From the August 2001 Idaho Observer:

Tony and Jackie Brown release The First Canary

Colburn couple publishes long awaited insider account of Ruby Ridge

COLBURN -- Colburn residents and Ruby Ridge insiders Tony Brown and Jackie Brown have finally released their long-awaited account of what really happened at Ruby Ridge.

The book is entitled The First Canary because the Browns, who were close friends of the Weavers, believe that the primary reason the government staged a military assault on a north Idaho family was to see how the American public would respond.

The public's response, according to the Browns, emboldened the federal government to murder the men, women and children we know as the Branch Davidians by shooting them, gassing them and then burning their church/home to the ground.

It would appear that a new chapter in the annals of American history began the moment U.S. Marshal Larry Cooper, while attempting to sneak up on the Weaver home with other marshals, killed 14-year-old Sammy Weaver by shooting him in the back.

When the smoke finally settled up on Ruby Ridge, three members of the Weaver family were dead and two were injured: Sammy was dead, his mother Vicki Weaver was dead from a shot between the eyes that came from the rifle of federal sniper/assassin Lon Horiuchi, and their faithful golden lab Striker was also shot and killed by the feds. Randy Weaver and Kevin Harris were shot and wounded -- all because, allegedly, Randy Weaver refused to appear in court to answer charges that he sold an illegally shortened shotgun to a federal agent.

Randy Weaver was eventually aquitted of the charges against him and was awarded $3.1 million in a civil action prosecuted by attorney Gerry Spence in the court of Idaho District Federal Court Judge Edward Lodge.

Former Boundary County Prosecuting Attorney Denise Woodbury attempted to prosecute Horiuchi for manslaughter and found that Judge Lodge believed he should not be held criminally liable for murdering an innocent woman.

The Browns felt compelled to tell the world what really happened at Ruby Ridge because, nine years later, the government is still lying to the American people about what happened. “We have spent the last several years researching and writing this book,” said Jackie Brown. “We believe it is the most accurate version of the story to date and hope that the book gets out there so the American people can understand what is happening to them.”

Tony Brown commented that the Weaver incident was simply the first canary.


The First Canary: The Inside Story of Ruby Ridge and a Decade of Coverup by Tony and Jackie Brown. Soft cover. 415 pages with photos.

Ordering information:

Single copy: 19.95
25% discount for five or more copies
Idaho residents please add 5% sales tax.

Big Pine Publishing
P.O. Box 200
Colburn, Idaho 83865

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