Jeffrey James Weise was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the only child to 21-year-old Daryl Allen Lussier, Jr. and 17-year-old Joanne Elizabeth Weise. His parents were an unmarried couple from the Red Lake Indian Reservation in Red Lake, Minnesota, who had separated before he was born. In November 1988, Joanne was forced by her parents to place her three-month-old son in the care of his father in Red Lake. In June 1991, when he was two years old, Jeff was reclaimed by his mother in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area. His mother was alleged to be a violent alcoholic, who would physically and emotionally abuse her first born son.
Shortly thereafter, in 1992, Joanne Weise began dating a man named Timothy Troy DesJarlait. The two married on June 27th, 1998, but divorced in February 2000. The couple had two children: daughter Daphne, born in 1995 and son Sebastian, born in 1997.
On July 21st, 1997, Daryl Lussier, Jr. committed suicide via shotgun wound to the head, after a two-day standoff with the Red Lake Police Department in Red Lake. Daryl Lussier, Sr., his father, had attempted to intervene in the event, but failed to bring the standoff to a peaceful end.
On March 5th, 1999, Joanne Weise suffered severe brain damage in a car accident, in which a tractor-trailer
crashed into her car on a highway in Minneapolis. She and her cousin Elizabeth May Jourdain were drinking alcohol and driving, and the accident resulted in Jourdain's death and Joanne having to be committed to a nursing home in Bloomington, Minnesota. Consequently, Jeff was placed in the care of his paternal grandmother Shelda Lussier in Red Lake. He expressed frustration with living in Red Lake, and believed that his life was beyond his control.
Weise is also xenophobic; he dislikes natives who admired black culture and some whites (especially the KKK).
His depression provoked a suicide attempt in May 2004, describing his experience in a post made on the
website Above Top Secret:
I had went through a lot of things in my life that had driven me to a darker path than most choose to take. I
split the flesh on my wrist with a box opener, painting the floor of my bedroom with blood I shouldn't have spilt. After sitting there for what seemed like hours (which apparently was only minutes), I had the revelation that this was not the path. It was my dicision (sic) to seek medical treatment, as on the other hand I could have chose to sit there until enough blood drained from my downward lascerations on my wrists to die.