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tv   The Mc Veigh Tapes Confessions  MSNBC  July 17, 2011 1:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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on april 19th, 1995, an anti-government extremist committed the worst act of domestic terrorism the united states had ever seen. in this special program, a stunning account of the oklahoma city bombing. the inside story, a detailed version as it's never been heard before because, now, it could be told by the terrorist himself. ms m msnbc obtained 45 hours of audiotape interviews in which timothy mcvague describes the planning and the execution and the motivations behind his horrific attack.
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>> we've got a lot of people here. >> see with these tapes i feel very free in talking. here, i'm just letting it all come out. >> oklahoma city bomb timothy mcvague never confessed his crimes to the fbi, the courts or the media, except for a single series of interviews that have never been heard publicly until now. >> death and loss are an entei enteringal part of life everywhere. >> mcvague's voice will lay out his version of events using new facial replacement technology, we transform re-creation shot
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with actors into visuals that graphically place mcvague into the very scenes he describes. drawing from 45 hours of exclusive audiotapes, we'll go deeper than ever thought possible into the mindset of this calculating killer. >> people have compared oklahoma city to pearl harbor. as far as the impact of the psyche on the american people. one of the chief intentions was the same as dropping the bomb at huh- huroche mu. >> this is one kid who got it in his head that he could play god. >> when mcveigh talks about the actual bombing, he's not almost bragging, he's boasting completely, but you know what the guy is talking about is mass murder on an incredible scale, including the murder of children. >> first of all, i believe there is no hell. if i go further and say even if there is, i don't think i'm going.
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>> can you imagine like if oswald had the chance to spill his guts? i knew i had one of the most saddest and horrible stories that has ever been told in american journalism. >> i never had trouble admitting to my involvement in what i did because i feel no shame for it. you see, with these tapes, i feel very free in talking. you've got this adrenaline pumping, but you force yourself to stay calm. i then pulled up to the light which and let the fuse which was approximately two minutes. you could see the ridiculous nature of someone calling me a
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coward with a 7,000 pound bomb. i lit the two-minute fuse at stoplight and i swear to god that was the longest stoplight i ever sat in in my life. i'm thinking, okay, it's lit. green. green. i'm down, what, a minute 30? i pulled up to the building, pulled the parking brake, turned it off, and then i made sure my door was locked. stepped out and walked across the street. the mission was accomplished. i knew it was accomplished and it was over. >> without warning, all of a sudden, you hear this, you know, kaboom. it's just seconds that you just don't know what's happening. >> the first sound was the blast
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itself. the second sound was -- because the whole front of the building was glass. >> we've got everybody on the second floor out. >> everybody from the second up there, okay? >> i was hollering help, and there was six floors on us, but we didn't know it. people were everywhere, babies were crying and they were saying, where are you? we'll get you. where are you? >> i just remember the ceiling falling in, the windows shattering glass everywhere, and it being smokey. >> were our children on there? >> this is our office. we don't know the children. >> i saw mothers running down the street screaming because they couldn't find their kids. i was trying to get in the building, and this policeman yelled at me. and i said, but you don't understand. my little boy's in there. i've got to go in there and get them. >> i could see debris and emptiness in the front of the building. people walking wounded trying to get out of the building and it was a constant sounding of fire alarms or some sort of alarms
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going off in all directions. >> hell is breaking loose because nobody knows what's going on. and you walked out in the street and people are running and yelling and it seems like everybody's bleeding. >> the blast destroys one-third of the alfred p. murrah building creating a 30-foot wide, eight-foot deep crater and the equivalent of a 3.0 earthquake. overall, 324 buildings in a 16-block radius are damaged or destroyed. >> i thought first, well, maybe we had a natural gas explosion. but if it wasn't that, maybe we had an earthquake. and if it wasn't an earthquake, maybe a plane hit the building. >> but investigators quickly determine the cause of the massive destruction. >> the fbi, we are told now, has confirmed that it was a bomb that caused this explosion. >> this is one of the critical.
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>> millions around the world watch and wrestle with the mystery of why such a quiet midwestern city could be the target of a terrorist attack. >> it's a pretty all-american, average city. so you think, why here? why on earth would somebody do something so vicious in the middle of the heartland? >> up to that point, nothing like that had ever happened in the united states. >> as soon as we get an ambulance here, we'll have you in the air, all right? >> immediately after the bomb went off, there were commentators all over this country saying, you know, it's the muslims. it's the foreigners. >> some group calling itself the nation of islam saying it was responsible. that has not, however, been confirmed. but it does look like it could have been the kind of device that we saw outside the american embassy in beirut. >> this is the kind of thing that came out of the immediate rush to judgement, about this could never be an american. this has to be some terrible foreign person who is coming
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into, you know, attack us and our freedoms. >> while rumors and speculation about who is responsible swirl among the media, fbi agents are fortunate to catch a solid lead early on day one. >> within three hours of the bombing itself, the rear axle to the bomb-laden truck was found. that rear axle had a confidential vehicle identification number. we were able to identify an individual by the name of timothy mcveigh was probably one of the main primary subjects. and the investigation started from there. >> on friday, just a couple of days after the bombing, we discovered all of a sudden that this fellow, timothy mcveigh, was sitting in a jail, a local jail, north of oklahoma city and had been sitting there since the afternoon of the bombing. so all of a sudden it kind of came crashing in on all of us that this was very much a domestic event.
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>> i think that the first reaction was total shock. that it was a kid from the american countryside who had done the work of international terrorists. >> i think people were intrigued by mcveigh. he was a decorated veteran. he came back from desert storm, so it made it doubly tough for people to figure out. >> back in mcveigh's birthplace, buffa buffalo, new york, lou michelle was looking for a way to work the hometown angle to get to the heart of who this guy was. >> the fact that timothy mcveigh lived in niagara county, 15 minutes from my home. i wanted to know how niagara county could spawn such an evil act. i made it my business to become an expert on timothy mcveigh. because it isn't every day that one of the worst domestic terrorists in american history comes from your backyard. >> by the winter of 1999, four years after the bombing, timothy
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mcveigh has been tried, convicted and sentenced to death. the looming execution sparked a mad sprint among media outlets around the world to get an exclusive interview. on paper, lou michel didn't stand a chance. >> you had "the new york times," you had the "l.a. times," you had the "washington post" vying for interviews. so i had very low expectations. and in '99 he sent me this letter saying, lou, i've considered a lot of different print journalists wanting to tell my story and i'd like you to consider it. and i was just flabbergasted. >> what resulted was "american terrorist," the only authorized biography ever written on timothy mcveigh. the 45 hours of audiotapes from those jailhouse interviews had been boxed up and collecting dust. until now.
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>> i was really glad the tapes were rolling so that other people at some point in the future would hear this. and gain a better understanding of what a terrorist thinks. >> nobody has ever heard mcveigh in his own words speak about the bombing. >> well, here is a blueprint, an oral blueprint of what turned one young man into one of the worst mass murderers and terrorists in american history. >> the shrink would conclude, i'm not sure if they used the word psychopath or sociopath, that is they have no respect for human life. far from that. i have great respect. but i also realize that my nature as a human being, that humans kill. ♪ going to the bank without going to the bank... that's a step forward. with chase quickdeposit on your smartphone, you just snap a picture, hit send and done.
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lou michel is about to meet timothy mcveigh for the first of
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a series of interviews that will become the backbone of the only authorized biography of the oklahoma city bomber. by may of 1999, mcveigh has been convicted and sentenced to death for the oklahoma city bombing. but he's still appealing the conviction. >> mcveigh is sitting there drumming his fingers across the table, and he says, you're late. you know, timothy mcveigh considered himself a military man. i said, you're right, i'm late, but it was because of all the security checks i had to go through, and then he smiles at me and he says, i knew it was the government. >> the men spend the first several hours of the interview with basic small talk. mcveigh eventually delves into a darker place, pulling lou michel into the mindset of someone facing imminent death. >> i'm not going to go into that courtroom and curl into a fetal ball just because the victims want me to.
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i've already accepted my death. you can have what you want. i'll go to my death. you can be happy, i'll be happy. >> mcveigh was done with life. this was his ultimate statement. i knew i was there to get a confession from him. >> i learned to put a check on anything that comes out of my mouth, but today i'm deciding basically [ muted ] that, we've got to lay down the record as it is. >> up to this point, mcveigh had said nothing publicly about his involvement in the bombing. but with a death sentence approaching, mcveigh chooses to trust lou michel and wastes little time getting to the core of the story. he begins by describing what drove him to choose the murrah building as his target. >> there had to be at least two law enforcement agencies in the building. criteria was vulnerable but isolated from other buildings so you minimize collateral damage.
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i didn't have the ability to scope out every federal building in the nation, but i did scope out a number so i could pick the best out among those. >> didn't matter. anybody who carried a gun, carried a badge, had the ability to knock down your door, take away your personal possessions, incarcerate you. anybody like that, to him, became the enemy. >> the building was chosen out of a phone book. looking in the blue pages and looking under law enforcement agencies. if you look under dea and u.s. marshall, atf, if they started giving the same address, you know, they're all in one building. >> i think that what most people probably have not realized is how very carefully some of the details of this were planned out and for how long he had really been thinking about how to carry this off.
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>> mcveigh's plan requires the acquisition of thousands of pounds of materials. all needing to be stored without detection. a job this big is too much for one person, so mcveigh calls on one of his only friends. ex-army buddy terry nichols. >> terry nichols certainly believed the federal government was against the average person. he considered himself to be a prisoner in a country that wasn't his. >> beginning in september of '94 is really when they started to gather the ingredients. >> the both of them were buying the material for the bomb and collecting it. it was like a long-term project for them. because this is a 7,000-pound bomb they're building. >> they are going and making large purchases of ammonium nitrate in these 50-pound bags. this granular fertilizer that will make up half the bomb. they've got various storage sites where they're storing it
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and getting ready to pull it all together. >> mcveigh had nichols totally under his control. from the beginning, the plan was mcveigh's. nichols was a big player. >> in october 1994, mcveigh and nichols break into a rock quarry in marian, kansas. they already have tons of material to create the bomb but still need the mechanism to ignite the device. >> he steals a lot of explosives. that, a, would have been very difficult to get, and if you could get it, would have been very expensive and could have possibly left a trail or could have tripped them up. so stealing it of course would be the best option. >> i know very of the science of demolitions and using explosives from my military experience.
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i used the ammonium nitrate and adding nitromethane. with high explosives you've got high velocity. to shatter concrete and steel you have to have a high-yield or high-powered explosive. >> the fertilizer itself is an explosive. the stuff that they steal from quarry helps initiate that explosion. the nitromethane they get makes this even worse. deit can create the kind of destruction you see in oklahoma. !
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you see, with these tapes, i feel very free in talking, and i
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am feeling very free because i know you're using the information appropriately. here i'm letting it all come out. >> mcveigh in his confession in the second day of the four-day interviews, you know, really picked up some steam. and he was finally getting it off his chest, how he managed to do this. and he was finally able to take credit. >> timothy mcveigh continues to give reporter lou michel a detailed account of how and why he blew up the murrah building and who helped him. terry nichols was involved in gathering the materials but there was another man that shared their anti-government fury. michael fortier. >> mcveigh met fortier in the army. as this idea started to percolate in mcveigh's head that, you know, we've got to strike, he needed some help. and fortier looked like he would help.
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>> michael fortier was a rebel. and i think tim was attracted to that. he also shared tim's anti-government views and mcveigh has an edge over him intellectually and can manipulate him as well. >> in middecember of 1994, mcveigh and fortier are traveling from the nichols' farm they make a detour to get an up close look at their target. >> mcveigh and fortier took a drive through oklahoma city and looked over the murrah building and mcveigh said, that's the one. he liked it because it was uncluttered. >> mcveigh's focus and belief in the mission is becoming laser sharp. but by late winter 1995, nichols and fortier are having doubts. >> you've got to remember, fortier and nichols are more family oriented.
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they have wives, they have kids. mcveigh, in my opinion, had nothing to live for. so as they're starting to back off, he's revving up. >> and he holds himself apart as, i have to be by myself because i'm the true believer of this ideology and i'm going to further it the most. >> this was something that i saw as a larger good, and i know that, as i analyzed the history of not just the u.s., but all nations throughout the history of mankind, people have killed for what they believed was the greater good and it's accepted. sometimes killing is accepted. >> by early april 1995, michael fortier bails out. no longer willing to aid mcveigh, but still pledging to remain silent about his friend's deadly scheme. terry nichols is the only one remaining to help mcveigh carry out the terrorist plot but he, too, starts to lose his will.
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>> in the last week as mcveigh is really going fully operational, terry nichols is withdrawing more and more and more. so there's several occasions where nick alcohols is supposed to meet mcveigh and he just doesn't show up. you know, it ultimately comes to a head on the sunday before the wednesday bombing. >> i mean, he calls this guy up. the guy's barely sat down to din, get your butt down here, do it now. he put the screws to him quite a bit. >> and nichols was afraid of mcveigh and with good reason. he knew he would stop at nothing at this point to get the crime done. >> they drive up to oklahoma city, they drop off the getaway car. at this point there's a lot of fury between them.
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they're barely talking as they drive all the way from kansas to oklahoma city and then back again. >> and at this point mcveigh's thinking to himself, i still need terry nichols to help me build the bomb. >> i was the principal planner for this. i did manipulate people, including terry nichols. >> on the way back from dropping off the getaway car in oklahoma city, nichols drives mcveigh to the dreamland motel in junction city, kansas, a short distance from his own home. two days later, mcveigh hitches a ride to elliott's auto shop and rents the ryder truck that will act as the vessel for the bomb. all the pieces are in place and ready to go. mcveigh also settles on a specific date for the bombing. >> the two most significant events in the history that
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occurred april 19th, to me, was not just one, waco, but, number two, was the shot heard around the world, april 19th, 1775. the spark that started the american revolution. >> so that was another grandiose way of saying how important his actions are to those in the world, compared to everyone else's. his actions mark him a place in history. he matters. >> people have compared oklahoma city to pearl harbor. as far as the impact of a psyche on the american people, that it was a surprise, it was a shock to the nation and all that. one of the chief intentions of it was the same as dropping the bomb on hiroshima. >> and what was that? >> hit them hard, by surprise and heavily. you know, to say, listen. if you don't knock it off, there's more of this to come.
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i'm melissa rehberger. two more powerful british
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figures are in the phone scandal. scotland yard admitted to keeping evidence of improprieties hidden for years. on the same day that the owner of news corp in britain was arrested for the scandal. the heat wave continues to bake the center of the u.s. advisories currently spread over 17 states. now back to "mcveigh tapes." i take full responsibility for all my actions and for who i am. i'm not looking in any way, shape or form to blame anything on my parents or my upbringing.
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>> tim was born into a working class family just north of buffalo, new york. >> it's a hard working community of blue collar folks. his father, his grandfather worked at an auto plant. the family he was born into was very typical american. timothy mcveigh was the first son in that family. he'd had an older sister and then later a younger sister came along. >> growing up, to me, i was taught with my family that even getting a speeding ticket was like a sin-type thing. it wasn't this religious thing. i don't want to say sin in a religious tone. i mean, any breaking of the law is bad, tim. you should never break the law. >> an energetic, generally happy kid, mcveigh did not see too much of that joy inside his own home. his parents, bill and mickey, were constantly at odds with one another. >> his parents didn't mesh well together. >> i think she wanted something
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bigger, something better, and just wanted to be free. >> the sisters and tim were put in a very difficult situation. when the family broke up. the sisters decided to go with the mom, and she moved down to florida. and tim said, no, i'm staying with dad. >> with my parents, to be completely honest, i can't sit here today and tell you that i truly love them. i know what love is. and i don't think i feel it toward my parents. you asked if there's any men i loved. i love my grandfather mcveigh. >> ed mcveigh lived a mile or so down the road and became a role model and constant presence in young mcveigh's life, once his mother and sisters moved away. >> ed did a lot of child rearing with tim. and thank god ed was there. because he would have had no one. >> he would go shooting with his grandfather. he did everything with his grandfather. >> in contrast to the safe haven he found with his grandfather,
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he struggled with the social pressures of high school. highly intelligent by all accounts, mcveigh's problems were not in the classroom. >> they started calling me noodle mcveigh. noodle because i was thin like a noodle. lanky. so then they started calling me chicken noodle soup, chicken mcnuggets, mcveigh mcnuggets. >> he got picked on. that was one of the resentments he harbored throughout his entire life. bullies. he hated bullies. >> you'll find most of the bullies in school are jocks. they're jocks are taught on the field of competition after school to dominate others. right? football, anything else. they're taught to dominate out there. the problem is they don't leave it when they come back in the doors of the school. leave the domination on the field of competition. >> he gains a serious resentment early on for people who were
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bigger and stronger, who could impose their will. >> after graduating from high school, mcveigh attends a local business college but gives it up after only one year. he is restless and looking for focus. >> he wanted excitement. he comes home, he tells his father, i'm joining the army, dad. his father says, when. well, i go in tomorrow. and bill said, okay. >> in the spring of 1988, mcveigh chops off his hair and is shipped down to ft. benning, georgia, for basic training. from there, he is assigned a post at ft. riley, kansas. immediately mcveigh takes to the discipline and regimentation of military life. >> i wanted to get out and experience the rest of the world. i wanted to get out of my isolation of pendleton and i wanted to be part of a team. i was a bit of a gun enthusiast, so you can't go wrong both
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brushing up your skills, and the army is military experience for me, some of the best years of my life. >> i think that mcveigh found success, really, probably for the first time in his life in the army. i think mcveigh was looking for some kind of family that would make him happy. >> tim mcveigh at ft. riley was like the model soldier. >> he bought a second army uniform just to wear during inspections. so he looked crisp and top-notch. >> he was an amazing marksman. he was an amazing student of guns and explosives. >> he would spend time cleaning his gun. he didn't go out and get drunk. >> mcveigh did not socialize much but he did connect deeply with two other soldiers at ft. riley who made a lasting impact. >> mcveigh really met his main confederates in the army. he met terry nichols, of course, and michael fortier. >> terry nichols i think
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represented a little bit of what he liked in his grandfather, in that very seemingly solid, calm, older, somebody you could look up to. michael fortier, on the other hand, was a bit more of a party guy and, hey, let's go do -- a bit more spontaneous. >> these are people already wrapped up in that world, especially nichols, of conspiracy theories and so on. >> i like to get to know people that know things that i don't. and that way i can learn off of them by hanging around them. he was pro-second amendment and at the time that was one of my only political, pro-second amendment and survivalist. >> they would talk about the government trying to take over the whole world and about the government trying to take guns from people. >> despite mcveigh's growing interest in the anti-government ideology while at ft. riley, he
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continues to excel as a soldier. but by fall 1990 his inner turmoil about the government is put to the ultimate test when mcveigh is sent to fight in the persian gulf. >> i think mcveigh was a bundle of contradictions. >> he believed the united states and the integrity and justness of its government. >> but at the same time, he's maturing in his anti-government views. it's like a jekyll/hyde, the good angel and bad angel in a way. we spend a lot of time on the feed
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because a chicken is what it eats. [ jim ] this seal verifies we feed my fresh all-natural chickens an all-vegetarian diet including corn, soybeans, and marigolds. no animal by-products. no meat and bone meal. when you put my chicken on the table, you know where it came from.
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if you look back at where i come from, it's a military background, military mindset. and i want to be clear that the military didn't brainwash me into thinking this way. the truth is that the military helped introduce me to the cruelty of the real world and the way things work. >> in november of 1990 in response to saddam hussein's invasion of kuwait, timothy mcveigh and his ft. riley unit are shipped out to the persian gulf. >> the gulf war for tim was sort
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of the culmination of his young military career. the way that that mission was described to him, the mission of the u.s. was noble. >> within weeks of his arrival, mcveigh's intense focus and determination to be a model soldier pay off. >> a promotion came while he was in the field there. he was made sergeant, and, of course, that, you know, gave him a greater sense of pride. >> during the gulf war, battles on the ground are rare. but for mcveigh and his platoon, one bloody encounter stands out from the rest. >> mcveigh looked into his pathfinder and saw the bradley fighting vehicle, and saw way out in the distance a group of
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iraqi soldiers. >> i put the cross hairs up there, pulled off my shot. and the next thing i saw was everything from above his shoulders disappear in red dust. it was like a red mist. and the guy next to him dropped. i did kill in self-defense. it was a single shot that got two guys. >> the fact that it was a kill shot for two in one kind of made him a legend in his unit. >> that moment for tim was a moment of pride. he did what he had been trained to do, did it very effectively. >> i think tim's time at war, as short as it is, did teach him to kill. but then you start to see these people who are starving and suffering the effects of war and beginning to realize that the government is evil because it can go kill these innocent people. >> my overall experience in the gulf war taught me that these people were just that, they were people. they were human beings that, even though they speak a different language, at the core they're no different than me. right? then i had to recognize that
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with the fact that, well, i killed them. >> he couldn't believe that his government would be doing that. and would be misleading people like him to do this. >> you have to understand that mcveigh hated the bully. and i think he felt like he was wearing the bully's shoes at that point. >> despite misgivings about the war and the u.s. government, mcveigh is still determined to further his military career. while in the gulf, he is selected to try out for special forces. mcveigh reports to ft. bragg, anxious to make the elite unit, but burned out from combat. >> he probably shouldn't have tried out that soon. he probably should have just waited and gotten himself into better shape. but that's tim mcveigh. mr. impulsive. mr. i want it now. >> they sent us on a five-mile march. after that march, i got a blister on my right heel and a bigger one on my left one.
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as i changed my socks to keep them try, so when i looked and saw those blisters and knew i was tuckered out, i did an analysis. it wasn't an instant decision like people think, i'm just going to drop out, i can't handle it, you know? it was just too much at that time. >> he just sort of gave up. he didn't have the spirit to do it. physically he was depleted but he also just, more importantly, emotionally. >> mcveigh says it is more than just physical and emotional exhaustion. he claims his mixed feelings for the government are also part of the decision. >> in the gulf, he realized that i didn't like being someone's pawn. because i felt it was abused in the gulf. it just rubbed the wrong way. that's one of the reasons i got out of the military. >> he failed so he had to demonize the military itself and the government itself to make a
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reason for him, an honorable enough reason for him to leave. >> upon returning home after almost four years in the army, mcveigh discovers civilian life is not as liberating as he had hoped. >> i was so excited to get out of the military and go home. and when i got home there was no excitement there. once you've had that adrenaline rush, once someone's walked on the razor's edge, everything is dull by comparison. some people get addicted to it. >> when tim came home, he really seemed changed. he just didn't at that point want to talk about his army experiences at all. it was just like he washed his hands of the whole thing. >> he had gone from being a person that he thought would have a career in the military, to a person whose focus was gone. >> it begins a kind of slippery slope. he starts to voice his opinion. he's trying to preach, trying to vent it out that way. it starts with editorial letters. >> he started seeing oppression
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and repression by the federal government in every direction he looked. >> that world, the world of hatred, ideology, malicious and so on, you know, gave some structure to what he thought. it wasn't just that the whole world was screwed up and that he had been screwed in these various ways, it was that there was an actual evil agent out there. the sparl continues. with each disappointment, his anger and disillusionment grows. until one frigid, winter day, something snaps. >> he shows up at his grandfather's house in the middle of winter, just with sweatpants on, and no t-shirt. it's pretty cold. he knocks on the door and said grandpa, he says, timmy, what's wrong with you? he says, i don't know, grandpa. i don't know. this is when he has his nervous
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breakdown. >> i came back from the gulf war. it was within three months i had this breakdown. i think this was also when my post-traumatic stress kicked in a little later. >> he's got all of these things going, like a tsunami building inside of him, and he's got to get away, got to do something. >> at that point, tim mcveigh decides to hit the road. etsler let's go see what we can find. >> and his odyssey begins. (telephone ring. pick up) usa prime credit. my name ...peggy. you got problem? ggy? third time i've called, 's time i speak with a supervisor. supervisor is genius...i transfer.
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in january 1993, timothy mcveigh is frustrated by the dead-end existence he has been enduring since leaving the army and still is shaken by his experiences in the gulf war. eager to figure out his mission in life, mcveigh packs up his car and says good-bye to his
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quiet hometown of pendleton, new york. >> i lasted at home for one year and one month. this whole neighborhood, this ain't for me. i don't have a place here, i haven't fallen in love, and then i hit the road. >> the odyssey that he was living in the early '90s was really bizarre. he thought nothing of getting in his car and driving hundreds or even thousands of miles, and he was searching for something. >> as a guy who i think had a lot of trouble relating to other people, that was a world that was very amenable to him. >> he was gathering inspiration and information for what he thought was his mission in life. he wasn't going to be the super-soldier, so who was he going to be now? >> mcveigh's mission is still unclear, but he's beginning to hone in on his main focus of fury -- the u.s. government.
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he finds like-minded thinkers on the gun show circuit. during the early 1990s, the expos become gathering places for the fast-growing militia and patriot movements. it is in this subculture that mcveigh finally finds an outlet for his growing rage. >> i mean, you could find an amazing amount of literature on insurgency, on forming militias, on building weapons. they're amazingly antigovernment. >> one of my favorite bumper stickers, you've heard the one that says "when guns are outlaws, only outlaws will have guns." there's a new one -- when guns are outlawed, i will become an outlaw. it was at that point when i was fully intent on my life that i was going to live outside the law. >> he started to believe our government was going to come into people's homes and take
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their guns away. and this scared the hell out of tim mcveigh. >> that same mentality is what you say from gun show to gun show to gun show. get your weapons now, stockpile them now. >> for tim mcveigh, this must seem like the next war that's about to be waged. >> tonight at least four federal agents and one cult member are dead at least 14 other people were wounded in the gun battle. >> on february 28th, 1993, outside the central texas town of waco, many in the patriot movement believed the spark to that next war is ignited. >> you can't point guns in the direction of my wives and kids. damn it, i'll meet you at the door anytime. >> in an effort to take david koresh into custody, federal agents raid his compound, and a massive fire fight breaks out. >> six davidians and four atf agents were killed. that started the 51-day
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standoff. >> it was a clash between federal law enforcement might and withdrawn people who were fiercely protective of their community. >> the bond is they're fellow gun owners and believes in gun rights and fellow survivalists, and freedom lovers. when do you draw the line and say enough is enough? somebody has to send a message to say, you can't go any further. >> and mcveigh got in his little junk car and drove to waco, texas, to find out what was going on. >> michelle roush, a college newspaper reporter at the time, was at the branch davidian compound outside waco to investigate the story. it wasn't until one year after the oklahoma city bombing that
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she realized the man she interviewed on the hood of his car was none other than timothy mcveigh. >> he was very unassuming, literally very casual sitting on the hood of his car, very articulate. tim said, people need to watch what's happening and heed any warning signs. at the time, i thought, well, what does that mean? well, when i went back and read that in my article, it gave me chills. i thought, did that mean oklahoma city? was he foreshadowing? >> after camping in his car outside the branch davidian compound for a few days, mcveigh drives to terry nichols' farm in northern michigan. >> in less than an hour, the compound was destroyed in a raging inferno. >> on april 19th, 1993, mcveigh and nichols watched the violent
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end of the waco siege on television. >> watching flames lick out windows, and i'm watching tanks ram walls, and my eyes just welled up in tears, and tears started coming down my cheeks, and i'm watching this scene unfold, just stood there in stunned silence. what is this? what has america become? i just remember that scene. it burned into my memory. i'm emotional as i talk about it. you know, i felt absolute rage. >> tim saw this as an act of war against the people. >> it was the bully again, this time the horns were on the head of the federal government. >> the rules of engagement, if not written down, are defined by the actions of an aggressor. okay? now, what rules of engagement would you interpret in examining waco? kids are fair game? women are fair game? >> i think that that was the final moment for mcveigh, and he says so himself, right?
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after waco, now is the time for action, right? now we're going operational. >> with oklahoma city being a counterattack, i was only fighting by the rules of engagement introduced by the aggressor. waco started this war. hopefully oklahoma would end it. he likes to sink his fangs into people who steal chocolate mousse temptations. aaah! [ all scream ] nice job, chocobeast! [ male announcer ] decadent chocolate mousse temptations. it's jell-o for adults.
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as i talk about these things, i hope that you already realize that i have emotion, and that i'm human, okay? but when i go and i start talking about these things in a clinical way that sounds cold, the truth is that that's the way you talk about things of this nature when you're, quote, a professional. >> lou michel's intense interview is approaching the interview is approaching the core of timothy mcveigh's grisly narrative.
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it's april 18th, 1995, just 24 hours before the tragedy in oklahoma city, and mcveigh is in possession of the rented 20-foot ryder truck. the horrific plan is in motion, but co-conspirator terry nichols is trying to back out, yet again. >> he told mcveigh, i'm out, i don't want to be involved with this. mcveigh got him on the phone and yelled and screamed at him, and told him you're in this, you are going to help me put this bomb together. >> mcveigh convinces nichols to stick with him, to see it is michelle through. >> mcveigh is in charge. mcveigh becomes the alpha male in this small conspiracy to get even with the federal government. >> from a military perspective, to get a message across, you need to hurt them where they hurt the most.
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they have bottomless pockets to build a new one. the only way they're going to feel something and only way they'll get the message is with a body count. >> so on april 18th, the day before the bombing, mcveigh is ready to build his monstrous contraption, a 7,000-pound bomb. >> of course, you leave nothing to last second. went out to the truck, checked it over, started it up and drove off. got to the storage shed. started loading stuff in the truck. somebody was supposed to meet me there, didn't meet me there. >> he's referring to terry nichols, who was supposed to meet up early at harrington, kansas. nichols appears to have abandoned his friend at the most crucial moment. this leaves mcveigh with a back-breaking task of loading
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the truck himself. >> he is transferring sack after sack, these 50-pound sacks of ammonium nitrate fertilizer. he's trying to get 500 pounds worth of nitromethane fuel up the ramp into the ryder truck. the weight involved in actually doing this bomb building is enormous. >> after mcveigh has almost finished loading the truck, nichols finally shows up to help. >> there was just no turning back at this point. no cold feet. terry nichols was fully on board. >> mcveigh is furious, but this is no time for emotion. nichols jumps in and helps transfer the remainder of the explosive material into the truck. they go to a nearby location that mcveigh found to build the bomb. >> mcveigh has been looking for some time for a place where he could build the bomb without being spotted. ultimately he chooses this place, a little park called geary lake.
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>> geary lake is a fishing lake, but it's a little too cold at this time of year, it's a windy, choppy day on the lake, and there's nobody there. and so, you know, they're inside the truck. >> you can cut the tension in the air with a knife, it's that thick, because they want to move quick, because they're a sitting duck there. >> all the mixing takes place within the truck. since i was the principal, as i put it, right? i was the one that primed the caps, et cetera, et cetera, made sure there was redundant firing systems. if one misfired, another one would fire it. all kinds of redundancies, made sure the barrels were stable and in place. >> i don't think there's much doubt that mcveigh did build a hell of a bomb. the way he did it was fairly remarkable. no one had really ever
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constructed a bomb like this, and yet it was incredibly effective. it seems very clear he thought through these things very carefully. >> mcveigh had a two minute and five-minute fuse, a long fuse and a short fuse. he dripped a hole through the back of the cargo space into the back of the driving cabin, so he could turn around and just like them with a bic lighter. >> both fuses for some reasons didn't go off, i knew in a front corner of the truck there was a pile of explosives that would go off by impact. as a last resort from the outside of the truck, i could use my pistol to set it off, just by firing at the truck. >> they're focused on building the bomb when suddenly their terrorist plot is in danger of being foiled.
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the secluded area that he chose is breached. >> a man and his so show up a little ways away from the truck. they go out to go fishing. >> there was a man with a boy in a boat. they are out in the lake a bit, so that created a little difficulty. we had to watch the guy every five minutes, because getting into his head, he might have said hi, how are you doing? >> they continue to walk very cautiously with super presence of mind of what's going on around them, you know, mcveigh is thinking that i'm going to kill this man if he comes over. >> luckily for that family, they never approached the ryder truck. >> it takes four hours to build the massive bomb. when it's done, mcveigh and nichols part ways for the last time. >> headed toward oklahoma, and i finally thought am i going to be able to sleep? right? for the most part i was uneasy.
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in the gulf war when b-52s would come over ask do their carpet bombing and i could literally feel the ground tremble underneath my sleeping back. so sleeping on the back of a bomb is no big deal. >> he said he slept like a baby. he said he had no problem sleeping beside his monstrous creation, because he's on this mission.
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the weather along the kansas/oklahoma border is crisp and clear when the sun rises on the morning of april 19th, 1995. 100 miles north of oklahoma city, timothy mcveigh wakes at dawn after sleeping soundly on
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the side of the highway in the cab of his rented ryder truck. now loaded with 7,000 pounds of explosives, ready to ignite. >> he had initially intended to bomb the building at about 11:00 in the morning, but he finally decides at the very last minute, despite all his talk about how he had ever detail of the plan worked out, he decides he has to go right away, there's too much of a chance of being caught. he actually leaves at about 7:00 in the morning. >> mcveigh carefully pulls the truck on the highway, heading south on i-35 toward oklahoma city. >> i believe he was getting antsy and didn't want to take any chances. he was probably worried that somebody might blow the whistle on him. he had the whole route mapped out from previous trips to oklahoma city. he knew exactly how he was going
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to get to the murrah building. >> as a military man, you do dry runs of operations. i knew what route i was going to take. i had contingency plans in case i would have had a flat tire, in case i would have been pulled over by a cop, in case the road had been closed and had to go around, i knew the roads, i wouldn't need to look at a map. >> after nearly two hours of farmland, the city's skyline comes into view, and mcveigh steels himself for action. >> you try not to let your mind stray too much. it is just like going into combat. if you start thinking too much about things you should have already thought about prior to, it's going to distract you. there's time to think about that, and it's not during the mission, because it's going to distract you. it's all on procedure. i'm going to put my earplugs in here when i pull off the exit.
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>> he gets off the highway a few minutes before 9:00 a.m. upon entering downtown, there are moments when he isn't sure if he will be able to complete his mission. >> you've got this adrenaline pumping, but you force yourself to stay calm and not be noticed. then pulled up to the right, which is red at the time. i did the two-minute fuse at the stoplight. i swear to god, it was the longest stoplight i ever sat in in my life. i'm thinking, okay, it's lit, green, green. >> there's kind of an amazing moment as the fuses are burning back from the cap of the truck into the rear. he's kind of tapping his fingers at a red light counting down the last few minutes. >> as the windows rolled down
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just as he's approaching the light, because he didn't anticipate that smoke would fill the cab. >> i'm thinking oh [ muted ] i'm thinking i rolled the window down, adjusting to turn down the fan, and by the time i pull up, it's going to look funny. i was rolling the windows back up as i pulled in. i didn't want to do it after i stop. we're talking seconds, right? >> he pulls up the truck, locks the doors, and strides across the street. >> i walked very slowly, because it avoids suspicion, you have to be calm and controlled. it's part of the control. walked across the street, and walked square toward the ymca. once i got in a blind alley, i did jog, because i knew nobody was looking, just for my own personal pride, i made sure you use the word "jog" there, because i wasn't running in a panic.
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it was a conscious decision to jog. >> it's very specific on that, that he did not start running, it was just a gentle trot, because in his words, i'm a professional and i'm not afraid. but he is waiting, when is this bomb going to go off. >> so he started thinking to himself, am i going to have to go back there and shoot the bomb to ignite it? and just as he was thinking of that, the bomb blew up. >> the blast went off, and i felt the concussion in both the air and in my feet. >> it goes off and just rattles the buildings around him. he never goes back to look at the handiwork. >> i heard it clearly through my ear plugs and literally was lifted off the ground. i didn't feel the skin contorting, but you felt the pressure in the air, like an over-pressure, like a poof. >> it was like an earthquake, only very loud. he says he just kept walking toward his getaway car, which
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was parked a couple blocks ago. >> i'm walking quickly. everyone else is coming out of their stores, and i'm walking the other way. i know this may sound like i'm cold and detached, but remember, this is military training. i was never hyped up. i was always in complete control. the mission is accomplished, i knew it was accomplished, and it was over. >> yes, he felt the explosion, yeah, he saw the building teetering. he knew perfectly well what he had just done, and yet he felt a sense of pride. >> i think that when mcveigh talks about the actual bombing, the carrying out of the last few minutes of the bomb, he's not almost bragging, he's boasting, i'm the consummate technician and his whole concern to show is he was always icy cool, calm and
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collected. but, what the guy is talking about is mass murder on an incredible scale, including the murder of children. i felt very much this is a guy who as no connection to any kind of emotions really at all. >> mcveigh makes it to his getaway car. behind him lay the ruins of the worst terrorist attack the united states had ever seen. what lies ahead is one of the biggest american manhunts of all time. we set our goals higher than anyone.
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it is 9:03 a.m., april 19th, 1995. within a minute after the massive explosion at the alfred p. murrah building in oklahoma city, bomb timothy mcveigh is approaching his get away vehicle, a car he purchased for $250.
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a car so broken down that it nearly strands mcveigh, threatening to hinder his getaway. >> i got in the car, cranking it over, i pumped the gas like one half pump, i'm thinking [ muted ], you're smelling gas, you're draining the battery. flooded, hold it to the floor. it started right up, so i'm gunning it, try to go warm it up, it's not going anywhere. i'm, okay, i'm about five minutes from the blast, you don't want to be apprehended in oklahoma city five minutes after. >> it's fairly remarkable to listen to him talking about how he finally gets things started. meanwhile, there's absolute carnage behind him. but then he pulls that old beater onto the highway.
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>> i pulled out, stopped at every stoplight in all direction, using my directions with normal speed. again, i'm military, you've got this adrenaline pumping, but you force yourself to stay calm and for you not to be noticed. >> if you were to be up in a traffic helicopter liking down, you would see everyone racing to this crippled building, where 168 lives have just been snuffed out, 500 more people injured, people trapped, smoke, fire. and you would just see this one car going in the opposite direction. >> although the old mercury is finally running, as mcveigh heads north to the kansas border, there is still one major problem with the car. the license plates are missing. mcveigh claims that this isn't an oversight, that he planned it
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all along. >> at this point, since i had dealt myself a wildcard, with leaving the license plate off, because when you leave a license plate off, you cannot plan when somebody will pull you over, every inch of my tire rolls on the interstate, i'm probably thinking, what will i do if this happens? what do i do if this happens? >> i just can't see how he would leave that plate off, because so much of his plan was very meticulously thought out. it always perplexed me. >> then finally he is, indeed, pulled over. not a big surprise, given he's driving down the road in an old car with no license plate at all. >> just 75 minutes after the bombing, mcveigh is pulled to the side of the highway by oklahoma state trooper charlie hanger.
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up until this moment, mcveigh says his's convinced he was making a clean getaway. it turns out he almost did. >> hanger was a fluke, because he said at the exit he pulled me over at, i was at spitting distance. he was going to get to that exit, go up on the overpass, turn around and head back. they were requesting assistance in oklahoma and he was going to head that way. within one mile an hour more, and he wouldn't have seen me. i would have been past. >> at this point the trooper doesn't link him to the bombing, so mcveigh must figure out the best way to deal with the situation. >> mcveigh, you know, announces to him i have a handgun and charlie says, and i have gun too. >> he sits there and says, okay, am i going to kill the police officer and not? and makes the decision to simply be arrested. >> charlie disarms him and
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arrests him on some minor traffic counts. >> mcveigh is handcuffed, taken to the nearest local lockup in the small town of perry, oklahoma. he's charged with misdemeanors of driving a vehicle without plates, and carrying a weapon without a permit. at booking, mcveigh is calm and unassuming. >> i talked to the people who booked him in. nice boy, not nervous, didn't show any inkling. this kid can mask what's going on inside of him very well. >> mcveigh is booked about two hours after the bombing and still doesn't know the degree of damage he has inflicted. but while waiting for a cell to become available. he catches sight of a television, showing images of the carnage. >> it was at the perry
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courthouse when they were booking me in, right? and i was watching the tv, and of course i'm absorbing it without pretending i'm not, pretending to be worried about being arrested. >> that's when he caught his first glimpse of the murrah building, and his first reaction was, damn, i didn't take the building completely down. so he's got that in his memory when he goes up to the holding cell. >> mcveigh was just wondering, do they know i'm involved with the bombing? i don't think they know. >> he sits in that jail waiting to see if they're going to figure it out or not, but, you know, he's not going to help them. in a way i think what's really going on is mcveigh does essentially plan on being caught. he wants the credit for this. he wants to be the oklahoma city bomber, but he's not going to help them at all. it's some kind of weird game he's playing with law enforcement. >> he waits that first day to be identified, but nothing happens. meanwhile, the hunt for the bomber is on.
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i'm melissa rehberger. hosni mu barrack. mubarak's medical team denies that. the british tabloid hacking scandal. london's police chief has resigned over allegations that police mishandled news of the world investigation. the former ceo of news corp in the uk was arrested earlier today. now back to "the mcveigh tapes." it's just 24 hours after the bombing of the murrah building, and timothy mcveigh is sitting
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quietly in a perry, oklahoma, jail cell. he's not being held in connection with the vicious act that killed 168 people just the day before, but rather for misdemeanor charges. an international manhunt is issued for two suspects, john doe number 1, and john doe number 2. several witnesses claim to have seen a second man in the ryder truck prior to the bombing. as this is happening, mcveigh is biding his time, waiting to see how long it will take for authorities to figure out who he really is. >> while mcveigh's in prison in this little relative ocean of solitude, you know, just waiting for something to happen, the rest of the country is just uptight, in knots, wondering, is there going to be another attack? people are wondering, is this somebody from the middle east? who could do this? >> fbi agents comb the debris
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for clues to who could have been behind the bombing. they quickly locate a very revealing piece of evidence. >> it was within three hours of the bombing itself that the rear axle to the bomb-laden truck was located and found. that rear axle had a confidential vehicle identification number which led to the ryder truck and took us to kansas to start the investigation there to who rented that vehicle. >> federal agents swarmed junction city, kansas, and talked to the owner of elliott's body shop, where mcveigh rented the truck. they come away with a description of robert kling. down the street, the manager kling description resembles a
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man who had just stayed there days before. a guest registered under the name, tim mcveigh. the question remains, why would he use his real name? it's turning out mcveigh has left clues everywhere. >> you have to realize that inside that marquee was a big thick brown envelope with all kinds of antigovernment literature, espousing his viewpoints. and he's wearing a t-shirt that has a quote from john wilkes booth, "sic semper tyrannis." and on the back there's the words of thomas jefferson that "the tree of liberty must be watered from time to time with the blood of tyrants and patriots." >> i left the trail on purpose.
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just a few pieces in my car, i was wearing it on my back. even if i wouldn't have been apprehended, i still would have gained the benefit of being identified. i already made sure that was in place. there was a no-lose situation. >> mcveigh had this all very carefully choreographed. he decides to go this way. and let the federal agents connect the dots that mcveigh has so conveniently placed for them. >> mcveigh's trail begins to come rapidly into focus for investigators, but to the local police if perry, he's still being detained as a small-time offender. it's a cat-and-mouse chase that mcveigh clearly relishes. >> i describe it as playing a game with them. i am playing the game with law
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enforcement, and every day i laugh. >> by the time federal agents identify mcveigh just two days after the bombing, he is being arraigned and about to be released from the noble county jail. just an hour or so from being set free, agents contact the sheriff to put a hold on mcveigh, to keep him in custody. they rush to perry to meet with their number one suspect, but despite his claiming that he wanted to be caught, mcveigh isn't talking. >> the guy says, you better talk to us, because you're facing the death penalty, and he pulls out pictures of dead babies, okay? he slides them toward me and says, you're familiar with the oklahoma bombing, right? some way to introduce the pictures and make me feel bad and start talking. it didn't work.
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i kept a straight face and said, i want an attorney. >> that same afternoon in harrington, kansas, after learning he had become a person of interest terry nichols turns himself in. unlike mcveigh, nichols cooperates with authorities. he's not the john doe number 2 they're looking for, but he provides enough information to implicate mcveigh as the architect of the bombing plot. later in the day, back in perry, fbi agencies prepare to take mcveigh out of the noble county courthouse. it will be the first time the world gets a look at the oklahoma city bomber. >> i don't think anyone who was alive at that time in america will ever forget the sight of timothy mcveigh being led out of
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the courthouse in that orange jumpsuit. >> the thing that i think stuck with every single person who saw this one snippet of video coverage was mcveigh walking out of that building, refusing to look down, and, you know, with 1,000-yard stare. >> there were steps leading out of the courthouse. i had to concentrate on where those steps would be without dipping my head down, because people would take dipping my head down as a sign of defeat or something. i'm in leg chains, and if you've ever tried walking in them and the chain catches on the step. >> i think the overall visceral action is that looks like the >> outside the courthouse mcveigh comes face-to-face with a crowd that grows unruly. >> it was hard to pick out individual things, because they were all yelling at one, but i do distinctly remember one i
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heard, look over here [ muted ], look me in the face, and my immediate thought was i'm not going to give you the pleasure of looking over there. >> people got their first feeling of this guy, who in my opinion, was a true sociopath. i think it was clear even at that moment that this guy was trying to send a mesage to the american public at large. a musi. the first network to finish gets rescued. does your phone know that we're racing ? done ! verizon's done ! i've got seven left ! the fastest network in america. verizon. built so you can rule the air. now powering the lg revolution.
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on april 21st, 1995, two days after the bombing, timothy mcveigh is taken into federal custody and exposed to the world for the first time. that same day, co-conspirator terry nichols is also taken into custody. eventually michael fortier is apprehended as well. all three suspects in the bombing plot are locked away.
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but for the survivors this is of little consolation. >> you have to remember there were almost 700 people injured, a lot of people with hearing loss, a lot of people with scars. so it's not just the people who died. it's the people who are wounded. my legs and my ankles, my pelvis, my arms, and my feet were all crushed. and they just didn't think i would make it. they put me in a five-week coma, because they were going to have to do so many surgeries on me. when i finally was able to come out of it, they had to teach me how to talk, how to eat, how to brush my teeth.
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>> head and face injuries due to all the things that came down from the ceiling. plaster that was shoved up underneath the skin. i had an ear cut in half. the back injuries were because of the shrapnel just propelled into your back. >> it was a lot of stitching. i had somewhere between 3 1/2 and 4 feet worth of stitching, if you added it up all together. >> among the 168 killed and nearly 700 injured in the attack, dozens are young children. paula matley's daughter jordan was only 3 1/2 years old when the blast tore through her daycare classroom across the street from the murrah building. >> following the bombing, jordan had much difficulty sleeping.
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she had nightmares and she had extreme separation anxiety. she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, and underwent about a year of therapy for that, where she would draw pictures and just relate her anger about the situation. >> i remember thinking that the person who did that to so many families, that they should -- that they should have some repercussions for it. they shouldn't just get away with it. >> you know, she -- she wanted him punished, the ultimate punishment for him. >> janney coverdale lost her two young grandsons that day. they were just beginning the morning at the daycare center on the second floor when the explosion took their lives. >> i remember the day they told us that they were dead. i remember screaming at god. it took me a long time to get
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over some of that anger. so now i go visit aaron and elijah out at the cemetery. sometimes i get angry then, too. they were little boys, and you just don't murder little kids. aaron would be 20 years old now, elijah would be 17. sometimes during the day you're going to cry. or there's going to be something that's going to remind you of the bombing, and you're right back where you were on april 19th, 1995. we don't ever get too far from there. >> there were reports of up to 50,000 people in the oklahoma city area suffering symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
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i looked at all the photographs from the crime scene. i looked at all the photographs from the coroner's office. it was overwhelming. >> death and loss are integral part of life everywhere, and accidents like plane crashes where you lose 100, 200 people, all the examples i give you right now are unexpected losses. we have to accept it and move on. >> he had grown into this being that lacked all sensitivity. >> he was very hostile to the victims, really almost detaching himself from their hurt altogether. >> i had no hesitation to look at them and listen to their story, but i'd like to say to them, i've heard your stories 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
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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 over it. >> i think on some level timothy mcveigh was a fool to tell the mothers and the grandparents, the sisters, the brothers, you know, get over it, this is just one of those things that happen in life. to never show or i think feel on any level even the slightest, you know, pang of remorse is amazing. >> i know he said it wasn't any water off his back, and he didn't care and let it be, and that he was not going to feel bad about it or anything, but you know, that man, you take a good look at his eyes, take a good look at those eyes. i believe that he was scared to death, and he knew what he had done.
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>> how can you feel so much for the people of waco and can't have feelings about the people you killed? what the heck is the difference between the two of these? i've never been able to wrap my brain around that. once he built the wall, that was it, the mission is done, get over it. >> it seemed like he hated us instead of us hating him. it seemed like he was angry with us, like we had done something to him. he hurt us. tim hurt us like nobody else has ever hurt us. it was like something evil possessed him. i think if he had just said, i'm sorry, forgive me, i think i could have, but he didn't. >> more than two years after the oklahoma city bombing, a federal jury finds timothy mcveigh guilty on 11 counts of murder and conspiracy.
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on june 13th, 1997, mcveigh is sentenced to death. >> to any realist in that situation, you pretty much know they're going to get the death sentence regardless of what happens at trial. i had accepted that from the beginning. my entire attitude the whole time, is carpe diem, seize the day. i've already accepted my death. in that sentence, the victims, you can have what you want. this earth holds nothing more for me. i'm ready to move on. [ man ] i got this new citi thankyou card
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nall first of all, i have to believe there is no hell but if i go further and say i think there is, i don't think i'm going. >> on july 13th, 1999, timothy mcveigh is transferred to the
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federal death row unit in terre haute, indiana. this will be his final stop before execution. despite never admitting guilt mcveigh claims ending up on death row is exactly how he planned it. i recognized that well before i was driving away from oklahoma city on the morning of april 19th without a license plate. i, in fact, maybe, in a sense, a groundbreaker in a new suicide by cop. >> suicide, okay, fine, go, put an end to your life, jump in a lake. i don't care. but to take all these people with you, that it makes a point, that it illustrates something for me is the height of selfishness. it's just beyond words. >> the reason i'm different and call myself maybe a groundbreaker is that i knew i
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wanted this before it happened. i knew that my objective was state-assisted suicide. and when it happens, you're face, mother -- in other words, manipulating a system for my own gain. >> mcveigh was done with life. he wanted to be executed. he wanted to go down in flames and put it in the government's face that you're killing me for killing people. >> in the cruelest terms, 168 to 1. if you had it on a scoreboard, right. so i sit here today content that there's no way that they can beat me by executing me. >> early on the morning of june 11th, 2001, timothy mcveigh is brought to the death chamber. >> you asked what i would be feeling on whatever gurney -- contentment and peace. peace is an important word to put in there.
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i didn't just want to leave it at contentment. i'd be content and peaceful. >> for the first time in 38 years, a federal prisoner will be executed in the united states. >> the execution day in terre haute, indiana, was unlike anything i'd ever experienced. >> you had media from japan, from europe, from all over the united states. >> this is for oklahoma city right here. >> there was a remarkable scene. there were lots and lots and lots of people outside the prison celebrating his death. >> it was almost like in the old days they used to hang people in the public square and thousands of people used to come to watch. to them it was kind of a happening. >> inside the prison walls the mood is much more somber. mcveigh invited lou michelle and kate mccauley to witness his execution. >> they opened the curtains, and there he was strapped to a
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gurney. he looked very old, very gray. in the end, he looked us square in the eye and he mouthed the words, "it's okay." and at that moment tears came to my eyes because it wasn't okay. >> i was glad when he died. i'll never forgive tim mcveigh, i don't think. >> i didn't want him to live. many of them wanted him to live. not me. but i'm finding relief because there's no way it can help bring back all these people and all these feelings. there's no way they can bring back all of my legs and be walking and be being sick all the time with bad lungs. there's just no way. >> at the end of the day, no matter how good justice is, it
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doesn't bring back a life. it doesn't undo an injury. it doesn't put back what was there. >> for the survivors and the rescue teams and the families of those who were killed, the events of april 19th, 1995, will never be forgotten. the consequences of mcveigh's horrific act still haunt them every day. >> i don't go around people too much. i go to church. i go to grocery store. and i'm back home. because i can get up out of the bed in the mornings and i feel pretty good, but sometime that day i'm going to start crying. >> it's still wrong. it just doesn't seem like it was really that long ago. to this day, i have problems with loud noises and have had dreams where i can hear an explosion and wake up and there was no explosion. >> for me, it seems pretty distant since i was only 3 1/2 and i couldn't really, like,
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take in what was going on. i just remember being confused. it almost seems like a dream. >> i've had good days and bad. a lot of times i just sit and pray and tell god, hey, you know, i'm having a bad one. and then i realize, well, i don't have it bad. i can walk. i can talk. i can see. i can hear. no. there's many that don't have that. i don't have it bad. i just think i've got it bad. and i get going. i'm not going to sit still.
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