Public Editor

Confusion over F. Glenn Miller’s name — in news and in court

A great question from a reader about ongoing coverage of F. Glenn Miller Jr., who is accused of three killings last year at Jewish centers in Johnson County.

I am confused. Is the guy's real name Cross or Miller? The paper seems to prefer Miller. The TV networks seem to use Cross. Not that it really matters to me, but it would appear that his name is actually Cross. Unless he legally changed his name, it seems like using a self-styled name of Glenn Miller is a little disingenuous.

He’s right — it is confusing. This is a good example of a topic that readers and journalists who follow a story closely may be familiar with, but the average reader may have initially missed or forgotten.

As this Star story from April, 2014 notes, Miller appears to have been shielded in the federal witness protection program in the 1990s, after he testified against associates in paramilitary and white supremacist groups.

His book “A White Man Speaks Out” uses the name Glenn Miller. In court this week, he has used Frazier Glenn Miller.

But there’s a Social Security number under the name Frazier Glenn Cross Jr. from 1990 — the year he was released from prison. And that’s the name he’s charged under in court documents.

Bottom line: There’s plenty of confusion to go around in this one.