Opening Statement by Prosecutor Joseph Hartzler
April 24, 1997

MR. HARTZLER: Thank you, your Honor.
May it please the Court . . .
THE COURT: Counsel.
MR. HARTZLER: Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,
April 19th, 1995, was a beautiful day in Oklahoma City -- at
least it started out as a beautiful day. The sun was shining.
Flowers were blooming. It was springtime in Oklahoma City.
Sometime after six o'clock that morning, Tevin Garrett's mother
woke him up to get him ready for the day. He was only 16
months old. He was a toddler; and as some of you know that
have experience with toddlers, he had a keen eye for mischief.
He would often pull on the cord of her curling iron in the
morning, pull it off the counter top until it fell down, often
till it fell down on him.
That morning, she picked him up and wrestled with him
on her bed before she got him dressed. She remembers this
morning because that was the last morning of his life.
That morning, Mrs. Garrett got Tevin and her daughter
ready for school and they left the house at about 7:15 to go
downtown to Oklahoma City. She had to be at work at eight
o'clock. Tevin's sister went to kindergarten, and they dropped
the little girl off at kindergarten first; and Helena Garrett
and Tevin proceeded to downtown Oklahoma City.
Usually she parked a little bit distant from her
building; but this day, she was running a little bit late, so
she decided that she would park in the Murrah Federal Building.
She did not work in the Murrah Building. She wasn't even a
federal employee. She worked across the street in the General
Records Building.
She pulled into the lot, the parking lot of the
federal building, in order to make it into work on time; and
she went upstairs to the second floor with Tevin, because Tevin
attended the day-care center on the second floor of the federal
building. When she went in, she saw that Chase and Colton
Smith were already there, two year old and three year old.
Dominique London was there already. He was just shy of his
third birthday. So was Zack Chavez. He had already turned
When she turned to leave to go to her work, Tevin, as
so often, often happens with small children, cried and clung to
her; and then, as you see with children so frequently, they try
to help each other. Little -- one of the little Coverdale
boys -- there were two of them, Elijah and Aaron. The youngest
one was two and a half. Elijah came up to Tevin and patted him
on the back and comforted him as his mother left.
As Helena Garrett left the Murrah Federal Building to
go to work across the street, she could look back up at the
building; and there was a wall of plate glass windows on the
second floor. You can look through those windows and see into
the day-care center; and the children would run up to those
windows and press their hands and faces to those windows to say
goodbye to their parents. And standing on the sidewalk, it was
almost as though you can reach up and touch the children there
on the second floor. But none of the parents of any of the
children that I just mentioned ever touched those children
again while they were still alive.
At nine o'clock that morning, two things happened
almost simultaneously. In the Water Resources Building --
that's another building to the west of the Murrah Building
across the street -- an ordinary legal proceeding began in one
of the hearing rooms; and at the same time, in front of the
Murrah Building, a large Ryder truck pulled up into a vacant
parking space in front of the building and parked right beneath
those plate glass windows from the day-care center.
What these two separate but almost simultaneous events
have in common is that they -- they both involved grievances of
some sort. The legal proceeding had to do with water rights.
It wasn't a legal proceeding as we are having here, because
there was no court reporter. It was a tape-recorded
proceeding, and you will hear the tape recording of that
proceeding. It was an ordinary, everyday-across-America,
typical legal proceeding in which one party has a grievance and
brings it into court or into a hearing to resolve it, to
resolve it not by violence and terror but to resolve it in the
same way we are resolving matters here, by constitutional due
And across the street, the Ryder truck was there also
to resolve a grievance; but the truck wasn't there to resolve
the grievance by means of due process or by any other
democratic means. The truck was there to impose the will of
Timothy McVeigh on the rest of America and to do so by
premeditated violence and terror, by murdering innocent men,
women and children, in hopes of seeing blood flow in the
streets of America.
At 9:02 that morning, two minutes after the water
rights proceeding began, a catastrophic explosion ripped the
air in downtown Oklahoma City. It instantaneously demolished
the entire front of the Murrah Building, brought down tons and
tons of concrete and metal, dismembered people inside, and it
destroyed, forever, scores and scores and scores of lives,
lives of innocent Americans: clerks, secretaries, law
enforcement officers, credit union employees, citizens applying
for Social Security, and little kids.
All the children I mentioned earlier, all of them
died, and more; dozens and dozens of other men, women,
children, cousins, loved ones, grandparents, grandchildren,
ordinary Americans going about their business. And the only
reason they died, the only reason that they are no longer with
us, no longer with their loved ones, is that they were in a
building owned by a government that Timothy McVeigh so hated
that with premeditated intent and a well-designed plan that he
had developed over months and months before the bombing, he
chose to take their innocent lives to serve his twisted
In plain, simple language, it was an act of terror,
violence, intend -- intended to serve selfish political
The man who committed this act is sitting in this
courtroom behind me, and he's the one that committed those
After he did so, he fled the scene; and he avoided
even damaging his eardrums, because he had earplugs with him.
Approximately 75 minutes later, about 75 miles north
of Oklahoma City, the exact distance from Oklahoma City that
you could drive in that time if you had been at the scene of
the crime, the exact distance -- he was at the mile marker that
you would reach between the time of the bombing and the time he
was arrested if you were driving at normal speed limit. He was
arrested driving toward Oklahoma City, leaving -- I'm sorry,
driving towards Kansas, leaving Oklahoma City. And in his
pocket at that time were a set of earplugs, the type that would
be worn to protect your ears from a loud noise. And on his
clothing, an FBI chemist later found residue of explosives,
undetonated explosives, not the kind of residue that would
detonate in the course of the explosion but the kind of
explosives you would have on your clothing if you had made the
bomb, which is what he did.
And the T-shirt he was wearing virtually broadcast his
intention. On its front was the image of Abraham Lincoln; and
beneath the image was a phrase about tyrants, which is a phrase
that John Wilkes Booth shouted in Ford's Theater to the
audience when he murdered President Lincoln. And on the back
of T-shirt that McVeigh was wearing on that morning, the
morning of bombing, the morning that he was arrested, was this
phrase: It said, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from
time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." And
above those words was the image of a tree. You'll see that
T-shirt; you'll see the tree; you'll see the words beneath the
tree, and you'll notice that instead of fruit, the T-shirt --
the tree on the T-shirt bears a depiction of droplets of
scarlet-red blood.
Found in the police car after McVeigh's arrest was a
crumpled-up business card from a military supply company.
McVeigh had written a note on that card, and the card had
McVeigh's fingerprint on it. And in McVeigh's handwriting, or
hand-printing, really, on this card from the military supply
company said, "TNT at $5 a stick. Need more. Call after
May 1."
Inside McVeigh's car, law enforcement agents later
found a large sealed envelope. It contained writings and
magazines from -- photocopies from magazines and from
newspapers. You'll see all those documents in evidence, and
they will give you a window into McVeigh's mind. And they'll
enable you to see his intention, to know his premeditation, and
to understand the twisted motive behind this deadly offense.
To give you just two examples of the material you will
see, enclosed in that envelope were slips of paper bearing
statements that McVeigh had clipped from books and newspapers.
And one of them was a quotation that -- from a book that
McVeigh had copied. And it was a book that he had read and
believed in like the Bible. The book is entitled The Turner
Diaries. It's a fictional account of an attack on the federal
government which is carried out with a truck bomb blowing up a
federal building and killing hundreds of people. And the
clipping that McVeigh had with him on this day of the bombing
talks about the value of killing innocent people for a cause.
It reads -- and he highlighted this -- "The real value of our
attacks today lies in the psychological impact, not in the
immediate casualties."
Another slip of paper that he had in that envelope in
his car bears a quotation from one of our founding fathers, one
of the founding fathers who fought the British to establish
democracy in America. The printed portion on that piece of
paper reads, in part, "When the government fears the people,
there is liberty." "When the Government fears the people,
there is liberty." And hand-printed beneath those printed
words, in McVeigh's handwriting, are the words -- it's printed
above, and he had it like a bumper sticker, almost. He had
printed beneath, "Maybe now there will be liberty."
These documents are virtually a manifesto declaring
McVeigh's intention.
Everyone in this great nation has a right to think and
believe, speak whatever they want. We are not prosecuting
McVeigh because we don't like his thoughts or his beliefs or
even his speech; we're prosecuting him because his hatred
boiled into violence, and his violence took the lives of
innocent men and women and children. And the reason we'll
introduce evidence of his thoughts, as disclosed by those
writings and others, is because they reveal his premeditation
and his intent, and intent is an element of the crime that we
must prove.
As McVeigh was leaving the scene moments before the
explosion, a maintenance man from an Apartment building in
downtown Oklahoma City near the Murrah Building, about a block
or so away, walked out the front door of the building to meet
his wife and nephew. His nephew was a sixth grader sitting in
the back seat of the man's red Ford Fiesta out in front of the
apartment building where he worked. His wife had gone inside
to get him, tell him that they were there. She walked back
outside with her husband and he was standing at the side of his
car, holding the door for his wife, when the force of the bomb
nearly knocked him off his feet.
At that moment, he was about at least more than a city
block from the front door of the Murrah Building; and he heard
a whirring sound, like the propeller of a helicopter, coming
toward him. He pushed his wife quickly under the car to
protect her as more than 250 pounds of twisted metal came
crashing down onto his car. Fortunately, it landed on the hood
of his car. It crushed the car, but his wife and his nephew
That huge piece of twisted metal had been at the
center of the bomb. The force of the explosion had sent it
whirling through the air for about 200 yards or more. That
piece of twisted metal was the rear axle of a Ryder truck. It
was a Ryder truck that Timothy McVeigh had rented two days
before in Kansas.
As his Honor told you, my name is Joe Hartzler. My
colleagues and I represent the United States of America. In
this case, we'll work together as a team. I'm not going to
reintroduce everyone. Over the course of the next few weeks,
you'll get to know us, I believe.
As you see -- as you'll see, there was a lot of
evidence against McVeigh. We'll present a lot of evidence
against McVeigh. We'll try to make your decision ultimately
easy. That's our goal.
There are a number of us, but we won't stumble over
each other. You'll see that each of us has a different role,
presenting different segments and different types of evidence.
We intend to do so fairly.
When we're finished, we will have proven -- we will
have proven to you beyond any reasonable doubt that Timothy
McVeigh destroyed the Murrah Building and killed people inside
by means of a huge fertilizer bomb built inside a Ryder truck.
As it -- as it's turned out, the bombing in Oklahoma
City was the first event in a series of events that would lead
each of you to be in this courtroom today as jurors; but you'll
learn as jurors that the bombing was a premeditated act. It
was part of a plan that McVeigh set in action long, long before
April 19th, 1995. And that's why the evidence will take so
much time, because we will go back, not from the beginning of
time, but from a certain stage in McVeigh's life and walk
through the various details of what he was doing and how it all
fit into his plan to kill people in the Murrah Building.
Timothy McVeigh grew up in upstate New York; and after
high school, he joined the Army. He first went to Fort Benning
in Georgia, and that's where he met Terry Nichols. They served
in Fort Benning in the same platoon.
After he and Nichols completed their basic training at
Fort Benning, they were both sent to Fort Riley, in Kansas.
They became friends, in part because they both shared a
distaste for the federal government.
McVeigh's dislike for the federal government was
revealed while he was still in the Army. Even at that early
time in his life, he expressed an enthusiasm for this book The
Turner Diaries. And you will hear more about that book during
this trial. It's a work of fiction, like I said. It follows
the exploits of a group of well-armed men and women who call
themselves "patriots," and they seek to overthrow the federal
government by use of force and violence.
In the book they make a fertilizer bomb in the back of
a truck and they detonate it in front of a federal building in
downtown Washington, D.C., during business hours and they kill
hundreds of people.
Friends, acquaintances, and family members of McVeigh
will testify that he carried the book with him, gave copies to
them, urged them to read this book.
We will show you passages from the book, and you'll
see how the bombing in the book served as a blueprint for
McVeigh and for his planning and execution of the bombing in
Oklahoma City.
On April 19th, 1993, that's four years ago, not -- the
Oklahoma City bombing was two years ago -- but four years ago
on the same day, April 19th, 1993, there was another great
tragedy in American history. It occurred at Waco, Texas.
That's the day that many lives were lost when the Branch
Davidian compound burned down. But it was more than just a
tragedy to McVeigh. You'll hear testimony from McVeigh's
friends that he visited Waco during the siege and that he went
back after the fire and that he had already harbored a great
dislike and distaste for the federal government. They imposed
taxes and the Brady Bill, and there were various other reasons
that he had disliked the federal government.
But the tragedy at Waco really sparked his anger; and
as time passed, he became more and more and more outraged at
the government, which he held responsible for the deaths at
Waco. And he told people that the federal government had
intentionally murdered people at Waco, they murdered the
Davidians at Waco. He described the incident as the
government's declaration of war against the American people.
He wrote letters declaring that the government had drawn,
quote, "first blood," unquote, at Waco; and he predicted there
would be a violent revolution against the American government.
As he put it, blood would flow in the streets.
He expected and hoped that his bombing of the Murrah
Building would be the first shot in a violent, bloody
revolution in this country. As his hatred of the government
grew, so did his interest in a knowledge of explosives.
You'll hear that he and Terry Nichols had experimented
with small explosives on Nichols' farm in Michigan. Later our
evidence will prove that McVeigh graduated to larger bombs, and
you'll hear about an incident that occurred just one year
before the bombing in a desert in Arizona where he made and
detonated a pipe bomb. He placed it near a large boulder in
the desert, and he ran away as the pipe bomb exploded and
cracked the boulder.
You will see that he also educated himself about how
to build bombs, particularly truck bombs, using ammonium
nitrate fertilizer and some sort of fuel oil. And we'll
explain to you how you can make a bomb from fertilizer and fuel
oil, and of course that's consistent with the type of
destructive device that was used in Oklahoma City.
So The Turner Diaries was one of his favorite books
where the heroes blow up the federal building with a homemade
truck bomb, but he also obtained what was really a cookbook on
how to make bombs. He order the book through the mail, we will
show you; and the book is called Home Made C4. C4 is a type
explosive. Some of you with military background know that.
This book provides essentially a step-by-step recipe
as to how to put together your own fertilizer fuel-based bomb.
And the book even provides helpful hints as to where to acquire
the various ingredients, the components. It describes how to
build a powerful bomb, and it does so in simple, understandable
terms. In fact, it shows how unbelievably simple it is to make
a hugely, hugely powerful bomb.
McVeigh ordered and received the book from Paladin
Press in the spring of 1993.
Over time McVeigh's anger and hatred of the government
kept growing; and in the late summer of 1994 -- and this is
nine months before the bombing -- he decided that he had had
enough. He told friends that he was done distributing
antigovernment propaganda and talking about the coming
revolution. He said it was time to take action, and the action
he wanted to take was something dramatic, something that would
shake up America, he said, and would cause ordinary citizens,
he thought, to engage in a violent revolution against their
democratically elected government, just like The Turner
Diaries; and of course, just like the main character in the
book, he would become the hero.
The action he selected was the bombing, and the
building he selected was the federal building in Oklahoma City.
We'll provide you with testimony on this. And he offered two
reasons for bombing -- or for selecting that particular
building; first he thought that the ATF agents, whom he blamed
for the Waco tragedy, had their offices in that building. As
it turns out, he was wrong; but that's what he thought. That
was one of his motivations; and second, he described that
building as, quote, "an easy target."
It was conveniently located just south of Kansas and
it had easy access. It was just a matter of blocks off of an
interstate highway, Interstate 35 through Oklahoma City
traveling north; and the building is designed is such that you
can drive a truck up, there is an indentation at the sidewalk
in front of the building. You can drive a truck right up and
park a truck right there in front of the building, right there
in front of the plate glass windows that I described in front
of the day-care center.
The day that he selected for the bombing also has
significance. He selected April 19th. Of course, first, that
was the anniversary of Waco, and he wanted to, as he said,
avenge death that occurred at Waco; and second, April 19th a
couple of centuries ago, in 1775, that's the day that the
American Revolution is reported to have begun. That's the day
that the opening shot was fired in Concord/Lexington. The day
is known as Liberty Day.
So as indicated by the materials that McVeigh carried
with him -- you'll see the stuff that he got from his car -- he
envisioned that by bombing the building in Oklahoma City he
would bring what he thought would be liberty to this nation.
Well, this was not just talk from McVeigh. He was
ready for action. He knew from the literature he had how to
make the bomb and he knew how to get the ingredients. Both The
Turner Diaries and this book Homemade C4, the bomb-making
cookbook, told him to where to look. The best place to get
ammonium nitrate fertilizer, the book said, was at a farm
supply store, and the best place to get nitromethane racing
fuel, which you would mix with the fertilizer, was at a
So McVeigh engaged his friend, his Army buddy, Terry
Nichols, in the project. Nichols, of course, shared the hatred
for the federal government, and they worked together in a
conspiracy. As his Honor just told you, the first count is
conspiracy. That's an agreement to commit a criminal act.
They reached this working arrangement whereby they
would, together, acquire the ingredients to manufacture the
bomb. And a fair amount of our evidence will be about their
acquisition of the various components that were used to make
the bomb that blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City.
They got 4,000 pounds -- that's 2 tons of ammonium
nitrate fertilizer. They bought it at a farm supply store in
central Kansas where Nichols was living at the time and where
McVeigh visited him. This was in the fall of 1994, at least
six months before the bombing, giving you some indication of
the planning that went into this process and the premeditation.
They made two purchases of 1 ton each. The first one
was made at the end of September, 1994, and the second one was
made the middle of October; and both purchases were made in
phony names. The phony name they used was Mike Havens. We'll
provide you with evidence showing that Terry Nichols used that
name Havens as an alias.
We will also show you that one of the receipts, the
receipt for the first purchase, September 30th, was found in
Nichols' home after the bombing. Agents conducted a search of
Nichols' home several days after the bombing and they found the
receipt for that first purchase of 1 ton of ammonium nitrate
fertilizer; and on that receipt, when it was sent back to the
FBI lab, were two latent fingerprints of Timothy McVeigh.
To get some of the other chemicals they needed for the
bomb, McVeigh and Nichols picked up the phone book and let
their fingers do the walking. They called dozens and dozens of
companies and individuals in search of ingredients that they
needed for the bomb. And the reason we can trace and show you
so many of these calls is in part because they used a calling
card to make the calls. They had obtained a calling card from
a magazine called Spotlight magazine; and in an unsuccessful
effort to avoid having the calls traced back to them, they
again used a fake name. They didn't get the calling card in
their own names. They used this time the name Darrell Bridges,
but we'll prove to you that it was they that got, ordered,
obtained and paid for this calling card.
The calling card was the type of phone card that
requires you to pay in advance. It's called a debit card. The
balance on the card is debited each time you make a call; and
then when you're down to a zero balance, you have to send in
more money to the company to make more calls; and that's
precisely what McVeigh and Nichols did, and we'll show you
money orders that they sent in, and we'll prove to you that the
money orders were obtained by McVeigh and Nichols; and that's
why we can trace so much of their activity, at least so much of
their phone call activity, because they used the same debt card
in the name of Darrell Bridges to do a lot of their business,
and even though they didn't get a phone bill, as you or I would
get for our home phone, they didn't get the phone bill of
course because they were paying for these calls in advance; and
even though they may have believed that by doing it that way
the calls wouldn't be traceable, well, the phone company still
needed to keep track of the calls and how much was charged so
they could debit down the card.
So the phone company had records of the calls that
were being made, from where to where and how long it was and
how much it cost; and those are the records that we have that
we'll present to you to prove the calls that McVeigh and
Nichols were making.
The debt card records reveals dozens and dozens of
calls in the fall of 1994. That's when they're trying to
acquire the components, the ingredients for the bomb. The
calls were made to various companies and individuals that sold
or possibly could obtain the ingredients, the components that
would be used for an ammonium nitrate fertilizer bomb.
The mixture would be made and held in barrels. They
called barrel companies. The mixture would use racing fuel as
a most likely fuel source to mix with the ammonium nitrate.
They called fuel racing raceways. And there are various other
companies -- or chemicals, pardon me, including anhydrous
hydrazine. They called various chemical companies.
For example, we will show you a copy of the yellow
pages taken from the area in Kansas where McVeigh and Nichols
were during the fall of 1994. We can compare the yellow pages
with those records from the calling card. Going down the
yellow pages -- the yellow pages, if you look at a page for
chemical companies, you see a number of chemical companies, you
see the numbers listed, and you see the number that they called
on their calling card. They went down the yellow pages and
called the companies that were on those yellow pages.
So you can match up what they're doing; and you'll
notice -- it wasn't just chemical companies. You'll notice
that all the companies they called during that period of time,
in the fall of 1994 when they were using this call -- this
calling card to seek ingredients -- all of them have one thing
in common: They all sell something you could use to make a
bomb, a large ammonium nitrate fertilizer bomb.
But we're not going to prove up, simply by
circumstantial evidence, by asking you to compare the yellow
pages to these phone records to show that they were obtaining
these ingredients, because as further evidence we'll call
people who actually received the calls and in some cases, they
weren't strangers on the other end of the phone. They were
friends of -- or acquaintances of McVeigh.
For example, we'll call a man by the name of David
Darlak. He's an old acquaintance McVeigh. They grew up
together and they've known each other for years.
Darlak received calls from McVeigh and he remembers
him. He'll tell you what he remembers. Darlak recalls that
McVeigh called him trying to get racing fuel.
Well, Darlak didn't ever know McVeigh to be interested
in racing, and McVeigh, of course, didn't reveal that he wanted
the racing fuel for something other than racing, to build a
bomb, he didn't say that. He didn't reveal why he wanted the
racing fuel. But Darlak will come in and explain. He's one of
the people that calls from McVeigh during this period of time.
Greg Pfaff is another person that received a call.
Greg Pfaff is a guy that McVeigh ran into and met when they did
the various gun shows, met at gun shows. Pfaff recalls getting
calls from McVeigh, and he will come in and tell you that
McVeigh asked him if Pfaff could get any det cord.
Now, det cord is a nickname, an abbreviation for
detonation cord, and that's what you'll use, as you'll hear the
ammonium nitrate and fuel oil doesn't blow up by itself, you
don't light a match and throw it on it and it explodes. You
need some kind of detonation. Det cord would be used to
facilitate the detonation of the explosion.

According to Pfaff McVeigh was so eager to get this
det cord that McVeigh offered to drive across the country.
Pfaff was on the East Coast. He offered to drive across the
country to Pfaff if Pfaff could get any det cord.
You will also hear from a man named Glynn Tipton.
Tipton works for a company that goes to drag races and he was
on a drag race on October 1st, 1994, in central Kansas. He
recalls a man that he's almost certain as McVeigh coming up to
him and trying to buy large quantities of nitromethane and
anhydrous hydrazine; and the books I've told you about describe
those two chemicals as being part of the shopping list for
making an ammonium nitrate fertilizer bomb.
All these calls are reflected on the debt card that
McVeigh used and so is a call to Mid-American Chemical Company,
that's one of the companies actually that's listed in the
yellow pages you'll see.
Linda Juhl is an employee of Mid-Americal Chemical
Company and she remembers getting a call in the fall of 1994 at
the same time. She recalls it was from a young man in Kansas
who wanted to obtain anhydrous hydrazine, one of the chemicals
you can use to make ammonium nitrate fertilizer bombs.
Anhydrous hydrazine is usually used as a rocket fuel and it can
seriously boost the explosion.
You'll also hear a number of calls to companies such
as CP Racing and other companies that sold nitromethane.
Nitromethane is a racing fuel. It too can be used as one of
the ingredients in ammonium nitrate fuel -- fuel oil explosive
Well those are the calls they made during this period
of time in search of some of the various components for an
explosive device, but we'll prove that they obtained -- they
actually acquired large quantities of explosives, as I said
just, getting the mixture, the fertilizer with the chemicals of
nitromethane or anhydrous hydrazine or racing fuel doesn't
itself cause an explosion unless you have something to detonate
it with.
We'll prove to you where McVeigh and Nichols got the
detonation -- detonators that they needed. In short, they
stole them. During the period of the Fall of 1994, Nichols was
living in central Kansas in a community and city called Marion,
Kansas, he was working on a cattle farm there and nearby there
was a rock quarry. Now some of you probably know rock quarries
use explosives to blast the rock and they typically store the
explosive they have on site in what are referred to as
magazines or secure storage lockers.
The quarry that was near Nichols' home in Marion,
Kansas, kept a quantity of explosive, primarily blasting caps,
in locked storage facilities right there on site.
As I already said, McVeigh came to visit Nichols
during late September of 1994 and stayed through that first
weekend, first weekend of October 1994, that's the weekend when
Glynn Tipton saw him at the raceway or saw somebody he believes
is McVeigh at the raceway looking for the two chemicals I just
described. That's also the same weekend, on the Friday of that
weekend, September 30th, that they made their first purchase of
1 ton of ammonium nitrate fertilizer from the supply store in
central Kansas.
Well, it's the very same weekend that they broke into
the magazine at the rock quarry and stole hundreds of blasting
caps and sticks of an explosive that's known as -- it's a
sausage-type of explosive known as Tovex.
The reason that we can prove that it was McVeigh and
Nichols that broke into these storage units and stole the
explosives is because they made essentially two mistakes:
First of all, they left evidence behind at the scene of the

crime; and secondly, they didn't get rid of all the loot. They
left some of it in Nichols' house.
The evidence that they left behind at the scene of the
crime was one of the padlocks that they had drilled open.
There were five padlocks that had to be drilled open to get in.
Four of them was missing but one of them was left behind.
The county sheriff that came out to investigate that
break-in kept that padlock. You remember this is months before
the Oklahoma City bombing, but he kept it in his evidence and
provided it to the FBI after the bombing when the connection
was made between that theft and the bombing. Federal agents
later searched Nichols' house after the bombing and they found
in Nichols' basement a battery-powered Makita drill and with
the drill were some drill bits and they matched the padlock
that has a hole drilled in it to open up the lock, and you'll
see this.
They went inside that hole and lock and figured out
the drill bit impressions, the toolmark impressions and they
made toolmark impressions also from the drill that was found --
the drill bit that was found in Nichols' basement and they
matched the two; and that toolmark expert will come in and show
you that the impressions inside the lock matched the
impressions made by the drill bit from Nichols' basement so
that you can conclude that drill bit drilled that lock.
The other mistake they made was that Nichols kept some
of the explosives. They were found after the bombing in his
basement. He had some of the blasting caps. Now blasting caps
come in a wide variety of sizes. There are different brands
and there are different delays. I think they come in delays
from something like from 1 to 20 and all the blasting caps that
were stolen from the quarry were 60-foot No. 8 delay Primadet
blasting caps.
Found in Nichols' basement after the bombing when the
agents searched his basement were five blasting caps, Primadet
60-foot No. 8 delay.
Well, with this quantity of explosives or components
for making a bomb, McVeigh and Nichols of course needed
someplace to keep all of this stuff. McVeigh, during this
period of time, really didn't have any home. He would stay
with friends and various other places. He was just traveling
around and it would have been foolish, of course, for Nichols
to have kept the stuff in his home for two reasons: first of
all, it's dangerous; secondly, if anybody found it in his home.
So it's obviously traceable for him. So their solution to this
is to rent private storage lockers, and that's exactly what
they did.
They rented private storage lockers, but to prevent
anyone who would break in and getting into these storage
lockers to easily trace these components to them, they again
used false names. They rented three lockers in the central
Kansas area near where Nichols was living at the time. And
they rented all three lockers in phony names, different phony
names: This time they're Shawn Rivers, Ted Parker and Joe
Kyle. I'm not expecting you to remember the various aliases
and phony names they used. You'll hear evidence and we will
provide you with documents that will show you these various
They were all paid, the storage lockers were paid for,
with cash, which is, of course, is the least traceable means of
payment. But we will prove through eyewitness testimony,
through fingerprints, and through handwriting analysis that it
was McVeigh and Nichols who rented these storage lockers in
false names.
The leases on the three storage lockers began in the
fall of 1994, right at the very time that they were acquiring
components for the bombs; but they continued to pay the rent on
these storage lockers up through the date of the bombing. When
FBI agents searched the storage lockers soon after the
bombings, they were all empty. Rent was paid up till then, but
there was nothing in them. Of course, the components were used
in Oklahoma City.
During this period when McVeigh and Nichols were
acquiring the components for the bomb, McVeigh periodically
drove to Arizona and visited two friends of his, Michael and
Lori Fortier. He had met Michael in the Army, and they had
shared the same antigovernment ideas; and McVeigh had come to
trust not only Michael but he also came to trust Michael's
wife, Lori.
So in the fall of 1994, he confided his plan to the
Fortiers. Sitting in their living room in Kingman, Arizona, he
actually drew a diagram of the bomb that he intended to build.
And you'll hear that evidence from the witness stand. He
outlined the box of the truck, and he drew circles for the
barrels inside the truck, the barrels of fertilizer and fuel
oil that he would place strategically in the truck to cause
maximum damage, as he described it.
Later during that same period of time, one of times
when he was in Arizona, again, fall of 1994, months ahead of
bombing, he demonstrated his design to Lori Fortier by
borrowing from her Campbell soup cans out of her cupboard and
placed them on the floor and showed her the shape in which he
would design the bomb inside the box of the truck. And he
described it as a shape charge and explained that by putting in
that -- putting the barrels of explosives in a particular shape
it would increase the charge in a particular direction, the
direction toward the building and the plate glass windows that
I've previously described.
By the end of October 1994, McVeigh had most of
ingredients he needed to build the bomb; so he was able at that
time to carry out his plan. But this was still the fall of
1994. Remember, he was determined to take action when he
thought it would have maximum impact; and he thought the
anniversary of the tragedy at Waco would provide that kind of
maximum impact. He thought that others were as angered at Waco
as he was and that he could get tremendous impact, shake up the
nation, by delaying his violent terrorist action until the
anniversary of Waco, April 19th; so he left the bomb components
in the various storage lockers, and he waited. He waited till
the spring.
And in late January, he returned to Arizona. Again,
he stayed with his friends, the Fortiers. He stayed there
through February and March. He was really most of the time
just hanging out, not doing anything. He wasn't employed.
Periodically he would go to gun shows during that time.
Periodically he would try to recruit Michael Fortier to
participate in the bombing. And as April approached, it became
clear to him that Fortier was not going to participate. That
spring, McVeigh was ready to put his action -- to put his plan
into action.
He had been regularly corresponding with his sister,
Jennifer, who was then living in upstate New York. And he had
revealed to her his distrust and his distaste for the federal
government. In fact, in the fall of 1994, he had visited her
in New York. He created a file in her computer. He had marked
the file "ATF read," "ATF read," as though he wanted them to
discover this file and read it after his dramatic action.
You'll see the chilling words in that computer file.
I'm going to delete the expletive. It said, "All you
tyrannical M.F.ers will swing in the wind one day for your
treasonous actions against the Constitution and the United
States." And it concluded with these words: "Die, you
spineless cowardice bastards." That was written in the fall of
By the spring of 1995, he had moved beyond words. He
was ready for action. In a letter dated March 25th, just three
weeks before the bombing, he told his sister Jennifer not to
send any more letter after May 1st because, quote, "G men might
get them."
You'll see a copy of that letter. About the same
time, he sent another letter to his sister Jennifer -- this was
before the bombing -- in which he said, "Something big is about
to happen." You'll hear from Jennifer McVeigh. She'll
testify. You won't see that letter, because after the bombing,
as she will explain, she destroyed that letter.
During this period of time in the spring of 1994,
before the bombing, while McVeigh was hanging out in Arizona,
he asked Lori Fortier if he could borrow her typewriter. She
let him take it for a day or so; and when he returned it he had
a phony driver's license. It was on one of the blank driver's
license forms. It had been obtained through the -- or ordered
through one of those ads at the back of Soldier of Fortune
magazine, one of the ads that sells phony identification kits.
And McVeigh had typed on the blank form. He had made it look
like it was a driver's license from North or South Dakota. He
had typed in those words, the name of state. And the phony
name he had selected -- I'm going to give you another alias
name -- was Robert Kling.
He liked that name, he told Lori Fortier -- and you'll
be able to remember it -- because it reminded him of the race
of characters on that TV show "Star Trek," the Klingons. And
you'll hear that name a lot in this trial, because that's the
name that McVeigh used to rent the Ryder truck that he used to
blow up the federal building, "Robert Kling."
To finish the phony drivers's license, McVeigh asked
to borrow Lori Fortier's iron, so he could iron on plastic
lamentation -- lamination that came with the blank form. And
she was afraid he would ruin his (sic) iron, and she offered to
iron it on for him. That's how it is she can tell you she saw
the drivers's license she remembered the name.
He handed her the Robert Kling driver's license. She
ironed on the lamination. It had on it a small photo that
McVeigh attached up in the corner in the box where the photo
for a driver's license would fit. It was McVeigh's photo, of
course. She ironed -- the lamentation -- lamination and gave
it back to McVeigh.
During these months in early 1995, when McVeigh stayed
with the Fortiers, he became more and more withdrawn and more
and more unpleasant as April 19th approached. And in early
April, he moved out of the Fortiers' house into a local motel
in Kingman Arizona. He stayed there until April 12th, 1995.
You'll see those motel records. He checked out April 12th,
1995, exactly one week before the bombing. He was in Arizona.
He checked out, and he was next seen in Kansas on
Friday before the bombing. The bombing was on the following
Wednesday. Friday before the bombing, McVeigh arrived in
Kansas. Kansas, of course, is where Terry Nichols was then
living; and that's where he and McVeigh and Nichols had stored
this stuff, the bomb components, in the storage lockers. The
day that McVeigh arrived in Kansas was a Friday, April 14th,
five days before the bombing. He stopped at a Firestone
service station in Junction City, Kansas.
He knew that Firestone station because when he was in
the service in Fort Riley, which is not far from Junction City,
he had had his car serviced there before. The manager of the
place, a man by the name of Tom Manning, remembered McVeigh.
McVeigh was there at that Firestone station, as
Manning will tell you, because McVeigh said his car was burning
oil. The car was in bad shape; so the manager, Manning, said
he had a used car out back that he was willing to sell to
McVeigh. McVeigh checked out the car and decided that he would
go ahead and buy it; so he paid $250 in cash for the car and
signed over the title to his car, which he had with him.
While Manning was getting the used car ready to turn
over to McVeigh, he recalls that McVeigh left the Firestone
station for about 10 or 15 minutes on this Friday morning.
Manning provided this information the very first time he was
asked whether McVeigh was there the entire time, and he
remembered McVeigh left for a period of time when Manning went
to get the car ready for McVeigh.
During that interval of time, on Friday morning, five
days before the bombing, when McVeigh left the Firestone
station, a call was placed to a Ryder truck rental agency in
Junction City, Kansas. The Ryder agency in Junction City is
called Elliott's Body Shop. It's listed in the yellow pages.
Just so you know what's coming, I've already told you
the twisted rear axle that seemed to fall out of the air onto
the red Fiesta of the maintenance man in the apartment building
in downtown Oklahoma City -- that axle traced back to a Ryder
truck that had been rented two days before the bombing from
Elliott's Body Shop in Junction City, Kansas. That was the
truck that became the bomb.
The call I'm talking about now was made to reserve the
truck. The caller said his name was Robert Kling, the same
name that McVeigh had used on the phony driver's license. And
the caller asked to reserve a large truck for pickup the
following Monday. That would be two days before the bombing.
We've traced that call, and it traces back to a pay
phone located at a bus station in Junction City, Kansas; and
that bus station pay phone is less than a half a block from the
Firestone station where McVeigh had been. You can see it We'll
show you there's a photo from the pay phone. You can see the
Firestone station. I mean, it's virtually across the street,
just down the alley a piece.
Although McVeigh had all the ingredients to
manufacture, to build a bomb, he didn't yet have a truck. Now,
in The Turner Diaries, the bomber steals a delivery truck in
which to make their bomb; but McVeigh decided to rent his. And
that's, of course, why he had the phony driver's license; and
that's why he made the call to Elliott's Body Shop to reserve a
truck five days before the bombing.
Now, there's another detail about that bus station pay
phone call that we will prove to you. Actually, there were two
calls made back to back that morning from that outdoor pay
phone. The first call went to the home of McVeigh's Army
buddy, Terry Nichols, who was living at that time now in nearby
Herington, Kansas. The next call, which started within seconds
of the completion of the first call, was the one that went to
Elliott's Body Shop to reserve the Ryder truck. Both calls
were made on a Spotlight debit card.
For reasons that we will explain, the computer failed
to record the actual customer account for the call to the Ryder
truck rental agency; but the call to Nichols' house, the first
call, was charged to the calling card that McVeigh and Nichols
were using. And of course, it was McVeigh who was near that
pay phone that morning, having entered into the car transaction
with Manning.
Later that day, McVeigh registered at a small motel in
Junction City Kansas, which is known as the Dreamland Motel.
It's located about four miles up the road from the Ryder truck
rental agency. He registered there in his own name, Timothy
McVeigh; and he stayed in Room 25 at the Dreamland Motel
through that weekend up until Tuesday. Tuesday is now the
morning of the day before the bombing. And as a result of a
telephone call, of a telephone call from the pay phone,
Elliott's Body Shop the Ryder rental place, actually reserved a
large truck for Robert Kling. But they were willing to do so
only if someone came in and put a deposit down on the truck the
following day.
The following day, of course, was a Saturday, four
days before the bombing. The only person who was working that
day at the Elliott's Body Shop was the owner, Eldon Elliott.
Mr. Elliott will testify; and he will tell you what he
remembers about that Saturday morning. He was there by himself
when a young man with a military demeanor came in and said he
was Robert Kling. The lighting was good. The two men stood
facing each other for several minutes. There were no
interruptions. The shop was not busy. They transacted
business. And instead of simply making a deposit, a cash
deposit, to reserve the truck in the name Kling, the man wanted
to pay for the truck in full. He counted out several hundred
dollars in cash and gave it to Elliott. It was a memorable
transaction. There was some paperwork involved, and the man
Mr. Elliott remembers this transaction and he can
identify the man. It was Timothy McVeigh.
I've already summarized ample evidence to convince you
that Kling was really McVeigh; but there's still more.
Although McVeigh had paid for the truck, he didn't take it with
him. He said he would pick it up on Monday, April 17th, two
days before the bombing, after four o'clock. He was still
staying at the Dreamland Motel in the same city; and that
night, Saturday night, a carry-out order for Chinese food from
a local Chinese restaurant was made from McVeigh's room at the
Dreamland Motel, a telephone call to the local Chinese
restaurant ordering Chinese food; and the name used to place
the order was Kling.
Now, the delivery man who actually delivered the order
had only a brief encounter with the customer. He can't
identify who he gave the food to; but again, the significance
for us is a further association of the name Kling with McVeigh.
This time, independent of anything coming from Elliott's Body
Shop, independent of call that reserved the truck, this is
simply through a Kling order being delivered to McVeigh's room.
The following day was Easter Sunday. The bombing was
on Wednesday following Easter in 1995. There will be no
witnesses who saw McVeigh's car in Oklahoma City on Easter or
thereafter. But we will provide sufficient evidence for you to
conclude that McVeigh drove his car down to Oklahoma City on
Easter Sunday and left it there as a getaway car for use after
the bombing. For example, we will show you that McVeigh made a
call that afternoon, Sunday afternoon, at about 3:00 to the
home of his Army buddy, coconspirator Terry Nichols. He made
the call from a pay phone in Herington Kansas just blocks away
from Nichols' home.
You will see the evidence -- you will see from our
evidence that it's about four and a half hours from Herington,
Kansas, driving to Oklahoma City. We'll show you evidence of
the videotape from a surveillance camera. It actually happens
to be a surveillance camera in the very same apartment building
where the maintenance man came out and the truck axle fell on
the front of his car. It's call the Regency Towers. They have
a surveillance camera in the inside lobby. And it shoots
through the inside lobby, so that you can pick up some of
activity in the street in front of the building.
From that camera, we will show you five hours after
McVeigh -- a little more than five hours -- after McVeigh made
the call to Nichols' house -- you can see a truck of the same
features as Nichols' truck passing downtown Oklahoma City
twice -- passes that camera -- on Sunday before the bombing.
And you'll see that when McVeigh was stopped after the
bombing in Oklahoma City, he had a handmade, hand-printed sign
in his car. It was in his own handwriting. It said, "Please
do not two. Needs batteries and cable. Will move by
April 23rd." There was nothing wrong with the batteries and
cable when the car was stopped that day April 19th, the day of
the bombing; and there was nothing wrong with the batteries and
cables when Thomas Manning sold the car to McVeigh on Friday
As further evidence that McVeigh left his car in
Oklahoma City on Easter Sunday so it would be there as a
getaway car, we will prove that he needed a taxi on Monday
afternoon in order to pick up the Ryder truck. Remember, when
he went in on Saturday and paid the money, he didn't take the
Ryder truck with him. He said he would be back after 4 on
Monday, two days before the bombing.
Well, shortly before he was scheduled to pick up the
truck, shortly before four o'clock on Monday afternoon, a call
was placed from the pay phone near the Dreamland Motel, the
call that McVeigh was registered at the Dreamland in his own
name. So this call was not placed from his room phone, it
wasn't placed from the motel phone. This call was placed from
a public phone; but the public phone is just walking distance
from the Dreamland Motel in the direction of Elliott's Body
We'll prove to you that it was McVeigh who made the
call. The call was charged to that calling card that they had
in the phony name; and it was place today a taxicab company in
Junction City. The cab company is listed in the Junction City
yellow pages. And his call was placed on Monday after Easter.
McVeigh stayed at the Dreamland Motel until Tuesday. He didn't
have his car, so he needed a taxi to go to Elliott's Body Shop.
The taxi cab company dispatched a cab to the location
where McVeigh was by the pay phone near the Dreamland. The cab
picked up one passenger, it's records will show; and it drove
that passenger in the direction of Elliott's Body Shop and
dropped the passenger off at a McDonald's restaurant which is
located about one mile from Elliott's Body Shop. The fare was
$3.65; and we will prove to you that that passenger was Timothy
The only road or walkway between the McDonald's and
Elliott's Body Shop is a two-lane access road; and the only
thing on that road are a couple of apartment complexes and a
couple of other buildings, not a busy, busy road. It's about a
mile from the McDonald's to Elliott's Body Shop.
In fact, the McDonald's is on the nearest
intersection. If you walk from Elliott's -- if you walk from
Elliott's and hit the intersection, that's where the McDonald's
is. That McDonald's restaurant has a surveillance system that
consists of a series of cameras inside. We will show some of
the photos from those cameras on that Monday afternoon, the
same Monday as the cab ride and shortly before the Ryder truck
was picked. What you will see is Timothy McVeigh on the photos

taken inside the McDonald's restaurant. He was captured by the
surveillance cameras.
You will first see him as he approaches the counter
and later as he leaves the restaurant. He spent only about 8
minutes in the restaurant, and he apparently ate a McDonald's
hot apple pie.
Now, McVeigh, of course, did not spend $3.65 on a taxi
simply to have an apple pie at McDonald's. He took a taxi
because his car was in Oklahoma City, waiting to serve as a
getaway car. And that afternoon, Monday afternoon, he needed
to get up to Elliott's to pick up the truck; so he took a cab
and he stopped at McDonald's because it was at the intersection
on the way. It's just a stopover spot.
McDonald's -- I'm sorry. McVeigh left McDonald's,
you'll see on the video footage, at approximately 4:00. As I
said, Elliott's Body Shop is about a mile away. It's about a
15-minute walk.
15 minutes after McVeigh left McDonald's, he walked
into Elliott's Body Shop and picked up the truck that he used
to destroy the Murrah Building. The owner, Eldon Elliott, was
again there. He recalls the transaction. Again, this was not
a fleeting encounter with a complete stranger. This is not
like asking the cab driver or the man who delivered the Chinese
food to remember their customer, to identify the customer.
Mr. Elliott had seen McVeigh two days before, and he was seeing
him again on this Monday. On this occasion, he wasn't simply
handing over a box of Chinese food. He was giving McVeigh a
valuable piece of equipment, a large Ryder truck.
He spent some time on the transaction. He walked
around the truck, inspected it for damage. He filled out a
damage form. And he recalls the person that he released the
truck to. It was the same person who had come in on the
preceding Saturday morning, the same person that paid cash on
the truck. This was the second time Mr. Elliott had an
opportunity to observe that man. Again, the lighting was good.
The two stood nearly face to face. The man was Timothy
Your Honor, can you tell me if you want me to
continue, or take a break?
THE COURT: Well, if this would be a convenient place
for you, we could do it now.
THE COURT: All right. I'm sure we can use a little
rest stop, and we'll do that. So members of the jury, we're
going to take about a 20-minute recess now, it being about
mid-morning; and of course, just like I said in the preliminary
instructions, please do not discuss anything about the case
during this recess. You're excused now.
You can go out this door. It will be a little bit
(Jury out at 10:30 a.m.)
THE COURT: All right. We will recess for 20 minutes.
(Recess at 10:30 a.m.)
(Reconvened at 10:50 a.m.)
THE COURT: Be seated, please.
MR. HARTZLER: Your Honor, should I resume the podium?
THE COURT: Yes, please.
(Jury in at 10:51 a.m.)
THE COURT: Mr. Hartzler, you may resume.
MR. HARTZLER: Thank you, your Honor.
Okay. I've brought you up to Monday afternoon, Monday
before the bombing. McVeigh was at Elliott's Body Shop. He
picked up the truck. He's still in Junction City. It's two
days before the bombing.
There is another face that Mr. Elliott does not
remember as well as he remembers McVeigh's face. It's the face
of a second man that Mr. Elliott believes he saw with McVeigh
on that Monday afternoon, only once, not on the first occasion.
The man -- nobody was with McVeigh that time. This is when
McVeigh came to pick up the truck.
He saw that person just for a moment, glanced at him.
His business, of course, was with McVeigh. That's who he was
concentrating on.
Now, whether Mr. Elliott was mistaken about the
existence of another person and who that other person might
possibly be, if there is such a person, doesn't change the fact
that Mr. Elliott will say that this defendant rented the truck
that blew up the Murrah Building.
As you already know and as his Honor instructed you
again this morning, our burden in this case is to prove the
guilt of Timothy McVeigh beyond a reasonable doubt. We welcome
that burden. We will meet it.
The indictment charges that McVeigh committed the
crimes with others. It refers specifically to Terry Nichols by
name. It charges him as a co-conspirator. It also mentioned
others unknown or unnamed. We do not bear the burden at this
trial to prove the guilt of Terry Nichols. You'll hear
evidence about Nichols -- and I've mentioned some of that,
summarized some of the testimony about Nichols; but we'll
present that evidence because it incriminates McVeigh. We're
not trying Terry Nichols in this case. The same is true of the
other person who might have been with McVeigh at Elliott's Body
You also may hear from the man that delivered the
Chinese food. Remember, he delivered it -- the Kling order --
in Room 25. He believes the person he delivered it to was not
So this other person -- this other possible person
with McVeigh has come to be known as John Doe 2, but we don't
bear the burden in this trial of proving whether there is or is
not another person with McVeigh. We don't bear any burden of
proving who else is guilty.
So we'll keep our focus on the burden we bear. We
will maintain our focus on the evidence against McVeigh. We'll
prove what the Court will allow us to prove; that is, evidence
against McVeigh. And I hope that you'll be able to keep your
focus on that as well.
At Elliott's Body Shop, McVeigh presented his phony
driver's license in the name Robert Kling to rent the truck.
And the birthday that McVeigh put on the driver's license is
telling: McVeigh's real birthday is April 23, yesterday. But
the birthday he gave Kling was his special day, April 19, the
anniversary of the fire at Waco and the date that McVeigh
selected for the bombing in Oklahoma City.
McVeigh also signed the rental agreement in the name
Robert Kling. You will see the actual rental agreement
documents from the rental of the Ryder truck that blew up the
building, and you will see down at the bottom of those
documents the signature "Robert Kling."
Now, everyone's handwriting has certain distinctive
features. That's why you can identify or recognize the
handwriting of loved ones and old friends, even though
sometimes you don't know why you can recognize it. And that's

also why documents examiners who spend their careers examining
and comparing handwriting can notice little distinctive
idiosyncrasies of particular handwriting, little distinctive
features, and they can compare one document to another.
Well, with the assistance of a documents examiner who
will testify for us, you will look closely at those Ryder
rental documents; and together in the courtroom, we will
compare the documents, the other documents that we can prove
McVeigh wrote, letters to friends, things of that sort. And
you, yourself, will see the similarities.
For example, on the Kling signature, you'll see that
there is a little curlicue that he used to make the K; and
you'll see a similar curlicue in other writing that we will
prove was written by McVeigh.
You'll notice on the Kling documents, in the name
Robert Kling, the cross stroke for the T is done backwards.
You can tell it's done backwards because there is a blot of ink
that starts on the back side of the T and tapers off on the
front side of the T. And we'll show you other documents
written by McVeigh which have that same backward cross stroke
on the T. Those are just two examples. There are other
similar features that we'll present to you; and when you see
these documents and when you listen to the examiner and when
you compare these documents yourself, you'll conclude that
Timothy McVeigh stood in Elliott's Body Shop and signed the
name Robert Kling.
That Monday afternoon, McVeigh drove the Ryder truck
back to Dreamland Motel. You'll hear details about where he
parked it, when he was seen in it at the Dreamland, things of
that sort. Now, there may be discrepancies in memories of
witnesses as to the precise time and date that he was at the
motel with the Ryder truck; but completely independent of
evidence from Elliott's Body Shop, there will be no doubt that
McVeigh had a Ryder truck in those days before the bombing.
And our evidence will establish that the truck McVeigh
had at the Dreamland was the truck that he rented at Elliott's
Body Shop, because employees of Ryder Corporation searched all
of their records nationwide, all of their rentals during this
period of time, and there is no rental in the name Timothy
McVeigh. Now, if he had rented a truck for some legitimate
purpose, you would think it would be in his name. There is no
rental in the name Timothy McVeigh for that period of time.
That's because he rented the name -- he rented the truck in the
name Robert Kling; so my point is there are at least -- there
are overlapping ways, independent ways, in which he we will
demonstrate that Robert Kling is really Timothy McVeigh.
There is the circumstances of the telephone call from
the bus station across from the Firestone where he bought his
used car. There are the circumstances of him being at the
McDonald's 20 minutes and leaving 20 minutes before the truck
was picked up at Elliott's Body Shop. There is the eyewitness
testimony of Eldon Elliott. There is the documentary and
handwriting evidence. You'll see and compare the documents.
And there is the fact that there was no McVeigh rental of any
Ryder truck during this period of time.
Between the time that McVeigh picked up the Ryder
truck, that Monday afternoon, and the time that the bomb was
detonated early on Wednesday morning, he had plenty of time,
you will learn from our explosives expert, to build a bomb in
the back of a truck and drive it to Oklahoma City; and that is
precisely what he did.
The Turner Diaries taught him how to mix the different
ingredients, how to set up the bomb, right down to how to drill
a hole between the cargo box and the cab of the truck so that
he could detonate it, so that the fuse could run into the cab
of the truck and he could fuse it from where he was sitting in
the front of the cab. You'll hear from witness testimony
that's what he said he would do.
So he conferred -- converted the Ryder truck from a
cargo vehicle into a gigantic deadly bomb, and he drove it to
Oklahoma City; and he detonated it on one of the -- at one of
the busiest times of the day.
Bear in mind this was not 3 or 4 in the morning, when
he could conceivably have detonated the bomb and possibly not
have killed anyone. It was at 9:00 -- 9:02 in the morning,
when everyone was in their office, business was being
conducted, and the children were in the day-care center.
The sound and the concussion of the blast rocked
downtown Oklahoma City. It was as though it had been struck by
an earthquake; and as McVeigh sped away from the scene of the
crime, word quickly spread as to the location of the blast. No
one in downtown Oklahoma City could have missed the sound. It
ripped the air, shattered windows. It was a terrifying
People who heard it because of the noise couldn't help
but be concerned. Just like the shock waves of the bomb, the
word spread through the city as to where it had been located.
The word was, of course, it was at the federal building.
That morning, Mike Weaver had driven his wife's car
down to work. It had needed service, and the service station
was closer to his office than to his wife's; so as a favor, he
drove her car and she drove his. He dropped their son off at
junior high on his way to work; and after dropping his son off,
Mike drove downtown to the service station with his wife's car.
Mike's workday started at 9:00; and when his wife,
Donna, heard the blast and then got the news that it was the
Murrah Building, which was Mike's building, she rushed from her
office, made her way quickly, as quickly as she could, to the
Murrah Building. And on her way, she hoped against hope that
maybe Mike had gotten delayed, maybe he had gotten delayed in
dropping their son off, maybe he had gotten delayed at the
service station, maybe he hadn't made it to work at 9:00. And
she stopped in front of the Murrah Building and looked up. His
office was gone, and she knew so was he.
She was right: He was killed.
She didn't have earplugs in her pocket. None of our
witnesses had earplugs in their pockets that day.
The Noise from the concussion from the bomb was felt
throughout the city; and Helena Garrett, whose son, Tevin, was
in the day-care center. She, of course, was across the street
in her building. By pure coincidence, she was on her way to
the Murrah Building, still in her building, but she was going
to move her car from the Murrah Building to her regular parking
lot. When she heard the blast, she rushed outside and saw that
the entire front face of the Murrah Building was missing. The
plate glass windows that the children pressed their hands and
faces against were gone. The entire side of the building was
She ran to the scene and frantically searched the area
for her son. She watched as rescue workers arrived and carried
bodies of small children from the building, and she looked to
see if any of them were Tevin. At one point, she climbed on a
pile of debris in front of the building until the rescue
workers begged her to leave; and then she went home and waited.
She waited for days; and when Tevin's body was found, it was
taken to a funeral home. And at the funeral home, she asked to
see her son; but the funeral director persuaded her not to:
The body was too badly mangled. So she never saw her son
As she searched for her son that morning of the
bombing, rescue workers searched for survivors and the bodies.
And law enforcement agents arrived to search the debris for
clues as to the cause of the blast; and what they found were
various parts of the Ryder truck that had been -- that had
blown up. The truck had blown to smithereens. And one of the
pieces they found was a small piece of plywood from the side of
the truck. It had yellow and red Ryder truck markings on one
side of the plywood. On the other side was just plain plywood.
And the piece, when it was found, was sealed in a plastic bag
and shipped back to the FBI laboratory, along with all the
other truck parts, pieces of debris that were found, and were
being sent back for examination; and the purpose of sending
them back to the lab was to examine them for chemical residue,
try to figure out the cause of this blast.
And the chemist who examined most of these pieces is a
man by the name of Steven Burmeister. He's been with the FBI
for years, and he's one of the most qualified forensic chemists
in the area of explosives residue. He's spent many years
studying and examining explosive residue, both -- pardon me.
He's worked both at the FBI laboratory and in the private
sector, and he's testified both for defendants and for the
And when he examined these pieces of evidence that
came back to the FBI lab, he was looking for clues as to the
type of explosive that might be used and might have been used
in the bomb. He used a microscope to examine the truck parts,
and he didn't find much.
An explosion is a dynamic reaction; and Burmeister
will tell you that the chemicals used in an explosive are often
destroyed as part of the explosion, so you don't necessarily
find bomb residue after an explosion. But Burmeister did find
something: When he looked at that little piece of plywood from
the side of the truck, he saw little specs under the
microscope; and when he had tested those little specs, he
determined their chemical makeup. The specs were crystals of
ammonium nitrate, the very same chemical that McVeigh and
Nichols had obtained in 50-pound bags in the form of the
fertilizer they had purchased in central Kansas months before.
You'll also hear from a chemist from Great Britain.
Her name is Linda Jones, and she's also an explosives expert.
She's worked numerous cases involving IRA bombs, and she has
over 20 years of experience in the explosives field. She'll
explain the different types of damage that can be caused by
different types of bombs. She's had ample experience with
ammonium-nitrate-type bombs, and she knows what kind of damage
they can cause.
She will also explain to you why a mixture of ammonium
nitrate and fuel oil or racing fuel can be detonated to create
an explosion; and she'll explain it's not a complicated task.
She analyzed the damage to the Murrah Building and the
surrounding area, and she'll explain to you why that damage is
consistent with damage caused by an ammonium-nitrate-based
truck bomb. She'll also explain how easy and cheap it is to
make just such a bomb -- so easy, in fact, it could be built by
one or two people.
Now, you undoubtedly will hear criticism of the FBI
laboratory, especially the explosives unit at the lab; but
Agent Burmeister is not from the explosives unit. He's a
chemist, and his work is unassailable. And Linda Jones is not
from the explosives unit. She's not even with the FBI. She's
from Great Britain.
Also, none of the people who have been criticized for
their work at the FBI laboratory will be witnesses in this
case. Linda Jones has done her work independent. She's done
an independent analysis of the bomb crime scene, and her
evaluation and analysis of the bomb and crime scene are
consistent with the most demanding scientific standards in the
I've already described for you the huge twisted axle
that fell on the red Ford Fiesta that seemed to fly and fall
out of the sky. It had been at the -- it had been at the
center of the explosion; and the force of the explosion
propelled it more than 200 yards in the air. Law enforcement
agents found it there beside the Ford Fiesta, and they traced
its vehicle identification number.
Now, many of you know that every vehicle carries a
unique number stamped on various parts of the vehicle. It's
referred to as the "VIN" or vehicle identification number. The
agency saw the axle, located the VIN, vehicle identification
number, and called it in to find out what vehicle the axle came
from and where the vehicle came from.
They learned that the axle came from a large Ryder
truck; and by contacting Ryder, they learned that the truck had
been rented two days before, two days before the bombing, from

a rental agency in Junction City, Kansas. You already know the
rental agency. They discovered it then: Elliott's Body Shop.
That information, of course, led them to Elliott's,
where they learned what I've already told you: The truck had
been rented by a young man who used the name Robert Kling.
Kling's address in South Dakota, of course, proved to
be false. Not only was there no house at that address, the
address in the city -- the listed city -- there is not even an
address of that sort.
The agents surveyed the area for anyone who had
seen -- who had been seen driving a Ryder truck; and as you
know from my description of testimony related to the Dreamland
Motel, they discovered that a guest at that motel had been seen
days before the bombing riding in a Ryder truck, and that guest
was registered in his name. It was Timothy McVeigh. That
information led them to a search for McVeigh, and I've already
told you much of the rest of the story.
McVeigh had been dropped in Oklahoma City -- I'm
sorry -- McVeigh had been stopped and arrested in Oklahoma City
on the morning of the bombing, traveling away from the city.
He was arrested that morning because he didn't have a license
on his car and because when he was stopped, he had an obvious
concealed weapon underneath his jacket.
He was still in custody two days later, when the
federal agents tracked the VIN number, went to Elliott's, found
it was Kling, went to Dreamland, discovered that Kling was
They went to the county jail where he was being held.
They took possession of the clothing he had, same clothing that
he had the day of the bombing, because they had been removed,
put into storage; and he was in an orange prison jumpsuit, not
wearing clothing he had on the day of the bombing.
They took those (sic) clothing and sent them to the
FBI laboratory. I'm referring, of course, to the T-shirt with
the image of Lincoln and the tree dripping blood on the back.
And again, it was Stephen Burmeister who did the examination.
He conducted a chemical analysis of the clothing, and he found
explosives residue on the shirt and the pants pockets and on
the earplugs in the pockets or that had been in the pockets.
This residue was not ammonium nitrate. The ammonium
nitrate was found at the scene of the bombing. That was on the
plywood. That was explosive residue that's referred to as
PETN. PETN is found in det cord, and it's a very fine powder.
Det cord is sort of a narrow, hollow tubing; and when you use
det cord, you often cut it. And in cutting it, cutting it
open, the fine powder sifts out from inside the det cord. And
it's sticky and gets all over everything. You can't really cut
it without getting it on your hands and clothing. And that's
the explosives residue that was found on the shirt McVeigh was
wearing and on the pockets and on the earplugs that had been in
his pockets.
The agents, of course, located his car. They found
inside his car that manila envelope that he previously
described. The papers inside there were practically a
manifesto. They're almost a declaration of his terrorist
intent. Some were passages in his own handwriting. Some were
photocopies that he had highlighted. Many of the documents
bear his fingerprints. All of them were about the right and
the need to kill people who work for the federal government.
There was a passage from The Turner Diaries, the one I
referred to earlier, that said, "The real value of our attacks
today . . ." There was the quote from one of the founding
fathers about how, when the government fears the people, there
is liberty; and that's the one that had McVeigh's handwriting
beneath it that said, "Maybe now there will be liberty." And
there was much, much more. We will show you all those
documents. There were passages declaring war against the
American government. There were passages calling for violence
against the government because of Waco.
The agents continued their investigation and uncovered
all of the evidence that I've previously summarized, all of the
evidence that we will present to you. They found the evidence
of the phone calls to the chemical companies, phone calls to
the barrel companies and to the raceways. They got the letters
that McVeigh wrote to his sister. They got -- they found all
the evidence about McVeigh and Nichols' acquisition of the bomb
components. They found out about the storage lockers and got
the storage locker documentation, determined it was McVeigh and
Nichols that rented them in false names. They got the
information from Elliott's Body Shop. They collected all of
that information, all of the evidence that we'll be presenting
to you.
As you can probably tell from what I've said, there is
no single witness who is going to come in here and tell the
whole sad story. Our case consists of dozens of pieces of
evidence put together. His Honor referred to that earlier this
morning, when he was speaking with you. And those pieces will
come in like bricks building a brick wall.
Now, some of the bricks won't fit tightly together,
because memories will be slightly different; and as I think we
spoke to some of you in jury selection, there will undoubtedly
be some unanswered questions. There always are in a case of
this complexity.
But in the end, we will build a solid wall of evidence
against McVeigh, making your job of determining his guilt easy,
I believe. You'll get a clear picture of what happened, and it
won't depend on any one witness. There will be overlapping
proof, and you'll be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that
he's responsible for the bombing in Oklahoma City.
But there is one witness who is very close to McVeigh
and who knows a lot. I haven't mentioned him yet. Our case
does not depend on him. We could prove the case without him,
but he was very close to McVeigh. I'm referring, of course, to
Michael Fortier, his other Army buddy. We will call him as a
witness because he provides insight into McVeigh's thinking,
his intent, and his premeditation; and he knows a few details
that other witnesses do not know.
A couple of years after the Army, McVeigh came to
visit Fortier in Fortier's hometown in Kingman, Arizona. I
already talked about one of those trips. McVeigh had changed
since the Army, Fortier noticed. Although McVeigh had always
been suspicious of the government, even during the Army, when
he was trying to get people to read The Turner Diaries, his
feelings had deepened into a burning hatred. He accused the
government of murdering the Branch Davidians at Waco, and he
brought Fortier videotapes and propaganda and other
anti-government literature and other conspiracy theories; and
he spent a lot of time in Kingman in the two years before the
bombing. And Fortier watched and will tell you how McVeigh
grew more and more extreme, grew from words to action or
wanting action.
In the spring of 1994, McVeigh told Fortier that the
American government had, quote, "declared war," unquote, on the
American people. And that fall, the fall of 1994, months
before the bombing still, McVeigh told Fortier that he had
decided to strike back on the government.
When McVeigh came up with his plan to blow up the
Murrah Building, he recruited people to help him. You already
know that he recruited Terry Nichols, and he tried to recruit
Michael Fortier. He told Fortier and Fortier's wife about his
plan. I already described how he diagramed the bomb in the
living room of the Fortiers' house in Arizona; and he told
Fortier that the time had come for him to take action against
the government and that he would blow up the building, and he
identified the building as the federal building in Oklahoma
But McVeigh didn't just give a broad outline of his
plan to Fortier. He told him the ingredients he would use. He
diagramed, as I said, the bomb that he would build inside a
truck. He told Fortier how he would arrange the barrels inside
the truck. He told Fortier how he acquired some of the
ingredients. He told Fortier that he and Nichols had purchased
the ammonium nitrate from a farm supply store, which is of
course confirmed by the evidence we have independently. He
told Fortier about their going to the quarry at night, which I
already told you about, which is confirmed by the other
evidence; where they got the explosives, the blasting caps and
the sausage Tovex. He told him how they had stolen it using
the Makita drill that the agents later found in the basement of
Nichols' house, and he showed Fortier some of the stolen
explosives he and Nichols had stolen from the quarry.
In fact, he gave Fortier some of the blasting caps,
and Fortier turned them over to the FBI. They're the same
types of blasting caps that were found in Nichols' basement,
the same brand, the same length, the same delay as the stuff
that was stolen from the quarry.
We're not going to bring the blasting caps into the
courtroom, but we'll show you photographs of those blasting
Now, in addition to what McVeigh told Fortier, he also
took him to Oklahoma City and showed him the building months
before the bombing. And Fortier will -- pardon me -- Fortier
will describe that trip that they took. It was a stopover on
their way to Kansas.
He told Fortier during the trip that Nichols would
help McVeigh mix the bomb and would help McVeigh get away after
the bombing. And when McVeigh and Fortier were in downtown
Oklahoma City, they drove around the Murrah Building; and
McVeigh showed Fortier the alley where he planned on parking
his car. And he explained to Fortier that he would park there
because he wanted to have a tall building between himself and
the blast; and indeed, you will see -- we have a model of
downtown Oklahoma City -- you'll see a tall building next to
the -- kitty-corner from the Murrah Building -- it's a YMCA
building -- exactly where Fortier pointed out McVeigh said he
would park his car. It's a tall building that would shield
McVeigh, unlike it shielded the innocent people in the
McVeigh told Fortier that he wanted to bring the
building down. And Fortier asked him, "Well, what about all
the innocent people? What about the secretaries and people
like that in the building?"
McVeigh compared them to the storm troopers in the
"Star Wars" movies. He said, "Well, even if they as
individuals are innocent, they work for an evil system and have
to be killed."
McVeigh also told Fortier about how he and Nichols
planned to raise money to finance their illegal activities.
They were going to do it by robbing a man by the name of Bob
who was a gun dealer that McVeigh knew from Arkansas. Since
Bob knew McVeigh, Nichols was going to do the actual robbery;
but McVeigh told Fortier that he had scouted out Bob's remote
Arkansas home. And in November of 1994 -- this is during the
period of time when they were acquiring the ingredients and the
components for the bomb -- Fortier received a call from McVeigh
who told him that it was a, quote, "code red." He had
explained this code system he had. "Code red" meant an alarm.
And he told Fortier to go to a pay phone and call him back at
another number.
When Fortier called back, McVeigh told him that
Nichols, quote, "did Bob"; warned Fortier that Bob might send
private eyes out to Kingman to try to investigate McVeigh so
that Fortier should be on the lookout, to let him know if he
saw any private investigators.
Much of what Fortier will testify to is corroborated,
as I've indicated, by other independent evidence. McVeigh told
Fortier about dressing up like a biker and purchasing
nitromethane at a raceway.
Well, Glynn Tipton, who I mentioned earlier, will tell
you that someone who he's almost certain was McVeigh approached
him at a raceway about buying nitromethane and anhydrous
hydrazine; and Tipton will tell that you the man was dressed up
in dark jeans and black T-shirt, which is exactly what Rick
Fortier, how he liked to dress -- and Rick Fortier, Michael's
brother, is a biker.
In December of 1994, McVeigh showed Fortier some
electric blasting caps that he and Nichols had stolen from the
quarry; and he asked Michael Fortier's wife, Lori, to wrap the
blasting caps up using Christmas wrapping so that they would
look like Christmas packages, to disguise them in case he got
stopped, because he was traveling from Arizona back to Michigan
and he wanted to take the blasting caps with him. And Lori did
And a couple of days later, to corroborate the story,
McVeigh got to Michigan and met with another friend of his
named Kevin Nicholas. Kevin Nicholas will testify and he'll
tell you that he helped McVeigh unload his car when McVeigh got
to Michigan and McVeigh warned him to be careful with these two
Christmas presents. And he later told Nicholas that the boxes
contained blasting caps, corroborating exactly what Lori and
Michael Fortier will tell you.
There are a number of witnesses like the Fortiers, who
were friends and acquaintances of McVeigh; and these various
witnesses have widely varying degrees of knowledge of what
McVeigh was doing or involvement with him. David Darlak is the
friend that McVeigh called to request the racing fuel. Greg
Pfaff is the acquaintance that McVeigh called for the
detonation cord, said he would drive across country to get it.
Kevin Nicholas is the friend I just mentioned. He's the guy
that took the blasting -- the Christmas presents out of the car
that McVeigh later said were blasting caps.
Each of these witnesses had some knowledge of what
McVeigh was doing, some knowledge of McVeigh's activities; but
not all of them had incriminating knowledge, not all of them
are culpable or could be charged criminally. So when they
testify, not all of them are testifying pursuant to plea
agreement or immunity order. Certainly not Darlak and Pfaff
and Nicholas. There is no deal that they have with the
But one step up the ladder from those three are Lori
Fortier and Jennifer McVeigh. Both of them had some knowledge
of McVeigh's plans. Both of them probably could have stopped
this terrible crime, had they chosen to do so. Both of them
were concerned about their criminal culpability when federal
agents came to talk to them, so both of them at some point
refused to talk or to testify here without some sort of
protection from being prosecuted. The protection that they
sought through their separate, different attorneys is that what
we refer to as "use immunity." It's an arrangement in which
the court orders them to give up their constitutional right to
refuse to testify, to give up their right to refuse to
incriminate themselves, and to come in and testify.
And we, as a result of that court order, cannot use
the information they provide to prosecute them. We cannot use
that information against them. We can use their testimony --
we will use their testimony against McVeigh; but we can't use
it against them. There is one circumstance in which we can use
it against them: If they lie, they can be charged with
perjury; and we can use their testimony from the witness stand
against them.
Another step up the ladder of culpability, involvement
with McVeigh, from Jennifer and Lori is Michael Fortier, of
course. Although he did not join the conspiracy and he didn't
participate in the bombing -- in fact, he rejected McVeigh's
proposal. He did have knowledge of McVeigh's plans. He knew
about McVeigh's criminal activity. He didn't report it. He
didn't report it to anyone who could have stopped it. He made
no effort to stop it.
In addition, he actually participated with McVeigh in
transporting stolen guns. These were guns that were stolen
from Bob, the gun dealer in Arkansas. I told you about the
trip the two of them made up to Kansas. Well, the purpose of
the trip was to go up and get some of the stolen guns. Fortier
participated in transporting them back to Arizona; so he
transported stolen guns, which is a federal violation.
So while he will not plead guilty to the bombing, he
won't plead guilty to the conspiracy that he was not involved
in, he will plead guilty to some of the crimes. He'll plead
guilty to transporting the guns and to conspiring with McVeigh
to transport the guns; and there are two other violations he'll
plead guilty to -- he's already pled guilty to.
You'll hear that he and his wife were also involved in
drug use. They used marijuana and speed. And immediately
following the bombing, when Fortier could have been remorseful
and could have reported what he knew, he lied. He lied to the
FBI, he lied to news reporters, he lied to his friends, he lied
to his parents, he lied to his family; and Lori Fortier, his
wife, lied, too. They lied because they were scared. They
were afraid of what could happen to them. They had known about
McVeigh's plans. They had done nothing to stop it. Scores of
people had died, and they were afraid that they could be
prosecuted. They were afraid they could be subjected to the
death penalty, and they lied.
And the lies were bad. You'll hear from Fortier -- he
will admit that he lied, told reporters, told others that he
thought McVeigh was innocent and that he had no reason to
believe McVeigh was involved.
Law enforcement agents obtained a wiretap on McVeigh's
house -- on Fortier's house, on his telephone. The effort
proved totally unfruitful in part because Fortier and his wife,
as they will say, suspected that their house was being tapped.
The agents then obtained subpoenas to bring the
Fortiers before the grand jury in Oklahoma City; and before
they appeared before the grand jury, they had lawyers appointed
for them. And when they got their attorneys, they admitted
they had been lying and they told us what they know; and they
will tell you what they know.
Michael Fortier is now in prison awaiting sentence.
He pled guilty to lying to the FBI, to concealing his knowledge
of this bombing, to transporting guns; and he will testify
pursuant to a plea agreement with the Government. He faces a
maximum of 23 years in prison, but he's hoping to get a much,
much shorter sentence than that.
At the conclusion of the case, the Judge will instruct
you must consider Michael Fortier's testimony with care and
caution; and we encourage you to do that and to consider his
testimony in the context of all the other evidence we will
present. And much of what he tells you will be corroborated
As I've said, our evidence is not dependent on any one
witness. It's certainly not dependent on Michael Fortier, but
he will provide you some understanding of McVeigh's thinking,
especially during the last few months and up until the time the
bombing actually occurred.
I'm not going to again detail the charges. The Judge
has already explained them to you; but in presenting all of
this evidence to you, we obviously are going to be able to
prove the eleven counts against McVeigh.
The Judge has explained to you one of the counts is a
conspiracy. That's an agreement between two people to commit a
crime, two others involved blowing up the building. And then
there are eight counts involved of murder, involving eight
different law enforcement agents. And I want you to understand
that those eight counts are not there because we value the
lives of law enforcement agents any more than lives of any of
the other people who were lost in that building. There is a
specific federal statute that subjects the defendant to the
death penalty for murdering a law enforcement agent in the line
of duty, and that's why those eight counts are charged.
Each of the crimes has various elements. The Judge at
the end of the case will instruct you on those elements. It's
our burden to prove each of the elements for each of the
We will meet that burden. We will make your job easy.
We will present ample evidence to convince you beyond any
reasonable doubt that Timothy McVeigh is responsible for this
terrible crime.
You will hear evidence in this case that McVeigh liked
to consider himself a patriot, someone who could start the
second American Revolution. The literature that was in his car
when he was arrested included some that quoted statements from
the founding fathers and other people who played a part in the
American Revolution, people like Patrick Henry and Samuel
Adams. McVeigh isolated and took these statements out of
context, and he did that to justify his anti-government
Well, ladies and gentlemen, the statements of our
forefathers can never be televised to justify warfare against
innocent children. Our forefathers didn't fight British women
and children. They fought other soldiers. They fought them
face to face, hand to hand. They didn't plant bombs and run
away wearing earplugs.
Thank you.
Thank you, your Honor.

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