The John Doe Times
24 January 1997
Vol. III, No. 4
IN THIS ISSUE: J. D. CASH'S SERIES "REBELS WITH A CAUSE" CONCLUDES;
OR, HOW A VIETNAM DESERTER, JOHN-DOE-VILLE (ELOHIM CITY) AND SOME TULSA
STRIPPERS LINK TIM McVEIGH AND THE ARYAN REPUBLICAN ARMY.
The Last of the Series:
McCurtain Gazette, 2 January, 1997.
REBELS WITH A CAUSE, PART FIVE:
MARK THOMAS AND THE ELOHIM CITY LINK IN THE OKBOMB CASE.
By J.D.Cash with Jeff Holladay.
Links between Elohim City, the Christian Identity redoubt in eastern
Oklahoma near Muldrow, and suspects in the Oklahoma City bombing have been
previously detailed in the McCurtain Gazette.
But there are also links between some of the Midwest Bank Bandits, the
Aryan Nation organization and Elohim City. At the nexus of this connection
appears to be a man named Mark Thomas of Pennsylvania.
Bank robbery defendant Kevin McCarthy said that he and Scott Stedeford
were introduced to Langan ("Commander Pedro") and guthrie by
fellow Aryan Nations member Mark Thomas.
The meeting, the McCurtain Gazette has learned, took place at a Waffle
House restaurant in Van Buren, Ark., during Langan's and Guthrie's stay
at a nearby motel. (Records indicate the pair was in Van Buren on Nov.
Thomas claims to be a minister for the Church of Jesus Christ Christian
and boasts that he is recognized as the Aryan Nations leader for the eastern
McCarthy recalled during a preliminary hearing this past summer in Columbus,
Ohio, that Langan and Guthrie bragged they'd already robbed 12 banks and
wanted the potential recruits "to understand what they were getting
McCarthy said Mark Thomas was present with Langan and Guthrie.
Later, McCarthy testified, the group went to a nearby motel and continued
talking about plans for future heists, including an armored car robbery.
McCarthy's testimony also made reference to Elohim City-- and, in fact,
Pastor Robert Millar, leader of the 1,000 acre Christian Identity community,
confirmed that McCarthy had actually been a resident there before the Oklahoma
Millar said McCarthy had been sent to Elohim City by Mark thomas to
receive "his education." And Stedeford, Millar said, had also
been a short-term visitor from time to time.
Mark Thomas has already admitted that he'd traveled to Elohim City in
the days immediately prior to the Oklahoma City bombing because his son
was a resident there. Thomas also admitted to reporters that he introduced
McCarthy and Stedeford to Langan and Guthrie. "But the introduction
was strictly social, and nothing illegal was discussed," he said.
Pastor Millar also said both McCarthy and Stedeford were closely associated
with two former Elohim City residents named Andreas Carl Strassmeir and
Witnesses interviewed by the Gazette in Kansas had placed Strassmeir
and Brescia at various times with accused Oklahoma City bomber Timothy
McVeigh-- including the days just before the bombing. (Strassmeir's attorney
continues to deny the assertions.)
FBI interviews with two women from Herington, Kan., who knew the trio,
say Strassmeir, McVeigh, and Brescia were old friends and that Brescia,
in fact, was John Doe #2-- McVeigh's once-highly sought accomplice in the
These are claims that Strassmeir's attorney, Kirk Lyons, has denied
on his client's behalf. Brescia, for his part, has refused numerous attempts
by the media for an interview.
Both men have been named, along with McVeigh and Fortier, in a wrongful
death civil lawsuit filed by Edye Smith, the mother of two young boys killed
in the bombing.
McVeigh's Elohim City Contacts
Besides a documented phone telephone call that McVeigh-- or someone
using his credit card-- made to Elohim City on April 5, 1995, there is
controversy surrounding his visits there as well.
Law enforcement sources have told the Gazette that their intelligence
files indicate McVeigh visited Elohim City on numerous occasions.
When confronted earlier this year with the evidence contained in the
telephone records associated with McVeigh and Nichols, Pastor Millar, leader
of Elohim City, told an investigator that he believed McVeigh visited Elohim
City "on two or three occasions to use the compound's gun range."
Sitting in on this interview, Millar's son John strongly disagreed.
He said he was positive McVeigh had never been to the compound. John Millar's
vehement denial caused the elder Millar to withdraw his earlier statement--
leaving the matter unresolved.
Other residents also deny the alleged bomber ever set foot on Elohim
But eyewitness accounts, and other evidence, indicate inexplicable activities
and events surrounding two of McVeigh's trips to the area. They appear
to stretch the limits of chance or mere coincidence that he did not go
the Elohim City.
One such visit is believed to have occured when McVeigh and Nichols
traveled to Arkansas in October , 1993.
On Oct. 11, Nichols checked into a motel in Fayetteville, Ark., alone.
McVeigh drove somewhere else to spend the night. The next morning, on
Oct. 12, 1993, McVeigh received a ticket from an Arkansas state trooper
just a few miles from the entrance to Elohim City.
On Oct. 15, a Secret Service agent reported that their "asset",
Peter Langan, had turned up missing from his home in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Then, on Nov. 7, a $50 money order is purchased by McVeigh and Nichols
to start up the now-infamous Spotlight phone card. It is this pre-paid
phone card, purchased under the alias of Daryl Bridges, that authorities
allege the pair used to assist them in various illegal acts-- including
the bombing conspiracy.
In Ames, Iowa, on Jan. 25, 1994, the first of the 22 banks believed
to involve the Midwest Bank Bandits, is robbed.
McVeigh's presence in and around Elohim City is also documented on Sept.
12, 1994, when he checks into the El-Siesta Motel in Vian, Okla. He is
believed to have traveled some 30 miles to Elohim City the next day, taking
part in military maneuvers that Strassmeir had organized for 70 participants.
A couple who had visited Elohim City during that time with their teenage
daughter could not identify McVeigh by name, but the description from the
daughter matched: well over 6-feet in height, slim, youthful, boyish in
mannerisms and very shy.
Family members, who didn't want their names used, said the man was in
the company of Elohim City residents who who had particpated in the extensive
para-military field exercises.
The family said they'd visited Elohim City countless times over the
years, but said in the fall of 1994 they begand to sense a marked change
in the religious community that they found offputting.
"That guy Strassmeir was too crazy to even to be allowed to have
a gun," the head of the family said. "He was leading a group
of these 'skinhead types' in military exercises that last two we were there....After
the second trip in a row, I decided that they were headed for a Waco-type
disaster and quit taking my family out there."
Interestingly, the grand jury investigating the Oklahoma City bombing
reported that the conspiracy to bomb the Alred P. Murrah Federal Building
was hatched on Sept. 13, 1994-- the day after McVeigh checked into that
motel near Elohim City,
Days later, McVeigh returned to the Kansas home of Terry Nichols, where
on Sept. 24 (according to telephone records) someone at that residence
began making the first calls connected with the acquisition of bomb-making
Authorities contend that calls were made to businesses that sell fertilizer
and racing fuel, asserting these were the ingredients used to make the
bomb that destroyed the Murrah building.
The Lady Godiva's Link
Witnesses at a strip club in Tulsa provide one of the most compelling
links between a shadowy figure believed to be a government informant--
the "mystery suspect" in the bank robbery conspiracy-- and the
alleged bomber himself.
Accounts provided by several women who worked in the strip club Lady
Godiva's indicate that Strassmeir, Brescia and McVeigh were in the bclub
only 11 days before the bombing, hustling the girls and spending large
amounts of cash.
A video tape made in the dressing room of the club was obtained by the
McCurtain Gazette, and it records one of the dancers referring to a man
in the club that night boasting to her that, "On April 19, she'll
never forget him."
Witnesses interviewed at the club say it was McVeigh who'd done the
"Farm Compound" Link.
During the Stedeford trial last month, McCarthy's grandmother testified
that she received a telephone call from her grandson on April 5, 1995,
stating he was heading for a "farm compound" in eastern Oklahoma
where he was to pick up some equipment.
Then, on April 18-- the eve of the Oklahoma City bombing-- Eleanor O'Neill
recalled for the court that she decided to telephone Elohim City. She said
she was told that Mark Thomas had just left the compound and that her grandson
and Stedeford were preparing to leave as well.
O'Neill further testified that the spokesman at Elohim City said all
three men were headed Philadelphia. She said, however, that McCarthy and
Stedeford did not arrive until May 4-- two weeks later and coincidentally--
two weeks after the Oklahoma City bombing.
Leaves in the Wind
Months after the bombing, Brescia and Strassmeir abruptly parted company.
Strassmeir's attorney said his client had to be smuggled secretly to his
native Berlin, where his father is a powerful political figure, because
of death threats and fear of being arrested by the FBI.
Meanwhile, Brescia in January made his way to Philadelphia, where he
stayed for a time at the Mark Thomas farm.
Friends say that soon after returning to Pennsylvania, Brescia formed
a rock band called Cyanide with bank robbers McCarthy and Stedeford.
Significantly, the Gazette had learned earlier, the FBI never formally
interviewed Strassmeir about the bombing--- because he was an ATF mole
at Elohim City.
Authorities meanwhile say they have finally located and questioned Mike
Brescia in Philadelphia. Those same sources confirm that he is a suspect
in the August 30, 1995, robbery of a bank in Madison, Wis.
McCarthy, who was asked by prosecutors not to mention Brescia by name
in open court, nonetheless came within an eyelash of doing so when he testified
that a former member of the gang particpated in the Madison robbery-- and
then returned with Stedeford to a "farm compound" in eastern
The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch reported in November that they had learned
the man referred to by McCarthy was a "neo-Nazi extremist living in
the Philadelphia area" and that the compound referred to was Elohim
Subsequently, the Ohio newspaper quoted the Gazette's confirmation that
the mystery man was indeed Michael Brescia, also believed to be the infamous
"John Doe #2" originally sought in connection with the Oklahoma
On Nov. 17, the Dispatch reported that officials familiar with the bank
robbery investigation said additional indictments were likely to be handed
down from a grand jury in Philadelphia.
Mentioned as targets of the investigation were Michael Brescia and Mark
Thomas, the Gazette has learned.
Morever, a source familiar with the strategy surrounding the upcoming
bank robbery trial of Peter Lanagn says he expects a member of the Aryan
Republican Army to eventually lead authorities into other areas the home
grown revolutionaries were involved in-- "areas" such as the
Oklahoma City bombing conspiracy... and the identity of at least one new
name in the conspiracy.
One thing is certain, the flames of Whidbey Island continue to produce
heat more than a decade after the ashes ceased to smoulder, and somewhere,
perhaps in a hotter place, Bob Mathews is smiling.
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