Michelle Easterly Moore is the wife of our good friend Steve Moore, the former FBI special agent who was among the first to take up the cause of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito after examining the evidence in the Meredith Kercher murder case in Italy and realizing that they were innocent. In fact, it was Michelle who challenged Steve to examine the case and has, herself, become a formidable analyst and advocate.
Thinking about all of the people on the Internet who have vilified Amanda and Raffaele and those of us who have come to their defense, Michelle recently posted on Facebook: “John Douglas and Mark Olshaker said they’re a bunch of nutters. Would love to get a more detailed analysis of ‘nutters’ people filled with SO much hate, who constantly try simply to shoot the messenger.”
We don’t recall if we actually used that term, but we certainly don’t object to it. But in attempting to provide “a more detailed analysis,” we’re going to up the ante and suggest that all of these fringe behaviors come from a similar source to that of someone who has recently shot more than the messenger: Frazier Glenn Miller, Jr., a.k.a. Frazier Glenn Cross.
Herewith, some ramblings on the fringe:
On April 13, shortly before Passover, the 73-year-old Miller, an avowed racist and anti-Semite, allegedly killed three people outside a Jewish community center and retirement community in Overland Park, Kansas. He shouted “Heil Hitler!” from the back of a police car after his swift arrest. Ironically but no less horribly, none of his victims was Jewish. So what does this walking hymn of hate have in common with those Internet “guilters” who insist – despite all evidence – that Amanda and Raffaele, and John and Patsy Ramsey, and the West Memphis Three and so many others, are killers, and that those of us who have come out publicly to deny it are immoral tools and stooges who’ve been duped? One main thing:
They’re all losers.
And by that we mean that in the great majority of cases, these are people with deep-seated feelings of personal inadequacy that they try to suppress by lashing out at others whom they perceive to be inferior to themselves or “bad.” They also seek strength in the group, or group cause, that gives them the illusion of a higher purpose and excuses their own lack of accomplishment.
It is interesting how many of the guilters just seem to want to punish someone and make him or her suffer. In the Knox case, while they claim they want to punish Amanda for murdering Meredith Kercher – which evidence proves she did not do – what they really want to punish her for is being pretty, being smart, being adventuresome, being famous, and living the life they wish they had.
Likewise, if you hear scum like Miller speak, they talk in the deep tones of conspiracy, about how Jews are running everything, blacks are taking jobs away from whites and that white men have no power and must take it back, by force if necessary. It is similar to the rantings of the nutter fringe, whose members passionately and self-righteously proclaim nonsense and claim it as fact. They live in a world of their own reality, and genuine evidence is their enemy.
Other than scale – and we certainly don’t minimize that – what is the difference between the guilters and the Holocaust deniers?
Norman Mailer made the point that while there had been genocides before the Holocaust against the Jews, they had always been carried out for tactical or strategic reasons; i.e., fights over land or property or to fight against invasion. Hitler, on the other hand, was motivated by a metaphor: that the Jews represented something evil and harmful to the German people, and that is why they had to be destroyed.
To men like Miller, Jews and blacks are still a metaphor, and that is what they are lashing out against. It is something on which to blame their own inadequacy and loser status. And in the same way, nice, smart, attractive young people like Amanda and Raffaele are metaphors that also have to be destroyed. They are symbols that can easily be exchanged. Had Amanda been home alone the night of the murder and been the one killed, she would have been the victim-martyr and Meredith the pretty, smart and accomplished young woman who had to be punished for her perceived advantages.
Simply stated, what none of these people can deal with is the truth.
Now, here is where the Millers and the Internet nutter fringe part company, and it is the juncture where the merely pathetic become seriously dangerous.
We see Miller as being similar in many respects to Joseph Paul Franklin, the racist sniper who wounded attorney and civil rights advocate Vernon Jordan, crippled Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt, and murdered several interracial couples. He was executed last November in Missouri. Miller is older than Franklin was when he committed his murders, but the hatred and paranoia against minorities began at an early age for both. Franklin was in the Ku Klux Klan (as is Miller) and the American Nazi party. But he found the members of their particular fringe did a lot of talking without actually acting out their hatred. This frustrated Franklin and most likely Miller as well. So this type becomes a “lone wolf” offender and now he can act out what the others only talk about doing. They become mission-oriented, which gives their empty lives meaning.
In the specifics, Franklin was younger and much more organized, which is why it took longer to identify him and finally apprehend him. We suspect that Miller probably became more paranoid and disorganized as he got older, with a correlated decline of inhibitory restraints. This is also why he was so quickly apprehended.
One of the things that Franklin, Miller and their fellow losers cannot seem to process is that by all objective standards, they are “bad” people, while the ones they try to destroy are not. That is part of their inadequacy and part of their paranoia. They convince themselves they are doing good for themselves, people like them, and society in general, and generally couching their views in patriotism and religious fervor.
And this, in itself, is dangerous. As novelist and Nobel laureate Sinclair Lewis was reputed to have warned us, “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”
And its greatest enemy, of course, will be truth.