The Oyer family's connection to John the Baptist, Suco the chimp, and tax fraud.

All in a family: John the Baptist, Suco the chimp, and the largest false-claims tax-fraud case in Missouri history 

The Oyer family's connection to John the Baptist, Suco the chimp, and tax fraud.

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"God knows she is innocent and that's all that matters," he says. "Governments have a long history of charging and convicting innocent people. Don't forget that both Jesus and John the Baptist were killed by the government. I was killed because the government feared I would cause an up rise [sic] amongst the people."

In The Newest Testament, Oyer also devotes a chapter to his beliefs on taxes.

"The Constitution is a set of rules for the government, not the people," he explains in an e-mail. "There is no authority to tax the people directly.

"The federal government was never given jurisdiction over the people," he adds. "The things you create do not have jurisdiction or authority over God who created you."

Furthermore, Oyer says Christians have a role model for taxes in their savior.

"The Bible states that Jesus was accused of tax protesting," Oyer writes.

He quotes Luke 23:2: "And they began to accuse him, saying, 'We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Christ, a king.' "


Despite tax-fraud allegations and a divine reincarnation, Shirley Oyer's other son, John Michael Oyer, describes his family as normal. A talkative man who relishes an opportunity to explain his sovereign-citizen theories, Oyer stresses that he doesn't want his family to be "looked at like a DNA pool of freaks."

"You're looking at a good, productive family that gets well with everybody that they come in contact with," he says.

John Michael Oyer says his family has lived in Kansas City for five generations, and he doesn't recall growing up with his mother telling him that his little brother was a notable religious figure. And he's not quite sure why she named him "John" despite his brother being the second coming of the prophet.

"Maybe she [Shirley] just screwed up one name," he says, laughing. "To err is human, right?"

Christopher has a different explanation. "My name was given in a vision right before my birth," he says. "Christopher shall be my name this time."

John Michael Oyer remembers his mother teaching him to always question authority. And he's had no problem following that lesson.

Oyer is well-known in the halls of Kansas City, Missouri's Municipal Courthouse for his custody battle with the city for his pet chimpanzee, Suco.

In October 2010, the chimp escaped and was seen wandering around land owned by Oyer on Indiana Avenue. Kansas City police and animal-control officers responded to the scene, and the dashboard-camera video of the incident's climax appeared on every local news broadcast: Suco leaps onto the hood of a police cruiser and smashes the car's windshield.

Suco was taken from Oyer and sent to live at the Kansas City Zoo. Oyer is still fighting to get her back, but he has a host of other legal issues to deal with first. City inspectors have cited him numerous times in the last year for property code violations. In April, he was cited for having limbs and brush on his property, keeping an unlicensed vehicle, using RVs for unapproved storage, rank weeds, broken or missing panes of glass, and unapproved parking. Oyer calls these citations the city's attempt to keep him busy so he won't sue for custody of Suco.

Meanwhile, he also defends his mother. He says if people asked his mother about filing 1099-OID forms and she gave them her opinion, that doesn't make her an accomplice to a crime. He offers this analogy: If he was asked about putting on a homemade fireworks display, he would tell someone what he knows. However, if there's an accident, he couldn't be held responsible, he says.

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