A message from Timothy McVeigh to his victims.
This recording is from the interviews Lou Michel conducted with
him in prison to write American Terrorist.
I had no hesitation to look right at them and listen to their
story, but I‘d like to say to them, I‘ve heard your story many times
before. The specific details may be unique, but the truth is, you‘re
not the first mother to lose a kid. You‘re not the first grandparent to
lose a granddaughter or a grandson. I‘ll use the phrase, and it sounds
cold, but I‘m sorry, I‘m going to use it, because it‘s the truth—get
Timothy McVeigh, the terrorist behind the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, dressed in army camouflage. McVeigh graduated from U.S Army Infantry School in Georgia and used much of his spare time to read about firearms, sniper tactics, and explosives. McVeigh was reprimanded by the military for purchasing a “White Power” T-shirt at a Ku Klux Klan protest against black servicemen who wore “Black Power” T-shirts around the army base.
April 19, 1995, 8:57 A.M.: A lobby security camera at an apartment complex in downtown Oklahoma City captures a yellow Ryder truck headed toward the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.
April 19, 1995, 9:00 A.M.: The Ryder truck is parked in a drop-off zone in front of the north side of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. The driver exits the vehicle and locks it. The keys to the vehicle are dropped a few blocks away by the driver.
April 19, 1995, 9:02 A.M.: The Ryder truck, packed in excess of 4,800 pounds of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, nitromethane, and diesel fuel mixture, detonates. One-third of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building is destroyed, the explosion of the truck leaves a crater 30 feet wide and 8 feet deep where it was parked, 324 buildings within a 16-block radius are destroyed or badly damaged, and glass is shattered in 258 nearby buildings. The effects of the blast were equivalent to over 5,000 pounds (2,300 kilograms) of TNT. It was heard and felt up to 55 miles (89 kilometers) away. A Seismometer at Science Museum Oklahoma, 4.3 miles (6.9 kilometers) away, and a Seismometer in Norman, Oklahoma, 16.1 miles (25.9 kilometers) away, both recorded the blast as measuring approximately 3.0 on the Richter scale. The explosion caused an estimated $652 million in damage, left several hundred people homeless, and shut down many businesses in downtown Oklahoma City. 680 people were injured. 168 lives, 19 of which were children under the age of 6, were taken.
Today, April 19, 2013, is the 18th anniversary of the bombing in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin released the following statement:
“On this day 18 years ago, our city was forever changed when 168 lives were taken from us in the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building. Today, we remember those who were lost, and offer support to the survivors and families left behind. We also honor the heroic efforts of the emergency responders, firefighters, and law enforcement personnel who worked tirelessly to recover survivors.
In the days after the bombing, our city came together in a display of strength, unity and resiliency that would later become known as the ‘Oklahoma standard.’ That same spirit has allowed our city to overcome this tragedy and emerge stronger than ever.
Our hearts are also burdened today as we grieve for the victims of the bombing attacks in Boston. Oklahoma City knows all too well the pain Boston is experiencing, and we continue to offer our prayers for the victims and their families. Oklahomans – just like all Americans – are a resilient and tough people. We have full confidence that our friends in Boston will emerge from this terrible tragedy stronger.”
Top photo: Vigil held in remembrance of the victims of the OKC bombing. Bottom photo: Vigil held for Martin Richard, killed in the Boston Marathon bombing.
The day I photographed McVeigh left me even more baffled and saddened. I
found him to be intelligent and upbeat and he seemed utterly
remorseless. I’ve long been an opponent of the death penalty, but I shed
no tears for Timothy McVeigh when he was executed in 2001.
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.
Timothy McVeigh detonated the truck bomb which killed 168 and injured over 600 more. The attack became known as the Oklahoma City Bombing and took place on April 19, 1995. He was sentenced to death and was executed by lethal injection on June 11, 2001 at the age of 33.
Timothy “Tim” McVeigh, was an American terrorist who detonated a truck bomb in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. Commonly referred to as the Oklahoma City Bombing, the attack killed 168 people and injured over 800. It was the deadliest act of terrorism within the United States prior to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and remains the deadliest act of domestic terrorism in United States history.
McVeigh, a militia movement sympathizer and Persian Gulf War veteran, sought revenge against the federal government for their handling of the Waco Siege, which ended in the deaths of 76 people exactly two years prior to the bombing, as well as for the Ruby Ridge incident in 1992. McVeigh hoped to inspire a revolt against what he considered to be a tyrannical federal government. He was convicted of eleven federal offenses and sentenced to death. His execution took place on June 11, 2001 at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana.
While incarcerated, Timothy McVeigh had the Federal Bureau of Prisons register # 12076-064. Mcveigh’s death sentence was delayed pending an appeal. One of his appeals for certiorari, taken to the Supreme Court of the United States, was denied on March 8, 1999. McVeigh’s request for a nationally televised execution was also denied. McVeigh and Nichols were housed in “Bomber’s Row”, the same cell block as Ted Kaczynski, Luis Felipe and Ramzi Yousef. On January 16, 2001 the Federal Bureau of Prisons set May 16, 2001 as McVeigh’s execution date. McVeigh stated that his only regret was not completely leveling the federal building. McVeigh chose William Ernest Henley’s poem “Invictus” as his final statement. However, just before the execution, when he was asked if he had a final statement, he declined. Jay Sawyer, relative of one of the victims, noted, “Without saying a word, he got the final word.” Larry Whicher, whose brother died in the attack, described McVeigh as having “a totally expressionless, blank stare. He had a look of defiance and that if he could, he’d do it all over again.”
McVeigh was executed by lethal injection at 7:14 a.m. on June 11, 2001, at the U.S. Federal Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana, the first federal prisoner to be executed by the United States federal government since Victor Feguer was executed in Iowa on March 15, 1963.
The 1995 bombing of Oklahoma City’s Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was a devastating terrorist attack that killed at least 168 people. Among the dead was 21-year-old Lakesha Levy, a member of the Air Force who was at the building to pick up a Social Security card. After Levy’s body was buried, a severed leg was found in the rubble of the building. FBI tests found that the decomposed leg belonged to a black woman. A footprint determined that it belonged to Levy, even though she’d been buried with two legs.
Her body was subsequently exhumed, but officials were unable to determine just where this mystery leg came from. The body’s DNA had been destroyed by the embalming process. According to Oklahoma medical examiner Fred Jordan, “We don’t have a body to match it to. It’s something we haven’t figured out yet.”
On April 19, 1995, a pair of former U.S. Army soldiers parked a rented Ryder truck packed with explosives outside a federal building in Oklahoma City. The blast killed 168 people and injured more than 500 others, and the attack is the worst homegrown terror attack on American soil. The bombing came only two years after the first attack on the World Trade Center. Former U.S. soldier Timothy McVeigh was convicted on 11 counts of murder, conspiracy and using a weapon of mass destruction in the blast, and was later executed. The other ex-soldier, Terry Nichols, was convicted on similar charges and sentenced to life without parole, because the jury deadlocked on the death penalty. The two were motivated by contempt for government, the hatred sharpened by the 1993 federal raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas