Sunday, August 21, 2011
Ruby Ridge - August 22, 1992: In Memory Of Vicki And Sammy Weaver
On August 22, 1992, Vicki Weaver Was Murdered By An FBI Sniper At Ruby Ridge While Holding Her Baby In Her Arms...
The Ruby Ridge (Randy Weaver) Trial: An Account
by Douglas O. Linder (2010)
The Weaver family in 1989
In the 1980s, the mountainous panhandle of northern Idaho became a magnet for right-wingers of all stripes. Government-haters, minority-haters, immigrant-haters, and modern culture-haters all found refuge in the sparsely-populated ponderosa country. In his book Ruby Ridge: The Truth and Tragedy of the Randy Weaver Family, Jess Walter describes Idaho's northernmost county, Boundary County, as a place where "a blurring continuum of home schoolers, Christian survivalists, apocalyptic, John Birchers, Posse Comitatus members, constitutionalists, tax protesters, Identity Christians, and neo-Nazis" could find both one another and "a ridge top on which to hide out and build a life." One family that in 1983 found its way from the heartland of Iowa to an Idaho ridge top was the Randy and Vicki Weaver family. Before long, things just got out of hand--hopelessly and tragically out of hand.
Vicki Jordison and Randall ("Pete") Weaver began dating in earnest in 1970. The self-reliant secretary for Sears Roebuck, raised on a farm near Coalville, and the idealistic army private met in Fort Dodge almost every night during Weaver's short leave from Fort Bragg. Randy and Vicki married in November 1971, after Weaver received an honorable discharge, and the couple moved to Cedar Falls, Iowa, where Randy intended to enroll at the University of Northern Iowa and pursue a career in law enforcement. The job in law enforcement never happened. But Randy landed a well-paying job at a John Deere tractor factory in Waterloo and he and Vicki settled into a several year period of happy, and quite normal, domesticity. When their first child, Sara, was born in 1976, Vicki entered enthusiastically into motherhood.
In 1978, Vicki read a book that began what would be a long-term drift toward a Christianity-based apocalyptic view of the world. Hal Lindsey's The Late Great Planet Earth applied his interpretation of the prophesies of the Old Testament to the events of current times and concluded that we were now in "the end time." A nuclear holocaust and Armageddon were just around the corner, but the good news was that Jesus would return to Earth. Violence and pestilence soon would fall upon the planet, and Christians persecuted, in a terrible time called The Great Tribulation. Then there would be The Rapture, and true believers selected by God to join him in Paradise. Vicki and Randy began to share with friends their plan of moving to a mountain top, as far as possible from false governments, desperate people, and hunters of good Christians like themselves. "We've been having this vision," Vicki would say.
Vicki's search for "the truth" led her into libraries and bookstores. She read and found significance in books such as Ayn's Rand's Atlas Shrugged, a novel warning of the dangers of an all-powerful state, and in the prophetic short stories of H. G. Wells, which dwelled on themes such as Armageddon and Judgment Day. She and Randy began meeting regularly with like-minded radical Christians at the Cedar Falls Sambo's restaurant. Vicki poured over passages from her King James Bible, drawing lessons ranging from what to eat (no unclean meat such as pork or oysters) to how to prepare for the "end time." In Matthew 24 she encountered the passage which reinforced her vision of their future: "Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains."
Vicki and Randy were slipping further and further away from mainstream life. They adopted a conspiratorial world view that linked Jews to the Illuminati, Masons, and the Trilateral Commission. Randy began sleeping in a flak jacket with a loaded gun under his pillow. In an interview with a reporter for a Waterloo paper, they said they planned to build a house in the woods with a defensible 300-yard "kill zone" around its perimeter. They became increasingly isolated, as their radical beliefs caused them to lose former friends. In 1983, the couple left Iowa for good, with Randy driving a moving van and Vicki following behind in a pickup truck, heading west to meet the end time in the mountains.
Trouble in Idaho
Weaver cabin on Ruby Ridge
On September 6, 1983, Randy and Vicki found a rocky bluff about eight miles southwest of Bonner's Ferry that was, according to Vicki, "just what the Lord showed" them their new home "would look like." The hilltop was strewn with boulders, perfect for defending the property, and there was a spring with fresh water that could be tapped for their future cabin. They paid $7500 for fifteen acres and began making plans for a rough cabin.
Within a year of their arrival, the Weavers had made both friends and enemies. Randy befriended a number of locals who shared his racist and religious views, but those same views, as well as property disputes and his habit of constantly firing off bullets into the surrounding hillside set some other neighbors against him. One upset neighbor reported to the Boundary County sheriff that Randy had threatened to kill President Reagan and the governor of Idaho, and soon Weaver was the focus of unwelcome attention from federal law enforcement officials. Randy called the report of his alleged threat "a smear campaign" and sent a letter to the Secret Service agent who interviewed him demanding an apology.
In the mid-1980s, a racist right-wing movement based in northern Idaho and calling itself Aryan Nations became the focus of both FBI and BATF investigations. Members of an Aryan Nations splinter group called The Order embarked on a crime spree that included bank and armored car robberies, counterfeiting, synagogue bombings, and two murders, including the killing of a popular Jewish radio talk show host in Denver, Alan Berg. Indictments and prosecutions followed, but bombings continued and the federal government was determined to find those responsible. When Randy Weaver showed up at the Aryan Nations Congress in Hayden Lake in July 1986, the fact was noticed by a BATF informant who was also in attendance at the gathering.
After his introduction at the World Aryan Congress, informant Kenneth Fadeley, using the alias "Gus Magisono," met several times with Weaver over the next three years. In October 1989, after a conversation in which Randy foresaw an imminent war with the Soviet Union and complained for the umpteenth time about the "world going down the tubes," the two men discussed a deal in which the hard-up Weaver would sell Fadeley sawed-off shot guns. (Fadeley claimed Weaver proposed the deal, while Randy insisted it was the other way around.) Two weeks later at a city park, Weaver presented Fadeley with two shot-guns sawed five inches shorter than federal law allowed.
In June 1990, two ATF agents told Weaver they had solid evidence he violated federal gun laws--and then they offered him a deal. Become an informant on the Aryan Nations, the agents said, and the gun charge would be dropped. Weaver would have no part of it. "You can go to hell," he said. Back at the cabin that night, Vicki composed a letter to "Aryan Nations & all our brethren of the Anglo Saxon race" warning them that ATF agents were looking for snitches. A warrant was issued for the arrest of Randy Weaver.
Knowing that Vicki had filed an affidavit with the Boundary County clerk giving "legal notice that we believe we may have to defend ourselves and our family from physical attacks on our lives" by the federal government, ATF agents were understandably reluctant to simply drive up the Weaver's long dirt driveway and attempt an arrest there. Instead, they hit upon another plan. Posing as stranded motorists one January night after having been radioed by a neighbor that Randy was on his way down the mountain, three agents and the county sheriff surprised Weaver with an arrest at gunpoint. The next afternoon, at the federal building in Coeur d'Alene, a magistrate entered a not-guilty plea entered for Weaver and released him on an unsecured $10,000 bond. A court date was set for February 20, 1991 (although a letter to Weaver incorrectly stated the court date to be March 20).
Weaver never had any intention of returning for his court date. A letter written by Vicki to the U. S. Attorney for Idaho (addressed in the letter as the "Servant of the Queen of Babylon") promised they "will not bow to your evil commandments...whether we live or whether we die." When the February court date passed, with Randy as a no-show, a failure to appear warrant was issued for Weaver's arrest and the case sent to the U. S. Marshal's Service. In light of what became a constant stream of threatening letters to the federal government, Dave Hunt, deputy U. S. Marshal, reluctantly considered calling in Special Operations Group (SOG), an elite marshals force used for raids and difficult fugitive cases.
The Weaver household grew in 1991, with the delivery, in their birthing shed, of a baby girl they named Elisheba. The Weaver children now numbered four. In addition to Elisheba, there was Sara (age 15), Sammy (13), and Rachel (9). Kevin Harris, a teen with a troubled past who the Weavers had taken in, also spent months at a time in the Weaver cabin. The presence of children complicated the Marshal's Service task, especially given Randy Weaver's practice of sending his gun-toting children out in front of him to greet strangers.
By early 1992, the stand-off at Ruby Ridge attracted national notoriety. Press figures ranging from Geraldo Rivera to reporters for the Los Angeles Times requested interviews with the Weavers, but the only reporter they agreed to talk to wrote for a small weekly paper in Bonner's Ferry. In the interview, Randy said the feds were more concerned about "shutting our mouths" than they were about shotguns. The Weavers claimed not to be Aryans or Nazis, just people who came to Idaho to "escape religious persecution." But now, Vicki said, "there's nowhere left to escape our lawless rulers." The Weavers were making the federal government look weak and silly. Pressure mounted on the Marshal's Service to do something.
Shoot-Out at Ruby Ridge
Sketch by FBI sniper showing what he saw immediately before firing bullet that killed Vicki Weaver
Then the shots began. Who shot who first remains a point of contention even today. The government story is that Harris wheeled and fired first, fatally wounding Billy Degan in the chest. Cooper responded by firing two three-round bursts at Harris, but missed him. Roderick, meanwhile, from his location further down the path, worried that the dog might give away the location of the other marshals. He fired and killed Striker. What the government stories cannot account for is how Sammy Weaver, Randy's thirteen-year old son, ended up dead with a bullet in his back. According to the marshals, they had no clue Sammy had been killed until his body was discovered days later in the Weaver's birthing shed. What is known is that when the machine guns were finally gathered up, to the great surprise of Cooper (who was certain Degan never fired), it was discovered that seven rounds were missing from Degan's gun.
Kevin Harris later offered a different version of the events. He said that when Roderick shot his dog, Sammy Weaver yelled, "You killed my dog, you son of a bitch!" and began firing at the marshals, one of whom opened up on him with a barrage of bullets. Kevin claimed he fired at Degan only to protect Sammy, but it was too late.
Reports of a marshal dead on Ruby Ridge set off alarm bells in Washington, where FBI officials began plotting their next moves, which included revising the agency's rules of engagement to allow agents to shoot to kill any adult at Ruby Ridge seen in the possession of a firearm--whether or not that adult was presently posing a risk of immediate death or bodily harm. The FBI's Hostage Rescue Team (HRT), including its most elite snipers, arrived in Idaho early the next morning. When briefed on their assignment at Ruby Ridge on August 22, snipers were told that if they observed an adult carrying a weapon, deadly force "can and should" be used to take them out.
The FBI had as of yet made no surrender demand when Sniper Len Horiuchi's opportunity arose shortly after taking his position. Randy, Sara, and Kevin left the cabin to visit Sammy's body in the birthing shed. As Randy reached for the shed door, a bullet tore through his arm. After the shot, the three ran back to the cabin. Vicki through open the door as her husband and eldest daughter, followed by Harris, dove in. Then another shot rang out. From inside the cabin, screams could be heard. What the HRT did not know, and what they would not find out for days, is that the second bullet from Horiuchi's .308-caliber gun had ripped its way through Vicki Weaver's brain and lodged in the arm of Kevin Harris. Three hours after the shooting, Harris, coughing up blood and in agony, begged Randy to finish him off. "Kevin, I can't do that," Randy replied.
Negotiation efforts for a surrender continued for days as angry right-wing protesters gathered near Ruby Ridge. Skinheads, looking for action, flocked in from as far away as Las Vegas and Portland. Some of the negotiation efforts, inspired by the belief that Vicki was still alive and was the key to a peaceful resolution of the stand-off, backfired miserably. Notably, for example, there was the suggestion by a negotiator on the third day, "Good morning, Mrs. Weaver. We had pancakes this morning. And what did you have for breakfast? Why don't you send the children out for some pancakes, Mrs. Weaver." The Weavers interpreted the pancakes idea as just a cruel joke. Expecting to die at any time in a hail or bullets or a firestorm, Kevin and Randy composed a six-page letter offering their side of the confrontation.
There was finally a breakthrough in the long stand-off on August 28, when Randy agreed to speak with Bo Gritz, a former Green Beret and proponent of right-wing views who was then running for president of the United States on the Populist Party ticket. Gritz and two other friends of Randy succeeded on August 30 in convincing the injured Harris to surrender and receive medical treatment. The Weavers surrendered the next day following word from Gritz that famed defense attorney Gerry Spence had readily agreed to represent Weaver in his trial. Bo Gritz, meanwhile, had a new campaign issue. He told supporters at Ruby Ridge: "There's a bureaucrat up here that's guilty. Somebody is going to be brought to justice. I believe we're gonna find some fat bureaucrat who authorized this to go down." The FBI's top agent at Ruby Ridge, Gene Glenn, said of the events on the mountain: "We are very sorry....There are no winners in a situation with all this sadness."...
There are NO statute of Limitations on MURDER!
From Constitution.org ...
In 1992 a federal force of U.S. Marshals, FBI and BATF agents conducted a murderous assault on the homestead of Randy and Vicki Weaver, resulting in the deaths of Vicki and their son, Sammy. This incident is highly controversial, and has raised serious questions about the abusive use of force by federal agencies against U.S. citizens.
- Ruby Ridge : Fed Fiasco
- The Ruby Ridge Prosecutions, by Blackman & Kopel
- Ruby Ridge Updates — Media Watch
- DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE RUBY RIDGE REPORT
- Ruby Ridge: The Justice Report — James Bovard's WSJ article on Ruby Ridge
- Book: Ambush at Ruby Ridge
- The Right To Bear Arms — Militia movement in the United States... Spurred by the Randy Weaver incident at Ruby Ridge
- Weavers Awarded $3.1 Million by US Government
- Ex-FBI official gets 18 months in Ruby Ridge case
- The Federal Siege at Ruby Ridge, by Randy Weaver — Introduction to book
- The Randy Weaver Case, by Jim Oliver
Lon Horiuchi: The FBI Sniper-Assassin-Hitman Who Murdered Vicki Weaver
The FBI's favorite hitman
Was the FBI really at Waco to contain a siege or were trigger-happy agents purposely brought to the Davidian church to finish off the job the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms botched?
Yesterday, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that FBI agent Charles Riley said all the way back in June 1993 that he heard shots fired from a sniper post occupied by agent Lon Horiuchi, according to court documents filed by Branch Davidians and relatives as part of a wrongful-death suit scheduled to go to trial next month.
If this fact is true, and if the sniper fire occurred, as Davidians charge, on the final day of the siege, this is a very interesting development, indeed.
Think about it. The final Waco conflagration occurred April 19, 1993. But this was hardly the first time Lon Horiuchi had found himself in a position to shoot innocent civilians.
You see, Horiuchi was the paid assassin the FBI used Aug. 22, 1992 -- eight months earlier -- to plug a fatal hole in the head of Vickie Weaver, an unarmed mother clutching her 10-month-old baby during a similar siege at Ruby Ridge, Idaho. It seems Lon Horiuchi is something of a specialist -- the FBI's go-to guy when it's open season on women and children.
Imagine that. Eight months earlier, Horiuchi had blown Vickie Weaver's head off while she stood in a doorway in an isolated rural area. She was no threat to anyone, not wanted on any charges and, of course, unarmed -- unless the FBI now considers infants dangerous weapons.
Horiuchi was indicted for manslaughter by Idaho authorities for the shooting, but the charges were thrown out. The federal government only made excuses for him. And now we have reason to believe that eight months after the incident at Ruby Ridge, one that ultimately cost U.S. taxpayers $3.1 million in a civil settlement with Randy Weaver, Horiuchi was assigned to another volatile siege with civilians -- including women and children...[Full Article]
And From FreeRepublic.com...
Gun Company (H-S Precision) hires thug/murderer LON HORIUCHI as spokeperson
HR Precision ^ | November 25, 2008
Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2008 5:23:18 PM by AAABEST
This is really incredible.
H-S Precision is sells hunting and tactical rifles. Here is a scan from the back cover of their Catalog. Note who did the write-up (circled in yellow):
For the three of you who don't know who Lon Horiuchi is, he's the FBI sniper of Ruby Ridge infamy who murdered Vicki Weaver in cold blood while she was holding her baby.
I'm not sure what H-S was thinking when they decided to hire this despicable thug as a spokesperson, but they are in dire need of remedial correction for this deplorable business decision. No gun decent gun owner/buyer should give them a single dime of their business. For those wishing to contact them, here's the info:©H-S PRECISION, INC.
1301 TURBINE DRIVE,
RAPID CITY, SD 57703
(605) 341-3006 TEL
(605) 342-8964 FAX
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