Last-minute donation keeps hope alive for 9/11 widow’s appeal

Mariani: next stop Supreme Court.

By Craig McKee
With a week to go, things didn’t look good. But what a difference a few days can make.
Ellen Mariani, whose husband died on 9/11, will have her request for an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court considered after all. A fundraising effort was launched in September to raise the $11,000 needed to file the application to appeal – and the effort has succeeded.
With just a few days to go to the Nov. 1 deadline, the fund had barely reached the halfway point, but an article on the web site of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth brought an increase in donations,
pushing the effort closer to reaching its goal (my September article on Mariani’s fundraising effort can be found here.
But in the end it was a very generous donation of several thousand dollars by an unnamed individual from Pennsylvania that put the fundraising effort over the top. Two other offers had been extended that would also have seen the goal met – one from Canada and the other from The Netherlands – but these turned out not to be necessary.
Vincent Gillespie, the secretary treasurer of the Ellen Mariani Legal Defense Fund, issued a statement today thanking those who donated to the Fund (donations were received from a number of countries in addition to the U.S.: Canada, Italy, Australia, Austria, Germany, the UK, Switzerland, and The Netherlands.
Gillespie reports that Mariani’s lawyer, Bruce Leichty, is already at work on the brief called a Petition for Writ of Certiorari, which must be submitted to the court by Nov. 23.  Based on the brief, the Supreme Court will either agree to hear Mariani’s appeal of decisions by lower courts or they will decline it (by the court’s rules, the reason for the Supreme Court appeal must be compelling).
If the petition is declined, it will be the end of the line for Mariani’s effort to pursue the truth about 9/11 in a courtroom.
Mariani’s husband, Louis Neil Mariani, was a passenger on Flight 175, which is alleged to have hit the south tower of the World Trade Center. Ellen Mariani was the first family member to file suit for wrongful death, and she is the only one still fighting. Other victims’ family members have either settled their suits or dropped them altogether.
Mariani has had every obstacle imaginable thrown in her way as she has fought for a wrongful death judgment in the courts. She has had to deal with dishonest lawyers who had conflicts of interest and a judge whose job it appears to be to keep any wrongful death suit from ever being heard in a court of law.
She lost control of her own suit in 2004 when, John Ransmeier, the lawyer for her husband’s daughter, was able to take control the estate. Ellen Mariani’s fight over the past few years has been to regain standing in the lawsuit and to have the estate pursue the wrongful death claim. She is also asking for compensation for her loss. Mariani is collecting Social Security and barely getting by while she pursues this.
She could have had a sizable settlement had she been willing to drop her case early on, but she maintained all along that her goal was to find the truth about what happened to her husband that day. There was a $3.75-million settlement reached with the estate after Ellen lost control but she has seen none of the money. She is also challenging this settlement, which was reached against her wishes.
Thanks to a gag order imposed on Mariani and her lawyer by the New Hampshire probate court, she can’t talk about the case publicly. The 9/11 family members who accepted settlements also had to sign non-disclosure clauses, which have the same effect as gag orders.
The next step is for Leichty to submit the Petition for Writ by Nov. 23, and then it’s a question of waiting for a decision on whether the Supreme Court will hear the appeal. If it’s no, then the case is over, but if it’s yes, history will be made.
For more information about Ellen Mariani’s legal efforts to get to the truth of 9/11, check out Other good background can be found on journalist Christopher Bollyn’s site (


  1. I hope Ellen’s story goes viral in the “real media” and I hope that the powers that be are exposed for what they really are in the process. I have very little hope or respect for our so-called legal system and I do not think she will get any justice or help out of them. The real reason as I see it for Ellen to go through with this is to expose just how rigged and corrupt the legal system really is, especially in regards to 9/11 cases. On the one hand I do not want to put a single penny of mine into the legal system because I don’t believe in it but on the other hand Ellen is a symbol of something much larger and more important. She is a symbol of the human spirit and the will to carry on against impossible odds no matter what the cost and most importantly she is living proof that the truth about 9/11 is NEVER going away. I respect her very much for that and I will do whatever I can to hrlp her in her quest for justice.

    1. Tom,
      Simple answer is no; A petition for certiorari seeks Supreme Court review not as a matter of right but as a matter of judicial discretion. In fact the Court generally makes no comment on appeals that are turned down.
      The party opposing the certiorari petition has 30 days after receiving the petition to file a brief in opposition. The respondent presents any reasons the Supreme Court should not review the case.
      I haven’t followed this case and am not sure who the respondent is specifically. Perhaps Craig can say; who is the party that Ellen Mariani is in suit against specifically? Is it “The Government”? That seems a bit vague.
      I haven’t followed this because of my hard core dubious nature. I think attempting to “work within the system” is futile – a fools game. I don’t like the terms of engagement…”Appeal”?
      “Judicial Discretion”? How about “Demands” for “Liberty and Justice” rather than whimpering at the feet of Tyranny?
      Can anyone here actually imagine the United States Supreme Court becoming party to pulling back the veil on the truth behind 9/11?
      Sorry to be a “party pooper” cynic…I call it being realistic.

  2. Ellen is in effect the last “man” standing. I have read that all other suits have been dropped and the hush money has been accepted. Ellen is a modern day Don Quixote and the world needs such brave soles. As I recall, Ellen’s husband was flying out to Calif. to attend “their” daughters wedding and Ellen flew out later alone to stand in his place. I may be confusing her with another 9/11 widow, but I think I am correct. The payoff was 3 million plus and Ellen can’t scrape together enough money to attempt to find the truth out about how the daughter’s dad died and just who murdered him. This is a tragedy within a tragedy within a tragedy.
    If there was hope within the judicial system, we would have seen it by now. We here in the US live in a fascist state (corporatocracy) that is in no way democratic, yet we citizens have lived inside this matrix of illusion so long we find it hard to believe that it isn’t what it pretends to be. It is like growing up in the South and not being at least subconsciously a bit racist, whether you are black or white. Our rulers have, over the course of centuries, learned to use the basic animal instincts and traits that are a part of being human to control the society in a near perfect, for them at least, manner. Greed, fear, territorialism, ethnocentrism, libido, and perhaps most importantly, herd instinct along with our constellation of ego defense mechanism are used to manipulate the 99% as it pleases our masters. We, the less than 1% who refuse to “go along to get along” are of little consequence to the ruling class. We are allowed to whine and kick and scream because we are perceived as being of no real consequence, no real threat to the status quo. We may actually be some form of amusement or entertainment to the powers that be who know the truths we speak and also know that the herd is deaf to our sane words.
    Of the tens of thousands of relatives of those who died on 9/11 only one continues to fight for real justice. (Actually I think that Bob Mac Ilvaney should be counted along with Ellen.) The 9/11 Truth movement is composed of people who suffered no personal loss related to 9/11, that small fraction of humanity who have overcome their animal natures enough so that the Truth really matters. Over a billion dollars was distributed to the families of the victims of 9/11. How much of that money showed back up in the Truth movement? The family members have access to all of the information we in the Truth movement have searched for and found and these people have a vested interest in the Truth about 9/11 while we do not.
    I fear that we are cut from a different cloth than the rest of the herd. If this difference is genetically based rather than a learned response, I see no hope for the long term survival of the species. Of the many friends and family members who I have convinced that the official 9/11 story is a lie and a cover-up and that the MIHOP position is almost certainly the correct explanation, not a single one has become an active Truther or even seems to care about what really happened on 9/11.
    I thought I had a fairly clear concept about the realities of the world I lived in, and then along came 9/11.

  3. I’ve pretty much ignored the US election up until now but just jumped onto Twitter to get a feel for how New Zealand is viewing it. Very depressing, most are in absolute awe of Obama’s speech and as ever listening only to what he says and not thinking about what he has done for the last 4 years. Hooray, he’s going to end wars! The man is guilty of war crimes as defined by the US itself but don’t worry, cos he says it’s going to be alright. Didn’t he get in last time because he was going to end those wars? Does anyone pay attention?
    Chances of the general population giving a damn about 9/11 any time soon? Not unless it is blasted across the prime-time news. Chance of it being blasted across the prime-time news? Zero.
    All the best to Ellen and her fight, anything which throws the spotlight on 9/11 has to be a good thing.

  4. Four more years of Obamy slamy … gawblesmurkah
    They were the best of dreams – they were the worst of dreams…
    Critiquing this pathological culture becomes a frustration and bore, as the general unit, widget, digitized “person” in such a culture has no comprehension of what is discussed in such a critique. Homogenized Hive Mind is extant in this technocratic society.
    So one tends to seek out communication with other critics, to find some common ground and approach for understanding, perhaps even alleviating the pathology in some way. And here thar be dragons.
    Yes here lies the danger because the hive mind has built-in self-denial/self-defense mechanisms. The present discussion of the military police-state driven by 9/11 gives some indication as to just how dangerous it really has become.
    We should all recognize our dossiers have special red flags on them. Our ‘squawking’ here may be some entertainment for the ‘action men’ of the Homeland Security State, but our screams would be their fondest delight.
    Four more years of the Pretender…. consolidation of the NWO, under the marginally lesser of the two evils. Austerity looms {read attrition} as tight as the noose is now, it will only get tighter. The never ending episode of the Twilight Zone zooms on…

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