Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Randy Weaver: Siege at Ruby Ridge

The Surrender

On Sunday August 30, 1992, Bo Gritz returned to the Weaver cabin with a body bag to remove Vicki's body. Gritz had been outfitted with a transmitting device this time, so that the command post could monitor any conversations between himself and the Weavers. Following a brief conversation with Randy, Gritz and a family friend of the Weavers, Jackie Brown, carried Vicki Weaver's body out of the cabin and placed it in a vehicle to be transported down to the command post. After delivering the body, Jackie Brown returned to the cabin with some water and began cleaning blood from the floor of the cabin. Brown later reported that, at her request, she was given two five-gallon buckets of water, three white bath towels, and a roll of paper towels. Brown said she cleaned Vicki Weaver's blood from the cabin floor because she did not want the Weaver girls "to deal with cleaning the blood of their mother."

Gerald McLamb, a retired Phoenix police officer who was assisting Gritz in his campaign for President, returned to the cabin with Gritz to help in the negotiations. Both negotiators focused their conversations on Weaver and Harris and their need for medical attention. Kevin Harris was in a serious mental and physical state and had given up his will to live. Randy, not wanting to watch his friend die before his eyes, agreed that Harris should surrender and get the medical attention he desperately needed. Following the brief conversation, Gritz and McLamb carried Kevin outside to an armed carrier where he was then transported down the mountain for medical supervision. Deciding not to push Randy too far too fast, Gritz and McLamb then left the cabin, promising to return the following morning for further talks.

Guns and ammo taken from Weaver compound (AP /Wide World)
Guns and ammo taken from
Weaver compound (AP /Wide

The following day, Monday August 31, 1992, Gritz and McLamb returned to the Weaver cabin. The pressure on the two men was more intense, because if they could not persuade the Weavers to surrender, a tactical team would over run the cabin later that day to bring the standoff to a final end. If the operation were to take place, it would most likely result in the death of Randy and perhaps even his children.

Prior to arriving at the cabin, Gritz had spoken with Gerry Spence, a renowned attorney from Wyoming, who was known around the world for representing the poor, the injured, the forgotten and the damned against what he calls "the new slave master," mammoth corporation and mammoth government. He had previously tried and won many nationally known cases, including the Karen Silkwood case, and had not lost a case since 1969. Spence had more multi-million dollar verdicts without an intervening loss than any lawyer in America. After Gritz contacted Spence and explained the situation, the attorney agreed without hesitation to defend the Weaver family in court. Gritz had also obtained a handwritten note from Assistant U.S. Attorney Ron Howen to Randy Weaver, which agreed to allow Randy to present his account of the situation to a grand jury.

Randy Weaver with Linda Thompson (AP/Wide World)
Randy Weaver with Linda Thompson
(AP/Wide World)

When Gritz informed Randy of the deal he had made with Gerry Spence and the note he had obtained from Ron Howen, Randy began to waiver. The children, sensing their father was about to make a terrible decision, begged with him not to surrender himself to the "ZOG Government," however the mental and physical strain had taken its toll and Randy felt that he could no longer hold out in the cabin. After a brief discussion with his children, Randy Weaver agreed to surrender and exited the cabin with Bo Gritz. As soon as the men stepped outside the cabin door federal agents handcuffed Randy and the entire Weaver family began to cry as they were escorted down the driveway. Snipers and camouflaged agents began crawling out of the woodwork and as the Weavers noticed multiple armored carriers, helicopters flying overhead and a massive tent city at the base of the mountain, they could not believe their eyes. "All this for one family," Sarah muttered as tears ran down her face.


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