cover image Others Unknown: The Oklahoma City Bombing and Conspiracy

Others Unknown: The Oklahoma City Bombing and Conspiracy

Stephen R. Jones. PublicAffairs, $25 (335pp) ISBN 978-1-891620-07-2

Jones, the Oklahoma lawyer who was court-appointed chief counsel for convicted mass murderer Timothy McVeigh, believes that his former client, whose bombing of an Oklahoma federal building in 1995 claimed 168 lives, did not get a fair trial. Jones says he does not know if McVeigh (whose death sentence is under appeal by different counsel) actually carried out the bombing--but even if he knew, he adds, he couldn't tell because of rules of attorney-client privilege. However, Jones's contention that the jurors ""did not convict the right man,"" and that ""Tim"" (as he constantly calls McVeigh) may have been a patsy in a much larger conspiracy isn't convincing. His labyrinthine attempt to prove that the government's case was highly circumstantial, full of discrepancies and suppressed evidence is marred by his passionate personal involvement as a defense lawyer. Nevertheless, this first-person brief, written with former Putnam publisher Israel, does raise troubling questions and introduces evidence that was not allowed in the trial. Jones cites witnesses who allege that co-conspirator Terry Nichols made repeated trips to the Philippines, where he learned how to make bombs and was recruited into a cabal by Islamic terrorist Ramzi Yousef (indicted as mastermind of the New York World Trade Center bombing). Jones also points a finger at Elohim City, a white supremacist group in Oklahoma whose members were planning to bomb the federal building. His suggestion that McVeigh and Nichols may have been part of a larger conspiracy with foreign terrorist connections cannot be dismissed out of hand. Agent, Peter Matson, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Nov.)