THE JOHN DOE TIMES
Volume IV, No. 13
5 March 1997
IN THIS ISSUE:
The John Doe Times is an on-line, electronic newsletter published by the 1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment (Constitutional Militia) and friends. Our motto:
Sic Semper Rodentia!
** ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS ON JOHN DOE #2, #3, #4, #5.....
Rocky Mountain News
3 March 1997
John Doe 2 remains a mystery
OKC bombing case's unknown suspect could be more than one man, investigators believe
By Kevin Flynn and Lou Kilzer
Rocky Mountain News Staff Writers
Last of two parts
He lurks around the dark corners of the Oklahoma City bombing case like Hamlet's father, an intruder whose long shadow clouds the body of evidence with unanswered questions.
Who is John Doe 2?
Or might the better question be who are John Doe 2?
The person who eluded the most intense criminal dragnet in U.S. history may actually be an amalgam of mystery men who moved in and out of defendant Timothy McVeigh's orbit during late 1994 and early 1995.
That's the crucial time when the government charges that McVeigh and Terry Nichols planned and executed the worst act of terrorism on U.S. soil -- the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in which 168 people lost their lives.
McVeigh is to go on trial in Denver March 31.
Last week's media assertion that McVeigh purportedly had confessed to the bombing to his own lawyers and that he and Nichols had acted largely alone won't answer the haunting question:
Who are the men McVeigh and Nichols were seen with at what the government contends are key moments in which the conspiracy was blossoming into the awful fruit it bore in downtown Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995?
There are too many independent witnesses simply to write off the possible existence of the "others unknown'' cited in the indictment:
A possible John Doe 2 first turns up in witness accounts in the sandy-brown hill country around Fort Riley, Kan., in the searing hot summer of 1992.
Later, he is found in the company of the person, possibly Nichols, who in fall 1994 bought ammonium nitrate fertilizer that the government believes made up the bomb's main charge.
He is standing next to McVeigh at a methamphetamine dealer's home in Kingman, Ariz., in February 1995, when a friend of McVeigh's tries to confront the person he believes had a bomb set off near his house.
A woman who lost her leg while being dug out of the Murrah building rubble said she saw the man hop out of a Ryder truck that had been parked outside her garden-level office window, just before the explosion.
A man who says he sold McVeigh a soft drink and cigarettes at a deli at the Regency Towers apartments a block from the Murrah building says a passenger was waiting in the cab of the Ryder truck parked outside minutes before the explosion.
A man emerging from the post office next door also saw the truck, with three men near it.
A press worker north of the Murrah building claims he saw McVeigh fleeing in a car, with someone in the passenger seat next to him.
"We certainly believe that John Doe 2 exists,'' said Stephen Jones, McVeigh's attorney. "We also believe that John Doe 1 is not Tim McVeigh.''
John Doe 2 was born the day after the bombing, when witnesses at a Ryder rental shop in Junction City, Kan., described the second man they thought had come in when the bomb truck was rented.
The renter, who used the phony name "Robert Kling,'' was John Doe 1. McVeigh's resemblance to that drawing led to his arrest.
The biggest misfortune for investigators in the John Doe 2 manhunt is that the famous sketch of the brooding suspect actually may be based on an error.
A key witness recently repudiated the description he gave to an FBI sketch artist after the bombing. The sketch triggered the rousting of dozens of innocent men unlucky enough to resemble the sinister and menacing-looking visitor.
That witness, a mechanic at the Ryder shop named Tom Kessinger, now says he inadvertently had in mind a completely innocent person who came into the shop a day after the bomb truck was rented.
If that's true, the real stranger who came into the shop with "Robert Kling'' hasn't been described to this day.
All of the witnesses at the Ryder agency, when interviewed by FBI agents the day of the bombing, said that two men had rented the bomb truck. One employee, Fernando Ramos, told authorities the two men drove up in a blue Jeep Cherokee.
Clearly, not all of what has been claimed by witnesses can be true. Many of their stories conflict.
For instance, numerous people say they saw McVeigh with several men wandering Oklahoma City bars, restaurants and a pawn shop in the days before the bombing.
The likelihood is slim that McVeigh would make almost daily 10-hour commutes between Junction City and Oklahoma City during that final week.
The intrigue dates to 1992:
A Herington, Kan., woman and her mother told the FBI that McVeigh hung out with the older teen-agers there that summer.
Connie Smith, the mother, said she also saw McVeigh and Nichols in Herington in the weeks before the bombing, having lunch with other people. She never met McVeigh but says her daughter, Catina Lawson, met him at parties in 1992.
"His nickname, I think, was 'My Way' McVeigh. He was very arrogant,'' Smith recalls of her daughter's stories.
Smith said her daughter's roommate that summer dated a man named Mike with Pennsylvania tags on his car.
Some amateur investigators of the case believe "Mike'' is Michael Brescia, 24, a Philadelphia college student indicted last month for conspiracy in a string of Midwestern bank robberies carried out by the self-described Aryan Republican Army.
Smith and Lawson say he could be the man who moved in McVeigh's circle.
Brescia, through his attorney, told the News he had no involvement in the bombing. He resembles the sketch of John Doe 2, but the government points out that's meaningless now that Kessinger has repudiated the sketch.
The Aryan bank robberies were probed for a possible connection to the Oklahoma bombing, with some FBI agents thinking the money -- never recovered -- might have financed it. The government says no connections were found.
The Herington story has problems, however.
McVeigh lived in Herington in 1991, but after mustering out of the Army in December, he returned to western New York by Christmas and appears to have spent all of 1992 there. He worked as a security guard in Buffalo.
McVeigh had an AT&T long-distance calling card, records of which have been obtained by the News. Every call charged to that card during 1992 originates within western New York. There appears to be little time he could have gone to Kansas to party with teen-agers.
JDT Commentary: Not exactly true. There is evidence of calls and activity by McVeigh outside of New York state during the preiod described. We are advising RMN of this activity.
If Brescia knew McVeigh, he could provide that link. Brescia lived for a time at Elohim City in Oklahoma with a German citizen named Andreas Strassmeir. Various witnesses, including a stripper in a Tulsa topless bar, say they saw Brescia and Strassmeir with McVeigh.
The stripper, on a security videotape in the topless club's dressing room shot 11 days before the bombing, can be heard telling a friend about a man in the bar named Tim.
"'And you're gonna remember me in April 1995,''' she quotes Tim as saying. "'You're gonna remember me for the rest of your life.'''
Authorities doubt the relevance of the stripper's information but won't say why.
Another John Doe candidate appeared with someone who may have been suspect Nichols.
On Sept. 30, 1994, at Mid-Kansas Cooperative in McPherson, Kan., two people bought a ton of ammonium nitrate fertilizer that the government believes went into the bomb.
The salesman has testified he is 50% sure the man who paid using the name Mike Havens was Nichols. However, he is sure, he testified in Denver two weeks ago, that the second person wasn't McVeigh.
McVeigh's fingerprint allegedly was found on the receipt, although, if true, it could have gotten there later.
John Doe 2 -- or 3, or 4 -- next shows up with McVeigh in Kingman, Ariz.
Rocky McPeak, who worked at a shelter in town, says he hired McVeigh to do security work there in 1993. McPeak's girlfriend was arrested in December 1994 in Las Vegas on a bad credit charge, McPeak told authorities.
A man who uses a wheelchair, Clark Vollmer, helped bail her out.
In February 1995, McPeak says, Vollmer asked him to carry some drugs for him. McPeak refused, even after Vollmer reminded him of the favor he had done by raising bail.
On Feb. 21, an ammonium nitrate-fuel oil bomb exploded under a chair outside McPeak's home, blowing out five windows.
McPeak went to Vollmer's house to confront him. He says he found McVeigh with another man McPeak didn't recognize.
In the last week before the bombing, several people in Herington and nearby Junction City say they saw a man with McVeigh.
A Texaco clerk said the mystery man came in and bought a pack of Marlboros and Big Red chewing gum. A liquor store owner said he came into his shop.
A convenience store clerk in Herington and one of her regular customers said McVeigh came in two days before the bombing with another man -- not Nichols. The stranger fiddled with a refrigerator door while McVeigh bought a pack of Camels. She spoke to the stranger, but he didn't answer.
The next morning, the day before the bombing, a restaurant owner in Herington says she served breakfast to McVeigh, Nichols and a third man. A Ryder truck was parked outside.
In Oklahoma City, banker Kyle Hunt of Tulsa exited the freeway on his way to a meeting when he came upon a Ryder truck followed by a large, light-colored sedan.
He told the FBI he is certain the car's driver was McVeigh and that there were two other men in the car. At least one person had to have been in the truck, for a total of four people. Nichols was in Herington that morning, so he wasn't among them.
Hunt isn't being called at the trial. In fact, the government currently doesn't plan on calling any witness placing McVeigh in Oklahoma City the day of the bombing.
Monday, March 03, 1997
"AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS CAN GO TO HELL"
By Judith Crosson
DENVER (Reuter) - The attorney for Oklahoma City bombing defendant Timothy McVeigh said Tuesday the trial will begin as scheduled despite a furor over a newspaper report based on a defense document that appeared to contain a confession from McVeigh.
``So this trial will start on March 31 with a selection of a jury. That's what our client wants. That's what we want and I think that's what everybody wants,'' Stephen Jones told reporters after leaving a closed door meeting with the bombing case judge and prosecutors.
Jones had been expected to seek a delay of up to three months in the trial to allow a cooling off period after the Dallas Morning News published a report saying McVeigh had admitted to planting the bomb that killed 168 people.
The newspaper based its account on a defense document that it said it had obtained legally.
But Jones accused the paper of breaking into the defense team's computer and insisted McVeigh had not confessed. However, he later said the defense had made up the confession and attributed it to McVeigh as a ploy to flush out a witness suspected of being involved in the bombing.
But after the meeting with prosecutors and U.S. District Court Judge Richard Matsch, Jones played down the significance of the newspaper story and its aftermath.
``The Dallas Morning News story is yesterday's news and as far as I'm concerned the Dallas Morning News can go to hell,'' Jones said.
``We did not ask for a continuance,'' Jones said. ``We were all on the same page. We were surprised there was such unanimity of opinion among us.''
``I trust the judgment of the people of Colorado and Judge Matsch,'' Jones said.
Patrick Ryan, the U.S. attorney from Oklahoma City, told reporters he expected a fair jury to be selected and that the government did not believe a delay was in order. ``I share the confidence of Jones and the court that the people here will be able to give Mr. McVeigh a fair trial,'' he said.
However, Ryan said that when jury selection begins, ``We'll give more attention to the extent to which jurors have seen media accounts of this case.''
Some 1,000 jury notices have already been sent out.
McVeigh has pleaded innocent to the April 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City.
In explaining the use of a ruse to get a witness to talk, Jones said the defense had wanted to speak to a person with a ''history of incitement to violence and criminal activity, (who) was suspected by the defense of being involved in the conspiracy to bomb the Murrah building.''
``The defense believed that this person was willing to talk if the individual believed that he was not suspected by the defense of being a participant in the bombing.'' Jones said in a statement.
Attorneys said sometimes lawyers have to use an artifice to get someone to talk. ``It's not completely far-fetched,'' said Robert Precht, director of the Public Service Laboratory at the University of Michigan Law School.
Precht, who represented one of the World Trade Center bombing defendants, said a prosecutor will sometimes lie to a suspect that others have confessed in order to obtain a confession from him.
``This is part of a high stakes, high profile game both sides are playing here,'' Precht said.
Mimi Wesson, a former federal prosecutor who now teaches law at the University of Colorado in Boulder, said investigators and prosecutors will ``often lie to persuade someone to talk.''
DALLAS MORNING NEWS REPORTER HAS HISTORY OF BEING A "PLUMBER"
(CHECK OUT LAST COUPLE OF PARAGRAPHS).......
The Associated Press
By STEVEN K. PAULSON
DENVER (AP) - Timothy McVeigh's lawyer says the defense concocted his purported confession to trick one of the real Oklahoma City bombing conspirators into coming forward. The attorney also accused The Dallas Morning News of stealing the confidential memo.
After the newspaper published a story last Friday about the supposed confession, attorney Stephen Jones said the memo may have been a hoax. On Monday, he told reporters it was among hundreds of computer files stolen by the newspaper.
He demanded an investigation of the newspaper, and accused the Morning News of breaking into the defense's computer files to obtain documents for McVeigh and co-defendant Terry Nichols, as well as 25,000 FBI files.
Jones offered no proof that theft was committed and said he could not disclose precisely what documents had allegedly been stolen. Federal prosecutors said no one had formally requested an investigation.
The newspaper denied breaking any laws. Its lawyer, Paul Watler, said the paper used ``lawful newsgathering techniques'' and ``did not hack into Mr. Jones' computer system and it did not assist anyone else in doing so.''
``We have no fear of criminal repercussions,'' Watler said.
In the story published online Friday, the newspaper cited the defense memorandum that said McVeigh admitted to driving the explosives-laden truck that demolished the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in April 1995, killing 168 people and injuring more than 500.
The memo said he chose a daytime attack to ensure a ``body count.''
Jones responded within hours, saying the document was either a hoax or had been stolen; he suggested the paper had been duped by one of its critics.
On Monday, the defense elaborated. It said the confession was a ploy to elicit statements from someone else the defense suspected.
``The defense believed that this person was willing to talk if the individual believed that he was not suspected by the defense of being a participant in the bombing,'' the defense said in a statement.
That person, the defense claimed, ``had a history of incitement to violence and criminal activity.''
Jones denied that the statement from McVeigh was a confession or even a ``legitimate'' defense memo, but said he could not characterize it further because of a gag order by U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch. He said he found the document in his files after the newspaper published excerpts.
``They knew or should have known that they had stolen documents,'' Jones said. ``They knew or should have known they had no authorized release from Tim McVeigh, Judge Matsch or myself. There is no justification whatever for this criminal act.''
Nichols' attorney, Michael Tigar, said none of his client's confidential memoranda or privileged materials have been compromised. He said Jones' computer records included some of Nichols' defense files, but only witness statements shared with the prosecution.
McVeigh's trial is scheduled to begin March 31 in federal court here, with Nichols' trial to follow. But Jones said he may ask for a 90-day delay as a ``cooling off period.''
The Morning News filed a statement in court saying it would not report any more information from material used as ``the source of the previous articles.'' The paper said it was ``sensitive to the tension between Mr. McVeigh's fair trial rights and the national public interest in this case.''
Editor Ralph Langer said the purported confession story was of overriding public significance, but additional articles based on the defense reports ``would not rise to the same level of importance.''
Jones also said he would ask the Texas Supreme Court to investigate whether the Morning News reporter who wrote the confession story, Pete Slover, a lawyer, should be disbarred.
Slover pleaded no contest in 1990 to a misdemeanor charge of trespassing after spending nearly two hours alone in the Ellis County clerk's office after it closed. He told his editors that he entered the building through an unlocked side door to see if a clerk could show him records related to a double homicide.
Newspaper executives called the incident a misunderstanding and said Slover didn't intend to violate the law. He received six months' probation, a $1,000 fine and was ordered to perform 150 hours of community service.
JDT Commentary: Huh... The judge must not have thought it was so innocently explained....
"Watching the Waco Fire Made Us Rob Banks..."
**PEE-PEE TRIAL OPENS;
DEFENSE CLAIMS "WACO TRAUMA"
SPOKANE, Wash. (Reuter) - Federal prosecutors Tuesday accused three Idaho men of carrying out a pair of bombings and bank robberies in an alleged effort to punish the bank for its ''godless usury.''
In opening arguments of a trial expected to take up to six weeks, U.S. Attorney Stephanie Lister said Verne Merrell, Charles Barbee and Robert Berry held right-wing political beliefs and had talked freely of the need to punish U.S. Bank for the supposed usury.
She also said she would produce one witness who could identify Merrell as the driver of a van used in a bombing of a Spokane area newspaper office April 1 that preceded a robbery and bombing of a nearby U.S. Bank branch.
The same bank branch was robbed July 12 shortly after a Planned Parenthood office was bombed.
The men were arrested Oct. 8 as they were returning to Spokane from Portland, Ore., where they allegedly were foiled in their attempt to rob another U.S. Bank branch.
Defense attorneys acknowledged in their opening statements that the men were in possession of stolen vehicles and illegal weapons, including grenades and machine guns, when they were arrested.
But the attorneys denied their clients had taken part in the bombings and robberies.
Defense attorney John Rodgers said his client, Berry, had an ``almost comical devotion to military exercises'' and fascination with military equipment.
He and the others opened secret bank accounts and stole vehicles in the belief that they needed to defend themselves against federal agencies supposedly ``waging a war against the men and women of this country,'' Rogers said.
Another defense attorney, Roger Peven, said his client, Barbee, had been traumatized by the 1993 federal assault on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, that killed some 80 people.
JDT Commentary: "Waco Trauma Syndrome" thus enters the lexicon along with Battered Wife Syndrome, Gulf War Syndrome.....What a joke. These Nazis no more cared that a racially-integrated church got torched than a man in the moon. Hell, these racial purists would set that fire themselves. It's just one more cravenly lie to hide behind. Nazis do that, you know.
Prosecutors said the vehicles the three men were driving when arrested were a ``recipe for a robbery'' which included a check-off list that included ``escape routes'' and ``emergency phone numbers.''
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