the matter Larry. Worried about Weiland losing the general in this political atmosphere.

  80. interested party 2013.11.21

    worried about the women in my life, bree: your party is an unraveling rave.

  81. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    I'm sure "conservative" Larry Rhoden is thrilled with your endorsement, Interested Party.

  82. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    My party is crap for the most part in this state, but your party is the one unraveling nationally.

    I notice Grudz has no explanation for Rhoden's voting record.

  83. grudznick 2013.11.21

    I'm sure Mr. Rhoden would welcome Larry's vote, however he would courteously disagree with some of Larry's personal positions. He would likely listen to Larry over bacon, eggs and coffee some morning and take all of Larry's concerns into his consideration of the positions he might take on issues. Mr. Rhoden works with his constituents, like Larry.

  84. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    Why does Larry Rhoden vote to protect businesses from prosecution over the employment of unauthorized aliens Grudznick.

  85. interested party 2013.11.21

    Ran into Rhoden in the Sturgis liquor store some time ago: nice guy.

  86. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    Rounds is also a "nice guy."

  87. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    I roll my eyes at your ever changing opinions Larry. Human trafficking is apparently only evil at your convenience.

  88. Rorschach 2013.11.21

    Charlie Hoffman voted for the bill you accused him of voting against, silly. When you accused him he didn't remain silent but told you to go look up the votes. You obviously didn't. Are you dishonest or just clueless? Do you know how to look up votes on the LRC website?

  89. interested party 2013.11.21

    Jon Ellis has been reminding all of us that time heals all wounds: Rounds is a short guy who would rather not be photographed on any dais next to Stace or Rhoden.

  90. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    He voted for it, then he changed his mind and voted against it when they brought it back for reconsideration. Go look at it yourself since you used to be a legislator and tell me if I am wrong.

  91. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    And if I am right, then it would be rather disingenuous for Charlie to claim he voted for it, wouldn't you say Rorschach?

  92. Roger Cornelius 2013.11.21

    Anyway, back to Benda suicide/murder for a moment.

    This morning at the School of Mines in Rapid City there was a partial lock down of the engineering department because of reports of gunfire. By late today the police were able to confirm that a professor committed suicide.

    It took only a matter of hours to complete their investigation, whereas, it took a month to complete the Benda investigation and it still left more unanswered questions.

  93. owen reitzel 2013.11.21

    and what lie is that Bree?
    and I hope your never live my sob story.
    The only on blithering here is you

  94. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    Time heals all wounds. I bet, Larry.

  95. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    Owen, the one where you claimed you couldn't get insurance due to preexisting conditions, even though you qualified for Cobra. That blatant and obvious lie.

  96. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    Oh is that what Larry was talking about. Thanks Roger, I missed that bit of news. I thought he was talking about the Benda suicide so I was entirely confused.

  97. owen reitzel 2013.11.21

    Cobra was a continuation of my plan health plan before I was laid off. My costs went up from $108 per month to just under $400 per month. I applied for insurance with 3 other insurance before my last day. I could get on my wife's plan but that would have costs me over $110 per month over what my wife pays per month. I was turned down by the other 2 insurance companies because of preexisting conditions.
    I could get insurance but it wasn't affordable-so technically I was wrong.
    So before you accuse somebody of lying Bree you better know all the facts first.

  98. owen reitzel 2013.11.21

    make that $1100 a month Bree

  99. Rorschach 2013.11.21

    Charlie voted over and over for that bill. Twice in committee. Twice on the house floor. When it gets voted down that's usually the end of it. Charlie never voted against the bill. He did vote on a procedural question of whether the killed bill should be voted on again. When something comes up the next day and the losing side hasn't picked up the votes needed to pass it then it's a flat out waste of time to reconsider it and have the same debate over again. But you waste a lot of time on here, so I don't expect you to understand that.

    Speaking of disingenuous. It's disingenuous to accuse someone of voting against a bill when they voted for it 4 times. You are a very dishonest person.

  100. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    Owen, you are telling me that $110 a month for health insurance is too high. I really don't know what to say to that other than you don't live in the real world.

  101. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    Okay Owen. Under $400 a month is still a reasonable price for health insurance.

  102. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    Okay, Rorschach. You are saying that him changing his mind and voting against reconsidering the bill is normal procedure if you don't have the votes, and I am willing to accept that. Your explanation makes sense. In which case I owe Mr. Hoffman an apology for accusing him of voting against something he voted for. I commend him for his votes to protect illegal aliens from abuse and my opinion of him just went up several notches.

    Your accusation that I am a dishonest person based on that mistake is a step too far. Especially from someone who claims not to believe in God, and also claims to attend church every week.

  103. owen reitzel 2013.11.21

    it was $1100 more per month to get on my wife's plan. typo on my part.
    $400 a month is still a lot when you're laid off.

  104. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    I assume your wife still had a job. I don't know what kind of insurance your wife has, but it sounds like the plan covered private helicopter travel to the hospital, with front door pick up.

  105. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    Have you signed up for Obamacare, Owen?

  106. owen reitzel 2013.11.21

    I completed my application yesterday. I called in and it took about 30 minutes. I'll be getting an email and some info by snail mail that'll show me my options and what my subsidy will be.

  107. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    Keep us updated on how that goes.

  108. owen reitzel 2013.11.21

    I will do that Bree

  109. Joan Brown 2013.11.21

    Back a long time ago when I was about 14, a teen age girl that I knew, that was a few years older than I was, was found dead in a grove of trees on a farm close to a neighboring small town. She quit school when she finished 8th grade and was working as a maid at the farm where she died. Rumor was she was supposed to have been pregnant by the young son of the people that she worked for. Cause of death was a shot gun. The Dad of the young man was a SD legislator at the time. Death was ruled a suicide. I often wondered how a girl could shoot herself with a shot gun.

  110. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    Apparently it happens all the time in this state.

  111. Jenny 2013.11.21

    Owen, weren't you supposed to be covered with your preexisting conditions under the new Obamacare rules?

  112. Douglas Wiken 2013.11.21

    "It's not possible to zip a gym bag all the way up from the inside so you can't get out. You know that, you're just egging me on."

    That is what I thought until I listened to a British investigator or reporter on NPR. Apparently the guy was into some kind of weird behavior involving a liking for intensely close containment ..the opposite of claustrophobia. They said it was possible to snap the padlock on the outside of the back by manipulation of the lock by pushing or squeezing the bag like a glove to manipulate the padlock. The material they found in the guys apartment and internet links were also relevant.

    I don't know, but suspect that and the Benda situation are so dissimilar as to make comparison irrelevant.

    I find it incredibly sad when any person gets to a point where they see only one of the few hundred options available.

    Anyway, I doubt Jackley's decision will be the end of this.

    As for medical coverage, we have a choice between Obama's "Obamacare" and the Republicans "Don't Care".

  113. Jenny 2013.11.21

    It's too bad there's so many poor people in the country, but at least the ACA (Obamacare whatever you want to call it) has expanded the poverty guidelines to get these people, and especially their children, covered. But hey, that's the least we can do in this richest country in the world. I 'spose the grumpy old party will gripe about that also. It's children's faults that they're poor anyway.

  114. owen reitzel 2013.11.21

    Yes I am Jenny. That's what's so exciting. I can get insurance at an affordable price.
    Look I'm not looking for a handout. I graduate from a technical school in May. Hopefully I'll get a good job with good insurance and won't need the ACA.

  115. Jenny 2013.11.21

    If I had lost my job, was unemployed and between jobs, I would have no guilt in going to the state to get my health insurance. That is something I have paid in for with my tax money.

  116. Mark Schuler 2013.11.21

    So now there are more questions than answers on Benda's death. Yes, its possible Mr. Benda to lean his shotgun against a tree to rest, and a twig or something caught the trigger and gun fired. But in doing so I would think the end of the gun would be pointing slightly away from you when it fired. Maybe he set it against the tree and the safe was off and a second or two after he released it, it fell towards him and it when off as he stepped away. I don't know and I wasn't there. but it doesn't make any sence to me. I have alot more questions? Me looking in from the outside everything smells of a coverup.
    While I'm not a detective, the information put out by the media make no sence. Mr. Rounds was Governor and Gov. Duaagard was Lt. Govenor under Rounds when this eb-5 stuff was happening. Why isn't anyone saying for these people involved to be removed from office if any wrong doing has been done. Just like why nobody is calling for President Obamma to step down , be fire, or impeached. What Pres. Obamma says and his actions he takes are 2 different things, and the Democrats AND Repubulican's are to blame also for taking this country down the path of no return. We are FAST becoming a third world country, and now we South Dakotan's have a scandel that compares to Washington, D. C. I thought we South Dakotan's held ourselves to a higher standard, but I quess our political processes are no better. People need to work together in Pierre for the people of South Dakota, as they work for us! Instead all I hear is if your a Democrat your better than a Republican or versa vissa. Your guys are the problem and not the solution, (Democrats and Republicans). Until you all bring an idea and comprise 50-50 that benefit the people and not yourselves, I'm voting for the new candidates, any lie or a promise made during the campaign, I will take into consideration before voting. And IF I ever get a chance to visit Pierre, I'll have to wear hip waders to the capitol as the"you know what" is awful deep! AW I fell off my soapbox!

  117. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    Come on Wiken. The material they found in his apartment and links on his computer? What do you think is more likely.. an MI6 spy was killed because he was an MI6 spy, or an MI6 spy just happened to have a very unusual fetish and figured out some weird technique to zip up the bag.. without leaving fingerprints. On top of that, what kind of MI6 codebreaker leaves internet link traces on his computer?

    And aha this article is fortuitous, looks like the lame police coverup is about to crack:

  118. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    What kind of insurance does your wife have, Owen.

  119. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    They should be able to determine the distance between the end of the shotgun and the entry point, and if they have claimed suicide the only way that's possible is if the shotgun was pretty much pressed against the skin so that Benda could reach the trigger, which rules out all possibilities involving the weapon being fired from a farther distance, including any accidents with twigs.

  120. interested party 2013.11.21

    come to bed, honey.

  121. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    Sounds like you've got enough women in your life, Larry, according to previous comments. Are there any polygamist cults in New Mexico?

  122. Deb Geelsdottir 2013.11.21

    Mark, there is a lot to what you are saying about partisanship, "Mine are the good guys, yours are ruining everything."

    Confirmation Bias is a longer way of saying that you get what you're looking for. It doesn't mean that there is no validity to one's perceptions and interpretations. Everyone has some confirmation bias, and more self-aware individuals know to adjust for it.

    That's not the only thing that can lead to skewed perceptions. There is also this:

    We are all susceptible to this one, to varying degrees. The article isn't long. Give it a read for more details.

    I'm not saying to any of you that you are delusional. This is simply something to be aware of and account for in your thinking.

  123. Roger Cornelius 2013.11.21

    Mark Schuler,
    I'm not buying the doom and gloom third world country you present, they are scare tactics you heard somewhere.

    American politics have been become increasingly aggressive over recent years, but they do not spell the end. As much as I disagree with the framers of The Constitution, the document itself works and has proven to do so numerous times when this country has faced perils.
    There will always be members of both parties to ensure that it works.

  124. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.11.21

    I should have intervened sooner and said that President Obama and the Affordable Care Act have nothing to do with the Richard Benda story. That's bad moderation on my part. It is gravely important that we not let typical Tea Party or liberal shouting get in the way of discussing the very real events happening in South Dakota, events that may point to serious government corruption or worse. Let's focus on Benda and the Attorney General.

    Let me throw these questions at you folks who doubt the AG's explanation: if you reject the AG's explanation, what then are you saying about the integrity of our state government? And what is the proper action for legislators and citizens to take?

  125. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    Mark has a good point. There's not much difference between the corruption we see in the Republican Party in power in South Dakota and The Democratic Party in power in Washington DC. The power hungry will find power and they will abuse it, trampling our freedoms. Doesn't matter if they climb the ranks of the Democratic Party or the GOP, they're still dangerous.

  126. Bree S. 2013.11.21

    I thought the legislative audit was a good idea myself. Doesn't look like that's going to happen.

  127. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.11.21

    GOP in SD, Dems in DC, power corrupts... great, fine, whatever. Is AG Jackley lying about Benda's death? If so, what does that mean, and what do we do about it?

  128. Jerry 2013.11.21

    Was it just Jackley that was investigating the death of Benda or were there other law enforcement doing the same?

  129. Oldguy 2013.11.21

    Nice thread people talking and disagreeing without calling each other name. Really neat

  130. bret clanton 2013.11.22

    Was there a suicide note somewhere?? In most cases there is.......

  131. Bree S. 2013.11.22

    I'm going to guess there's not enough evidence to prove anything, and so they can get away with calling it a suicide. There's nothing we can do about it unless the Feds have something up their sleeves or can turn something up with further scrutiny. Probably this stays in the books as a suicide.

  132. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.11.22

    Jerry, note that the AG thanks the Charles Mix County Sheriff and federal authorities for their help with the investigation.

    No mention yet of a note, Bret.

  133. Me 2013.11.22

    - None of this adds up, you're all full of shit!! Richard was not the type of man these stories are trying to make him out to be. Fuqq your investigations, rot in hell Johannson brother's..this is bs!! He did not committ suicide nor was this a hunting accident..he was murdered.

  134. Deb Geelsdottir 2013.11.22

    Hmm. "Me" is very interesting. Where does the passion come from? Are you a relative? Long time friend? Do you have some inside information? Help us out, please.

  135. Me 2013.11.22

    - long time friend, the last person to speak with Richard the evening of October 20, 2013

  136. Mark Schuler 2013.11.22

    The information coming from the AG is very limited about the Benda death. I have not heard anything from the Feds or Charles Mix Sheriff, or the media reports from these two parties. As a comparenson, I remember a young girl that was burned in a car awhile back and recall more coverage as that incident was on the news everyother day for a week or so and once in awhile an update. Now this incident, mums the word! To me, that makes it very fishy. The question for me is "Why more coverage for a young girls death and no coverage for a political death"! Who did it, why was it done, and why is the AG investigating instead of a independent firm to eliminate the "conflict of interest" thing? A rat looking into another rat, is, and always be a rat! AG Marty Jackley elimenates Mr. Rounds as suspect. Thats what I understood early into this news story. Thats where I start, at the top and work down or out! And release the info as it becomes available (not hinder the investigation) to keep the public trust in tact! The way this is being handled is erasing my trust in Pierre and law inforcement. I just want the truth be known and any and all criminal activity, be held accountable! I wish for anwsers, not more questions!

  137. Lynn G. 2013.11.22

    Me I hope you and others that know can or are doing something about this. What can we do to help?

  138. Lynn G. 2013.11.22

    Me, Is anything happening to contest the AG's ruling in determination/cause of death?

  139. Me 2013.11.22

    - what information I have, I have shared with investigators hoping it would or could help in some way. Obviously it didn't, like I said none of it adds up! To which I say the investigation is a crock of shit and those that are speaking on "how he died", "he was found", know it's a BS story. All to COVER UP! But what, I ask? And again I say, my friend was NOT the type of man these stories are trying to make him out to be. Suicide? Hunting accident? Not at all.

  140. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.11.22

    That's a provocative claim. Per my comment policy, I need a name to substantiate that claim. Please check your email and contact me privately. If your story is true, I will gladly speak with you, hear you out, and tell that story.

  141. Rick 2013.11.22

    Jackley should have recused himself on all things involving the EB-5 mess, but instead has jumped in and made that recent obvious and unsolicited statement to protect Rounds' flank. Add to that his cheap hackery on any and all GOP attorneys general court challenges to the Obama agenda to obstruct at the statehouse level.

    Back when M. Jackley got the appointment from Rounds to replace Larry Long as Attorney General, Jackley had a reputation from his service in private practice and in the U.S. Attorney's office as being a level headed, nonpartisan, straight shooter. Democrat attorneys who knew him personally and professionally were as welcoming to his appointment as Republican attorneys.

    Since then, Jackley's record (Jason Gant/Bill Clay anyone?) has been one of the worst kind of partisan obstructionists and Tea Partyish hacks who displays a naked lust for higher office. That's sad, and that makes it difficult to believe him, especially when the Rounds power clic is at the heart of the worst financial scandal in state history.

    Do I disbelieve him on his suicide proclamation, Cory? Yes. I do not trust what he tells the public on this matter. It would be unreasonable to assume otherwise.

  142. Paula 2013.11.22

    If it was suicide, I would think he would have left a note as others have said here. Today most everyone carries a cellphone too, so I would think they (the investigators) should have checked who called Benda/who Benda called, and when. If he made any calls to his family before his "suicide", that would be pretty obvious. You would think they would have released that as part of the investigation conclusion. Has there been any word or reaction from the family yet? I'm not buying into the suicide conclusion unless it comes from them.

  143. Jenny 2013.11.22

    That's what I heard also, Rick. When Daugaard's term(s) are up, Jackley's aspirations are to take over the reins.

  144. Bill Dithmer 2013.11.22

    This case makes you wonder how many times something like that happens.

    Some fifteen years ago a friends uncle that lived just north of Parmelee South Dakota shot himself under similar circumstances.

    According to the autopsy, the bottom third of his heart was destroyed from a shotgun wound causing massive lose of blood and then death. Now here's the strange part. I might add here that the rulling of suicide came relatively soon, but that autopsied report was almost impossible for the family to get their hands on. This was on the Rosebud Reservation and was investigated by our DCI who impeded the family every step of the way.

    They knew where he was shot. It was on his front porch. They thought they had the weapon that was used to commit suicide, a twelve gauage shotgun found laying on that porch. And they had reason to believe that he had some mental problems.

    Things didn't look right from the start. First where he was found was twelve miles from that porch setting in his pickup in a pasture with minimal blood in the cab of the pickup.

    Second, there had been a rug on the porch that was always there and in fact we know by the blood that was seen and all the pictures that were taken that the rug had been there when the shooting happened. That rug was never found. I might add that this rug would have been plenty big enough to wrap a man in.

    Third, there was never any blood found between the porch of his house and his pickup, now that's strange.

    And fourth, the man that did the autopsiedd was very good at what he did. He new what the brand of shell used was from the wadding and the pellets. The problem was that there were no shells like that either in the gun or found anyplace close to the porch.

    It took the family nearly 18 months to get that report because the DCI kept blooking their attempts. There were some bad feelings about all this.

    My point is this. If a man can shoot himself with a shotgun, blow off a third of his heart, then drive twelve miles to die, anything is possible. Even if you cant find the suicide shell, a big old rug seems to disappear, and finding little blood where there should have been lots of blood.

    Our DCI is a great law enforcement unit. Just ask them.

    The Blindman

  145. Jenny 2013.11.22

    Jackley's saying that Rounds wasn't involved in the investigation is code to team Rounds and ol' boy Pierre club that I'll protect you as much as I can.

  146. Jenny 2013.11.22

    Pardon me Cory, but I just feel compelled to say this. What gets me is that no Rounds or other high-ranking SD official in the ol' boy club went to Richard Benda's funeral! Shame on them! So much for decent republican family values in South Dakota!
    There, I'm off my soap box.

  147. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.11.22

    (Jenny yields the soap box to the next worthy commenter.... :-) )

  148. Jim 2013.11.22

    Dear Mr. Grudz, your posts always leave me with great hunger. Hunger for knowledge, yes, but mostly hunger for food. Young Misses S. is considering preparing us a fine meal. I imagine her a bit like that Pioneer Woman of the cooking television. Always baking biscuits and delicious pies. And the men folk and youngins get share in the delights of things she growed right there. My hope is that when dinner is served, it shall be ribeyes, or perhaps a roast chicken from the yard. By the time she starts the dishes, we can have one more piece of cobbler, while you tune your fiddle. You know what would be fun? If Joop, Sveen, the Smiling Mike joined us. Now that would be good wholesome fun.

  149. Bree S. 2013.11.22

    I'm rather undomesticated, Jim. However, I will be baking some pies soon, like most Americans.

  150. Jim 2013.11.22

    Well then, maybe we could Sveen to do one of his turkeys in Joop's Dutch oven.

  151. Bree S. 2013.11.22

    I don't even go to the Governor's Hunt, and I get free tickets. Sure as heck not going to hang out with any of those guys.

  152. Roger Cornelius 2013.11.22

    Smart move Bree, you might get indicted hanging out with those dudes.

  153. BOHICA 2013.11.22

    Could someone please post the attachments of the letter from Governor Daugaard to AG Jackley?

    So far, the overall federal (et. al.) investigation focuses on travel reimbursements....and it seems there may be additional issues.

  154. jerry 2013.11.23

    this was NOT a suicide. Anyone who has used a shotgun know it is pretty much impossible to shoot yourself in the side. Even with a sawed off shotgun. How dumb do they think people are? The head or the foot is all you could do without an elaborate set up. In the side. with a shotgun. didn't happen. he was murdered. and a shotgun? People that do this don't want pain, and this was painful. Texas wouldn't but into that. I wonder what the REAL story is. And then no blood? you're kidding right? Anyone that tried to pitch that or believes that is an idiot. TEXAS gun owner.

Comments are closed.