Esquire's Phil Bacharach: Oklahoma Bomber Tim McVeigh's Letters
Esquire journalist Phil Bacharach revisits his time interviewing Oklahoma Federal building bomber Timothy McVeigh, and the packet of letters he received from the terrorist in 1996.
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McVeigh, in person, and in his letters, appears intelligent, charming, cheerful, articulate, and without any sense of remorse:
You quote me as saying that the FBI are "wizards at PR." What I actually said is that they are wizards of propaganda--which Webster's defenes as "information or ideas methodically spread to promote or injure a cause." This is where I drew the parallel between the FBI's efforts in my case, and those at Waco.
Tim McVeigh's Demeanor in Prison
McVeigh greeted Bacharach with a warm smile and a boyish laugh, a polite handshake, and joked about Oklahoma media and New York winters.
He looked forward to watching Seinfeld episodes, joked about being moved to a better section of the prison, which had lots of cable TV stations ("so many movies, so little time"), and fussed over what negative things the media might say about him, that would mar his image.
When Terry Nichols was brought into the prison, he cheerfully informed the journalist, like a businessman talking about one of his associates ("Oh, Terry Nichols arrived today.").
Indeed, this is a young man who went to his death, by all reports, happily. He had the personality of a soldier, with the congenial aloofness and business-like attitude to "what had to be done."
He clucked over the media making so much of "The Turner Diaries," and it is difficult to find anything - other than his crime - which is in any way "off" about him.
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