August 22, 2012
The face of terror, or the victim of terror? It has been 20 years since the siege at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, a clash that saw the violent deaths of three people and a dog. Randy and Vicki Weaver, a Midwestern couple, had moved to the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, where they planned to live as self-sufficiently as possible. Then the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms entrapped Randy on a minor weapons violation and offered him a deal: The charge would be dismissed if he became an informant in white separatist circles. Weaver decided he’d rather skip his trial and move his family to a cabin in the wilderness. When federal agents arrived on the scene, they shot the family dog. The Weavers’ son Sam, not realizing what was going on, fired a shot in response and then fled, at which point an agent shot him in the back. Kevin Harris, a visiting friend, fired from the Weavers’ cabin, killing one of the attacking cops. The FBI’s snipers went on to wound both Randy and Harris, and one of the agents killed Vicki, firing a bullet into her head while she held the couple’s 10-month-old daughter.