As opening statements and testimony began this week in Olathe, Kansas, in the murder trial of white supremacist Frazier Glenn Miller (also known as Frazier Glenn Cross), the defense strategy of the former Klansman—who is representing himself—became clear.
Miller, who has admitted committing a shooting spree at two Jewish institutions in Overland Park, Kansas, in April 2014 that killed three people, including one child, indicated his intentions with his opening statements on August 24. Miller asserted to the jury that the murders were justified, describing his actions that day as “well-intentioned” and claiming that he had “good, moral reasons” for the slayings.
These statements echoed earlier remarks by Miller before the trial that he would attempt a “necessity” defense, claiming that the shootings were needed to halt the “Jewish genocide of the white race.” Though Miller had admitted that his intentions were to shoot Jews, none of the victims he killed at the Jewish institutions turned out to be Jewish.
Miller told the jury that white people “have a right to survive” and the right to preserve our heritage…and a safe future for white children.” This was a reference to the “14 Words,” a popular white supremacist slogan: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.” It refers to the widespread white supremacist belief that the white race is threatened with extinction because of a rising tide of non-white peoples who are controlled and manipulated by Jews.
However, Miller did not get far in his effort at an anti-Semitic show trial before Judge Kelly Ryan stopped him. Judge Ryan had earlier ruled that Miller could not introduce his anti-Semitic conspiracy theories into the guilt phase of the trial, which was to determine whether a crime had been committed, not why. The judge said that Miller could make such arguments during the penalty phase of the trial, if he were convicted.
As witnesses began to testify, Miller found other ways to introduce his anti-Semitic views, such as bringing certain books to court with him. At one point he had a copy of his own, self-printed autobiography, A White Man Speaks Out, displayed on the defense table. Another time during the trial he held up a book for people to see: They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel’s Lobby, an anti-Israel book written by Paul Findley, a long-time anti-Israel activist, in 1985.
Miller was a prominent white supremacist in the 1970s and 1980s, at one point heading a large Ku Klux Klan group, but the white supremacist movement ostracized him for providing testimony in a criminal case against other white supremacists. Miller has spent most of the past 15 years trying to get back in the graces of the movement, with little success. His shooting spree was apparently a final attempt.
Miller’s Overland Park attack was only one of a number of deadly shooting sprees by white supremacists in recent years. These and other murders have made white supremacists the most deadly extremist movement in the country, as detailed in ADL’s recent report, With Hate in their Hearts: The State of White Supremacy in the United States.