There’s a fascinating report published over the last week on both Charlotte-based Q-Notes and the national website Raw Story about the near-forgotten 1987 killings of three men in a Shelby gay adult bookstore.
The article (click here to read) by Matt Comer and Todd Heywood of Q-Notes, an LGBT news outlet for the Carolinas, renews questions about the level of involvement of Frazier Glenn Miller, had with the Shelby killings.
Miller, 73, also known as Frazier Glenn Cross, is the white nationalist and former North Carolina KKK leader charged in the April 13 shooting deaths of three people at a suburban Kansas City Jewish community center and retirement home.
In Shelby on Jan. 17, 1987, police believe a trio of armed men burst in an adult bookstore, rounded up four customers and a clerk and then shot all five in the backs of the head, execution-style. The store was then set on fire with jugs of gasoline rigged with detonators. Two of the victims survived the attack, with questions raised about whether the killings were a hate crime against the gay patrons.
A few months after the Shelby killings, Miller and other members of his White Patriot Party had been arrested in Missouri with a stockpile of weapons and charged with federal arms violations. At the time, the group was distributing a “Declaration of War” that gave a point system for killing black, gay and Jewish people, as well as abortion doctors, judges or “race-traitors.”
No one has ever been convicted for the murders, though a trial was held in which Miller testified against that two fellow white supremacists had committed the crimes. Defense attorneys raised enough questions about Miller and statements he made (including that “he damn sure made a big boom in Shelby”) that the jury did not convict the other men, both of whom had alibis the night of the killings.
Miller did not have an alibi, according to the QNotes article. He moved to Kansas after he was given a new identity after he was enrolled in the federal witness program, according to ABC News.
Here’s a portion from the QNotes article here:
[Douglas] Sheets was tried in April and May 1989, and [Robert “Jack”] Jackson’s trial was scheduled to take place once it was done. News clippings of the time report that it was known Miller was testifying against former members of his White Patriot Party as part of a plea deal.
Miller told the court that Sheets and Jackson had told him they had committed the killings in Shelby. Three other witnesses also said they’d heard Sheets talk about the killings while they were incarcerated with him in prison. One was a former White Patriot Party member who had abandoned the Miller group in the Ozarks, allegedly after hearing the story of the bookstore murders from Sheets and Jackson. That witness, Rob Stoner, received $5,000 from the federal government for his role in the indictments against Sheets and Jackson, as well as entry into the witness protection program after a bounty was put on his head by members of the Tennessee Ku Klux Klan.
Prosecutors also presented evidence that gloves found in the weapons cache from the April 1987 Missouri raid were linked by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to fibers found on the plastic jugs used to torch the bookstore.
But prosecutors couldn’t put Sheets or Jackson at the scene. In fact, they had alibis that put them in other states around the time of the bookstore killings. Sheets had evidence that he’d been in Kansas the day before the killings, and a blizzard that struck made it virtually impossible for him to have been in North Carolina to commit the crime.
As the trial went on, Sheets and his attorneys pointed out that it was Miller who didn’t have an alibi for the night of the murders.
On the stand, Sheets said that Miller had told him that “he damn sure made a big boom in Shelby.” Miller, meanwhile, in pretrial statements had referred to a feature in the bookstore — a two-way mirror — that suggested he might have taken part in the killings himself.
Don Bridges, one of Sheets’ attorneys, also recounted to jurors a conversation between Miller, Sheets, and Jackson. “Don’t worry boys,” Bridges said Miller told them, “I’m going to be pointing the finger at you, but don’t worry. You can’t be convicted because it’s all hearsay evidence.”
That turned out to be true. With no way to put Sheets at the scene of the murders, he was acquitted. Jackson’s trial was then canceled. To this day, there’s been no other trial or conviction for the murder of the three men in Shelby.
You can read the entire article here.