Alfred P. Murrah building

On This Day in History

April 19th, 1995

Timothy McVeigh executed what is now known as the Oklahoma City Bombings. He bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Building. There were 168 confirmed deaths.


April 19th, 1999

Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold went to Outback Steakhouse for dinner. The following day they would shoot up their high school, killing 13 others and injuring 24. They would later kill themselves.

3

A letter sent to Timothy McVeigh by the mother of one of his victims.


Timothy McVeigh
12076-064-D
P.O. Box 433
Terre Haute, Indiana 47808

Mr. McVeigh:

My name is (redacted). I am the mother of (redacted) died in the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995.

That day, my life was changed forever. There have been many changes, not only for me but for my entire family. One of the most difficult things we have had to cope with, however, is the fact that not only was (redacted) taken away from us, but we have never figured out why it happened. Knowing “why” will not bring her back, and it will not give me “closure” — but it will help me.

I followed the trial carefully. I know what is in the court records. I know what the jurors said after the trial. They said you were guilty. But that can’t be 100% real to me until I have heard it from you personally.

I have harbored a dream for almost six years now that one day I would be able to sit in a room with you and ask you questions that would help me to understand why (redacted) had to die. When you asked that there be no more appeals in your case and an execution date was set, I knew that the possibility that I would ever get to talk to you had virtually vanished.

That is why I am writing to you today. I am hoping that, as you prepare for your final days, you will help me find some peace around (redacted)’s death. I am hoping that you will read this letter and know that my questions come from an anguished mother, not as someone who seeks vengeance. I am seeking only understanding.

Most of all, I want to understand you. I would like to know more about what happened in your life leading up to April 19. I hope that you will request the Warden of the prison to allow me to visit you to talk about these things in person, but if that is not possible, I hope you will answer me by mail. I am not seeking an apology nor do I want to lash out at you. I just want to try to see things from your perspective, from your experience - or to find out if it is even possible for me to begin to understand.

I have wondered how your childhood shaped your adulthood. I know your mom left you, and as a mother, I could never imagine leaving my child. I know that must have hurt you. But I have known many children who have been hurt who did not grow up to hurt others. And nothing i’ve seen of your dad or your sister makes me think that they hurt you.

In my mind, I can see you as a member of our country’s armed forces. You were a decorated soldier. At one point, you must have been a proud and patriotic American. When did that change? When did your love of country become hatred for your government? Was it something you experienced while you were in the military? Was it something that happened while you were in the Middle East? Was it drugs? Did it have anything to do with how you were treated when you returned from service overseas? The court records indicated that you were influenced by reading The Turner Diaries, but were you disaffected before then? Or did that come later?

I wonder about your relationship with Terry Nichols. You reported to him when you were in boot camp, but how did the relationship change over time and what that relationship is even now? Do you still view him as a commanding officer? Are you friends?

I’ve tried to imagine what might have been going through your mind as you sat on the hood of your car watching the Branch Davidian compound in Waco burn down, knowing that there were people in that complex. I’ve tried to imagine what thoughts were going through your mind as you bought the ingredients to build a bomb and rented a truck and drove to the Murrah building on that April day. Most of all, i’ve wondered what your thoughts have been about since April 19, 1995.

Have you thought about the people who died or were injured? Have you thought about their families and friends? Can you imagine what it must be like for those of us who have been left behind? Are you sad about their deaths? Can you see them as innocent victims, not as representatives of a government you believed was evil?

If I were sitting across a table from you, I know I would find it difficult to think of all the questions I would like to ask, just as I find it difficult to even write them down. But I hope you can imagine how strong my need to know and understand is, and always will be. I hope and pray that you will answer my questions. You are the only one who can do it, and our time is running out.

You have nothing to lose by helping me. I have everything to gain.

Sincerely,
Redacted


5

Cult Calendar – April 19, 1993

The 51 day stand-off ends in a fiery climax,  beginning with the FBI tear-gassing the compound, resulting in more shooting and several fires, the starting of which is attributed to the Branch Davidians. The siege ultimately claims the lives of 76, including two pregnant women and over 20 children. David Koresh and others were later found to have been shot in the head indicating suicide or assisted suicide. 

Two years later, Timothy McVeigh detonates explosives outside of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City as revenge for the siege at Waco.

(Previous Cult Calendar Waco posts 1 & 2 )

buzzfeed.com
Man Charged With Trying To Blow Up Oklahoma City Building
Jerry Drake Varnell, 23, allegedly told undercover FBI agents he wanted to carry out an attack like the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh.
By Mike Hayes

A self-proclaimed anti-government revolutionary has been charged with trying to blow up an Oklahoma City bank with a 1,000-pound bomb that turned out to be fake, according to court documents.

Jerry Drake Varnell, 23, on Friday drove what he believed to be a stolen cargo van packed with chemical explosives into Oklahoma City and parked the van in an alley next to the BancFirst building, authorities said.

He had intended to execute an attack like the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing by homegrown terrorist Timothy McVeigh, but was unaware that the plot was doomed by months of planning and coordination with undercover FBI agents, according to the criminal complaint.

The case dates back to Dec. 21, when a confidential source informed the FBI that Varnell was allegedly interested in bombing the Federal Reserve Building in Washington, DC, in a manner similar to the 1995 attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

The confidential source, who the FBI said was serving a prison sentence for a probation violation, started a dialog with Varnell through encrypted chat applications and Facebook Messenger.

According to the FBI, Varnell told the confidential source things like, “I’m out for blood. When militias start getting formed, I’m going after government officials when I have a team.”

He also allegedly discussed the possibility of explosives, telling the source, “I think I’m going to go with what the okc bomber used. Diesel and anhydrous ammonia.“

Varnell continued to discuss the attack with the source over the course of several months, claiming that he was in the process of putting together a team, authorities said. He also brought the source to a “bunker” he was assembling on his parents’ property, where he lived.

At one point, Varnell allegedly told an undercover FBI agent that he wanted to switch his target from the Federal Reserve Building in DC to the BancFirst building. When he was asked why he wanted to change targets, Varnell allegedly said "I don’t want to kill a bunch of people.”

On June 1, the confidential source arranged for Varnell to meet with an undercover FBI agent known only as “the professor,” who they said could obtain the explosives and help construct the bomb. At the meeting, Varnell said he held a “three-percenter ideology,” a reference to the heavily armed militia group. Varnell also agreed to let the undercover agent obtain the explosives for him instead of him trying to make them himself, the complaint states.

The fake conspirators met several times and communicated on encrypted chat over the next several months. According to court documents, the FBI agent, per sting operation protocol, gave Varnell several opportunities to back out of the operation, but each time he expressed a desire to move forward.

On Aug. 11, Varnell met with the undercover agent and assisted the agent in the construction of what he thought was a 1,000-pound ammonium nitrate/fuel oil bomb at a storage facility in El Reno, Oklahoma.

Shortly after midnight on Aug. 12, authorities say Varnell drove in what he believed to be the stolen cargo van from El Reno to an alley outside the BancFirst building. After parking the van, he walked several blocks to where the undercover agent was parked, and the two drove several miles.

Varnell then allegedly attempted to detonate the bomb by dialing a number on the FBI agent’s "burner phone,” which actually rang a phone belonging to the FBI.

Varnell dialed the number at least three times, according to court documents, but the bomb constructed of inert parts never detonated. He was then arrested by members of the FBI task force.

Timothy McVeigh

Timothy McVeigh is wildly known for committing one of the deadliest bombings in history, and one of the worst operations of terrorism. In 1997 during his trial a jury in Denver found him guilty of murder and conspiracy and he was sentenced to death and he was executed by lethal injection for his crime in 2001. He was born in Pendleton, New york where he was raised in a common environment of the working class.In 1988 he joined the army and was highly regarded for his heroism in Operation Desert Storm before he was discharged. He killed a total of 168 people during the bombing of the Alfred P Murrah building in Ohklahoma city, and he became known as the perpetrator of the Oklahoma city bombing.

Growing up his hobbies consisted of church bingo and football. His parents divorced due to their poor cooperation and disputes. Eventually Tim decided to live with his father and became close with his grandfather, who was the first one to show him guns. During this time he read the anti-government tome by neo-Nazi William Pearce which influenced his ideas about governments plans to repeal the Second Amendment. Because of his slim figure and bony physique Tim was bullied in high school which may have fueled his anger and caused resentment. Once he graduated in 1986 he achieved a partial scholarship for business school but he later dropped out and instead he signed up for the U.S Army and became a honorable solider, obtaining the Bronze Star for bravery in the Persian Gulf War. He became a special candidate for Special Forces, but dropped out after it had been merely two days and he detached himself from the Military. He was eventually discharged.

Timothy McVeigh was responsible for one of the worst terrorist acts ever committed by an American citizen, the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995. McVeigh was raised in a rural community in upstate New York after his parents separated in 1978. A loner in high school McVeigh enlisted in the army in 1988 and rose through the ranks to platoon leader. In 1991, after winning a Bronze Star in the Persian Gulf War, he failed to complete Green Beret school, and this failure increased his dissatisfaction with the government.

Although McVeigh was never linked to militant antigovernment groups, he soon began planning revenge for the deaths that occurred during the Waco Siege. He had been present at Waco when the siege was occurring and felt that the government was responsible for the deaths. He enlisted the help of his friend from the army, Terry Nichols, and together they took steps to build and place a bomb at the Alfred P Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, as McVeigh mistakenly believed the government order for the waco assault had originated from there.

On April 19th, 1995, McVeigh parked a rented Ryder truck at the north side of the Federal Building, and minutes after, a fertiliser and fuel oil bomb exploded, immediately collapsing about a third of the building and killing 168 people. McVeigh was convicted of the crime and was executed by lethal injection in 2001.

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2017 Sundance Film Festival

PREMIERES

Beatriz at Dinner” / U.S.A. (Director: Miguel Arteta, Screenwriter: Mike White) — Beatriz, an immigrant from a poor town in Mexico, has drawn on her innate kindness to build a career as a health practitioner. Doug Strutt is a cutthroat, self-satisfied billionaire. When these two opposites meet at a dinner party, their worlds collide and neither will ever be the same. Cast: Salma Hayek, John Lithgow. World Premiere

Before I Fall” / U.S.A. (Director: Ry Russo-Young, Screenwriter: Maria Maggenti) — Samantha Kingston has everything. Then, everything changes. After one fateful night, she wakes up with no future at all. Trapped into reliving the same day over and over, she begins to question just how perfect her life really was. Cast: Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage, Logan Miller, Kian Lawley, Elena Kampouris, Diego Boneta. World Premiere

The Big Sick” / U.S.A. (Director: Michael Showalter, Screenwriters: Emily V. Gordon, Kumail Nanjiani) — Based on the real-life courtship: Pakistan-born comedian Kumail and grad student Emily fall in love, but they struggle as their cultures clash. When Emily contracts a mysterious illness, Kumail must navigate the crisis with her parents and the emotional tug-of-war between his family and his heart. Cast: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, Anupam Kher. World Premiere

Call Me by Your Name” / Italy, France (Director: Luca Guadagnino, Screenwriters: James Ivory, Luca Guadagnino) — The sensitive and cultivated Elio, only child of the American-Italian-French Perlman family, is facing another lazy summer at his parents’ villa in the beautiful and languid Italian countryside when Oliver, an academic who has come to help with Elio’s father’s research, arrives. Cast: Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar, Esther Garrel, Victoire Du Bois. World Premiere

The Discovery” / U.S.A. (Director: Charlie McDowell, Screenwriters: Charlie McDowell, Justin Lader) — In a world where the afterlife has just been scientifically proven—resulting in millions of people taking their own lives to “get there”—comes this love story. Cast: Jason Segel, Rooney Mara, Robert Redford, Jesse Plemons, Riley Keough, Ron Canada. World Premiere

Fun Mom Dinner” / U.S.A. (Director: Alethea Jones, Screenwriter: Julie Rudd) — Four women, whose kids attend the same preschool class, get together for a “fun mom dinner.” When the night takes an unexpected turn, these unlikely new friends realize they have more in common than just marriage and motherhood. Together, they reclaim a piece of the women they used to be. Cast: Katie Aselton, Toni Collette, Bridget Everett, Molly Shannon, Adam Scott, Adam Levine. World Premiere

The Incredible Jessica James” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Jim Strouse) — Jessica James, an aspiring NYC playwright, is struggling to get over a recent breakup. She sees a light at the end of the tunnel when she meets the recently divorced Boone. Together, they discover how to make it through the tough times while realizing they like each other—a lot. Cast: Jessica Williams, Chris O’Dowd, Keith Stanfield, Noël Wells. World Premiere. CLOSING NIGHT FILM

The Last Word” / U.S.A. (Director: Mark Pellington, Screenwriter: Stuart Ross Fink) — Harriett is a retired businesswoman who tries to control everything around her. When she decides to write her own obituary, a young journalist takes up the task of finding out the truth, resulting in a life-altering friendship. Cast: Shirley MacLaine, Amanda Seyfried, Anne Heche, Thomas Sadoski, Philip Baker Hall. World Premiere

Manifesto” / Germany (Director and screenwriter: Julian Rosefeldt) — Can history’s art manifestos apply to contemporary society? An homage to the twentieth century’s most impassioned artistic statements and innovators, from Futurists and Dadaists to Pop Art, Fluxus, Lars von Trier and Jim Jarmusch, this series of reenactments performed by Cate Blanchett explores these declarations’ performative components and political significance. Cast: Cate Blanchett. World Premiere

Mudbound” / U.S.A. (Director: Dee Rees, Screenwriters: Virgil Williams, Dee Rees, Hillary Jordan) — In the post– World War II South, two families are pitted against a barbaric social hierarchy and an unrelenting landscape as they simultaneously fight the battle at home and the battle abroad. This epic pioneer story is about friendship, heritage and the unending struggle for and against the land. Cast: Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Jason Mitchell, Mary J. Blige, Garrett Hedlund, Jonathan Banks. World Premiere

The Polka King” / U.S.A. (Director: Maya Forbes, Screenwriters: Maya Forbes, Wally Wolodarsky) — Based on the remarkable true story of the world’s only known Polka Ponzi scheme, this mix of comedy and tragedy is about Jan Lewan, a polish immigrant who believed in the American Dream. But with big dreams came big mistakes for the man who became the “King of Pennsylvania Polka.” Cast: Jack Black, Jenny Slate, Jason Schwartzman, Jacki Weaver, J.B. Smoove. World Premiere

Rebel in the Rye” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Danny Strong) — This portrait of the life and mind of reclusive author J.D. Salinger goes from the bloody front lines of World War II to his early rejections and the PTSD-fueled writer’s block that led to his iconic novel, The Catcher in the Rye. Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Kevin Spacey, Sarah Paulson, Zoey Deutch, Hope Davis, Victor Garber. World Premiere

Rememory” / U.S.A., Canada (Director: Mark Palansky, Screenwriters: Michael Vukadinovich, Mark Palansky) — A famed inventor found dead. A machine that can record people’s memories. A man haunted by the past. This noir mystery explores the ways in which memory defines the present. Cast: Peter Dinklage, Julia Ormond, Martin Donovan, Anton Yelchin, Henry Ian Cusick, Evelyne Brochu. World Premiere

Sidney Hall” / U.S.A. (Director: Shawn Christensen, Screenwriters: Shawn Christensen, Jason Dolan) — Over the course of 12 years, and three stages of life, Sidney Hall falls in love, writes the book of a generation and then disappears without a trace. Cast: Logan Lerman, Elle Fanning, Kyle Chandler, Michelle Monaghan, Nathan Lane, Margaret Qualley. World Premiere

Where is Kyra?” / U.S.A. (Director: Andrew Dosunmu, Screenwriters: Andrew Dosunmu, Darci Picoult) — Pushed to the brink after losing her job, a woman struggles to survive. As the months pass and her troubles deepen, she embarks on a perilous and mysterious journey that threatens to usurp her life. Cast: Michelle Pfeiffer, Kiefer Sutherland. World Premiere

Wilson” / U.S.A. (Director: Craig Johnson, Screenwriter: Daniel Clowes) — Wilson, a lonely, neurotic and hilariously honest middle-aged misanthrope, reunites with his estranged wife and gets a shot at happiness when he learns he has a teenage daughter he has never met. In his uniquely outrageous and slightly twisted way, he sets out to connect with her. Cast: Woody Harrelson, Laura Dern, Judy Greer. World Premiere

Wind River” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Taylor Sheridan) — An FBI agent teams with the town’s veteran game tracker to investigate a murder that occurred on a Native American reservation. Cast: Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Jon Bernthal. World Premiere

Keep reading

Man Arrested in Timothy McVeigh Type Bomb Plot

On August 14th 2017, Jerry Vernell was taken into custody by the FBI after he planned to bomb the BancFirst building, which stands only a few blocks from where the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building once was. Vernell’s plot was foiled by an undercover FBI agent, who acted as his potential accomplice, posing in the roll much like the one Terry Nichols assumed in the 1995 bombing.

The agent helped Jerry build what he believed was a 1,000 pound explosive. They loaded the “bomb” into a truck, where it was driven into Oklahoma City. When Vernell attempted to detonate the bomb with his cellphone, he was arrested and taken into custody. He could face up to twenty years in prison for “malicious attempted destruction of a building in interstate commerce”. Jerry idolized Timothy McVeigh and hated the government. He was quoted saying that he was “out for blood.” The Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum said in their official statement;“We are disheartened that a young man who calls Oklahoma home would resort to domestic terrorism, knowing the deep sense of loss still felt by people impacted by the Oklahoma City bombing.” 

Some of the 168 chairs part of the Oklahoma City Memorial. The Alfred P Murrah federal building was destroyed 20 years ago today by Timothy McVeigh, a white supremacist and anti-government fanatic. The bomb, which blew up at 9:01 am, killed 168 people, including many children in the day care center housed in the building.

Politicalprof wrote about these events, and the broader right wing anti- government movement, in Rage On the Right: The American Militia Movement from Ruby Ridge to Homeland Security.

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Today it’s 20 years since Oklahoma City bombing

Timothy James McVeigh (April 23, 1968 - June 11, 2001)
Perpetrator of this terrible crime was then 26 years old McVeigh. He was American war veteran who participated in The Gulf War. He later told that his motive for the bombing was revenge to federal authorities for tragic end of the Waco Siege (it was exactly two years before bombing and back then 76 people died there). McVeigh hoped to inspire a revolt against what he considered to be a tyrannical federal government.

On April 19, 1995 McVeigh parked truck next to the The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. Inside of the truck were about 2300 kg mixture created of NH4NO3, nitromethane and diesel fuel. He then went away and detonated the bomb from the distance. Result? 168 dead people and many others injured. (19 victims were little kids)

McVeigh confessed to this crime. He was sentenced to death. McVeigh was executed by lethal injection on June 11, 2001, at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Well I was a little girl when this happened but it always hits me over again to hear or read somewhere about it. It makes me even more sad when I realize that Eric and Dylan wanted to carry out their plan on this date too… in the end they did it a day later. Cannot believe one of this tragedies happened a 20 years ago and the other one (tomorrow it will be) 16 years ago. I always felt very close to Eric and Dylan because I was bullied in the school too… and I guess it is because I am way different then my classmates… but they did something unforgivable… I just wish neither of these tragedies would never happened and all these people would be alive and living their lives…

On Monday, June 10, 2001, Timothy McVeigh was “calm” as the hour of his death approached, spending his last day on earth in a stark 9-by-14-foot cell, watching TV, enjoying a last meal of ice cream and saying goodbye to his family and his lawyers.

“His attitude and demeanor was very good. He continued to be affable,” said Robert Nigh, a lawyer for the right-wing terrorist who killed 168 people when he blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995.

[S]ince 9/11 extremists affiliated with a variety of far-right wing ideologies, including white supremacists, anti-abortion extremists and anti-government militants, have killed more people in the United States than have extremists motivated by al Qaeda’s ideology. According to a count by the New America Foundation, right wing extremists have killed 34 people in the United States for political reasons since 9/11…

Of course, the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil prior to 9/11 was the Oklahoma City bombing, which was masterminded by Timothy McVeigh, a man with deep ties to far-right militant circles. McVeigh killed 168 people when he bombed the Alfred P. Murrah federal building on April 19, 1995.

Despite this history of deadly violence by individuals motivated by political ideologies other than al Qaeda, it is jihadist violence that continues to dominate the news and the attention of policy makers.

— 

U.S. right wing extremists more deadly than jihadists

Note: This article was written in April and does not reflect Amanda and Jerad Miller’s recent murder spree in its numbers.

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Famous Last Meals: What They Ate Before They Were Executed

Timothy McVeigh (pictured above): This terrorist and mass murderer, detonated a bomb at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995, killing 168 people and injuring over 600. He was executed on June 11, 2001 by lethal injection. 

For his last meal he had two pints of Ben and Jerry’s mint chocolate chip ice cream. 

Aileen Wuornos: This prostitute turned serial killer was executed on October 9, 2002 for the murders of seven men, whom she shot to death in 1989/1990. 

Wuornos declined a last meal, and instead had a cup of coffee before she was executed by lethal injection. 

John Wayne Gacy: The Killer Clown was a serial killer and rapist who murdered at least 33 teenage boys between 1972 and 1978. 

Gacy ate quite the meal, consuming a dozen deep-fried shrimp, a bucket of KFC original recipe chicken, french fries, and a pound of strawberries. He was executed by lethal injection on May 10, 1994. 

Velma Barfield: Dubbed “Death Row Granny”, Velma was convicted of one murder, but eventually confessed to six. 

She also rejected having the typical last meal, but did as for a bag of Cheez Doodles and a can of Coca-Cola. She was executed by lethal injection in 1984. 

Ted Bundy: This famous serial killer killed at least 30 young women and girls at least by 1974 (although some attribute crimes to him as early as 1961), and 1978. The elusive killer had escaped police custody twice, to continue his killing rampages. 

Bundy declined a last meal also, so he was given the traditional last meal–steak, eggs, hash browns, toast, and coffee. He refused to eat any of it. He was executed in the electric chair in 1989. 

Bruno Hauptman: Convicted of the kidnapping and murder of the Lindbergh baby, Bruno’s actual guilt is highly questioned today. 

Nevertheless, he ate quite the last meal: chicken, french fries, buttered peas, a bowl of olives and celery, with some cherries, and a slice of cake.  He was executed on April 3, 1936, by electrocution.