"No Stone Unturned"
"We will leave no stone unturned in our effort to get
to the truth."
— Attorney General Janet Reno
"McVeigh and Nichols are going to hell regardless.
I'm just looking forward to sending them there a little sooner."
U.S. Attorney Joseph Hartzler
Almost from the beginning, the Justice Department and the mainstream
press focused their attention on Timothy McVeigh, painting him as a spurned
ex-soldier who was angry for failing to make the Special Forces; an extremist
Right-wing "Patriot" who hated the government with a passion for their
atrocities at Waco. McVeigh, the angry misguided loner, it is alleged,
conspired with anti-government tax protester Terry Nichols to teach the Federal
Government a lesson in Oklahoma.
Like the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald, the "capture" of Timothy McVeigh
was an incredible stroke of timing and luck. Like Oswald, who was arrested for
walking into a movie theater without paying, McVeigh would be arrested for
speeding down the highway with a conspicuously missing license plate.
In both cases, the FBI was quickly notified that their "suspect" was in
custody. With their extraordinary run of good luck, the FBI was able to
instantly trace the serial number found on the bomb truck to Ford, then to
Ryder, then to Elliott's rental agency, then to a "Bob Kling," and finally to
Like Oswald's Mannlicher-Carcanno rifle, which the FBI traced from its
entrance into the U.S., to an importer, to Klein's Sporting Goods, to a sale to
an "A.J. Hidell," then to Oswald — all without computers and over a
weekend — the FBI would quickly trace the Ryder truck to the lone
Finally, like "lone nut" Lee Harvey Oswald, "lone nut" Timothy James
McVeigh would be transferred from the Noble County jail, paraded in front of
onlookers and the press as the mass murderer. While there was no Jack Ruby to
intervene this time, McVeigh would be led away in a bright orange jumpsuit,
without a bullet-proof vest, which he had specifically requested.
Ironically, his departing words were, "…I might be Lee Harvey
Oswald, Jr.… You remember what happened with Jack Ruby."
As in the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald, the circumstances surrounding the
arrest of McVeigh and Nichols would prove highly questionable. The media widely
reported that McVeigh was stopped by Highway Patrolman Charles Hanger 78
minutes after the blast(s), heading north on I-35, near Perry. McVeigh was
driving without a license plate. As Trooper Hanger's affivadit states:
"…That I stopped the vehicle and the defendant was the driver and
only occupant of the vehicle.… That as the defendant was getting his
billfold from his right rear pocket I noticed a bulge under the left side of
his jacket and I thought it could be a weapon.… That I then told the
defendant to pull his jacket back and before he did he said, 'I have a gun
under my jacket.…' That I then grabbed a hold of the left side of his
jacket and drew my own weapon and pointed it at the back of his head and
instructed him to keep his hands up and I walked him over to the trunk of his
car and had him put his hands on the trunk.…"
Yet accounts vary. Some acticles stated that McVeigh was speeding at 81
miles per hour. Yet Hanger only cited him for no license plate, no insurance,
and possession of a concealed weapon. Were these accounts meant to suggest that
McVeigh was trying to make a fast get-away? If so, why would a man who had just
committed such a heinous crime wish to draw attention to himself?
McVeigh supposedly just blew up a building and killed 169 innocent
people — men, women, and children — including a number of federal
agents. It is 78 minutes later, and he is being pulled over by a state trooper.
He has no tags, no insurance, and is carrying a concealed weapon without a
permit. He is most likely going to jail, where his name, Social Security
number, and description will be uplinked to the National Crime Information
Center (NCIC) at the FBI — an FBI that is now on full alert.
McVeigh is carrying a large combat knife, and a Glock model 21 automatic
pistol loaded with deadly hollow-point bullets. McVeigh is a trained soldier, a
top marskman, and a hardened combat veteran.
The cop is exiting his vehicle and walking over to McVeigh's car.
McVeigh's life outside the electric chair is very likely about to come to an
end. What does McVeigh — this hardened combat veteran, this brutal killer
of 169 innocent people — do? He casually informs the cop that he has a
concealed weapon, and meekly hands himself over for arrest.
Of course the mainstream press wouldn't make any attempt to analyze this
bizarre inconsistency in McVeigh's behavior, only reporting that he was
"uncommunicative," (Time), "calls himself a 'prisoner of war,'" (New
York Times), and is refusing to cooperate with investigators and
prosecutors…" (U.S. News & World Report) — a story which
would be repeated by numerous other papers.
Yet as McVeigh stated to Newsweek, "I never called myself a
prisoner of war." McVeigh's
account is backed up by the Los Angeles Times, which obtained McVeigh's
arrest records. As the Times' Richard Serrano notes:
….They reveal a McVeigh sharply different from the one sources had
earlier portrayed. He was not the silent soldier who gave jailers only his
name, rank and serial number. Rather, he was often polite. And smooth.
With only the serial number of a truck differential and a sketch to work
with, the FBI fanned out through Junction City. Upon examining the rental
receipt at Elliott's Body Shop, the FBI discovered all the information on it
was false. As Agent Henry Gibbon's affidavit states:
The person who signed the rental agreement identified himself as Bob
Kling, SSAN 962-42-9694, South Dakota driver's license number YF942A6, and
provided a home address of 428 Maple Drive, Omaha, Nebraska, telephone
913-238-2425. The person listed the destination as 428 Maple Drive, Redfield,
South Dakota. b. Subsequent investigation conducted by the FBI determined all
that information to be false.
Yet employees of Elliott's Body Shop did recognize the sketch of Unsub
#1 as the man who rented the truck used in the bombing. The FBI then took the
sketch of Unsub #1 to the Dreamland Motel, where they found that Unsub #1 had
rented a room from April 14 through the April 18. As the FBI affidavit states:
An employee of the Dreamland Motel in Junction City, Kansas, identified
Timothy McVeigh as a guest at the motel from April 14, 1995, through April 18,
1995. This employee, when shown a photo lineup identified Timothy McVeigh's
picture as the individual who registered at the motel under the name of Tim
McVeigh, listed his automobile as a Mercury bearing an Arizona license plate,
and provided a Michigan address, on North Van Dyke in Decker Michigan.
On April 21, only hours before McVeigh was due to be released from the
Perry County Jail, "District Attorney John Maddox received a call from the FBI
telling him to hang onto the prisoner.
As the New York Times reported, "…a routine check of his
Social Security number matched one flagged by the FBI as belonging to a suspect
in the bombing." This subsumes
that the FBI had obtained McVeigh's Social Security number from the accurate
registration information at the Dreamland, not the false information at
Why would Tim McVeigh — who was bent on committing such a terrible
crime — use a fake name and address at the Ryder rental agency, yet use
his real name and address at a motel right down the street? Perhaps because, as will be explained
below, McVeigh never visited the rental agency.
While in custody, McVeigh listed James Nichols as a reference. Why would
McVeigh list the brother of his so-called accomplice as his only reference?
On April 21, Terry Nichols was busy with chores around his new home in
Herrington. Unbeknownst to him, a team of 11 FBI agents had already staked out
Later that afternoon, Nichols heard his name being broadcast as a
possible suspect. At 2:42 p.m. he and Marife got into their blue pick-up, and
drove to the Herrington police station, with the FBI on his tail. According to
Marife, Terry was frightened, and anxious to know why his name was being
broadcast. Inside, Nichols asked why his name was being mentioned on the radio
in connection with the bombing. The cops replied that they didn't know, but
they had some questions for him. "Good," Nichols said, "because I have some
questions for you."
Strangely, FBI agents then read Nichols his Miranda rights, something
not normally done unless someone is under arrest, and told him three times he
was free to go.
In fact, Nichols wasn't free to go. An arrest warrant had been issued
five hours earlier, but Nichols wouldn't be informed of this until almost
midnight. In the interim, he and Marife were questioned by the FBI for over
Back at his house, a SWAT team had already arrived, and agents were
sealing it with crime tape, and checking it for booby traps. It was there that
agents would claim to discover 55-gallon barrels, rolls of primadet detonator
cord, non-electric blasting caps, and a receipt for 40 50-pound bags of
ammonium nitrate with McVeigh's thumbprint.
If Terry Nichols was an accomplice in the bombing, why would he leave
such incriminating items in his house? Wouldn't he have attempted to hide the
items before driving over to the police station?
Moreover, if Nichols was a co-conspirator in the largest domestic
terrorist attack in the history of the country, why would he casually stroll
into the police station asking why his name was being broadcast on TV? This
makes about as much sense as Timothy McVeigh casually pulling over for Officer
Hanger and meekly handing himself over for arrest.
Several days after McVeigh's arrest, Hanger claimed to have recovered a
crumpled business card from behind the front passenger seat of his patrol car,
where McVeigh had been sitting. The card for Paulsen's Military Supply of
Antigo, Wisconsin, contained a handwritten note: "Dave. TNT at $5 a stick.
708-288-0128. Need more. Call after 1 of May, see if I can get some more."
Had McVeigh actually left such a note in the cruiser? When McVeigh
defense team investigator Marty Reed attempted to interview Hanger, he was told
by OHP chief legal counsel John Lindsey, "The FBI has requested that no one
interview Trooper Charlie Hanger."
And as in the Kennedy case, the evidence collected by the FBI in their
case, code-named "OKBOMB," would prove just as specious. The FBI quickly
claimed that they had traced the Ryder truck from a serial number — 6 4
PVA26077 — found on its rear differential, which had flown 575 feet
through the air "like a boomerang" and landed on a Ford Fiesta. (For
those confused about the FBI finding the serial number on the "axle," it was
actually on the axle housing.)
Curiously, while Deputy Sheriff Melvin Sumter told me he had found the
axle, an Oklahoma City Policeman, Mike McPherson, claimed that he had in fact
discovered it, as did an FBI agent. These three accounts were contradicted by
Governor Frank Keating, who claimed that he had actually found the axle.
The Ryder truck belonging to the axle, rented under the alias of "Bob
Kling," the FBI claimed, was the instrument of the deadly destruction in
But had it actually been rented by Timothy McVeigh?
The "McVeigh" Eldon Elliott described to the grand jury was 5' 10" to 5'
11", with medium build, weighing between 180-185 pounds. Elliott's mechanic Tom
Kessinger stated that the man had a "rough" complexion with "acne," and
employee Vicki Beemer said he had a deformed chin.
Not only is McVeigh clear-skinned, he is a lanky 6', 2", and weighs only
160 pounds. He does not have a deformed chin.
Readers will also recall that ATF informant Carol Howe, who had
penetrated the Elohim City enclave, told ATF and FBI agents that the sketch of
John Doe 1 who rented the truck appeared to be Elohim City resident and close
Strassmeir friend Peter Ward.
According to J.D. Cash, so did Dennis Mahon. Mahon told the reporter
that Ward was "known at Elohim City as 'Andy's shadow'... Ward went everywhere
Strassmeir did and is dumb as dirt." Mahon also added, "…you know his
brother, Tony, has a pocked complexion..."
Yet authorities insist that it was McVeigh who rented the truck on April
17. They introduced surveillance footage from a Junction City McDonalds,
slightly over a mile from Elliott's, showing McVeigh walking towards the
cashier at approximately 3:55 p.m. Yet McVeigh was not wearing military attire
as was "Kling." Nevertheless, the prosecution contends that McVeigh left the
restaurant, walked the 1.3 miles to Elliott's during a light drizzle, then
showed up nice and dry, wearing completely different clothes.
Eldon Elliott would play along for the prosecution. In spite of his
previous grand jury testimony, and the FBI 302 statements of his employees,
Elliott testified at McVeigh's trial that Timothy McVeigh was the man who
rented the truck.
Interesting that he could make such an assertion, when the FBI hadn't
brought him before a line-up eventhough they had questioned him just 48 hours
after the bombing. In fact, the FBI didn't show Elliott a photo line-up until
48 days later. During McVeigh's trial, Elliott attempted
to compensate for the discrepancy in McVeigh's height by stating that McVeigh
had "leaned" on the counter while filling out the reservation form.
Had Elliott been coached by the prosecution?
"From his body language, the way he acted nervous, avoided my questions,
I could tell he was under some sort of pressure," said former Federal Grand
Juror Hoppy Heidelberg.
When defense team investigator Richard Reyna went to interview Elliott,
he was told the FBI had instructed him not to talk to anyone about the case
because "they didn't want to get things distorted." He then handed Reyna the
card of FBI Special Agent Scott Crabtree.
When Marty Reed and co-investigator Wilma Sparks approached Elliott a
week later, he referred them to a man named Joseph Pole. Pole stated that he
was "working for Ryder… indirectly." He refused to speak with the
investigators and excused himself, saying he had to make a phone call. When
Sparks and Reed went outside, they noticed a government car with the license
number G-10 03822, parked in front of the shop.
When they returned the next day, they were again met by the mysterious
"Ryder employee" who didn't produce a business card. When they asked the body
shop's employees why the government car was there, they were told it was being
worked on. But the investigators saw no signs of damage. Upon returning the
following day, the car was parked between two campers, ostensibly in an attempt
to conceal it.
Was the FBI attempting to influence a key witness? A reporter who worked
the case later told me, "They were very hooked in with the FBI… the Ryder
security was obtained through the FBI… and they're in constant touch with
the FBI for briefings, or they were. And I got that from the PR guy who's the
Vice President of Ryder in Miami… A Newsweek reporter that I work
with got Elliott on the phone, and somebody clicked down the phone as he was
talking to her. Elliott was saying 'let me just finish, let me just finish,'
and all of the sudden, the phone went dead."
Such a symbiotic relationship between the FBI and Ryder shouldn't be
surprising. According to one bombing researcher, Ryder's CEO, Anthony Mitchell,
is a member of the Trilateral Commission — the New World Order folks. She
also uncovered the fact that both the FBI and the ATF have leasing contracts
with the company.
To rent his Ryder truck, "McVeigh" allegedly used his pre-paid phone
card, obtained in November of 1993 through the Spotlight under the name
"Daryl Bridges," to call Elliott's and make the reservation. Vicki Beemer told
the FBI she recalled speaking to a man named "Kling." Records supposedly
indicate the call was made on April 14, from a Junction City, Kansas bus
Yet the FBI had no way of proving that the call placed to the Ryder
agency under the name "Kling" was actually made by McVeigh, or even that the
Spotlight card was used for the call. OPUS Telecom, which runs the
system used for the pre-paid card, maintains no records indicating exactly who
placed a specific call.
As an example of the uncertainties promulgated by the FBI, they
originally asserted the call was made at 8:44 a.m. from a pay phone at Fort
Riley. They later decided it was made at 9:53 a.m. from a pay phone in Junction
City. However, Beemer, who took the call, said it came at 10:30 a.m.
At the time the FBI alleged McVeigh made the 9:53 a.m. call, he was at a
phone booth down the street from a Firestone store, where he had been
negotiating a deal on a 1977 Mercury. The store manager who sold McVeigh the
car, Thomas Manning, testified that his customer excused himself, then came
back 10 or 15 minutes later. The FBI contends that McVeigh used this period to
make two calls, one to Terry Nichols' house, and one to Elliott's. Yet, as the
Rocky Mountain News noted:
An early version of the FBI reconstruction showed two calls within two
minutes from phones 25 miles apart, which implied involvement by someone other
than McVeigh and Nichols, since neither was then in the second location.
But the location of that call later was reassigned to a place fitting
the government's case.
Moreover, as the defense pointed out, Manning hadn't bothered to mention
the fact that McVeigh left the Firestone store for over a year-and-a-half,
despite being interviewed by defense attorneys and FBI agents 11 different
Additionally, while rental receipts and employee testimony indicates
"Kling" rented his truck on the 17th, a Ryder truck was seen days earlier by
James Sargeant and other eyewitnesses. Sargeant reported seeing several
unidentified men crawling in and out of the cargo area for three days, backed
up to the lake so that no one ashore could see inside. "I really began to
wonder about why someone would be wasting their money on a rental truck out
there... no one was ever fishing, either."
Barbara Whittenberg, owner of the Sante Fe Trail Diner in Herrington,
recalled seeing a Ryder truck, along with McVeigh, Nichols, and John Doe 2, on
Saturday, April 15. The men had stopped by the restaurant for breakfast at 6:00
a.m., and Whittenberg reported seeing a large Ryder truck at Geary State
Fishing Lake later that afternoon.
Lea McGown, owner of the Dreamland Motel in Junction City, and her son
Eric, both recall seeing McVeigh pull into the motel with his truck on
the afternoon of Easter Sunday, April 16, as did residents Renda Truong, Connie
Hood, David King, and King's mother, Hetta. The truck appeared to be an older,
privately owned Ryder truck. McGown had just returned from Manhattan, Kansas,
where he and his mother were having lunch. The time was approximately 4:00 p.m.
Truong testified she had seen it after Easter Sunday dinner, which would have
been around dusk.
Yet under examination by the prosecution during McVeigh's trial, Eric
McGown would not testify as to the exact date he saw the truck. Yet his FBI 302
said: "He thinks the man came there with a truck on April 16, 1995, and that
the Ryder truck sat at the motel all day on April 17, 1995."
His mother, like both Hood and Truong, was certain it was the 16th. As
she stated in her FBI 302:
She is certain that the Ryder truck she saw parked at the DREAMLAND
MOTEL and in which she observed TIM MCVEIGH sitting on one occasion was driven
into the motel grounds on Sunday, April 16, 1995.
She recalls that the Ryder truck that was parked at the DREAMLAND MOTEL
on April 16, 1995, through April 18, 1995, did not have the word Ryder on the
back doors as do other Ryder trucks she has seen. She recalls the back doors of
the Ryder truck in which she saw TIM MCVEIGH were a plain faded yellow color,
with no printing visible on them.
Hetta King was also sure it was Sunday the 16th. "There's no question in
my mind — it was Easter Sunday," King testified.
The reader will recall that this is the exact same day that Phyliss
Kingsley and Linda Kuhlman saw the convoy, including "McVeigh," John Doe 2 and
3, and the Ryder truck at the Hi Way Grill just south of Oklahoma City. It was
approximately 6:00 p.m.
The two locations are hundreds of miles apart — too far apart to
drive in two hours.
This is also the same day the FBI alleged Nichols drove from Kansas to
Oklahoma City to pick up McVeigh, who had left his Mercury Marquis near the
YMCA as the "get-away" vehicle. Yet a witness at the Dreamland recalled seeing
McVeigh's yellow Mercury at the motel the next day.
Interesting that "McVeigh" and his car could be in two places at
Real estate agent Georgia Rucker and her son also saw a Ryder truck at
Geary Lake days before "Kling" rented his. Then on Tuesday morning, as Rucker
again drove by lake, she not only saw a Ryder truck, but two other vehicles as
well. She thought this was "very suspicious."
On Monday, April 17, Connie Hood saw the Ryder truck again. This time,
there were several men "fiddling with the back of the truck." Hood thinks one
of those men was Michael Fortier; she recalls he had scraggly hair and a beard.
Those who recall the photo of Fortier taken after the bombing may recall that
Fortier had just shaved off his beard, leaving a clearly visible demarcation
While these are all blatant discrepancies in the FBI's official
timeline, the Bureau was apparently interested in McGown's testimony because
the Dreamland is the only place where McVeigh, or someone purporting to be
McVeigh, signed his real name.
What is curious is that the FBI has consistently promoted the idea that
there was only one Ryder truck involved. Yet the statements of McGown,
Bricktown warehouse worker David Snider, and others indicate that there were
two Ryder trucks involved. When a Newsweek reporter spoke to the
security guard at Elliott's, he said "Think about two trucks."
This fact was reiterated by grand juror Hoppy Heidelberg. "A small
number of people testified during the grand jury hearings about two trucks,"
said Heidelberg. "McVeigh picked his truck up on Monday. John Doe 2 had his
truck the weekend before. The fact that there were two trucks I'm very
If McVeigh had rented his truck on April 17, as the FBI contends, why
did witnesses report seeing a Ryder truck at Geary State Fishing Lake as early
as April 10? It was at this lake, on April 18, the FBI originally asserted,
that the two suspects built their magic ANFO bomb. FBI agents reported finding
diesel fuel and strands of detonator cord on the ground.
Yet at the time witnesses first saw the truck at the lake, neither
McVeigh or Nichols were in Kansas. As the Denver Post reported:
Nichols was returning from a gun show in Michigan, and McVeigh was holed
up in a residence hotel in Kingman, Arizona. The government's key witness,
Michael Fortier, also was not in Kansas.
Interestingly, shortly before the start of McVeigh's trial, the
prosecution dropped its contention that the bomb was built at Geary Lake. It's
possible they did so because had the defense brought up the witness sightings
on the 10th, it would have conflicted, not only with the prosecution's
carefully constructed timeline, but the fact that there were additional
As will be seen, this is not the first time the government excluded
witnesses who's testimony didn't fit with their carefully crafted version of
Nevertheless, it was this truck, rented by "Kling" on April 17,
authorities insisted, that was loaded with ammonium nitrate and guided by the
lone bomber to its final and fateful destination at the Alfred P. Murrah
To build their magic ANFO bomb, the FBI reports McVeigh and Nichols
began searching for racing fuel and detonator cord in September of '94. Using
the calling card McVeigh and Nichols had obtained under the pseudonym of "Daryl
Bridges," ostensibly inspired by the film "Blown Away" staring Jeff Bridges,
McVeigh allegedly made over 22 calls to various companies who supply chemicals,
racing fuel, and even one of the country's largest explosives
His first call was to Paulsen's Military Supply, just outside of
Madison, Wisconsin, looking for detonators. According to authorities, McVeigh
left Paulsen's business card in the patrol car upon his arrest, that read,
"Dave" (presumably David Paulsen, Ed Paulsen's son, who McVeigh had met at a
gun show), with the notation, "More five pound sticks of TNT by May 1."
A salesman at Fatigues and Things, a military store in Junction City,
said McVeigh and another man bought a book entitled Improvised Munitions
two weeks before the bombing. The other man was not Terry Nichols.
Prosecutors also called an old friend of McVeigh's, David Darlak, who
allegedly received a call from him in an attempt to obtain racing fuel.
Another friend was Greg Pfaff, whom McVeigh had met at gun shows. Pfaff
testified that McVeigh had called him seeking to buy det cord. McVeigh was so
eager to obtain the cord, Pfaff said, that he offered to drive to Virginia.
Another of the calls reflected on the mens' calling card was to
Mid-American Chemical. Linda Juhl, an employee of the company, remembered
receiving a call in the Fall of 1994 from a fellow in Kansas who wanted to
purchase Anhydrous Hydrazine, a rocket fuel which can be used to boost the
power of an ANFO bomb.
The FBI also reported that two individuals, one named "Terry Tuttle,"
visited Thumb Hobbies, Etc. in Mariette, Michigan in mid-December, 1993,
looking to buy 100 percent nitromethane model airplane fuel. According to
Sanilac County Sheriff Virgil Stickler, the store clerk inquired about ordering
it, then told the customers several weeks later that he could not or would not
do so. The clerk said that "Tuttle" replied that it was okay, that they had
found another source.
Another incident not made public until the County Grand Jury
investigation was the recollection of Gary Antene, who saw McVeigh and John Doe
2 at Danny's Hobby Shop in Oklahoma City the Saturday before the bombing. The
two men asked him if Danny's carried 100 percent nitromethane fuel.
"I explained that no one in the RC (remote-controlled) airplane hobby
used 100 percent nitromethane as a fuel, that at most we generally used nothing
over 20 percent," said Antene.
Antene reported the incident to the FBI a couple of times, but was not
called to testify at McVeigh's trial, probably because his account didn't fit
into the FBI's "official" timeline.
On October 20, the FBI alleged that McVeigh checked into a motel in
Pauls Valley, Oklahoma. The next day, he drove 170 miles to the Chief Auto
Parts Nationals drag race in Ennis, Texas. Timothy Chambers, an employee of VP
Racing Fuels, testified at McVeigh's trial that he and co-worker Brad Horton
sold a man resembling McVeigh three 54 gallon drums of Nitromethane racing fuel
for $2,775. The man said the fuel was for him and his friends who race Harleys
once a year in Oklahoma City. Chambers testified it didn't make sense for a few
motorcycle racers to buy that much fuel, and had never seen anyone pay cash for
that large a purchase.
Interestingly, the FBI didn't announce this new lead until one month
before the start of McVeigh's trial, as other evidence, including that from the
FBI's crime lab, began falling apart. The Rocky Mountain News reported
that Glynn Tipton had alerted the ATF to the strange purchase as far back as
October of 1994.
Yet this "new" evidence would coalesce perfectly with the government's
emerging case, now that many Americans were convinced that a simple ANFO bomb
hadn't destroyed the Murrah Building. A bomb built with volatile,
highly-explosive racing fuel would make the prosecution's case much more
The startling discovery of McVeigh's racing fuel purchases, like the new
revelations of Thomas Manning, or those of Eldon Elliott, were reminiscent of
the sudden discoveries by Lockerbie investigators of Libyan terrorists. The
1988 bombing had originally been attributed to Iran, contracted through former
Syrian army officer Ahmed Jibril of the Popular Front for the Liberation of
Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), in retaliation for the American downing of
an Iranian passenger liner a year and-a-half earlier. Now that George Bush
needed the cooperation of the Syrians for his Gulf War coalition, the blame
needed to be shifted to someone else.
Then, ten months after the bombing, Lockerbie investigators discovered
new evidence. The owner of a clothing store on Malta suddenly remembered to
whom he had sold some baby clothes that had been found in the bomb suitcase
onboard the plane. In fact, not only had he recalled the customer, he
remembered the precise date of the purchase, and recalled the man clearly
enough for artists to render a sketch. He was Abu Talb, a PFLP-GC member who
was known to have visited Malta shortly before the bombing.
At least that's what the FBI wanted the public to believe. In fact,
owner Tony Gauci and his brother Paul made 18 different statements to
authorities, most of which were vague and contradictory. They then signed
statements eventhough they couldn't read English. Nevertheless, investigators
quickly placed 24-hour guards around the shopkeepers bearing this valuable "new
evidence," just as the FBI had done with Eldon Elliott.
Yet records show that the calls to chemical companies continued in
October of '94 from Kingman, around the same time that the suspects allegedly
drove there to hide stolen explosives, and around the same time they allegedly
began purchasing ammonium nitrate. The indictment states that Nichols allegedly
stole Dynamite and an explosive called Tovex from the Martin Marietta quarry in
Marion, Kansas, not far from where Nichols had been working as a ranch hand.
Bud Radeke, a blaster and driller for Martin Marietta, testified at
McVeigh's trial that 299 dynamite sticks, 544 blasting caps, detonator cord,
and Tovex was stolen over the long Labor Day weekend. FBI agents discovered a
drill bit in Nichols' home that they claim matched the hole drilled in one of
the magazine's locks. The suspects had allegedly made the mistake of leaving
one of the five locks they had drilled into behind.
Yet could the FBI actually tell from a hole drilled in a lock which
particular bit had made the impression? The FBI hadn't discovered the bit in
Nichols' tool kit until six months after the robbery. No doubt it had been used
since, as Nichols, a handyman, had recently moved into his new house. The
signature of the drill bit would undoubtedly have been altered.
How could the FBI be so sure it was the bit which had drilled the locks
at the quarry?
Ed Hueske, a firearm and tool examiner at Weckerling Scientific
Laboratory near Dallas said a drill bit can "leave marks that are
characteristic of the nose of the bit," especially "if the bit is worn or
damaged." A former forensic specialist with the Tulsa Police Department, Hueske
added that such a test is "not routine," but is "theoretically
Yet if the bit was used afterwards on metal, or if it had been
sharpened, it would change the striations of the markings. If it still
contained bits of metal shavings from the lock, however, then a match could be
made. But agents testified that no shavings were found.
Then how did the FBI match the bit? Frank Shiller, a firearm and tool
examiner at Forensic Consultant Services in Fort Worth, offered his opinion:
"Some of that type of work has been done, but it's not a very frequent thing. I
don't think it would be very productive."
Shiller, who has 36 years experience in forensic science, has never even
been asked to conduct such a test, nor has his boss, Max Courtney, with 27
"It would be extremely difficult to match a drill," said Shiller,
"because of the random motion of the drill moving through its… moving up
and down the hole. So it would be hard to track any imperfections or
microscopic markings that might be present. That would be a pretty tough
Even Hueske, who admitted the theoretical possibility of such a test,
said that the two or three drill bit tests he's conducted over the years
produced no results.
The quarry also had pre-mixed professional grade ANFO in stock. Why
didn't Nichols steal that too, since, as the government alleges, it was the
prime ingredient in the bomb? This certainly would have been easier and more
discreet than buying large quantities of ammonium nitrate, diesel, and racing
fuel, then attempting to mix it into a gigantic bomb. But for some reason, our
prime suspects decided to leave the professional grade ANFO behind, and go to
the trouble and expense of making their own.
The two men then allegedly drove to Kingman on October 4, where McVeigh
rented a storage locker to hide the goods. It was in Kingman that McVeigh
allegedly showed his dangerous booty to his friends, Michael and Lori Fortier.
Lori testified at trial that McVeigh asked her to wrap up the blasting caps as
Christmas presents for the long ride back to Michigan.
A friend of Nichols and McVeigh, Kevin Nicholas, testified that he
helped McVeigh unload his car upon returning to Decker. "I was just grabbing
stuff and just throwing it in the back of my truck; and Tim said, "Don't handle
them. I'll take care of them two Christmas-wrapped packages there."
Phone records also show that McVeigh called military surplus dealer Dave
Paulsen on December 17 from Kingman, and Nicholas testified that McVeigh drove
to Chicago to see Paulsen in late December to sell him the blasting caps.
On September 30, 1994, according to the FBI, McVeigh and Nichols, who
used the alias "Mike Havens," purchased forty 50-pound bags of ammonium nitrate
at the Mid-Kansas Co-Op in Manhattan, Kansas. Then, on October 17, after
renting a room in Salina under the name "Havens," Nichols rented storage locker
No. 40 at Boots U-Store-It in Council Grove, under the alias "Joe Kyle." On
October 18, the dynamic duo was back again at the Mid-Kansas Co-Op, stocking up
on more fertilizer, buying another forty 50-pound bags to be stored at the
locker in Council Grove.
Nichols attorney, Michael Tigar, attempted to explain his client's use
of aliases by stating that Nichols wanted to hide his assets from Chase
Manhattan bank, which had won a large credit card lawsuit against him. This
explanation does not explain why Nichols used the alias while purchasing
Finally, there would be the ordinance found at Nichols' home and the
farm of his brother James. The Decker, Michigan farm contained 28 fifty-pound
bags of ammonium nitrate, non-electric blasting caps, a 55-gallon drum
containing fuel-oil, and large fuel tanks which appeared to contain diesel
fuel. As previously mentioned, neighbors Daniel Stomber and Paul Isydorak told
authorities that the Nichols brothers and McVeigh would experiment with the
items to make small homemade bombs.
A search of Terry Nichols' home by the ATF and FBI allegedly turned up
33 firearms, an anti-tank launcher (which was inert), five 60-foot Primadet
detonator cords, non-electric blasting caps, ammonium nitrate, a fuel meter
(which was inoperable — a fact that was never mentioned), and four
55-gallon blue plastic drums. (Nichols' son Josh, who frequently played at his
dad's house, believed the barrels were white with blue tops.)
While some accounts indicate that the drums were of the type used in the
bombing, the New York Times wrote on April 30, "…it is not clear
that they match blue plastic fragments found at the blast site." In fact, the FBI never stated that the
fragments removed from bombing victims matched those from Nichols' home.
Certainly the FBI, with the most sophisticated crime lab in the world, would
have been able to determine whether the fragments were of the same type.
Moreover, most of the fragments, if they had come from Nichols' home, would
have been white, not blue.
Nichols' attorney, Michael Tigar, raised this issue while
cross-examining an FBI agent during a pre-trial hearing. According to Tigar,
the FBI's inventory list described the barrels simply as white without blue
lids. The agent replied that the FBI doesn't list the lids separately. When
Tigar asked the agent why they had inventoried a collection of 5-gallon buckets
with the lids listed separately, he had no response.
Those blue fragments may very likely have been from the 80 or so blue
trash barrels distributed throughout the building for the purposes of trash
collection. As Richard Williams, a 51 year-old GSA manager testified at
McVeigh's trial, "They were placed throughout the building for pickup during
One month later, Nichols would write his cryptic letter to McVeigh,
instructing him to extend the lease on unit number 37, which allegedly
contained stolen coins and guns, and "liquidate 40," in case Nichols failed to
return from his last trip to the Philippines. It was this letter that contained
the infamous phrase, "You're on your own. Go for it!"
Was this a message inspiring McVeigh to bomb a federal building, or a
note encouraging him to make a success of himself in the military surplus
business? According to James Nichols, it was the later. Nichols claims his
brother was about to make a large cash loan to McVeigh for this purpose, and
the note was simply in case of his death. Terry, he said, was a very meticulous
and thorough man who always made certain his affairs were in order.
Nichols family friend Bob Papovich also claims the pair was selling
fertilizer at gun shows as plant food, along with an odd assortment of other
items sold at gun shows, repackaging it in smaller bags to increase their
Yet two tons of fertilizer is an awful lot to sell at gun shows. Had
McVeigh and Nichols actually purchased that much fertilizer? What is
interesting is that employees of Mid-Kansas Co-op were never able to positively
identify McVeigh or Nichols during the purported fertilizer buying trips.
Although employee Frederick Schendler thought one of the men may have been
Terry Nichols, he said during a pre-trial hearing that the second man
wasn't McVeigh. He was driving a truck that didn't appear to be
Nichols', with a red trailer attached. Papovich told me that Nichols owns no
Federal prosecutors were also counting on a receipt found in Nichols'
home for the purchase of a ton of ammonium nitrate, allegedly containing
McVeigh's thumbprint. Had Nichols foolishly kept a receipt for bombing
materials that could be traced back to him? Was he as stupid as Mohammed
Salemeh, the World Trade Center bomber who returned to the Ryder agency after
the bombing in an attempt to retrieve his rental deposit? Or was McVeigh's
fingerprint actually on the receipt after all?
FBI agent Louis Hupp testified at trial that he hadn't found McVeigh's
fingerprints at Elliott's, in motel rooms where McVeigh stayed, or in the
storage lockers where McVeigh allegedly stored the bomb-making
Ramsey: Agent Hupp, you identified — or handled many
documents with regard to fingerprints, didn't you, with regard to this
Hupp: Yes, ma'am.
Ramsey: Did you also test the Ryder rental truck reservation
Hupp: Yes, I did.
Ramsey: And did you find Timothy McVeigh's fingerprints on
Hupp: No, ma'am.
Ramsey: Did you find Timothy McVeigh's fingerprints on the Ryder
rental truck form where he actually — where it was actually rented?
Hupp: No, ma'am.…
Ramsey: Did you check the counter at Elliott's Body Shop for
fingerprints? I don't recall if I asked you that or not.
Hupp: The countertop was removed by me and transported back to
headquarters and was in fact processed for latent prints.
Ramsey: And did you find any fingerprints of Timothy McVeigh?
Hupp: No, ma'am.
Ramsey: And did you also check to see if there were any
fingerprints on any of the storage units that have been discussed in this case?
Hupp: Yes, ma'am.
Ramsey: And did you find any fingerprints of Timothy McVeigh?
Hupp: No, ma'am.
Hupp also testified that he had not found McVeigh's prints on the rental
paperwork, or the key belonging to the Ryder truck, found in a nearby alley.
Yet Hupp explained, "There are many times a person doesn't leave prints. It's a
What if the FBI had claimed it had discovered prints?
On November 22, 1963, after JFK's murder, the FBI took Oswald's
Mannlicher-Carcanno rifle to their Washington, D.C. crime lab. The technicians
concluded that Oswald's prints were not on the weapon. The FBI then returned
the rifle to the Dallas Police Department. Shortly thereafter, the DPD
excitedly announced that they had "discovered"
Oswald's palm print.
This "new evidence" forced even the Warren Commission's chief counsel,
J. Lee Rankin, to conclude, "Because of the circumstances which now exist there
is a serious question in the minds of the Commission as to whether the palm
impression that has been obtained from the Dallas Police Department is a
legitimate palm impression removed from the rifle barrel or whether it was
obtained from some other source…."
In 1984, FBI Agent Vincent Drain, who handled the weapon, was questioned
by JFK researcher Henry Hurt. Drain concluded that there never was such a
print. "All I can figure is that [Oswald's print] was some kind of cushion
because they were getting a lot of heat by Sunday night. You could take that
print off Oswald's card and put it on the rife. Something like that
In spite of this, the Warren Commission made no effort to resolve the
issue, and presented Oswald's so-called palm print as fact.
Yet the fertilizer receipt containing McVeigh's thumbprint wasn't the
only ammunition in the FBI's arsenal of specious evidence. Prosecutors would
rely heavily on an explosive component called PETN, allegedly found on
McVeigh's clothing. A pair of earplugs found on McVeigh also reportedly tested
positive for EGDN, a chemical found in dynamite. Finally, there was a piece of
plywood from the Ryder truck which contained glazed ammonium nitrate
Yet once again, this evidence was highly questionable. It seemed the
crystals had disappeared before independent experts for either the prosecution
or defense could confirm its existence.
Interestingly, affidavits of Frederick Whitehurst, a Special Agent in
the FBI's lab division, announced to an incredulous public in September of 1995
that the Bureau had been mishandling evidence and slanting results to favor
prosecutors for years.
As one FBI lab technician told the New York Times, "You get an
inadvertent bonding of like-minded individuals supporting each other's false
After federal agents searched the residence of Richard Jewell, a private
security guard who was an early suspect in a bombing at the Atlanta
Olympics… FBI scientists and other specialists warned that "you've got the
wrong guy," an FBI laboratory official said. But their cautionary remarks,
based on the absence of even trace amounts of explosive materials, went
unheeded for months.
In March of 1997, the Los Angeles Times reported the findings of
the Justice Department Inspector General's office, which concluded that the lab
made "scientifically unsound" conclusions that were "biased in favor of the
prosecution" in the Oklahoma City bombing case.
The still-secret draft report, obtained by the paper, also concludes
that supervisors approved lab reports that they "cannot support" and that FBI
lab officials may have erred about the size of the blast, the amount of
explosives involved and the type of explosives used in the bombing.
According to the Times, the draft report shows that FBI examiners
could not identify the triggering device for the truck bomb or how it was
detonated. It also indicates that a poorly maintained lab environment could
have led to contamination of critical pieces of evidence, the Times
Whitehurst also told the Inspector General that the agents who conducted
the tests in Oklahoma City, including Tom Thurman, Chief of the Explosives
Unit, and Roger Martz, Chief of the Chemistry and Toxicology Unit, were not
even qualified to do so.
During the 1993 World Trade Center bombing investigation, Whitehurst
decided to secretly test efficiency and procedures at the lab. He mixed human
urine with fertilizer and added it to some of the bomb material being tested.
Martz subsequently excitedly identified the urine-fertilizer mixture as an
Whitehurst also contended that Martz's examining room was contaminated,
making it impossible to accurately test for explosives and other substances,
including the PETN allegedly found on McVeigh's clothes.
During the prosecution's closing argument, Martz made an interesting
Freudian Slip: "The evidence shows that Mr. McVeigh's clothing was contaminated
with… excuse me, Mr. McVeigh's clothing was filled with bomb residue."
Whitehurst also claimed that Martz had perjured his testimony in prior
cases. Whitehurst himself was even asked to alter his reports.
Materials-analysis-unit chief Corby "had me come into his room one day and told
me they — I don't know who 'they' were — wanted me to take statements
out of my report.... Whitehurst refused.*
During the 1991 trial of Walter Leroy Moody, convicted of killing
Federal Judge Robert Vance with a letter-bomb, both Thurman and Martz
"circumvented established procedures and protocols… [and] testified in
areas of expertise that [they] had no qualifications in, therefore fabricating
evidence in [their] testimony," Whitehurst wrote in a memorandum to the
Bureau's Scientific Analysis Chief James Kearny.
Both Martz and Thurman were fully aware of the fact that they were in
violation of procedures and protocols of the FBI Laboratory and did knowingly
and purposely commit perjury and obstruction of justice in this matter.
Interestingly, the chief prosecutor in the case was none other than
Louis Freeh, who was an Assistant U.S. Attorney at the time. According to
Whitehurst, Freeh did not have a single piece of evidence tying Moody to the
crime. Thurman got around this little inconvenience by sending the evidence to
his friend Roger Martz, who, like Thurman, was not qualified to perform the
examination. Both Thurman and Martz were recently removed from their positions
due to allegations of falsification of evidence and perjury.
Thurman's original claim to fame was the Pan Am 103 case. He had
concluded that a tiny fragment of microchip, amazingly discovered two years
after the bombing, was part of a batch of timers sold to the Libyans by the
Swiss firm MEBO. This "new evidence" allowed the U.S. government to point the
finger of blame at Libya, conveniently letting Syria — originally
implicated in the bombing — off the hook.
After the assassination of JFK, nitrate tests conducted on Lee Harvey
Oswald concluded that he had not fired a rifle on November 22. Yet this fact,
like the false palm print, was kept secret for 10 months, then buried deep
inside the Warren Commission Report.
In the Moody case, Freeh possessed copies of reports that disproved the
prosecution's allegations, but did not even make them available, or known, to
the jury. Freeh also failed to inform the jury that his chief witness, Ted
Banks, failed a lie-detector test regarding his association with Moody. In
1995, Banks testified at an appeal hearing that Freeh had threatened and
coerced him into testifying against the defendant.
In the World Trade Center case, Whitehurst testified that he was told
not to provide any information or evidence, such as alternate explanations to
the urea-nitrate theory, that could be used by the defense to challenge the
prosecutors' hypothesis of guilt.
In Oklahoma, Whitehurst conducted a test on McVeigh's clothes, but found
While the FBI claimed it found traces of PETN in McVeigh's pants pocket,
on his shirts, and on a set of earplugs, Agent Burmeister acknowledged on
cross-examination that no PETN or ammonium nitrate was found at the blast
Nor was ammonium nitrate found in McVeigh's car, his personal effects,
hotel rooms he had stayed at, the various storage sheds the suspects allegedly
used to store the bomb-making components, or in Nichols' Herington, Kansas
home. The Bureau also found no evidence of explosives residue in samples of
McVeigh's hair, or scrapings from his fingernails.
Burmeister also testified that crystals of ammonium nitrate, which he
found on a piece of wood paneling from the Ryder truck, later vanished.
"That piece has gone through a lot of hands since the time that I've
seen it," Burmeister testified, "and I can't speak to how they could have
As Canadian County Sheriff Deputy Clint Boehler said, "The FBI disturbed
and removed evidence. They don't tell anybody else; they don't work with
anybody else.… How did they know it was the truck? They never looked at so
many obvious things."
Yet, as in the Kennedy case, Federal Prosecutors went to trial armed
with deliberate lies and other distortions that favored their somewhat
questionable version of events.
While the FBI's evidence procedures would be called into question,
prosecutors would seek to impress the jury with evidence of the suspects'
militant Right-wing leanings. Prosecutors began with letters McVeigh sent to
his sister Jennifer, expressing his rage over the events at Ruby Ridge and
Waco, at the same time millions of Americans were expressing the very same
"The Federal Government was absolutely out of control," said Sarah Bain,
the San Antonio school teacher who served as forewoman of the jury that
acquitted the [Davidian] sect members of most of the serious crimes they were
charged with. "The wrong people were on trial," Bain complained. "It should
have been the ones that planned the raid and orchestrated it."
But it was other evidence — more incriminating and disturbing
— that would provide the critical elements needed to convince the jury of
McVeigh's malicious intent. In November of '94, McVeigh visited his family in
Lockport, New York, where he confided to his sister Jennifer that he had been
driving around with 1,000 pounds of explosives.
In a letter sent to her in March, a month before the bombing, McVeigh
wrote, "Something big is going to happen in the month of the bull."
Finally, to prove McVeigh's malevolent intentions, prosecutors
introduced a letter stored on Jennifer's computer. The letter, addressed to the
ATF, warned, "ATF, all you tyrannical motherfuckers will swing in the wind one
day, for your treasonous actions against the Constitution and the United
States. Remember the Nuremberg War Trials. But... but... but... I was only
following orders!...... Die, you spineless, cowardice bastards!"
McVeigh also supposedly left a letter to a "girlfriend" (which media
psychojournalists claimed he didn't have) in the glove compartment of his car,
outlining plans to bomb additional targets.
Had McVeigh actually left such a letter in his vehicle, and dropped
Paulsen's business card in the patrol car? While it is possible, such scenes
are reminiscent of the doctored photograph of Lee Harvey Oswald holding a rifle
and Communist newspaper, or Earth First! activist Judi Bari holding a machine
gun, which was loaned to her for the photo by an FBI informant — a photo
which he took.
In Oklahoma City, as in all criminal conspiracies, the old adage,
"follow the money" would apply. Certainly a pair of lone nuts with a
fertilizer/fuel bomb wouldn't need much — a couple of thousand dollars at
most — considering they didn't have to pay off a web of
A November '94 robbery in Arkansas would prove to be just the crime
investigators needed to put the final piece of the puzzle in place. When the
indictments were returned, the grand jury concluded the bombing was financed by
the robbery of gun dealer Roger Moore (AKA: Bob Anderson), who had known
McVeigh and let him stay at his home.
Yet what is interesting is that the FBI had already come to the
conclusion that the bomb components were already purchased or stolen by the
date of the robbery.
The indictment was also incongruously worded: "McVeigh and Nichols
"caused" the robbery of $60,000 worth of guns, coins and precious metals.
Exactly how had they "caused" the robbery? The prosecution first presented the
testimony of McVeigh's friend Kevin Nicholas:
Nicholas: He said that he screwed him some way out of some money
Mackey: Who is "he"?
Nicholas: That Bob did for when Tim worked for him.
Mackey: And as a result?
Nicholas: He said he — that he'd be an easy guy to rob
because he lived way back in the sticks and, you know, there was woods around
his house and stuff.
Yet McVeigh had a solid alibi. He was at a gun show in Kent, Ohio on
Still, the government attempted to have Michael Fortier implicate his
friends at trial by testifying that McVeigh called him and said, "Nichols got
Bob!" This largely hearsay testimony would not be backed up by further
Authorities never proved that McVeigh or Nichols actually robbed Moore,
but did prove that on November 7, 1994, Nichols rented a storage locker —
number 37 — in Council Grove, under the alias "Ted Parker" to store some
of the stolen items.
In his "confession" to authorities, Fortier said that McVeigh met him in
Kingman on the 15th, whereupon they drove to Kansas. On the way, Fortier
testified, McVeigh pointed out the Murrah Building as the target of the
upcoming attack. When they reached the storage locker, they loaded 25 guns into
Fortier's rented car.
Back in Kingman, Fortier pawned the weapons, or sold them to friends,
including his neighbor, James Rosencrans.
On November 16, Nichols rented locker Q-106 at AAAABCO Storage in Las
Vegas, where ex-wife Lana Padilla discovered gold and silver bars, jade, along
with wigs, masks, and pantyhose. A safety deposit box key belonging to Moore
was found at Nichols' home.
The 60-year-old Moore claimed he was surprised one morning shortly after
9:00 a.m., when two masked men accosted him outside his kitchen door. The men,
wearing woodland-style camouflage fatigues, bound him and ransacked his house,
taking guns, coins, jewels, and personal effects.
What is strange is that the thieves left a number of expensive handguns
and large-capacity magazines, both highly desirable items. The private gun
dealer, who had enough weapons to supply a platoon, did not have an insurance
rider for the guns, and most of the serial numbers weren't registered.
Moore told the author he didn't have a rider because he was afraid some
insurance company secretary would see his large collection and tell her
boyfriend, who would then come and rob him. A curious explanation for failing
to insure a highly valuable collection. Moore claims he only got a limited
settlement — approximately $10,000.
Interestingly, one well-connected source I spoke to asserted that "the
[Moore] robbery was staged.… that's the truth.… He (Moore) used a lot
of aliases, he had eight different social security numbers, eight different
dates of birth, and that's only the ones that I know about.…"
This source also claimed, long before defense attorney Michael Tigar's
allegations were made public, that the motive of the "robbery" was insurance
fraud, staged with the help of Nichols and McVeigh. "Nichols had simply bought
weapons [from Moore]…. Moore approached Nichols about the fraud
originally.… Moore took payment of some odd items that winds up in Terry
Nichols' [storage locker]."
This assertion was reinforced at Nichols' trial, when Tigar questioned
Moore's girlfriend, Karen Anderson, about why she had included on her list
— a list she claimed had been drawn up in late 1992 or early 1993 — a
gun that hadn't been purchased until late 1994!
When I spoke to Moore's friend and neighbor, Nora Waye, she told me
Moore had complained to her that the local Sheriff who investigated the
robbery, "blew [Moore's] cover."
Could a phony robbery set-up explain the wigs, masks, and pantyhose in
Terry Nichol's storage locker? Given the relationship between McVeigh and
Moore, it is possible the two men made some sort of deal.
Former grand juror Hoppy Heidelberg is another person who had doubts
about Moore: "Something wasn't right about him," said Heidelberg. "It wasn't
that his testimony wasn't believable. He was just cocky. He had a strange
attitude for a man testifying before a grand jury. He was so casual about it,
that was strange. He testified like a man who had done it many times
before.… It wasn't anything he said, it was his attitude. You'll see the
same attitude in an FBI agent whose testifying."
"Moore's being protected," said my source. "No matter how this thing's
going to get played out. He'll talk to you all day long and won't tell you a
thing. He knows how to talk."
John Doe Who?
"We have no information showing anyone other than Mr.
McVeigh and Mr. Nichols are the masterminds" - U.S. Attorney Beth
On the day of the deadly attack, Attorney General Janet Reno announced,
"The FBI and the law enforcement community will pursue every lead and use every
possible resource to bring these people responsible to justice.… It is
very important that we pursue each lead… it is going to be very important
that we leave no stone unturned…"
In fact, numerous stones were left unturned.
While the Justice Department (DoJ) focused its efforts on McVeigh and
Nichols, scant attention was focused on other suspects — John Doe 2, the
mysterious entity who was seen with McVeigh, and had accompanied him the
morning of the bombing. Witnesses also saw him with McVeigh in the Murrah
Building, in stores, at restaurants, at a bar, and at the truck rental shop
before the bombing. Still others claim to have seen him speeding away from the
scene. All in all, there are almost two-dozen witnesses who reported seeing
John Doe 2.
The FBI made a big show of tracking down this illusive, menacing-looking
suspect. "The FBI has conducted over 9,000 witness interviews and has followed
every possible lead in an intensive effort to identify and bring to justice
anyone who was involved in this disaster," stated U.S. Attorney Patrick Ryan in
a letter to the victims' families.
The search for John Doe 2 quickly became the biggest man-hunt in FBI
history. What authorities weren't saying however, was that not only was there a
John Doe 2, there were least four John Does! Yet the issue was quickly and
quietly narrowed down to just one John Doe 2.
On April 23, four days after the bombing, The Washington Post
quoted a senior law enforcement official who said "at least four" men were
involved in the terrorist act last week and "there very well could be
The FBI then requalified its position on May 15: "Wherever we look, it's
Terry and Timmy, Terry and Timmy — and nobody else," quipped an unnamed
FBI official in Time magazine.
Yet on June 11, another FBI official was quoted in the Post as
saying, "I think when this is over we'll have at least six or eight guys
indicted and in custody. It's just too big for two guys to pull off."
Then on June 15, the FBI backtracked again. "Periodically you just get
something in an investigation that goes nowhere. John Doe 2 goes nowhere. It
doesn't show up in associations, it doesn't show up in phone calls. It doesn't
show up among the Army buddies of McVeigh…"
The previous day, the FBI put out a story that John Doe 2 may have
actually been Todd Bunting, a soldier at Fort Riley, Kansas who had rented a
truck at the same dealer McVeigh had. The FBI stated that Bunting wore clothing
similar to that ascribed to John Doe 2, that he had a tattoo in the same place,
and that he wore a hat similar to John Doe 2's.
Yet Elliott's employees dismissed Bunting as the person who was seen
with McVeigh, and Bunting held a press conference stating that he had in fact
rented a truck at Elliott's — 24 hours after McVeigh allegedly rented
The Bunting story was officially dropped.
Then, on January 28, 1996, the prosecution switched tracks again,
officially resurrecting the Todd Bunting story. In a long brief, the government
disclosed that Elliott's employee Tom Kessinger was the only one who could
recall John Doe 2 well enough to describe him.
Now, after a November interview with a prosecutor and two FBI agents,
Kessinger was "confident that he had Todd Bunting in mind when he provided the
description for the John Doe 2 composite." Kessinger, the brief continued, is
"now unsure" whether anyone accompanied McVeigh. But his two co-workers
"continue to believe that two men came in to rent the truck."
In that brief, the prosecution speculated that the defense might use
"Kessinger's admitted confusion" to challenge his identification of McVeigh.
It seemed it was less "Kessinger's admitted confusion" than a deliberate
fabrication by prosecutors and the FBI to cover up the existence of John Doe 2.
As Kessinger told bombing victim Glenn Wilburn, who conducted his own
investigation, "I don't know how they came up with that one."
Kessinger later changed his story at the urging of federal prosecutors
Patrick Ryan and Joseph Hartzler. During a pretrial conference, Jones
"How can you be so wrong 60 hours after the event and so right a year
and a half later?" Jones asked him. "Could you be changing your mind because
the government wants you to?"
"No," Kessinger replied.
Yet on March 25 and April 5, Hartzler had written Jones that "The
existence and identity of this John Doe 2, whom we are confident is not Mr.
Bunting, is the subject of a continuing investigation."
And in a May 1, 1996 letter written by Hartzler, the government
prosecutor informed Jones that Kessinger and Beemer had been shown a picture of
the cap Bunting wore when he picked up a truck on April 18. "They both stated
that the cap was not the same one they saw on John Doe II," Hartzler wrote,
"and they reaffirmed that this second individual accompanied 'Kling' when he
rented the truck."
Yet at a hearing on April 9, federal prosecutor Beth Wilkinson stated
that the government "has no information showing anyone but Mr. Nichols and Mr.
McVeigh were the masterminds of this bombing."
"They keep telling us they're looking for John Doe No. 2, but then they
turn around and give statements indicating that they don't believe there is a
John Doe No. 2," said a woman whose husband was killed in the bombing.
Other victims, like naive children, blindly placed their faith in the
government's dubious assurances. Hartzler held one meeting with bombing victims
in which he "discussed and disposed of some of the more bizarre theories."
"I just got a better feeling about what's going on," said Bud Welch,
whose daughter, Julie, died in the attack. "The prosecution assured us that
there was no evidence that was suppressed. We really didn't know that," added
"We know what's going on now and that they're there for us," Pamela
Weber-Fore said of the prosecutors.
Other victims weren't as easily fooled. "I don't think that there's any
question about the fact that they're covering up who was involved in the
bombing," said V.Z. Lawton, a HUD worker who was injured in the blast. "I've
talked to five witnesses myself who saw McVeigh with John Doe number two in
Oklahoma City that morning, within fifteen minutes of the blast... tells me
that there is something wrong."
As Nichols' attorney Michael Tigar said, "It's strange that the official
version has focused on Nichols and McVeigh, and that the government is now
busily engaged in denying all possibility that there could be anybody
Grand Jury Bypass
"The FBI has thoroughly investigated all leads and I
am confident in the investigation." - lead prosecutor Joseph
Naturally, while many eyewitnesses stepped forward to tell the FBI they
had seen additional suspects, not one was ever called before the
Yet federal prosecutors still had one hurdle to overcome before they
could make their case. They had to deal with Hoppy Heidelberg. Heidelberg, who
often quoted from the grand juror's handbook, was aware that the grand jury was
charged with the task of determining the relevance of the evidence, and asking
those questions pertinent to the case. So far, all the evidence centered around
Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. Heidelberg wanted to know why prosecutors
had not subpoenaed the many witnesses who had seen John Doe 2.
"No one who saw McVeigh with other suspects, was ever allowed to testify
before the federal grand jury," said Heidelberg. The obvious inference being
that those who saw McVeigh would have also seen John Doe 2.
But Patrick Ryan seemed to be controlling the jury. He did not like
Heidelberg's tendency to go against the flow. In a letter to the victims'
families, Ryan states:
The United States has never maintained or even suggested, that no other
person or persons were involved with McVeigh and Nichols in the commission of
these crimes. As stated earlier, the question of involvement of others is the
subject of intensive investigation by federal investigators and prosecutors who
are totally devoted and committed to identifying and prosecuting all persons
involved in the planning or commission of these crimes.
Yet, as in the Kennedy assassination, federal prosecutors simply paraded
before the grand jury those witnesses favorable to their preordained view of
the case, ignoring leads and witnesses that conflicted with their highly
dubious version of events.
Although Heidelberg attempted to question grand jury witnesses, he was
repeatedly stonewalled by prosecutors. In an interview with journalist Jon
Rappaport, Heidelberg stated, "They said I'd have to get the prosecuting
attorney's okay for each question I wanted to ask. But you know, in dialog one
question leads to another right away, so you can't cross-examine that way.
"They kept promising and promising to answer all my questions, but
ultimately they stalled me. I was had."
In an interview on CBS This Morning, Stephen Jones said, "…what is
troubling here is that the prosecutors, in effect, according to this grand
juror's allegation, took away from the grand jury their duty to go after the
full story, not just concentrating on the two people that had already
Not buying the government's story of a couple of pissed-off whackos with
a fertilizer bomb, Heidelberg also asked that bomb experts be called in to
identify the type of bomb used. "Let's get the answer… Let's get the
architects and engineers who built the building in there and question them,"
Heidelberg told Rappaport.
"Did you request that?" asked Rappaport.
"Of course! I demanded bomb experts all along. And engineers and
geologists. They said — do you want to know what they said? They didn't
have the money! I said I'd go down to the University of Oklahoma and bring some
geologists back myself for free. They wouldn't let me.
"The bomb is the key to the whole case."
In order to satisfy the grand jury that an ANFO bomb blew up the
building, prosecutors called in one bomb expert — Robert Hopler. Hopler,
it turns out, recently retired from Dyno-Nobel, an explosives manufacturer in
Salt Lake City. Dyno-Nobel used to be Hercules Powder Company — a reputed
"I knew he was CIA," said Heidelberg. "It was pretty obvious to me and
most of the jury."
Judge David Russell eventually dismissed Heidelberg from the grand jury
for having the audacity to question the government's case. In a letter to
Heidelberg dated October 24, 1995, Russell states:
Effectively immediately, you are dismissed from the grand jury. Your
obligation of secrecy continues. Any disclosure of matters that occurred before
the grand jury constitutes a contempt of court. Each violation of the
obligation of secrecy may be punished cumulatively.
The government's excuse for dismissing Heidelberg was an anonymous
interview he supposedly gave to Lawrence Myers of Media Bypass magazine.
As previously noted, Heidelberg never consented to be interviewed by Myers, and
in fact, Myers had surreptitiously obtained the content of an interview
conducted by the investigator for Heidelberg's attorney, John DeCamp.
But Heidelberg claims the real reason was a letter he wrote to Judge
Russell dated October 5th, in which Heidelberg states:
The families of the victims deserve to know who was involved in the
bombing, and there appears to be an attempt to protect the identity of certain
suspects, namely John Doe 2….
"I think they (the government) knows who John Doe 2 is, and they are
protecting him," said Heidelberg in an interview in Jubilee Magazine.
"This is because John Doe 2 is either a government agent or informant and they
can't afford for that to get out."
Eventually, the FBI dropped the John Doe 2 lead altogether. John Doe 2
had been a red herring, a false lead, the Justice Department claimed. John Doe
2 had never really existed.
Dozens of credible witnesses think otherwise.
Catina Lawson, who was friends with McVeigh, remembered John Doe 2 from
the Summer of '92, when she and her friends would hold parties and invite
soldiers from nearby Fort Riley. McVeigh showed up with Andy Strassmeir, Mike
Fortier, and Michael Brescia. In fact, Lawson's roommate, Lindsay Johnson,
dated the handsome, well-built Brescia.
Two days after the bombing, Lawson called the FBI and told them that
Brescia closely resembled the sketch of John Doe 2.
Yet in spite of overturning 21,000 stones, the FBI never even bothered
to follow up on her story.
Robert Gohn, who lived across the road from McVeigh in Kingman, recalled
seeing one of the mysterious John Does around the early Summer of '94.
According to Gohn, one day a short, stocky man who looked "like a weight
lifter" arrived at McVeigh's trailer with Terry Nichols.
On April 7, Dr. Paul Heath was working in his office at the Murrah
Building when "McVeigh" and two of his companions stopped by for a chat. Heath
recalled one of the men as "American-Indian looking" and "handsome."
As the Associated Press reported on April 27, 1995:
… [U.S. Attorney Randy] Rathburn said neighbors of Nichols'…
reported that Nichols spent April 12-14 with McVeigh and several unidentified
men. One of the men resembled sketches of John Doe 2.…
On Saturday, April 15, Barbara Whittenberg served breakfast to three men
at the Sante Fe Trail Diner in Herrington, Kansas. One of the men was
dark-skinned and handsome. When he told her they were on their way to Oklahoma
City, McVeigh shot him a hard look that said "keep quiet."
Early the next day, around 1:00 a.m., Melba was working the deli counter
at Albertson's Supermarket on South May in Oklahoma City, when "McVeigh" and
John Doe 2 stopped by for sandwiches.
"McVeigh," it seems, was still in town when Phyliss Kingsley and Linda
Kuhlman saw three vehicles pull into the Hi-Way Grill, just south of Oklahoma
City, around 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. McVeigh came in and ordered hamburgers and
fries to go, and was accompanied by a short, stocky, handsome man, of either
Mexican or American Indian descent. The man closely resembled the FBI sketch of
John Doe 2.
That same day, back at the Dreamland Motel in Junction City, Connie Hood
was returning to her room around 12:45 a.m. when a man in room 23 quickly
opened the door as if expecting a visitor, then quickly closed it when he saw
Hood. The man, who startled her, was in his early 20s, about 5'8" tall, 180
lbs., with dark hair brushed straight back and an olive complexion. Hood
recalls he closely resembled the sketch of John Doe 2, but with slightly fuller
features. She described him as a "foreigner."
The following day, Hood and her husband Donald returned to the Dreamland
to visit their friend David King in room 22. A Ryder truck pulled up at the
same time they did, the driver strongly resembling the man Hood saw the
Shane Boyd, a helicopter mechanic who was also staying at the Dreamland,
later told reporters and investigators that he saw a bushy-haired man
resembling the John Doe 2 sketch in the parking lot near room 25 — Timothy
One exit away from the Dreamland Motel sits the Great Western Inn.
According to the manager, a Middle Eastern man stayed at the motel on the 17th.
"He spoke broken English," said the manager. "[He] gave a foreign name and was
driving a Ryder truck." The man closely resembled the FBI's sketch of John Doe
"Sometime on Monday," recalled Connie Hood, "those two — McVeigh
and the foreigner — loaded up together, in a Ryder truck, and pulled out
of the Dreamland parking lot together… that was the last I saw of
Later that day, janitors Katherine Woodly and Martin Johnson were
working the 5-9 p.m. shift in the Murrah Building when they saw "McVeigh" and
John Doe 2. McVeigh spoke to Martin about a job, and John Doe 2 nodded to
At 3:00 p.m. on Monday, or possibly Tuesday, Jerri-Lynn Backhous and
Dorinda Hermes were working at the Easy-Mart in Newkirk, 100 miles north of
Oklahoma City, when a convoy pulled in. One of the vehicles — a light blue
pick-up with a camper top — was being driven by Terry Nichols. Backhous
recalled Nichols' passenger as average height, dark-skinned, with black hair
and a muscular build. "He looked just like the John Doe 2 sketch," she
Debbie Nakanashi was working at the Post Office across the street from
the Murrah Building around on Monday or Tuesday when "McVeigh" and John Doe 2
stopped in and asked where they might find federal job applications. Nakanashi
helped provide the description for the well-known profile sketch of John Doe 2
in the baseball cap.
Guy Rubsamen, a security guard at the Murrah Building saw a large Ryder
truck pull up to the curb in front of the building around 4:00 p.m. on Monday,
the 17th. Rubsamen later concluded it was a dress rehearsal.
"There was either two or three men, but one jumped out the driver's
side, and one or two out the passenger side," Rubsamen told the Rocky
Mountain News. "The first thing that struck me was how quickly they jumped
out. Those guys were in a hurry."
The Ryder truck would make its appearance the following evening at the
Cattle Baron's Steakhouse in Perry, Oklahoma. Jeff Meyers and another customer
recalled seeing McVeigh and a companion, who stopped by for a few beers. The
man was approximately six feet tall and weighed 260 pounds — a description
not befitting the John Doe 2s described by other witnesses.
Richard Sinnett, the assistant manager of the Save-A-Trip convenience
store in Kingman, Kansas, sold fuel to McVeigh and three other men at
approximately 1:30 a.m. on April 19. Sinnett saw three vehicles in all,
including a Ryder truck, an older brown pick-up (possibly belonging to Steven
Colbern?), and a light colored car.
Sinnett described John Doe 2 as muscular, 170 to 180 pounds, with short
light brown hair and a light complexion. He recalled the Ryder truck was towing
a trailer that contained a large, round tank filled with clear liquid. The
store is about 175 miles north of Oklahoma City.
Fred Skrdla, a cashier at a 24-hour truck stop near Billings, told the
FBI he sold fuel to McVeigh between 1 and 3 a.m. on April 19. The station is
about 80 miles north of Oklahoma City.
As the sun rose, McVeigh and a friend sat down for coffee at Jackie's
Farmers Store in Mulhall, Oklahoma. Mulhall Postmaster Mary Hunnicutt stood
right next to McVeigh as he ordered his coffee. She was "advised" not to
discuss what she had seen, lest she be summoned before the Federal Grand Jury.
Ten minutes before the blast, Leroy Brooks was sitting in his car at the
Sooner Post Office across from the Murrah Building, when a Ryder truck pulled
up across the street, trailed by a yellow Mercury. The drivers of both vehicles
got out and walked to the back of the truck, where they spoke for a few
seconds, and exchanged a small package. After Brooks came out of the Post
Office, he saw that the Ryder truck, which contained a passenger, had moved in
front of the Murrah Building. "McVeigh" was walking briskly across 5th Street
towards the Journal Record building.
Danny Wilkerson sold "McVeigh" a pack of cigarettes (McVeigh doesn't
smoke) and two soft drinks at a deli inside the Regency Towers apartments a
block from the Murrah Building. Wilkerson recalled a passenger sitting in the
cab of the Ryder truck, which had a cab overhang, and was shorter than the
24-foot model the FBI claimed McVeigh had rented.
Federal authorities had still more witnesses to call on had they wanted
to. Mike Moroz, who was at work at Johnny's Tire Store on 10th and Hudson, on
April 19, looked up to see a Ryder truck pull in at 8:40 a.m. The occupants
were looking for directions to the Murrah Building. Moroz caught a glimpse of
the passenger — a stocky man with dark curly hair wearing a ball cap, and
a tattoo on his upper left arm.
Several minutes earlier, David Snider was waiting for a delivery in
Bricktown, about 25 blocks away, when a Ryder truck passed slowly by, as if
looking for an address. However, this time the driver was a dark-skinned man
with long, straight black hair, wearing a thin mustache and tear-drop
sunglasses. The passenger was "McVeigh." Since Snider's account of the
occupants differed remarkably from the previous accounts, could this have been
the second Ryder truck described by witnesses? If so, did this mean there were
two "McVeighs" and two John Doe 2s?
At approximately the same time as Snider saw the Ryder truck, Tulsa
banker Kyle Hunt came upon the truck at Main and Broadway, trailed by a yellow
Mercury. Hunt said the Mercury driver was Timothy McVeigh. "He gave me that
icy, go-to-hell look," said Hunt. "It kind of unnerved me." While Hunt didn't see the occupants of
the truck, he did recall two passengers in the car. One of them, he said, had
long hair, similar to the man Phyliss Kingsley saw on Sunday at the Hi-Way
Grill. None of the men was Terry Nichols, who was in Herrington that
Just outside the Murrah Building, Dennis "Rodney" Johnson was driving
his catering truck, when he suddenly had to brake to avoid hitting two men who
were running towards the parking lot across the street.
The men, who were in "a fast lockstep" with each other, appeared to be
Timothy McVeigh and John Doe 2. Johnson described McVeigh's companion as
"Mexican or American-Indian." He was "dark-skinned… probably about 5-8 and
maybe 160 pounds," Johnson said. "He was wearing blue jogger pants with a
stripe across the side. He had slicked-black hair."
Then there was Gary Lewis. A pressman for the Journal Record,
Lewis stepped outside to smoke his pipe just minutes before the blast. As
stood in the alley across from the Murrah Building, a yellow Mercury peeled
away from its spot and bore down on him. The driver, whom he made brief
eye-contact with, appeared to be Timothy McVeigh. And his passenger resembled
the sketch of John Doe 2. The car had an Oklahoma tag (not an Arizona tag as
authorities claimed) dangling by one bolt.
Even FBI Agent John Hersley had testified before the Federal Grand Jury
that "…several witnesses spotted a yellow car carrying McVeigh and another
man speeding away from the parking lot near the… [building] before the
Finally there was Daina Bradley. A young mother, Bradley was standing by
the window of the Social Security office seconds before the blast, when she saw
a man get out of the passenger side of the Ryder truck. Moments later,
Bradley's world turned to blackness, smoke and dust as she was showered by
falling concrete. Bradley, who lost her leg, her mother, and her two children
in the bombing, still clearly recalls the man who got out of the truck. He
looked like John Doe 2.
Of course, federal "investigators" would show as little interest in
these and other discrepancies as they would in the numerous John Does. Some of
these witnesses were never even contacted by the FBI, eventhough all of them
had repeatedly tried to alert the Bureau. Only after federal prosecutors had
coerced Daina Bradley into changing her story, did she testify at McVeigh's
trial. None of the others were ever called.
"I know I wasn't called because I would have to testify that I did see
John Doe 2. I know I saw John Doe 2," said Rodney Johnson.
Then in March of 1997, after changing it's mind half a dozen times about
the existence of John Doe 2, it was "leaked" to the press that the FBI was
searching for a John Doe. His name was Robert Jaques.
This "new" John Doe 2 had appeared at the office of real estate broker
William Maloney, of Cassville, Missouri, in November of '94, along with Terry
Nichols and a man who looked like McVeigh. They were there to discuss
purchasing a remote piece of land. Joe Lee Davidson, a salesman in Maloney's
office, recalled the encounter with Jaques: "The day he was here, he seemed to
be the one that was in control and in charge of what was going on," said
Davidson. "Nichols never said a whole lot and McVeigh never did come
Maloney described Jaques as muscular, with a broad, dark face, similar
to, but not quite identical as, the original FBI sketch of John Doe 2.
Is it possible the sudden announcement of Jaques was a diversion, to
satisfy a public increasingly savvy about the existence of John Doe 2?
Nevertheless, a month after this new lead was announced, the government
went ahead with the trial of McVeigh, making no attempt to introduce any
They also dropped the lead on Steven Colbern, in spite of the fact that
his pick-up was seen stopped ahead of McVeigh 90 minutes after the
The Middle-Eastern lead was also dropped. The FBI denied putting out the
APB on the brown pick-up containing the three Middle Eastern males seen
speeding away from the bombing. And while the FBI knew about Sam Khalid, they
did nothing but ask him some questions.
An affidavit submitted by FBI Agent John Hersley stated: "A witness to
the bombing saw two, possibly three persons in a brown Chevrolet pickup —
fleeing the area of the crime — just prior to the blast." Although agents
interviewed the witness who saw Hussain al-Hussaini driving the brown pick-up,
she was never brought before a line-up, and never called to testify before the
Federal Grand Jury. Hussaini's friend Abraham Ahmed was turned loose as
As in the Kennedy assassination, the FBI sent thousands of agents hither
and yonder to scour the country, searching out even the most obscure leads.
Agents swarmed through Kingman, conducting warrantless searches, arresting
innocent people, and wrecking havoc. Dozens more swooped down on Terry Nichols
12-year-old son Josh, whom they thought may have been John Doe 2. Agents were
sent to the Philippines to investigate Nichols' activities there, and thousands
more had detained and questioned anyone even remotely suspicious.
Yet, as in the Kennedy case, few agents actually knew just why they were
following up on any given lead. Very few ever were ever allowed to compare
notes, or catch a glimpse of the "big picture."
More importantly, those individuals who should have been prime suspects
for questioning were never even detained. No agents were sent to Elohim city to
interview Andreas Strassmeir or Michael Brescia, or Peter and Sonny Ward.
Likewise, none of the Middle Eastern suspects previously mentioned were
Had any FBI agents actually attempted to follow up on any of these
leads, like their predecessors in Dallas, they would have been quickly
reassigned to other cases by Washington.
The same held true for local law-enforcement. FBI SAC Bob Ricks —
who doled out a mendacious dose of propaganda during the Waco massacre —
was appointed Public Safety Director after the bombing, putting him in charge
of the OHP.
The OSBI were made coffee boys and drivers for the FBI. District
Attorney Bob Macy, along with local police, were "advised" to stay out of the
Six days before the start of McVeigh's trial, Steven Jones filed a
defense motion citing law-enforcement and defense interviews with a Filipino
terrorist who admitted meeting with bombing defendant Terry Nichols.
Lead prosecutor Joseph Hartzler called Jones' carefully investigated and
researched information "pulp fiction."
Yet a Washington-based terrorist expert who investigated the World Trade
Center bombing and is familiar with some the suspects in Jones' brief said,
"The whole idea that no one but Timothy McVeigh — that there's nothing
wider than this — no one would believe it if the government weren't saying
it. It's so implausible a story.
"The government has the nerve to call it pulp fiction," added the
highly-respected source. Their story is 'pulp fiction.'"
Apparently, the government was concerned enough about Jones' revelations
to order all the witness statements sealed.
In the end, the FBI propounded its disingenuous theory that McVeigh and
Nichols were the "lone bombers" just as quickly as they had decided that Lee
Harvey Oswald was the "Lone assassin" twenty-eight years ago.
"Stated simply, neither the ATF nor any other federal
agency had any advance knowledge of the deadly bomb that McVeigh delivered to
the Murrah Building.… The prosecution is not withholding anything that
even remotely would support such an outrageous charge." - Department of
"I can assure you that there has been no government
misconduct and the men and women of the FBI that we're working with are beyond
- U.S. Attorney Joseph Hartzler
"Our government, unfortunately, has shown remarkable ability to lie."
- Stephen Jones
One example of the Justice Department's refusal to admit the possibility
of any suspects other than McVeigh and Nichols was its stubborn insistence on
hoarding discovery documents that it should have been rightfully turned over to
the defense under the federal Brady requirements. In a motion filed six
days before the start of McVeigh's trial, Jones alleged that the prosecution
not only lied about the available evidence, they deliberately obsfucated and
distorted certain ATF and FBI reports on Elohim City, deliberately misspelling
the names Carol Howe, Robert Millar, Andreas Strassmeir, Dennis Mahon and
others so that the defense would be unable to retrieve any documents regarding
these suspects during their computer searches. As Jones wrote in his brief:
Defense counsel is convinced that the government has engaged in a
willful and knowing cover-up of information supplied to it by its informant.
The defense was unable to locate this insert using a computer because all major
search terms contained in the insert were misspelled. Elohim City was
misspelled or misidentified (Elohm City), as was Mahon (Mehaun), Strassmeir
(Strassmeyer), the Rev. Robert Millar (Bob Lamar) and in addition, Carol Howe
was not identified in the insert at all.
Thus the defense was unable to locate important information that Carol
Howe, a ATF informant, had provided critical warnings that the Murrah Building
was about to be bombed. As Jones wrote:
Our patience is exhausted… We are no longer convinced the documents
drafted and furnished to us, after the fact, by bureaucracies whose very
existence and credibility is challenged, can be relied upon.…
The government has told the district court that it had 'no information"
of a possible foreign involvement when it did. The government has told the
district court that "Andreas Strassmeir was never the subject of the
investigation," when he was.…
Statements to the court by the prosecution that it cannot connect
Strassmeir and Mahon to the bombing are hardly surprising. They did not try
very hard to connect them because had they been connected, and Carol Howe's
previous warning disclosed, the resulting furor would have been
The repeated practice of the government and prosecution in this case
when the shoe gets binding is to make a partial disclosure, assure the District
Court it understands its Brady obligations, and hold its breath, hoping
the court does not order further disclosure, or will rely on the prosecution's
This is a solemn criminal case, not Alice in Wonderland where
definitions mean only what "the Queen thinks" and what she thinks is not known
to anyone else.
Lying about additional suspects wasn't the only crime the "Justice"
Department was guilty of. Manipulating and confiscating evidence also seemed to
be a major tool in their arsenal of deceit.
Richard Bieder, the attorney representing a group bombing victims in
their negligence lawsuit against the government, told the London
Telegraph that he had seen internal ATF documents which supported many of
the claims made by Carol Howe. But the reports for December 1994, probably the
most critical ones, have vanished from the files.
On April 14, 1995, the FBI placed a call to Assistant Chief Charles
Gaines at the Oklahoma City Fire Department to warn him of a potential
terrorist threat within the next few days. Yet like the FBI's warnings of the
threat against the life of President Kennedy, or Nixon's infamous Watergate
tapes, the audio logs of the Fire Department's incoming calls were mysteriously
When asked to explain this "accidental" erasure, Assistant Chief Jon
Hansen intelligently replied, "We made a boo-boo." Hansen then admitted to
reporter J.D. Cash that the tapes had been erased after the national
media had requested them.
On April 28th the tape of James Nichols' hearing was released by court
order, and it was blank. Nothing whatsoever could be heard on the tape. It was
the only record of the proceedings.
On April 19, the seismic data monitor at the Omniplex Museum, four miles
from the Murrah Building, had recorded the shock waves of the explosion. The
seismograph readings, including one from the University of Oklahoma 16
miles away in Norman, presented startling evidence — evidence that the
explosion that ripped through the Alfred P. Murrah building may in fact have
been several distinct blasts. The implications of this are ominous.
At a meeting of the Oklahoma Geophysical Society on November 20th,
Seismologists Ray Brown of the Oklahoma Geological Survey and Tom Holzer of the
U.S. Geological Survey gathered to discuss the findings. Pat Briley, a seismic
programmer, who has independently investigated the bombing, attended the
meeting, as did U.S. Attorney Patrick Ryan and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jerome
Although the two scientists disagreed on findings regarding the number
of bombs, less than a third of the way through the presentation, Ryan got up,
walked to the back of the room, and began giving a private press conference:
"I was certainly satisfied that these scientists could not say that
there was anything other than one bomb that caused the seismology reading,"
said Ryan, a statement obviously inconsistent with the discussion occurring at
"Ryan lied very heavily," said Briley. "This guy really lied."
After the meeting, Briley politely asked Ryan to give him the original
seismogram in the FBI's possession. Ryan got up, angrily accused Briley of
working for the defense team, then stammered out of the room.
Surveillance cameras located in the parking lot across from the Murrah
building, and on neighboring buildings, would have recorded the entire fateful
event that terrible morning. The tapes would have also shown the building
collapsing. They would have conclusively proven whether the structure was
destroyed by cutting charges, or by a truck-bomb. But like Abraham Zapruder's
famous footage of the Kennedy assassination, the tapes were quickly confiscated
by the FBI.
In an interview with Jon Rappaport, Hoppy Heidelberg said, "The various
surveillance videotapes of the bombing, tapes from, say, Southwestern Bell and
the Journal Record Building across the street, we don't know that they showed
all the details of the bombing, including the perpetrators, but it's possible.
None of this material was shown to us in the grand jury."
Certain segments of the footage was presented by the prosecution at
trial. One cut included a shot of a blue GMC pick-up with a white camper top
(the kind owned by Terry Nichols) driving slowly past the Regency Towers
apartments near the Murrah Building on April 16 — the day Nichols
allegedly drove to Oklahoma to pick up McVeigh.
The prosecution also displayed a still frame of a Ryder truck driving by
the Regency Towers on the morning of the blast. The time was 8:59 a.m. They
then showed a still of the truck blowing up, stamped 9:02 a.m. Curiously, the
government was careful not to show the jury any footage which showed any
suspects getting out of the truck.
Surveillance footage taken by Trooper Charles Hanger upon his arrest of
McVeigh had caught a brown pick-up stopped just ahead — thought to belong
to Steven Colbern. When researcher Ken Armstrong questioned the OHP about the
tape, he was told it had been "seized" by the FBI. The OHP would not comment
On June 1st, KFOR reporter Brad Edwards sent the Justice Department a
Freedom of Information request concerning the various surveillance footage. In
their reply, the FBI stated:
A search of our indices to the Central Records System, as maintained in
the Oklahoma City Office, located material responsive request (sic) to your
request. This material is being withheld in its entirety pursuant to the
following subsection of Title 5, United States Code, Section 552: (b) (7) (A)
When Jones finally filed a motion for disclosure after prosecutors
refused to hand over the tapes, he was given 400 hours of footage. According to
defense attorney Amber McGlaughlin, the tapes did not reveal the presence of
Of course, who knows what the FBI actually turned over to the defense.
In the Kennedy case, the most revealing evidence was the Zapruder film —
homemade footage showing Presidents Kennedy's head being blasted towards the
right-rear — indicating the fatal shot came from the Grassy Knoll, not the
Book Depository as the government claimed. Yet the FBI confiscated Zapruder's
film and altered the sequence of the incriminating frames, reversing them to
give the impression that Kennedy's head had lurched forward. It was only later
that experts revealed the tampering.
The FBI said it was a "mistake."
The Zapruder film was finally released in 1968, the result of District
Attorney Jim Garrison's courageous efforts to reveal the truth. The question
is, when will the American public get to see the video footage of the Oklahoma
While the FBI did their best to keep key evidence from the grand jury,
as in the Kennedy case, they even went so far as to convince several witnesses
that their former statements were false, and to retract them in lieu of
statements more favorable to the prosecution. A primary example is Michael
Fortier, who originally told investigators, "I do not believe that Tim
[McVeigh] blew up any building in Oklahoma. There's nothing for me to look back
upon and say, yeah, that might have been, I should have seen it back then
— there's nothing like that.… I know my friend. Tim McVeigh is not
the face of terror as reported on Time magazine…"
But after the FBI raided his home, Fortier reversed his statement,
saying that he and McVeigh has "cased" the federal building, in response to an
offer of a plea bargain. Fortier was then transferred to the Federal Medical
Facility at Fort Worth, Texas. It is not known why.
According to Heidelberg, the FBI brought 24-hour-a-day pressure on
Fortier for months before he was arrested. Consequently, Fortier did not retain
a lawyer, didn't know he needed one, and was subsequently bullied by the
Bureau. By the time he managed to retain a lawyer, Fortier had already been
Lori Fortier testified that McVeigh tried to solicit Nichols' help in
building the bomb, but that Nichols wanted out. He then allegedly tried to
solicit her husband. According to her testimony, McVeigh got down on the floor
of their trailer and, using soup cans to represent 55-gallon drums,
demonstrated how to make a bomb.
Were the Fortiers relaying accurate testimony? Like the testimony of
Eldon Elliott about McVeigh's height, or that of Thomas Manning regarding
McVeigh's phone call to Elliott's, none of this information was contained in
prior statements made by the Fortiers to the FBI.
As will be seen with prior incidents of government witness tampering and
fabricated testimony, their testimony is highly circumspect.
The Fortiers' testimony is also somewhat questionable due to their drug
use. According to co-worker Deborah Brown, who testified at McVeigh's trial,
Lori Fortier used crystal methamphetamine almost daily. Methamphetamine is
widely known for its ability to induce delusional or even psychotic states over
Fortier eventually confessed to transporting and selling stolen
firearms, drug possession, foreknowledge of the bombing plot, and failing to
inform federal authorities.
Said grand juror Hoppy Heidelberg, "The FBI relied on a man, Fortier,
who really couldn't provide anything important to them. You need to remember
that. That's important."
Lori Fortier also testified that "I still believed he (McVeigh) couldn't
really do it." Jones then asked her, "Ms. Fortier, you said you thought McVeigh
really wouldn't carry out his plans, then you said you, 'wanted out.' How can
you 'want out' if there was nothing to 'be in'"?
Jones would take this one step further. On cross-examination, he
assiduously questioned Fortier's motivations:
Jones: Now, in addition, in your conversation you had with your
brother on April the 25th, 1995 — that's your brother John?
Fortier: Yes, sir.
Jones: Did you make the following statement: "I've been thinking
about trying to do those talk-show circuits for a long time, come up with some
asinine story and get my friends to go in on it"?
Fortier: Yes, sir, I made that statement.
Jones: And in the same conversation, did your brother say to you:
"Whether the story is true or not, if you want to sit here and listen to a
fable, that's all it was at the time is a fable"? And then did you say: "I
found my career, 'cause I can tell a fable"? And then did you burst out
laughing and say, "I could tell stories all day"?
Fortier: Yes, sir.
Jones: Then do you know an individual named Glynn?
Jones: And his last name, sir?
Fortier: I think you're referring to Glynn Bringle.
Jones: Did you have a conversation with him by telephone on April
Jones: And did you say, "I want to wait till after the trial and
do book and movie rights. I can just make up something juicy"? And then did you
Fortier: I'm not sure if I laughed or not, but I did make that
Jones: "Something that's worth The Enquirer, you know."
You made those statements.
Fortier: Yes, sir.
The obvious inference was that the "Justice" Department had a hand in
generating the Fortiers' testimony. As Jones pointed out during his closing
argument, the terms of Fortier's plea agreement provided that any leniency
would be contingent upon his performance in court.
Not true, according to the FBI, which spent over 175 hours soliciting
statements from the Fortiers; and Joseph Hartzler, who met with his "star
witness" between 7 and 10 times to "make sure he told the truth."
In fact, during McVeigh's trial, Lori Fortier testified on
cross-examination that she had arrived in Denver five days before she was
scheduled for trial. She testified that she spent the better part of Friday,
Saturday, Sunday, and Monday practicing for her testimony with federal
Philadelphia prosecutors spent a lot of time with Veronica Jones to
"make sure she told the truth" too — convincing her to implicate
journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, accused of shooting police officer Daniel Faulkner.
Jones, who was facing unrelated felony charges at the time, originally told
police she saw two other men flee the scene. After threats and promises from
police, she changed her story, testifying to the government's version of
events. Her felony charges were subsequently dropped.
Fortier, whose speech and appearance were magically transformed for his
day in court, reportedly received a reduced sentence of three years in exchange
for his testimony. His wife Lori was granted complete immunity from prosecution
Jones also accused the FBI of harassing Jennifer McVeigh and her friends
in the days after the bombing, hoping to obtain derogatory information about
her brother. He said the FBI scared people "beyond belief with threats of
prosecution" if they didn't talk.
On the fifth day of Jennifer McVeigh's interrogation, the FBI ushered
her into a room with huge blown up pictures of her and her brother (taken off
her refrigerator door), and babies who died in the bombing. Interspersed
between the photos were statutes from the U.S. Code pertaining to treason, with
phrases such as "Treason is punishable by death," and "The penalty for treason
is DEATH." (government's emphasis)
Under cross-examination, Jennifer was asked if she was aware that
treason is only punishable in times of war. Stunned by this revelation, she
The FBI also tricked Jennifer into testifying by promising her immunity
from prosecution if she cooperated. During a break in the trial, a reporter
asked prosecutor Vicky Behenna why Jennifer needed immunity. "She didn't,"
Behenna replied," but she wouldn't testify without it, so we gave it to
The FBI also tricked Marife Nichols into signing a consent form before
they searched her house. When she was asked if the agents advised her of her
right to retain a lawyer or refuse to answer questions, the 23-year-old
Filipino answered, "I don't remember. I don't think so." Marife said that when
she asked whether she did need a lawyer, prosecutors and FBI agents discouraged
her. "They told me, 'You're okay as long as you are telling the truth. You
don't need a lawyer."
James Nichols discovered they were raiding his house after he
heard it on the news. "I heard on the radio they were raiding a house in
Decker, Michigan. I said, 'Wow, that's awful close to home.' Well, within an
hour I found out… Mine!"
Nichols believes the ATF, which raided his house, set him up to be
murdered, either as an act of revenge or to prevent him from testifying at
trial. He told Dateline's Chris Hansen that after the agents entered his
home, they asked him to retrieve a gun he kept in his bedroom. Nichols
responded, "No, I won't go get it. I told you, send an agent or two in there to
go do it." 'Aw, go ahead. Go and do it,' the agent responded, and they all
turned their backs, real nonchalantly. I said, 'Whoa, wait a minute…'
They'd 'a shot me, because they would have just said 'He pulled a gun on us.'
The fate of Terry and Tim would have been signed, sealed and delivered…
Dead people don't testify."
For his part, Terry Nichols believed that he was not in custody after he
walked into the Herrington, Kansas police station on April 21 to see why his
name was being broadcast on television. Apparently, the agents were hoping they
could get more out of Nichols by leading him to believe they had no intention
of arresting him.
"Mr. Nichols was coerced, deceived, and subjected to psychological ploys
designed to overcome his will and make him confess," his attorney stated in a
legal brief. Defense attorneys also contend Nichols was falsely promised he
could review agents' notes on his statements for accuracy, and was falsely told
he or his wife could be present at searches.
Prosecutors countered that federal agents acted "with remarkable
diligence and in a manner that honored the Constitution."
Frank Keating: Damage Control
"We are going to impose our agenda on the coverage by
dealing with the issues and subjects we choose to deal with." - Richard M.
Cohan, Senior Producer of CBS News
"The business of the New York journalist is to destroy
the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of
Mammon, and to sell his race and his country for his daily bread." - John
Swinton, CEO, New York Times, New York Press Club, April 12, 1953.
"The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any
significance in the major media." - William Colby, former CIA Director
Eight months after the bombing, Oklahoma State Representative Charles
Key, dissatisfied with the "official" investigation, attempted to form a state
oversight committee. House Speaker Glen Johnson ridiculed Key's efforts,
stating his satisfaction with the Justice Department's official fantasy tale.
Anyone who subsequently attempted to challenge the government's official line
was publicly discredited by Governor Keating, sneered at by Attorney General
Drew Edmondson, and laughed at by the mainstream press.
The local media provided a convenient platform for Governor Keating to
dismiss critics of the government's handling of the case, including Edye Smith,
Hoppy Heidelberg and Representative Key. In an attempt to discredit Heidelberg,
Keating headed a carefully orchestrated chorus of media pundits, stating that
Heidelberg was "off the reservation."
Keating also joined KWTV in attacking KFOR's coverage of the Middle
Eastern connection, stating they lacked integrity.
He labeled Jim Levine, an attorney who represented several victims
pro bono in an attempt to release money from the Governor and Mayor's
Victims Relief Funds a "bottom-feeding" lawyer.*
For his courageous efforts in uncovering the truth, Keating said
Representative Key was "baying at the moon."†
Along with bombing victim Glenn Wilburn, Key attempted to impanel a
County Grand Jury. Such a jury, operating outside the scope of the federal
investigation, would not only have the power to investigate facts ignored by
the federal grand jury, but have the power to level criminal obstruction of
justice charges against anybody whom they believed might have impeded the
Given the allegations of wrongdoing in the federal investigation, such
charges could conceivably be leveled against everybody from the ATF to the
In an interview in the McCurtain Gazette, Key explained,
"Indisputable proof exists now that the federal grand jury was purposely
shielded from witnesses who saw Timothy McVeigh with other suspects, both prior
to and immediately after the bombing assault…. They may have a good motive
for this, but thus far it escapes me — and, I might add, several members
of the federal grand jury who witnessed this farce."
Keating's response, quoted in the Daily Oklahoman was: "I don't
think a legislative committee would contribute one whit of intelligence to this
The Daily Oklahoman and the Tulsa World, the state's two
largest dailies, which should have led the pack in ferreting out the truth of
this terrible tragedy, instead led the local media chorus with editorials such
as this one in the Daily Oklahoman, entitled, "Drop It, Mr. Key."
The Daily Oklahoman has opposed Key's mission from the
beginning.… State Rep. Charles Key's quest to prove that a government
conspiracy played some role in the Murrah Building bombing is a weird and
misguided exercise.… Oklahoma County District Attorney Bob Macy is correct
in appealing a court ruling that allows Key a free hand to seek a county grand
jury probe of his conspiracy theories.…
The Tulsa World chimed in with editorials such as "Making Tragedy
Pay," which labeled Key as a "dedicated hustler" peddling "goofy theories" to
rightwing-crank audiences." They also accused the representative of
profit-making from the sale of his bombing videos, which barely paid for
themselves. The fact that Key had recently lost his insurance business due to
his tireless efforts investigating the bombing, and was living on his
$33,000-a-year salary to support a wife and three children in a small,
ramshackle house, was not mentioned by the yellow journalists of the Tulsa
The "truth seekers" of the local media weren't finished either.
They eagerly focused on the efforts of Drew Edmondson, who accused Key of
proposing a "wasteful witch hunt" and of engaging in "the worst kind of
paranoid conspiracy pandering." (See Appendix)
One article reported how Edmondson had convinced the State District
Attorney's Council to oppose Key's investigative funding bill.
"This is unprecedented, as far as I know, for the Attorney General to go
to such lengths with the District Attorneys Council and to use such intemperate
language," the soft-spoken Key told The New American.
In fact, local radio polls revealed that an overwhelming majority of
Oklahomans supported Key's efforts. While the Tulsa World and the
Daily Oklahoman went to extremes to label Key as a "conspiracy nut,"
they never bothered mentioning that little fact.*
Naturally, the CIA-connected Washington Post would have their
say, comparing the "myth" of John Doe 2 to the Loch Ness Monster.
Lead prosecutor Joseph Hartzler added his voice to the ensemble, calling
the leads "whacky theories."
Key's grand jury petition was quashed on November 6th, 1995 by District
Judge Daniel Owens on the grounds that it would be "re-inventing the
Key appealed. As his attorney, Mark Sanford stated, "Legally [Owens]
didn't have the right to quash the petition. But because he's a judge he has
the power, whether it's legal or not."
Beverly Palmer from Bob Macy's office argued at the appeals hearing in
defense of Owens, claiming that the petition was "insufficient on its face,"
and the request was duplicitous of the federal grand jury's efforts.
Yet, as Appeals Judge Ronald Stubblefield pointed out, nowhere did Judge
Owens state why the petition was insufficient. In fact Stubblefield was highly
skeptical that Owens had any facts to advise him properly in his decision. "I
question whether Judge Owens has the discretion" said Stubblefield. "He's just
operating on what he knows about the bombing. Do you think it's right to make a
judgment based on what he reads in the newspaper?"
The same could be said about DA Bob Macy. At the time I interviewed him,
he was collecting information on the case by reading Morris Dees' Gathering
Storm, and The Turner Diaries. This was a year and-a-half
after the bombing — a bombing that occurred right outside his window. He
didn't know about John Doe 2. He had no idea about the Middle Eastern
connection. He had done absolutely no investigation.
"I have not seen these things you are talking about right now," Macy
told me. "When I see the evidence… I haven't been presented with the
evidence." Macy subsequently claimed he wanted me to work with his so-called
"task force" that was "investigating" the bombing, then never called me back.
His attitude was adequately reflected by his Assistant DA, Beverly
Palmer. Visibly nervous, Palmer grasped at straws during the appeals hearing,
arguing that the grand jury shouldn't be convened because of the need for
"judicial economy," and that it contravened "public policy concerns."
"What policy concerns?" Judge Daniel Boudreau asked.
In spite of the efforts of a group of good ole' boy politicians to
sabotage justice, Judge Stubblefield remained firm: "The people have the right
to circulate a petition if the people find that things aren't going the way
they ought to be," he said. "Is it not the right, by the sanctified right of
the grand jury in Oklahoma, to inquire whether a crime is committed? Don't they
have the right to investigate people who they think are involved? This is a
highly protected right."
The Appeals Court upheld Key's right to petition for a County Grand Jury
by a unanimous vote.
Just two months before the hearing Macy claimed to this author that he
intended to prosecute McVeigh and Nichols in a state trial on 161 counts of
First Degree Murder. "I don't like taking a second seat to the [federal]
prosecution," Macy stated. "The bombing killed 10 of my friends."
In a May 24, 1995 letter to Senator Orrin Hatch, one of the original
drafters of the Anti-Terrorism Bill, Macy wrote:
First, immediately following the trial or trials in Federal Court, I
shall, working in conjunction with the United Sates Department of Justice and
the federal law-enforcement agencies investigating the bombing of the Alfred P.
Murrah Building, prosecute the cowards responsible for murdering innocent
people in the area surrounding the Federal Building.…
The State of Oklahoma has an overwhelming, compelling interest to seek
and obtain the maximum penalty allowable by law for the senseless and cowardly
killings. Not only is it in the interest of the State, it is my sworn duty to
seek those sanctions, and I intend to fully carry out my
Every day of delay represents a victory for these cowardly cold-blooded
killers and another day of defeat and suffering for the victims and all other
Americans who cry out for justice.
Macy also impressed upon the author his interest in getting at the
truth: "I'm prepared to do what ever it takes to get to the truth," Macy
exclaimed. "My sole intent is in learning the truth!"
Yet when asked if he intended to conduct an investigation independent of
the Feds', he said, "Well… I don't want to be a party to anything that
will interfere with the Feds' prosecution. I Don't want to open up a new can
of worms." 
After Macy lost the appeals hearing, he met with Wilburn and Key,
explaining that he actually wished to cooperate with their investigation. Three
days later, the two men discovered that Macy had decided to contest the Appeals
When a furious Key confronted Macy, all that the courageous,
truth-seeking DA told him was, "They won't let me." When Key demanded to
know who "they" were, Macy just lowered his eyes to the floor and repeated,
"They won't let me."
Key later learned from a source at ABC News that Macy had received a
conference call from Janet Reno's deputy Jamie Gorlick, and the government's
lead prosecutor, Joseph Hartzler, along with Governor Keating, Oklahoma City
Fire Chief Gary Marrs, and Judge Daniel Owens.
When the grand jury was finally impaneled, federal prosecutors quickly
attempted to block the testimony of federal employees.
Key also accused [Chief Assistant DA Pat] Morgan and others in Oklahoma
County District Attorney Bob Macy's office of influencing and intimidating
witnesses. "I am very upset about it," Key said. "Everyone should be outraged
because of this."
Interestingly, during a debate with Representative Key, Keating stated,
"Nobody could get away with a cover-up; it would not be tolerated by civilized
Oklahoma City.… Nobody's afraid of the truth."
KFOR's Jayna Davis shed some light on the "truth-seeking" efforts of Bob
Macy and the good ole' boy network of politicos from which he descends. Two
years earlier, after an 8-year-old boy was raped, both Davis and the Public
Defender demanded to know why Macy hadn't done anything. When Macy thought the
camera was off, he whipped around and sternly admonished the reporter: "Lady, I
don't know who you are or where you came from, but this isn't how we do
business in Oklahoma!"
Representative Key eventually took the case to the Oklahoma Supreme
Court. In his opposing brief, Macy again argued that it would be "a waste of
the taxpayers' time and money to convene an Oklahoma County Grand Jury when one
was already in session or when a Federal Grand Jury had already heard all
The Supreme Court did not agree with Macy. They unanimously upheld Key's
right to impanel the grand jury, which was seated in June of '97, and is
hearing evidence as of this writing.
Naturally, the Ministers of Truth at The Daily Oklahoman wasted
little time, pumping out more bland editorial drivel to muddy the waters. The
following piece, entitled "Conspiracy Theories," focuses on the fact that the
County Grand Jury is only exacerbating the "agony" of some victims, who are
apparently more concerned with some fairy tale notion of "closure" then in
learning the truth:
Whatever the cause, the delay adds to the agony of those bombing victims
who believe the investigation is a waste of time.
The Oklahoman shares that belief, but we are optimistic the probe
may satisfy many who are suspicious about events before the bombing. Yet, we
wonder if the more conspiratorial-minded will ever be satisfied.…
Conflicting conspiracy theories and an olio of circumstantial evidence
abound here. Jurors in Denver sorted through testimony and found McVeigh
guilty. Frustrating as it may be to some, there is little more to this crime
than meets the eye. The rest is the stuff of fiction.
By the Daily Oklahoman's account, the numerous credible witnesses
who saw Timothy McVeigh with other suspects on the morning of the crime adds up
to little more than "circumstantial evidence," while what prosecutors presented
at trial — McVeigh's phone calls to chemical companies, his political
views, and the completely irrelevant emotional tales from bombing victims
— are not.*
Given the local media's connections to the political good 'ole boy
network via the Washington-connected Frank Keating, their position is hardly
surprising. Famed Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein put some perspective on
the matter when he revealed in a 1977 Rolling Stone article that over
400 U.S. journalists were employed by the CIA.
These ranged from freelancers who were paid for regular debriefings, to
actual CIA officers who worked under deep cover. Nearly every major U.S. news
organization has had spooks on the payroll, usually with the cooperation of top
The three most valuable assets the CIA could count on were William
Paley's CBS, Arthur Sulzberger's New York Times and Henry Luce's
Time/Life empire. All three bent over backwards promoting the picture of
Oswald as a lone nut in the JFK assassination.
The political good 'ole boy network wasn't finished trying to stop the
courageous efforts of Representative Key. On May 7, 1997, Edmondson subpoenaed
Key before a multi-county grand jury, alleging that he violated procedures in
raising money for the bombing investigation. The Daily Oklahoman proudly
proclaimed how it had played a critical role in bringing about the
investigation of Key:
The Attorney General's action is a result of an inquiry by The
Oklahoman about Key's seven-page solicitation letter on the Internet. The
letter asks for money to "secure copies of the voluminous (federal) government
documents and to pay independent investigators" and other expenses for the
county grand jury investigation....
Bill Graves, an attorney who represented Key at the grand jury inquest,
stated: "The law is pretty clear that you are not required to register before
you hit the ten thousand dollar threshold, and Charles [Key] had not hit that
limit so was not required to register. Edmondson knows that. They're just
trying to slow Charles down or stop him through harassment."
"This is all about stopping us and making us shut up, said Key. "If I
would just quit the grand jury deal, this would all go away."
Says V.Z Lawton, a HUD worker who survived the bombing, "You don't have
to be that bright or look that hard to see the fraud and hypocrisy in these
charges. For over a year and a half, they've been doing everything imaginable
and employing the most absurd arguments to prevent Charles from impaneling a
grand jury to investigate one of the worst crimes in our country's history.
Now, after he's overcome all of their legal challenges in the courts and is
close to getting a county grand jury investigation going, they drag him before
a multi-county grand jury for what amounts to jaywalking, while the bombing and
other genuine, serious crimes go uninvestigated."
Lawton also brought to the attention of bombing investigators a February
5th, fax transmission to federal employees on the official letterhead of
Attorney General Drew Edmondson. The letter sought signatures from survivors to
go with letters that were to be sent to various news organizations. The cover
sheet said it came from Richard M. Wintory, Chief Deputy Attorney General of
the Criminal Division.
The letter, entitled, "A Plea to the Media from Oklahoma City: Don't
O.J. Us!!!" purports to be a spontaneous response from victims asking the media
not to "manipulate" and "exploit" them "for no purpose other than to enhance
their ratings on the air and in publications."
This obvious propaganda counteroffensive was in response to ABC 20/20's
January, 1996 show about prior knowledge. It referred to the "so-called report"
by ABC as "tabloid journalism" filled with "unsubstantiated and baseless claims
that have been repeatedly debunked."
"We are appalled at the lack of interest in the truth and the
underhanded method utilized by 20/20" stated the letter, which claimed that ABC
had wrongfully implied that certain victims agreed with the "paranoid delusion"
of the "ridiculous theory of government conspiracy in this crime." It added
that "reporters are sometime tempted to forget the truth." Ultimately, it
stated, "It is PEOPLE that matter in this life, either money nor possession nor
a Pulitzer Prize."
This classic PSYOP piece launched by Edmondson (which he angrily denied
in a letter to the author) was signed, "Many Survivors and Family Members,
Oklahoma City Bombing."
Lawton and HUD employee Jane Graham were two survivors who angrily
denounced the letter for the sham that it was. "Since the communication was
loaded with lies and half truths, I certainly could not sign it," said Lawton,
"and I felt like a state Attorney General could better spend his time
supporting an effort to find the truth rather than this transparent effort at
helping to hide it."
"I am angry," stated Graham in a typed response to the letter, "that the
Attorney General's office would play on the emotions of this office at HUD
under the guise of keeping us posted on how they are proceeding and planning
the case, causing further emotional turmoil in this office between
During a June 13, 1997 television interview, Edmondson was asked why
those witnesses who saw McVeigh with other suspects were never called to
testify at McVeigh's trial. Edmondson replied that prosecutors usually don't
present witnesses whose testimony isn't "credible" or conflicts with other
Rodney Johnson, who saw McVeigh with another man in front of the Murrah
Building moments before it exploded, called Edmondson's statement "misguided."
took those comments to be rather personal," said Johnson.
Edmondson's blatant attempt at coercing the victims to pander to
the official government line is similar to a letter from a group of victims
suggesting passage of the Anti-Terrorism Bill. The recipients were urged to
call Edmondson if they were interested in participating.
Of course, while Edmondson accused ABC 20/20 of "manipulating" and
"exploiting" the bombing victims, it is obvious that Edmondson himself hasn't
done anything to manipulate or exploit anyone.
Interestingly, several months after the scandalous smear campaign
against Representative Key, Governor Keating was accused by the Oklahoma Ethics
Commission of 32 violations of using state-owned vehicles for political
fund-raising, including the state's $2.9 million airplane. Conveniently
forgetting his own shameful and dishonest smear attacks against Representative
Key, Keating sanctimoniously whined about how the allegations were
"irresponsible, silly and completely unjustified." No doubt the Ethics
Commission was "off the reservation," and "baying at the moon."
In spite of his unsuccessful attempts to smear honest men like
Representative Key, Keating and his crooked political cronies wasted no time in
discrediting Edye Smith, calling her allegations "hysterical." Smith was the
mother of two young boys who perished in the bombing — Chase and Colton.
Smith immediately gained the attention of concerned citizens all across
America. Hundreds of thousands of letters and checks began pouring in, and
relief agencies used Chase's photo on a poster memorializing the disaster.
On May 23, the day the Federal Building was demolished, Edye Smith, in a
live interview on CNN, stated, "There's a lot of questions that have been left
un-answered. We're being told to keep our mouths shut, not to talk about it,
don't ask those questions..."
CNN's Gary Truchmann asked Smith to describe the nature of the
questions: "We, along with hundreds of thousands of other people want to know,
where was the ATF the morning of April 19th? All of their employees survived.
They were supposed to be the target of this explosion and where were
they…? Did they have a warning sign? I mean, did they think it might be a
bad day to go in the office?
"They had an option to not go to work that day," Smith continued, "and
my kids didn't get that option, nobody else in the building got that option.
And we're just asking questions, we're not making accusations. We just want to
know why and they're telling us, 'Keep your mouth shut, don't talk about
Truchmann quickly ended the interview.
Kathy Wilburn was the Grandmother of Chase and Colton. Wilburn was among
the first to arrive at the scene of the bombing, and she and Smith, who both
worked at the nearby I.R.S. office, had witnessed the carnage first-hand. Now,
as she watched the building come down, an eerie silence filled her soul. Later
that afternoon, Kathy Wilburn walked into the empty room where the little boys
had lived, picked up their stuffed animals, and began to cry.
Wilburn's husband Glenn had been a vocal opponent of the government's
investigation, and their explanation of the bombing did not sit well with him.
The Grandfather felt the loss of the two boys keenly. Wilburn had taken it on
his own to investigate the bombing, and the facts he was coming up with did not
make him happy.
On the afternoon the building was demolished, Wilburn received a call
from U.S. Attorney Patrick Ryan. Ryan wanted to meet with him and speak with
"They wanted to set our minds at ease our minds that there wasn't
anything sinister going on," said Wilburn.
Two days later Smith and Wilburn were visited by an entourage of federal
agents including Ryan, ATF Agents Chris Cuyler and Luke Franey, an IRS Criminal
investigator, and a member of Louis Jolyon West's victim's assistance team.
"They all came in and sat down and said 'We want to answer your
questions and make you feel good.' I said 'fine.' Then I looked them right in
the eye and said, 'You guys had no indication that April 19th could be a
dangerous day down there?' They both answered, 'no sir.'"
"Well, two hours later I tuned on the TV, and CNN is interviewing ATF
Director John Magaw. The interview starts out, "Mr. Magaw, based on the
significance of April 19th, did you take any precautions?'"
"Clearly there was an interest all over the country to do that," replied
Magaw. "And I was very concerned about that. We did some things here in
headquarters and in all of our field offices throughout the country to try to
be more observant.…"
"Well, if there was ever a point that I was hooked into this thing, and
there was nothing that was gonna' stop me," recalls Wilburn, "that was it…
because by God, somebody lied that morning."
Ryan's conciliatory meeting with the family did not last long. The
federal prosecutor became nervous after Wilburn casually mentioned that he had
talked to a family lawyer. Ryan quickly got up and left.
While Edye Smith was quoted as saying that she was "satisfied" the
agents had explained their whereabouts, she later told me, "I believe they sat
their and lied to us."
Unmarked cars soon began showing up at Glenn Wilburn's house. When
Wilburn went out to confront them, they sped off.
Two months later, Edye Smith and Kathy Wilburn had their Workers'
Compensation checks cut off. Out of 462 federal employees affected by the
blast, they were the only two employees who were mysteriously "denied."
Moreover, out of thousands of checks sent to Smith through the Red
Cross, none were ever received. All the letters had been opened, the checks
missing, including some sent via the Governor's and Mayor's office. "All the
mail that the Red Cross delivered to my house, probably thousands of pieces of
mail, every single piece was opened before I got it. And it all had my name on
it," said Smith.
"We started noticing that the mail that came to the house had money in
it," said Kathy Wilburn, "but the majority of the mail that came to us through
the Red Cross… it was all opened and there was never a thin dime in any of
When Smith called the Red Cross to complain, she was told that her mail
wasn't being opened, and that no money was being taken. When Wilburn confronted
the head of the local Red Cross, she was told that their letters were being
opened to check for "hate mail." Wilburn told her that the explanation was
"A mother sent me a little card that her little boy drew." said Smith,
"She said 'my little boy saved this three dollars and wanted you to have it.'
And the three dollars was gone."
Keating's answer to the missing funds? Interning college students were
responsible for the thefts. Perhaps former G-Man Keating was training the young
lads for upcoming counter-intelligence operations. Such would not be unusual
tactics for a man who worked as an FBI agent during COINTELPRO (the FBI's
Counter Intelligence Program of the late-60s to mid 70s), where he personally
infiltrated anti-government activists like the Weathermen, the Black Panthers,
and the SDS (Students For A Democratic Society), and stated he sees little
difference between them and the militias.
Keating also served as Assistant Attorney General under Edwin Meese.
Meese was Attorney General during the 1985 fire-bombing of MOVE headquarters.
MOVE was a group of black housing activists living in a squatted building in
Philadelphia. The satchel charge, dropped from a helicopter by Philadelphia's
finest (with a little help from the FBI), resulted in the deaths of over 11
people, including five children, and destroyed numerous square blocks of the
Instead of launching a proper investigation into the matter, Meese's
response was "consider it an eviction notice."
Meese would later be implicated in the October Surprise scandal, which
propelled Ronald Reagan into the White House via a secret deal to release the
hostages in Iran after the defeat of Jimmy Carter. As his reward, Meese was
appointed Attorney General, where he would go on to commit then cover up other
crimes, the two most notorious being Iran-Contra and the Inslaw affair.
But Keating's involvement with the scions of truth and justice doesn't
end there. Keating served in the Bush administration as Assistant Treasury
Secretary during the Iran-Contra investigations. Gene Wheaton, a former Tulsa
police officer and Army CID investigator who worked for the Christic Institute,
observes that it was George Bush who personally selected Keating as Assistant
Treasury Secretary in 1985, where he supervised INTERPOL, the Customs Service,
The Secret Service, and the ATF.
As Wheaton writes:
The word in Tulsa is that Bush is his "political godfather;" that
Keating got his job in the Treasury Department through Bush's good offices and
that Bush "loves Keating." The connection appears to be an old-boy connection
through the Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
"In his position, Keating could control both the investigative and
prosecutorial side of any scandal that came his way," adds Portland Free
Press publisher Ace Hayes. "1985-88 had guns, drugs, and illegal money
moving all over the globe. Was the ATF, who couldn't find it's ass with both
hands, as really as incompetent as it appeared, or was Frank Keating there to
make sure they did not?"
In fact, it was while Keating was serving as Assistant Treasury
Secretary that IRS investigator Bill Duncan — who was investigating
Iran-Contra drug-running activities at Mena — was instructed to perjure
himself. As Duncan stated in a deposition before a joint Congressional/Arkansas
Attorney General investigative committee:
Duncan: In late December of 1987, I was contacted by [the] Chief
Counsel for the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime… who told me that
they were looking into the reason why no one was indicted in connection with
the Mena investigations. The Internal Revenue Service assigned to me disclosure
litigation attorneys, which gave me instructions which would have caused me to
withhold information from Congress during my testimony and to also perjure
Committee: And how did you respond to the Treasury
Duncan: Well, I exhibited to them that I was going to tell the
truth in my testimony. And the perjury, subornation of perjury resulted in an
— resulted because of an allegation that I had received, that Attorney
General Edwin Meese received a several hundred thousand dollar bribe from Barry
Seal directly. And they told me to tell the Subcommittee on Crime that I had no
information about that.
Arkansas State Police investigator Russell Welch, who provided the
information to Duncan, was subsequently poisoned. Two months later, Keating was
appointed as Associate Attorney General.
It seems that Frank Keating has served as a point-man, weaving a twisted
trail through some of America's most notorious crimes, including Iran-Contra,
BCCI, Iraqgate, the S&L crisis, and… Oklahoma City.
Keating has always been at the nexus bridging the agendas of good ole'
boys like George Bush, with their elitist agendas, and the subsequent
covert-operations sub-cultures which they spawned. In an article in the
Portland Free Press entitled "Another Bush Boy," Wheaton writes:
The covert-operations "lunatic fringe" in Washington, which took over
key operations at the national security level, [and] still controls them today,
was Bush's 1981 agenda, and Keating is the next generation to carry it
It was only three months after Keating's inauguration as Governor that
the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building occurred. Given his background and
grooming, Keating was in a perfect position to direct "damage control." As
Keating is an a perfect position to control the direction and scope of
any state investigation which might not correspond to the official federal
It appeares Keating did just that. As Governor, Keating was in a
position to halt the hurried demolition of the Murrah building, ordered by
federal authorities under the guise of "safety." Bob Ricks, the FBI PR flack
who spoon-fed a daily dose of lies to the press during the Waco siege, was
appointed Oklahoma Director of Public Safety by Keating after the demolition.
Keating and Ricks were good friends from college.
The demolition was ordered under the pseudo-psychological premise of
providing "closure" to the festering wound hanging over the city. The
demolition also effectively prevented any independent forensic investigation of
the bomb site.†
Said a victim whose spouse was killed in the explosion, "I was upset
right from the start when there was the big rush to destroy the crime scene, to
take the building down. A lot of important evidence was destroyed that could
have helped solve this."
The feds' decision to destroy crucial forensic evidence has an eerie
parallel to the demolition of Mt. Carmel. The destruction of the Branch
Davidian church prevented independent examiners from determining that the ATF
had fired into the roofs of the building during the early part of the raid, and
that FBI snipers had deliberately shot people trying to escape.
The destruction of the Murrah Building is also akin to the Secret
Service's hasty (or carefully planned) decision to illegally remove President
Kennedy's body from Parkland Memorial Hospital. Once under control of military
officials, including Generals who were undoubtedly involved in the
assassination plot, Kennedy's autopsy could proceed under carefully controlled
parameters. While observing the autopsy, these military officials prevented a
thorough examination of the body, which would have revealed the presence of
multiple entry wounds. Back in Dallas, Secret Service agents carefully washed
Kennedy's limousine to remove all traces of bullet fragments, and had Governor
Connolly's clothes, bullet holes and all, cleaned and pressed.
Said Jannie Coverdale, who lost her grandsons Aaron and Elijah in the
bombing, "Everyone I talk to has the same questions: What happened? What is
going on? We don't want this to be another John F. Kennedy deal, where 32 years
later the real story is still unknown."
The Federal Bureau of
"There is no place on earth where you will be safe
from the most powerful forces of justice." - FBI director Louis Freeh.
In a motion filed by Stephen Jones, affidavits show that numerous
witnesses were instructed by the FBI to "keep quiet" so the facts of the case
"wouldn't get distorted." This aura of secrecy quickly turned into obstruction
of justice, as FBI agents routinely instructed witnesses not to talk to defense
team investigators or journalists.
When defense investigator Marty Reed attempted to interview Oklahoma
Highway Patrolman Charlie Hanger (the patrolman who had arrested McVeigh), he
was told by OHP chief legal counsel John Lindsey, "The FBI has requested that
no one interview Trooper Charlie Hanger."
Mitchell Whitmire, who knew McVeigh when they were both in the Army, was
contacted by defense investigator Neil Hartley. Whitmire told Hartley he was
instructed by the FBI not to talk to anyone about the case unless he obtained
permission from the FBI.
When this author tried to interview two members of the Sheriff's Bomb
Squad, they became visibly nervous. They claimed no other bombs were pulled out
of the building, clearly contradicting news accounts showing additional bombs
that were taken away and detonated.
As discussed previously, FBI agents put up a protective perimeter around
Eldon Elliott, preventing him from talking to journalists and defense
KFOR-TV, who took the lead in investigating the case, found it almost
impossible to interview witnesses. "We get there and all of a sudden they've
been told to shut up," said Melissa Klinzing, KFOR's former News
A Tulsa fire captain told investigator Craig Roberts he saw
machinegun-toting black-clad agents with no markings removing boxes of files
from the Post Office ten days after the bombing. When he was subsequently
interviewed by this author, he denied seeing anything.
Ann Domin, who originally told a Tulsa police officer she had seen two
Middle Eastern males loitering near the front of the Murrah Building just
before the blast, later denied saying that.
According to a conversation Jon Rappaport had with Daily
Oklahoman reporter Ann Defrange, witness Peter Schaffer told Defrange he
had seen the Murrah Building collapse in on itself, suggesting that cutting
charges were used. When Rappaport questioned Schaffer, he denied seeing the
building falling down at all. When Rappaport got back to Defrange, she remained
adamant about what Schaffer told her. "She didn't budge at all," said
"The FBI must have gotten to him," said Heidelberg. "You know, the FBI
has been able to get witnesses to shut up about important things they know.
We've talked to some of these people. In certain instances the witnesses
believe that concealing evidence is the right thing to do. They really believe
it. The FBI has sold them a bill of goods about national security or something
like that. In other cases the FBI has used straight-out intimidation on
witnesses. They size up people. On one witness they'll use something like
national security. On another, they'll go for intimidation."
Heidelberg's own brush with the government didn't end with his dismissal
from the grand jury. Several minutes after agreeing to do an interview with
Jayna Davis, he received a call from U.S. Attorney Joseph Hartzler telling him
that a reporter was on her way and that he was not to talk to her, or he would
be arrested. Obviously, Heidelberg's phone was tapped.
"They tried everything to shut me up," said Heidelberg. "They have said
they were going to throw me in jail. When that didn't work, they got down on
their hands and knees and begged. I mean… they have tried everything to
keep me from talking to the press about this."
On July 19, FBI agents Jon Hersley and William Teater appeared at
Heidelberg's home, just hours after Judge Russell called him and discovered
that he had taken his grand jury notes home. Apparently Teater wasn't too
pleased with Heidelberg's casual attitude. At one point, he pulled back his
jacket, revealing his gun, which he had conspicuously stuck in his waist belt.
"They were trying to impress upon me the seriousness of… they were
trying to give me the message that this is big time, that this is heavy
weight," said Heidelberg, "and I was supposed to be frightened… Guns mean
business… I was supposed to behave and be a good boy and not give them any
trouble. The implication was that they were gonna' shoot me, but I knew better
than that," Heidelberg said.*
Heidelberg doesn't feel he will serve any jail time for his actions.
"They don't want me exonerated or indicted," said Heidelberg. "They want me
twisting in the wind."
In February of '97, ABC planned a follow-up to their 20/20 "Prior
Knowledge" piece, which included an interview with ATF informant Carol Howe.
Hours before the piece was to air on "World News Tonight," it was killed.
According to ABC producer Roger Charles: "They were uncomfortable with
it after a series of phone calls from high-level Justice Department and ATF
people, saying that well, yes, the story is right, but you're going to draw the
wrong conclusions unless we can explain it." According to an interview with ABC
conducted by McVeigh's defense team, the conversation went something like
Justice Dept: "We have to admit now Strassmeir has been
ABC: "But you have denied over and over that he was ever the
subject of an investigation."
Justice Dept: "Well, we're undenying that now. He has been
investigated, but we could not involve him specifically in the bombing of the
building.… [Regarding Howe's reports of others involved, we] "could not
find anyone who bought fertilizer, could not find anyone who rented a truck, so
therefore we could not charge them with anything. [Besides], we're not sure the
information was credible."
ABC: "But did you or did you not send her back out?"
Justice Dept: "Yes, she was sent back out."
ABC: "Well, what in the hell does that mean?"
Justice Dept: "She did go back out, but she was unable to
develop any evidence that these people had participated, [although] essentially
your information is correct."
ABC then said the Justice Department press spokesman attempted to
downplay the credibility of Howe by stating that the government hears these
types of statements all the time from "White Supremacist compounds."
ABC: "Yeah, but there's one difference here."
Justice Dept: "What is that?"
ABC: "The God damn building blew up, that's what."
Not only would Howe's testimony have had unfortunate consequences for
authorities, it would not have jived with the FBI's fantasy of the "lone nut"
bomber. It seemed authorities were replaying the same scenario they had played
out 28 years before. In the JFK investigation, the FBI focused on the "lone
nut" scenario too. Witnesses who did not support the FBI's case against Oswald
as lone participant were intimidated, debunked or misquoted in reports. Most
who saw shooters other than the one on the 6th floor of the Book Depository
were never subpoenaed to testify.
In 1963, Julia Ann Mercer told the FBI and the Dallas Police that she
saw a man carry a rifle case up to the Grassy Knoll just before the shooting.
The FBI took her statement. Later, when she was interviewed by District
Attorney Jim Garrison and shown the statements she had given the Bureau, she
began shaking her head. "These all have been altered, she said. "They have me
saying just the opposite of what I really told them."
In the Oklahoma City case, witnesses whose statements didn't fit the
government's official timeline and scenario were either ignored altogether, or
intimidated into changing their stories.
Cheryl Wood, an employee at Love's convenience store, who saw McVeigh
and John Doe 2 on April 17, told FBI agents their security camera had captured
images of the two men. The FBI didn't take the tapes and didn't want to use
Wood's story. "They tried to convince Wood that she was crazy — that she
hadn't really seen them," said a Newsweek reporter who interviewed Wood.
"They rattled her real good." When the store manager decided to take the video
home himself, the FBI changed their minds, and confiscated the tape.
McVeigh and his friends also stopped at another convenience store about
45 minutes from Love's. As a Newsweek reporter who interviewed the
employees told me, the FBI didn't use the statements of those witnesses either,
because it didn't fit the FBI's "official" timeline.
Mike Moroz, the Johnny's Tire Shop employee who gave McVeigh and John
Doe 2 directions to the Murrah building on the morning of the blast, was
interviewed by the FBI several times. On the last interview they told him that
he had seen McVeigh drive in a different direction than he had originally
stated. The FBI then claimed to the press that Moroz had made a mistake and was
Danny Wilkerson, the Regency Towers employee who sold McVeigh two
softdrinks and a pack of cigarettes 10 minutes before the bombing, claims FBI
agents tried very hard to get him to change his story. Wilkerson saw McVeigh
and another man in an older, shorter Ryder truck with a cab overhang. FBI
agents showed Wilkerson a catalog of different Ryder models, trying to coerce
him into stating that the truck he saw was bigger and newer than the one
actually seen. Wilkerson refused to change his story.
As previously discussed, Catina Lawson knew McVeigh when he was
stationed in Kansas, and saw him at parties with Andreas Strassmeir and Michael
Brescia. When Lawson saw the artist's sketch of John Doe 2, she said, "That's
Mike [Brescia]. Lawson repeatedly called the FBI to tell them it was Brescia,
but they didn't want to listen, and stopped returning her calls.
"I kept telling them that the man in the [John Doe 2] sketch was that
Mike guy, a nice-looking guy, dark-skinned. But the FBI made me feel guilty,
then ignorant, as if I didn't know what I was saying. Then, later, I tried to
call in with more information and they wouldn't even talk to me."
Debra Burdick had seen the yellow Mercury, the brown pick-up, and the
blue Chevy Cavalier at 10th and Robinson on the morning of the blast. Burdick
called the FBI and the OSBI, and "they blew me off. They said they didn't have
time to get over there.… they told me, 'you didn't see anything.' And
that's when I thought I was going crazy.…"
Jane Graham, along with three other women, had seen a trio of
suspicious-looking men in the Murrah Building's underground garage the Friday
before the bombing. The men were working with wire and a small, putty-colored
block which appeared to be C-4 plastic explosive.
FBI Agent Joe Schwecke made two appointments to interview Graham, but
kept neither of them. "He never showed up," said Graham. "I again called and
set up another appointment for the following week and that was never kept."
When Schwecke finally spoke to her, he "only wanted to know if I could
identify McVeigh or Nichols. Apparently the FBI was not interested in any time
other than the Monday or Tuesday — the week of the bombing!" exclaimed
Graham, "…and only if the responses pointed directly to McVeigh!"
The manager of the Great Western Inn in Junction City was certain the
Middle Eastern man who had stayed in room 107 on April 17 was a dead ringer for
John Doe 2. Yet the FBI tried to discredit him, saying that the inquiry there
had been a waste of time. If that is true, why did the FBI confiscate the
Barbara Whittenberg at the Sante Fe Trail Diner told Bill Jasper the FBI
tried to get her to change her story.
Jeff Davis, who delivered Chinese food to a man in room 25 at the
Dreamland Motel, had been interviewed numerous times by the FBI. They appeared
interested in trying to get Davis to say that McVeigh was the man he saw.
During trial, prosecutor Larry Mackey attacked Davis' credibility,
noting that two days after the bombing, he told FBI agents that the man was a
white male, 28 or 29, about 6 feet tall, about 180 pounds with short, sandy
hair, clean-cut with no mustache.
Yet Davis originally told the FBI, "The man to whom I delivered that bag
of Chinese food is not Tim McVeigh."
Still, Mackey tried to shake Davis' confidence in his memory, suggesting
that Davis had told a bartender and an ABC sketch artist that he saw McVeigh.
Mackey: "You deny that?"
Davis: "Yes, sir, I do,"
In fact, the person Davis saw had "unkempt" hair, a regional accent,
possibly from Oklahoma, Kansas or Missouri, and an overbite. McVeigh possesses
none of those characteristics.
"I was frustrated quite a bit because they just didn't seem to want to
say 'Okay, there's somebody we may not have.' A lot of it seemed 'Damn! I just
wish he'd say it was McVeigh so we could be done with it.'"
Davis told The Denver Post that the FBI never even bothered
making a composite sketch of the man he saw. A TV network finally hired an
artist to do one.
Daina Bradley had seen only one man — olive-skinned, dark-haired,
wearing jeans, jacket, and baseball cap — get out of the passenger side of
the Ryder truck in front of the Federal Building moments before it blew up. Yet
when she testified for the defense during McVeigh's trial, she switched tracks,
saying she saw two suspects.
What is interesting is that in numerous interviews with the media,
prosecutors, and the defense team, Bradley adamantly maintained that she had
seen only one suspect — John Doe 2. Just weeks before her testimony,
Bradley again told U.S. Attorney Patrick Ryan and defense attorney Cheryl
Ramsey she was certain the man she saw wasn't Timothy McVeigh.
Yet shortly after the start of McVeigh's trial — after meeting with
federal prosecutors — Bradley suddenly "changed her mind."
It seemed that FBI agents were conveniently waiting at the airport to
intercept some of McVeigh's defense witnesses, who would then be "persuaded" to
change their testimony.
Under cross-examination by Ryan, Bradley — who had maintained a
rock-solid story of John Doe 2 since the day of the bombing — now claimed
she saw a second man. Yet during trial she was nervous and faltering, her
testimony wavering constantly. At one point, she covered her face with her
hands and quietly said, "I want to talk to my lawyer."
Ryan eventually got Bradley to say she wasn't sure whether the second
suspect was McVeigh, but that there was "nothing different" between McVeigh's
features and those of the second man.
In addition, Bradley told the jury she thought the truck was parked
against the flow of traffic on the one-way street — a ludicrous
proposition, but convenient for a government intent on convincing a jury that
Bradley saw the suspect — who was not John Doe 2, but possibly McVeigh
— get out of the driver's side.
Gary Lewis, the Journal Record pressman who was almost run over
by McVeigh and two of his associates in the yellow Mercury shortly before the
blast, suddenly denied seeing them at all! Just before he was subpoenaed to
testify before the county grand jury, Lewis told reporters, "What I seen wasn't
a fact, it wasn't true."
Claiming the FBI had "cleared up his confusion" more than a year ago,
Lewis said the FBI showed him a photograph of McVeigh's distinctive battered
yellow Mercury, and convinced him it wasn't the same car he spotted on April
19. "It was real similar to it," Lewis said. "It was real close but it wasn't
Lewis then claimed his eyewitness account, which had already been
published in striking detail, had been exaggerated by Representative Key and
Glenn Wilburn. "I don't care for [Wilburn] or Charles Key," Lewis told The
Daily Oklahoman. "They kind of pushed it along for reasons I don't know
why. That is about all I have got to say."
This was quite a change from the nervous witness who checked the
underside of his car every morning for bombs, afraid he was targeted for
assassination by either bombing suspects or the feds.
As previously mentioned, Dr. Paul Heath, the VA psychologist, had spoken
to McVeigh and two of his associates at his office several weeks before the
blast, when they approached him looking for "jobs."
Heath was interviewed by the FBI no less than ten times. On the last
visit, "He (the FBI agent) confronted me saying he did not want me telling the
story any longer. He said it was a false story, that I had made it up, that it
was a figment of my imagination, and that if I pursued it, he would publicly
"I said to him, 'that is the most despicable, uncalled for attitude that
I've ever seen, and I don't know why you said that to me, but I can tell you,
you're not going to change my reality with it.'"
Heath, already upset by what he witnessed the day of the bombing, is now
uncertain what will happen to him.
Lea Moore, a woman who was badly injured in the blast, was contacted by
a reporter from the L.A. Times. While he was enroute to interview her,
she received a mysterious phone call telling her not to talk to him. Moore, a
diminutive woman in her fifties, was frightened. When the reporter showed up at
her door fifteen minutes later, Moore didn't answer.
Melba, the Albertson's worker who made sandwiches for McVeigh and John
Doe 2, was hostile and frightened when questioned by this reporter — too
scared to talk.
Connie Hood, who saw John Doe 2 at the Dreamland Motel shortly after
midnight on April 16, then again the next morning, was interviewed numerous
times by the FBI. They even went so far as to administer several polygraph
tests. Hood told the agents exactly what she saw. On the last test, the FBI
agent "turned around and got in her face," recalled her friend David Keen, "and
said, 'You've never seen John Doe! He never existed!'"
The experience of Hood and Keen is reminiscent of the interrogation of
JFK witnesses in Dallas on November 22, when FBI agents pointedly told them
they did not see any shooters on the Grassy Knoll.
"This big old dude (FBI agent) right out told me, 'You did not see
that!'" recalled Hood. "It got to the point where I was saying, 'Excuse me,
excuse me, there was someone in that room next to us. I know for a fact there
was someone in that room next to us. I did not imagine someone coming out of
that fricking room!'"
Hood is sure of what she saw, and is furious about the games the FBI
played with her. "I'm angry," said Hood. "It made my blood boil."
TWA 800 Sidebar
The experiences of these witnesses parallels those who saw a missile
rise out of the water to shoot down TWA flight 800 on July 17, 1996, killing
all 230 people on board. Over 154 witnesses on Long Island, who witnessed the
attack, described what appeared to be a missile — a glowing object that
impacted with the plane.
These accounts were backed up by FAA (Federal Aviation Administration)
radar records, which showed an unidentified object (a "blip" that was not
"squawking" a transponder code) move rapidly towards, then merge with, the
Yet like the seismic records, and the video surveillance footage which
would have shown the Murrah Building being blown up, these radar tapes would be
confiscated by the FBI.
Naturally, the government lied about the crash. The National
Transportation Safety board (NTSB) claimed that the most probable cause was a
"spark" in the center fuel tank due to "static electricity." This is ridiculous
even to the uninitiated. Said Michael Barr, director of aviation safety
programs at USC, "Airplanes don't blow up just like that. I've been following
747s since 1970 and I've never seen one blow up like that."
One witness, Lou Desyron, told ABC World News Sunday: "We saw what
appeared to be a flare going straight up. As a matter of fact, we thought it
was from a boat. It was a bright reddish-orange color.... Once it went into
flames, I knew that wasn't a flare.
Another witness told the New York Daily News: "It looked like a
big skyrocket going up, and it kept going up and up, and the next thing I knew
there was an orange ball of fire."
Long Island resident Linda Kabot inadvertently snapped a picture of the
missile while photographing friends at a party. The photo appeared in the July
issue of Paris Match.
Eyewitnesses on the ground weren't the only ones who saw a missile.
Vasilis Bakoynis, a Greek commercial airline pilot flying behind flight 800,
told the FBI that he saw what appeared to be a missile rise up from the water
and strike the plane. "Suddenly I saw in the fog to my left toward the ocean, a
small flame rising quickly toward the sky. Before I realized it, I saw this
flame become huge.…"
Private pilot Sven Faret reported a "short pin-flash of light [which]
appeared on the ground, perhaps water," that rose up "like a rocket launch at a
Major Fred Meyer, the pilot of an Air National Guard helicopter which
was in the area, said he saw "a streak of red orange" heading toward the plane.
"...it arrived at a point in space where I saw a small explosion which grew to
a small fireball, then a second explosion and a huge fireball," the Boston
Herald quoted Meyer as telling a press briefing on July 18th.
Meyer's co-pilot, Captain Chris Baur, told Aviation Week & Space
Technology on March 10, "Almost due south, there was a hard white light,
like burning pyrotechnics, in level flight. I was trying to figure out what it
was. It was the wrong color for flares. It struck an object coming from the
right [TWA 800] and made it explode."
Ten days later, Meyer, a Vietnam veteran, told the Riverside
Press-Enterprise: "I know what I saw. I saw an ordinance explosion. And
whatever I saw, the explosion of the fuel was not the initiator of the event.
It was one of the results. Something happened before that which was the
initiator of the disaster."
Meyer and Baur's account was backed up by Air National Guard C-130 pilot
Cononel William Stratemeir, Jr., who told Aviation Week & Space
Technology what "appeared to be the trail of a shoulder-fired SAM ending in
a flash on the 747."
Yet the government would seek to silence the hundreds of eyewitnesses
who saw the missile. A team of approximately 50 FBI agents, many of the same
agents who worked the Oklahoma City case, would visit these witnesses and ask,
then demand, their silence.
"There was nothing I observed that gave me any indication that the
streak of light I saw was caused by a missile," Meyer would later quoted as
saying. "I don't know what I saw."
"We did not see smoke trails [from a missile], any ignition source from
the tail of a rocket nor anything…" said Stratemeir four months
Medical Examiner Dr. Charles V. Wetli originally told reporters that the
passengers in the forward compartment were hit hardest, indicating the major
event was in the front of the plane, not the center as the government claimed.
Dr. Wetli and others then backed off from their findings. An explosion had
happened and killed people was as much as he could say, reported the New
York Times. 
Was the government covering up evidence of a terrorist missile strike,
or the negligence of the United States Navy? While the disintegration of flight
800's number three engine appears to indicate a shoulder-launched missile, the
large gaping hole running from just underneath the center fuel tank through the
top of the forward cabin suggests a strike by an unarmed missile "drone."
There is evidence for both theories. After denying the existence of any
military operations in the area, the Pentagon eventually admitted that a C-130
military transport and two HH-60G Blackhawk helicopters of the New York Air
National Guard's ANG's 106th Rescue Wing were operating in the area as part of
a night-rescue exercise.
Such a "rescue exercise" doesn't explain the presence of a P-3 Orion
anti-submarine warfare plane, which, contrary to claims by Navy public affairs,
is capable of carrying missiles. The U.S.S. Normandy, an Aegis class guided
missile cruiser (similar to the one that accidentally shot down Iran Air Flight
655 over the straits of Hormuz, killing all 290 people), was also operating in
the vicinity. The Normandy carries RIM-67 Standard SM-2ER semi-active radar
homing air defense missiles, with a range of 93 miles and an altitude of
100,000 feet. Was the Normandy firing drones as part of a practice drill? Such
maneuvers are routinely carried out off the coast of Long Island. Area W-105
was activated as a "hot zone" at the time of the disaster.
Naturally, the Navy claimed the Normandy was 180 miles from flight 800,
which was in area W-106, 15 miles to the Northwest of W-105.
FBI chief investigator James Kallstrom cited claims of military
culpability as "irresponsible… total unadulterated nonsense," and, echoing
the psychobabble employed by the government in the Oklahoma City bombing
investigation, stated that such claims are hurtful to the victims. Jim Hall,
head of the NTSB investigation, backed up Kallstrom, saying the allegations
"are causing incredible pain and confusion for those who lost loved ones."
"I can tell you we left no stone unturned," Kallstrom announced, as if
playing a bad re-run of Janet Reno's press conference on Oklahoma City.
Then in November, Pierre Salinger, a former ABC News correspondent and
press secretary for President Kennedy, told reporters in Cannes, France, he had
obtained a document from French intelligence (there were numerous French
citizens onboard) detailing how the Navy was indeed test firing missiles and
accidentally hit Flight 800 because the plane was flying lower than expected.
Salinger said the document written by someone who "was tied to the U.S. Secret
Service and has important contacts in the U.S. Navy."
Backing up Salinger's report was Lt. Col. Bo Gritz, a highly decorated
Vietnam veteran and Special Forces commander, who reported in June that the
Army and Navy were conducting final acceptance tests of the AEGIS-CEC
(Cooperative Engagement Capability) system, in the wake of the tragic shootdown
of an Iranian airbus by the USS Vincennes.
The military chose Area W-105, claimed Gritz, in order to provide a
realistic test using a densely populated area. "W-105 had been especially
selected (and activated for live fire) because of its similarity to the Persian
The Navy Orion P-3, a member of the CEC team, was loaded with up-graded
gear, allowing integration of Army and Navy Anti-Aircraft Artillery acquisition
radar. The equipment was supposed to "discriminate between friend-neutral-foe
electronic signatures, isolate the hostile threat and select the weapon best
positioned for an assured kill to launch at the target."
The simulated boogie was a Navy BQM-74E missile drone launched from
Shinnecock Bay, east of Riverhead, Long Island by an Army unit shortly after
the "all clear" at 8:30 p.m.…
Through the thickening fog of replicated hostile images, a shot solution
was plotted and relayed to the missile unit best positioned for the kill. The
software then automatically triggered the launch of a Navy Standard IV
The antimissile was programmed to climb rapidly until a "mid-course"
correction would be relayed to the missile's on-board computer directing the
dive to impact. Final course adjustments would be made by the missile's
"semi-active" radar device after "lock-on" was achieved.…
Tragically, the last radar able to see the boogie through the heavy
jamming and target replication suddenly and unexpectedly went blind.…
Unable to receive guidance commands to keep it on an intercept course with the
target drone, the Standard IV reverted to its own programming and began seeking
a target. In a heartbeat, the internal radar acquired the TWA 747 well above
and to the west of the intended target.
Was the 747 destroyed by "friendly fire?" Reports that rocket fuel
residue was present on seat backs and bodies of the victims, and the large
entry and exit holes, tend to support these allegations.
During the 1982 Falklands War, an Argentine AM.39 Exocet anti-ship
missile struck the British destroyer HMS Sheffield. Although it was a dud, "the
kinetic energy of the missile, flying at supersonic speed, was able to punch
through the hull and slice into fuel lines, allowing the still-burning rocket
motor to ignite a deadly and explosive fire. TWA 800 may have experienced an
airborne version of this same fate."
Gritz' claim that the military chose the area off of Long Island for
testing jives with the well-documented fact of decades-long military testing on
unsuspecting civilians in hundreds of cities across the nation — including
everything from drugs and nuclear radiation, to chemical and biological
Interestingly, on August 29, six weeks after the TWA 800 crash, an
American Airlines pilot reported seeing a missile pass by his 757 while flying
over Wallops Island, Virginia, the site of the NASA Wallops Flight Facility,
which has a program for unmanned research rockets. Wallops Island is about 220
miles south of the TWA crash sight.
Finally, as Ian Goddard reported, on May 13, 1997, Long Island's
Southampton Press reported that resident Dede Muma accidentally received
a fax from Teledyne Ryan Aeronautical intended for the FBI's office in
Calverton, Long Island (the two have similar phone numbers). The fax indicated
that parts of a Navy missile target drone, a BQM-34 Firebee I manufactured by
Teledyne, may have been found in the wreckage. The fax shows a diagram of what
appears to be a missile, along with a breakdown of its tail section and a parts
The near disintegration of the plane's number three engine, however,
supports the theory of a heat-seeking SAM, suggesting that the plane was
destroyed by terrorists.
Recall that two major terrorist conferences were held during which it
was announced that there would be increased attacks against U.S. interests: one
on June 20-23 in Teheran, and the other on July 10-15 in Pakistan. Intelligence
officers and terrorist leaders from Hamas, HizbAllah, and the PFLP-GC's Ahmed
Jibril, who carried out the Pan Am 103 bombing, were in attendance. This was
followed on June 25 by the truck-bombing of the military housing compound in
Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
Also recall that immediately following the July 16th U.S. Senate
resolution for sanctions against Libya and Iran, the al-Hayat newspaper
received a warning from the Movement for Islamic Change:
The world will be astonished and amazed at the time and place chosen by
the Mujahadeen. The Mujahadeen will deliver the harshest reply to the threats
of the foolish American president. Everyone will be surprised by the volume,
choice of place and timing of the Mujahadeen's answer, and invaders must
prepare to depart alive or dead for their time is morning and morning is near.
The New York Post also reported that the FBI was looking into an
anonymous threat received after conviction of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the
spiritual leader of the World Trade Center bombing cell, convicted of plotting
to blow up major New York City landmarks. The threat warned that a New York
area airport or jetliner would be attacked in retaliation for the prosecution
of the sheik.
A warning was also provided to the Israelis that Iran was likely to
launch an attack against a U.S. aircraft. Thousands of Stinger missiles were
given to the Mujahadeen by the CIA in the 1980s. According to former FAA
investigator Rodney Stich, "At least a dozen were thus obtained by the Iranian
Revolutionary Guards from Yunis Khalis, a radical Muslim Afghani resistance
leader. One of them was fired by Iranians at an American helicopter on patrol
in the Persian Gulf on October 8th, 1987."
The U.S. produced nearly 64,500 of these missiles for the military and
other countries since 1980, including Angola, Egypt, France, Germany, Iran,
Israel, Kuwait, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The Soviets are known to
have sold their SAM-7 to China, North Korea, India, Iran, Iraq, Cuba, Laos,
Libya, Sudan and Syria, among others. Stingers provided to the Mujahadeen
via the CIA in Peshawar, Pakistan, were often sold to terrorists and other
"We have now spent more than a decade trying to retrieve those
missiles," said Natalie Goldring, a defense analyst with the British-American
Security Information Council. "Several hundred that were transferred during the
Afghan war are nowhere to be found. They are very capable anti-aircraft
According to Stich, the CIA has bumbled attempts to retrieve the
missiles. In a letter to Senator Arlen Specter dated October 20, 1995, Stich
Recent information provided to me by one or more of my contacts in the
CIA community describes the dates, places, and people involved in offering the
missiles to the United States, and the rejection of this offer. These sources
provided me with precise details of the negotiations to give the missiles to
the United States, the agreement by Afghan rebel leader, General Rashid Dostom,
and a CIA attorney.…
[One] possibility for CIA and Justice Department rejection of the
Stinger missiles is that the CIA wants the missiles to fall into terrorists'
hands, and actually wants an airliner to be shot down. The shoot-down of a
commercial airliner could then be used to justify the continuation of CIA
In fact, Israel intercepted unconfirmed reports that 50 of Stingers were
smuggled into the country in 1995. A letter reportedly presented to members of
the Senate Intelligence and Armed Services Committee after the shootdown of
flight 800 not only claimed credit for the attack, but provided the serial
number of the missile that was used.
Naturally, government would trot out its usual stable of spokesmen to
claim that the plane hadn't been downed by a missile, especially a
shoulder-launched SAM, which the Pentagon claimed couldn't down a jumbo-jet
flying at 13,700 feet.
"There's no American official with half a brain who ought to be
speculating on anything of that nature," said White House spokesman Mike
McCurry. "There's no concrete information that would lead any of us in the
United States government to draw that kind of conclusion."
Yet the State Department has catalogued 25 incidents between 1978 and
1993 in which commercial airliners were shot down by SAMs, killing more than
600 people. (Israeli commercial airliners, like the President's Air Force One,
are equipped with special flares capable of diverting surface-to-air missiles.)
During the Vietnam War, Russian Grail missiles routinely shot down planes at
altitudes of 11,000 and 12,000 feet. Some SAMs — including the Stinger,
and the Swedish-built Bofors RBS 70 and 90, which military and aviation analyst
Ronald Lewis, writing in Air Forces Monthly believes was used — are
reportedly capable of reaching altitudes of between 15,000 and 18,000
It is for precisely this reason that the government kept changing the
altitude of the plane, which they first reported at 8,500 feet, then 10,000
feet, and finally at 13,700 feet (Apparently they didn't take into account the
range of the Bofors). This is strikingly similar to their altering of the size
of the bomb in Oklahoma, originally stating it was 1,200 pounds, then 2,000
pounds, then 4,000 pounds, then finally 4,800 pounds, to match their magic ANFO
Given the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, however, the talking
heads would modify their statements. "They will be looking at all three
scenarios," said Former FBI Assistant Director Oliver "Buck" Revell, "and
probably the least likely will be the missile, but it will be one that is very
Even the FBI's James Kallstrom was later forced to admit, "We do have
information that there was something in the sky. A number of people have seen
it." As the New York
Post reported on September 22:
Law-enforcement sources said the hardest evidence gathered so far
overwhelmingly suggests a surface-to-air missile — with the sophisticated
ability to lock on the center of a target rather than its red-hot engines
— was fired from a boat off the Long Island coast to bring down the
airliner July 17.
On December 17, the Washington Times quoted a congressional aide
who verified that an unnamed DIA official confirmed the missile attack: "'In
his opinion, the plane was brought down by at least one shoulder-fired
missile,'" said the congressional source, who spoke on the condition of
Interestingly, the FBI focused part of its investigation on boats on
Long Island that had been chartered or stolen. One report that surfaced early
on reported that two Middle Eastern men had rented a boat. A boat 30 or 40 feet
in length would provide a stable enough platform for a someone aiming a
heat-seeking or laser guided SAM, even if the waters had not been perfectly
Obviously, the government was perfectly capable of determining who, or
at least what shot down TWA flight 800. Aviation Week reported that
technology is available to establish, within hours, the exact composition of
any explosive, even after days of submersion in sea water. Yet months after the
disaster, the government was still claiming it hadn't determined the cause of
the crash. At times, the explanations offered by government officials bordered
on the ridiculous. On July 11, 1997, a NTSB official was heard postulating
before members of Congress that the plane may have been destroyed by errant
It is hardly surprising that the government would want to cover up the
truth, especially if flight 800 had been destroyed by a Stinger missile, one
given to the Mujahadeen by the Central [Stupidity] Agency. If the public
learned that a commercial jet could be shot down by a hand-held missile, one of
many smuggled into this country, the airline industry would suffer huge
financial loses. In countries where tourism is essential to the economy, such a
revelation would be devastating.
Moreover, if TWA 800 had been downed by our own military, the government
would be even more desperate to cover up the truth.
At a press conference on November 8, IWW reporter Hillel Cohen asked,
"Why is the Navy not a suspect?" In response, Kallstrom said, "Remove that
man." As about 10 security guards swiftly removed Cohen from the room, as he
shouted, "We want an independent investigation!"
Nor were journalists investigating Oklahoma City immune from harassment.
Jayna Davis, the courageous KFOR reporter who tracked down Hussaini and Khalid,
received a warning from the Bureau that she was getting "too close" to the
truth, and should drop her investigation.
Journalists and investigators who have attempted to interview rescue
workers, including firemen, police and other city officials are denied
interviews. Most workers say they've been told not to talk by their superiors
or the FBI. "…they're afraid of losing their jobs or being subjected to
abuse if they say something," said Jane Graham.
Nurse Toni Garret was one of many people who had volunteered to help tag
dead victims that terrible morning. Garret and her husband Earl had just taken
a break when they noticed federal agents arriving to set up a command post.
"They acted like it was just a drill, like it was no big deal, said Garret.
"They were kind of joking around and all that kind of stuff."
Approximately 20 minutes later, when the Garrets re-entered the
makeshift triage center, they found many of the doctors and nurses gone, and a
completely different atmosphere prevailed. "There was nobody helping anymore,"
said Earl. "Before, there were people bringing in food and medical supplies
— just everything. When we came back in, there was a cold, callous
atmosphere. I found out later that the FBI had taken over.…"
But what really upset Toni Garret was the fact that the FBI and the
Medical Examiner were suppressing the body count, which they had claimed as
only 22 dead. Garret, who had personally tagged over 120 dead bodies that day,
was shocked. "I was being interviewed by a lady from TBN (Trinity Broadcasting
Network). I told her that I was highly upset because the news media and the
information they were being given was not accurate information. There were many
more bodies than what they were saying on the news media and releasing at the
"[The FBI] didn't like that Toni was being interviewed by the media,"
said Earl. "An agent came [up] to me and said, 'Do you know her?' pointing to
Toni. I said, 'Yes, she's my wife.' He said, "What is she?' I said, 'Well,
she's been down here all day trying to get people out of this building and help
people.' He turned around to his friends and said, 'Well, we need to get her
out of here.' Toni then told me that the agents had told her that the FBI was
taking over and all of us could get out. They told us to keep our mouths
Said Toni, "When they came over to me, one of the agents was very
pompous and arrogant about asking me who I was, what I was doing there, if I
was a civilian, where I worked, and what my name was. I didn't feel like any of
that pertained to what was going on that day or what had happened that day, and
he wanted to know everything about me.…
"He said, 'Well, we're down here now, and we're taking over the
building. It would be advisable and recommendable that you keep your mouth
Norma Smith, who worked at the Federal Courthouse across from the Murrah
building saw, along with numerous others, the Sheriff's bomb squad congregated
in the parking lot at 7:30 that morning. Shortly after Smith's story appeared
in a local newspaper, her house was broken into — twice. Smith,
frightened, took early retirement and moved out of state. She is currently too
afraid to talk to anyone.
The bomb squad, incidentally, denied being there.
New American editor William Jasper learned from an OCPD officer
that during a mandatory daily security briefing at the Murrah Building, he and
other assembled police/rescue/recovery personnel were told "in no uncertain
terms" by one of the lead federal officials that it was necessary for
"security" reasons to provide the public with "misinformation" regarding
certain aspects of the case, and that this "official line" was not to be
contradicted by any of those in attendance.
"There's a lot that's being covered up, for some reason," charged a
federal employee who narrowly escaped death but who lost many friends in the
Said a man who lost his father, "…I'm angry because I know I'm
being lied to."
"Many of us are going to come forward and challenge what's going on as
soon as we get some more of the pieces figured out," pledged a law enforcement
This same police officer later told me he was called into the offices of
OCPD Chief Sam Gonzales and U.S. Attorney Pat Ryan and told to "cease and
Another officer who was told to "cease and desist" was Sergeant Terrance
Yeakey. On May 8, 1996, only three days before Sergeant Yeakey was to receive
the Oklahoma Police Department's Medal of Valor, he "committed suicide." The 30
year-old cop was found in a field near El Reno, not far from where El Reno
Prison guard Joey Gladden "committed suicide." His wrists were slashed in
numerous places, as was his neck and throat. Apparently not satisfied with this
initial attempt to take his life, he got out of his car, walked a mile
and-a-half over rough terrain, then pulled out his gun shot himself in the
The media claimed Officer Yeakey "was wracked with guilt" over his
inability to help more people that fateful morning. They also claimed he led a
"troubled family life," having been recently divorced from his wife Tonia, and
separated from his two daughters, aged two and four, whom the Daily
Oklahoman claimed he was not permitted to see due to a restraining order.
Other accounts suggest that Yeakey was reluctant to receive the Medal of
Valor due to his "guilt" over being injured in the Murrah Building. "He didn't
like it," said his supervisor Lt. Jo Ann Randall. "There are some people that
like to be heroes and some that don't. He was not one that wanted that."
"He had a lot of guilt because he got hurt," added fellow officer Jim
Apparently, there was much more behind Officer Terrance Yeakey's
reluctance to be honored as a hero.
"He kept telling me it wasn't what I thought it was," said his ex-wife,
Tonia Rivera, "that they were only choosing officers who were not even at the
site, you know — who didn't see anything — to take public rewards,
recognition, that sort of stuff.
"They started pressuring them into taking [the rewards]," added Rivera.
"There came a time about mid-year, where they were forcing him into going to
these award ceremonies. As in, 'Yes, you could not go, but we'll make
your life hell…'
The story of the reluctant hero, she added, was nothing more than a
"real thin veil of truth" which covered up a "mountain of deceit."
"[T]erry wanted no part of it."
His sister, Vicki Jones, agreed. "Terry hated that stuff. 'I'm no hero,'
he would say. 'Nobody that had anything to do with helping those people in that
bombing are heroes."
Why would the Medal of Valor recipient make such a bizarre-sounding
statement? In a letter he wrote to a bombing victim and friend Ramona McDonald,
the officer tells the real reason for his reluctance to be honored as a
I hope that whatever you hear now and in the future will not change your
opinions about myself or others with the Oklahoma City Police Department,
although some of the things I am about to tell you about is [sic] very
I don't know if you recall everything that happened that morning or not,
so I am not sure if you know what I am referring to.
The man that you and I were talking about in the pictures I have made
the mistake of asking too many questions as to his role in the bombing, and was
told to back off.
I was told by several officers he was an ATF agent who was overseeing
the bombing plot and at the time the photos were taken he was calling in his
report of what had just went down!
I think my days as a police officer are numbered because of the way my
supervisors are acting and there is [sic] a lot of secrets floating around now
about my mental state of mind. I think they are going to write me up because of
my ex-wife and a VPO.
I told you about talking to Chaplain Poe, well the bastard wrote up in a
report stating I should be relieved of my duties! I made the mistake of
thinking that a person's conversation with a chaplain was private, which by the
way might have cost me my job as a police officer! A friend at headquarters
told me that Poe sent out letters to everyone in the department! That BITCH (Jo
Ann Randall) I told you about is up to something and I think it has something
to do with Poe. If she gets her way, they will tar and feather me!
I was told that Jack Poe has written up a report on every single officer
that has been in to see him, including Gordon Martin and John Avery.
Knowing what I know now, and understanding fully just what went down
that morning, makes me ashamed to wear a badge from Oklahoma City's Police
Department. I took and oath to uphold the Law and to enforce the Law to the
best of my ability. This is something I cannot honestly do and hold my head up
proud any longer if I keep my silence as I am ordered to do.
There are several others out there who was [sic] what we saw and even
some who played a role in what happened that day.
[Two Pages Missing]
My guess is the more time an officer has to think about the screw up the
more he is going to question what happened… Can you imagine what would be
coming down now if that had been our officers' who had let this happen? Because
it was the feds that did this and not the locals, is the reason it's okay. You
were right all along and I am truly sorry I doubted you and your motives about
recording history. You should know that it is going to one-hell-of-a-fight.
Everyone was behind you until you started asking questions as I did, as
to how so many federal agents arrived at the scene at the same time.
Luke Franey (a ATF agent who claimed he was in the building) was not in
the building at the time of the blast, I know this for a fact, I saw him! I
also saw full riot gear worn with rifles in hand, why? Don't make the mistake
as I did and ask the wrong people.
I worry about you and your young family because of some of the
statements that have been made towards me, a police officer! Whatever you do
don't confront McPhearson with the bomb squad about what I told you. His
actions and defensiveness towards the bombing would make any normal person
think he was defending himself as if he drove the damn truck up to the building
himself. I am not worried for myself, but for you and your group. I would not
be afraid to say at this time that you and your family could be harmed if you
get any closer to the truth. At this time I think for your well being it is
best for you to distance yourself and others from those of us who have stirred
up to many questions about the altering and falsifying of the federal
I truly believe there are other officers like me out there who would not
settle for anything but the truth, it is just a matter of finding them. The
only true problem as I see it is, who do we turn to then?
It is vital that people like you, Edye Smith, and others keep asking
questions and demanding answers for the actions of our Federal Government and
law enforcement agencies that knew beforehand and participated in the cover-up.
The sad truth of the matter is that they have so many police officers
convinced that by covering up the truth about the operation gone wrong, that
they are actually doing our citizens a favor. What I want to know is how many
other operations have they had that blew up in their faces? Makes you stop and
take another look at Waco.
I would consider it to be an insult to my profession as a police officer
and to the citizens of Oklahoma for ANY of the City, State or Federal agents
that stood by and let this happen to be recognized as any thing other than
their part in participation in letting this happen. For those who ran from the
scene to change their attire to hide the fact that they were there, should be
judged as cowards.
If our history books and records are ever truly corrected about that day
it will show this and maybe even some lame excuse as to why it happened, but I
truly don't believe it will from what I now know to be the truth.
Even if I tried to explain it to you the way it was explained to me, and
the ridiculous reason for having out own police departments falsify reports to
their fellow officers, to the citizens of the city and to our country, you
would understand why I feel the way I do about all of this.
I believe that a lot of the problems the officers are having right now
are because some of them know what really happened and can't deal with it, and
others like myself made the mistake of trusting the one person we were supposed
to be able to turn to (Chaplain Poe) only to be stabbed in the back.
I am sad to say that I believe my days as a police officer are numbered
because of all of this….
Shortly after the bombing, Yeakey appeared at his ex-wife's. "About two
weeks before his death, he'd come into my home at strange times," said Rivera,
"two-thirty in the morning, four in the morning, unannounced — trying to
give me life insurance policies.… He kept telling me we needed to get
remarried immediately, or me and the girls would not be taken care of.
"I mean, why would a guy tell you to take a life insurance policy,
knowing damn well it wouldn't pay for a suicide? He obviously knew he was in
Yet Officer Terrance Yeakey was not the type of person to easily show
his feelings. He didn't want to tell his family anything that might get them
"He told me enough to let me know that it was not what they were making
it out to be," said Rivera, "and that he was disgusted and didn't want any part
of it, but he never went into detail.… It scared me."
Within days of the bombing, according to a sympathetic government source
who has spoken to Rivera, Yeakey began receiving death threats. He was at his
ex-wife's apartment when the calls came. Afraid for his family, he got up and
"When he came to my apartment two weeks prior, trying to give me these
insurance policies," said Rivera, "he sat on my living room couch and cried and
told me how he had a fight with [his supervisors] Lt. Randall and Maj.
Upchurch. He did not tell me what that entailed, but he was scared — he
was crying so badly he was shaking.
"He wouldn't totally voice whatever it was," recalled Rivera. "It was
like he'd be just about to tell me — he'd want to spill his guts —
and then he stopped, and he just cried. And that's when he kept insisting that
I take the insurance policy."
Although Yeakey was concerned for his family, the marriage was not
without abuse. Rivera had filed a VPO (Victim's Protective Order) against him
slightly over two years ago. In a fit of temper, Yeakey had once threatened to
take his life and those of his wife and children.
"I think it was said in the haste of, well, he's going to kill all of us
kind of thing — cop under pressure," said Rivera. But that was over a year
and-a-half ago. Yeakey had spent considerable time with his wife and children
since then, taking them on family outings and so forth.
Nevertheless, the Oklahoma City Police Department (OCPD) attempted to
use the incident to claim that Yeakey was suicidal. It was on the day of his
death, around 1:30 p.m., that they called Rivera, trying to get her to file a
VPO Violation based on the two-year-old report. "They wanted me to come down
and make some statements against him," Rivera said.
On the same afternoon, in-between messages on his answering machine from
his sister, Vicki Jones and his supervisor Lt. Jo Ann Randall, Yeakey had a
message from Tonia. "The message was like at 5:30 in the afternoon," recalled
Rivera. "I sound like I'm whispering, and I'm apologizing for waking him up
— at 5:30 in the afternoon — on Wednesday."
It seems the intent behind this cleverly-crafted deception was to
convince the family and potential investigators that Rivera was an "evil
person," who was sleeping with him the night before, but "went down and filed a
VPO the next day."
"That tape was planted," said Rivera. "I never called his house."
It seemed the OCPD was playing an elaborate game to sow confusion and
mistrust, and create the appearance that Rivera was responsible for her
"So it comes out in paper after paper how he's having problems with his
ex-wife, how he's not allowed to see his children.… "They're trying to
play up the story of the bitch-ass wife whose trying to get him
Yet Rivera claimed she never filed a VPO violation. "The OCPD wanted to
file one," said Rivera. "But I never signed it." Rivera claimed she had gone to
the police station, but simply out of concern for her ex-husband, who had been
"Nobody ever said, 'Mrs. Yeakey, Terry's missing. Do you know anyplace
he might have gone to? They never told me that they weren't able to locate him,
that they were concerned, you know — nothing. I never knew he was
If Officer Yeakey's death was anything more than a suicide, the OCPD
didn't go to any great lengths to find out. While his death occurred in El
Reno, the OCPD took over the crime scene, squeezing the El Reno Police
Department out of the picture. The OCPD's Media Relations officer, Cpt. Ted
Carlton, explained, "It was our police officer who was killed. It's not
uncommon [to take over the investigation] in the case of a smaller police
Although forensics are also standard procedure in the event of a violent
or suspicious death, especially that of a police officer, Yeakey's car was
never dusted for prints. "And the next day, they gave us the damn car!" said
Mrs. Jarrahi. "It was full of blood."
When Yeakey's Brother-in-Law, Glenn Jones, inspected the dead man's car,
he discovered a bloody knife stashed underneath the glove compartment. Yet
according to the responding officer, Yeakey had apparently used a razor blade.
Where did the knife come from? Since no forensic investigation was conducted,
this remains unclear.
No autopsy was ever conducted.
"There were common sense things that were wrong about the whole thing,
that makes it so weird," added Mrs. Jarrahi. "It just doesn't seem right. Why
would policemen and the authorities make such common mistakes that would leave
questions? It's just really weird."
If Yeakey's death was a suicide, he left no note. Although he was
upset over his divorce, according to the family, he was not suicidal. It
is also unlikely that he abused drugs, as he was an instructor at DARE, a
program designed to keep children off drugs.
Former Canadian County Sheriff Clint Boehler, who claims to have known
Yeakey, doesn't concur with this analysis. Boehler said that Yeakey showed up
at his house in El Reno on the afternoon of his death, his car stopped at an
angle in the middle of the road. When Boehler and his girlfriend Kate Allen, a
paramedic, ran outside, they found the police officer virtually passed out.
"He couldn't tell us his name initially," said Allen. "He was ill, and
he was very anxious. His heart rate was rapid; he was sweaty.… He told us
he had been having concentration problems, he hadn't slept. He had all the
appearances, my first guess would be, of someone who was having emotional
problems. And my second guess would be, of some kind of substance abuse
problem. But that's a pure guess."
Boehler added that Yeakey said he hadn't eaten, and was "throwing up,
taking medication, and incoherent. "He was taking medications for his back,"
said Boehler. "He had four or five medications in the car."
Boehler and Allen didn't know that Yeakey had Sickle-Cell Anemia —
a blood-sugar-related condition that caused seizures. It was these seizures,
Rivera explained, that would occasionally cause her ex-husband to act
"out-of-sorts," or even to slip into unconsciousness.
In spite of his medical condition, Rivera insisted that Terrance Yeakey
was a health fanatic. The prescriptions were for his condition, she said, but
he used only the minimum amounts.
According to Canadian County Sheriff Deputy Mike Ramsey (no relation to
OCPD Officer Jim Ramsey), who drove Yeakey home, Yeakey was not suicidal. "He
didn't give me any indications that he was out to do harm to himself," said
Ramsey. "He seemed more disoriented, tired…"
There are many things about Officer Yeakey's death that remain a
mystery. While Boehler described a man on drugs, the Medical Examiner claims
they didn't bother to conduct a drug test because it "costs too much."
The ME's field investigator, Jeffrey Legg, also reported that Yeakey
"had been drinking heavily" the day before, based on statements made by OCPD
Homicide Detectives Dicus and Mullinex. Yet Terrance Yeakey didn't drink, and
their own report concluded that there was no alcohol in the body at the time of
Canadian County Sheriffs discovered the abandoned car, filled with
blood, about two and-a-half miles from the old El Reno reformatory. The OCPD
was notified, and Police Chief Sam Gonazles flew out by chopper. Using dogs,
they followed a trail of blood, and found the body in a ditch, about a mile
and-a-half from the car. (Legg reported the body was 1/2 mile south of the car,
when in fact it was 1 1/2 miles north-east of the car.)
Apparently Yeakey had tried to cut himself in the wrists, neck, and
throat, then, after losing approximately two pints of blood, got out of his car
(contentiously remembering to lock the doors), walked a mile and-a-half over
rough terrain, crawled under a barbed-wire fence, waded through a culvert, then
lay down in a ditch and shot himself in the head.
As is this weren't strange enough, Yeakey's diet-related condition would
have made him too weak to walk the mile and-a-half from his car to where his
body was found — especially after losing two to three pints of blood.
Nevertheless, the OCPD ruled it a suicide on the spot. Their
investigation remained sealed. This reporter was unable to obtain it, and not
even the family was allowed to see it.
"There were so many things that were weird," said Mrs. Jarrahi. "My
daughter kept going back to the Police Department. She said, 'Well what about
this… we knew he had a camcorder, we knew he had a briefcase…'
"These are things we never got back. The kid always carried camera and
film. [He] never went anywhere without his camera and briefcase. He had all his
important papers in there.… We got the camera back. We never got the film
back. We never got the briefcase. They said they never saw it…."
In regards to Yeakey's videos, Detective Mullinex, who "investigated"
the case for the OCPD, told Vicki Jones, "I really don't think you'll want to
see those; they contain pornography." Jones didn't believe him and didn't care.
"I want those tapes!" she demanded.
The Homicide detective finally told her she'd get them back after they
had "examined the evidence."
"One minute the guy would say he had them," said Jones, "the next minute
he'd say 'we don't have anything.…'"
According to Jones, Mullinex then said, "Now, we all loved Terry. I hope
you understand that, but I'm not going to let you see any pictures. And I don't
know anything about a briefcase, but if there's anything back there, I'll give
you a call, and you can come back and get them."
"And I just sat there and looked at him, and said to myself, 'You're
doing a great performance, but it's not working.…' Then he got really
uptight and said, 'Well, some of us hated Terry.' [Then] he kind of
grabbed his face and said 'oh shit.'"
For his part, Mullinex had "no comment either way." He then told me, "I
don't remember what I said to the lady, but I certainly was not rude to
her.… This comes as a big shock to me, because he was a police officer and
a friend of mine. It was a hard thing and hurt me to have to work it."
Cpt. Carlton likewise feigned shock at Jones' rebuffs, and said he would
have to know who the officer was who made those statements. He then asked me to
have the family contact the OCPD directly (as though they hadn't already done
so numerous times), and he would meet with them and discuss the case, but that
Cpt. Danny Cockran, Chief of the Homicide Squad, would have to make the
decision about whether or not to let the family see the files.
Yet Carlton's statements fly in the face of the experiences of not only
Yeakey's mother and sister, but those of his ex-wife. In a letter to Police
Chief Sam Gonzales dated September 4, 1996, Rivera writes:
Needless to say, I have many questions regarding the investigation. What
type of weapon was used to inflict the gunshot wound to his head? Who located
the body? How could the cause of death be determined with such confidence with
the multitude of injuries to his body and how did he walk the distance
indicated in People magazine with the great loss of blood from razor
cuts not only to both wrists, but both his forearms as well as two razor cuts
to his neck? Not only did he walk this distance, but he struggled with bobwire
fencing to reach his chosen destination to die then inflicted the gunshot wound
to himself? I request that a copy of the investigative report of his death be
made available to me.
Gonzales didn't respond.
Police officials eventually responded to Vicki Jones' complaints by
telling her she needed to see a psychiatrist. "They said, 'We're just trying to
Exactly what were they trying to protect her from? When I called Mrs.
Jarrahi, the telltale signs of a tapped phone were clearly present. If Terrance
Yeakey's death was a simple suicide, why would law-enforcement agencies be
tapping the family's phones?
The OCPD soon began conducting surveillance on the dead man's family.
"There was always an officer out there in front of our apartment," said
Jones. Anywhere we went, we had an officer or someone in a marked car following
us around. It started right after I started going to the Police Department
quite a bit."
They also tailed Rivera. When she confronted the officers, they ignored
her, hid their faces, or sped off. Cars were parked outside her childrens'
school. When she spoke to school officials about the surveillance one
afternoon, she went to work startled to find the conversation on her office
answering machine! Rivera had spoken to the school principal in person. How did
the conversation wind up on her answering machine?
The harassment against Officer Yeakey's family wasn't limited to mere
surveillance. After Rivera met with State Representative Charles Key, her car
was broken into. Her house was broken into twice.
She finally moved to Enid when the heat became too hot. "I lived in an
apartment on the third floor with a security alarm in it," said Rivera. "I'd
come home and the alarm would be off. I'd notice things out of place. There'd
be cabinets open that I'd have no reason to have opened."
About two weeks after Terry's death, Rivera went downstairs around 6:30
one morning to do some laundry, "and there was a man downstairs with huge
headphones on, at 6:30 in the morning, right behind my apartment.…"
The individual, who was wearing a jogging suit — wasn't jogging,
and was not doing laundry. "He looked startled when I came around the corner,"
said Rivera. "I came back down at 8:30 and the guy was still there."
It appears that what Rivera was describing was an audio technician with
a "Shotgun Mic," a portable surveillance tool designed to pick up conversations
through windows and across fields. They are commonly used by private detectives
and law-enforcement agencies.
One day Rivera came home to find her front door open and off its hinges.
When the frightened single mother walked into her bedroom, she found a balloon
tied to her door. It read: "Get well soon. This will keep you busy until you
It seems the OCPD and the FBI thought that Officer Yeakey had passed off
some incriminating documents concerning the bombing cover-up to his ex-wife,
and were intent on obtaining the documents.
The surveillance, break-ins, and thinly-veiled threats soon escalated
into more serious incidents. Right before Yeakey's murder, the couple's Ford
Explorer began getting mysterious flats. "And when I'd roll it into a shop,"
said Rivera, "they'd pull out like six or seven nails." This occurred between
eight and ten times, she claims.
Rivera explained that once during a quarrel, Terry had removed some
fuses from her car to keep her from leaving. The police knew about the
incident, said Rivera, who thought the subsequent events were created by the
OCPD to sow mistrust and provide a convenient trail of evidence to prove that
Yeakey led a troubled family life. Yet while Yeakey admitted to removing the
fuses, he repeatedly and adamantly denied that he had damaged the car — a
car that was registered in his name and carried his cherished children to and
On April 24, two weeks before he was found dead, the Explorer began
acting strangely. When Rivera pulled it into the local Aamco Transmission
Center, she found that it had been tampered with. "Somebody who knew what they
were doing pulled hoses from your car," said Todd Taylor, the chief mechanic.
"I'm sorry to tell this ma'am, but this is not just something you can pull
randomly.…" Taylor also said he though Rivera's brakes had been tampered
About two weeks before this story went to press, the Ford's brakes went
out suddenly while Rivera was traveling at 40 mph. "I went to brake," said
Rivera, "and guess what? No brakes!" The large 4 X 4 slammed into the back of
smaller car, damaging it badly. "The message is 'we can get to you if we want
to,'" she concluded.
Officer [Jim] Ramsey also began making his presence felt. "All of the
sudden, when we moved to Oklahoma City [from El Reno]," said Jones, "there was
Ramsey. When we joined a new church, Ramsey was there. Ramsey was everywhere.
You turn the corner, there was Ramsey.… Everything we did, he was like the
helpful old guy. This went on for two months."
"He was keeping tabs on everyone," added Rivera. "He was showing up in a
lot of places… just casually, in fact, places where he knew that people
knew me just as well as they knew Terry, and weren't buying into the 'it's
Tonia's fault' routine.
"[Ramsey] tried to claim it was his ex-wife and love for his children he
couldn't see that made him commit suicide," she added. He would talk to her
friends. "'How's she taking it? What does she think, blah, blah, blah.'"
Both Rivera and Jones feel the OCPD officer was sent to "baby-sit" them
— to maintain an ever-present watchful eye. "[When he showed up]," Jones
said, "I looked at him and said, that is not a friend of Terry's. He was never
at the house. I never met him before."
Ramsey, who told People magazine that Yeakey was his "dear
friend," also told the press that he was Terry's partner.
"That was a lie," declared Jones.
Rivera concurred. The ex-wife said that not only was Ramsey never
Yeakey's partner, but that the two men didn't even get along. "Terry hated Jim
Ramsey," said Rivera. "He put on a real good performance," she added. "He's
hiding something, I believe.… It burns me up."
For his performance, Ramsey was promoted to Detective, and made "Officer
of the Year."
If Terrance Yeakey did have many friends in the Police Department, they
were among the beat patrolmen, not the upper echelon. While Detective Mullinex
said everybody "loved Terry," according to Rivera, the brass "hated his guts."
"Him and [Maj.] Upchurch had a hate-hate relationship," she said.
For his part, Mullinex claims he was "totally unaware" of any problems
Yeakey was having in regards to what he knew about the bombing. "It is my
opinion as a fourteen-year homicide veteran that it was a suicide," said
Mullinex.… If we thought it was anything [other than a suicide] we would
have pursued it to the ends of the earth. We're not hiding anything."
According to Rivera, three government sources, including a U.S. Attorney
and a U.S. Marshal, hold a slightly different view. As relayed by Rivera, the
events on the morning of Officer Yeakey's death transpired as follows:
At 9:00 a.m., Officer Yeakey was seen exiting his Oklahoma City
apartment with nine boxes of videos and files. He then drove to the police
station where he had a fight with his supervisors.
He was told to "drop it" or he'd "wind up dead."
Yeakey was also due for a meeting with the heads of several federal
agencies that morning. He apparently decided to skip the meetings, instead,
driving straight to a storage locker he maintained in Kingfisher.
What he didn't realize was that the FBI had him under surveillance, and
began pursuit. The six-year OCPD veteran and former Sheriff's Deputy easily
eluded his pursuers. Once at his storage facility, he secured his files.
What were in the files? According to one of Rivera's sources,
incriminating photos and videos of the bombed-out building. Perhaps more.
On the way back, the feds caught up with him just outside of El Reno.
"He had nothing on him," at that point, said Rivera, "just copies of copies."
While it is not known exactly what transpired next, Rivera's
confidential source "described in intimate detail," the state of the dead man's
car. The seats had been completely unbolted, the floor-boards ripped up, and
the side panels removed, all in an apparent effort to find the incriminating
There were also burn marks on the floor. Apparently, the killers had
used Yeakey's car to destroy what little evidence they had discovered.
At approximately 6:00 p.m. that evening, Canadian County Deputy Sheriff
Mike Ramsey was cruising the area near the old El Reno reformatory when he
noticed an abandoned vehicle in a field. "Immediately [the] hair stood up on
the back of my neck," said the deputy. Ramsey came upon the empty car which he
immediately recognized as Yeakey's. There was blood on both seats, and a razor
blade lying on the dash. Yeakey was nowhere to be found.
The deputy immediately called for a homicide investigator, and taped off
the scene. It wasn't until several hours later that police dogs finally located
Yeakey's body in a ditch, a mile and-a-half away.
While it was a macabre scene, the Oklahoma City Medical Examiner's
report was even more gruesome. The report released from the Medical Examiner
described numerous "superficial" lacerations on the wrists, arms, throat, and
neck, and a single bullet wound to the right temple.
The report also showed another curious thing. The bullet had entered
just above and in front of the right ear, and had exited towards the bottom of
the left ear. Apparently, whoever held the gun held it at a downward angle. A
person shooting themself would tend to hold the gun at an upward angle, or at
the most, level. It would rather difficult for a large, muscle-bound man like
Yeakey to hold a heavy service revolver or other large caliber weapon at a
downward angle to his head. (See Appendix)
While it is true that a slug can alter its trajectory once inside the
skull, a pathologist in the San Francisco Medical Examiner's office told me
that a 9mm or other large caliber weapon — the type commonly used by
police officers — usually tends to travel in a straight line.
But perhaps the most revealing evidence was that the wound did not have
a "Stellat," the tell-tale star shape caused by the dissipating gases from the
gun's muzzle. At the close range of a suicide weapon, such markings would
clearly be present, unless of course… the shooter used a silencer.
While Dr. Larry Balding, Oklahoma City's Chief Medical Examiner, quickly
ruled the death a "suicide," another Medical Examiner's report would, according
to Rivera, surface like an eerie, prescient message from the grave. This other
report, quickly redacted and hidden from public view, showed a face that was
bruised and swollen; blood on the body and clothes that was not the dead man's
blood type; and multiple deep lacerations filled with grass and dirt, as
though the body had been dragged a distance.
Yet according to Rivera, Maj. Upchurch denied that Yeakey's throat was
slashed at all. She was later told by a sympathetic police dispatcher
that his throat was indeed slashed — deeply.
Dr. Larry Balding, who signed off on the Yeakey report, is adamant. "I
can tell you unequivocally and without a doubt that there was no other ME
Yet while attending a social function, Rivera claims her sister had a
chance encounter with the mortician who worked on Yeakey's body. She was
discussing the strange inconsistencies of his death with someone at the party,
when the mortician, not knowing the woman was Rivera's sister, spoke up. "That
sounds just like a police officer we worked on in Oklahoma City," he said. When
asked if that man happened to be Terrance Yeakey, the mortician "freaked."
When pressed, he told the shocked relative that the dead man's wrists
contained rope burns and handcuff marks. A former FBI agent and police
officer, the mortician said that Yeakey's lacerations were already sewn up when
the body arrived from the Medical Examiner's office. Dr. Balding's response to
this was that the marks were merely "skin slippage," resulting from the natural
decomposition of the body.
Yet stranger still, the body was not supposed to go to this particular
funeral home at all, but to one in Watonga. While the OCPD was supposed to pay
the expenses of the funeral, no funds were ever allocated, according to Rivera.
"Vicki had to pay off the burial to Russ Worm [Funeral Home]. So I wonder if we
paid somebody off to do the job."
Was that job to clean up Yeakey so that his manner of death wouldn't
This incident is similar to the murder of President Kennedy, whose body
was taken to Bethesda Naval Hospital instead of being examined by the Dallas
Medical Examiner as is standard procedure. Once there, military pathologists
and those controlling them were able to skew their findings to the satisfaction
of the murderers. The chief pathologist burned his notes, and years later, when
researchers went to examine Kennedy's brain, it was found missing from the
Apparently, Terrance Yeakey's murderers and those covering up his
death had not counted on this particular mortician's testimony.
Was Terrance Yeakey tortured? Was he murdered, then made to look like a
suicide? Did he know something he wasn't supposed to know, or was he simply
despondent over life's circumstances?
Said friend Kimberly Cruz, "I don't believe he would have done something
like that. He was always happy and joking a lot."
Another friend, Karen Von Tungeln, said, "[Terry and I] talked about a
friend in high school… who had committed suicide, and how stupid and
selfish he was for having done so.… 'I just can't understand it man,' said
Terry. 'It makes no sense to me.'"
If the officer was bent on taking his life, it would appear strange,
since he had spent most of the previous month taking entrance exams for the
FBI. Yeakey and best friend Barry McCrary were looking forward to becoming FBI
agents. Perhaps if he had known the role that the FBI played in the bombing,
perhaps even in his own death, he would have changed careers.
Like Dr. Don Chumley, Terrance Yeakey was one of the first rescuers in
the Murrah Building on April 19. Had he seen something he wasn't supposed to
see? Had he heard something he wasn't supposed to hear?
One afternoon, while the family was at Police Headquarters, an officer
who Rivera described as Yeakey's "only true friend," pulled them off to the
side, and whispered "They killed him."
Like Terrance Yeakey, the press claimed that Dr. Don Chumley was
saddened and disturbed that he hadn't helped more people that terrible day.
Chumley, who ran the Broadway Medical Clinic about half a mile from the Federal
Building, was one of the first to arrive at the bombing site on April 19. Shaun
Jones, Chumley's step-son, was assisting him. Jones recalled the scene:
"They had sent us around to the underground parking garage, where some
people were trapped. Suddenly, three guys come running out of the basement
yelling, 'There's a bomb! A bomb! It's gonna' blow!' Everybody panicked and ran
screaming away from the building as fast as they could."
Chumley, who was working with Dr. Ross Harris, was one of the few
doctors who actually went into the Federal Building, while the others waited
outside. He had helped many people, including seven babies, whom he later
Chumley was killed five months later when his Cessna 210 crashed near
Amarillo, Texas in what Jones calls "mysterious circumstances."
"It's a pretty mysterious circumstance," said Jones. "There's no
apparent reason — there's nothing we can think of."
Jones added that Chumley had been in a minor wreck during a landing a
year earlier when his plane became trapped in a vortex caused by a large jet
landing nearby. The small plane was forced into a snow bank causing some damage
to its left wing tip. The damage had been repaired.
Would this contradict Jones' hypothesis?
"Well, from talking to pilots I that know, they say that can't cause a
plane to crash. I mean, as good a pilot as he is, that's not going to cause his
plane to go straight down into the ground.
Another pilot said, 'that's just like a car that's out of alignment
— it happens all the time — it's just something you learn to fly
with.' The plane had been flown several times since that."
According to reports in The Daily Oklahoman, Chumley, who was on
a hunting trip that weekend, had twice landed earlier — on Friday, due to
bad weather conditions. The crash occurred three days later, on a Monday.
"The thing that's odd to me is that Don was perfectly healthy," said
Jones. "He was talking to the tower, and from one minute to the next he just
went straight smack down into the ground."
Investigators said they could find no evidence of an explosion at the
macabre scene. Chumley's throttle was still set at cruise, and his gear and
flaps were up. The FAA inspector stated there were "no anomalies with the
engine or the airframe," and "pathological examination of the pilot did not
show any preexisting condition that could have contributed to the
"To me it's unusual because I know he was a good pilot," added Jones.
"Everything was fine, he was in the air for 15 minutes, he was climbing, he had
just asked permission to go from six to seven thousand feet. They tracked him
on the screen at 6,900 feet, and the radar technician said he saw him on the
radar, then he looked back and he was gone, and the plane came straight,
straight down. I mean, no attempt to land… nothing, just straight
Chumley's hunting partner Joey Chief said in an interview in The
"He was the kind of guy who did everything right, always. He was very
cautious, very professional," Chief said, adding [that] Chumley's plane was
equipped with extra safety instruments.
Mike Evett, a Federal Public Defender, had known Don Chumley for over
twenty years. "I would never get into an airplane with anybody I didn't know,"
said Evett, "and I would never be afraid to fly with Don. For the life of me,
this doesn't sit right with me."
Yet Clint Boehler, a former FAA inspector, discounts that notion. "That
was an accident waiting to happen," said Boehler. "He didn't have an instrument
rating, and he went out into adverse conditions. One of the classic symptoms of
what's called stall-spin accidents, is people who are in limited visibility or
full IFR, meaning they can't see the propeller in front of their face. And,
they're not current or trained or in some way up to speed on their operation.
And they'll get into some particular mode of flight, particularly a climb, and
their body and mind tells them their not doing what their instruments say
they're doing, and they tend to react to that. And the results is sometime they
stall the airplane, and not necessarily spin it, but what it then does is it
rolls over to one side and begins a very tight, steep spiral that is gaining
speed all the way down. And if they ever do come out of the clouds or
obscuration or whatever it is, often they see the ground at low altitude and
they pull back on the wheel and overstress the airplane as it hits the ground.
And this is not an uncommon thing. Its called spatial disorientation followed
by the graveyard spiral. And I can cite numerous examples of that. There was a
local doc here went out west some time ago — went out in a 210 — and
had the same scenario exactly."
Yet Boehler is incorrect. The doctor did in fact have an instrument
rating, and was an experienced pilot, having logged over 600 hours of flying
Did Dr. Don Chumley crash on the evening of September 25th due to bad
weather? Did he commit suicide due to his grief over what he saw on the morning
of April 19th. Or was Don Chumley murdered?
The Daily Oklahoman article described how he had cried in front
of his friend Jim Taylor on the day of the bombing, after tagging seven babies,
and was not satisfied he had done all he could, even after helping to organize
a fund-raiser for the victims.
It was also rumored that Chumley was about to go public with some
damning information. According to a local journalist who has investigated the
bombing, Chumley was asked to bandage two federal agents who falsely claimed to
have been trapped in the building morning. Since the pair was obviously not
hurt, Chumley refused. When the agents petitioned another doctor at the scene,
Chumley intervened, threatening to report them.
Chumley's crash is reminiscent of that of Dr. Ronald Rogers, whose plane
went down on March 3, 1994 near Lawson, Oklahoma in good weather. Clinton's
former dentist, Rogers was on his way to be interviewed by Ambrose
Evans-Pritchard of the