Pushed to the point of anger and frustration, Timothy McVeigh told a member of his defense team that Arkansas gun collector Roger Moore sold him explosives before the Oklahoma City bombing, “Because he knew that I would put them to good use,” a newly released document reveals.
The cold-blooded admission was made at the El Reno federal correctional facility on Dec. 12, 1995.
These comments, along with many others, have been sealed from public view for nearly a decade. McVeigh was executed in Terre Haute, Ind., June 11, 2001.
The discovery of this document provides support for disclosures made recently by McVeigh’s convicted co-conspirator, Terry Nichols, that the bombers got explosives from Roger Moore, a man Nichols now describes as a government informant.
As proof, Nichols drew a map where some of the explosives were hidden underneath his former residence in Kansas. The FBI recently dug up those explosives and sent them to their lab at Quantico, Va.
What prompted the angry outburst by McVeigh was his government-appointed investigator’s warning that the FBI was pressuring Moore to be much more cooperative. Indeed, Moore was crucial to the government’s case because of the relationship he shared with McVeigh prior to the bombing.
Prosecutors said Nichols robbed Moore at gunpoint on Nov. 5, 1994, then used some of the stolen property to finance the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building.
At trial, Moore said he could not identify his assailant because the subject wore a knit mask over his face during the robbery. However, since McVeigh had visited the property several times before the theft, Moore testified he believed McVeigh had set him up for the robbery.
The defense document obtained by the McCurtain Daily Gazette includes this tense warning from the investigator to McVeigh: “I mentioned that the FBI has been increasing the pressure on Moore and that it was just a matter of time before Moore decides to cooperate.
“I reminded McVeigh that comradery (sic) flies out the window when the noose begins to tighten. I told McVeigh that there was no doubt in my mind that Roger Moore could be a very damaging witness. … that if it ever came down to making a choice about whose a– to save, that he (McVeigh) could kiss his a– goodbye.”
The words proved prophetic. Moore and his girlfriend, Karen Anderson, eventually testified for the prosecution in all three bombing trials.
After the bombing, a large number of Moore’s guns and other personal property were seized by FBI agents during a search of a home in Herrington, Kan., Nichols occupied.
The FBI interviewed Moore and his girlfriend several times about their relationship with the accused bombers. However, nothing about selling any explosives became public.
But according to the Dec. 27 confidential defense memo prepared for attorneys Stephen Jones and Rob Nigh, McVeigh admitted that Moore sold him explosives on more than one occasion.
“Mr. McVeigh stated that during the months of August-September 1994, Moore sold him nine Kinestiks at $10 each. Mr. McVeigh stated that Moore had cases of explosive Kinestiks, but that he didn’t sell them to just anybody,” the report reveals.
“Moore even commented to him that he didn’t mind selling him the Kinesticks, because he knew that he (McVeigh) would put them to good use,” McVeigh indicated, according to the memo.
McVeigh also told the investigator that Nichols’ wife, Marife, once saw him (McVeigh) and Nichols practicing with explosives. McVeigh stated they were practicing with Kinestiks. The report also contains this highlighted information from the investigator: “Note that one Kinestik is equivalent to one stick of dynamite.”
Some of the explosives McVeigh described a decade ago could well be in the possession of the FBI now.
No report has been made public regarding details of the FBI’s recent search of the old Nichols residence. The FBI has only said the explosives recovered were real and apparently had been hidden under the house since the OKC bombing.
On April 1, the FBI uncovered a cache of explosives underneath Nichols’ former residence, but only after they were pressured to conduct a new search of the property.
The location of hidden explosives came to light after Nichols volunteered the information from his cell at the Super Max facility in Florence, Colo., where he is serving a life sentence.
Through an intermediary, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., learned that Nichols was trying to warn the public that there were explosives stashed underneath his former home, but the feds weren’t listening.
Concerned that the information might be valid, Rohrabacher took Nichols’ information to Homeland Security with instructions to follow up on the tip.
Pressured to do an investigation, the FBI eventually returned to the property agents had scoured years earlier and found what bomb experts later described as “boxes of explosives.” The embarrassed agency admitted they were right where Nichols said they would be.
Regardless of the find, the FBI was quoted by the Associated Press as saying the agency has no intention of going after Moore or anyone else Nichols implicates in these “jailhouse confessions.”
“We believe the information that came out of the original investigation and we stand by the results of that investigation,” FBI spokesman Jeff Lanza said.
District Attorney Wes Lane in Oklahoma City told the AP: “It disgusts me that Terry Nichols would further victimize the innocent by his prison-cell ramblings.”
The man Nichols accused of providing the explosives had this to say recently: “He is in prison for two life sentences and the only thing he can do to even entertain himself is come up with conspiracy theories and put them out there.”