Best-Selling Author, Investigative Journalist Breaks Silence About OKC Bombing Video Tapes (1/3)

Copyright © 2009 Bob McCarty.  All rights reserved.  Reprint permission required.

In an editor’s note at the end of a post published yesterday, I informed readers of this blog that I had attempted to contact Jayna Davis for her take on a breaking news story related to the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on the morning of April 19, 1995.  This morning, I became the first journalist in four years to speak with Davis about the investigation of the bombing, a subject with which she became all too familiar during a decade-long investigation.

At the time of the bombing, Davis was an award-winning investigative reporter for NBC affiliate KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City.  Unlike other journalists, who’ve attributed the horrific attack fully to so-called “domestic terrorists” Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, Davis turned up details which pointed a share of the blame to a man of Middle East origin; hence, the title of the book she went on to write, The Third Terrorist, which made it to The New York Times Best Sellers list with the help of then-upstart conservative talk show host Glenn Beck.

The Third Terrorist by Jayna DavisBecause I had spoken with Davis by phone years earlier on an unrelated matter, she responded favorably to my request for her reaction to the content of a NewsOK.com article published yesterday under the headline, Attorney: Oklahoma City bombing tapes appear edited.

After explaining how and why she was so woefully disappointed with the content of the story, Davis forwarded to me a three-page summary of more than 700 pages of investigatory findings related to the surveillance camera footage.  Below, I share the first of three installments of that summary:

Surveillance videotape in FBI custody that may memorialize the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing

By Jayna Davis, author of The Third Terrorist

I have compiled a comprehensive dossier of court records and evidence which lays a firm foundation for the belief that the public has yet to see all the surveillance tapes in the government files which relate to the Oklahoma bombing.

In 2001, federal authorities reluctantly conceded in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by an Oklahoma journalist that the Department of Justice maintains custody of twenty-two surveillance videotapes. They were recorded between April 15 and April 19, 1995.   The FBI confiscated those twenty-two tapes from security cameras near the doomed Murrah Building.  So who and what do those tapes reveal?

The Justice Department steadfastly maintains that only one surveillance videotape, recorded by a camera positioned in the lobby of the nearby Regency Tower Apartment complex, captured the events of April 19.  The blurry, black and white photographic image of a large Ryder truck heading east on 5th Street on its deadly trek to the federal complex was unveiled during Timothy McVeigh’s federal trial.

Is the Regency Tower’s videotape the only recording which memorialized the morning of the bombing?  The judge who presided over the FOIA case in Oklahoma federal court says no.

After reviewing a confidential index of the surveillance videotapes in federal custody, U.S. District Judge Wayne Alley ruled on July 10, 2001 “the FBI’s list of responsive material from its Oklahoma City Field Office includes numerous other tapes dated April 19, 1995, from several sources.”

In short, Judge Alley plainly stated in the court record that the FBI possesses numerous tapes which were recorded on the day of the bombing – tapes the public has never seen.   The judge stopped short of stating what those tapes show and the location of the cameras that recorded the images of that fateful day.   However, I have uncovered a trail of evidentiary clues which raises many disturbing questions.

Journal Record Building surveillance tape

Where is the videotape which purportedly captured a vehicle that resembled McVeigh’s Mercury Marquis when it was parked directly north of the Murrah Building in the Journal Record parking lot moments before 9:02 am?  On April 27, 1995, Oklahoma City FBI Special Agent Jon Hersley testified in open court to having viewed  photographs originating from a security camera positioned on the Journal Record Building.

What happened to that tape?  Agent Hersley said under oath that the surveillance photographs likely showed McVeigh’s Mercury Marquis.  I have an FBI 302 which establishes the tape that might have captured the bomber’s getaway car was taken into federal custody within hours of the blast.  The exterior security camera positioned on the Journal Record Building was trained on the alleyway through which McVeigh reportedly fled in his Mercury Marquis shortly before the explosion. However, that tape has not surfaced.  My research indicates the defense teams never received a copy.  Why?

Why?  That’s a question you’re likely to be asking yourself after reading parts two and three of this series and after reading Davis’ book, The Third Terrorist.

[Editor's Note: A "302" is an FBI document containing an actual recitation of a witness interview or an agent's record of an interview or other investigative matter.]

Click here to read part two.

Click here to read part three.

Copyright © 2009 Bob McCarty.  All rights reserved.  Reprint permission required.

SEE ALSO: Attorney Says Unedited Versions of the Oklahoma City Bombing Surveillance Tapes Are ‘Somewhere’, published Sept. 30, 2009.

7 thoughts on “Best-Selling Author, Investigative Journalist Breaks Silence About OKC Bombing Video Tapes (1/3)

  1. Pingback: Was There an Iraqi Connection to the OK City Bombing? : The Pink Flamingo

  2. Pingback: OKC bombing tapes appear edited. Inside job? Long-secret security tapes showing the chaos immediately after the.. http://bit.ly/K4GEn « NewsRecord

  3. Pingback: Oklahoma City Bombing an inside job? – official media. Long-secret security tapes showing the chaos immediately after the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building are blank in the minutes before the blast and appear to have been edited. &#

  4. Pingback: Oklahoma City Bombing an inside job? – official media. Long-secret security tapes showing the chaos immediately after the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building are blank in the minutes before the blast and appear to have been edited. &#

  5. Thanks for the “hat tip” to this info when you commented on my blog. I have followed this story, and Jayna for years and stumbled upon the news of the tape release recently (which prompted my short article).

  6. Pingback: Do What Now? | Journal the Blog

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