The Advocate

The Student News Site of Forest Grove High School

The Advocate

The Advocate

Image via Wikimedia Commons
Letter to Newcomers
June 13, 2024
Image via Wikimedia Commons
Advice for Freshmen
June 12, 2024
Image via Wikimedia Commons
Advice to Freshmen
June 12, 2024

Timothy McVeigh


Timothy James McVeigh was an American domestic terrorist who perpetrated the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995. The bombing killed 168 people with 19 being children, injuring 684 others, and destroyed one-third of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. This event is known as the deadliest act of domestic violence in U.S. history.  

McVeigh was born in Lockport, New York on April 23, 1968, and was the only son of three children of Noreen Mildred Hill and William McVeigh who were Irish American. When he was 10, his parents got a divorce and he was raised by his father in Pendleton, New York. McVeigh claimed that he was a victim of bullying and mentioned that he took refuge in a fantasy world where he imagined retaliating against bullies. While he was in high school, he became interested in computers and even hacked into government computer systems. When his grandfather introduced him to firearms he became obsessed with them and even took some to school to show classmates and became intensely interested in gun rights and the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. 

In May 1988, McVeigh, who was 20 at the time, enlisted in the United States Army and attended basic training and advanced individual training at the U.S. Army Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia. He used his spare time to read about firearms, sniper tactics, and explosives. He also met Terry Nichols while there, and they became close and were later stationed together at Fort Riley in Junction City, Kansas. McVeigh was a top-scoring gunner and was soon promoted to sergeant. He earned a reputation for assigning undesirable work to black servicemen and using racial slurs. He entered the selection program for the United States Army Special Forces but withdrew on the second day. McVeigh decided to leave the Army and was honorably discharged in 1991. 

When McVeigh was working at a lakeside campground near his old army post, he and Nichols constructed an ANFO explosive device which was mounted in the back of a rented Ryder truck. The bomb consisted of about 5,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate and nitromethane. On April 19, 1995, McVeigh drove the truck to the front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. At 9:02 the bomb exploded and destroyed the north half of the building. The surrounding area looked like a war zone and many of the floors in that building were flattened like pancakes. Dozens of cars had been incinerated and over 300 nearby buildings had been damaged or destroyed. McVeigh stated that he didn’t know about the daycare on the second floor and if he had known about it he would have chosen a different target, although Nichols states that McVeigh did know about the daycare center, but he didn’t care.

Once he was arrested, he was indicted on 11 federal counts, including conspiracy of a weapon of mass destruction, use of a weapon of mass destruction, destruction with the use of explosives, and eight counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of law enforcement officers. He was later sentenced to the death penalty. This event was extremely tragic both for the victims and their family members.

Link to image

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Jessica Aguilar-Resendiz is a student who lives in Cornelius Oregon. She likes to bake, listen to music and hang out with friends.

Comments (0)

All The Advocate Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *