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Others Unknown: Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing Conspiracy Paperback – May 18, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-1586480981 ISBN-10: 1586480987 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Stephen Jones, the chief defense counsel for Timothy McVeigh, the first of two men convicted in the tragic 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, lays out a case that McVeigh and Terry Nichols, also convicted in the bombing, did not act alone. In his attempt to defend McVeigh, Jones traveled the globe to turn up every possible scrap of information that might lead him to the "others unknown" cited by the grand jury that heard evidence in the bombing case. Some of the evidence is compelling, including the severed leg that did not match any of the victims; Jones is convinced it belonged to "John Doe number two," an unidentified man credited with planting the bomb in the Murrah Office Building. Jones also lays out a very strong argument that Terry Nichols was in touch with Muslim fundamentalist terrorists in the Philippines and that he asked them to help him build a bomb. But Jones's refusal to break his attorney-client privilege by discussing anything that McVeigh said to him forces the author to walk a tightrope, revealing nothing about his client's role in the bombing while trying to outline the potential involvement of others.

Non-conspiracy buffs may find it far-fetched that the United States government would want to cover up information about the possible involvement of Muslim fundamentalists or white supremacists in the bombing, but Jones has two arguments to support the idea. First, he suggests, the government was trying to cover its tracks for not having heeded various danger signs before the bombing took place. In addition, this was too big and too horrible a crime to go unpunished; it had to be closed without question and with no suspects left at large. For those who are persuaded by Jones's arguments, the chilling question remains: when--and where--will the "others unknown" strike next? --Linda Killian --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs; 1 edition (May 18, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586480987
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586480981
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #977,452 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

One of the best I've read on this topic.
David Goldenberg
Mr. Jones, who was appointed McVeigh's defense counsel, found gaping holes, not only in the government's case, but in his client's own story!
Rachel E Rigolino
This is a very well written book, well researched, and insightful.
Liberty Blacksmith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By John Jasper on October 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
Jones should know better than most whether or not his client, Timothy McVeigh, acted alone. I've worked as a prosecutor for several years and have enough experience in these matters to know that Jones is probably correct, McVeigh was the foot soldier, not the general. Many of us saw the bombing coming years before it happened. Politicians in Washington, D.C. and out West fermented the protest that encouraged men like McVeigh. Some other federal buildings were bombed before the tragedy in Oklahoma. I wrote a novel about this, Sweet Poison of Misused Wine. But, like Jones, I didn't stop at the bomber when assessing blame. Since the destruction of the World Trade Center, Americans have united behind their federal government, but that wasn't the situation in the 1990s. Jones should be praised for having the courage to tell the truth.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Lisa J. Steele on July 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
As a criminal defense attorney, I have great sympathy for the work Stephen Jones was called upon to undertake for McVeigh. He tells the story of his representation well.
When it comes to making his case about why McVeigh could not have acted alone, however, I was gravely disappointed. The book lacks a good index, footnotes, endnotes, dates, people, places, copies of reports, and other information vital to anyone truely interested in the case who is not willing to just take Mr. Jones word for what he saw, learned, and believes. It quotes infrequently from some documents and tapes, but those points are far too few and far between.
As an book advocating his point, it falls short of what one would expect from experienced counsel who had been prepared to argue these very issues in court and presumably has references to all the 302s, photos, auditotapes, depositions, transcripts, and reports near to hand. Documents that are classified could easily have been identified at least as to date and source so they could be referenced by later researches if and when they are unclassified -- the author seems willing to quote from sealed records, why not make his audiotapes and correspondence public now that McVeigh is deceased.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Clarence Robison Jr. on June 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
As a citizen of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City, I was incensed when Stephen Jones, an Oklahoma Lawyer, wrote a book about his attempt to defend McVay--the man who blew up the Murrah Building in our town. Jones had to have a guard when discussing the first edition of his book in the Library in Perry Oklahoma (where McVey was jailed when picked up on Interstate 35 on the way back to Kansas after the Bombing). Oklahoma people, to say the least, were not happy with Mr. Jones. After McVay published his own book, thus releasing Jones from his Lawyer's oath of Confidentiality, Jones wrote what I call "the rest of the story." I was still not impressed, and I was not going to enrich him by buying one of his books. After 911, I realized that the second edition of his book was written AFTER both World Trade Center#1, and Oklahoma City, and BEFORE World Trade Center II (911). Much of Johes' wanderings about the world in his effort to defend McVay, suddenly began to seem like something I should know about, as a Citizen of this country at this time in history. I bought a copy, and am awe-struck by the information in that book that might have had a bearing on "911"...One must discount all of the "losing lawyer's grumbling" about his poor treatment by the winning side; that is normal in Trial Lawyer Books...It is the portrait of international terrorism that he discovered, and wrote about in this book while preparing for that trial,that is engaging.I doubt if there was anything in this book that would have prevented "911"..but looking back sometimes is the only view of the future that we can have in such times. Perhaps McVay's only patriotic deed near the end of his life, was to free Mr. Jones to write this book, by publishing his own work. Two of McVay's co-defendants are still alive...one is awaiting trial in Oklahoma City for his part in over 160 murders....Find this book at the Library or somewhere and read it. No,I DO NOT KNOW MR. JONES. Clarence Robison M.D.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is not really about whether Tim McVeigh was or wasn't guilty in the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19th, 1995. This is not a "true confessions" sleaze piece told by a self-aggrandizing "ambulance chaser" lawyer. All of that is really moot now that McVeigh has been executed.
What this book is about is the fact that Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols could not have pulled off a bombing of this scale off by themselves (not because the author says so but because unimpeachable terrorism experts say so). It is about a government that seems blind to evidence pointing to a much broader conspiracy; possibly even foreign backed. It is also about the lengths to which your government will go to get its way. Truth and justice have NOTHING to do with what went on in United States vs McVeigh and this should concern every American deeply.
The author, McVeigh's appointed defense council, takes it from the beginning and walks the reader through the entire sordid process of trying to conduct a fair, Constitutionally guaranteed trail against the U.S. Justice Department who basically are in control of the whole process. This is like putting the fox in charge of the hen house.
He explains how the prosecution made every effort to unfairly deny and or delay the defense's access to vital FBI evidence (remember the 3000 pages of documents that the prosecution "misplaced" that came out recently?) He tells how the prosecution lied and tampered with evidence. He tells how the FBI refused to let the defense examine the crime scene in detail and then demolished it before the trail began forever burying its secrets. He explains how the government manipulated and changed their stories to fit their version of the crime without any real evidence.
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Others Unknown: Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing Conspiracy
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