(Overland Park, KS) – On Sunday, 73-year-old white supremacist Frazier Glenn Cross shot and killed two people at a Jewish community center, and one more at a Jewish retirement home in suburban Kansas City, Missouri. While authorities are calling his actions a hate crime, there is perhaps a sense of irony in that the three victims were not Jewish.
As investigators continued piecing together a timeline and searched for possible motives for the attack, more about Cross’ background was learned, leaving many to ask what he was even doing on the streets of average, ordinary, everyday America.
Cross, also known as Frazier Glenn Miller – not to be confused with bandleader Glenn Miller – is a former Grand Dragon of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Known for his racist and anti-Semitic views, he ran for the United States Senate twice. Missouri voters resoundingly rejected him both times.
“If he had gone to the Senate, he would have met a kindred spirit in Jesse Helms (R-NC),” said a Senate historian, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Authorities don’t yet have a confirmed motive for Cross’ shooting rampage. However, they do know that Dr. William Lewis Corporon, and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Underwood, were killed in their car at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City. Both were Methodists.
Leaving the JCC, Cross arrived at Village Shalom, a nearby assisted living facility, where he shot and killed 53-year-old Terri LaManno in the parking lot. LaManno was Catholic.
The hate crime charge was applied because of the Jewish locations of the shootings. Additionally, the shootings took place on the eve of Passover, an eight-day holiday during which Jews commemorate their freedom from slavery in Egypt.
Screaming “Heil Hitler” as he was apprehended and handcuffed by police did not help his case.
In addition to being charged with a hate crime, he can add the minor charge of premeditated first-degree murder to the list of his legal troubles.
Former Imperial Wizard and Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan Daniel Carver – no relation to George Washington Carver – came to Cross’ defense.
“At least he wasn’t screaming ‘Alahu Akbar’ as he began shooting,” said a spokesman for the former member of the Invisible Empire, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, speaking on condition of anonymity. The phrase “Alahu Akbar” is often used by Islamic Fundamentalist terrorists and means “God is Great” in English.
“Wake up, White people! Grand Dragon Cross took another small step in taking back our country from filthy [explicative] and dirty [explicative]. Our brothers [Thomas] Edison and [Henry] Ford would be proud.”
Both Edison and Ford, known for inventions that changed American history, are not as well-known for their anti-Semitic views.
Actor Mel Gibson, widely known for his anti-Semitism, also defended Cross, issuing a statement through his spokesman.
“He knew Cross as a good man, a cleansing man, who stood up for injustice at the hands of minorities, especially the Jews,” said the Gibson spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Unfortunately, just as former Cincinnati Reds owner [and anti-Semite] Marge Schott pointed out about Hitler, Cross started out OK, but then he went too far.”
Reverend Jesse Jackson, himself known to have made anti-Semitic comments in the past, also weighed in on the incident.
“Reverend Jackson is shocked, saddened, and appalled by this tragedy,” said a Jackson spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “He’s mostly shocked that this sort of thing could happen outside Hymietown [Jackson’s name for New York City]. And he didn’t even know there were Jews in Kansas City. I mean, who knew?”