The suspect in the Passover Eve killings of three people at two Jewish community centers in the Kansas City area has been identified as a notorious white supremacist and former leader of the Ku Klux Klan.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups, said suspect Frazier Glenn Cross, Jr., 73, was once the grand dragon of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. It said his wife had told the center on Sunday that police informed her Cross had been arrested in connection with the shootings.
The center in a statement said Cross, better known as Frazier Glenn Miller, served three years in prison on weapons charges and for plotting the assassination of its founder, Morris Dees.
The suspect was being held on suspicion of premeditated murder in the first degree and was to appear in court on Monday afternoon, according to jail records.
Police said it was too early to determine if Sunday’s killings were motivated by anti-Semitism. But Miller was heard shouting ‘Heil Hitler’ as he was bundled into a squad car.
“We know it’s a vicious act of violence. Obviously two Jewish facilities, one might make that assumption,” Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass told a news conference.
SPLC described MIller as a “raging anti-Semite who has posted more than 12,000 times on Vanguard News Network (VNN),” a web site with the slogan “No Jews, Just Right.”
The site’s founder, Alex Linder, has openly advocated “exterminating” Jews, the group said. Miller, a close partner to Linder, has called Jews “swarthy, hairy, bow-legged, beady-eyed, parasitic midgets.” Miller is also one of VNN’s largest donors and he printed and distributed thousands of copies of VNN’s newsletter, The Aryan Alternative, according to the center.
The group said it spoke by phone to Miller’s wife, Marge, who said he had been gambling at a casino near Kansas City in the hours before the shootings erupted on Sunday afternoon.
In a 2010 interview with Howard Stern, the Jewish radio personality, Miller said he hated Jews more than blacks. “Jews. A thousand times more,” he said. “Compared to our Jewish problem, all other problems are mere distractions.”
The shootings, which took place on the eve of Passover, started around 1 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park. Two males were shot in a parking lot outside the center, one dying at the scene and the other at a hospital later, police said.
The shooter then drove a mile (1.6 km) away to the Village Shalom retirement community and fatally shot a woman there, Douglass said.