Home » Marialice Clark, 14, Vanished In 1972 Under Strange Circumstances
Five years ago, Ed Clark launched a Change.org petition in the hopes of attracting the attention of former President Barack Obama. Back in 1970, when Ed was 15-years-old, his 12-year-old sister Marialice Clark was named in a government affidavit as an informant against the National Committee to Combat Fascism (NCCF), a group he describes as “an off-shoot of the Black Panther Party.” Two years later, at just 14-years-old, Marialice would go missing, never to be heard from again. Ed penned a lengthy tale about his family and he hoped that President Obama would approve of a relaunching of an investigation into Marialice’s case. It doesn’t seem that Ed Clark’s dreams have been fulfilled just yet.
I came across Marialice’s missing person case on the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), and there was near-to-no information about who this young teen was. Included in the report was that she was last seen getting into a vehicle with Chicago, Illinois license plates, but other than that, the story of Maialice Clark wouldn’t be told to a global audience until her brother Ed came forward to publicly plea for help.
I don’t want to mishandle Ed’s story, so the quotes included in this article are exactly as he has written them. He explained that the NCCF chapter’s headquarters were near where his family lived. “We could see their back porch from our front porch. Our older sister Linda dated the head of the NCCF, Ed Poindexter,” he explained. “The young men who were members of the NCCF were a part of the neighborhood. We had no fear of them.”
In August of 1970, The Charley Project reports that police responded to an abandoned building where they were violently confronted with a suitcase filled with dynamite. The explosion injured one officer and took the life of another, and fingers were pointed at NCCF’s Ed Poindexter and David Rice. The two men were arrested, tried, and convicted of murder, and they were sentenced to life in prison.
Back in 2016, Rice passed away while incarcerated, but Poindexter still lives. Both men repeatedly insisted that they had nothing to do with the explosion and were adamant that the government conspired against them.
What Ed Clark didn’t know was that there was an affidavit reportedly created by ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) Agent Tom Sledge that “claimed my baby sister saw 10 boxes of machine guns with six guns in each box inside the NCCF. He said she described the guns so accurately he knew they were AK-47s. He also claimed Marialice saw 15 bundles of dynamite with 12 sticks to the bundle inside the house. He said that five men– some of whom I knew– made a bomb out of dynamite in front of my sister. I do not believe that is true. Sledge never told our mother that he put my sister’s name on his affidavit– and he spelled her first name wrong as’Mary Ellis,’ making me wonder if he even met her.”
Clark claims that the affidavit gave authorities the green light to “raid the NCCF.” He added, “However, the Omaha FBI had an informant in the chapter and they knew the information in the affidavit was false. An FBI agent contacted the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice around July 21, 1970 and asked that it intervene to stop the raid. The DOJ told a U.S. Attorney in Omaha it did not want a repeat of the raid in Chicago that killed Black Panthers Mark Clark and Fred Hampton in December 1969. ATF agent Tom Sledge was told to return the search warrant to the judge unserved. Marialice never told anyone that she had met an ATF agent, and she never told anyone that she saw machine guns, dynamite or men making bombs at the NCCF.”
Five years ago today political prisoner & former Black Panther Party member Mondo we Langa died after 44 years in prison. Mondo Presente! His co-defendant, Ed Poindexter, remains in prison today, almost 50 years. One of the longest held political prisoners still inside today. pic.twitter.com/N0uzHAh4Wk
— Certain Days (@CertainDays) March 11, 2021
Two years later, Marialice Clark vanished without a trace. No one has seen or heard from the teen since that time, and according to Ed, their mother attempted to have the court declare her legally dead in 1980. Their mother reportedly never knew that Agent Sledge named Marialice in documents as an informant.
“In 1997, my mother received a copy of the ATF affidavit. From the time she learned that Marialice was named on that affidavit, she wondered if Marialice was in a witness protection program,” wrote Clark. “But, how could a 14-year old be put in a witness protection program without informing her mother? How could a 12-year old be named as an informant without telling her mother? Especially if she truly saw such dangerous things.”
Those who support the Clarks believe that the Marialice was a “victim of the nationwide effort to eliminate the Black Panther Party.”
#EdPoindexter FREE ED POINDEXTER FROM PRISON-NOW! Sign Petition Today!!! https://t.co/jU1UzsI7ch#freeEdpoindexter #ripMondoWeLanga #politicalprisoners #prisonerlivesmatter #nebraska2 #petition #signpetition #freeEmAll
— George Jackson (@GeorgeJacksonU) September 15, 2020
“It is a crime to lie on an affidavit,” Ed Clark continued. “Sledge should have been investigated and fired in 1970 over this affidavit. Everything Sledge did to investigate an August 1970 bombing that was blamed on the NCCF should be also be questioned and investigated. He may have fabricated evidence to convict two innocent men for a crime they did not commit. Marialice wasn’t a militant. She was a school girl. How would you feel if this happened to your sister?”
Marialice Clark wasn’t added to the government’s missing person directory until 2020. Details regarding the investigation into her missing person case are unknown.
At the time of her disappearance, Marialice Clark stood 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighed 130 pounds. She had black/dark brown hair and brown eyes. Marialice is described as having had a birthmark on her right hip and a scar on the back of her head. She would be 62-years-old at the time of this publication. Her name has been spelled “Mary Alice” or “Mary Ellis.”
Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact the Omaha Police Department at (402) 444-4127 or their local authorities. There is no case number listed for this missing person case.
Please share this story to help Marialice’s loved ones learn about what happened to her all those decades ago. She is our sister and her life matters.
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Journalist. Activist. Abolitionist. Storyteller. OurBlackGirls.com IG: @xiErikaMarie | @OurBlackGirls on IG, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, Spotify Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, & Anchor FM