Frazier Glenn Miller, the white supremacist who murdered three people at two Jewish centers in Kansas City on Sunday night, is still described as a friendly man with conviction whose ideas weren't really all that unusual, according to his apparently awful friends and neighbors.
In a pretty viscerally disturbing interview with a local news station KSPR, those who knew Miller described him rather generously. ABC affiliate KSPR reporter Mary Moloney introduced a segment about Cross by saying that "many people here in Marionville say he would talk about white supremacy in gas stations and restaurants. But people here didn't think anything of it!" Which isn't really a reaction to boast about. And it goes downhill from there.
According to those who know him, Frazier isn't really all that bad. One person said "he spoke his opinion, which you can respect that at least." Another spoke of him as you might an honest relative, saying "you may not like his opinion, but at least you knew it. You knew exactly where you stood with him."
But one of his biggest defenders also happens to be Marionville Mayor Dan Clevenger, who described him as "always nice and friendly," a man who "respected his elders, greatly, as long as they were the same color as him [chuckle]."
Still, though, they could have been friends without sharing opinions, right? Nope! "I kind of agree with him on some things, but I don't like to express that too much."
In case you're wondering what some of those thing they agree on might be, they aren't his favorite West Wing character or flavor of ice cream. According to KSPR, Clevenger once wrote a letter to the editor of a local newspaper warning people about Jews, who run the "medical industry [that] has succeed in destroying the United States work force" and the also the government. Clevenger even cited Miller in his letter, saying "I am a friend of Frazier Miller helping to spread his warnings."
Maybe Clevenger feels differently today? That hate-filled letter is old by now and his opinions may have changed. Well, he told KSPR that "there's some things going on in this country that's destroying us. We've got a false economy. And it's some of those corporations are run by Jews 'cause the names are there." That was yesterday.
Thankfully, Clevenger does draw the line at murder, saying Miller deserves to die for his crime. Even if he's not that surprised he was the one who did it: "It was shocking that [Frazier] would do something like that, but knowing him and how much was built up inside of him that I can understand why he would be the one to do that. I think it's terrible what he did." Fair enough, but there's still no way I'm going anywhere near Marionville.
Update: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that the shooter's victims were Jewish.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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