The government has wrapped up its high profile case against Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. Throughout both trials they have maintained that one man and one bomb was responsible for the destruction in Oklahoma City, and that one behind-the-scene co-conspirator financed and masterminded the nation's most deadly terrorist attack.
The investigation began just minutes after the explosion ripped through the federal building and has grown to rival the massive investigation following the JFK assassination. It is reported that the FBI has interviewed approximately 30,000 people in this case and, after more than two and one-half years of investigation, federal authorities say they have no credible evidence that implicates any others in the crime.
One of the government's lead prosecutors, Beth Wilkinson, says that sightings of John Doe by various eyewitnesses are about as "credible as Elvis sightings." Other prosecutors and the FBI have unequivocally denied the existence of anyone other than Nichols and McVeigh in the bombing that took the lives of 168 people.
Despite the strong official denials to the contrary, many, many eyewitnesses and investigators continue to come forward with evidence that has been neither heard nor admitted at either of the trials. "This case will linger in the American psyche as one of the prominent unsolved crimes in our history," said Brian Levin of Richard Stockman College in Pomona, New Jersey. "This isn't just a view held by conspiracy theorists, the average man on the street has a perception that at least a piece of the puzzle has not been found. That perception will linger," Levin said.
The WINDS spoke with independent investigator Pat Briley who is based in Oklahoma City. He says, "We know from a lot of witnesses who were at the Regency Towers [near the Murrah Building] that the [Ryder] truck was there from 8:40 to 8:55 [just prior to the 9:02 explosion]. McVeigh and a John Doe were standing around outside of that truck. Yet, the FBI has not allowed those tapes to be shown at the trial. There are a lot of surveillance tapes they haven't made available, and I think they know more about the John Does. Some of these guys could be government provocateurs, maybe that's why they don't want the John Does known; or maybe some of them could be real terrorists and they are at large and could bomb again, particularly if they are Middle Eastern types. So this case isn't solved and it is a serious problem.
"They've just dropped the case after they got two guys (McVeigh and Nichols). They knew all along that they had other John Does, they had a lot of other very credible witnesses that [saw others] involved in transporting what appeared to be the constituents of a bomb to Oklahoma City. They not only did not use those witnesses but, they have, in my opinion, tampered with some of them."
Danny Wilkerson, a convenience store clerk in the Regency Towers saw McVeigh and a John Doe and sold soda and cigarettes to McVeigh. The FBI has never used him as a witness. In fact, Briley says, "they were brutal to him verbally. They kept coming back trying to get him to change his story. He says he 'saw McVeigh with a John Doe'. Well, they don't want that known for some reason. The FBI went way beyond what they should have done in the way they treated him. The FBI and the Justice Department have deliberately mishandled the witnesses in this case. It's not just one or two, there are quite a few; they've not only mishandled them, in some cases, they've tampered with them. We want the entire crime solved and we think the FBI has a lot of this information, and they've gone out of their way to push people away and intimidate them."
Rick Sennett, another eyewitness, saw McVeigh with multiple John Does. Sennett told The WINDS he saw John Doe with McVeigh when they came into a convenience store in Kingman, Kansas. There was a convoy consisting of a Ryder truck, an older brown pickup and another vehicle along with other John Does. They appeared to be headed toward Oklahoma City at 2:00 a.m. on April 19. Sennett said he later recognized John Doe #2 from the FBI sketch made shortly after the bombing. He said it was a very accurate representation of the "now officially nonexistent" John Doe. The description of the vehicles and the description of the people matches the description of what was seen at Geary Lake where the bomb was allegedly made.
Sennett immediately contacted the FBI who showed no interest in his sighting. He contacted the FBI again when they made the official declaration that the existence of any John Does had been ruled out. He wrote letters to eight congressmen and senators; he wrote to both governors of Kansas and Oklahoma, and they all ignored him.
It was only after he was interviewed by a prominent Oklahoma City radio station, just before the Nichols' trial, telling of his sighting of McVeigh and John Doe #2 and his repeated but futile attempts to interest the FBI in his eyewitness report, that the radio station was contacted by the FBI saying, "We'd like to talk to this witness." The duplicity of the official investigation increasingly reveals itself.
The WINDS also contacted Debbie Burdick, another in a series of eyewitnesses who sighted additional individuals who appeared to be in the company of Timothy McVeigh. As with other witnesses, she also contacted the FBI about her sightings and observations. She says she was treated "like a loony old lady" by the agents she spoke with.
At approximately 9:00 on the morning of April 19, 1995 Mrs. Burdick and her son were passengers in a car driven by her daughter. They were en route to an appointment with their doctor at a nearby hospital. Mrs. Burdick described what she saw and experienced on that fateful day in downtown Oklahoma City, just four blocks from the federal building.
Robinson Avenue is a one-way street, running from north to south through Oklahoma City, with the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building located at the intersection of 5th and Robinson. The Burdicks had inadvertently pulled their vehicle onto Robinson heading north, the wrong way on that one-way street. Somewhat flustered when she discovered the traffic light was not visible to her, the daughter said, "Mom, what should I do?" Mrs. Burdick said, "just watch them," referring to the three vehicles waiting for the light to change at the cross street. "When they move out of the intersection, we can go." But the cars did not move. "They must have sat there through two light changes," she said. "That's when I noticed the ones in the little blue car were looking off to the left of us, not at us."
There were three cars at the intersection. The little blue car with white interior had three male occupants. They were the only ones visible to Mrs. Burdick who described them as being "of dark descent, but not black." Next to it was the second vehicle, a brown pickup with dark windows which prevented the occupants from being seen. Behind was the third vehicle, a large light-colored Mercury, which had the sun visor down obscuring the driver from view.
The occupants of the small car, two men in the front seats and one in the back, were intently looking southward toward the federal building, "like they were expecting something to happen." Mrs. Burdick commented to her family, "What in the world are they looking at?" She turned to look in that direction saying, "there's nothing over there but buildings."
Turning back around and facing forward, she saw the three vehicles finally move through the intersection. This cleared the way for her own car to move off their collision course on the one-way street. Just as her daughter started ahead, the massive explosion at the federal building hit. "It blew us through the intersection," Mrs. Burdick said.
When they turned back to look in the direction of the federal building, all they could see was debris falling. "When the air cleared, which wasn't long, I saw a helicopter hovering over the [federal] building," she said. Very shortly thereafter, police, firefighters, and the ambulances were at the scene. It all seemed to have been orchestrated as if by prearrangement. When the family refocused on their immediate surroundings, Mrs. Burdick said, "I looked ahead and there was a bomb squad going around the corner." This was not an isolated sighting of the bomb squad on the morning of April 19. It had been seen by others earlier that morning in the vicinity of the federal building.
Later, the Burdicks returned to the spot where they had observed the three cars . She said it was an ideal place from which to see the building being blown up. "I've driven to other locations" for comparison, but "you had the clearest view" from that spot.
As previously mentioned, Mrs. Burdick reported the entire experience to the FBI but they showed no interest. However, after a lapse of almost two and one-half years, the FBI did contact Mrs. Burdick just before the trial of Terry Nichols. This time they called her telling her not to talk to anyone about the incident, especially not Michael Tiger, attorney for Terry Nichols.
Among those who lost family members in the bombing of the federal building was Janie Coverdale whose two grandsons had been killed in the day-care center. Debbie Burdick made contact with Mrs. Coverdale and the two ladies became friends. During a conversation about the tragedy, the subject of the small blue car came up with a full description given. Mrs. Coverdale was interested at once. She had been given a videotape sometime earlier by a reporter and asked Debbie Burdick to watch it. The tape contained footage taken at Elohim City, a small religious community in eastern Oklahoma where Timothy McVeigh is known to have spent time prior to the bombing. After viewing the videotape, which showed several shots of a small blue car with white interior, Mrs. Coverdale asked, "What do you think about the car?" The response was, "I'd be ninety-nine percent sure it is the same car I saw in Oklahoma City."
Among the many individuals who saw John Doe in Oklahoma City with McVeigh, was a federal employee who unwittingly talked with John Doe before the bombing. After speaking with the FBI, this individual collaborated with them and a sketch artist to produce the John Doe sketch. Later, after the FBI had reversed itself saying no John Does exist, this individual was called upon to testify before the Oklahoma County grand jury. On the day of scheduled testimony, the individual was contacted by the legal counsel for the federal agency that employed this anonymous person. There were threats made implying that, unless the testimony was limited to certain acceptable aspects, this individual would lose his job. Due to his vulnerability, this individual prefers that his identity remain anonymous.
Kathy Wilburn told The WINDS she and her husband, Glenn, interviewed witnesses who had been intimidated by the FBI. Two individuals, David Keene and girlfriend Connie, were living at the Dreamland Motel in Junction City, Kansas where McVeigh had stayed. They reported seeing McVeigh in his room in the company of another man. The FBI talked with them on several occasions, always insisting that "you did not see a John Doe #2, there is no John Doe #2." They were shocked by the FBI's abusive behavior and their tactics of discounting and contradicting of their eyewitness report.
Wilburn says she is "probably the only family member who says the jury brought in a good verdict. If they hadn't have offered these lesser charges, they would have had to let Terry walk. They [the prosecution] didn't prove anything to me. As a matter of fact, it continued to cast doubt on the FBI [story] to me. They did not have much on Terry, very little [evidence]. He has some things that he needs to explain, but I don't know but what he thought, like the ATF did, that the building was going to be blown up in the middle of the night with no one in it. I don't know, I have to speculate, but the government is asking us to do a lot of speculating.
"I am convinced that Terry doesn't pay taxes...but I'm not convinced about what his true role was in the bombing. I think he was the least culpable of anyone.
"For Beth Wilkinson to stand up and refer to John Doe #2 as Tim McVeigh's 'phantom friend', and to refer to his existence as 'about as credible as Elvis sightings', there is something terribly wrong here. Beth Wilkinson says Terry is this evil mastermind. If he was a mastermind, why would he approach the police and voluntarily talk to the FBI for nine hours without an attorney being present?"
Kathy Wilburn says, "I feel like I have gone into this fairly open-minded. There are some family members that are looking for closure. They are buying into the story that Tim and Terry did it [alone]. They need someone to die for this crime and to just go on. I don't need any blood, and I sure don't need any innocent blood. I'm not sure what Terry's involvement was in this, so I went into it very open- minded and I went out scratching my head. Had I sat on the jury, I would probably have let him go or done just what the jury did."
Regardless of whether Terry Nichols or Timothy McVeigh are guilty of this crime, or whether one or both are innocent, the bottom line is the crime has not been solved. Mass murderers may still be on the streets, their identity shielded and their protection almost guaranteed by the FBI who refuses to acknowledge their existence. Moreover, some of those who at considerable cost to themselves would step forward to bring justice in this case are being harassed and intimidated either into silence or anonymity.
It is with considerable justification that this crime is accounted as unsolved. Consider some of the additional evidence.
What would the other mothers and fathers and grandparents have given to have had that same prior warning for their loved ones? One might ask, whose crime is greater, McVeigh's or the government's? Who bears the greater accountability to the families of those killed? Who bears the greater responsibility for the 168 needless deaths-- Nichols or the federal agents who failed to pass on their warning to those in the building?
The government seems eager to bring closure to this case. In spite of exhaustive efforts to suppress evidence to the contrary, many Americans believe this is an unsolved crime.
The truth, in this case, seems destined to suffer the same fate as did the damaged Murrah building. It was not allowed to stand until a complete examination could take place, but was quickly demolished by the government and buried in a locked and guarded landfill. Yet, a higher Authority than the FBI or the Justice Department has decreed that "nothing is covered up that shall not be revealed, nor hidden and kept secret that will not be known." Luke 12:2.
- Many Many Questions Still Haunt Oklahoma!
- The Oklahoma Bombing
- Timothy McVeigh Convicted, But the Jury is Still Out!
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