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Suspected Shooter In JCC Attacks Has 30-Year History Of Hate

courtesy: Johnson County Sheriff's Office

The man suspected of killing three people at two Jewish facilities in Johnson County, Kan., is a well-known neo-Nazi and someone who authorities say spent much of his life calling for attacks on Jews.

Frazier Glenn Cross, Jr. faces state murder charges and likely hate crime charges in federal court, after allegedly murdering three people in shootings at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom assisted living center in Overland Park, Kan., Sunday.

Police found Cross shortly after the shootings. He is known widely as Glenn Miller, but was not known by local police before the incidents.

The 73-year-old lives in southern Missouri, a three-hour drive from the crime scenes. Police got a quick lesson in Miller’s neo-Nazi ideology as he sat in the back of a police cruiser after his arrest yelling "Heil Hitler."  

says he is very familiar with Cross (Miller).

"I’ve been aware of Glenn Miller since about 1984," says Kansas City author Leonard Zeskind, whose book "Blood and Politics" traces the development of the white nationalist movement. "He was leading a group of North Carolina KKK into becoming the White Patriot Party."

Zeskind says the government forced Miller to disband his paramilitary organization in North Carolina, but busted him in Missouri, reportedly using tear gas to drive him from a mobile home packed with hand grenades, automatic weapons and ammo. In 1988, Miller cut a deal with prosecutors, testifying against other white supremacists. 

"Glenn Miller got off with a short prison term and escaped relatively freely," says Zeskind.

Many of his former colleagues hated him at the time, but Miller eventually went online to spew his hate, according to Sam Taylor who monitors white supremacists for the SITE Intelligence Group.

"He would espouse the racial genocide," says Taylor. "He would fantasize about the murdering of Jewish people."

Taylor says the man calling himself Glenn Miller raised money for other neo-Nazis, including serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin, who murdered mixed-race couples, fire bombed one synagogue and shot up another, killing one man.   

Four years ago, Miller ran for U.S. Senate in Missouri, complete with radio ads proclaiming, "We’ve sat back and allowed the Jews to take over our government, our banks and our media."

The ads were eventually pulled.

Zeskind says he’d discussed Miller at forums at the very same Jewish Community Center where the two of the murders took place Sunday, describing him as a danger to the public.

"Someone who was a Hitlerite, who was in the southwest Missouri area and a potential threat, among other white nationalists and other neo-Nazis in the area, who are still there and still a potential problem," says Zeskind.

Taylor says the neo-Nazi movement is growing, especially in eastern Europe. Mark Potok, senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, says these terrorists pose a multi-ethnic threat.

"Well, the irony is absolutely incredible," says Potok. "The man allegedly carried this out spent his entire life hating Jews, and accusing them of every bad thing in the universe. He goes to two Jewish community centers, and winds up murdering two Methodists and a Catholic."

Miller’s victims are 53-year-old Terri LaManno, and 14-year-old Reat Underwood and his 69-year-old grandfather, Dr. William Corporon.    

Those who monitor these crimes say Sunday’s shooting is a reminder that militant white supremacists, who’ve killed scores from Birmingham to Norway to Oklahoma City, haven’t gone away.

I’ve been at KCUR almost 30 years, working partly for NPR and splitting my time between local and national reporting. I work to bring extra attention to people in the Midwest, my home state of Kansas and of course Kansas City. What I love about this job is having a license to talk to interesting people and then crafting radio stories around their voices. It’s a big responsibility to uphold the truth of those stories while condensing them for lots of other people listening to the radio, and I take it seriously. Email me at frank@kcur.org or find me on Twitter @FrankNewsman.
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