Randy Weaver is a former U.S. Army combat engineer who went to the distant mountaintop Ruby Ridge to reside with his family. He grew up in profoundly spiritual family, and in age 11 he officially accepted Jesus into his life. In military life Weaver shone, being a Green Beret and serving three years in the armed forces.
Together, the Weavers led a solid middle class life in Cedar Falls, Iowa. A bit more than two years later the weavers welcomed a son, Samuel. But as the years passed and their spiritual viewpoints deepened, so did their paranoia in regards to the government and spiritual associations. Randy began gathering firearms and, along with his wife Vicki, made plans to move to some distant area which could function as a more secluded house.
In early 1984 the Weavers, now having a third kid, Rachel, in tow, realized their vision. On a parcel of land that looked out on a run of water in Idaho called Ruby Creek, the Weavers moved right into a cottage that Randy and Vicki assembled themselves. The Weavers were isolated, with no running water or electricity, yet it had been precisely how the Weavers needed it.
The setting, though, appeared to simply further the Weavers’ extreme views on government and race relations. In the late 1980s, Randy Weaver began getting the interest of national authorities, who viewed him as a potential connection to members of the Aryan Nation. In 1989, federal agents working undercover bought two sawed-off shotguns from Weaver, leading to his arrest. Representatives subsequently approached Weaver using the possibility to become an informant for the Aryan Nation, but Randy refused to join forces. Instead, Weaver was indicted on two felony counts of making and keeping illegal weapons.
Weaver was shortly released, however he subsequently did not appear in court for his February 1991 trial (his parole officer wrongly told Weaver the trial was to be held in March). Within the next 18 months, U.S. marshals kept a careful watch on Weaver and his deals. Ultimately, on August 21, 1992, Weaver’s 14-year old son, Samuel, as well as a detailed family friend, Kevin Harris, became engaged in a gun battle with federal marshals. Samuel was killed in the conflict, as was U.S. marshal William Degan.
The next day, numerous national, state and local law enforcement representatives surrounded Weaver’s household. The ensuing confrontation resulted in Vicki Weaver’s departure as well as the shootings of Kevin Harris and Randy Weaver. Harris and Weaver were able to stave off authorities in an 11-day standoff, however they were eventually compelled to turn themselves over to cops. Both guys were arrested and tried for the murder of William Degan, but when the trial revealed what seemed to be an ATF entrapment strategy as well as the FBI’s botched assault on the family, both men were acquitted. Recently, Weaver has worked to set his life back together. After the trial Harris returned to Iowa, eventually remarried, and settled down in the town of Jefferson, Arkansas.