Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Randy Weaver: Siege at Ruby Ridge

A Happy Family

In 1970 Randy secured a temporary leave from Fort Bragg and returned to his hometown for a visit. He had already decided to finish up his duties with the Army as quickly as possible and wanted to inform his family of his plans. It did not take long for him to look up Vicki and the two picked up where they had left off almost two years earlier. Within weeks, they were engaged to marry.

Vicki's family was concerned when they learned of the couple's quick engagement. In their eyes, the two had not courted long enough and were rushing into something for which they both were not prepared. Vicki explained to her family that she truly loved Randy and that they would have probably married years earlier if Randy had not enlisted in the military. In striving to keep their daughter happy, Vicki's family relented and gave the couple their blessing.

On October 8, 1971, following three years of duty, Randy Weaver received an honorable discharge from the Army and moved back home. One month later, in November of 1971, Randy and Vicki were wed during a small ceremony at the First Congregationalist Church in Fort Dodge, Iowa. In an attempt to please Vicki's family, two ministers conducted the ceremony, one from the Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints and the other a Congregationalist pastor.

Following the wedding the newlyweds moved into a small apartment two hours east of Fort Dodge, in Cedar Falls. Randy enrolled at the University of Northern Iowa to take criminal justice classes, intending to become an FBI agent. Nonetheless, the young couple found the cost of school to be too much for them and Randy eventually dropped out. The couple started selling Amway products to support themselves.

In 1973 the Weavers gave up on their career as Amway marketers. Randy secured a job at the John Deere tractor plant in Waterloo, just outside Cedar Falls, and Vicki got a job as a secretary at a Sears department store. They were both earning modest paychecks and eventually purchased a ranch-style home for $26,000 in a well-kept Cedar Falls neighborhood. They were seemingly quite happy — they had plenty of money and Randy was always buying boats, motorcycles and sports cars.


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