Ruby Ridge: The Truth and Tragedy of the Randy Weaver Family
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On the last hot day of summer in 1992, gunfire cracked over a rocky knob in northern Idaho, just south of the Canadian border. By the next day three people were dead, and a small war was joined, pitting the full might of federal law enforcement against one well-armed family. Drawing on extensive interviews with Randy Weaver's family, government insiders, and others, Jess Walter traces the paths that led the Weavers to their confrontation with federal agents and led the government to treat a family like a gang of criminals.
This is the story of what happened on Ruby Ridge: the tragic and unlikely series of events that destroyed a family, brought down the number-two man in the FBI, and left in its wake a nation increasingly attuned to the dangers of unchecked federal power.
when she returned, Lorenz was different. He couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat. Nervous and shifty-eyed, he made vague references to being in trouble, being under investigation. A few crank telephone calls chided him for supporting the Weavers, and Lorenz began to worry that he was in trouble because of a trust fund he’d agreed to start for the Weaver girls. He’d only volunteered because he had the only safe in the area, he explained to Wasiliki. He didn’t condone those beliefs! He just felt sorry for
likely the work of government agents trying to discredit white Christian patriots. He took a stab at mediating the Freemen standoff and in 1998 offered to help accused abortion-clinic bomber Eric Rudolph turn himself in. He claimed to have “inserted myself in the breech more than twenty-three times between embattled Americans and government … which has continued a swift descent into chaos and anarchy.” By the late 1990s, after an apparent slowdown in the “chaos and anarchy” business, Gritz found
Sometimes it was more than a desire. The convicted spy Christopher Boyce found support and a place to hide in Boundary County, and there were always others trying on new names and identities. Boundary County defies stereotyping. It is the home of survivalists, but also of pacifist Mennonites. Democrats usually win the elections, but most residents would probably tell you they’re conservative. Left and right swing out as far as they’ll go, and then connect in Boundary, where people take the
had come out of the bad times, and she just hoped that—once she and her husband realized the government wasn’t coming after them—she would come to her senses, drive down the mountain, and come home to Iowa. Maybe, she hoped, the peace of country living would bring her sister back from the edge. CITY PEOPLE LIKE TO BELIEVE that once you get out to a place like Boundary County, where you might be a half-mile from your nearest neighbor, everyone gets along in a sort of Mayberry bliss. Most rural
talked with over the last eighteen months. They couldn’t get any people, let alone any information. All they knew was the bizarre military talk they heard from officials on the television news: that the Weavers lived in “a compound” or “a fortress”; that the children were armed and dangerous; that the dead marshal was “a hero” who had been ambushed by the family; that federal officers had surrounded the cabin and might be planning to raid it. None of it made sense to David Jordison. It was no