Timothy James McVeigh was born on April 23, 1968 in Pendleton, New York, near Buffalo. He grew up a small, thin boy who was not very well coordinated. He had lots of heart by all accounts, always coming out to play with others in games that required agility and speed. Often he was teased and taunted because of his lack of athletic prowess, and by all accounts he took the teasing well...and always showed right back up to try again. It always appeared to others that Timothy existed on the fringe of everything. His classmates and teachers characterize him as "shy and never having a date." As a matter of fact, lack of female interest (with one or two exceptions) is chronicled throughout his short life. McVeigh has been called an "underachiever" in school - but very bright. When Tim was 10 years old his mother and father separated and he and his sisters grew up with his father. But, it was Tim's grandfather who would have the most profound influence on him - he introduced him to the love of his life, guns.
Timothy McVeigh achieved the rank of Sergeant in the United States Army. During his time in the service he was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge and the Bronze Star. He fit into the regimen and discipline of the Army quite well, and in some respects was the model soldier. In a story published in the Washington Post, Staff writer Dale Russakoff, had the following to say:
"For the most part, any aberrations in Tim McVeigh's life were hidden under an exterior so bland as to be nondescript. Many acquaintances had to struggle to think of something -- anything -- to relate about him. His interest in firearms was known only to friends who also liked them; a good friend from the track team never even knew McVeigh owned a BB gun. In retrospect, merely appearing regular seems to have been a lifelong pursuit. Even today, as the case against him grows ever tighter, a person who has seen and talked to McVeigh in prison near Oklahoma City saw in him a normalcy that rendered him "the scariest man in the world." "There's nothing alarming about him -- nothing," this person said. "He's respectful of his elders, he's polite. When he expresses political views, for most of what he says, Rush Limbaugh is scarier. That's what's incredibly frightening. If he is what he appears to be, there must be other people out there like him. You look at him and you think: This isn't the end of something; this is the beginning of something."
It was in the Army, however, that Tim's really obsessive behaviors drew attention. His Army roommate, Dave Dilly, recalls:
"Always eager to please, he carefully starched the pleats into his uniform, spit-polished his shoes, won days off for immaculate appearance. He was always early, always up for guard duty no one else wanted. Any test, he'd ace it. He got the top score on everything. He knew he was exactly what the Army wanted. It was going to be an easy life for him."
McVeigh had long harbored anti-government sentiments thus it is not surprising that he would gravitate towards right-wing militia groups and extremists. Discouraged and disgruntled over his inability to make the grade for the Green Berets and believing that the U.S. government was oppressive and on the wrong track, McVeigh traveled around the country setting up shop and selling military type paraphernalia at various gun shows. The underground novel, The Turner Diaries, was generally hawked by him as well. Many accounts of McVeigh's travels neglect to explore the importance of this time in Tim's life. Generally, they tend to focus on McVeigh's visits to Fortier and Nichols with little mention, if any, of the others who he met while on the gun-show circuit and the role they played in McVeigh's act of terror. It wasn't until recently that many of the pieces of the puzzle surrounding McVeigh's motivation and extremist leanings came to light. And it wasn't until recently that the federal law-enforcement agencies' prior knowledge of his associations was substantiated. Thus, any true understanding of the events surrounding the final act has been greatly hindered.
According to Moore, who was close to Cooper, the Second Continental Army of the Republic was one of two organizations which Cooper was involved with:
"There were two completely different organizations about which he wrote, taught, and spoke. One was the Second Continental Army of the Republic, which was/is a militia arm... very secretive, very underground, very well connected, very well insulated, very well trained, very professional.Sounding a lot like "The Order," an underground group depicted in the "Turner Diaries, this group is supposedly one of two. Moore describes the second group, in "The Konformist" thusly:
About this organization you will never uncover anything. They know who they are, and they're not playing games. This organization has maintained its anonymity for almost ten years, and that is as it should be. To be truly effective in this role, you must be almost invisible. The SCAR has achieved this and I am sure they will maintain it. No one who is a part of that particular militia will EVER publicly admit a militia rank. It's just nobody's business, and such public disclosures would do nothing but negate the effectiveness of the group."
"The other organization associated with Bill is the Intelligence Service (originally known as CAJI, Citizens Agency for Joint Intelligence), which was the intel-gathering arm of the SCAR. This was purely info-centered... not a militia organization. There was no war-game training, no survival exercises in the woods. The training was specifically geared to gathering information, acquiring it, understanding it, finding its perspective in relation to other information known, determining the accuracy or bias of the information, determining the dependability of sources, putting it all together and documenting trends and activities. The training for those who worked at it was intensive and comprehensive.
Anyone could apply for membership in the Intelligence Service, but not all who applied were accepted. When applying, you had to present credentials of either experience or education, and a thorough background check was performed on all applicants before they were accepted into service. You were assigned a beginning rank based on your background, accomplishments and capabilities, and, depending on the quality of your performance, you might achieve promotion. I joined this organization in late 1994. Before resigning my commission from the Intelligence Service in April of 1997, I earned the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, and coordinated the work of members in four states.
Issues concerning the existence or purpose of the Intelligence Service were never secret -- although some of the information gathered was. Bill talked openly about the Intelligence Service, and asked publicly for participants who could be disciplined thinkers, willing to learn, willing to work, willing to serve. It offered a way for anyone who was accepted to participate, regardless of their age or physical condition. It was a job we all took very seriously, and those who worked received superb leadership training as well."
Whether McVeigh was ever involved with either of these is not known and pretty unlikely. Certainly, however, given his obsession with the "Turner Diaries," Tim would be fascinated with the secrecy and inner-workings of such groups. Cooper spoke of the need for underground resistance units and the need for individuals to maintain a low profile. According to Moore:
"He wanted small, organized, invisible pockets of support to form in every community, waiting and preparing for the time when their service would be vital to the existence of our nation."
All of this played like a concerto to McVeigh - a civilian army, armed and prepared and ready to rise up against the governmental forces of evil.
It is important to note that during the time that McVeigh was tuning into Cooper's radio broadcast, there was a groundswell in the Patriot Movement. Militia's were quite active during this period and while not all members or all militia movements were characterized by racist ideology, many of the white hate groups found commonality with the militias and their anti-government stance. It was not unusual to find militia members in attendance at extremist gatherings or neo-Nazi's attending militia meetings. The paranoia that was omnipresent in militia-minded individuals was frequently shared by the racist right - and still is today.
Timothy McVeigh was ready for the broadcasts of William Cooper. Timothy McVeigh was being schooled by some of the best. As he traveled and set up shop with various gun-shows across the United States, Timothy McVeigh placed himself in a position to be inundated with like-minded people. And as he sold his knives and fatigues and the "Turner Diaries" (sometimes he sold the book for less than he paid for it just to get the message out there), he met a bevy of people with whom he could network.
"Gun shows have become town-hall meetings for racists and antigovernment radicals," said Gerald Post, director of the political psychology program at George Washington University." Prosecutors of McVeigh have claimed that McVeigh used the gun shows to "fence stolen weapons, make contacts to buy bomb materials and hone his terrorist skills." That most gun-shows attract their share of anti-government and extremist individuals is without argument. In a speech at the University of California-Riverside, Noel Ignatiev, of the Violence Policy Center, said that "gun shows have become Tupperware parties for criminals." Citing a seventy-two page study conducted by the Center, it was stated that "gun shows have become town squares where militia members and the extremist fringe recruit new members and they have become a primary source for stolen military parts."
Timothy McVeigh found his niche - and he made new friends - lots of them. Immersed in conspiracy theory about the government, McVeigh bemoaned the current state of affairs to the newspaper writing: "Is a civil war imminent? Do we have to shed blood to reform the current system? I hope it doesn't come to that, but it might." He also corresponded with his sister, Jennifer. In his letters he explained that the government planned to disarm gun owners and lock them up in concentration-like camps - much as depicted in the "Turner Diaries." But, on April 19, 1993, the straw that finally broke the back of Timothy McVeigh was lain squarely and irrevocably.
"The government is afraid of the guns people have because they have to have control of the people at all times. Once you take away the guns, you can do anything to the people. The government is continually growing bigger and more powerful, and the people need to prepare to defend themselves against government control."Among the pamphlets and literature being proffered by McVeigh were such titles as, "Politicians Love Gun Control," "Fear the Government That Fears Your Gun," "A Man With A Gun is a Citizen, A Man Without a Gun is a Subject." Of course, government agents were keeping a close eye on those around the Waco compound, and it was here that McVeigh came under scrutiny. He hung around for a few days then headed west to visit his Army buddy, Michael Fortier and his wife Lori in Kingmon, Arizona.
Tim left the Fortier trailer and headed for Tulsa, Oklahoma and the Wanenmacher's World's Largest Gun and Knife Show. It was in Tulsa that McVeigh was to meet several very important people. It was in Tulsa that the determiners of the fate of the Alfred P. Murrah Building and all of its occupants became acquainted.
Among those people who befriended McVeigh was a man by the name of Roger Moore, a gun dealer from Royal, Arkansas. Moore shared his home with Karen Anderson. Both Moore and Anderson worked together in a mail order ammunition business. Moore who used the name "Bob Miller" at gun shows extended an invitation to McVeigh to visit him at his home. McVeigh was very comfortable in Moore's home environment as he was surrounded by guns, ammunition and explosive devices. He took quick note at the lack of security surrounding all of Moore's valuable weaponry. And, Moore would soon be the target of a robbery.
"I lawfully, squarely challenge the fraudulent usurping octopus of jurisdiction/authority that does not apply to me," wrote Nichols, claiming that the federal government is operating in violation of the Constitution. "It is therefore now mandatory for . . . the so-called IRS, for example, to prove its jurisdiction."Steeped in the rhetoric of the militia and the Patriot Movement, Nichols along with his brother James, refused to recognize the government as legal and as having any authority over their day-to-day actions. Terry refused to register his pick-up truck or buy a valid license plate because he did not believe that the Constitution empowered the U.S. government to print money.
When McVeigh arrived at the Decker farm, the Waco stand-off was at full steam. When the end of siege resulted in the deaths of 75 Branch Davidians, McVeigh was livid - and he was certain that the government had to pay. Before long, MVeigh and the Nichols brothers were practicing setting off explosives on the farm. The three men attended meetings of the Michigan Militia but grew frustrated with all of the talk and no action, consequently, they formed their own cell of a paramilitary group called "The Patriots." McVeigh would spend a lot of time with Terry Nichols and Michael Fortier. The government had finally shown the world how it treated its citizens, and Timothy McVeigh was a man on a mission.
Bland, nondescript Timothy McVeigh believed that it was time to send the message and sound the alarm that would rally the armed citizens of America to take action. Among the people who McVeigh had met in Tulsa were Dennis Mahon and Andreas Strassmeir. Both of these men were neo-Nazi's with deep ties to the racist right and the underground which encourages and supports small cell and lone-wolf violence. While the Nichols brothers had the know-how in building bombs from common materials - the racist right had the connections needed to make it happen.
I met Tim Tuttle, but I didn't know he was alias Tim McVeigh. I met him at gun shows. He sold military stuff, knives, gun parts, camouflage uniforms. I remember he had real short hair and real intense eyes and the real long narrow nose...And we talked about Waco. And I said, 'What comes around goes around. If they keep doing this terrorism on our people, terrorism's going to happen to them....'He said, 'Probably. Probably so."Vehemently anti-government and viciously anti-racist, Mahon referred to Timothy McVeigh as a martyr for the cause and stated:
"Timothy McVeigh is my hero. Wish we had a thousand more like him. He took action."He also referred to the bombng as "a fine thing" and stated further "I hate the government with a perfect hatred. If I had a nuclear bomb, I'd put it in a truck and drive right up to the Capitol Building in Washington and blow it all up, me included." Believing that any and all methods are legitimate when it comes to saving your nation, Mahon was the perfect friend for Timothy McVeigh.
Dennis Mahon was a world traveler and Timothy McVeigh's defense team attempted to introduce evidence which would demonstrate a Middle-Eastern tie to the bombing via Dennis Mahon - the evidence was never allowed, but in a brief filed by defense attorney's the suspicion of these ties was stated thusly:
"The defense believes that there is credible evidence that a conspiracy to bomb federal property, very possibly the Murrah Building, is centered in Elohim City and the persons described which are associated with Elohim City, but that the technical expertise and possibly financial support came from a foreign country, most likely Iraq, but possibly Iran or another state in the Middle East. Dennis Mahon has admitted publicly to received money from Iraq, approximately once a month. D.E. 2191 at 11. According to Mahon, the money started arriving in 1991 after he began holding rallies protesting the Persian Gulf War. Id.
Although the defense has no direct evidence linking Suspect I with Iraq, there is evidence indicating an indirect connection between Suspect I and Iraq through the militant Posse Comitatus group in Kansas."
Often referring to himself as "the master of disguise," Mahon was identified as the person driving the Ryder truck on the morning of April 19th, 1995, with Tim McVeigh riding as a passenger. To date, Mahon has not been questioned or arrested.
Strassmeir has been placed in the company of Timothy McVeigh and Dennis Mahon on numerous occasions. In fact, it is now known that the phone call that McVeigh placed to Elohim City just 12 days before the bombing was actually a phone call to Andreas Strassmeir. Andy's association with a former CIA agent has come under scrutiny and many believe that Strassmeir was John Doe #2. In Novemeber, 1994, Carol Howe informed the ATF that Strassmeir had declared "It's time to go to war�it's time to start bombing federal buildings."
With these acquaintances and the introduction of McVeigh to the Elohim City compound, Tim was able to formulate a plan, locate funding and garner support from other like-minded people. This also, undoubtedly buoyed his belief in the army of armed civilians ready to engage in insurrection as the people of Elohim City are all armed and all anti-government.
Elohim City also serves as a "safe haven" for those on the run. As the planning was taking place for McVeigh's final act, the Aryan Republican Army was using the compound to regroup and plan their next heist. The Aryan Republican Army was comprised of Mark Thomas, the Pennsylvania leader of the Aryan Nations and Christian Identity minister, Peter Langan known as "Commander Pedro," an Aryan Nations disciple, Richard Lee Guthrie, a Christian Identity adherent, Scott Stedeford, Christian Identity, Aryan Nations adherent, Kevin McCarthy, Christian Identity, Aryan Nations adherent and Michael Brescia, one time roommate of Andreas Strassmeir at Elohim City.
McVeigh had always been enterprising at raising money. And, this would be no exception. The purpose of the Aryan Republican Army, according to member Kevin McCarthy, was to raise money to "commit terrorist acts against the United States." Timothy McVeigh certainly wanted to commit acts of terror against the government and in order to do so, he had to raise the funds.
The one family member who Timothy McVeigh was closet to was his sister, Jennifer. Younger than Tim, he felt somewhat paternal towards her. In November of 1994, Jennifer tells us under oath that Timothy flashed a wad of money and asked her to launder it for him. He claimed that it came from a bank robbery. At the same time, Tim told Jennifer about plans to commit political assassinations.
Timothy McVeigh was seen in the company of many of the residents and guests of Elohim City prior to the bombing. One report places Michael Fortier at Elohim City on at least one occasion. On April 8, 1995, just 11 days before the bombing, Timothy McVeigh, Andreas Strassmeir and Michael Bresscia are reported to have been seen at a strip-club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. According to one of the strippers, McVeigh told her , "I am a very smart man," to which she responded, "You are?" And McVeigh replied, "Yes I am. And on April 19, 1995, you'll remember me for the rest of your life." The stripper replied, "Oh really?" And Tim simply said, "Yes you will." Several witnesses placed the three men together in Lady Godiva's that night.
The prosecution asserted that the bomb that was built to blow up the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City was put together by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols at Geary Lake State Park just north of Nichols' home in Herington, Kansas. What the prosecution failed to mention was that others were seen in Herington with Mcveigh - others who have been identified as Michael Brescia and Andreas Strassmeir.
A loner, filled with rage and believing in the shadowy underground of militia's and armed insurrection searching for others who believed Timothy McVeigh moved into the realm of Elohim City and found the means and the connections to carry out his obsession. From the mesa top in Arizona and the message of Bill Cooper to the Oklahoma compound of Elohim City and at all points in between, McVeigh's distorted perceptions were reinforced time and time again. From the pages of the "Turner Diaries," emerged a three-dimensional Earl Turner. The book that tells the story of murder, mayhem and governmental overthrow was brought to life.
There are those who believe that Timothy McVeigh was used by his new-found friends and that he took the fall for those who were truly guilty. Timothy McVeigh admitted to the bombing and took the responsibility. And he paid - with his life. To the end, McVeigh never implicated the others, but that too was in keeping with the Diaries. You might say that he "consecrated his life" to the cause. And in death, martyrdom would be the over-riding factor for McVeigh. As he issued the poem "Invictus" as his last words, Timothy McVeigh became the captain of his fate. Timothy McVeigh died much as Earl Turner died, believing that he had given the ultimate sacrifice and seeing in those who befriended and assisted him what Turner saw in his brethren of the "Order."
" As the torchlight flickered over the coarse, gray robes of the motionless throng, I thought to myself: These men are the best my race has produced in this generation-and they are as good as have been produced in any generation. In them are combined fiery passion and icy discipline, deep intelligence and instant readiness for action, a strong sense of self-worth and a total commitment to our common cause. On them hang the hopes of everything that will ever be. They are the vanguard of the coming New Era, the pioneers who will lead our race out of its present depths and toward the unexplored heights above. And I am one with them!" (The Turner Diaries)
© 2003 Citizens Against Hate
All Rights Reserved