White supremacist F. Glenn Miller is dead in a Kansas prison. Forget him but not his crimes

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
The Kansas City Star Editorial Board
·4 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

White supremacist and domestic terrorist F. Glenn Miller Jr. died in a Kansas prison Monday, awaiting execution for a murderous rampage in Overland Park in 2014.

Miller was a coward and a killer. He should not be mourned.

Mindy Corporon, whose father and oldest son were shot and killed by Miller outside the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park 7 years ago, told us just last month that she could barely remember his name: “Actually, I forget his name because we don’t ever say his name,” she said in a Star Opinion Live interview. “I would say if I thought about it, it would cause me disgust, so I don’t think about it.”

But we must remember his crimes, which stretched for decades. Miller stands as a warning to us about the ways racism and hate can turn into real bloodshed and tragedy. We must learn from his sorry life.

On a rainy April Sunday in 2014, Miller murdered Corporon’s son 14-year-old son Reat Underwood and her 69-year-old father, William Corporon, then shot and killed 53-year-old Terri LaManno outside the Village Shalom care center nearby. After a short search, Miller surrendered to authorities, spewing vulgarities and hate.

He remained in custody until his death.

Miller later claimed he intended to kill Jews, although none of the victims was Jewish. He said he would do it again if released from prison.

But it’s crucial to remember Miller’s bigotry and terrorism did not start in 2014 in suburban Kansas City. In fact, he had a decades-long history of spreading extremism and hate across several states, including Missouri.

He launched a racist splinter political party in 1980, after reviving a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. In 1987, he was arrested in southern Missouri, along with several other men, after a federal raid on a paramilitary compound. Authorities found numerous weapons, including automatic weapons, pipe bombs and other explosives.

Faced with serious prison time, Miller cut a deal. In exchange for testimony against others in the white supremacist movement, and acting as a federal informant, he would get a shortened sentence and a name change, to F. Glenn Cross, the name he used at the time of his death.

His self-dealing did little to help the government, some claimed later. Among his other crimes, Miller was a con man.

His views were not a secret. Miller’s antisemitic, racist rants were familiar in the region. He ran for the U.S. Senate from Missouri in 2010, airing a series of antisemitic, bigoted radio commercials that left listeners aghast.

They eventually disappeared. But Miller’s mind still seethed.

It is not necessary to fully reprint his views here. “I thrive on hate,” he once said. “If I didn’t thrive on hate, I would go crazy.”

That someone with his well-known views could obtain easy access to weapons and ammunition, and use them to commit murder, is a shame on this nation, and must never be forgotten.

And the Capitol riot on Jan. 6 is not far removed from Miller’s extremist views. “America was given to us by our forefathers, who fought, bled, and died … so they could pass on this great country to us, their posterity,” he wrote in 1999. “We have sat by like timid cowardly sheep and allowed it to be taken from us.”

That sounds disturbingly familiar, and stands as a warning.

Since the 2014 killings, the relatives of Miller’s victims have shown extraordinary grace and courage in helping the community heal. Mindy Corporon has written and spoken with amazing eloquence about her family’s ordeal, and the faith she relies on to make sense of the tragedy. Terri LaManno’s family has shown similar grace.

We stand in awe of their serenity, and sense of mercy. All of us, today, should remember the victims, and their families, and all victims of prejudice and hatred wherever it is found.

The Star Editorial Board opposes the death penalty in all cases. F. Glenn Miller did not die that way, but did die in prison, where he belonged. And he died a small, beaten man whose hatred did not win, and will never win as long as terrorist crimes like his are remembered and condemned.