Sunday, May 30, 2010

Timothy McVeigh

Timothy McVeigh with his grandfather, Ed, 1986

Timothy McVeigh (1968-2001) graduated from Starpoint High School in Lockport, New York in 1986. The words that he chose to appear under his senior class picture in the yearbook were: "take it as it comes, buy a lamborghini, california girls." Less than ten years later he killed 168 people at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

When he wasn't flipping patties at his after-school job at Burger King, McVeigh was a computer nerd who liked to perform amateur hacks using his dial-up-connected Commodore 64. He had a high IQ, liked to read science fiction novels and enjoyed watching Star Trek. In his senior year, McVeigh was named by Starpoint High officials as the school's "Most Promising Computer Programmer." At Starpoint's 1986 graduation ceremony, the future terrorist was miffed that the honor for "perfect attendance" was awarded to another student. Everything pretty much went downhill from there...

On the fifteenth anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing, MSNBC ran a documentary that featured excerpts from never-before-heard audio tapes of interviews with McVeigh. In 1999, biographers Lou Michel and Dan Herbeck spent more than 75 hours speaking on the record with the bomber about his deed for their definitive history, American Terrorist: Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing. The authors shared their tapes with the cable news network for the anniversary special. McVeigh's triumphant account of delivering his bomb to its intended target can be heard here.   

The mass murderer was executed by lethal injection at 7:14 a.m. on June 11, 2001 at the U.S. Federal Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana. His last meal was two pints of mint chocolate-chip ice cream. 

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