Ruby Ridge was the site of a siege of a cabin occupied by the Weaver family in Boundary County, Idaho, in August 1992. On August 21, deputies of the United States Marshals Service (USMS) came to arrest Randy Weaver under a bench warrant after his failure to appear on federal firearms charges.

Ruby Ridge standoff
Vicki Weaver as seen from a USMS surveillance position
USMS surveillance photo showing Samuel Weaver (right), Kevin Harris (center), Sara Weaver (left)
Both photos taken on August 21, 1992
DateAugust 21–31, 1992
48°37′14″N 116°25′59″W / 48.62056°N 116.43306°W / 48.62056; -116.43306
Caused byResistance to USMS actions taken while serving a bench warrant for Randy Weaver; FBI actions taken following shooting death of a U.S. Marshal, statements by Weaver, and shots allegedly fired at a news helicopter
Resulted inDeaths of Deputy U.S. Marshal W. F. Degan, Samuel Weaver (juvenile), Striker (dog), and Vicki Weaver; prosecution of Randy Weaver and Kevin Harris (later acquitted); civil suits against the US
Randy Weaver, members of his immediate family, and friend Kevin Harris
Casualties and losses
2 killed
2 wounded
1 U.S. Marshal killed
Ruby Ridge is located in the United States
Ruby Ridge
Ruby Ridge
Location in the United States
Ruby Ridge is located in Idaho
Ruby Ridge
Ruby Ridge
Location in Idaho

During a surveillance operation, officer Art Roderick shot Weaver's dog when it ran at them and then pointed his rifle at Weaver's son, Samuel, who was armed. Samuel fired back at the marshals, and was shot and killed by the team. In the ensuing exchange of fire, Weaver's friend Kevin Harris shot and killed Deputy Marshal William Francis Degan. Weaver, Harris, and members of Weaver's immediate family refused to surrender. The Hostage Rescue Team of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI HRT) became involved as the siege was mounted.[1] In the standoff, FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi shot Weaver, then shot Harris, but the second shot also hit and killed Weaver's wife Vicki. The conflict was ultimately resolved by civilian negotiators, and Weaver's old military acquaintance had to convince him to surrender. Harris surrendered and was arrested on August 30; Weaver and his three daughters surrendered the next day.

Extensive litigation followed. Initially, Randy Weaver and Harris were tried on a variety of federal criminal charges, including first-degree murder for the death of Degan. In the successful defense, Weaver's attorney Gerry Spence accused the agencies that were involved of criminal wrongdoing, in particular the FBI, the USMS, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), and the United States Attorney's Office (USAO) for Idaho. Harris and Weaver were acquitted of all the siege-related charges, and Weaver was only found guilty of violating his bail terms and of failing to appear for a court hearing, both related to the original federal firearms charges.[2][3][page needed] The Weaver family and Harris both filed civil suits against the federal government in response to the firefight and the siege. In August 1995, the Weavers won a combined out-of-court settlement of $3.1 million; Harris was awarded a $380,000 settlement in September 2000. In 1997, a Boundary County prosecutor indicted Horiuchi for the manslaughter of Vicki, but the county's new prosecutor controversially closed the case, judging that he would be unlikely to secure a conviction.[4][5]

The behavior of federal agents during these events drew intense scrutiny. At the end of Weaver's trial, the Department of Justice's Office of Professional Responsibility formed the Ruby Ridge Task Force (RRTF) in an attempt to investigate Spence's charges; their report raised questions about all of the participating agencies' conduct and policies. Another inquiry was led by the Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology, and Government Information, which held hearings between September 6 and October 19, 1995. It issued a report in which it called for reforms in federal law enforcement in an attempt to prevent a repeat of the losses of life at Ruby Ridge and to restore the public's confidence.[6] Several documentaries and books were produced on the siege. The law enforcement's response at Ruby Ridge and during the Waco siege roughly six months later were both cited by Timothy McVeigh as his motivation to carry out the Oklahoma City bombing with Terry Nichols.[7]

Geography edit

Ruby Ridge is the southernmost of four ridges that extend east from the Bottleneck/Roman Nose mountain range toward the Kootenai River.[8] Caribou Ridge lies north of it,[9] and the area between them drains into the Ruby Creek. Weaver insisted that his cabin, located north of the creek, was on Caribou Ridge, and that "Ruby Ridge" was a press invention.[10] Both ridge names were in use before the Weavers moved to the area, as in a Forest Service report on the 1967 Sundance Fire.[11] The standoff occurred approximately ten miles (16 km) from the nearest incorporated city of Bonners Ferry and approximately thirty miles (48 km) south of the border with Canada (British Columbia).

Development edit

A prominent sign on the Weaver's property, showing their religious views.

Randy Weaver, a former Iowa factory worker and U.S. Army soldier, moved with his wife and four children to northern Idaho during the 1980s so they could "home-school his children and escape what he and his wife Vicki saw as a corrupted world."[12][13] In 1978, Vicki, the religious leader of the family,[14] began to have recurrent dreams of living on a mountaintop and believed that the apocalypse was imminent.[15] After the birth of their son, Samuel, the Weavers began selling their belongings[16] and visited the Amish to learn how to live without electricity.[14] They bought twenty acres (8 ha) of land on Ruby Ridge in 1983 and began building a cabin;[3]: 50–55  the property was in Boundary County on a hillside on Ruby Creek opposite Caribou Ridge, northwest of nearby Naples.[3]: 71 

In 1984, Randy Weaver and his neighbor Terry Kinnison had a dispute over a $3,000 land deal. Kinnison lost the ensuing lawsuit and was ordered to pay Weaver an additional $2,100 in court costs and damages. Kinnison wrote letters to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Secret Service, and the county sheriff in which he alleged that Weaver had threatened to kill Pope John Paul II, President Ronald Reagan, and Idaho Governor John V. Evans.[17]: 21, 24 

In January 1985, the FBI and the Secret Service launched an investigation into allegations that Weaver had made threats against Reagan and other government and law enforcement officials.[17]: 13, 22  On February 12, Weaver and his wife were interviewed by two FBI agents, two Secret Service agents, and the Boundary County sheriff and his chief investigator.[3]: 63–65  The Secret Service had been told that Weaver was a member of Aryan Nations (an antisemitic, neo-Nazi, white supremacist terrorist organization) and that he had a large weapons cache at his residence. Weaver denied these allegations, and the government filed no charges.[17]: 13, 22  On three or four occasions, the Weavers had attended Aryan Nations meetings at Hayden Lake, where there was a compound for government resisters and white supremacists/separatists.[18][19]

The investigation noted that Weaver associated with Frank Kumnick, who was known to associate with members of Aryan Nations. Weaver told the investigators that neither he nor Kumnick was a member of Aryan Nations but he stated that Kumnick was "associated with The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord."[20][self-published source][unreliable source?] On February 28, Randy and Vicki Weaver filed an affidavit with the county courthouse alleging that their personal enemies were plotting to provoke the FBI into attacking and killing the Weaver family.[3]: 63–65  On May 6, the Weavers sent President Reagan a letter claiming that their enemies may have sent Reagan a threatening letter under a forged signature. No evidence of such a letter surfaced, but in 1992, the prosecutor cited the 1985 letter as an overt act of the Weaver family conspiracy against the federal government.[21][page needed][22][self-published source][unreliable source?]

ATF involvement edit

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) first became aware of Weaver in July 1986, when he was introduced to a confidential ATF informant at a meeting at the World Aryan Congress. The informant portrayed himself as a weapons dealer working with motorcycle gangs. Weaver had been invited to the meeting by Kumnick, the original target of the ATF investigation. It was Weaver's first time at this Congress. Over the next three years, Weaver and the informant met several times. In July 1989, Weaver invited the informant to his home to discuss forming a group to fight the "Zionist Organized Government", referring to the U.S. government.[17]: 13, 25 

In October 1989, the ATF claimed that Weaver sold the informant two sawed-off shotguns, with the overall length of the guns shorter than the limit set by federal law. In November 1989, Weaver accused the ATF informant of being a spy for the police; Weaver later wrote he had been warned by "Rico V."[23] The informant's handler, Herb Byerly, ordered him to have no further contact with Weaver. Eventually, FBI informant Rico Valentino outed the ATF informant to Aryan Nations security.[3]: 112 

In June 1990, Byerly attempted to use the sawed-off shotgun charge as leverage to get Weaver to act as an informant for his investigation into Aryan Nations.[17]: 13, 22  Weaver refused to become a "snitch", and the ATF filed the gun charges in June 1990. The ATF alleged that Weaver was a bank robber with criminal convictions.[24] (Those claims were false: at that time Weaver had no criminal record. The 1995 Senate investigation found: "Weaver was not a suspect in any bank robberies.")[25][self-published source] A federal grand jury indicted Weaver in December 1990 for making and possessing, but not for selling, illegal weapons in October 1989.[17]: 34 

The ATF concluded it would be too dangerous for agents to arrest Weaver at his property. In January 1991, ATF agents posed as broken-down motorists and arrested Weaver when he and Vicki stopped to assist.[17]: 13, 22  Weaver was told of the charges against him, released on bail, and told that his trial would begin on February 19, 1991. On January 22, the judge in the case appointed attorney Everett Hofmeister as Weaver's legal representative. The same day, Weaver called probation officer Karl Richins and told him that he had been instructed to contact Richins on that date. Richins did not have the case file at that time, so he asked Weaver to leave his contact information and said he would contact him when he received the paperwork. According to Richins, Weaver did not give him a telephone number. Hofmeister sent Weaver letters on January 19, January 31, and February 5, asking Weaver to contact him to work on his defense within the federal court system.[17]: 38 

On February 5, the trial date was changed from February 19 to 20 to give participants more travel time following a federal holiday. The court clerk sent the parties a letter informing them of the date change, but the notice was not sent directly to Weaver, only to Hofmeister. On February 7, Richins sent Weaver a letter indicating that he had the case file and needed to talk with Weaver. This letter erroneously said that Weaver's trial date was March 20.[17]: 38 [26] On February 8, Hofmeister again attempted to contact Weaver by letter informing him that the trial was to begin on February 20 and that Weaver needed to contact him immediately. Hofmeister also made several calls to individuals who knew Weaver, asking them to have Weaver call him. Hofmeister told U.S. District Court Judge Harold Lyman Ryan that he had been unable to reach Weaver before the scheduled court date.[27]

When Weaver did not appear in court on February 20, Ryan issued a bench warrant for failure to appear in court.[26][17]: 2  On February 26, Ken Keller, a reporter for the Kootenai Valley Times, telephoned the U.S. Probation Office and asked whether Weaver did not show in court on February 20 because the letter Richins sent him had an incorrect date. Upon finding a copy of the letter, the Chief Probation Officer, Terrence Hummel, contacted Ryan's clerk and informed them of the incorrect date in the letter. Hummel also contacted the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) and Weaver's attorney, informing them both of the error. Judge Ryan, however, refused to withdraw the bench warrant.[28][self-published source][unreliable source?]

The USMS agreed to put off executing the warrant until after March 20 in order to see whether Weaver would show up in court on that day. If he were to show up on March 20, the Department of Justice claimed that all indications are that the warrant would have been dropped. But instead, the U.S. Attorney's Office (USAO) called a grand jury on March 14. The USAO did not inform the grand jury of Richins's letter and the grand jury issued an indictment for failure to appear.[28][self-published source][unreliable source?]

U.S. Marshals Service involvement edit

When the Weaver case passed from the ATF to the USMS, no one informed the marshals that the ATF had attempted to solicit Weaver as an informant.[29]

As the law enforcement arm of the federal court, the USMS were responsible to arrest and bring in Weaver, now considered a fugitive.[30] Weaver simply stayed in his remote home, threatening to resist any attempt to take him by force.[31][32]

Weaver was known to have an intense distrust of government. The erroneous Richins letter is believed to have compounded this sentiment and may have contributed to Weaver's reluctance to appear for trial. He was suspicious of what he thought were inconsistent messages from the government and his lawyer; he began to think there was a conspiracy against him.[28][self-published source][unreliable source?] Weaver came to believe that he would not receive a fair trial if he were to appear in court. His distrust grew even further when Hofmeister erroneously told him that if he lost the trial, he would lose his land, essentially leaving Vicki homeless, and that the government would take away his children.[3]: 140 

USMS officers made a series of attempts to have Weaver surrender peacefully, but he refused to leave his cabin. Weaver negotiated with U.S. Marshals Ron Evans, W. Warren Mays, and David Hunt through third parties from March 5 to October 12, 1991, when Assistant U.S. Attorney Ron Howen directed that the negotiations cease.[33][self-published source][unreliable source?] The U.S. Attorney directed that all negotiations go through Hofmeister, but Weaver refused to talk with him. Marshals began preparing plans to capture Weaver to stand trial on the weapons charges and his failure to appear at the correct trial date.[34][self-published source][unreliable source?]

Although marshals stopped the negotiations as ordered, they made other contact. On March 4, 1992, U.S. Marshals Ron Evans and Jack Cluff drove to the Weaver property and spoke with Weaver, posing as real-estate prospects.[34][self-published source][unreliable source?] At a March 27, 1992, meeting at USMS headquarters, Art Roderick code-named the operation "Northern Exposure".[3]: 151  Surveillance teams were dispatched and cameras set up to record activity at Weaver's residence. Marshals observed that Weaver and his family responded to vehicles and other visitors by taking up armed positions around the cabin until the visitors were recognized.[34][self-published source][unreliable source?]

Threat source profile edit

Beginning in February 1991, the USMS developed a Threat Source Profile on Weaver. Agents' failure to integrate new information into that profile was criticized in a 1995 report by a subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee:

The Subcommittee is ... concerned that, as Marshals investigating the Weaver case learned facts that contradicted information they previously had been provided, they did not adequately integrate their updated knowledge into their overall assessment of who Randy Weaver was or what threat he might pose. If the Marshals made any attempt to assess the credibility of the various people who gave them information about Weaver, they never recorded their assessments. Thus, rather than maintaining the Threat Source Profile as a living document, the Marshals added new reports to an ever-expanding file, and their overall assessment never really changed. These problems rendered it difficult for other law enforcement officials to assess the Weaver case accurately without the benefit of first-hand briefings from persons who had continuing involvement with him.[35]: 34 

Many of the people the USMS used as third party go-betweens on the Weaver case—Bill and Judy Grider, Alan Jeppeson, and Richard Butler—were assessed by the Marshals as more radical than the Weavers. When Deputy U.S. Marshal (DUSM) Dave Hunt asked Grider, "Why shouldn't I just go up there ... and talk to him?", Grider replied, "Let me put it to you this way. If I was sitting on my property and somebody with a gun comes to do me harm, then I'll probably shoot him."[3]: 132 

The Subcommittee said that the profile included "a brief psychological profile completed by a person who had conducted no firsthand interviews and was so unfamiliar with the case that he referred to Weaver as 'Mr. Randall' throughout".[35]: 33  A later memo circulated within the Justice Department opined that:

The assumptions of federal and some state and local law enforcement personnel about Weaver—that he was a Green Beret, that he would shoot on sight anyone who attempted to arrest him, that he had collected certain types of arms, that he had "booby-trapped" and tunneled his property—exaggerated the threat he posed.[36]

A review of Weaver's DD-214 in an investigation after the events of Ruby Ridge revealed that Weaver had never been a Green Beret or a member of the Special Forces; it was possible he had received some general demolition training as a "combat engineer."[12]

Rivera helicopter incident edit

Following a flyover by a hired helicopter for Geraldo Rivera's Now It Can Be Told television show on April 18, 1992, the USMS received media reports that Weaver had shot at the helicopter.[37][38] That day in Idaho, U.S. Marshals were installing surveillance cameras overlooking the Weaver property.[17]: 3  The field report for April 18, 1992, filed by Marshal W. Warren Mays, reported seeing a helicopter near the Weaver property, but not that any shots were heard. In an interview with a Coeur D'Alene newspaper, Weaver denied that anyone had fired at the helicopter.[39] When interviewed by the FBI, the helicopter pilot Richard Weiss said that Weaver had not fired on his helicopter. The Report of the RRTF to the OPR (1994) said, when the "indictment [of Weaver] was presented to the grand jury, the prosecution had evidence that no shots had been fired at the helicopter."[40][41]

Media reports that Weaver had fired on the Rivera helicopter became part of the justification later cited by U.S. Marshal Wayne "Duke" Smith and FBI HRT Commander Richard Rogers in drawing up the Ruby Ridge rules of engagement on August 21–22, 1992. Also, in spite of Weiss's repeated denials that shots had been fired at his helicopter, Howen charged that, as Overt Act 32 of the Weavers' Conspiracy Against the Federal Government, Randy, Vicki, and Harris fired two shots at the Rivera helicopter.[21][page needed]

Operation "Northern Exposure" was suspended for three months due to the confirmation hearings for United States Marshals Service Director Henry E. Hudson.[3]: 158 

Encounter near Weaver's cabin edit

On August 21, 1992, six Marshals were sent to scout the area to determine suitable places away from the cabin to apprehend and arrest Weaver.[42][43][35]: 39  The marshals, dressed in military camouflage, were equipped with night-vision goggles and M16 rifles.[44] DUSMs Art Roderick, Larry Cooper, and William F. "Bill" Degan formed the reconnaissance team, while DUSMs David Hunt, Joseph Thomas, and Frank Norris formed an observation post (OP) team on the ridge north of the cabin.[45]

At one point, Roderick threw two rocks at the Weaver cabin to test the dogs' reaction.[46] The action provoked the dogs; Weaver's friend, Kevin Harris, and Weaver's 14-year-old son, Samuel, emerged and followed the dog "Striker" to investigate. Harris and the younger Weaver said that they were hoping the dog had noticed a game animal as the cabin was out of meat.[47] The recon team (Roderick, Cooper, and Degan) initially retreated through the woods in radio contact with the OP team, but later took up hidden defensive positions.[48][self-published source]

The body of Striker after he was shot and killed by Marshal Roderick

Later, the OP team and the Weavers claimed the dogs were alerted to the recon team in the woods after neighbors at the foot of the mountain started their pickup truck.[48][self-published source] The recon team retreated through the woods to a "Y" junction in the trails 500 yards (460 m) west of the cabin, out of sight of the cabin.[citation needed] Samuel and Harris followed Striker on foot through the woods while Randy, also on foot, took a separate logging trail; Vicki, Sara, Rachel, and baby Elisheba remained at the cabin. The OP team were anxious at first, but then relaxed.[48][self-published source] Randy encountered the Marshals at the "Y"; Roderick claimed to have yelled, "Back off! U.S. Marshal!" upon sighting Weaver, and Cooper said he had shouted, "Stop! U.S. Marshal!"[30] By their account, Samuel and Striker came out of the woods about a minute later. When the Marshals' position was revealed by the dog "Striker", a yellow Labrador Retriever, DUSM Roderick shot the dog dead.[49] Seeing this, Samuel Weaver reportedly said to the Marshals, "You've killed my dog, you son of a bitch!", and then shot in the direction of Roderick. DUSM Cooper then shot towards Samuel Weaver and Kevin Harris, who both sought cover.[49] Harris, once finding cover behind a tree stump, then returned fire with a shot that killed DUSM William Francis "Bill" Degan.[49] Samuel Weaver, now retreating up a hill, was then shot in the back and killed by DUSM Cooper.[49][3]: 163-180 

A later ballistics report showed that nineteen rounds were fired during the fight.[50] DUSM Roderick fired one shot from an M16A1 (which killed "Striker", the dog, by entering his body two inches from the dog's anus, and exiting the chest), then Samuel fired three from a .223 Ruger Mini-14 (at Roderick), Degan fired seven from an M16 (at Harris and Weaver, while moving at least 21 feet (6.4 m)), and Cooper fired six from a 9 mm Colt submachine gun (at Harris and Weaver), Harris then fired two from a .30-06 M1917 Enfield Rifle (striking and killing DUSM Degan).[49][51] After the federal agents began firing, Samuel was killed by a shot to the back while retreating.[51] Harris had fired the shot which killed DUSM Degan.[51][52]

The origin of the shot that killed Samuel was of critical concern in all investigations. At the time of the writing of the Ruby Ridge: Report (1996), the Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Government Information, chaired by Senator Arlen Specter, observed that the government's position at trial was that Cooper had fired the shot. The Subcommittee engaged additional experts and ultimately declined to draw a final conclusion.[53] The Justice Department's Ruby Ridge Task Force (RRTF) report to the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR, 1994) states:

The evidence suggests, but does not establish, that the shot that killed Samuel Weaver was fired by DUSM Cooper.

It was concluded there was no indication he intended to kill or injure Weaver.[54][55][56]

Reporter Jess Walter, in his work Ruby Ridge: The Truth and Tragedy of the Randy Weaver Family concludes that Cooper fired the bullet that killed Samuel Weaver.[3]: 390 

In 1997, Boundary County Sheriff Greg Sprungl conducted an independent search of the "Y", and his investigator, Lucien Haag, discovered and confirmed that a bullet found in that search matched DUSM Cooper's 9 mm Colt submachine gun and contained fibers that matched Samuel's shirt, conclusively proving DUSM Cooper shot 14-year-old Samuel Weaver in the back as he retreated.[57]

Harris's and the federal agents' accounts differ as to who fired first.[58][59] In the 1993 trial over charges in Degan's death, prosecutors alleged that Harris had fired the first shot. Harris asserted self-defense and was acquitted.[60]

On cross-examination by the defense, ballistics experts called by the prosecution testified that the physical evidence contradicted neither the prosecution's nor the defense's theories of the gunfight.[3]: 390  Martin Fackler testified that Roderick fired the shot or shots that killed Striker, that Degan fired the shot that hit Samuel in the right elbow, that Harris shot and killed Degan, and that Cooper "probably" shot and killed Samuel.[3]: 390 

Roderick and Cooper stated that Striker preceded Harris and Samuel out of the woods. They said Degan challenged Harris, who turned, shot and fatally wounded Degan before he could fire first. They said Roderick shot the dog once, Samuel fired twice at Roderick, and Roderick returned fire. Roderick and Cooper testified that they heard multiple gunshots from the Weaver party. Cooper testified that he fired two three-shot bursts at Harris and saw Harris fall "like a sack of potatoes" with leaves flying up in front of him, presumably from the impact of a round. Cooper sought cover. He testified that he saw Samuel run away and radioed OP team member Dave Hunt that he had wounded or killed Harris.[61]

As described by Randy and Sara Weaver, in their book The Federal Siege (1998), Harris's version of events differed, as follows.[62][page needed] Harris told them Striker was followed out of the woods by Samuel and Harris, and that the dog ran up to Cooper. He said the dog ran to Roderick, who shot it in front of Samuel. Samuel yelled, "You shot my dog, you son of a bitch!", and fired a shot at Roderick.[63] Harris said that Degan came out of the woods and shot Samuel in the arm. Harris fired and hit Degan in the chest. According to the Weavers, Harris said that Cooper fired at Harris, who ducked for cover, and Cooper fired again, hitting Samuel in the back, who fell. Harris fired about 6 feet (2 m) in front of Cooper, forcing him to take cover. Only then did he hear Cooper identify himself as a U.S. Marshal. Harris said he checked Samuel and found him dead, and ran to the Weavers' cabin.[64]

After the firefight at the "Y", Hunt and Thomas went to a neighbor's house to call for assistance from the USMS Crisis Center. Norris, Cooper, and Roderick stayed with Degan's body at the "Y". Randy and Vicki went to the "Y" and retrieved Samuel's body. Randy, Vicki and Harris placed the body in a guest cabin near the main cabin.[65][66] From 11:15 a.m. onward, Hunt reported to the Crisis Center in Washington, D.C., that no further gunfire was heard.[67]

Siege and controversy edit

Protestors supporting the Weavers

In the aftermath of the gunfight on August 21 at 11:20 am PDT, DUSM Hunt[67] requested immediate support from Idaho law enforcement,[68]: 518  and he also alerted the FBI by notifying it that a Marshal had been killed.[67] Following Hunt's phone call, the Marshals Service Crisis Center was activated under the direction of Duke Smith, associate director for Operations. The Marshals Service Special Operations Group (SOG) was alerted to deploy.[68]: 518  In response to the USMS call, the Boundary County sheriff's office mobilized.[69] Also in response to the USMS request, Idaho Governor Cecil Andrus declared a state of emergency in Boundary County, allowing use of the Idaho National Guard Armory at Bonners Ferry and, after an initial delay, to use National Guard armored personnel carriers (APCs).[70] Soon thereafter,[when?] the Idaho State Police arrived at the scene.[69]

FBI Headquarters in Washington, DC, responded by sending the Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) from Quantico to Idaho. Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Eugene Glenn of the Salt Lake City FBI office was appointed Site Commander with responsibility for all active individuals from the FBI, ATF, and USMS.[68]: 519  A stand-off ensued for eleven days, as several hundred federal agents surrounded the house,[71] and negotiations for a surrender were attempted.[68]: 521 

Special ROE and sniper/observer deployment edit

By Saturday, August 22, special rules of engagement (ROE) were drafted and approved by FBI Headquarters and the Marshal Service for use on Ruby Ridge.[68]: 520  According to the later RRTF report to the DOJ (1994), the Ruby Ridge ROE were as follows:

  1. "If any adult in the area around the cabin is observed with a weapon after the surrender announcement had been made, deadly force could and should be used to neutralize the individual."
  2. "If any adult male is observed with a weapon prior to the announcement deadly force can and should be employed if the shot could be taken without endangering any children."
  3. "If compromised by any dog the dog can be taken out."
  4. "Any subjects other than Randy Weaver, Vicki Weaver, Kevin Harris presenting threat of death or grievous bodily harm FBI rules of deadly force apply. Deadly force can be utilized to prevent the death or grievous bodily injury to oneself or that of another."

(From the sworn statement of FBI SAC Eugene Glenn).[72]

As noted in a footnote to the report in this crucial section:

The [ROE] was modified from "adult" to "adult male" [in ROE point 2] to exclude Vicki Weaver around 2:30 or 3:00 p.m. after consultation with [SAC Eugene] Glenn because Vicki Weaver was not seen at the site of Degan's slaying.[73]

The ROE were communicated to agents on site, including communication to HRT sniper/observers prior to deployment, communications that included the change of "adult" to "adult male" to exclude Vicki Weaver.[73] Some deployed FBI agents, in particular the sniper/observers, would later describe the adopted ROE as a "green light" to "shoot on sight".[74]

On Wednesday, August 26, four days after Vicki was killed, the ROE that had been in effect since the arrival of the HRT were revoked. Per Glenn's direction, the FBI's Standard Deadly Force Policy replaced the ROE to guide the law enforcement personnel that were to be deployed to the cabin perimeter. The FBI rules of deadly force in effect in 1992 stated that:

Agents are not to use deadly force against any person except as necessary in self-defense or the defense of another, when they have reason to believe that they or another are in danger of death or grievous bodily harm. Whenever feasible, verbal warnings should be given before deadly force is applied.

This was in stark contrast to the permissive ROE adopted for the Ruby Ridge stand-off.[75][76]

Deployment of sniper/observers, ROE understanding edit

On August 22, the second day of the siege, between 2:30–⁠3:30 pm, the FBI HRT sniper/observer teams were briefed and deployed to the cabin on foot.[68]: 520 

According to the RRTF report to the DOJ, there were various views and interpretations taken of these ROEs by members of FBI SWAT teams in action at the Ruby Ridge site. Denver SWAT team leader Gregory Sexton described them as "severe" and "inappropriate." Two members of the Denver SWAT team said they were "strong" and a "departure from the ... standard deadly force policy", "inappropriate", and of a sort one "had never been given" before. The latter of these two members said that "other SWAT team members were taken aback by the Rules and that most of them clung to the FBI's standard deadly force policy." Another team member responded to the briefing on the ROE with "[y]ou've gotta be kidding."[77]

But most of the FBI HRT sniper/observers accepted the ROE as modifying the deadly force policy. According to later interviews, HRT sniper Dale Monroe saw the ROE as a "green light" to shoot armed adult males on sight, and HRT sniper Edward Wenger believed that if he observed armed adults, he could use deadly force, but he was to follow standard deadly force policy for all other individuals. Fred Lanceley, the FBI Hostage Negotiator at Ruby Ridge, was "surprised and shocked" at the ROE, the most severe rules he had heard in more than 300 hostage situations. He later characterized the ROE as being inconsistent with standard policy.[78][79] The 1996 Senate report criticized the ROE as "virtual shoot-on-sight orders."[35]: 61 

Sniper shoots: R. Weaver is wounded, V. Weaver is killed edit

Before the negotiators arrived at the cabin, FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi, from a position over 200 yards (180 m) north and above the Weaver cabin,[80] shot and wounded Randy Weaver in the back with the bullet exiting his right armpit, while he was lifting the latch on the shed to visit the body of his dead son.[81] (The sniper testified at the later trial that he had put his crosshairs on Weaver's spine, but Weaver moved at the last second.[82]) As Weaver, his 16-year-old daughter Sara,[83] and Harris ran back toward the cabin, Horiuchi fired a second bullet, wounding Harris in the chest. This bullet killed Vicki Weaver, who was standing behind the door of the cabin when Harris entered.[84] Vicki was holding the Weavers' 10-month-old baby Elisheba.[83][85][86]

Constitutionality of the second shot edit

The RRTF report to the DOJ's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) of June 1994 stated unequivocally in conclusion (in its executive summary) that the rules that allowed the second shot to have been made did not satisfy constitutional standards for legal use of deadly force.[87] The 1996 report of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Government Information, Arlen Specter [R-PA], chair, concurred, with Senator Dianne Feinstein [D-CA] dissenting.[88] The DOJ's RRTF report said that the lack of a request for surrender before Agent Horiuchi's second shot was "inexcusable", as Harris and the Weavers were running for cover at the time and did not pose an imminent threat.[89][35]: 89 

The later Justice task force criticized Horiuchi for firing through the door, when he did not know if anyone was on the other side of it.[89] While there is a dispute as to who approved the rules of engagement which Horiuchi followed, the task force condemned the rules of engagement that allowed shots to be fired without a request for surrender.[89][81]

Situational reevaluation, ROE is suspended, the siege ends edit

The FBI's HQ and the Site Commanders in Idaho both re-evaluated the situation based on information about what had happened on August 21 which they were receiving from U.S. Marshals Hunt, Cooper and Roderick. On August 23, repeated attempts to negotiate with Weaver via a bullhorn failed; there was no response from the cabin.[68]: 520 

On about Monday, August 24, the fourth day of the siege, FBI Deputy Assistant Director Danny Coulson, who did not know that Vicki Weaver had been killed,[90] wrote a memo with the following content:

Something to Consider

1. Charge against Weaver is Bull S___.
2. No one saw Weaver do any shooting.
3. Vicki has no charges against her.
4. Weaver's defense. He ran down the hill to see what dog was barking at. Some guys in camys [camouflage] shot his dog. Started shooting at him. Killed his son. Harris did the shooting. He is in pretty strong legal position.[35]: 56 

The stand-off was ultimately resolved by civilian negotiators including Bo Gritz, to whom Weaver agreed to speak.[68]: 521  Through Gritz's mediation, Harris, who had earlier urged Weaver to end his suffering, surrendered on August 30 (Sunday). He was removed via stretcher, and then he was flown by an Air Force medical evacuation helicopter to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane.[91][92][93] Weaver allowed the removal of his wife's body, which Gritz oversaw.[91][92][93]

Bo Gritz and FBI agents escort Randy Weaver down the mountain on August 31, 1992.

The FBI HRT Commander gave Gritz a deadline to get the remaining Weavers to surrender, and if they did not surrender on the day of the deadline, he said he would resolve the standoff by launching a tactical assault.[94][page needed] Weaver and his daughters surrendered the next day; both Harris and Weaver were arrested.[95] Harris was in serious condition at Sacred Heart, but U.S. Marshals did not allow his parents to see him (or talk by telephone) until Monday evening, after a federal court order was issued.[96] Weaver's daughters were released to the custody of relatives. Federal officials considered charging Sara, who was 16, as an adult.[97]

Weaver was transferred by military helicopter to the airport at Sandpoint and from there he was flown by USMS jet to Boise. There he was given a brief medical examination at St. Luke's Medical Center. He was held at the Ada County jail and arraigned in federal court the following day, Tuesday, September 1.[98][99]

Trials of Weaver and Harris edit

Weaver and Harris were charged with a variety of offenses;[95][100] their trial in U.S. District Court in Boise began in April 1993,[101][102] and it was presided over by Judge Edward Lodge.[26][103][104] In mid-June, Weaver's defense attorney, Gerry Spence, rested his case without calling any witnesses for the defense. Instead, he sought to convince the jury through cross-examination which was aimed at discrediting the government's evidence and witnesses.[104][105][106][107] In July, Weaver was ultimately acquitted of all of the charges except the charge which he incurred after he missed his original court date and the charge of violating his bail conditions,[108][109] for which he was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment and fined $10,000 in October.[2][110][111] Credited with time served and good behavior, Weaver served less than 16 months and he was released from the Canyon County jail in Caldwell in mid-December.[112][113]

Harris was defended by attorney David Nevin and he was acquitted of all of the charges.[60][108][109] Exactly five years after the incident (August 21, 1997), he was indicted for the first-degree murder of DUSM Bill Degan by Boundary County prosecutor Denise Woodbury,[114][115][116][117] but the charge was dismissed in early October on grounds of double jeopardy, because he had been acquitted of the same charge in the federal criminal trial in 1993.[3]: 389ff [118][119]

Federal investigations of law enforcement edit

Defense counsels for Weaver and Harris alleged throughout their 1993 trial that agents of the ATF, USMS, and FBI were themselves guilty of serious wrongdoing. The Department of Justice (DOJ) created the Ruby Ridge Task Force (RRTF) to investigate events. It delivered a 542-page report on June 10, 1994, to the DOJ Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).[120][121] (This RRTF report, originally available in a highly redacted form,[121] later became available in a much more complete form.[120])

Questions persisted about Ruby Ridge and the subsequent Waco siege, which involved the same agencies and many of the same officials. The Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Government Information held fourteen days of hearings on these incidents and allegations of misconduct, ending on October 19, 1995.[122] The hearings were televised on C-SPAN.[123] The internal 1994 Ruby Ridge Task Force Report and the public 1995 Senate subcommittee report on Ruby Ridge both criticized the rules of engagement by claiming that they were unconstitutional.[87][88]

A 1995 GAO investigation was conducted on the policies regarding use of force by federal law enforcement agencies. Its report said: "In October 1995, Treasury and Justice adopted use of deadly force policies to standardize the various policies their component agencies had adopted over the years."[124] The major change was that agencies required a law enforcement agent to have reasonable belief of an "imminent" danger of death or serious physical injury in order to use deadly force. This brought all federal LEA deadly force policies in line with the U.S. Supreme Court rulings Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1, 18 (1985) and Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386 (1989), which applied to state and local law enforcement agencies.[125]

In 1997, Michael Kahoe, the chief of the FBI's violent crimes section, pled guilty to obstruction of justice for destroying a report which was critical of the agency's role at Ruby Ridge. He was sentenced to 18 months and a $4,000 fine.[126]

Civil suits edit

Randy Weaver and his daughters filed a wrongful death suit for $200 million which was related to the killing of his wife and son. In an out-of-court settlement in August 1995, the federal government awarded Randy Weaver $100,000 and it also awarded $1 million to each of his three daughters. The government did not admit that it had committed any wrongdoing in relation to the deaths of Samuel and Vicki.[127][128] On the condition of anonymity, a DOJ official told The Washington Post that he believed that the Weavers would have probably won the full amount if the case had gone to trial.[52]

The attorney for Harris pressed Harris's civil suit for damages, but federal officials vowed that they would never pay someone who had killed a U.S. Marshal. In September 2000, Harris was awarded a $380,000 settlement by the government.[3]: 382f 

Criminal charges edit

In 1997, Boundary County prosecutor Denise Woodbury indicted FBI HRT sniper Lon Horiuchi for manslaughter on state charges, just before the statute of limitations for this crime expired.[115][117][129] She appointed a special prosecutor to conduct the case. But in 1998 the trial was removed to federal court because Horiuchi had been acting in the line of duty as a federal law enforcement officer. Judge Lodge quickly dismissed the case on grounds of sovereign immunity.[130][131]

The decision to dismiss charges was reversed (6–5) in 2001 by an en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit, which held that enough uncertainty about the facts of the case existed for Horiuchi to stand trial on state manslaughter charges.[132][133][134] Boundary County prosecutor Brett Benson, who had defeated Woodbury in the May 2000 primary and won the November election,[135] decided to drop the case. He said he believed that it was unlikely the state could prove the criminal charges, and too much time had passed.[136][137] He also believed his decision would enable the process of healing in the county. Attorney Stephen Yagman, who had been appointed as the special prosecutor, said that he vehemently disagreed with the decision. He suggested that the case could still be prosecuted if the Boundary County prosecutor later changed again.[138]

Later life of the Weavers edit

Randy Weaver and his daughter, Sara, wrote The Federal Siege at Ruby Ridge (1998), about the incident, which was published in paperback.[139]

The Weaver family, including Randy, later moved to Kalispell, Montana. Sara and the other two Weaver daughters are employed there. In 2012, after she became a born again Christian, Sara Weaver said that she forgives the federal agents who killed her mother and brother.[140]

Randy Weaver died on May 11, 2022, at the age of 74.[141]

Domestic terrorism edit

American domestic terrorists Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols claimed that their desire for revenge for the federal government's poor handling of the Ruby Ridge and Waco sieges motivated them to perpetrate the Oklahoma City bombing. On April 19, 1995, the second anniversary of the fire that ended the Waco siege, they detonated a truck bomb in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building during business hours. 168 people were killed and 680 people were injured, mostly US government employees. 19 of the victims were babies and children, many in the building's day-care center. The effects of the blast were equivalent to over 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg) of TNT, and could be heard and felt up to 55 miles (89 km) away; over a third of the building was destroyed.[142]

In popular culture edit

A CBS miniseries about the Ruby Ridge incident, titled Ruby Ridge: An American Tragedy, aired on May 19 and 21, 1996.[143] It was based on the book Every Knee Shall Bow by reporter Jess Walter.[76] It starred Laura Dern as Vicki, Kirsten Dunst as Sara, and Randy Quaid as Randy. Later that year the television series was adapted as a full-length TV movie, The Siege at Ruby Ridge.[144]

In 1999, bluegrass musician Peter Rowan addressed the events at Ruby Ridge in his song "The Ballad of Ruby Ridge".[145]

Ruby Ridge was the subject of Criminal Minds, Season Three, episode 7, "Identity" (2007). Agent David Rossi says that he was at Ruby Ridge during the siege.

In 2017, it was the focus of the 323rd episode of American Experience, the 5th episode of its 29th season.

The standoff, including the shooting of Vicki Weaver, is featured in the first episode of the Paramount Network television miniseries Waco (2018).

Tara Westover, in her memoir Educated (2018), referred to this incident, noting her own family's preparations to defend their isolated home against a potential siege by "the Feds".

The Ruby Ridge incident was the subject of the first season of the narrative podcast series Slate Presents. The four-episode season, titled Standoff: What Happened at Ruby Ridge? ran as a stand-alone miniseries hosted by journalist Ruth Graham.[146]

In 2020, the incident was featured in a season of Fox Nation's Scandalous.[147]

See also edit

Bibliography edit

Primary sources edit

  • Ruby Ridge Task Force (June 10, 1994). Report of the Ruby Ridge Task Force to the Office of Professional Responsibility [OPR] of Investigation of Allegations of Improper Governmental Conduct in the Investigation, Apprehension and Prosecution of Randall C. Weaver and Kevin L. Harris [most complete version] (Report). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.
Chapters and sections cited from this work include:
  • I. Introduction / Executive Summary
  • §B. Significant Findings.
  • IV. Specific Issues Investigated
  • §B. The Failure of Weaver to Appear for Trial (2. Statement of Facts, subsection c.; or passim);
  • §C. Efforts by the Marshals Service to Effect the Arrest of Weaver (2. Statement of Facts, subsections a., g.);
  • §D. Marshals Service Activities Between August 17 and 21, 1992 (2. Statement of Facts, subsection c.; 3. Discussion, subsections a., c.; 4. Conclusion; or passim)
  • §F. FBI's Rules of Engagement and Operations on August 21 and 22, 1992 (2. Statement of Facts, subsections a.-g.; 3. Discussion, subsection a; or passim);
  • §H. Law Enforcement Operations at Ruby Ridge From August 22, 1992 Until August 31, 1992 (2. Statement of Facts, subsection b.); and
  • §L. Scope of the Indictment and Alleged Prosecutorial Misconduct Before the Grand Jury (passim).
  • VI. Chronology of Events (passim).
Note, other nearly identical sources of the same content are available online, e.g., differing only in terms of header or introductory content.
  • Ridge Task Force (November 9, 2006 rel.) [June 10, 1994].Report of the Ruby Ridge Task Force to the Office of Professional Responsibility [OPR] of Investigation of Allegations of Improper Governmental Conduct in the Investigation, Apprehension and Prosecution of Randall C. Weaver and Kevin L. Harris [OPR legacy, highly redacted version]. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.
This source exists as a series of PDF files of the full but heavily redacted report, including cover page-p. 39, pp. 40–84, pp. 85–125, pp. 126–165, pp. 166–211, pp. 212–251, pp. 252–298, pp. 299–338, pp. 339–395, pp. 396–474, pp. 475–516, and pp. 517–545, all via, all. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
Chapters and sections cited from this work include:
  • Introduction
  • B. United States Marshal Service
  • § 5. August 21, 1992 Firefight (subsections a.–c.)
  • D. Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • § 4. Two Shots Taken by Sniper/Observer on August 22, 1992 (subsection c.)

Secondary sources edit

References and notes edit

  1. ^ "Ruby Ridge | History, Facts, Aftermath, & Map | Britannica".
  2. ^ a b "18 Months in Jail for White Supremacist". The New York Times. October 19, 1993. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Walter, Jess (2002). Ruby Ridge: The Truth and Tragedy of the Randy Weaver Family (1st trade pbk. ed.). New York: ReganBooks. ISBN 978-0060007942.
  4. ^ Verhovek, Sam Howe (June 15, 2001). "F.B.I. Agent to Be Spared Prosecution in Shooting". The New York Times. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
  5. ^ Idaho v. Horiuchi, 266 (9th Cir. June 5, 2001).
  6. ^ "Opening Statement of Louis J. Freeh, Director Federal Bureau of Investigation". October 19, 1995. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  7. ^ Niebuhr, Gustav (April 26, 1995). "Terror in Oklahoma: Religion; Assault on Waco Sect Fuels Extremists' Rage". The New York Times. Archived from the original on August 18, 2018. Retrieved August 18, 2018.
  8. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Ruby Ridge
  9. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Caribou Ridge
  10. ^ Schlater, Evelyn A. (2006). Aryan Cowboys: White Supremacists and the Search for a New Frontier, 1970-2000.
  11. ^ Anderson, Hal E. (1968), Sundance Fire: An Analysis of Fire Phenomena, Research Paper, United States Department of Agriculture, INT-56
  12. ^ a b "DOJR - IV. Specific Issues Investigated (Part A)". Department of Justice. Retrieved May 18, 2023. Hunt and Mays also reviewed a copy of the military record "DD-214" for Weaver. Although the record did not indicate that Weaver had been a Green Beret or a member of the Special Forces, they speculated that Weaver may have received some general demolition training based on an indication in the record that Weaver had training as a combat engineer.
  13. ^ Schwartz, Stephen H. (executive producer, TLC); Nealon, Jon (producer); Zirnkilton, Steven (narrator) et al. (May 22, 2004). "Ruby Ridge". television documentary. Discovery Communications, Reality Productions Group. The Learning Channel [TLC]. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  14. ^ a b "Ruby Ridge, Part One: Suspicion". Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  15. ^ Lief, Michael S.; Caldwell, H. Mitchell (2007). The Devil's Advocates: Greatest Closing Arguments in Criminal Law. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-1416571865.
  16. ^ Hull, Anne (April 30, 2001). "Randy Weaver's Return From Ruby Ridge". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Report of the Ruby Ridge Task Force" (PDF). June 10, 1994. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
  18. ^ Egan, Timothy. (p. 3, August 30, 1992). [1] Archived March 13, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. The New York Times.
  19. ^ Siegler, Kirk. “How What Happened 25 Years Ago At Ruby Ridge Still Matters Today.” NPR, 18 Aug. 2017.
  20. ^ "The Shooting at Ruby Ridge". Retrieved July 22, 2017.[self-published source][unreliable source?]
  21. ^ a b RRTF, Report of the RRTF to the OPR (1994), §IV.L., pp. 325–377.
  22. ^ "The Shooting at Ruby Ridge". Retrieved July 22, 2017.[self-published source][unreliable source?]
  23. ^ Weaver & Weaver, The Federal Siege (1998), p. 29.
  24. ^ Quarles, Chester L. (2004). Christian Identity: The Aryan American Bloodline Religion. McFarland. p. 161. ISBN 978-0786481484.
  25. ^ Parker, R. J. (2012). Top Cases of The FBI. Rj Parker Publishing, Inc.[self-published source]
  26. ^ a b c "Weaver's lawyers say warrant was invalid – court clerk testifies that suspect was given wrong date". Seattle Times. Associated Press. April 23, 1993. Retrieved January 14, 2020.
  27. ^ RRTF, Report of the RRTF to the OPR (1994), Ch. IV., §B.2.c., p. 44f. [Quote:] "On February 20, Howen and defense counsel Hofmeister appeared before the U.S. district court judge Harold L. Ryan. At that time, Hofmeister told the court that he had been unable to contact Weaver."
  28. ^ a b c "The Shooting at Ruby Ridge". Retrieved July 22, 2017.[self-published source][unreliable source?]
  29. ^ RRTF, Report of the RRTF to the OPR (1994), Ch. IV., §B.2.b.(2), pp. 40–43. [Quote:] "Indeed, it was not until over a year later that the marshals learned of this action."
  30. ^ a b "Every Knee Shall Bow". Newsweek. August 27, 1995. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  31. ^ "Feds Have Fugitive 'Under Our Nose'". Spokesman Review. Spokane, WA: A19. March 1, 1992.
  32. ^ "Marshals Know He's There But Leave Fugitive Alone" (print and online publication). The New York Times: A14. March 13, 1992. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  33. ^ "The Shooting at Ruby Ridge". Retrieved July 22, 2017.[self-published source][unreliable source?]
  34. ^ a b c "The Shooting at Ruby Ridge". Retrieved July 22, 2017.[self-published source][unreliable source?]
  35. ^ a b c d e f U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism Technology and Government [Arlen Specter, Chair] (1996). Ruby Ridge: Report of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Government Information of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary (Report). Diane Publishing. ISBN 978-0788129766. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
  36. ^ Memorandum by Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick, dated April 5, 1995, cited in U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism Ruby Ridge: Report (1996), p. 35.
  37. ^ "The Shooting at Ruby Ridge". Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  38. ^ Morlin, Bill (April 23, 1992). "Helicopter shot at near fugitive's cabin". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. B1.
  39. ^ RRTF, Report of the RRTF to the OPR (1994), Ch. IV., §C.2.g.(2), footnote 246, pp. 78–80.
  40. ^ RRTF, Report of the RRTF to the OPR (1994), Ch. IV., §L.3.a., and footnote 1196, pp. 359-365.
  41. ^ Quoting footnote 1196 in its entirety, cited in the preceding: Only one of the four people in the helicopter thought he heard shots; the other three heard nothing of [sic.] were certain that the helicopter had not taken fire. A photographer in the helicopter saw someone gesture at the helicopter and thought he heard two shots on a boom microphone. [Report references for the foregoing statement,] FD-302 Interview of Dave Marlin, September 16, 1992. However, another passenger said that no shots has been fired and that "it would have been 'grossly unfair' to accuse the Weavers of shooting." [Report references for the foregoing statement,] FD-302 Interview of Richard Weiss, September 11 & 18, 1992, at 1–2; see FD-302 Interview of Brooke Skulski, September 28, 1992. Weaver denied that shots had been fired at the helicopter. [Report references for the foregoing statement,] "Fugitive: No Surrender," Coeur D'Alene Press, May 3, 1992, at 1. Deputy property [sic., text presumed omitted] on the day of the alleged shooting, but was unaware of any evidence that shots had been fired. See Report of Investigation by Mays, April 18, 1992.
  42. ^ Wiley, John K. (August 22, 1992). "U.S. deputy marshal gunned down". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. p. 1A.
  43. ^ Wiley, John (August 24, 1992). "Marshal murdered on the run". Moscow-Pullman Daily News. (Idaho-Washington). Associated Press. p. 1A.
  44. ^ McCabe, Scott. "Crime History – Marshals descend on Ruby Ridge". Washington Examiner. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  45. ^ RRTF, Report of the RRTF to the OPR (1994), Ch. IV., §D.2.c.(2), p. 112.
  46. ^ RRTF, Report of the RRTF to the OPR (1994), Ch. IV., §D.3.a.(4), p. 121.
  47. ^ Bock, Alan W. (1993). "Ambush at Ruby Ridge". Reason (October). Retrieved February 8, 2017. [Subtitle:] How government agents set Randy Weaver up and took his family down.
  48. ^ a b c Parker, R. J. (2012). Top Cases of The FBI. Rj Parker Publishing, Inc.[self-published source]
  49. ^ a b c d e U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Ruby Ridge: Report (1996), pp. 38–49.
  50. ^ Albright, Syd (September 14, 2014). "Idaho's tragedy at Ruby Ridge". Archived from the original on October 21, 2017. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  51. ^ a b c Worthington, Rogers (August 6, 1995). "Next Siege Probe For Congress: Idaho". tribunedigital-chicagotribune. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  52. ^ a b Lynch, Tim (August 21, 2002). "Remember Ruby Ridge" (online). National Review. Retrieved February 7, 2017 – via
  53. ^ U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Ruby Ridge: Report (1996), Ch. B. § 5.b., pp. 46f.
  54. ^ RRTF, Report of the RRTF to the OPR (1994), Ch. IV., §D.3.c. and 4., pp. 125–127.
  55. ^ Quoting from the RRTF report cited in the preceding. From subsection 3.c.:"Although it is not our intention to speculate, the evidence, though not conclusive, certainly suggests that the shot that killed Samuel came from Cooper's .9mm weapon. We have found no evidence that Cooper, or any of the marshals, intentionally sought to kill or injure Samuel Weaver. / Cooper said that he purposely fired three shots at Harris, after Harris shot Degan and appeared to be preparing to fire at Degan again. ... Cooper next fired a second three-round burst, in the direction from which he had received fire, as cover in an effort to reach Degan. He said this burst was not directed at a specific target. It is possible that Samuel may have been mortally wounded at that time. / Samuel Weaver was shot during a firefight in which he was a participant. There is no proof, and we do not conclude, that Cooper intentionally aimed the fatal shot at Samuel Weaver. Indeed, the record demonstrates that the marshals went to great lengths in preparing for their mission to avoid endangering the Weaver children."
  56. ^ Quoting from the RRTF report cited in the preceding. From subsection subsection 4., "We are unable to determine who initiated the gunfire at the Y on August 21. The evidence suggests, but does not establish, that the shot that killed Samuel Weaver was fired by DUSM Cooper. Assuming that to be so, we find that there was no intent on the part of Cooper or any of the other marshals to harm Samuel Weaver. We also find that the marshals did not attempt to conceal the shooting of Samuel Weaver since they were unaware that Samuel Weaver had even been injured."
  57. ^ Morlin, Bill (October 23, 1997). "Marshal Killed Weaver's Son At Ruby Ridge Tests Confirm Bullet Came From Federal Agent's Gun, Says Sheriff". Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  58. ^ Goodman, Barak (February 14, 2017). "Ruby Ridge". American Experience. Season 29. Episode 6. Event occurs at 24:30. PBS. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  59. ^ Lohr, David (2003). "Randy Weaver: Siege at Ruby Ridge [23 Chapters]". Court TV's Crime Library. New York: American Lawyer Media. p. 12. Archived from the original on December 6, 2003. Retrieved February 8, 2017 – via
  60. ^ a b Egan, Timothy (July 9, 1993). "Rebuking the U.S., Jury Acquits 2 In Marshal's Killing in Idaho Siege". The New York Times. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  61. ^ RRTF, Report of the RRTF to the OPR (1994), Ch. IV., §D., pp. 96–127.
  62. ^ Weaver & Weaver, The Federal Siege (1998). Book-length source cited without page number or chapter, so content appearing at these footnoted locations is not yet traceable to this source.
  63. ^ Goodman, Barak (February 14, 2017). "Ruby Ridge". American Experience. Season 29. Episode 6. Event occurs at 23:33. PBS. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  64. ^ "Ruby Ridge Figure Disputes U.S. Marshals". The New York Times. September 27, 1995. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  65. ^ Martin, Rachel (January 31, 2016). "The Federal Response To Oregon Occupation May Have Roots In Ruby Ridge". Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  66. ^ Vohryzek, Miki; Olson-Raymer, Gayle; Whamond, Jeffery O. (2001). Domestic Terrorism and Incident Management: Issues and Tactics. Charles C Thomas Publisher. p. 175. ISBN 978-0398083083.
  67. ^ a b c Goodman, Barak (February 14, 2017). "Ruby Ridge". American Experience. Season 29. Episode 6. Event occurs at 26:20. PBS. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  68. ^ a b c d e f g h "Report of the Ruby Ridge Task Force" (PDF). June 10, 1994. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
  69. ^ a b RRTF, Report of the RRTF to the OPR (1994), Ch. IV., §E.2.a., pp. 128–131. US Border Patrol agents were among the respondents at Ruby Ridge, according to USMS Crisis Center logs, see footnote 454. Quote: By this time, agents from the U.S. Border Patrol, the Boundary County Sheriff's Office, and the Idaho State Police had reached the scene ...
  70. ^ RRTF, Report of the RRTF to the OPR (1994), Ch. IV., §H.2.b., p. 235.
  71. ^ "Ruby Ridge standoff: A timeline". Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  72. ^ RRTF, Report of the RRTF to the OPR (1994), Ch. IV., §F.2.b., text before footnote 553, and again after footnote 714 (the latter of which corresponds to this numbered list); at pp. 163–172.
  73. ^ a b RRTF, Report of the RRTF to the OPR (1994), Ch. IV., §F.2.b., footnote 553, in pp. 163–172.
  74. ^ RRTF, Report of the RRTF to the OPR (1994), Ch. IV., §F., pp. 155–228.
  75. ^ Lardner Jr, George; Lei, Richard (July 14, 1995). "Permissive Rules of Engagement' at Issue in Ruby Ridge Shooting". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  76. ^ a b Walter, Jess (1996) [1995]. Every Knee Shall Bow: The Truth and Tragedy of Ruby Ridge and the Randy Weaver Family. New York: HarperPaperbacks. p. 190. ISBN 0061011312. Retrieved February 7, 2017. The link to this title is to the 1996 edition.
  77. ^ RRTF, Report of the RRTF to the OPR (1994), Ch. IV., §F.2.c., from footnote 614 to 616, pp. 173–183.
  78. ^ RRTF, Report of the RRTF to the OPR (1994), Ch. IV., §F.2.a.–g., pp. 156–193.
  79. ^ RRTF, Report of the RRTF to the OPR (1994), Ch. IV., §F.3.a., pp. 200–208.
  80. ^ RRTF, Report of the RRTF to the OPR (1994), Ch. IV., §F.2.f., p. 188.
  81. ^ a b Witkin, Gordon (September 11, 1995). "The Nightmare of Idaho's Ruby Ridge". U.S. News & World Report. 119 (10): 24. Archived from the original (print and online news) on February 11, 2017. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  82. ^ Spence, Gerry (2015). Police State: How America's Cops Get Away with Murder. Macmillan. p. 51. ISBN 978-1-250-07345-7.
  83. ^ a b Hewitt, Bill; Nelson, Margaret; Haederle, Michael; Slavin, Barbara (September 25, 1995). "A Time to Heal". People. 45 (13). Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  84. ^ Newsweek Staff (August 28, 1995). "The Echoes of Ruby Ridge". Newsweek: 25–28. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  85. ^ State of Idaho v. Lon T. Horiuchi [1] (9th Cir. June 5, 2001), Text.
  86. ^ Goodman, Barak (February 14, 2017). "Ruby Ridge". American Experience. Season 29. Episode 6. Event occurs at 30:00. PBS. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  87. ^ a b RRTF, Report of the RRTF to the OPR (1994), Ch. I., §B., pp. 2–6.
  88. ^ a b U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Ruby Ridge: Report (1996), Ch. D. § 4.c., p. 88. Quoting from the report: "c. Legality of the Second Shot / The Subcommittee believes that the second shot was inconsistent with the FBI's standard deadly force policy and was unconstitutional. It was even inconsistent with the special Rules of Engagement. [Footnote 1: Senator Feinstein dissents ...]"
  89. ^ a b c Balleck, Barry J. (2014). Allegiance to Liberty: The Changing Face of Patriots, Militias, and Political Violence in America. ABC-CLIO. p. 145. ISBN 978-1440830969.
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  91. ^ a b Walter, Jess; Morlin, Bill (August 31, 1992). "Harris gives up; Weavers remain". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. A1.
  92. ^ a b Ashton, Linda (August 31, 1992). "End to siege drawing near". Moscow-Pullman Daily News. (Idaho-Washington). Associated Press. p. 1A.
  93. ^ a b Goodman, Barak (February 14, 2017). "Ruby Ridge". American Experience. Season 29. Episode 6. Event occurs at 45:15. PBS. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  94. ^ Bock, Alan W. (1998) [1995]. Ambush at Ruby Ridge: How Government Agents Set Randy Weaver Up and Took His Family Down. Collingdale, PA: Diane Books. ISBN 1880741482.[full citation needed]
  95. ^ a b Wiley, John K. (September 1, 1992). "Fugitive's war in court". Moscow-Pullman Daily News. (Idaho-Washington). Associated Press. p. 1A.
  96. ^ Guthrey, Molly (September 2, 1992). "Agents leave Ruby Ridge to residents". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. B1.
  97. ^ Neiwert, David A. (1999). In God's Country: The Patriot Movement and the Pacific Northwest. Pullman: Washington State University Press. p. 66. ISBN 0874221757. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  98. ^ Wiley, John K. (September 1, 1992). "Weaver comes down from the mountain". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. p. 1A.
  99. ^ Miller, Dean (September 2, 1992). "Weaver says federal agents killed wife in retaliation". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. A1.
  100. ^ Kreller, Kathleen (June 15, 1993). "Jury ready to deliberate in Weaver murder trial". Moscow-Pullman Daily News. (Idaho-Washington). Associated Press. p. 1A.
  101. ^ Walter, Jess (April 14, 1993). "Authorities gear up for trial". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. A1.
  102. ^ Miller, Dean (April 15, 1993). "Weaver painted as prophet of violence". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. A1.
  103. ^ Miller, Dean (April 17, 1993). "Defense mistrial bid denied". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. B1.
  104. ^ a b Foster, J. Todd (June 15, 1993). "Stage set for final arguments". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. A1.
  105. ^ "Jury begins deliberations today in Weaver, Harris trial". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. June 16, 1993. p. 4C.
  106. ^ Foster, J. Todd (June 16, 1993). "Weaver's, Harris' fate rests with jury". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. A1.
  107. ^ Jones, Stephen; Israel, Peter (2001). Others Unknown Timothy Mcveigh And The Oklahoma City Bombing Conspiracy. PublicAffairs. p. 331. ISBN 1586480987.[permanent dead link]
  108. ^ a b Kreller, Kathleen (July 8, 1993). "Weaver cleared in slaying". Moscow-Pullman Daily News. (Idaho-Washington). Associated Press. p. 1A.
  109. ^ a b Kreller, Kathleen (July 9, 1993). "Jurors examined every scrap". Moscow-Pullman Daily News. (Idaho-Washington). Associated Press. p. 5A.
  110. ^ Miller, Dean; Walter, Jess (October 19, 1993). "Weaver gets 18-month term". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. A1.
  111. ^ Kreller, Kathleen (October 19, 1993). "Weaver sentenced to 18 months". Moscow-Pullman Daily News. (Idaho-Washington). Associated Press. p. 4A.
  112. ^ Miller, Dean (December 18, 1993). "Weaver goes free". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. A1.
  113. ^ Warbis, Mark (December 17, 1993). "Former fugitive Randy Weaver freed after 16 months in jail". Moscow-Pullman Daily News. (Idaho-Washington). Associated Press. p. 1A.
  114. ^ Mattos, Jenifer (August 22, 1997). "Double Jeopardy at Ruby Ridge?". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved April 29, 2017.
  115. ^ a b Keating, Kevin (August 22, 1997). "Harris surrenders". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. A1.
  116. ^ Wiley, John K. (August 22, 1997). "County to prosecute FBI agent, Harris". Moscow-Pullman Daily News. (Idaho-Washington). Associated Press. p. 4A.
  117. ^ a b Keating, Kevin (August 22, 1997). "Prosecutor steps into the spotlight". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. A12.
  118. ^ Keating, Kevin (October 3, 1997). "Harris charges dropped". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. A1.
  119. ^ "Charges against Kevin Harris dismissed". Moscow-Pullman Daily News. (Idaho-Washington). Associated Press. October 3, 1997. p. 4A.
  120. ^ a b RRTF, Report of the RRTF to the OPR (1994; more complete version), see Bibliography.
  121. ^ a b RRTF, Report of the RRTF to the OPR (2006) [1994; OPR legacy, highly redacted version, PDF series], see Bibliography.
  122. ^ "Reno draws criticism at Ruby Ridge hearing". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. October 20, 1995. p. 2C.
  123. ^ U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Ruby Ridge: Report (1996), pp. 1. [Quote:] "Introduction: In the summer of 1995, the Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Government Information announced that it would hold public hearings into allegations that several branches of the Departments of Justice and the Treasury had engaged in serious criminal and professional misconduct in the investigation, apprehension and prosecution of Randall Weaver and Kevin Harris at Ruby Ridge, Idaho." See for comparison, the opening of RRTF, Report of the RRTF to the OPR (1994), appearing in the Bibliography.
  124. ^ GAO Staff: Rabkin, Norman J.; Harris, Daniel C.; Hamilton, Geoffrey R.; et al. (March 1996). Use of Force: ATF Policy, Training and Review Process Are Comparable to DEA's and FBI's (Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee on Treasury, Postal Service, and General Government, Committee on Appropriations, House of Representatives, [Document] GAO/GGD-96-17) (PDF) (Report). Washington, DC: United States General Accounting Office [GAO]. p. 33 of 125 pages. Retrieved February 14, 2017.{{cite report}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)[non-primary source needed] See also p. 3, "Both Treasury and Justice define 'deadly force' as use of any force that is likely to cause death or serious physical injury." Note, this report does not explicitly mention Rudy Ridge.
  125. ^ The rulings referred to are Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1, 18 (1985), and Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386 (1989). See GAO Staff (March 1996), Use of Force, op. cit. (immediately preceding citation)
  126. ^ "FBI Agent Gets Prison Term for Destroying Ruby Ridge Report". Los Angeles Times. October 11, 1997.
  127. ^ Labaton, Stephen (August 16, 1995). "Separatist Family Given $3.1 Million from Government". The New York Times. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
  128. ^ Ostrow, Ronald J. (August 16, 1995). "U.S. to Pay $3.1 Million for '92 Idaho Shootout". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 7, 2017 – via [Quote:] Court: Settlement in Weaver case reflects loss of mother, son in Ruby Ridge incident. But wrongdoing is denied.
  129. ^ Wiley, John K. (August 22, 1997). "Charges filed in Ruby Ridge shootings". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. p. 1A.
  130. ^ "Weaver says dismissal's no surprise". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. May 16, 1998. p. 10A.
  131. ^ Nieves, Evelyn (June 6, 2001). "F.B.I. Agent Can Be Charged In Idaho Siege, Court Rules". The New York Times. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  132. ^ For the Appeals Court ruling on Horiuchi, see State of Idaho v. Lon T. Horiuchi [2], 98-30149 (9th Cir. June 5, 2001). Proceedings of December 20, 2000 to June 5, 2001; includes Special Rules of Engagement, and the dissent by Judge Alex Kozinski.
  133. ^ Kravets, David (June 6, 2001). "Court: FBI shooter can be tried in Ruby Ridge slaying". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. p. 1A.
  134. ^ Wilson, Mike (June 6, 2001). "Weaver cheers appeals court's ruling". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. p. 9A.
  135. ^ Drumheller, Susan (November 8, 2000). "Boundary sheriff loses to sergeant". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. A20.
  136. ^ Clouse, Thomas; Drumheller, Susan (June 15, 2001). "No last shot at Ruby Ridge". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. A1.
  137. ^ Geranios, Nicholas K. (June 15, 2001). "Prosecutor will drop charges against sniper". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. p. 1A.
  138. ^ Verhovek, Sam Howe (June 15, 2001). "F.B.I. Agent To Be Spared Prosecution in Shooting". The New York Times. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
  139. ^ Weaver & Weaver, The Federal Siege (1998), see Bibliography.
  140. ^ Geranios, Nicholas K. (August 20, 2012). "20 Years After Ruby Ridge, There's Forgiveness". NBC News. Associated Press. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
  141. ^ "Ruby Ridge Standoff: Randy Weaver has died at the age of 74". KULR-8 Local News. Retrieved May 12, 2022.
  142. ^ "Timothy McVeigh". The website. A&E Television Networks. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
  143. ^ "The Siege at Ruby Ridge (TV Movie 1996)". IMDb. May 19, 1996. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  144. ^ Young, Roger (director), Chetwynd, Lionel (screenwriter) et al. (2007). Standoff at Ruby Ridge. Edgar J. Scherick Associates, Regan Company, Victor Television Productions (producers). Retrieved February 7, 2017.
  145. ^ Bonine, Richard Pray (1999). Alice in Washington. iUniverse. ISBN 978-1583487488.
  146. ^ "Slate Presents: Standoff". Slate Magazine. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  147. ^ "FOX three-part series on Ruby Ridge will include interviews with Daily Times editor". The Daily Times. Blount County, Tennessee. January 9, 2020. Retrieved March 1, 2021.

Further reading and viewing edit

Further sources edit

Other books edit

Other reports edit

  • Anon. (1999). Project Megiddo (PDF) (Report). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation. p. 21. Retrieved February 8, 2017. [Quote:] The attached analysis, entitled PROJECT MEGIDDO, is an FBI strategic assessment of the potential for domestic terrorism in the United States undertaken in anticipation of or response to the arrival of the new millennium.[primary source] Note, the author and date of publication do not appear on the title page or mast head of the document, but are inferred from other sources.[clarification needed]

Other articles edit

Other documentaries edit

Randy Weaver and the Siege at Ruby Ridge have been the focus of numerous documentaries, including:

External links edit