Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Randy Weaver: Siege at Ruby Ridge


Following his release from jail, Randy Weaver flew back to Iowa with his children and filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the government for the killing of Samuel and Vicki Weaver. In an out-of-court settlement, Randy was given $100,000 and his daughters were granted $1 million apiece. "The government got caught with its pants down," Randy stated after the settlement. "They broke a whole bunch of serious laws, they were totally embarrassed, and they settled our lawsuit out of court because they didn't want a lot of questions asked. This became a personal vendetta with the government when I laughed in the face of the agent who offered to drop my charges if I became an informant. They admitted in court that crime is about as serious as a traffic violation."

Federal prosecutors eventually ended a two-year long probe into several FBI officials for their role in the Ruby Ridge standoff. Following the investigation, Danny Coulson, former head of FBI headquarters, was given a letter of censure; Michael Kahoe, who had been involved in researching the rules of engagement, was censured and suspended for 15 days; Richard Rogers, head of the hostage rescue team, was censured and suspended for 10 days; Larry Potts, the man who had approved the rules of engagement, was censured; Eugene Glenn, Ruby Ridge field commander, was censured and suspended for 15 days, and Lou Horiuchi, the HRT "Blue" sniper/observer team leader, received no punishment for his actions, which resulted in the death of Vicki Weaver.

Randy Weaver eventually relocated to Montana with his daughters and purchased a car lot. Kevin Harris moved to Republic, Washington, where he currently works as a welder. The Weaver cabin still stands on Ruby Ridge and, as of this writing, remains unoccupied. Since the shoot out at Ruby Ridge, Randy Weaver has been deemed the patron saint of militant gun owners, a living martyr whose infamous shoot-out with federal agents helped ignite "A seething backlash in the country," as the N.R.A. puts it. This backlash, along with the Branch Davidian's standoff in Waco, Texas, was later said to have caused the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City, by Timothy McVeigh.


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