CNN logo
US navbar

Infoseek/Big Yellow

Pathfinder/Warner Bros

Barnes and Noble

Main banner

'Turner Diaries' introduced in McVeigh trial


Writings mentioned casualties, killing

April 28, 1997
Web posted at: 3:05 p.m. EDT (1905 GMT)

DENVER (CNN) -- At the trial of Timothy McVeigh, an FBI agent introduced clippings from an anti-government novel, "The Turner Diaries," that were taken from the car McVeigh was driving when he was arrested 90 minutes after the Oklahoma City bombing.

One of those clippings had this phrase highlighted: "But the real value of all of our attacks today lies in the psychological impact, not in the immediate casualties."

Another highlighted phrase read, "We can still find them and kill them."


In trial testimony Monday afternoon, FBI agent William Eppright also introduced a note taken from McVeigh's car that read, "Not abandoned. Do not tow. Will move by April 23. Needs battery and cable."

Prosecutors allege that McVeigh put that sign on his car to keep it from being towed from a parking space near the Alfred Murrah federal building. According to the prosecution, he parked the car there in order to make his getaway after the building was bombed.

"The Turner Diaries" is a novel popular on the anti-government right. Included in the plot of the book is a bomb attack on a federal building.

McVeigh's defense team is expected to try to show that the book cannot be connected to the bombing.

Family members attend court session

McVeigh is on trial for federal murder and conspiracy charges in connection with the April 19, 1995, attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building that killed 168 people and injured more than 500. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

About two dozen bombing survivors and family members attended the court session Monday morning, the most since the trial began March 31.


In other testimony, Charlie Hanger, the Oklahoma state trooper who arrested McVeigh, testified he stopped McVeigh's car because it did not have a license plate. At the time of the arrest, McVeigh had not been connected to the bombing.

Hanger told the jury that after pulling McVeigh over, he took shelter behind the door of his cruiser as McVeigh got out of the car and walked toward him. As McVeigh reached for his wallet, Hanger said he noticed a bulge under his wind breaker.

'I have a gun'

"I told him to take both hands and slowly pull back his jacket," Hanger said. "He said, 'I have a gun.' At that point, I reached for the bulge on the jacket and grabbed it. I pulled my weapon and stuck it to the back of his head."

As Hanger searched and handcuffed him, McVeigh told the trooper he was also carrying a knife and a spare clip of ammunition, which Hanger took and threw on the shoulder of the road.

Hanger then arrested McVeigh for carrying a concealed pistol. Three days later, McVeigh was tied to the blast as he waited for a court hearing on the gun charge.

Hanger, shown a T-shirt introduced as evidence Monday morning, said, "This appears to be the same T-shirt that Mr. McVeigh was wearing. It has a picture of Abraham Lincoln on it, with writing below it. On the back it has a picture of a tree with red blood droplets on it."

Although Hanger did not read the T-shirt lettering in court, CNN has previously reported the shirt was printed with the Thomas Jefferson quote, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

Prosecutors argue that papers, letters and books found in McVeigh's car are evidence of his anti-government motivation for the terrorist attack.

Among other witnesses expected to testify this week were:

  • A police officer who found the rear axle of the truck used in the blast.

  • Luke Franey, an agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, whose rescue from the Murrah building was videotaped. His testimony is expected to counter conspiracy theories that the ATF either had advance warning of the attack or had a hand in it.


  • Lori Fortier, the wife of McVeigh's ex-Army buddy Michael Fortier. She is expected to tell how McVeigh, while a guest in her Kingman, Arizona, trailer home, used soup cans to show her how he planned to pack barrels of ammonium nitrate in a way designed to cause maximum damage, the prosecution said.

    She was given immunity from prosecution as part of a deal for her and her husband's testimony against McVeigh. Michael Fortier, who entered a plea to lesser charges and will be sentenced later, is a key prosecution witness.

    McVeigh defense attorney Stephen Jones contended in his opening statement that the Fortiers made up their stories to avoid prosecution on drug dealing charges.

OKC Trial Special Section

T R A N S C R I P T S  /   O V E R V I E W  /   T H E   P L A Y E R S
T H E   B O M B I N G  /   C N N   S T O R I E S   /   L I N K S
CNN Plus

Related stories:

Message Boards

Sound off on our message boards

Tell us what you think!

You said it...
To the top

© 1997 Cable News Network, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.

Terms under which this service is provided to you.