Former KKK Leader Arrested For Killing 3 Outside Kansas Jewish Centers, But Victims Were Christians

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William Lewis Corporon, 69. and grandson Reat Griffin Underwood, 14, shown in an undated family photo. Corporon died at the scene. Underwood was rushed to an area hospital, where he died of his wounds.
William Lewis Corporon, 69. and grandson Reat Griffin Underwood, 14, shown in an undated family photo. Corporon died at the scene. Underwood was rushed to an area hospital, where he died of his wounds.

A well-known white supremacist and former KKK leader was arrested yesterday in the shooting deaths of three people outside a Jewish community center and a Jewish retirement community in Kansas City. But although Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., 73, was clearly targeting Jews in his attack on the eve of Passover—he reportedly shouted “Heil Hitler” from the police car as he was being taken away—his first two victims were white Christians, a 14-year-old boy and his grandfather. The pair were at the center so the boy could try out for a singing competition.

Cross is the subject of an extensive file compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama. He has a long history of racist and paramilitary activity and even unsuccessfully ran in the Democratic primary for North Carolina governor in 1984, and as a Republican for a state Senate seat in 1987.

Cross was arrested at 1:28 p.m. and booked into the Johnson County, Kan., jail where he was charged with fatally shooting 14-year-old Eagle Scout Reat Griffin Underwood, who had gone to the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City to try out for a singing competition, and his grandfather, 69-year-old William Lewis Corporon. They were shot in the parking lot. Several blocks away, Cross is suspected of gunning down a woman at Village Shalom, a retirement community, but authorities haven’t released the victim’s name.

Miller was ranting while in police custody, and a TV news video shows him yelling what appears to be “Heil Hitler!” from the backseat of a police car.

The family of the boy and his grandfather said both of them were white Christians.

Miller reportedly shot at two other people, but he missed them.

In a statement, Michael Siegal, chair of the Jewish Federations of North America, said “no community should have to face a moment such as this one.”

“Today, on the eve of Pesach, we are left to contemplate how we must continue our work building a world in which all people are free to live their lives without the threat of terror,” he said.

Miller lives in Aurora, Mo., almost 200 miles southeast of the crime scene and 30 miles southwest of Springfield, Mo.

This is how Miller is described on the website of the Southern Poverty Law Center:

“One of the first white supremacists to use paramilitary tactics with his North Carolina-based hate group — the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, which later morphed into the White Patriot Party — Glenn Miller went on the lam in 1986 after mailing a letter to 5,000 people calling for ‘total war’ against the feds, blacks and Jews.”

In February 2004, the center said, “He announced he would be putting out a new four-page racist tabloid. ‘Since my prison release, I’ve worked for the Cause in the most effective way I know how,’ Miller wrote on the neo-Nazi Vanguard News Network, where he vowed to ‘unite, organize, educate, recruit’ against the Jews until ‘death or victory.’ ”

In 1987, Miller was the subject of a nationwide manhunt for violating the terms of his bond while appealing a North Carolina conviction for operating a paramilitary camp, according to the Associated Press. The search finally ended after federal agents found Miller and three other men in an Ozark mobile home filled with hand grenades, automatic weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

In September 1987, Miller pleaded guilty to a federal charge of mailing threatening communications and possessing automatic weapons and served three years in prison.

He moved to Aurora in 2002 and began distributing copies of his own racist fliers and The Aryan Alternative, a racist, hate-filled publication that was based in Kirksville, Mo.

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