OKLAHOMA CITY (Feb 5, 1996) - The attorney for Oklahoma City bombing
suspect Timothy McVeigh Monday confirmed that his defense team is
investigating a possible neo-Nazi conspiracy in the blast that killed
169 people last April.
Attorney Stephen Jones said he hired a London firm to investigate
whether materials for the truck bomb that destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah
federal building were supplied by neo-Nazi groups operating out of the
United Kingdom and Germany.
"I think it's the type of the bomb, the method of delivery, the size of
it that makes activities in the U.K. of particular interest as it
relates to this case," Jones said.
The London Times Sunday reported the April 19 bombing may have been
planned to avenge the execution in Arkansas that same day of white
supremist Richard Snell for the murder of a Jewish businessman and a
black policeman. The article, quoting unnamed sources, claims key
components for the bomb that destroyed the office building may have been
obtained in Britain from far-right activists.
"We are investigating and pursuing that line of inquiry, along with
others," Jones told Reuters.
McVeigh and U.S. Army friend Terry Nichols have been charged with
bombing the building, killing 169 people including children in a day
care center on the ground floor and injuring hundreds of others.
Federal prosecutors played down any links between the Oklahoma City
bombing and an alleged international conspiracy. "I am unaware of any
basis for that kind of speculation," said U.S. Justice Department
spokesman Carl Stern.
But Jones said federal investigators are combing the same ground he is,
looking for possible ties between the bombing and neo-Nazi groups. "I
think both our side and the government's side are exploring those
links," he said.
Copyright 1996 Reuter Information Service
BOMB TRIAL JUDGE CALLED 'NO-NONSENSE'
ASSOCIATES SAY HE'LL PREVENT MEDIA CIRCUS
December 14, 1995 From Correspondent Tony Clark
OKLAHOMA CITY (CNN) -- No sooner did new bombing trial Judge Richard
Matsch arrive in Oklahoma City than he met with prosecutors and defense
attorneys, canceled next spring's scheduled trial date, and left open
the question of where and when the trial will be held.
Head down and with a determined gate away from the courthouse, Matsch
said of his decision, "All of these things have to be determined."
It is that "take charge" attitude that has won Matsch praise in his home
state of Colorado. "There couldn't be a better trial court judge to
handle a case of this magnitude and complexity. He's a tough, fair, very
bright, very hardworking judge," says Colorado Bar Association President
Matsch arrived Tuesday to replace Judge Wayne Alley, who was asked to
step down because he was too close to the case against Timothy McVeigh
and Terry Nichols, who are accused of bombing the Oklahoma City Federal
Building on April 19. The devastating truck bomb explosion killed 169
men, women, and children.
A former assistant U.S. attorney, the 64-year-old Matsch was appointed
to the federal bench in 1974 by President Nixon.
He's no stranger to high-profile, controversial cases.
While on the federal bench, Matsch has presided over the desegregation
of Denver schools; held then-U.S. Secretary of Health Otis Bowen in
contempt of court for failing to set adequate standards for the
inspection of nursing homes; ruled the Ku Klux Klan could march in
Denver on the Rev. Martin Luther King's birthday; and presided over the
trial of four members of the white supremacist anti-Semitic group known
as "The Order." They were charged in the 1984 murder of radio talk show
host Alan Berg.
Colleagues say Matsch is not easily intimidated and that he is a "no-
"There won't be lengthy times when the jury is taken out of the room.
There won't be unnecessary bench conferences, sidebar conferences," says
federal public defender Michael Katz.
It's a case that stirs immense emotion nationwide, and all eyes will be
watching intently. But those who have worked closely with Matsch say he
won't let it turn into a circus. "He's got experience in handling
difficult cases with a lot of publicity," says Frances Koncilja, former
president of the Colorado Bar Association. "He's not going to let that
McVeigh T-Shirt may become evidence
Sources have told CNN that McVeigh was wearing a T-shirt with words
about shedding blood in defense of liberty on the day of the bombing.
The T-shirt reportedly featured a quote written by Thomas Jefferson in
1787, shortly after the American revolution: "The tree of liberty must
be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
McVeigh's lawyer, Stephen Jones, brushed aside any concern when asked
how incriminating the T-shirt may be.
"Well, if Thomas Jefferson said it, I would not think it would be
incriminating at all," Jones said.
But sources said the T-shirt is expected to be a key piece of evidence.
"What Jefferson is saying is that it is a fact that, in order to
preserve freedom, you're going to have a situation where there is
violence as a wake-up call, you might say, to the leaders," Jeffersonian
scholar Steve Hochman said.
OKLAHOMA BOMBING INVESTIGATORS HIT TROUBLESOME SNAGS
November 24, 1995 From Correspondent Robert Vito
MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- Federal, state and local law enforcement
officials will attend a memorial in Miami Friday for victims of the
bombing that devastated Oklahoma City last April. As the officials mourn
the dead, they'll also recognize those who helped in the rescue and
investigation efforts following the tragedy. Meanwhile, in Oklahoma
City, the work continues, as prosecutors try to construct a solid case
out of varying witness reports.
In particular, prosecutors have had more difficulty than expected in
tying bombing suspect Timothy McVeigh to the Ryder truck that blew up
the Oklahoma City federal building. Key witnesses have delivered a
variety of stories about when and where the truck was seen and how many
people may have been involved.
It seemed clear enough at first. Investigators traced the serial number
on a rear axle found at the scene and said the bomb truck was rented at
a Ryder outlet in Junction City, Kansas, the Monday before the attack.
Ryder employees furnished a sketch of the man who rented the truck.
The owner of the Dreamland Motel then identified the sketch as McVeigh,
who had stayed there four nights. But, she maintained, he brought a
Ryder truck to the motel the day before the FBI says the bomb truck was
"I know he was here Sunday afternoon with the Ryder truck," said
Dreamland Owner Lea McGown. However, the FBI thinks McVeigh was in
Oklahoma City that Easter Sunday, leaving his rusty old car there as a
Another problem: if McVeigh did indeed drive the Ryder truck out of the
lot on Monday, how did he get there in the first place? Was there
someone else? Who took McVeigh to the Ryder rental place if, by then,
his car was in Oklahoma City? Agents simply do not know and fall back on
far too familiar words: "the investigation continues."
Another stumbling block: Tuesday at Geary Lake. This is where and when
the FBI says the bomb was put together. Real estate agent Georgia Rucker
drove by that morning. She said she saw a Ryder truck parked by the
lake, but she reported she saw two other vehicles, as well. That could
raise the ominous possibility that another party was involved as well.
Even more confusing for the FBI, Rucker said she and her son [Geary
Lake] saw a truck at the lake days before the bomb truck was rented. She
called this "very suspicious."
All of which means the FBI may have a long road ahead before it has
anything close to an open-and-shut case against the man it thinks is
responsible for the deaths of 169 people.
Copyright 1996 Cable News Network, Inc.
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