White separatist Randy Weaver left Ruby Ridge on a stretcher. His wife and 14-year-son left in body bags. Both were shot and killed by federal agents in the infamous 1992 standoff.
Weaver’s talked little about the shootout in five years. But that’s about to change.
Weaver and his eldest daughter, Sara, are writing a book about Ruby Ridge. It goes to the printer in March without a juicy deal from a publishing company. Weaver has formed Ruby Ridge Inc. and will publish the book himself and market it on the Internet.
“I want the American people to understand how my daughters and I felt when all this … was going on. It was a tough time. It is something we will never get over,” Weaver said from his home in Marion, Mont.
No one knows what it was like to have his three daughters watch their mother die on the cabin floor, he said.
“It’s going to be our feelings as things happened,” he said of the book. “There will be several things in there that have never been brought to light and a little about how we feel now.”
A handful of books already have been written about Ruby Ridge, including one by former Spokesman-Review reporter Jess Walter. His book was eventually turned into a made-for-television movie.
Weaver wants to warn people about a government that forgets it is supposed to be serving the people. “I want the American people to realize the government can do what they want and in most cases get away with it. They didn’t at Ruby Ridge. They got caught with their pants down.”
If his book breaks even it would be a success, Weaver said. He’s funding the book with some of the $3.1 million the government paid his family to settle a lawsuit stemming from the deadly standoff.
The book title has not been decided. There are two options: “Truth, Lies and the American Way” or “Ruby Ridge: The Real Story by the People That Survived.”
Weaver, his family and friend Kevin Harris faced off with federal agents at his mountaintop cabin. Government officials wanted Weaver for failing to appear in court on an illegal weapons charge.
Agents went on a surveillance trip to Weaver’s cabin in August 1992. The Weavers spotted the team, and a gun battle erupted. Marshal William Degan was killed, as was Sam Weaver. The next day an FBI sniper shot at Randy Weaver, wounding him. Another shot by the sniper, intended for Harris, went through Vicki Weaver’s head, killing her instantly.
“If I could, I would have died in her place,” Weaver said. “She could have told you a whole lot more (in the book) than I can. My daughter Sara has her mother’s insight, though. She is a lot smarter than me. There will be a lot she has to say.”
Weaver and Harris were acquitted of murder in federal court in 1993. FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi is scheduled to stand trial in March for killing Vicki Weaver. He was charged with involuntary manslaughter by Boundary County Prosecutor Denise Woodbury.
Weaver wanted Horiuchi charged with murder, just as he was years ago.
The first time Randy Weaver ever testified in court was at Horiuchi’s court appearance in Bonners Ferry a few months ago.
Besides working on his book, Randy Weaver boards horses at his northwest Montana home and sells subscriptions to a telephone service. He bought into a used car dealership but that deal went sour.
“I’m not a good businessman,” he admitted. “I do think there are a lot of people out there still interested in what we have to say about Ruby Ridge, though. We never really did have our say.”
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color Photo
MEMO: Cut in Spokane edition