James Asanoe Sywonogy Hansen
22 Years Old

December 3, 1981 to January 11, 2004

James was truly an exceptional person, remembered mostly for his helpfulness, humor, warmth, being funny and always flashing his trademark smile.

Northeastern State College in Tahlequah, Oklahoma is where James was working toward his degree to be a Health Education/Physical Fitness Instructor.

In the summers, James volunteered his time working with children at the Cherokee Nation Summer Youth Program. He was an amateur boxer and provided boxing demonstrations, incorporating healthy living skills. The kids loved James and began asking months before camp if James was coming to camp. He tried to do whatever was asked of him with a smile.

Christmas was James’ favorite holiday. At 22, he had the excitement of a two year old. At all holiday functions, everyone waited for him to come. Always the clown, James made everyone feel special. He always made us laugh.

James referred to his three year old son Phoenix Blaze as “his greatest prize.” He was at Phoenix’s birth from beginning to end, not leaving the hospital until Phoenix was born. When the birth was over, James looked worse than his wife. Phoenix was all he talked about and he said “When Phoenix gets old enough, I’m going to teach him everything. We can take him to the Tulsa State Fair and to New Mexico to the flea-market!”

James loved his family, friends and people in general. Always the prankster, he got to all of us one time or another. James’ brother Josh was his constant companion. They loved to swim, fish, play Nintendo and “munch-down.” James loved to write poetry. He loved the fair. We went every year since he was born, he rode the rides, got a new crazy hat and ate smoked turkey legs.

Most of all, James loved his Nana Doris and Papa Jess. They tried to instill in Native American culture and traditions in the children. Even in his boxing, James said “It was that teaching that when he was in the ring, he paid tribute to his ancestors and it was their spirit that gave him the inspiration to succeed. My Grandparents and Parents always taught me to strive for tomorrow but never forget the past.”

James’ Nana passed-away on December 16th, 2003, almost a month before James was murdered.

As a son, James gave us 22 years of love and joy. He will forever be loved and missed…

...his voice is stilled but his spirit lives on…


The afternoon of Sunday, January 11th, 2004 was the last time I saw my son alive.

When I got home from being with some of my family, including James, the phone rang. It was James’ wife Sarah telling me that James had been shot.

I went to the Post Office and saw James’ Ford Escort car in the parking lot. A white truck with the door open was close-by.

An Officer told me James was at Grove Hospital.

I located Sarah at the Police Station. She was in shock.

Sarah told me they had attempted to pass the truck. The driver would not allow them to pass. James went off the road into the grass but managed to get back on the road. As the two vehicles reached Jay, they were in the second lane when the white truck passed and veered-off.

When James got out of the car, Sarah looked down and in that amount of time, James was shot.

An Officer, who was a witness, saw the murderer clean the gun and replace it in the case. He also put a second gun under the seat.

The murderer, 18, was released on $25,000 bond.

There were several issues of this case that were overlooked in favor of the murderer who was acquitted and walks-free.

One witness heard the murderer bragging “I’m a wanted man. I killed a boxer. I’m bad.”

My husband saw the murderer one day at the stop light by the Post Office. The murderer pointed to the Post Office and laughed.

“The System” blatantly failed us…..

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James Hansen