(Photo: Reuters/David Eulitt/The Kansas Cits Stag/Pool)
Frazier Glenn Miller has now been officially charged with the murders of three people at two separate Jewish community facilities in Kansas City. If convicted, he'll almost certainly face the death penalty.
Police say that on Sunday, Miller gunned down a boy and his grandfather who had come to the local JCC so that the boy could audition for a spot on an American Idol-type singing competition, with a scholarship being the top prize. He then went to a nearby assisted living facility and killed a woman who was visiting her mother. Miller's hatred of Jews and people-of-color was so well-known that the mayor of Marionville, Missouri, which is a little ways outside Kansas City, said he wasn't surprised to learn that Miller was the gunman behind the rampage. "It was kind of shocking at first. But then reading the article and thinking about it, I thought 'yeah that sounds like something he would do,'" says Dan Clevenger, who's apparently known Miller for years through his frequent visits to a lawnmower repair shop Clevenger runs. Everybody knew this guy was dangerous. Everybody knew he was an angry white supremacist, a former leader in the KKK, and a man who had the potential to kill those he believed were ruining the country that was somehow his white birthright. He's expressed no remorse yet for the shooting and no one should expect him to.
But here's the tragic irony of Miller's act of vengeance for the perceived sins committed against his people: He didn't kill any Jews. Every person Frazier Glenn Miller shot down in cold blood was a Christian. The 14-year-old boy, Reat Underwood: Christian. His grandfather, William Corporon: Christian. The 53-year-old woman just trying to spend a Sunday with her aging mother, Terri LaManno: Christian. Maybe he can rationalize his act by claiming to himself that anyone at a Jewish-affiliated facility that day was guilty, was complicit in whatever imagined transgression tortured him. But in the end, other than causing momentary fear and chaos, he accomplished nothing he set out to do. As with everything else in his life, he failed in the act of killing. He ended the lives of people who were innocent even by his own twisted and knotted standards: A kid who wanted to sing, a grandfather who believed in him, a woman who loved her mother. But most importantly to someone like Frazier Glenn Miller, all people who practiced the same faith he did. All people who weren't Jewish. He targeted a Jewish community center and a Jewish assisted living facility and killed no Jews -- only Christians.
The lives of these people aren't in any way more precious or valuable than the lives of anyone else, but you have to imagine that to a man like Frazier Glenn Miller, they are. One can only hope this sickening belief -- as well as the knowledge that his own hatred blinded him to the point of mistakenly missing the real targets of his wrath -- fills his days with torment until his own death finally comes.