- The Washington Times - Monday, April 14, 2014

Federal prosecutors will file hate crime charges against a former Ku Klux Klan leader accused of gunning down three people Sunday outside a Jewish community center and a retirement complex near Kansas City, authorities said Monday.

Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, of Auroroa, Mo., was arrested Sunday on a preliminary charge of first-degree murder.

U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom announced at a news conference Monday that enough evidence had been gathered to justify submitting a hate-crime case to a grand jury.

Mr. Cross was filmed by television crews yelling “Heil Hitler” after the shooting on Sunday, the eve of Passover. Killed amid the gunfire were Dr. William Lewis Corporon; his grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood, 14; and Terri LaManno, 53.

“I was horrified to learn of this weekend’s tragic shootings outside Kansas City,” Attorney General Eric Holder said Sunday.“No matter what, we will do everything in our power to ensure justice is served in this case on behalf of the victims and their families.”

According to police reports, the gunman shot Dr. Corporon and Reat in the parking lot behind the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, then drove a mile south and shot Ms. LaManno at Village Shalom retirement complex. All three were Christians.

The Southern Poverty Law Center SPLC, a nonprofit group that monitors hate groups in the U.S., has documented Mr. Cross’ affiliation with the Ku Klux Klan, his multiple arrests for acts of intimidation and his self-published autobiography titled “A White Man Speaks Out.”

The law center sued Mr. Cross in the 1980s for operating a Ku Klux Klan-like organization that sought to intimidate African Americans, according to the SPLC website.

After subsequently forming the White Patriot Party, Mr. Cross was found in criminal contempt and sentenced to six months in prison for violating a court settlement, according to the SPLC. He also was the mastermind behind robberies and an assassination plot of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s founder, Morris Dees — a conviction that landed him in federal jail for three years.

Mr. Cross became the subject of a nationwide manhunt in 1986 after he was convicted on a federal contempt of court charge. While out on bond and awaiting an appeal, he fled from U.S. law enforcement, only to be found with three other Klansmen in a mobile home filled with hand grenades, automatic weapons, and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

On a white supremacist platform, Mr. Cross ran for federal office twice — once in 2006 for a seat in the House, and in 2010 for a Senate seat.

“White men have become the biggest cowards ever to walk the earth. The world has never witnessed such yellow cowards. We’ve sat back and allowed the Jews to take over our government, our banks, and our media. We’ve allowed tens of millions of mud people to invade our country, steal our jobs and our women, and destroy our children’s futures. America is no longer ours. America belongs to the Jews who rule it and to the mud people who multiply in it,” Mr. Cross said in a U.S. Senate radio ad in 2010, according to the SPLC website.

Neighbors and friends were well aware of the hate he espoused, according to various news reports.

“He’s quite notorious around here,” Jack Ebert, who lives down the road from Mr. Cross, told the Los Angeles Times. “He was very racist. I never had any contact with the man but I know people who have. He didn’t like anyone who wasn’t like him. He was particularly racist against blacks, but it doesn’t surprise me that he attacked a Jewish center. It fits in with his mentality.”

Mr. Cross is also known as Frazier Glenn Miller. A public records search shows he has used both names, but he refers to himself on his website as Glenn Miller and went by the name Frazier Glenn Miller in 2006 and 2010 campaigns for public office.

He lives in a small single-story home bordered on three sides with barbed wire fences just outside the small southwest Missouri town of Aurora, some 180 miles south of Overland Park. A red Chevrolet bearing two Confederate flag stickers was parked outside.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.

• Kelly Riddell can be reached at kriddell@washingtontimes.com.

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