the oklahoma city bombing: one by one..
Oklahoma City Bombing Live Coverage 1995 - YouTube
citizenship,and began making and exploding homemade bombs. (According to abook by two inmates who later shared death row with McVeigh, his recipefor the bomb he would use in Oklahoma City came from a patriot friend,who used his chemistry degree from the University of California as aMeth manufacturer.) About this same time, McVeigh's own use ofmethamphetamines increased. He became increasingly vocal inpromoting his apocalyptic world view. In July 1994, he andMichael Fortier trespassed on to "Area 51," a top secret governmentreservation for weapons testing located near Roswell, New Mexico. Two months later, he journeyed to Gulfport, Mississippi to investigatea rumor that the town had become a staging area for United Nationstroops and equipment.
A farewell letter written by McVeigh in July to his boyhood friend,Steve Hodge, revealed the evolution of his thinking: "I have sworn touphold and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign anddomestic, and I will....I have come to peace with myself, my God, andmy cause. Blood will flow in the streets, Steve, Good vsEvil. Free men vs.
The resulting blast destroyed the Alfred P
Socialist Wannabe Slaves. Pray it is notyour blood, my friend."
In September 1994, according to both McVeigh and thefindings of a federal grand jury, that the ex-Army sergeant beganplotting to blow up the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The date identified by the grand jury for the start of the conspiracywas September 13. On that day, McVeigh was--according to FBIrecords showing a receipt for a motel room in Vian, Oklahoma--visitingElohim City, and probably participating with other anti-governmentactivists in a series ofmilitary maneuvers. September 13 also marked the day,coincidentally ornot, that a new federal law banning assault weapons became law.
By the end of September 1994, McVeigh's plot (we will, in this trialcommentary, call it "McVeigh's plot," although there is a body ofevidence to suggest that others played significant planning roles aswell) started to unfold. On September 22, he rented a storageunit in , that would laterbe used to house explosivematerials. A week later, Terry Nichols bought a ton of ammoniumnitrate, a key ingredient in the bomb that would be used in OklahomaCity. Ammonium nitrate is a commonly used agricultural fertilizerand the purchase was made at a farm cooperative in McPherson,Kansas.
October 1994 was a busy month for McVeigh and hisco-conspirators. He and Terry Nichols bought a second ton ofammonium nitrate from the same farm cooperative. A burglary at aquarry near Marion, Kansas on October 3 netted McVeigh and Nichols asupply of dynamite and blasting caps. Wearing a biker disguise,McVeigh purchased nearly $3000 work of nitromethane, a racing fuel usedin bomb construction, from a Dallas track. In between thesesupply-gathering missions, McVeigh found time to visit Oklahoma City toinspect the building he had targeted, and to calculate his own positionat the time the bomb would be likely to explode.
McVeigh also managed to fit in two separate visits in October toKingman, Arizona. He rented another storage locker and, withMichael Fortier watching, tested the explosive mixture that he hadchosen for the Murrah Building bombing. McVeigh tried to recruitFortier to assist in the actual bombing, but Fortier balked, and asked,"What about all the people?" McVeigh told Fortier to think of thevictims as "storm troopers in Star Wars" who, although individuallyinnocent, "are guilty because they work for the evil empire." Despite the persuasive efforts of McVeigh, Fortier made clear that hehad no desire to be in Oklahoma City on the day of the bombing.
McVeigh's close association with white supremacists and othergovernment-haters at Elohim City continued throughout 1994. Inaddition to joining in bank robberies, there is evidence to suggestthat people at the compound were involved in the bombing plotitself. According to BATF informant Carol Howe, who workedundercover in Elohim City, Andreas Strassmeir and Dennis Mahon made thefirst of three trips to Oklahoma City in November to inspect possiblebombing targets. Howe informed her supervisor of thesedevelopments. The BATF was sufficiently alarmed by Howe's reportsto plan a raid on Elohim City, but following a February 1995 meetingwith officials from the FBI and U.