Supporters of F. Glenn Miller Jr. are working behind the scenes to help in his upcoming murder trial as the avowed neo-Nazi prepares to represent himself in the case.
A group of white nationalists who post frequently on a Missouri-based online forum is gathering what members call documentation that Miller can use as he presents his defense. The trial is scheduled to begin Aug. 17.
The action could bring more attention to a movement already under scrutiny because of last month’s shooting rampage in Charleston, S.C., that left nine dead at a predominantly African-American church.
Miller planned to use a “compelling necessity” defense at his trial, arguing that he committed the violence in order to stop “the Jewish genocide of the white race.” On Friday, Johnson County District Judge Kelly Ryan ruled that Miller could not use such a defense. (See story)
Miller told The Kansas City Star this week that he plans to call some white nationalists and conservative figures as witnesses or cite them at his trial. That could put those people in an awkward situation if they don’t condone his actions.
A lawyer who has represented dozens of defendants in death penalty cases said it’s unclear whether Miller’s intended witnesses would be allowed or compelled to appear, but Miller’s actions could turn the trial into a “circus.”
“It really is a quagmire,” said Sean O’Brien, a University of Missouri-Kansas City law professor. “I feel horrible for the families here.”
Miller is charged with shooting three people to death outside two Jewish centers in Overland Park last year.
He told The Star he intends to contact people who have been outspoken about Jewish issues and ask them to testify. And if convicted, he said, he will have more leeway at his sentencing to talk about what motivated him to commit the killings.
Miller said he will call on such people as conservative political commentator and author Pat Buchanan, former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard and politician David Duke, and Kevin MacDonald, a retired psychology professor at California State University, Long Beach, who writes about “white advocacy.”
“David Duke, me and him’s always been fairly good friends,” Miller told The Star. “Way back in the ’80s, he helped me quite a bit. We were running for office, had five or six hundred uniformed members in the street with rebel flags, marching up and down all over the place.”
Neither Buchanan nor Duke responded to requests for comment. MacDonald responded in an email: “I have not been contacted by Mr. Miller, nor do I intend to testify on his behalf,” he said.
Last week, The Star reported that the federal investigation into the June 17 shooting rampage in Charleston, S.C., had apparently expanded to include groups that espouse white nationalist ideologies.
Don Black, founder of the online forum Stormfront, said an FBI agent and a sheriff’s detective had visited him at his Florida home to question him about accused shooter Dylann Roof. Black said authorities apparently believe Roof had visited and posted on the Stormfront website.
Black said other white nationalist organizations also had been contacted by federal authorities, but he declined to name them.
Alex Linder, founder of Vanguard News Network in Kirksville, Mo., recently put out a request on his VNN forum for supporters of Miller to send “anything that you think would be useful for a jury to hear (especially video clips and graphics) pertaining to white genocide as produced by jews.”
Since then, several have responded, posting statistics about black-on-white crime and videos with titles like “What World Famous Men Said About the Jews” and “Will the White Race Survive?”
Linder refused to talk to The Star about why he was helping Miller — who until his arrest last year had posted more than 12,000 times on the forum under the name “Rounder” — but told those on the forum that he would send the information to Miller to use.
Jimmy Marr, another of Miller’s supporters, told The Star he was helping Miller “because I understand the problem,” but “I can’t get anyone to take it seriously or talk about it in the mainstream media.”
Marr, of Springfield, Ore., acknowledged that the online actions might draw the attention of authorities but said white nationalists have to take a stand.
Black, a Linder rival, said Miller’s argument that he killed out of necessity was “ludicrous.”
“The whole thing is so insane,” Black told The Star in an interview this week. “Shooting people at random, not even killing any Jews. Killing anybody at random and thinking that he’s accomplished something great?”
Those offering to help Miller with his defense are ignorant, Black said.
“It certainly does play into our enemies’ narrative — that posting the truth as we see it on the Internet could lead to somebody going out and randomly shooting people on the street,” he said.
Black said he sometimes questions Linder’s agenda.
“If the government really wanted to go after somebody for this idea that posting on the net inspired acts of violence, Linder would be low-hanging fruit,” he said, noting that Linder is known for talking “about how we’ve got to exterminate all the Jews.”
“And then one of his key people goes and kills — tries to kill — some,” Black said. “I have no question that VNN does us a lot of harm.”
Not everyone on the VNN forum likes the idea of helping Miller, either.
“The guy is a delusional nut case,” wrote a user named Roger Bannon. “He wants martyrdom but deserves nothing but scorn.”
Miller, also known as Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., told The Star on Thursday that members of the VNN forum had been good to him over the years.
“I was on there 10 years, you know, ran for office twice, got a lot of financial support,” Miller said. “They contributed about $5,000 each time I ran. They also financed the printing and distribution of 222,000 copies of a 16-page tabloid newspaper we called the Aryan Alternative.”
O’Brien said Miller should never have been declared competent to stand trial, let alone be allowed to represent himself.
“The whole thing is tragic,” he said. “This fellow wants to have his day in court, and he’s bound and determined to make his statement. There’s just going to be nothing dignified about anything that happens in the courtroom on the path we’re on now.
“The other thing that happens is that the families, the survivors, are entitled to take the stand and testify. And the judge cannot stop him; he has a constitutional right to cross-examine them.”
Judge Ryan has issued a gag order barring attorneys from discussing the case.
To reach Judy L. Thomas, call 816-234-4334 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.