Surveillance Recordings Show Oklahoma City Bombing

Documents, Testimony, Detail FBI Seized Footage

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CCTV camera in downtown OKC. Image courtesy of CNN.

oday, closed-circuit surveillance cameras are ubiquitous. You find them everywhere: at gas stations, stoplights, on government property, on private property. At the time of the April 19th, 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, you could find surveillance cameras mounted at over a dozen properties in downtown Oklahoma City: the Regency Towers apartment building, the Journal Records Building, the Southwestern Bell building, the post office, and elsewhere. The properties surrounding the Alfred P. Murrah federal building were littered with surveillance cameras, some of which captured the April 19th, 1995 Oklahoma City bombing on film. That film has never been released to the public; however, what appears on the surveillance footage is described in documents, trial testimony, and news reports on the bombing.

The first reports concerning surveillance camera footage of the bombing aired on CNN within days of the attack. One early CNN report stated that “the FBI says that it has surveillance camera video of the bomb site.” That same week, CNN reported that “the FBI says that it has obtained videotapes from security cameras in the vicinity of the blast and may have tape of the Ryder rental truck used to house the enormous bomb.” Eight days after the bombing, a preliminary hearing held in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma confirmed the FBI’s possession of surveillance camera footage.

By the time of the April 27th, 1995 preliminary hearing, the primary suspect — Timothy McVeigh — was in custody. The preliminary hearing’s purpose was to show probable cause and a reasonable basis for proceeding in case no. CR-95–98, the United States of America vs. Timothy James McVeigh. Leading the charge in the government’s case at the preliminary hearing was Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General Merrick Garland, a top aid to Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick. Garland’s chief witness was FBI Special Agent Jon Hersley, who would go on to give testimony that would serve to confirm that the FBI had in its possession multiple surveillance camera recordings.

Special Agent Hersley would recount during the hearing that he had seen both video and photographs (still-image video frames) taken from surveillance recordings seized by the FBI. Hersley testified that one of the photos he had seen depicted a Ryder truck moving east on 5th street. That photo came from a surveillance camera identified as having come from the Regency Towers apartment complex. The Regency Towers was located less than a block from the Murrah Building and had an unobstructed view of the north face, where the Ryder truck was parked.

Hersley’s testimony is worth citing because it is so specific concerning footage that the FBI had seized during their investigation:

Q. So you say there is film available that shows the — a Ryder Truck in an easterly direction, that is traveling in an easterly direction on Fifth Street?
A. Yes.
Q. Is it past the street that we know as Harvey?
A. I am not — I have not studied that film in detail. It’s in that general vicinity right in there. It may be the video that I saw. I believe it is just before — well, I am not sure. I better not say that.
Q. Well, Harvey Street —
A. I don’t know.
Q. Harvey Street is the street that is immediately west of the Murrah Building?
A. That is correct.
Q. Are the photographs that you saw or, is it still photo or film?
A. What I saw was the still photos.
Q. Is it a still photo that has been removed from a film?
A. Yes.
Q. So it was a close-up more of the truck than its location?
A. It wasn’t a close-up photo, it was taken from a camera off one of the buildings in the vicinity.
Q. Did you make a determination of what building it came off of?
A. No, I did not myself.
Q. Okay, did anyone?
A. I believe one of the other agents was able to determine that it came from one — one of the films came from the Regency Tower Apartments.
Q. Was there a time indicated on the picture of the film that you saw?
A. Yeah.

Agent Hersley’s testimony clarifies that the FBI had multiple surveillance camera recordings from the area. When Hersley stated that “one of the films came from the Regency Towers Apartments,” his use of the word “films,” plural, indicates there was more than recording. In addition to having seen photos taken from a surveillance video depicting a Ryder truck on 5th street, Hersley testified that he had seen pictures depicting another location — a parking lot next to the Journal Records Building. Hersley testified at length about a key witness who had seen Timothy McVeigh — and another suspect — speeding away from an alley adjacent to the Journal Records Building. The seized surveillance footage had covered this vicinity.

Hersley’s testimony concerning the Journal Records building and associated surveillance footage is excerpted:

Q. Where did this witness see the yellow Mercury speeding away?
A. Over in the direction — in the parking lot, in an area where the witness I had previously testified about said that the individual he identified as Mr. McVeigh was walking in a northerly direction towards.
Q. Where is that parking lot, sir?
A. Over on the north side of Fifth Street, close to the Journal Record Building.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
Q. This particular male witness has indicated that he saw the — a yellow Mercury speeding away?
A. Yes.
Q. Did this particular witness indicate to agents of the FBI how many persons were in the speeding yellow Mercury?
A. Two.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
Q. I assume speeding away on Fifth Street; is that correct?
A. Well, I think it is actually the alley area that would be immediately north of Fifth Street.
Q. Immediately north of Fifth Street is a parking lot there. Are you talking about the —
A. The north side of that parking lot.
Q. So the alley between the Journal Record Building and the parking lot? I’m sorry to interrupt you, I didn’t mean to.
Are you talking about that area, that alley?
A. I’m talking about the area on the north side of the parking lot that we have been speaking about.
Q. That’s where you are telling the Court that the yellow Mercury was speeding through that particular alley?
A. Yes.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
Q. In your review of the surveillance photos, did you find any surveillance photos of that parking lot across the street from the Murrah Building?
A. Yes.
Q. Have you been shown a photograph of that particular parking lot, sir, across the street from the Murrah Building that includes the speeding Mercury in the photograph?
A. We don’t know for sure yet. Those photographs are not real clear. They are taken from a pretty good distance away. There appears to be a light-colored car in the very vicinity where this witness testifies — or provides the information was speeding away from. We are not able to determine yet if that is in fact the yellow Mercury.
Q. The pictures that you saw of that particular parking lot — now I’m talking about the parking lot across the street from the Murrah Building — in a northerly direction, that parking lot, there is a film of that parking lot prior to the time of the explosion?
A. Yes.
Q. Correct?
A. Yes.
Q. Is it time-stamped so that you can tell a particular time of day on the 19th of April that that camera is viewing, scanning that parking lot?
A. Yes.

In addition to confirming that the FBI had in its possession surveillance camera footage, the April 27th preliminary hearing also clarifies that the FBI had multiple eyewitnesses to Timothy McVeigh — with an accomplice — in downtown Oklahoma City that morning. Agent Hersley’s testimony confirms this. He testifies no less than three times during the preliminary hearing words to the effect that “our primary focus right now is to try to determine the identity and the location of the other subjects.” Agent Hersley testifies at length concerning the eyewitness accounts of Gary Lewis, Rodney Johnson, Dena Hunt, and Mike Moroz. All four of these witnesses saw McVeigh with another person in downtown Oklahoma City. One of them, mechanic Mike Moroz, picked McVeigh out of an FBI lineup in downtown Oklahoma City within days of the bombing. Moroz saw and spoke to McVeigh up-close, giving him directions from Johnny’s Tire about 20 minutes before the bombing. According to Moroz, there was a passenger in the Ryder truck with McVeigh when he spoke to him that morning. That passenger has come to be known as John Doe #2.

The other suspect — John Doe #2 — has never been captured, and the FBI today denies that he exists. The man’s identity remains a controversial subject, the basis of much speculation. What is certain is that many witnesses observed Timothy McVeigh with another person in downtown Oklahoma City and the surveillance footage of the bombing, described in the April 27th preliminary hearing, may depict that other suspect. Fueling speculation about this other suspect is Associate Deputy Attorney General Merrick Garland’s objections issued during the preliminary hearing whenever direct questions concerning surveillance camera footage or John Doe #2 came up:

Q. Who are those agents that are tasked with the responsibility of reviewing photographs and film footage?
MR. GARLAND: Objection, Your Honor. This is now purely speculative.
THE COURT: Overruled.
A. The agent that showed me the photographs was Walt Lamar.
Q. And is he the one that you inquired as to whether or not there were any photographs of the accused, Mr. Timothy McVeigh, in possession of the government, at or about the Ryder Truck? You asked him that question I assume; did you not?
A. I did not inquire of Agent Lamar about these photographs. He brought it to my attention because there is a possibility of a particular car being involved in one of those photographs that he was showing me. We are continuing investigation to try to determine the actual identity of that car.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
A. I know there was at least one male that observed the Ryder Truck and the occupants of the Ryder Truck. That person also advised that the individual in the truck closely resembled the individual depicted in composite one.
Q. Did you tell me he saw occupants of a Ryder Truck and there were more than one?
MR. GARLAND: Objection. The only person on trial at this hearing is Mr. McVeigh. It doesn’t matter whether there were two or a hundred people in that truck as long as there was somebody representing Mr. McVeigh there. It is discovery and totally outside the scope of this hearing.
MR. COYLE: May I respond? I think it is important to see if we distinguish it as the same truck or not. I think it is very important to the credibility of the witnesses and credibility of the evidence and what they saw as to whether or not the next person saw three or five or six or —
THE COURT: Objection overruled. Go ahead.
A. This witness advised that there were two individuals in the truck. The individual resembling Mr. McVeigh was the driver.

None of the surveillance videos mentioned in the CNN broadcasts or the April 27th preliminary hearing appeared at the McVeigh and Nichols federal trials in 1997 and 1998. It was as if they did not exist. Not introducing the surveillance tapes as evidence made little sense; If the FBI had a videotape showing McVeigh in Oklahoma City, that would constitute “best evidence” that could put McVeigh at the crime scene. The eyewitnesses who saw McVeigh in downtown Oklahoma City would also be damning evidence. Yet, none of those eyewitnesses were called to testify at trial. Was this because every one of these witnesses saw McVeigh with another person?

Four years after the bombing, after Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were convicted, the full scope of the FBI’s surveillance footage of the bombing emerged. In 1999, during a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, it was revealed that the FBI had taken into possession nearly two dozen recordings from surveillance cameras in the downtown Oklahoma City area.

FOIA Lawsuits over Secret Footage

A 1999 Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by investigative journalist David Hoffman revealed that the FBI had twenty-two video surveillance recordings of the Murrah building and surrounding area stored at the FBI’s Oklahoma City field office. Curiously, a single surveillance tape was listed as housed under lock and key in Washington, D.C. at FBI headquarters. The central issue of Hoffman’s lawsuit was that the FBI had conceded to the existence of the surveillance camera footage but refused to release it pursuant to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. During Hoffman’s FOIA suit, FBI lawyers filed multiple motions for summary judgment — essentially asking the judge to throw the case out in their favor. Each subsequent motion filed by the Department of Justice cited entirely different reasons for withholding the material, seemingly coming up with new excuses with each motion. These motions were summarily dismissed with increasing criticism from the judge presiding over the case, U.S. District Court Judge Wayne Alley. Alley wrote that the FBI had put forward insufficient “justifications for withholding all materials in its investigative files concerning the Oklahoma City Bombing” and further stated that the FBI had exhibited “shoddy conduct” during the litigation.

Judge Alley wrote that “the court would be inclined” to compel the FBI to release the surveillance footage; however, ultimately, the judge ruled that he was unable to do so. A previous order issued by Judge Richard P. Matsch, presiding judge in the McVeigh and Nichols Federal trials, deemed that the surveillance camera footage from the bombing investigation was under seal because the McVeigh and Nichols trial convictions were subject to appeals. As a result, Judge Alley ruled that “the Court is presently powerless to grant plaintiff relief under FOIA” because of Judge Matsch’s ruling. However, Judge Alley would add that Hoffman “raises a legitimate point” that the federal criminal case against bombers Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols was nearing an end. Thus Matsch’s order to seal the evidence would presumably expire as those cases and subsequent appeals ended. Judge Alley spells out this position by writing that the FBI’s “justification for its shroud of secrecy may likewise soon end.”

Hoffman’s suit wouldn’t be the last time the FBI would face legal challenges concerning the highly-secret footage. The video recordings seized by the FBI during the OKC bombing investigation are the central focus of an FOIA lawsuit litigated by Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue. The FBI had sent Trentadue a batch of 30 recordings following a Freedom of Information Act request. However, Trentadue noted that the footage the FBI produced was of little value — it shows absolutely nothing of interest. The recordings released by the FBI do not show the Ryder truck parking, nor the suspects. Jesse Trentadue says the tapes are incomplete. “Four cameras in four different locations going blank at basically the same time on the morning of April 19th, 1995? There ain’t no such thing as a coincidence”, Trentadue told the Associated Press after receipt of the incomplete footage.

The FBI claims that the security cameras failed to record critical moments leading up to the blast because “they had run out of tape” or, improbably, because “the tape was being replaced.” Trentadue noted that “the interesting thing is [the tapes] spring back on after 9:02 A.M.” and that “the absence of footage from these crucial time intervals is evidence that there is something there that the FBI doesn’t want anybody to see.”

The surveillance tapes released to Trentadue appear to be incomplete, and this can be reasonably demonstrated based on what FBI and Secret Service documents from the bombing investigation say about the tapes. Additional insight into what appears on the recordings comes from statements by FBI agents and law enforcement personnel who have seen the footage.

FBI and Secret Service Officials: We Had McVeigh on Tape

Danny Coulson was the FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas Field Office and founder of the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team. Coulson was one of the commanders of the OKC bombing investigation, in charge of the crime scene. In 1999, on a BookTV (C-SPAN) broadcast where agent Coulson is promoting his book No Heroes, Coulson said point-blank, “we had the videotape of the truck being pulled up a couple of minutes before nine” and that “we had him [McVeigh] on videotape.”

FBI SA Danny Coulson: We Had McVeigh on Videotape

Supporting Coulson’s statement is a Secret Service timeline that says “security video shows the Ryder truck pulling up to the Federal Building then pausing (7–10 seconds) before resuming into a slot in front of the building.” Yet another entry in the Secret Service timeline says that “security video tapes from the area show the truck detonation 3 minutes and 6 seconds after the suspects exited the truck.” The use of the word “suspects,” plural, indicates that the footage recorded more than one person exiting the Ryder truck. The Secret Service timeline also presents a startling degree of specificity — “3 minutes and 6 seconds after the suspects exited the truck” strongly suggests that the footage was such that it had a time-code or could otherwise be used to measure the passage of time in relation to what appears on the footage.

Additionally, an FBI inventory log of seized surveillance camera footage reviewed by FBI SA Pamela Matson for footage deemed “positive” in terms of evidentiary value denotes two recordings as “positive.” Footage considered “positive” in terms of evidentiary value would necessarily show the bombing, the suspects, or the suspects’ vehicles. Those two recordings are the footage from the Journal Records Building and the footage from the Southwestern Bell building. Additionally, both of the security cameras denoted in the FBI evidence log as having recorded footage deemed positive happened to be positioned in areas where key eyewitnesses described seeing Timothy McVeigh and other suspects in the moments before and after the blast.

For example, witness Gary Lewis told the FBI that he observed Timothy McVeigh and another man in a Mercury Marquis speeding past the Journal Records building moments before the blast. What he saw would presumably appear on the Journal Records building tape deemed positive. Similarly, Germaine Johnston told the FBI that she spotted McVeigh and another man standing next to the Mercury Marquis in an ally adjacent to the Southwestern Bell building immediately following the blast. Cameras position at the Southwestern Bell property would likely have recorded the ingress and egress points of the property, capturing the bombers on film. Likewise, surveillance cameras trained on 5th street would have depicted the Ryder truck bomb’s delivery described by agent Coulson, thus showing what the Secret Service timeline described in such exacting detail.

News Reports Cite Law Enforcement: Passenger Appears on Tapes

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October 28th, 1995, Associated Press article: Surveillance Tape Shows Shadowy Passenger in Bomb Truck

In addition to the FBI evidence log and Secret Service timeline, there are contemporary news media accounts published after the bombing where law enforcement sources familiar with the recordings describe what appears on the footage. An October 28th, 1995 Associated Press report headlined “Surveillance Tape Shows Shadowy Passenger in Bomb Truck” quoted one law enforcement official stating that the surveillance footage shows a passenger in the Ryder truck with McVeigh. The source of that footage was identified in the article as a security camera mounted on a nearby apartment building. That camera is presumably the Regency Towers apartment building’s camera, cited by FBI agent Hersley in the April 27th, 1995 preliminary hearing.

Yet other law enforcement officials saw surveillance footage taken from two cameras positioned near 5th street. These sources told a Los Angeles Times reporter and Oklahoma News Channel KFOR-4 TV reporter what they saw on the recordings. KFOR reporters Kevin Ogle and Brad Edwards relayed what sources told them in a broadcast that aired on KFOR-4 TV news in October 1995:

“A Ryder truck with two men inside of it parked at the bomb site in front of the Murrah building. The driver’s side door opens and McVeigh steps out, and walks away towards 5th street and the Journal Records building. The passenger stays inside the cabin for a period of time, then exits on foot in the same direction as McVeigh.”

KFOR-TV broadcast from October 1995

Attempted Sale of Footage to Dateline NBC

In a shocking development, an FBI agent tried to sell a copy of the Oklahoma City bombing surveillance footage to a major TV news program in the fall of 1995. FBI documents dated October 27th and October 30th detail how a Los Angeles based FBI agent tried to sell the surveillance footage to Dateline NBC for over one million dollars. A confidential source at the network contacted the FBI, and a report based on that contact is worth reproducing here in full:

“The source related that “Dateline,” an NBC television show, had been contacted by an unknown attorney representing a Los Angeles Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). On behalf of the agent, the attorney offered to sell a copy of the surveillance tape recovered from Oklahoma City which shows the activity outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building just prior to the bomb blast.

It was represented that the video tape would contain time-lapse photography of the arrival and then departure of a UPS truck. Then a Ryder truck pulls up and a male resembling Timothy McVeigh is seen exiting the driver’s side of the Ryder truck and then walking away. The second male then walks away in the same direction as the first male.”

A December 1995 report published by Media Bypass magazine described the attempted sale and added additional details from FBI sources familiar with the investigation. The FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) opened an investigation into the matter. The inquiry would seek to document the “chain of custody” for the FBI’s seized surveillance footage, identify agents with access, and identify the agent who attempted to make the sale. The Media Bypass report indicated that it was determined a Los Angeles FBI agent who possessed the footage was not assigned to the FBI’s OKBOMB case and was therefore not authorized to possess the footage. An FBI source who spoke to Media Bypass said that the agent attempting to profit from the tragedy “apparently obtained a copy of the video from a fellow agent in Oklahoma City.”

A Texas-based FBI agent familiar with the investigation told Media Bypass that an FBI agent based out of Oklahoma City was under investigation after allegedly running “off at least 12 copies of the videotape for friends and co-workers.” The agent said that “there may be dozens, if not hundreds of these surveillance videos now in circulation” and that “everyone is waiting for (the footage) to show up on ‘A Current Affair’ or ‘Hard Copy.’”

The Media Bypass feature on the attempted sale quotes an Oklahoma private investigator, Robert Jerlow, whose attorney, Randy Shadid, represented the agent trying to sell the tape. Jerlow told Media Bypass that the FBI agent screened the surveillance tape for Dateline at an Orange County deputy sheriff’s home in October of 1995. An FBI document from the investigation of the attempted sale seemingly confirms this, stating that “Dateline was able to view the videotape at the home of an Orange County Deputy Sheriff.” The 19-minute VHS tape was composed of video sourced from multiple surveillance cameras–”shot from several angles” by cameras mounted on buildings along 5th Street. The tape includes footage showing the truck pulling up to the Murrah building a couple of minutes before 9:00 A.M. and concludes with footage that shows the “actual initial detonation of the truck bomb.”

Ultimately, the sale of the surveillance footage to Dateline NBC never occurred, and no word on what happened to the FBI agent attempting to make the deal has emerged. However, it’s incredibly likely that the FBI pinpointed the agent who tried to sell the footage; the Media Bypass report and FBI documents from the investigation provide enough personal information about the L.A. based agent to identify him.

The FBI’s confidential source reveals numerous details about the agent who attempted to sell the footage to Dateline:

  • The agent was based out of the Los Angeles Field Office.
  • The agent was a GS-13. (pay grade)
  • The agent was a 16 year FBI veteran in 1995.
  • The agent was between the ages of 38–42 in 1995.
  • The agent was a former sniper instructor at Carlos Hathcock School.
  • The agent served in the U.S Marine Corps from 1982–1988.

During their investigation, the FBI would have recovered any extant unauthorized copies of the tape. However, the possibility remains that at least one person out there still may have a copy today.

Conclusions

The FBI’s release of incomplete footage and their assertion that footage depicting the bombing doesn’t exist is simply not credible in light of the known facts concerning the surveillance tapes. FBI agent Jon Hersley testified about two different recordings that produced still images of the Ryder truck and McVeigh’s Mercury Marquis during the April 27th, 1995 preliminary hearing. Reports published in the L.A. Times and by the Associated Press in October of 1995 indicate that surveillance footage exists, which shows a Ryder truck with two people in the truck. A Secret Service timeline states with an incredible degree of specificity that footage exists showing the Ryder truck park in front of the Murrah building. FBI agent Danny Coulson’s statements support this, with him having said, “we had a videotape of the truck being pulled up at a couple of minutes toward nine.” FBI agent Pamela Matson denoted at least two tapes being “positive” in terms of evidentiary value in her review of seized surveillance recordings. All of this indicates that these tapes exist, but there is something on the tapes that the FBI doesn’t want people to see. The question then arises, “What do the tapes show? Why is the FBI seeking to suppress this surveillance footage?”

The only conclusion is that the surveillance footage shows McVeigh was not alone the morning of the bombing — thus introducing the notion that others were involved who were never apprehended. That conclusion is reasonable, based at least in part on what the witnesses in downtown Oklahoma City saw that morning. FBI agent Danny Coulson told the BBC in 2007 that “we know there were 24 people that were interviewed by the FBI that said they saw Mr. McVeigh on April 19th with someone else.” … “They told the agents what they saw, and the agents wrote it down. If only one person had seen that, or two or three…but twenty-four? Twenty-four people say, yes, I saw him [McVeigh] with somebody else? That’s pretty powerful.”’

Former Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI Danny Coulson: 24 Witnesses Saw McVeigh

Consider this: if the surveillance footage had shown Timothy McVeigh, alone, it probably would have aired on every news network across the country. The fact that this footage has never seen the light of day, despite having been documented at length, raises serious questions about the bombing. It’s time to release the tapes — in full, without redaction. Judging by the FBI’s past actions relating to these tapes, that is unlikely to occur.

Perhaps one day, someone out there who still has a copy of the footage will come forward and settle the case once and for all. However, even if that were to occur, it would be unlikely to settle the case with any level of certainty. With DeepFake technology and the increasing sophistication of CGI, there remains the possibility that any footage released today could be of unknown provenance; that is to say, any copy produced by authorities today could have been subject to material alteration.

If the footage is produced at this late date that is alleged to show the bombing (in full and without redaction), what appears would necessarily need to match what’s documented. What appears on the footage would need to match what the Secret Service timeline and news reports produced in 1995 say: a Ryder truck comes to a stop in front of the Murrah Building, and two men step out of the truck. Three minutes and six seconds after the suspects exit the truck, the truck bomb detonates. Should a tape miraculously appear and show something other than this, critics will rightly point out that what appears on the newly-produced footage doesn’t match what the evidence says is on the tapes. Ultimately, there exists so much evidence concerning these surveillance tapes that experts know what to expect should footage be released, and we also know what would not appear on genuine, unaltered footage: McVeigh, alone.

Sources/Further Reading:

The story of the Murrah Federal Building surveillance tapes comes from a variety of sources, including CNN network news, contemporary accounts from newspapers, with specific details about the recordings found among FBI and Secret Service documents from the Oklahoma City Bombing investigation.

Find here a list of sources and links where you may examine the evidence for yourself.

TV News Reports:

  • April 1995 CNN broadcast <Link> reports that “the FBI says that it has surveillance camera video of the bomb site.”
  • April 1995 CNN broadcast <Link> reports that “the FBI says that it has obtained videotapes from security cameras in the vicinity of the blast and may have tape of the Ryder rental truck used to house the enormous bomb.”
  • October 1995 KFOR-4 TV Oklahoma City NBC affiliate news broadcast <Link>
  • BookTV: “Inside the FBI’s Secret Counter-Terror Force.” C-SPAN, 1999. <Link> — at 1hr 1m 30 seconds, FBI SA Danny Coulson says, “We had a videotape of the truck being pulled up at a couple minutes toward nine.

Newspaper and Magazine Reports:

  • Michael J. Sniffen. “License Plate of McVeigh Caught On Tape, Vehicle Believed Used In Suspect’s Getaway.” The Buffalo News, 29 Apr. 1995. <Link>
  • ”Surveillance Tape Shows Shadowy Passenger in Bomb Truck.” Associated Press, 28 Oct. 1995. Print. 3A. <Link>
  • Lawrence Myers. “A Closer Look.” Media Bypass, December 1995. Print. <Link>
  • J.D. Cash and Jeff Holladay. “Videotape Won’t Help Theory.” McCurtain Daily Gazette, 12 Sep 1996. <Link>
  • “Some Witnesses Leery of Bombing Grand Jury.” Daily Oklahoman, 10 August 1997. Print. <Link>
  • Don Harkins. “Final Report Reveals FBI Has Fingerprints of John Doe #2; High-Quality Pre-Blast Surveillance Tapes.” The Idaho Observer, 12 Dec. 2001. <Link>
  • James Patterson. “Time to unseal videotapes of Murrah Federal Building.” Indianapolis Star, 16 Nov 2002. Print. <Link>
  • John Solomon. “Document: Oklahoma City Bombing Was Taped.” Associated Press, 19 Apr. 2004. <Link>
  • Tim Talley. “Attorney: Oklahoma City Bombing Tapes Appear Edited.” Associated Press, 28 Sept. 2009. Print. pp. A3; <Link>
  • Dennis Romboy. “FBI Explanation of Missing Oklahoma City Bombing Tapes Not Credible, Judge Says.” Associated Press, 21 Mar. 2012. <Link>
  • “Witness: More Oklahoma City bombing videos may exist.” Associated Press, 30 Jul. 2014. <Link>

Court Records:

  • U.S. vs. Timothy McVeigh, № M-95–98-H (Western District of Oklahoma.) Preliminary Hearing, 27 Apr. 1995. <Link>
  • U.S. vs. Terry Nichols, № 96-CR-68 (D. Colorado), testimony of Germaine Johnston on 5 December 1997.
  • Hoffman v. DOJ, № 98–1733 (Western District of Oklahoma.) Order, 15 Dec. 1999 <Link> — This FOIA lawsuit over the surveillance tapes reveals the FBI has 23 recordings of the Murrah Building and surrounding area.
  • Hoffman v. DOJ, № 98–1733 (Western District of Oklahoma.) Order, 10 Jul. 2001 <Link> — Judge Wayne Alley’s ruling on the sealed surveillance tapes.

FBI and Secret Service Documents:

  • Secret Service document — OKBOMB timeline, 5/1/95, pp 73 <Link>
  • Secret Service document — OKBOMB timeline, 5/1/95, pp 79 <Link>
  • FBI document, inventory log, #174A-OC-56120 LCN #12649A, by SA Pamela A Matson <Link> — This inventory of seized surveillance footage deems at least two recordings “positive” — that is to say, they show the bombing and/or the bombers and the “bomb truck.”
  • FBI document, 302 report, #174A-OC-56120, D-4553, 4/19/95 interview Danny Payne w/ SA John Hippard re: Journal Records Building surveillance footage. <Link> Payne told Hippard tapes “may have obtained photographs of the persons responsible for the bombing.”
  • FBI document, 302 report, #174A-OC-56120, D-140, 4/19/95 interview [REDACTED] re: Southwestern Bell surveillance footage. <Link>
  • FBI document, 302 report, #174A-OC-56120, D-245, 4/22/95 interview Gary Lewis w/ SA Leslie E. Harris <Link> — observed McVeigh + JD2 in Mercury driving past Journal Records building.
  • FBI document, 302 report, #174A-OC-56120, D-1705 LCN #5654, 4/30/95 interview Gary Lewis. <Link> — observed McVeigh + JD2 in Mercury driving past Journal Records building.
  • FBI document, 302 report, #174A-OC-56120, E-8508 10/27/95 — Dateline NBC attempted sale of surveillance footage <Link>
  • FBI document, 302 report, #174A-OC-56120, E-8507 10/30/95 — Dateline NBC attempted sale of surveillance footage <Link>

Richard Booth is an independent citizen journalist and member of the Constitution First Amendment Press Association (CFAPA).

Richard Booth is an independent citizen journalist and member of the Constitution First Amendment Press Association (CFAPA).

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