From time to time, in between his many "anti" rants on Facebook, Jerad would talk about his wife, Amanda, as being the one good thing he had. When he had to go off to jail for seven weeks last year, on a probation violation (for an earlier drug conviction), Jerad cried as he contemplated life without Amanda.
Generally, however, Jerad was obsessed with pointing out how unfree the USA had gotten, and how personally he felt called, as an American patriot, to do something about it. Jerad was a man in search of a violent revolution, and as he often said, he was searching and expecting to die violently at the hands of the police. Jerad said he was not suicidal, and he even criticized suicide-by-cop. But, he figured the state would eventually take notice of his anti-government rhetoric and would come after him in some fashion that Jerad was prepared to violently resist.
In April of this year, believing the revolutionary confrontation he was expecting would start at Cliven Bundy's absurd and dangerous standoff with the feds over Bundy's refusal to pay $1 million in grazing fees he owed, Jerad went to join what Miller hoped would be "the next Waco". But, the feds weren't that stupid, and realizing the considerable chance that a Waco-like outcome might occur, the US government backed off. Before this happened, apparently the Bundys kicked the Millers off their land, for being too violently radical in their rhetoric. Jerad would later claim it was because of his criminal record.
As noted above, hate was a big deal in Jerad Miller's life, and, among the many things Jerad Miller hated most, police were right up there. They had been arresting Jerad and taking him to jail, mostly for petty offenses, since he was a kid in Washington state. Like many Americans, even ones who don't have a rap sheet, Jerad was sick of police. And he wanted Americans to fight back against police abuses.
On Facebook, Jerad was explicit in saying that he had no problem whatsoever gunning down cops. The police after all were the deluded defenders of the Empire, and obviously the enemy of the people. Before you react all kneejerk like and think—"what a nut!"—there are plenty of Americans, on right and left, Americans who are not ready to go on kill sprees, who nevertheless think exactly the same thing about the out-of-control police. Even the New York Times this week ran a piece on the dangerous militarization of the police that has occurred since 9/11.
This is a most important thing to understand about Jerad and Amanda Miller. Not everything they were standing for and especially against, was obviously looney and wrong. But, in the political mix these hapless individuals concocted for themselves, was the hard-core libertarian view of guns and gun rights as the one protection the American people have against tyranny. Again, this view is not that of a tiny minority, but is widely held by millions of Americans, especially in certain, mainly red-state, parts of the country. It is a view of things daily expressed on millions of websites and Facebook pages, by Americans who feel alienated from the modern "dream", and especially the demographic drift, of America.
Of course there is one thing that now sets the Millers apart from the other anti-government ranters—their willingness to pick up their guns and start killing people. Exactly when this passed from a fantasy to being an inevitable outcome for Jerad and Amanda, is hard to say. But in the past few months, especially since the couple moved to Nevada, Jerad Miller's Facebook rhetoric became more and more explicit concerning what he viewed as the necessity to take some action that would likely result in his death.
Among a number of "manifesto"-type statements Jerad offered, the following, published on Facebook on March 25, 2014, is probably the clearest expression of where Miller was coming from and where he was expecting to shortly go to:
"I have compromised enough. Either you stand with freedom, or you side with tyranny. There is no middle ground. We have deluded ourselves into such a notion. There is no grey area. Now, I know that some peoples definition of freedom has been compromised. Mine has not and I will not be dismissed and ridiculed because my definition of freedom may seem extreme to those who's definition has been deluded. I stand firm in my convictions and stand prepared to die for them. Those that have been misled, are you prepared to die for yours? Or will you send hired goons to do your bidding for you? Send those impoverished by your greed to silence me? Giving them table scraps as you have no blood on your hands, yet force them to wash away thiers for the rest of their lives? The day of your judgment will come, not from my hand, for you will make me a martyr. Your judgment will come from those that will bite the hand that feeds them. Grow paranoid, and distrustful of those that protect you. They will wake up to your monarchy, they will rise in our name, those who died fighting the oppression. Those you chose to silence, like me. Come for me, free me from your slavery. Give me the death a hero deserves. Help wake the masses to your corruption and treason. I fucking dare you!"On this past Sunday, June 8, 2014, Jerad Miller got tired of waiting for the "hired goons" to come. For some reason, the government just wasn't taking any notice of him, and he decided to help them on that count. Jerad and Amanda geared and gunned up and headed into Las Vegas to start the revolution—at least that is what they claimed to think they were doing.
I haven't said much about Amanda so far, because most people are processing things that she was young and impressionable and misled by her crazy, criminal, husband. But, that is probably being unfair to Jerad and Amanda. As we now know, Jerad's 100%-committed wife was no wallflower when it came time to start killing. That wasn't just because she was a poor, deluded, victim. Amanda saw something in Jerad which connected strongly with her own emotional and political reality.
On Sunday, Amanda helped Jerad murder two police officers in a Las Vegas restaurant, covering their dead bodies afterward with a Gadsden flag and a swastika. Then the couple went to a nearby Walmart, where they ordered everybody out. We should note that this goes against the idea the Millers had come to do a "Columbine", since they could certainly have killed a lot of people at this point, if they had wanted to. One foolish customer decided it was time to be a hero, and drew down on Jerad. Amanda wasn't having any of that, and pulled her own weapon and shot the would-be good-guy dead.
With the cops pouring in from everywhere, the Millers went to the back of the store, and engaged in a firefight with the hated police. At one point, reportedly, Amanda was hit and Jerad attempted to build a makeshift fort to protect her. But it was clear the end had come. Whatever death a hero deserves, the kind Jerad Miller got was lying down in front of his wounded wife and
*—UPDATE. While police initially reported that Jerad had been shot to death by his wife, Amanda, after reviewing video, and examining the autopsy reports, police now think Jerad was killed by a bullet fired by police inside the Walmart. The video of the final shootout scene does appear to show Amanda pointing her weapon at Jerad, but she does not shoot him. However, as noted above, after seeing her husband slump forward from his wound, Amanda does commit a "405", suicide.