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Thread: It’s Time We Get Answers About the FBI’s Involvement In the OKC Bombing

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    It’s Time We Get Answers About the FBI’s Involvement In the OKC Bombing

    It’s Time We Get Answers About the FBI’s Involvement In the OKC Bombing
    John Kline (27 April 2022)

    This past week marked the 27th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. As the worst terrorist act committed on U.S. soil at the time, we all know the reported facts of the horrific event well: a 27-year-old Desert Storm-vet, Timothy McVeigh, acting with minimal help from Terry Nichols and Michael Fortier, detonated a 7,000-pound fertilizer bomb from a parked Ryder truck outside the federal Alfred P. Murrah building, killing 168 people, 19 of them children.

    Two years later, in 1997, McVeigh was convicted of “Using a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death,” among other federal charges. For a time, he was held on the same cell block as the Unabomber and WTC-bomber Ramzi Yousef (who tried to convert him to Islam), before being put to death by lethal injection in 2001.

    There is much we still don’t know about the case, however. Thanks to years of heroic work by people like Salt Lake City-based attorney Jesse Trentadue, writer and researcher J.M. Berger, and independent investigative reporter Wendy S. Painting, the American public is slowly learning more and more key (and disturbing) facts about the case. Facts involving the FBI’s possible incitement of McVeigh and the subsequent cover-up of these facts by Newsweek magazine.

    FBI incitement is more topical than ever, of course. Reports of the FBI being involved in Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer’s kidnapping plot and of FBI agents and assets being involved in the January 6th events has collapsed whatever level of trust the public had with federal law enforcement, not to mention the mainstream media whose related coverage rarely digs deeper than the government’s official line. [Related thread: It Is Time To End the Fixation with Federal Law Enforcement - OB]

    What other crimes have been committed or conspiracies planned, the public wonders, where the initial momentum was actually created the FBI? How much have FBI infiltrators pushed constitutionally protected “heated talk” into the unlawful planning and execution of deadly crimes? To what extent has the FBI been, as the saying goes, arsonists posing as firefighters? These are especially important questions when it comes to the OKC bombing.

    Operation PATCON

    As most know, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies have conducted surveillance and infiltration operations against right-wing groups for decades. Chief among them being the “Patriotic Conspiracy” or “PATCON” operation. Despite its official ending in late 1993 (although some say it was carried forward in some form), PATCON only became public in 2007 thanks to a public records request.

    Partly citing internal FBI documents, Painting in her explosive 2016 book about PATCON and McVeigh, describes how the former’s secret operatives and paid informers “were given license to engage in provocateur activities and instructed to make known their willingness to commit violence and advocate for the violent overthrow of the U.S. government.”[1] She quotes one informer who went public about the operation, John Matthews, saying he realized that although initially told “the objective was to infiltrate and monitor,” he would later come to understand that its real objective was to “to infiltrate and incite.”[2] This, says Matthews, included providing “the ideas, detailed instructions, and even live C4 explosives and automatic weapons to targeted individuals as a way of entrapping them into terrorist plots, so the FBI could capitalize on foiled and actualized plots.”[3] According to Trentadue, through PATCON, the FBI was actually trying to sow a full-on rebellion.

    While the FBI has indeed infiltrated hard-left and Islamic groups in the past, the extent and complete failure of the FBI’s overreach when it comes to right-wing groups (which diversely included pro-gun, ultra-libertarian, survivalist, and white racist or advocacy groups) makes this area especially alarming. For instance, there was just one minor conviction over stolen military night-vision goggles that was ever made through PATCON, and it relied on army, not FBI, intelligence. As Oklahoma City journalist J.D. Cash said about PATCON and certain precursor programs of the 1980s, “there isn’t a neo-Nazi or racist group in the country that isn’t operationally controlled by the FBI.” This seems to concur with what a former young Aryan Nation-member told Painting for her book[4]:

    It was well known that at any Aryan Nation event, in a crowd of 300 people, there’d be at least 30 undercover federal agents in attendance to monitor us, and another third of the crowd were informants…It was rampant, just like cops at a Grateful Dead show trying to sell people LSD.

    One of those assets was Vietnam War veteran John Matthews. Up until 1986, the government had been supporting U.S. civilian groups conducting operations in Nicaragua for anti-communist contra forces; a cause which Matthews chose to serve. When such efforts turned into a political scandal, however, the government broke off ties with these groups and refused to help its members. This included people like Matthews’ fellow soldier Tom Posey who would later be indicted on weapons-smuggling charges.[5] While he beat the rap, Posey felt cheated and shifted his efforts to anti-U.S. government organizing. When he revealed plans to break into a federal armory, however, Matthews contacted the FBI, establishing a relationship with law enforcement that led him to infiltrate over 20 militia, libertarian, gun-rights, and racist groups over a 20-year period.

    Matthews, who has long been suffering from an Agent-Orange-related cancer, is key to what understanding we have about PATCON’s connection to the OKC bombing. In the early nineties, Matthews was assigned to attend a PATCON-infiltrated, militia-training camp in Texas. While there, he met Timothy McVeigh. After the bombing and when McVeigh was arrested, Matthews immediately recognized him and called his FBI handler, Don Jarrett, to tell him this was the same man he saw at the Texas training camp. Jarrett assured Matthews they knew this already and told him to “forget about it.”

    In interviews with Painting, Matthews says he was disturbed by this for a few reasons, a major one being, she paraphrases, that “if they were watching McVeigh and friends back then, they had likely continued watching them throughout the bombing plot.”[6] “I felt Don knew more about this,” he said elsewhere.

    What other items he knew may have been what came out later in Trentadue’s public records suit against the FBI. Dozens of witnesses to the bombing had apparently reported to police and the FBI they had seen someone in the passenger side of McVeigh’s truck while parked outside the Murrah building. Other witnesses reported seeing McVeigh with several people at his motel the night before, including someone sitting at some point behind the wheel of the truck—And Nichols himself (who was in Kansas when the bombing took place) told journalists in 2007 that FBI provocateurs had lent their support to McVeigh’s plans.[7] Also disturbingly, using a fertilizer truck to blow up a federal building had been an idea Matthews had actually heard a few times before, including from suspected FBI infiltrators. For instance, he had heard it raised by two militia members he met who later became part of a busted plot to rob a bank, but who never got arrested, let alone jailed for it.

    All of this would seem to point to the OKC bombing being something like 2010’s Operation Fast and Furious, in which the FBI intentionally put guns into the hands of criminals, but failed to close the loop leading to a border agent being killed by a Mexican cartel. Was OKC a similar ‘gunwalking case gone awry’? Only one, far, far deadlier? Someone who McVeigh contacted two weeks before the bombing, Andy Strassmeir, later told a journalist it is possible the FBI was “going to arrest McVeigh at the site with the bomb in hand, but he didn’t come at the right time.” “[M]aybe he changed the time”, he said, “you never know with people who are so unreliable.”[8]

    Newsweek’s Complicity

    In 2011, wishing to tell his story before he died, Matthews was put in touch with former Associated Press-writer and then-editor of Newsweek, John Solomon. At the time, Newsweek was still foremost in the U.S. media field, coming in second in circulation only to Time magazine. It was an important and respected news source. Over months, Solomon and article-author Ross Schneiderman worked with Matthews and other sources, including former FBI officials, to confirm everything he told them about the murky workings of PATCON, including the unanswered questions about its operatives’ possible involvement in the OKC bombing.

    Enter Newsweek managing editor, Tina Brown. Above the heads of Solomon and Schneiderman, Brown (who left in 2013 and has been blamed for the periodical’s collapse) took what may have been a Pulitzer-worthy piece of journalism and cut away virtually all detail that could directly or indirectly impugn the government for the fallout of its PATCON operations. In the process, she reduced the original 7,000-word draft (found here) down to a mere 4,000 words (found here). As the since-defunct Examiner detailed at the time, all of the aforementioned suspicions Matthews aired about the FBI’s hand in the OKC bombing were cut.

    Brown’s puzzling decision had real consequences for Matthews. As Painting recounts in her book, the dying Matthews had taken a lot of risk by coming forward. He was now Newsweek’s cover story, but for reasons that had been omitted. Now, he was still a target but “for no good reason and he regretted coming forward.”[9] More broadly, by keeping such information away from the public, Brown was confirming the existence of a state-media axis in America. While examples of such direct state interventions into our otherwise free media system are rare (although certainly plentiful enough), media analysts like Noam Chomsky have long posited that, yes, news outlets do profit off the circulation of their stories and are thus incentivized to objectively report on events potentially embarrassing to the powerful elite. But, the big media houses still need government access and wish to maintain good relations with major power centers; hence, their occasional compliance with direct government demands—One might add the promise of future political jobs as an incentive for compliance or, in cases such as this where right-wing groups were clearly being mistreated, plain old liberal media bias (consider, for instance, the fairly wide reporting on the FBI’s infiltration of Islamic extremist groups).

    It seems without a doubt that the FBI did get to Brown. At the time Matthews approached Newsweek, Attorney General Eric Holder’s Operation Fast and Furious-debacle was still in the news. How could the Obama Administration handle yet another and far bigger scandal involving the FBI helping dangerous people do harm against innocent Americans?

    More Alarming Questions about FBI Conduct

    Elsewhere, the FBI has demonstrated a serious interest in keeping any questions about the OKC bombing firmly under wraps. When Matthews was slated to testify in Trentadue’s 2014 public records case over the release of Murrah building surveillance footage, his fear of retaliation led to the judge allowing him to testify at a secret location by video—Trentadue thought what Matthews had witnessed while a PATCON operative would help provide a motive for what had become the FBI’s ongoing, unlawful refusal to provide the footage under public records law.

    And despite the judge’s precautions, Matthews’s testimony still never took place. At the last minute, Matthews was supposedly threatened with having his VA medical benefits cut off and told to “stand down” by Jarrett and another FBI agent, Adam Quirk. Such a rank case of witness tampering, in fact, led to the judge ordering the FBI to reveal what exactly they had communicated to Matthews; an investigation that has been strangely ongoing since 2015.

    At the heart of Trentadue’s marathon public records case certainly has the FBI worried. Someone who did manage to testify early on in the case was an Oklahoma police officer and first responder to the OKC bombing. He told the court he witnessed the FBI actually stop the beginning of the recovery process while victims were still under piles of rubble in order to remove a surveillance camera from the Murrah building. Some believe the camera would have recorded anyone else besides McVeigh who left the truck after it was parked and, in fact, did so.

    Finally, there’s the questions about the FBI’s conduct vis-à-vis Trentadue himself. Why Trentadue got involved with the OKC case is because six weeks after the bombing, his brother Kenneth, another war vet, was taken into custody after a traffic incident triggered a parole violation relating to a minor event from years previous. Soon after, he was found hanging in a cell of a federal detention center.

    Photos released to Trentadue following a subsequent lawsuit against the federal Bureau of Prisons, however, showed his brother’s throat having been cut and his body covered in bruises—authorities had apparently tried to cover his wounds with make-up before releasing it to Kenneth’s family. The theory behind his death is, having shared a close resemblance with someone called Richard Guthrie, a white supremacist who the FBI thought had information about the OKC bombing, Kenneth was mistaken as Guthrie and taken in by the FBI for interrogation. McVeigh himself called and advised Trentadue of this, telling him he heard that the FBI had indeed mistaken Kenneth for Guthrie and that his death was the result of a botched interrogation session.

    Adding to suspicions, the DOJ formed a special team to handle media inquiries and the Trentadue family’s immediate requests for information. It apparently obstructed and delayed the Trentadue’s right to know what happened to Kenneth in every way it could, even when it came to releasing his corpse. Who happened to be the head of this operation (dubbed internally as “the Trentadue Mission”)?[10] Then-Deputy Attorney General, Eric Holder.

    Finally, there are the other related and mysterious deaths. After Guthrie himself was arrested, he told the LA Times he had “a couple grand juries to talk to” about what really happened with the OKC bombing, and was also later found hanging in his cell.[11] And later in 1999, a supposed inmate and witness to Kenneth’s murder, Alden Gillis Baker, threatened to come forward about what he saw. He too was later found hanging in his cell.[12]


    The details surrounding the OKC bombing show it to have all the elements of a “perfect,” post-war American tragedy: Vietnam vets disrespected by the liberal-media class and tossed aside by a government they loyally served; an unhinged federal bureaucracy using its sprawling resources to violate the civil rights of poor and ignored Americans; and, a state-liberal media-axis willing to cover up for government when the “cause” was right.

    And consider the following. Even if we ignore the aforementioned evidence about the FBI’s hand in the OKC bombing, remember that the twin motivations for McVeigh’s crimes were Waco and Ruby Ridge—McVeigh chose April 19 as his bombing date because it was the same day as the Waco massacre two years previous. Matthews has actually expressed the view that both massacres had PATCON fingerprints all over them. That’s certainly the case with Ruby Ridge. There, a federal agent/infiltrator pushed former Green Beret Randy Weaver into selling him an illegal sawed-off shotgun. This led to his attempted arrest and an eventual standoff, which then led to the shooting deaths of his 14-year-son by federal marshals and his unarmed wife (baby in hand) by an FBI sniper.

    In public and in private correspondence, McVeigh tore into the federal government over these events, expressing fear of a state that was at war with its own citizens. Without federal law enforcement acting so heinously in these events, it’s likely McVeigh would not have carried out the crime that he did.

    Further, these rank FBI abuses ironically pushed “right-wing terror groups” to become the threat we were warned about all along. As the original Newsweek article rightly said about Ruby Ridge, the FBI’s conduct “quickly galvanized the radical right like never before” with talks between “various white supremacists, Neo-Nazis and anti-government groups…about joining forces…quickly turn[ing] to action.”

    And as Painting writes, even more absurd perhaps, Ruby Ridge was used by federal law enforcement as a justification for increased PATCON resources and investigatory powers.[13] So, we have FBI abuses leading to organized rage and resistance, which is then given even more momentum by FBI infiltration and incitement. And with the help of a media sphere that refuses to do its job, all of this works to amp up yet more fear, anxiety and division among the public. It’s a spinning wheel which loyal, patriotic Americans never asked for and certainly want off of.

    While we should certainly hope these allegations can be explained away, it’s high-time the OKC victims and the American people generally get the transparency they deserve about what really happened that fateful day.


    1. P. 362
    2. P. 679
    3. Ibid.
    4. P. 352
    5. (“Toward the end of the Contra War, Matthews had been one of Posey’s lieutenants, traveling with him around the U.S., helping him raise money, and later, joining him in Nicaragua, where Posey and his fellow soldiers of fortune offered aid, weapons and training to the Contras.”)
    6. P. 680
    7. Berger’s piece: (Page 21: “Nichols today claims the entire bombing was directed by the FBI.”)
    8. P. 63
    9. P. 817
    10. P. 672
    11. P. 674
    12. P. 673
    13. P. 356. (“Likewise, federal operations targeting far right radicals also intensified immediately after Ruby Ridge. Hundreds of recently released (but highly redacted) FBI PATCON reports warn of the possibility that the deaths at Ruby Ridge would be violently avenged and emphasize the urgent need to expand both the budget and the scope of the domestic counter-terrorism program to determine the validity of the threat, but also to prevent further working alliances from forming among different radical right-wing groups. And indeed, PATCON’s budget skyrocketed, and the scope of its mission expanded greatly, both geographically and tactically.”)
    The Bastiat Collection · FREE PDF · FREE EPUB · PAPER
    Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850)

    • "When law and morality are in contradiction to each other, the citizen finds himself in the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense, or of losing his respect for the law."
      -- The Law (p. 54)
    • "Government is that great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."
      -- Government (p. 99)
    • "[W]ar is always begun in the interest of the few, and at the expense of the many."
      -- Economic Sophisms - Second Series (p. 312)
    • "There are two principles that can never be reconciled - Liberty and Constraint."
      -- Harmonies of Political Economy - Book One (p. 447)

    · tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito ·

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  3. #2
    FBI be like: No, I don't think we will give the American people any answers.
    "Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration is minding my own business."

    Calvin Coolidge

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    Dems cheat.
    Trump stopped them cheating.

    A clear case of Liberty preserving authoritarianism.

  5. #4
    I have a ton of project ideas that I could use the FBI's help with.
    It's all about taking action and not being lazy. So you do the work, whether it's fitness or whatever. It's about getting up, motivating yourself and just doing it.
    - Kim Kardashian

    Donald Trump / Crenshaw 2024!!!!

    My pronouns are he/him/his

  6. #5
    Why did this cop turn up dead?
    A heroic police officer rescued at least three people after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. A year later, he was found shot in the head
    Thomas Lake (03 March 2023)

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The bombing memorial is a somber and beautiful place, framed by two monuments called the Gates of Time.

    The 9:01 Gate commemorates the innocence before the explosion, which happened at 9:02 a.m. and became known as the deadliest act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history.

    The 9:03 Gate represents “the moment healing began.”

    But some survivors never healed. With time, their suffering only got worse.

    This story is about one of those people. His name was Terry Yeakey. He was an Oklahoma City police officer and a military veteran. Yeakey saved at least three people from the ruins of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995, the day a terrorist attack killed 168 people and injured hundreds of others.

    Something happened to Yeakey in those hours in the wreckage. He was badly shaken, and his worldview seemed to change. In time, he grew suspicious and afraid. He ran afoul of his supervisors. He went on secret missions, withholding his motives and plans from fellow officers. He seemed to be conducting his own investigation.

    And then, 385 days after the bombing, his body was found near some trees in a field off a country road.

    His wrists were cut.

    His neck was cut.

    He’d been shot through the head.

    The authorities said it was suicide. But among those who knew Terry Yeakey, not many believed he had killed himself.

    In a recent interview, his sister Lashon Hargrove said this:

    “I think they murdered Terry because he knew too much.”

    Despite his bravery that day, Yeakey did not see himself as a hero
    Even among those who disagree on how Terry Yeakey died, there is little or no dispute on these two points:

    1. The Oklahoma City Police Department planned to give him a medal of valor for his actions on the day of the bombing.

    2. Yeakey did not want the medal of valor.

    Much of this story hinges on why he didn’t want the medal. But by any reasonable standard, he deserved it.

    Not long after the explosion, a maintenance worker lay under the rubble, willing himself to stay conscious. His name was Randy Ledger. Broken glass had pierced his carotid artery and his jugular vein. Part of his face was missing.

    Ledger had been cleaning light fixtures in the federal building’s child-care center a few minutes before the bomb went off. Now, trapped by debris and bleeding to death, Ledger felt a strange weight on his lower body. He was buried so deeply that someone had stepped on his legs without knowing he was there. That someone turned out to be Yeakey, the police officer who was about to save his life.

    Yeakey was 29 years old, tall and muscular, well-known among colleagues for his strength and determination. On his way to back up a partner on a burglary-in-progress call one day, his patrol car broke down. It was over 100 degrees outside, but Yeakey got out and ran the rest of the way. Another time, when an angry crowd surrounded Yeakey and a colleague, and the ringleader tried to grab the other officer’s badge, Yeakey picked up the suspect, “wadded him up like a paper napkin, and threw him on the ground,” the other officer, Larry Spruill, recalled. The rest of the mob quickly dispersed.

    Yeakey was one of the first officers in the ruins of the federal building after the explosion, and he’d already saved at least two other people before he stumbled upon Randy Ledger. Yeakey called for other rescuers, and together they dug Ledger out and helped him onto a backboard. Ledger drifted out of consciousness. Minutes later, in the ambulance, he saw Yeakey again. Now Yeakey was getting treated too. He’d fallen and hurt his back while carrying Ledger to safety.

    Ledger needed 12 pints of blood and multiple surgeries to repair his face. He recently turned 66, and he still thinks of the bombing almost every day. Little things bring the memory back: a musty smell, a news report, a yellow truck on the highway. And when Ledger recalls the bombing, he sometimes thinks of Terry Yeakey. He feels gratitude, and sadness.

    As for the official story that Yeakey killed himself, Ledger finds it unconvincing.

    “There’s too many unanswered questions,” he said recently.

    Brandon Spann, now an administrative assistant at the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office, played basketball with Yeakey and knew many of the same people Yeakey knew. He said that in the Black community of El Reno, a town northwest of Oklahoma City where Yeakey grew up, the official story never took hold.

    “No one believed that he killed himself,” Spann said.

    Three of Yeakey’s fellow Oklahoma City police officers also shared their doubts in interviews with CNN.

    Jim Ramsey won a medal for bravery on the day of the bombing and had previously patrolled the streets with Yeakey. Here’s how he responded in late 2022 when asked if he believed what the authorities said about Yeakey’s death.

    “No,” Ramsey said. “I guess I don’t.”

    “I still don’t believe Terry did it,” said Steve Vassar, one of Yeakey’s closest friends on the force. “I have just a hard time believing that Terry would take his life.”

    Don Browning served the Oklahoma City PD for 28 years and helped with Yeakey’s initial police training. Here’s what Browning said about Yeakey:

    “I still think he was murdered.”

    They found blood in Yeakey’s car. But no autopsy was conducted on his body
    A CNN investigation found several anomalies surrounding Yeakey’s death, along with a lack of transparency by the authorities.

    Although Yeakey apparently died from a gunshot wound to the head, no autopsy was performed. Medical examiners can sometimes choose not to perform an autopsy when suicide is suspected and the cause of death is not in dispute, according to Dr. Joyce deJong, president of the National Association of Medical Examiners. But three former law-enforcement officials familiar with the Yeakey case said they thought an autopsy should have been done.

    When asked why there was no autopsy on Yeakey, an Oklahoma City Police Department spokesman, Master Sgt. Gary Knight, referred a reporter to the state medical examiner’s office, whose director of operations, Kari Learned, wrote, “Our office does not answer case specific questions.”

    The Oklahoma City Police Department took over the investigation of Yeakey’s death even though his body was found outside the city limits, in adjacent Canadian County, to the west. When CNN asked what gave the city’s police department legal justification to take over the case, Knight wrote back that he didn’t know.

    The precise location where Yeakey’s body was found has never been publicly disclosed, and basic information about the death scene is unclear. The police department declined multiple requests to release its full investigative report on the case. The redacted two-page report released by OCPD in response to CNN’s records request does not say whether a gun was found at the scene, much less what kind of gun killed Yeakey or whether it was subjected to fingerprinting or ballistics tests.

    Both Knight and Police Chief Wade Gourley declined to be interviewed about Yeakey’s death.

    “There is absolutely no hard or physical evidence whatsoever to support Yeakey was murdered,” Knight, a police-academy classmate who considered Yeakey a friend, wrote in an email to CNN. “Anyone who suggests the Oklahoma City Police Department participated in the coverup of the murder of one its most popular officers is engaging in fool’s folly.”

    Yeakey’s car, a maroon Ford Probe coupe, was found abandoned near Fort Reno Road in Canadian County around 6 p.m. on May 8, 1996, according to a sheriff’s report. The car was locked and the windows were rolled up. A deputy looked inside and saw a Bible, an empty gun holster, a razor blade, and a “large amount of blood.”

    Yeakey’s body was eventually found about half a mile away, the police said. A medical examiner’s report noted “multiple superficial incised wounds” to Yeakey’s wrists, neck, and antecubital fossa, the inner crook of the arm. Although there was no autopsy, the report listed a probable cause of death: GUNSHOT WOUND TO HEAD.

    If the prevailing narrative is correct, Yeakey cut his own wrists, arms and neck with razor blades, bled heavily in his car, and then walked or ran about half a mile into either a field or a grove of trees, where he shot himself to death. There was no suicide note.

    The absence of a note was among several reasons people wondered what might have pushed Yeakey toward suicide. In statements to the news media after his death, the police had two answers for that.

    One possible factor was turmoil in Yeakey’s personal life. He had been married, with two young daughters, but he and his wife, Tonia, divorced in late 1995. In court records, Tonia wrote that Terry had beaten her, choked her, and threatened to shoot her, himself, and one of their daughters.

    She had repeatedly applied for protective orders against him, and in February 1995, about 15 months before Terry’s death, a judge had ordered Terry to have no contact with Tonia, “except regarding visitation and the welfare” of their daughters.

    Did the repercussions from domestic violence play a role in Yeakey’s death? Yeakey’s friend and colleague Steve Vassar told CNN he once read Oklahoma City Police Department’s full investigative report on Yeakey’s death. According to Vassar, the report said Major Steve Upchurch called Yeakey shortly before his death, told him Tonia had reported him for violating the protective order, told Yeakey he was being placed on administrative leave, and told Yeakey another officer was coming to take away Yeakey’s gun and badge.

    But even if Vassar correctly remembers what was in the report — which has never been released — those details are contested. Major Upchurch told CNN in a phone interview he had no recollection of making such a call to Yeakey. He said he didn’t remember Yeakey having any trouble with his ex-wife before his death. And he said he didn’t remember anything about Yeakey being in trouble with his superiors.

    Besides that, Tonia vehemently denied reporting him for a protective-order violation in 1996. In interviews with the author Craig Roberts, the tapes of which were reviewed by CNN, Tonia Yeakey said she and Terry Yeakey were on good terms before his death. She said they regularly saw each other, and he had recently asked her about getting remarried. She had not said yes, but she had not said no.

    If Yeakey’s death was unrelated to a troubled relationship, or to fears of losing his job, that left another potential cause put forth to the news media by the police department: Yeakey was depressed about the bombing. News coverage after Yeakey’s death depicted a man haunted by what he’d seen in the rubble and wracked with guilt that he couldn’t save more lives.

    “There are some people that like to be heroes and some that don’t,” one of Yeakey’s supervisors, Lt. Joe Ann Randall, said, as quoted by the Associated Press in 1996. “He was not one that wanted that.”

    Why didn’t Terry Yeakey want the medal of valor? There was another possible reason. And for those who said he was murdered, that reason was a crucial part of the story.

    ‘They’re not telling the truth,’ Yeakey said
    In a brief phone conversation last November, Yeakey’s ex-wife, Tonia, told CNN she still believed Yeakey had been murdered. Then she stopped answering the reporter’s calls. But Tonia’s story was captured in 1998 in two recorded interviews with Craig Roberts, a former police officer who was researching the Oklahoma City bombing. One was a private phone interview, and the other was for a radio broadcast. After reviewing the tapes, CNN found corroboration for some of Tonia’s claims.

    On the day of the bombing, Tonia said, she got a phone call. It was someone at Presbyterian Hospital, telling her Terry was there. His back was injured when he fell while carrying Randy Ledger, and now Terry needed someone to pick him up. So Tonia picked him up from the hospital. And in the car, she says, he started to cry.

    “Tonia, it’s not what they’re saying it is,” he told her. “They’re not telling the truth. They’re lying about what’s going on down there.”

    Terry was disturbed by what he’d seen in the ruins of the federal building — and not just because he’d walked into an unfathomable human tragedy. Terry was convinced there was more to the story of the bombing, some other piece the authorities were withholding. He was not the only one who believed this.

    Federal authorities said Timothy McVeigh, a 26-year-old Army veteran who hated the government, caused the explosion by parking a rented Ryder truck near the federal building and setting off timed fuses that detonated a bomb made of “agricultural fertilizer, diesel fuel, and other chemicals.” Two more men, Terry Nichols and Michael Fortier, were also prosecuted in connection with the case.

    In the months and years that followed, a stubborn contingent of skeptics pursued other angles to the story. Some of them had either survived the bombing or lost loved ones because of it. They insisted that government officials were somehow culpable. It was a botched sting operation, they said, or perhaps the government permitted or even orchestrated the bombing for political advantage.

    The government denied these allegations, of course, and still does.

    “This was probably the FBI’s finest moment,” Bob Ricks, who was special agent in charge of the FBI’s Oklahoma City field office in 1995, said in a recent interview, referring to the bombing investigation.

    Still, there is something about the case that makes people want to keep investigating. There were multiple reports of prior warnings given to some federal employees. Of an unidentified second suspect in the Ryder truck. And of additional explosives that allegedly contributed to the blast.

    Ricks said those reports were false and started laughing when a reporter asked about them. But in 1997, more than 10,000 Oklahoma County residents signed a petition to convene a grand jury to examine the bombing. Even after the grand jury dismissed allegations of additional suspects and prior knowledge by the government, a band of citizens kept digging into the mystery. Led by former Oklahoma State Rep. Charles Key, the Oklahoma Bombing Investigation Committee issued its own report, which filled more than 500 pages and told a story at odds with the one that emerged at McVeigh’s trial.

    Explosives experts, including retired Air Force Brigadier General Benton Partin, reviewed the case and said McVeigh’s bomb alone could not have caused that much damage.

    “There is strong evidence that demolition charges were in the building,” Partin wrote in a letter to a prosecutor in 1997, “irrespective of the size of the truck bomb.”

    For his part, Terry Yeakey believed some government employees had lied about their whereabouts during the bombing. Associates said Yeakey was surprised to see so many federal agents, apparently dressed in riot gear, on the scene moments after the blast. And he had questions about the source of the explosion. According to his sister Lashon Hargrove, “you know how they said the truck bomb blew in? He saw evidence of blowing out,” or signs of a blast that appeared to have come from inside the building.

    A few days after the bombing, Tonia said, Terry asked her to drive him back to the federal building. He wanted to go at night, when he couldn’t be seen as easily.

    “We did go down there, probably between 9:30, 10:00, and he said that we were going to go look underneath where the daycare had been,” she said. “There was something he wanted to see over there and get a picture, if possible. As we went down there, we were stopped and I can’t remember which personnel it was, but I know definitely it was either ATF or FBI … And Terry had attempted to badge his way through, and the guy told him no … And he said something a little more specific, like, you know, ‘You’re not supposed to be back down here.’ … (It) made me realize the two of them recognized each other and the interaction was very antagonistic. I think had I not been with Terry, he would have said a little more to the man and maybe been a little more forceful about getting through. But it seemed like he thought better about it since I was with him. And we left.”

    Tonia says Terry wrote a detailed report for the police department, perhaps nine pages long. She didn’t know what was in the report. But one day he came to the house, furious, telling her the report had disappeared. And now his superiors were telling him to write another report, only one page long, leaving out most of what he’d written before. About two weeks after the bombing, she says, she got a phone call from one of Terry’s supervisors.

    “And she was being pretty hostile, pretty aggressive, and asked me where Terry was,” Tonia said. “…She said, ‘You tell Terry that if he doesn’t get that other report in, that he’s going to be reprimanded.”

    Did an officer’s report on the bombing disappear? A spokesman for the Oklahoma City Police Department declined to answer this or other questions on an extensive list sent by CNN. Knight said most of the questions on the list were requests for materials that were “not an open record.”

    But Tonia’s account is consistent with a story another Oklahoma City police officer told.

    Steve Vassar said he was downtown a few minutes before the bombing and saw the infamous Ryder truck. Officially, Timothy McVeigh was alone when he drove the truck to the federal building. But others have said he had an accomplice that morning, and Vassar said he saw another person in the truck.

    “I’m going to tell you right now,” he said, “as God is my witness, there were two people.”

    Vassar says that although he wrote this account in one of his supplemental reports on the bombing, no investigator ever questioned him about what he’d seen. Years later, he searched for his reports in the Oklahoma City police department’s computer system. He says he saw hundreds of other reports about the bombing and its aftermath. But he couldn’t find his own reports.

    “They were gone,” he said. “They were not in the system, as if I never was there.”

    On the day he died, Yeakey said he was on his way to a mysterious meeting
    In his final weeks, Terry seemed afraid. Tonia said he showed up at her house at odd hours, trying to make plans.

    “He wanted me to leave in the middle of the night with him,” she said. “Right then. He said, ‘We need to get remarried. Don’t ask me questions. This is the only way I can make sure you and the girls are taken care of in the event that something happens to me.’”

    Tonia says she reported his behavior to the police. He did not appear suicidal, and she did not accuse him of violating a protective order, she said, but she was worried about him because he’d been saying his days were numbered. One day in May 1996, he showed up at her house and put a VCR in her car without explaining why. The VCR had a tape in it, but she didn’t get a chance to watch it. Terry was talking about insurance papers. He left and said he would be back. She never saw him again.

    Shortly before his death, Terry also visited his sister Vickie and her husband, Glen, in El Reno, the town northwest of Oklahoma City where Terry and Vickie grew up. Vickie and Glen have both died since then, but another sister, Lashon Hargrove, said they told her about the encounter.

    Terry was exhausted, upset, crying. He said he needed to sleep, and they encouraged him to take a nap there, which he did. Afterwards he calmed down, but he was talking about the bombing, and the official story with which he disagreed. According to Lashon, he told his sister and brother-in-law, “It’s just not what they say it is.”

    They asked him to tell them more, but he said he couldn’t.

    There was someone else Terry saw near the end: Romona McDonald, whom he’d met in the rubble of the federal building. This account is drawn from an interview she gave CNN in January, as well as a taped interview with the author Craig Roberts in 1998. McDonald eventually left Oklahoma City and changed her name, a decision she attributed in part to trauma related to the bombing and to Yeakey’s death.

    McDonald was a businesswoman who’d been downtown when the bomb went off. She helped publish a book, Angels Over Oklahoma City, that named and honored hundreds of first responders from around the country who converged in Oklahoma City after the bombing.

    While volunteering in the rescue and recovery effort, McDonald also met survivors who questioned the official story. Her home became a meeting place for those people, and a clearinghouse for pictures and other evidence they gathered. She said that evidence included a copy of Terry Yeakey’s full report from the day of the bombing — the one his supervisors had allegedly suppressed.

    According to McDonald, two men came to her house sometime after the bombing. She believed they were federal agents. They said they were with a task force that was investigating the bombing, and they spent hours examining her collection of pictures.

    The last day McDonald saw Yeakey, she says, they sat down and had coffee together. He was talking about an appointment. From his description of the men he was supposed to meet, she believed they were the same two men who’d been at her house. The men from the task force seemed keenly interested in the evidence about the bombing. They wanted Terry to bring what he’d gathered: pictures, video, documents.

    Yeakey seemed conflicted about whether to go meet the men. He sensed danger, and these misgivings led him to take a strange precaution. McDonald said Yeakey went to the meeting unarmed, so no one could use his own gun against him.

    On the other hand, if the men really were investigating the bombing, this could be Yeakey’s big chance. Finally, someone with authority was going to listen to him. He decided to bring them the evidence, McDonald said. The men wanted to meet Yeakey in El Reno, at or near the federal prison.

    Yeakey left McDonald’s house, apparently on his way to the meeting. She never saw him again. It was later that day when someone called to say he was dead.

    His body was found west of El Reno, about two miles from the federal prison.

    It is a lonely, windswept place, with tall grass under a big sky. Past the barbed-wire fence off Fort Reno Road, where Yeakey’s car was found, a stream runs north and east toward a grove of trees and an old graveyard. Tonia said Terry would never have gone there willingly. He knew that land, and it made him afraid.

    “I remember him at one point in time saying that lots of bad things went on over there,” she said. “… He wouldn’t have been caught — Oh, excuse me. I was getting ready to say he wouldn’t have been caught dead there. But I guess he was.”

    ‘Mama, they executed him’
    Terry Yeakey’s body was found on a Wednesday night. By Thursday morning, an Oklahoma City police captain had already told the Associated Press it appeared Yeakey had killed himself. That was almost 27 years ago. Ever since then, Yeakey’s death has been officially called a suicide.

    Tonia said she met with the police chief and told him she disagreed with that conclusion. She said she tried, without success, to arrange for an autopsy. She said local attorneys refused to take her case. She said one told her “it’d be best for me and my family just to leave it alone.”

    Lashon Hargrove said that when she and her sister met with a police detective and raised questions about their brother’s death, the detective suggested they needed psychiatric help.

    Don Browning, one of the officers who questioned the circumstances of Yeakey’s death, was especially disturbed by the lack of an autopsy. “How dare you not do an autopsy on an unattended death — on a police officer?” he said. According to Browning, he appeared before the grand jury investigating the bombing and confronted a prosecutor about the strange details of Yeakey’s death. Browning said the prosecutor dismissed him and apparently took no action in the case.

    Craig Roberts, a former Marine sniper who later became a Tulsa police officer and book author, stumbled upon the Yeakey case while looking into the Oklahoma City bombing. He wrote letters asking the Oklahoma City Police Department to open a new investigation into Yeakey’s death. “Though it was originally written up as a suicide,” he wrote in 2006, “I feel the evidence and facts point to a torture/homicide.”

    Roberts wrote that Yeakey’s entrance wound suggested the presence of a silencer. He wrote that the bullet’s trajectory “would be consistent to one fired ‘execution style’ into the skull of a kneeling victim…” He wrote, “There were multiple cuts on his wrists, inner elbows, and jugular veins. If he was going to shoot himself, why would he cut himself so many times?”

    About a month later, Police Chief William Citty wrote back to Roberts, “I find nothing in the investigator’s case files or from the information you have provided that changes the finding of suicide.” The chief did not answer the questions Roberts raised in his letter, including whether a gun was found at the scene, whether it was Yeakey’s gun, whether the fatal bullet was ever found, or whether any ballistics tests were done to link the bullet and the gun.

    The Roberts letter also raised the question of what happened to Terry Yeakey’s documents after he died. Tonia said Terry kept some documents from his investigation at a storage unit in Kingfisher, a small city northwest of Oklahoma City, but “whatever was there is not there any longer.” Roberts said the documents were not in Yeakey’s car when it was found by the roadside.

    “It would appear that this tragic event centers on what Terry Yeakey had in his files,” Roberts wrote to the police chief, “and who wanted to make sure those files were never discovered.”

    After Terry’s death, Tonia said she saw signs of a burglary at her home. She noticed various items out of place. Terry had left a VCR for her, but it disappeared. She never got a chance to see what was on the tape.

    Likewise, Romona McDonald said her house was burglarized after Yeakey’s death. Much of her bombing-related evidence was taken.

    When Terry’s family visited his apartment after his death, it looked as if it had been ransacked. There was paper scattered around, his sister Lashon said, and “you could tell…somebody had been in there, like, looking for something.”

    Both Lashon and Tonia believed they were under surveillance after Terry’s death. They said they were shadowed by strange vehicles, and they heard clicking sounds when they talked on the phone.

    Shortly after Terry’s death, several relatives went looking for the place his body had been discovered. Lashon says they found it near some trees in a field past a barbed-wire fence off Fort Reno Road. There were signs of activity on the ground, as if this had been a crime scene, but they noticed something strange. Some of the earth was freshly disturbed, apparently by shovels, as if whatever had been on the surface was now buried.

    Most troubling of all was the condition of Terry’s body. Although the available medical examiner’s reports described only a gunshot wound to the head and superficial cuts elsewhere, Tonia said sources within the law enforcement community told her Terry’s body showed evidence of having been either tied or handcuffed, and of having been dragged across the ground. She said she was told Terry had bruises on his wrists, rope burns on his ankles, dirt and grass in his wounds.

    CNN asked the Oklahoma City Police Department about these details, but a department spokesman declined to answer the questions.

    Lashon Hargrove said her mother viewed Terry’s body at the funeral home. She said a funeral director tried to discourage her from looking at the body, but her mother said, “No, I need to see my baby.”

    Her mother, who has since died, later told Lashon that Terry’s head was enlarged and disfigured. And he didn’t just have cuts on his arms and neck. Lashon said her mother reported seeing what appeared to be ligature marks. Lashon tried to imagine what that meant. It seemed to her that Terry had been tortured, hanged, put on his knees, and shot to death.

    “Mama,” she recalled saying, “they executed him.”

    Sgt. Terrance Yeakey was buried the same day he posthumously received the medal of valor he did not want. Among those at his funeral was Richard Williams, a man whose life he saved.

    After the bombing Williams was trapped in the rubble, with only his arm sticking out. Yeakey came by, felt for a pulse, did not detect one, and moved on to look for other survivors. Later he returned, realized Williams was alive, freed him from the wreckage and brought him to safety. Then he went on to his next rescue.

    A picture taken that morning shows the officer in action. He has sweat on his brow, blood on his shirt, dust on his shoes. Terry Yeakey is running toward the danger.

  7. #6
    The Truth Behind the Lies: 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing
    Richard Booth has been investigating the 1995 OKC Bombing story for many years. What he has discovered is jaw dropping.

    Follow him here:

    Check out his research here if interested:

  8. #7
    “It’s just not what they say it is.”

    RIP Terrance Yeakey.

    "We should not listen to those who like to affirm that the voice of the people is the voice of God, for the tumult of the masses is truly close to madness." - Alcuin of York

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