THE JOHN DOE TIMES
Volume IV, No. 17
14 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
By Kevin Flynn
Rocky Mountain News Staff Writer
March 13 1997
Playboy magazine's account of Timothy McVeigh's alleged admissions of guilt in the Oklahoma City bombing contradicts certain established facts.
The additional contradictory information came to light Wednesday, the day after Playboy published the article on the Internet.
If accurate, the information in the article could require adjustments to the prosecution's case against McVeigh, set to go to trial March 31 in Denver.
The potentially most damaging detail in the article, purportedly based on defense documents outlining interviews with McVeigh, is the existence of a witness who could put McVeigh at the scene after the bombing.
McVeigh said he ran into a mailman a few blocks east of the Alfred P. Murrah Building shortly after the 1995 blast, the article said. The mailman reportedly made a remark to McVeigh about the explosion, and McVeigh responded.
The government has never claimed to have such a witness. The Oklahoma City postmaster's office said Wednesday that the FBI hadn't followed up on the information yet.
McVeigh's attorney, Stephen Jones, said his team was too busy preparing for the trial to "put aside our work and respond every time the phone rings with tales of yet another story even more sensationalist than the last.'' He declined to comment further.
Here are some inconsistencies in the Playboy account:
McVeigh allegedly said he and co-conspirator Michael Fortier left Kingman, Ariz., on Dec. 19, 1994, heading to Oklahoma City and to Kansas to pick up stolen weapons.
But telephone records suggest that McVeigh's last day in Kingman was Dec. 15. By Dec. 19, McVeigh had already arrived at a friend's home in Caro, Mich.
Playboy says McVeigh left the blast scene on foot and retrieved his getaway car from a lot east of the Murrah building. The article then has McVeigh driving on streets west of the parking lot but claims he is headed toward an interstate highway farther east. There is no freeway entrance on the street the article says McVeigh took.
REAL HOAX, OR COPYCAT?
Updated: Wednesday, Mar. 12, 1997 at 00:32 CST
2nd report surfaces of bombing suspect's purported confession
By Sandy Shore
DENVER (AP) -- Playboy Magazine said in a story on its Internet site Tuesday that Timothy McVeigh reported being thrown against the wall of a YMCA building near the Alfred P. Murrah building when the Oklahoma City bombing occurred.
The report was the second referring to Timothy McVeigh's alleged confession to the Oklahoma City bombing that has been posted on the Internet in nearly two weeks. The previous report was from The Dallas Morning News.
"McVeigh says he was about 20 feet behind the YMCA on Robinson, almost to the parking lot, when the bomb went off at 9:02 a.m. The explosion threw him against the wall of the building," reporter Ben Fenwick wrote.
"He stepped over a fallen power line and continued down the alley, pulling out his earplugs as he did so. He was still wearing his baseball cap," the magazine said.
As he continued toward his car, "broken glass crunched beneath his feet," the magazine said.
McVeigh encountered a mailman en route to his car, the magazine said. The mailman "looked at him and said, `Man, for a second, I thought that was us who blew up.'
"`Yeah, so did I,' McVeigh said," according to the magazine.
Reporter Ben Fenwick said his story was based on lawfully obtained documents prepared by McVeigh's attorneys.
"I believe these are different documents from those reported in The Dallas Morning News, yet appear to corroborate basic facts in the News story," Fenwick wrote.
JDT Commentary: Is that why you wrote the story....to corroborate the DMN?
"`Playboy' has made every effort to confirm the factual accuracy of the following account," Fenwick said. "In cases where there was insufficient, inconclusive or contradictory information, we have relied on the documents."
JDT Commentary: I see.....so rather than admit the documents represent things that could not have happened in the way described, you are going to present them as truth to a credulous public who doesn't know any better.
In a statement released Tuesday night, McVeigh's attorneys said: "These escalating reports of alleged statements by Mr. McVeigh are corrupting the heart of the jury system. The American ideals of justice are being held hostage to sensationalism."
Prosecutors declined comment.
On Feb. 28, The Dallas Morning News reported on its Internet site that McVeigh had confessed to the bombing, using a daytime attack to ensure a "body count."
McVeigh's attorney, Stephen Jones, initially said that the newspaper's story was a hoax, but later said the purported confession had been faked to elicit statements from someone else suspected of being involved in the bombing.
He also accused the newspaper of stealing the false confession and hundreds of other files from his computer.
The newspaper denied the allegation, and said it used lawful techniques to obtain the documents that were the basis for the story.
After reviewing the situation for several days, Jones did not seek a delay in the March 31 start of McVeigh's trial after deciding that prospective jurors had not been compromised by the widely reported Dallas Morning News account.
McVeigh and co-defendant Terry Nichols are charged with murder, conspiracy and weapons-related counts in the April 19, 1995, bombing of the federal building. The blast killed 168 and injured more than 500 others. Nichols will be tried after McVeigh, but a date has not been set.
The Playboy Magazine article described McVeigh's background, including his anti-government views, and reported his travels in the days prior to the bombing until his arrest shortly after it occurred, including the route he took to Oklahoma City.
It also reported a step-by-step account of McVeigh's alleged actions in the moments before the bomb was detonated, including many allegations that have been reported previously.
"He shut off the engine with the truck still in drive and set the parking brake," the magazine said. "He took the key out of the ignition and dropped it behind the seat. Then, he got out and locked the door behind him."
The magazine said McVeigh believed no one had seen him except a woman who was leaving the building as he parked the truck.
After the explosion, when McVeigh reached his car, it took him a few minutes to start the motor, the magazine said.
"McVeigh sat calmly, hearing the sirens of police cars responding to the explosion," the magazine said.
He was arrested a short time later when an Oklahoma state trooper pulled him over on Interstate 35 north of Oklahoma City.
The magazine said as the truck neared the building McVeigh pulled a wire that was attached to a pull-cord detonator attached to the bomb, which flared and lit a five-minute backup fuse.
McVeigh pulled a wire connected to the primary fuse as the truck reached the building, the magazine said.
The magazine also said McVeigh claimed he had no accomplice, but failed portions of a lie detector test that dealt with John Doe No. 2.
It also reported that Jones had complained that his conversations with McVeigh in a federal prison in Oklahoma had been illegally recorded via wiretaps.
JONES WANTS TRIAL MOVED TO ALASKA
The Associated Press
By SANDY SHORE
DENVER (AP) - Upset by two purported confessions attributed to Timothy McVeigh, defense attorneys have asked a judge to throw the case out of court or at least delay the Oklahoma City bombing trial for a year if not move it out of Colorado.
The attorneys contend the confessions reported by The Dallas Morning News and Playboy magazine in the past two weeks have jeopardized the jury pool.
``Misguided media representatives have stripped Mr. McVeigh of any vestige of a presumption of innocent, have poisoned the jury pool with extremely prejudicial news reports and have rendered impossible any opportunity for a fair trial,'' Stephen Jones wrote in a brief filed Friday.
Prosecutors immediately asked U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch to proceed with the trial as scheduled March 31, saying they believe prospective jurors will be impartial and pointing out that those summoned were warned last month to avoid watching or reading news accounts.
``I think nobody expects this case to be delayed for a year. We're pretty confident that our opposition to the motion will prevail,'' prosecutor Joseph Hartzler said.
If the case isn't dismissed or delayed, McVeigh's attorneys want the trial moved, recommending places Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands or Vermont as potential venues.
Both sides met with the judge in closed chambers Friday afternoon. It was not clear when Matsch would rule.
A spokeswoman for a bombing victims' group said the defense team's move was frustrating to survivors and relatives.
``Here the victims again have to sit and wait and we're at everybody's mercy,'' said Marsha Kight. ``We need to look at the big picture here and I sure hope the judge does.''
Playboy and The Morning News have published separate stories claiming that McVeigh confessed to bombing the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in 1995, killing 168 people and injuring more than 500.
McVeigh and co-defendant Terry Nichols are charged with murder, conspiracy and weapons-related counts. If convicted, they face the death penalty.
Playboy posted a story on its Internet site Tuesday, stating that McVeigh told his lawyers he set off the truck bomb that destroyed the building. The magazine said its report was based on documents prepared by McVeigh's attorneys that it obtained legally. Playboy said the documents were not the same ones The Morning News cited in its Feb. 28 report.
That day, the newspaper reported on its Internet site that McVeigh admitted driving the explosives-laden truck.
Jones first claimed the paper's story was a hoax but later said it was a confession faked by the defense team to persuade someone else suspected of being involved in the bombing to talk with investigators.
He accused the newspaper of stealing files from his computer. The newspaper says it obtained the documents legally.
In his brief, Jones called the stories ``incendiary,'' and said the Playboy report was the ``crowning blow.''
``Whether the purported confessions by Mr. McVeigh are true, most jurors who heard of them will think they are and will remember them,'' he wrote. ``Even if they still have a doubt about the truthfulness of the confessions, they will nevertheless be haunted by them.''
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