Home / Older Categories / Oklahoma City Bombing

Trial Over OKC Bombing Videos Ends

The four day trial over Jesse Trentadue's attempt to obtain additional Oklahoma City Bombing videos has ended. The judge reserved ruling.

The FBI presented witnesses today to say the tapes never existed, which was an 11th hour claim. Up until the last few weeks, its defense had been they couldn't find any such tapes.

Oklahoma trooper Charlie Hangar, who arrested Timothy McVeigh, testified his videocam didn't start recording until McVeigh was in the back seat. Trentadue says reports show another version of Hangar's tape exists that shows cars passing by, including a brown pickup truck that belonged to an acquaintance of McVeigh's.

Another FBI witness testified the report about an FBI agent who tried to sell a tape showing McVeigh and John Doe #2 at the Murrah building to CBS and Dateline was a hoax.


(459 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments

Trial Monday on Production of Missing Video From OKC Bombing

Utah attorney Jesse Trentadue has been fighting for years to obtain videos referenced in Secret Service and FBI timelines of the Oklahoma City Bombing investigation. Trial in his FOIA lawsuit (see IntelFiles case page for background) begins tomorrow in federal court in Utah. Trentadue's brother Kenneth died in an Oklahoma detention facility in 1995. The government claimed his death was a suicide. Jesse says the condition of his brother's body shows it was murder.

On Monday, a three-day trial is scheduled to begin in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City on a lawsuit by lawyer Jesse Trentadue. He filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) seeking documents and videotapes from the bombing investigation — including one tape he believes shows two suspects exiting a Ryder truck parked in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building and the detonation of explosives in the vehicle.


(8 comments, 1321 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments

OKC Bombing: 17 Years Ago Today

Today is the 17th anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing, in which 168 persons were killed and hundreds more injured. It was then, and remains today, the largest act of domestic terrorism in the history of the nation. The Government's investigation into the bombing was, until 9/11, the largest criminal investigation the Government had ever undertaken.

Timothy McVeigh was found guilty and executed in 2001. Terry Nichols was tried in both federal and state court and sentenced to life in prison, a sentence he is currently serving at Supermax in Florence, Colorado.

Speculation has never ceased about whether McVeigh and Nichols acted alone or were aided by others who either went undetected or were ignored during the Government's investigation.

Next week you can get greater insight with the release of Oklahoma City: What the Investigation Missed--and Why It Still Matters by investigative journalists Andrew Gumbel and Roger Charles.[More...]

(2 comments, 1223 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments

Commercializing the Oklahoma City Bombing

Some of you undoubtedly are watching the McVeigh Tapes tonight on MSNBC. They will have a computer generated character, who in their view bears a physical resemblance to Timothy McVeigh, so you have something to look at as they play the audio of tapes made during interviews he granted to the two reporters who wrote the book, American Terrorist.

Since I was one of McVeigh's trial lawyers, I obviously have my own opinions about why he chose to speak to the reporters and what his objectives were -- and how much of what he told them was accurate.

The reason I doubt I'll like Maddow's show is the attempt to politicize it and tie McVeigh to current times and the anti-government feelings some are expressing. There is no connection. And it's long past time to put the conspiracy theories to rest. [More...]

(113 comments, 671 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments

Fourteen Years Ago: A Look Back

April 19, 1995. It was the largest act of domestic terrorism in the history of the country. Until September 11, it was the largest act of mass murder in the United States. It left 168 people dead and more than 500 people injured.

It was a massive case (pdf) to defend. There were:

  • 30,000 interviews of witnesses taken by the FBI and other government agencies.
  • More than 200,000 photographs
  • Records of 156 million telephone calls and over one million hotel and motel registrations
  • Over 500 hours of audio tape and over 400 hours of video tape.
  • 25,000 pages of lab reports and worksheets
  • 23,000 pieces of evidence

It cost the Government $82 million to investigate and prosecute and $10 to $15 million to defend.[More...]

(43 comments, 270 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments

10th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Verdict Against Timothy McVeigh

Ten years ago today, a Denver federal jury returned a death verdict against Timothy McVeigh for the Oklahoma City bombing.

A few weeks ago I sat down with Colorado 850 KOA News Radio host Steffan Tubbs for an interview about what it was like to defend McVeigh. Tubbs also interviewed Houston lawyer Chris Tritico, another principal member of the trial team . The interview aired today as part of a five part series that looks back at the trial.

McVeigh was executed by lethal injection six years ago on June 11, 2001.

What is like to defend the most hated man in America? Would I do it again? You can listen here.

Other parts of the series which include interviews with the prosecutors, victims' families, members of the media and a juror are here.

[Cross-posted at 5280.com]

(3 comments) Permalink :: Comments

A Bad Week in History: Waco, Oklahoma City and Columbine

Today is a bad day for history. It is the anniversary of the tragic deaths of the Branch Davidians at Waco in 1993.

It is also the 12th anniversary of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. (Disclosure: I was one of Timothy McVeigh's trial lawyers, so don't bother ranting about him in the comments, it will be deleted.)

Tomorrow, April 20, is the anniversary of the Columbine killings.

One of the lasting legal effects of the OKC bombing was President Bill Clinton's Anti-Terrorism and Death Penalty Enforcement Act (pdf), which restricted habeas corpus rights and added many new death penalty eligible offenses.

Like I said the other day about why we shouldn't rush to enact gun control laws in the aftermath of Virginia Tech, we should never enact laws as an emotional response to a single tragedy, no matter how horrific. Cooler heads are needed.

(13 comments) Permalink :: Comments

House to Investigate Foreign Connection to OKC Bombing

As if we needed another wasteful Congressional investigation. California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, Chair of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the International Relations Committee, announced yesterday a House panel will investigate whether there was a foreign connection to the Oklahoma City Bombing.

Can we move on, please? This has been investigated to death, by the prosecution and two separate defense teams. If the House wants to search for foreign terrorists, why not concentrate on Osama?

(21 comments) Permalink :: Comments

Michael Fortier to Get New Identity on Release

Yesterday I wrote about Michael Fortier's impending release Friday from prison. He's done with his 12 year sentence--he served 10 1/2 years, 85%. Fortier pleaded guilty to knowing about plans to bomb the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995 and not reporting it to authorities, as well as lesser offenses.

Tonight the Dallas Morning News reports that Fortier, his wife Lori (who received immunity from prosecution in exchange for her testimony against McVeigh and Nichols) and their children will immediately be whisked off into the Witness Protection program, given new identities and moved to a new location.

This reaction by one of the survivors of the bombing is particularly insightful:

(2 comments, 487 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments

Michael Fortier to Be Released From Prison

Michael Fortier, who pleaded guilty to knowing about plans to bomb the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995 and not reporting the plans to authorities is set to be released from prison, having finished 85% of his 12 year sentence. Fortier testified against McVeigh and Nichols.

Fortier, who served in the Army with bombing conspirators Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols....also pleaded guilty to helping McVeigh and Nichols move and sell stolen guns, and for lying to federal authorities after the Oklahoma City bombing.

Fortier could have been sentenced to 23 years but because of his cooperation against McVeigh and Nichols, was sentenced to only 12. His wife received immunity from prosecution in exchange for her testimony.

Fortier's plea agreement is here.

(13 comments) Permalink :: Comments

Terry Nichols Meets With Congressman

Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), who supports efforts to reinvestigate the Oklahoma City Bombing, has been trying for weeks to meet with Terry Nichols at the AdMax prison in Florence, CO where Nichols is serving his life sentence. The meeting took place last week, and LA Weekly has this extensive account. Rohrabacher is pursuing theories that Timothy McVeigh had the help of middle-eastern men to carry off the bombing.

To me, as one of McVeigh's trial lawyers, the interesting part of the LA Weekly article is that Nichols' has finally admitted he robbed Roger Moore, the Arkansas gun dealer.

Terry Nichols' mother is giving interviews as well, and says Terry didn't know what McVeigh was going to do with the bomb he helped McVeigh build. She says Terry thought McVeigh was going to bomb a monument. The LA Weekly article says,

(1 comment, 244 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments

Terry Nichols Refuses to Testify Before New Grand Jury

Convicted Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols refused to testify last week before a federal grand jury in Denver investigating explosives recently found under his old house. He said the grand jury is not the right forum.

Nichols, 50, has said he would cooperate with a congressional investigation. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., is considering a probe into the bombing and is seeking to meet with Nichols in prison.

McDonnell said her brother does not feel safe at the federal supermax prison in Florence, Colo. "He feels his life is very threatened," she said. Other inmates "have told him he has been marked as a snitch and marked for murder, and so he's very fearful for his life."

She blamed FBI misconduct for the problem but would not elaborate. His life has been put in danger, and we don't appreciate it," she said. ....In late March, agents discovered explosives under Nichols' old house, acting on information that came indirectly from another inmate, mobster Gregory Scarpa Jr. Nichols later complained in letters to victims that Scarpa had mixed the truth about the explosives with lies in an effort to get a reduced prison sentence.

(3 comments) Permalink :: Comments

Next 12 >>