Editor recalls meeting supremacist accused of Jewish community center killings
PHOENIX -- White supremacist Frazier Glenn Cross is accused of killing three people at two Jewish community centers in Overland Park, Kan., on April 13.
It turns out the opinions editor of The Arizona Republic has had some personal experiences with the suspect.
In the early 2000s, Robert Leger worked on the editorial page of the Springfield News Leader, a newspaper in Springfield, Mo. He started receiving letters and phone calls from a man he knew as Frazier Glenn Miller, who had some unusual beliefs.
"He believed that the Jews controlled the media. Not just the news media, but Hollywood," Leger told News/Talk 92.3 KTAR's Arizona' Morning News Weekend. "He believed that Jews controlled the banking system. He ranted against illegal immigration long before it was fashionable to do so. He ranted against anyone who wasn't white."
Leger said that after he sent the racially-charged letters, Miller would then call the newspaper and ask him if the letters would be published. A few of the letters were published, but when the answer was no, Miller complained that Leger must be Jewish because he works for a newspaper. Leger is Catholic but never told Miller that because he thought that if he did, Catholics would then become subjects of his racial rants.
The two actually met once when Miller showed up at the newspaper unannounced. Leger described the meeting was "civil." Miller simply gave Leger one of his racially motivated letters and left the building.
As it turned out, Miller, now 73, was arrested in 1987 after declaring war on the United States and served three years in prison. The FBI found him in possession of 20 pipe bombs and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
Leger said that after his release, Miller worked to publicize his racist views. When he couldn't get his letters published in a newspaper, he started printing one himself. He knew that no one would buy the paper, so he simply threw it on people's driveways. At one point, Miller tried to go into politics by running for Congress.
Leger said that Miller, for the most part, seemed to be more intent on sharing his views than he was of hurting someone.
"There was one time when he sent me a Tree of Liberty and hanging from it were figures labeled as 'Government' and 'Journalists,'" said Leger. "The next time he called me, I said, We're not talking anymore after you sent that to me.' He said, 'Well, it wasn't personal!'"
Despite all the letters and phone calls, Leger did not believe that Miller would hurt anyone, but he admits he isn't totally surprised that Miller is accused of the shootings.
"What was more surprising is that he allowed himself to be arrested," Leger said.
From the pictures he has seen since his arrest, Leger said it appears to him that Miller may be in poor health.
"It almost makes you wonder if he doesn't want to use the court proceedings to make his final statement," he said.
Bob McClay, Reporter