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Editor recalls meeting supremacist accused of Jewish community center killings

Frazier Glenn Cross, also known as Frazier Glenn Miller, appears at his arraignment in New Century, Kan., Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Cross is being charged for shootings that left three people dead at two Jewish community sites in suburban Kansas City on April 13. At right is Michelle Durrett, attorney with the public defender's office. (AP Photo/The Kansas City Star, David Eulitt, Pool)

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.

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About the Author


Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.

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