The Oklahoma City bombing occurred on April 19, 1995, when a truck loaded with explosives was detonated outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, killing 168 people and injuring hundreds more. Timothy McVeigh, an anti-government militant, executed for his crimes in 2001, set off the bomb. Terry Nichols, a co-conspirator, was sentenced to life in prison. But did you know how long Terry Nichols’s sentence was?
Terry Nichols was sentenced to 161 life sentences plus 9,300 years parole on June 1, 2004, for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing.
The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building
Just after 9:00 AM on April 19, 1995, a Ryder rental truck exploded with terrifying force in front of Oklahoma City’s nine-story Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.
The powerful explosion destroyed the entire north wall of the building. Emergency crews rushed to Oklahoma from all over the country, and when the rescue operation concluded two weeks later, the death toll stood at 168.
Among those killed were 19 young children in the building’s daycare center at the time of the explosion. More than 650 people were injured due to the bombing, which damaged or destroyed over 300 buildings in the surrounding area. (Source: History)
The Culprits Behind the Bombing
A massive search for the bombing suspects ensued, and on April 21, authorities charged Timothy McVeigh, the former US, In this case, an army soldier.
McVeigh was already in jail, having been stopped for a traffic violation a little more than an hour after the bombing and then arrested for unlawfully carrying a handgun. He was identified as a prime suspect in the bombing and charged shortly before his scheduled release.
Terry Nichols, a McVeigh associate, surrendered in Herington, Kansas, the same day. Both men were discovered to be members of a Michigan-based radical right-wing survivalist group.
Michael Fortier, aware of McVeigh’s plan to bomb the federal building, agreed to testify against McVeigh and Nichols in exchange for a reduced sentence on August 8. McVeigh and Nichols were charged with murder and illegally using explosives two days later.
McVeigh, raised in western New York, acquired a penchant for guns in his teens and began honing survivalist skills he believed would be required in a Cold War showdown with the Soviet Union.
He graduated from high school in 1986 and enlisted in the Army in 1988, establishing himself as a disciplined and meticulous soldier. McVeigh befriended fellow soldier Nichols, who was more than a dozen years his senior, and shared his survivalist interests while in the military.
McVeigh planned an attack on the Murrah Building, which housed regional offices for federal agencies such as the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Secret Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives responsible for the initial raid on the Branch Davidian compound.
On the second anniversary of the Waco siege’s disastrous end, McVeigh fled in a Ryder rental truck loaded with a diesel-fuel-fertilizer bomb outside the Murrah Building. The massive bomb exploded minutes later. (Source: History)
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