Sunday saw the brutal killing of three people at a Jewish community center and a Jewish retirement home in the suburb of Overland Park, near Kansas City, on the eve of the Jewish Passover holiday.
The shooter, 73-year-old Frazier Glenn Miller aka Frazier Glenn Cross of Aurora, Missouri, was arrested and taken into the Johnson County jail Sunday on suspicion of first-degree murder. Miller had been out drinking at a casino in Missouri the previous night, according to reports.
Witnesses said Miller shouted “Heil Hitler” at bystanders after the shooting, and had asked people what their religious views were before opening fire. Reat Griffin Underwood, 14, together with his grandfather, William Lewis Corporon, 69, were shot dead by Miller as they pulled into the parking lot. The third victim was 53-year-old Teresa Lamanno. Miller fired at two others but they escaped unharmed.
Miller has had a long career in white supremacist and neo-Nazi circles. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Miller began reading a racist newspaper called the Thunderbolt back in the 1970s. He soon entered into right-wing politics by joining the National States’ Rights Party and the National Socialist Party of America.
A former US Army special forces soldier who was deployed twice during the Vietnam War, he was discharged from the Army after being caught distributing racist political material. According to the Raleigh, North Carolina News Observer, “Miller was present at one of the most notorious incidents in modern North Carolina history, the 1979 ‘Death to the Klan’ rally in Greensboro in which five members of the Communist Workers Party died in a shootout with Klan supporters. But he wasn’t charged in relation to that case, and the Klansmen and Nazis who were charged won acquittal.”
Miller eventually founded the White Patriot Party (WPP), a KKK group and white supremacist paramilitary party operating in North Carolina, and was “grand dragon” of the Carolina Ku Klux Klan (KKK). The WPP evolved from the Carolina Knights of the KKK, and later became the Confederate Knights of the KKK before taking the name WPP in 1985.
Miller propagated the familiar ideologies of the extreme right, referring to the US federal government as the “Zionist Occupation Government,” for instance. When Miller ran in elections for Missouri seats for the US House of Representatives in 2006 and US Senate in 2010, he paid for ads that urged Americans to “take the country back” from Jews and “mud people.” Miller has regularly posted articles on right-wing sites such as Stormfront.org.
In 1984, Miller ran in the Democratic primary for governor of North Carolina. In 1986, he ran in the Republican primary for North Carolina seat in the US Senate. In a letter dated April 6, 1987, Miller wrote, “Dear White Patriots, I warned those SOBs. Since December 20, 1980 when I formed the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, I have pleaded with the federal dogs to leave me alone and to allow me to work peacefully and legally within the system for my Race … I always said that once we had 1,000 White men in uniform marching in the streets on a regular basis, that the masses of our People would flood into our ranks and join with us. The federal dogs and their Jew masters knew this too and refused to allow it.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center sued Miller in 1984 for carrying out illegal paramilitary operations and intimidations against blacks, leading to Miller’s imprisonment during the late 1980s. During its investigation, the SPLC accessed WPP computer systems and found evidence that Miller’s organization was plotting an attack on SPLC co-founder Morris Dees. Dees had previously won a lawsuit against KKK Grand Wizard Robert Shelton’s United Klans of America over the 1981 killing of 19-year-old black teenager Michael Donald by Klan members in Mobile, Alabama. The lawsuit had a crushing impact on the Klan, causing Dees to become a hated figure among right-wing, supremacist circles.
Miller violated a subsequent court injunction forbidding the WPP from engaging in paramilitary training. When he was arrested in 1987, he was hiding in a mobile home in the Ozarks filled with automatic weapons and large stores of ammo.
Miller joined the witness protection program and testified against other white supremacist during a 1988 sedition trial. Miller testified that the WPP had working relations with another right-wing extremist group, called the Order or Silent Brotherhood, which helped to finance his party. The Brotherhood, a “white nationalist revolutionary organization,” gained notoriety for its involvement in the 1984 murder of Alan Berg, a Denver liberal talk show host who was Jewish.
In a radio interview from 2010, Miller expressed his support for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Texas Republican congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul, and for Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. “Hitler would have created a paradise on Earth, particularly for white people. But he would have been fair to other people as well,” Miller said, when asked what a Nazi victory in World War II would have produced.
Speaking to Missouri State University students in 2012, Miller expressed hope that a “young Hitler” was among the students. When challenged by a Jewish student, Miller said, “You should be one of the first to go.”
The Oklahoma City-based Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism’s Knowledge Base’s entry on Miller, states that “WPP was extremely racist: they supported apartheid, and set up hotlines featuring telephone recordings of a black man being lynched. WPP won considerable support in North Carolina by blaming the bad economic climate for farmers on international Jewish bankers.”
Miller’s goal, as quoted in the Terrorism Knowledge Base, was “southern independence. The creation of an all-white nation within the one million square miles of mother Dixie. We have no hope for Jew York City or San Fran-sissy-co and other areas that are dominated by Jews, perverts, and communists and non-white minorities and rectum-loving queers.”
Law enforcement representatives said on Monday that Miller will be charged with hate crimes.
However, Miller’s long public career as a right-wing extremist and the fact that he had been an informant in the government’s Federal Witness Protection Program for an extended period raises the question of how closely his activities were being monitored by the FBI and other federal, state and local agencies. The US government expends unlimited resources in spying on and infiltrating anti-war and other protest organizations, and has repeatedly used informants and provocateurs to entrap Muslim immigrants in so-called terrorist cases. Right-wing extremists, however, have been able to operate with virtual immunity.