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Timothy McVeigh

Timothy McVeigh was an American terrorist responsible for (with the assistance of Terry Nichols) taking 168 lives in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Biographical fast facts

Full or original name at birth: Timothy James McVeigh

Date, time and place of birth: April 23, 1968, at 8:19 a.m., Lockport Memorial Hospital, Lockport, New York, U.S.A.*

Date, time, place and cause of death: June 11, 2001, at 7:14 a.m., at the U.S. Penitentiary, 4200 Bureau Road, Terre Haute, Indiana, U.S.A. (Executed - Lethal injection)

Family / Relatives / Siblings
Father: William "Bill" McVeigh
Mother: Mildred "Mickey" McVeigh (b. Mildred Noreen Hill)

Sisters: Patricia "Patty" McVeigh (b. 1966, Lockport Memorial Hospital, Lockport, New York)
Jennifer McVeigh (b. March 5, 1974)

Error correction or clarification

* Timothy McVeigh was born in Lockport, New York, not Pendleton, New York, as many sources erroneously report. His family did live in nearby Pendleton, but he was born at Lockport Memorial Hospital, in Lockport, New York.

Quotes - In his own words

In a letter to boyhood friend Steve Hodge: "Those who betray or subvert the Constitution are guilty of sedition and/or treason, are domestic enemies and should and will be punished accordingly. It also stands to reason that anyone who sympathizes with the enemy or gives aid and comfort to said enemy is likewise guilty. I have sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign or domestic, and I will. And I will because not only did I swear to, but I believe in what it stands for in every bit of my heart, soul and being.
I know in my heart that I am right in my struggle, Steve. I have come to peace with myself, my God and my cause. Blood will flow in the streets, Steve. Good vs. Evil. Free Men vs. Socialist Wannabe Slaves. Pray it is not your blood, my friend."

In a letter to the Department of Defense, when notified he was overpaid while serving in the U.S. Army: "I have received your notice informing me of my debt owed to you, as well as your threat of referring me to the Justice Department (Big Bother). In all honesty, I cannot even dream of repaying you the $1,000 which you say I owe. In fact, I can barely afford my monthly rent. Assets? The only thing I own of any value is my car, a 1987 Chevrolet/Geo Spectrum. If you really want the car, go ahead and seize it.
My car is my only way to get to work to support myself. But I guess that's all irrelevant to you. Go ahead, take everything I own; take my dignity. Feel good as you grow fat and rich at my expense; sucking my tax dollars and property, tax dollars which justify your existence and pay your federal salary. Do you get it? By doing your evil job, you put me out of work."

In an interview at Waco, Texas: "It seems the ATF just wants a chance to play with their toys, paid for by government money."
"The government is afraid of the guns people have because they have to have control of the people at all times. Once you take away the guns, you can do anything to the people. You give them an inch and they take a mile."
"I believe we are slowly turning into a socialist government. The government is continually growing bigger and more powerful, and the people need to prepare to defend themselves against government control."

The bombing: "I bombed the Murrah Building."

"There was no big conspiracy. It was mostly me. The few friends who helped me were acting under duress, and none of them had any control over when I was going to blow up the Murrah Building."

"I did manipulate people. I don't like the feeling of having manipulated people, but sometimes we know in life the end result outweighs the means."

"I didn't define the rules of engagement in this conflict. The rules, if not written down, are defined by the aggressor. It was brutal, no holds barred. Women and kids were killed at Waco and Ruby Ridge. You put back in [the government's] faces exactly what they're giving out."

In answer to why he hadn't bombed the building at night: "That would not have gotten the point across to the government. We needed a body count to make our point."

"I can't attribute anything I am now to any lack of my parents' presence in the home. I don't know why I go off on that, but I do say that I have very few memories of interactions with my parents. I am not looking in any way, shape or form to blame anything on my parents or my upbringing. All in all, from birth to age eighteen, I emerged pretty much a functional person in the real world, and that's all that counts."

"A shrink might look at what I have to say and decide, 'He's a psychopath or sociopath. He has no respect for human life.' Far from that--I have great respect for human life. My decision to take human life at the Murrah Building--I did not do it for personal gain. I ease my mind in that . . . I did it for the larger good."


The most in-depth of more than two dozen sources consulted in preparing this profile, was American Terrorist: Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing, by Lou Michel and Dan Herbeck (2001).

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