Jerad Miller and his wife, Amanda, loved super villains.
They walked about their Las Vegas apartment complex dressed as Batman villains, the Joker and his vampy sidekick Harley Quinn. Amanda Miller's Facebook profile photo shows the pair in their Joker costumes.
Police say it was a window into the couple's troubled lives. Underneath their painted faces, they were a homicidal rage against authority.
The couple opened fire Sunday in a Las Vegas pizza restaurant and killed two police officers, draping one body with a "don't tread on me" flag and a swastika. On another, they pinned a menacing note, authorities said Monday.
Then the couple fatally shot another man in a nearby Walmart before officers cornered them. At that point, police said, Amanda Miller, 22, shot her husband and then herself.
As the public reacts with horror, investigators are trying to piece together details on how the couple graduated from anti-government rhetoric to murder.
"To stop this oppression, I fear, can only be accomplished with bloodshed," Jerad Miller, 31, posted on Facebook on June 2. "I, however would rather die fighting for freedom, than live on my knees as a slave."
The couple's social media postings serve as an anatomy of their anti-government, pro-gun beliefs. Jerad Miller was particularly prolific about his hate against the government and police authority, often going on screeds against President Obama and gun restrictions.
The couple were part of a growing far-right, anti-government movement that has exploded in followers in recent years, said Mark Potok, senior fellow of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups.
The center was not monitoring Jerad and Amanda Miller specifically. But through the couple's Facebook postings and clues left at the bloody scene, it's clear they adhered to the anti-government "Patriot" movement," Potok said.
The Patriot movement, which was the name given to the militia trend of the 1990s, has seen its numbers soar from about 150 known groups before 2008 to more than 1,000 last year, he said. The election of President Obama in fall 2008 was a main catalyst for the rise of anti-government conspirators, Potok said.
"These are groups that believe the federal government is involved in a plot to impose martial law, take away people's weapons … and ultimately force the United States into becoming a socialist country," he said.
According to an analysis of Jerad Miller's Facebook postings by the center, the social media page was littered with signs of his allegiance to the Patriot movement: He cited Patriot guns right activist Adam Kokesh. He "liked" Three Percenter Nation, a Patriot group headed by a former Alabama militiaman, and his profile picture shows two knives and the word "Patriot," with a stars and stripes motif.
Also, the Gadsden flag left at the pizza parlor by Jerad Miller is an emblem of the Patriot movement, Potok said.
Patriot members today constitute one of the most dangerous threats monitored by the center, he said.
"The only terrorist threat we face is not just jihadist," Potok said. "We have a homegrown terrorist movement that poses a very serious threat."
Witnesses say the couple shouted, "this is a revolution" when they walked into the pizza restaurant. And they had sprinkled ominous warnings about their impending spree in the days – and hours – before their anti-government attack.
"The dawn of a new day," read a post on Jerad Miller's Facebook page from June 7. "May all of our coming sacrifices be worth it."
On the morning before they left home with a shopping cart of weapons and 100 rounds of ammunition, they had warned neighbors of their intentions, NBC News reported.
"We gotta do what we gotta do," Jerad Miller told Kelly Fielder, adding that he and his wife, Amanda, were departing for an "underground world." Amanda Miller then embraced the neighbor and said, "I am so sorry."
Fielder said she had heard Jerad Miller make anti-government statements in the past — including a desire to overthrow the government and President Obama and kill police officers — but was not alarmed by them, NBC News reported.
"I thought he was just all talk," Fielder, who described herself as Amanda's "best friend," told NBC Los Angeles.
It was talk the couple was not shy about sharing. They could be heard spewing racist and anti-government opinions, another neighbor told the Las Vegas Sun.
The duo told people they planned to commit a mass shooting, Brandon Moore, a resident of the complex, told the newspaper.
"They were handing out white-power propaganda and were talking about doing the next Columbine," Moore said.
The couple married in 2012 and lived in Lafayette, Indiana, where Amanda Miller's parents live. After they were evicted from their apartment, they moved to Las Vegas in January.
Jerad Miller had a troubled history that included a long record of arrests and convictions for drug offenses going back to 2007.
On Facebook, he professed support for Cliven Bundy, the cattle rancher cited for grazing his cattle on public land without a permit. He boasted of spending time at Bundy's ranch during a recent standoff there between armed militia members and federal government agents.
He railed against the landlord who evicted the couple in Indiana and against the prison system for incarcerating him.
"He was just weird, really weird," said Connie Kennedy, a neighbor in Lafayette. She said the first time she met Jerad Miller he rambled on about rampant pollution and America becoming a communist nation.
In July 2013, Jerad Miller posted teary videos on YouTube to his wife before he was sent back to jail for violating an in-house arrest.
"I wish the world was perfect and we could live happily without all this crap," he said.
The Lafayette Journal & Courier contributed to this report.