after he killed three people at Jewish sites in suburban Kansas City. Pool/Pool hide caption

toggle caption Pool/Pool

Frazier Glenn Miller, Jr., also known as Frazier Glenn Cross, in court in 2014 after he killed three people at Jewish sites in suburban Kansas City.

Pool/Pool

Frazier Glenn Miller, Jr., a lifelong, unrepentant white supremacist who shot and killed three people outside a Jewish community center and retirement home in suburban Kansas City in 2014, has died in prison.

Miller, also known as Frazier Glenn Cross, dedicated his life to white supremacy. He spent decades writing and spreading racist and anti-Semitic messages and threatening and inflicting violence against liberals, Black people and Jewish people.

A lifetime of hate culminated in the attacks on the two Jewish sites in Overland Park, Kan., after which he was convicted of murder and sentenced to death.

As NPR's Embedded has reported, his case has been cited as a cautionary tale about law enforcement's failure to take seriously the threat of violence posed by white supremacists.

Miller, whose execution by lethal injection was still pending active legal appeals, died in the El Dorado Correctional Facility in Kansas on Monday. He was 80 years old.

An official cause of death was not immediately available, though a press release from the Kansas Department of Corrections said "preliminary assessment indicates the death was due to natural causes." A spokesperson declined to provide more information about his medical condition. Miller had chronic emphysema, according to his testimony in his 2015 trial.

Miller first came on the radar of law enforcement in the 1980s, when he lived in North Carolina and founded two white supremacist militias, the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and later the White Patriot Party. He and his groups terrorized Black and Jewish people, burned crosses, stockpiled weapons, threatened to assassinate public figures and mailed hate propaganda to thousands of people.

By 1987, the threat posed by Miller grew so undeniable that the FBI obtained a warrant for his arrest. A 10-day manhunt ended at a trailer park in Ozark, Mo., where marshals arrested Miller and recovered automatic weapons, pipe bombs and other explosives.

Despite his track record, federal prosecutors offered Miller reduced charges and prison time in exchange for testifying against about a dozen other white supremacist leaders in the disastrous Fort Smith sedition trial in 1988, where an all-white jury acquitted the accused despite Miller's testimony.

Afterward, Miller largely fell off law enforcement's radar, in part because he had testified that he had reformed and become a born-again Christian.

But throughout the 2000s, Miller once again became active in white supremacy circles, this time focusing on anti-Semitism. He posted thousands of times on racist internetforums and bought anti-Semitic radio ads under the guise of running for state office.

Then, in April 2014, after weeks of researching possible targets, Miller left his home in rural Missouri and headed to the Overland Park Jewish Community Center, where in the parking lot he opened fire on 69-year-old physician William Corporon and his 14-year-old grandson Reat Underwood, killing both. Miller then drove to the nearby Village Shalom retirement home, where he killed 53-year-old Terri LaManno, who was visiting her mother.

Miller said repeatedly afterward, both in the trial and in interviews with the press, that he went to those sites specifically seeking to kill Jewish people. All three victims were Christians.

He was allowed to defend himself at his trial, where he asked witnesses if they were Jewish, was scolded by the judge for saying "sieg heil," handed out anti-Semitic pamphlets to reporters and used his closing arguments to complain that Jewish people were running the government.

When the trial concluded in 2015, the jury found Miller guilty of capital murder and sentenced him to death. Miller yelled "Heil Hitler" at his sentencing.

Miller's lawyers have since argued, including in a hearing just this past March, that his death sentence should be overturned because the trial court should not have let him represent himself or should have allowed the standby attorneys to intervene.

On Monday, before news of Miller's death was public, Mindy Corporon, mother and daughter of two of Miller's victims, wrote in a tweet announcing the publication of her memoir, "Dad, I'm sorry I didn't drive Reat. Reat, your heart reaches me every day."

Pin it

NorCal News

  • IMG 8194
    May 07, 2021

    Santa Rosa residents call for more police accountability

    During this week’s special Santa Rosa city council meeting, spanning almost two full days, the public heard three reports interrogating Santa Rosa officers’ responses to the 2020 protests. They say Santa Rosa police used an unparalleled amount of tear gas and four unauthorized barricade rounds…
  • syringe 3902915 640
    April 30, 2021

    Context is important when choosing J&J vaccine

    Before the Johnson and Johnson vaccine was paused, Dr. Brian Prystowsky, a pediatrician and vaccine expert at Sutter Health in Santa Rosa, was excited about the one-dose shot. "I think that two weeks ago, I was primarily recommending Johnson and Johnson vaccine to everybody, literally before this…
  • nurse 4967171 640
    April 27, 2021

    Sonoma County resumes use of J&J vaccine

    In accordance with recommendations by federal and state health officials, Sonoma County is once again distributing the one-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine after a two week pause. In a statement Health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase said the vaccine is safe and the risk of developing blood clots is…
  • THIS ONE
    April 22, 2021

    County holds its first COVID-19 briefing in Spanish

    Instead of offering Spanish translations online during the meeting, like they’ve been doing for the past year, officials switched to Spanish as the primary language this week, with English translations available on Youtube. The change is an effort to reach the county’s Latinx communities, who have…
  • Screen Shot 2021 04 22 at 1.45.10 PM
    April 22, 2021

    Residents react to the Chauvin verdict

    Photo of a Black Lives Matter Protest in 2020. (Photo by Adia White)Santa Rosa Jr. College student and activist Caitie Ferro cried when she first heard the news that Derek Chauvin was guilty of murder, and thought the dozens of marches she went to over the past year might have led to change. "All…
  • i am a student 1412778 640
    April 16, 2021

    Santa Rosa parents ask district to fully reopen

    At least 250 parents in Santa Rosa city schools this week signed a letter asking the district to open full time, in accordance with the state’s updated reopening plan. On April 1st, the district began in-person instruction two shortened days a week for elementary aged children. Next will be…
  • Screen Shot 2021 04 14 at 5.52.45 PM
    Apr 15, 2021

    As vaccine eligibility opens, hesitation is the next hurdle

    As of today, all adults in Sonoma County are eligible to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine, but there’s still a lot of hesitancy about whether to get…
  • injection 5722329 640
    Apr 14, 2021

    J&J pause slows down vaccinations of vulnerable residents

    Because the new J&J vaccine didn’t arrive in the county until March, so far it only makes up about three percent of those administered. But the…
  • Default Image
    Apr 13, 2021

    Businesses have more options in orange tier

    After spending six months stuck in the state's most restrictive purple tier, Sonoma joined the majority of the Bay Area in the second least…
  • Apr 12, 2021

    Windsor mayor under sex-crimes cloud

    Windsor Mayor Dominic Foppoli is refusing to step down despite sex-crime allegations from half a dozen women, including a fellow city council member.…
  • THIS ONE
    Apr 07, 2021

    Sonoma County enters orange tier

    Sonoma County's virtual community COVID-19 briefing.Less than a month after moving out of the state’s most restrictive purple tier, the County made…
  • IMG 7932 3
    Apr 06, 2021

    Health Fair vaccinates hundreds of residents

    Art about the COVID-19 vaccine by Santa Rosa art nonprofit Raizes Collective at the Cesar Chavez Health Fair. People waited in line starting at 9…
  • Document
    Apr 01, 2021

    Santa Rosa hands out weather radios to boost alert system

    A NOAA Weather Radio. (photo courtesy of the City of Santa Rosa's website)Santa Rosa is boosting its ability to notify residents when a fire breaks…
  • Screen Shot 2021 03 31 at 10.19.40 AM
    Mar 31, 2021

    Sonoma County teens design quarantine mural

    Santa Rosa-based art organization Artstart's Shelter in Place Mural. (photo courtesy of Jennifer Tatum). COVID has affected everyone, old and young.…
  • covid 19 4987797 1280
    Mar 29, 2021

    COVID-19 easing, while vaccine distribution hits bottleneck

    By Marc Albert Improving data suggests vaccines are gaining the upper hand and COVID-19 related restrictions across Sonoma County may be eased as…
  • Screen Shot 2021 03 24 at 5.08.32 PM
    Mar 24, 2021

    New Data Shows an Uptick in Fatal Drug Overdoses

    COVID-19 numbers are on the decline after Sonoma County moved into the state’s red tier a week and a half ago, but communities are facing other types…

National News

Northern California
Public Media Newsletter

Get the latest updates on programs and events.