The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

20 April 2004

Meanwhile at Big Mac

The prosecution in the trial of Terry Nichols has asserted that alleged Secret Service video of the explosion in the Murrah bombing does not actually exist.

Jon Hersley, then the FBI case agent for the bombing probe, testified "There is no such tape.... We would have followed that tremendously if that existed."

Nichols' defense claimed that the government withheld this video from co-conspirator Timothy McVeigh's defense, and had moved for a dismissal.

(Update, 2:30 pm: McGehee has an AP story that describes the tape.)

If you're stymied by NewsOK's registration, use this:
user: cgh at windowphobe.com (substitute the appropriate character)
pw: carlotta

Posted at 10:34 AM to Soonerland


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I was, a couple of decades ago, a Special Agent with the Bureau of Investigation of a large U.S. state. I worked a lot of homicides; probably more than any other agent in the state.

The average citizen would be stunned by the sheer volume of misinformation and confusion that accompanies a crime. Police officers and agents speculate endlessly. Thirdhand hearsay is reported as fact or probable fact. Evidence you never saw suddenly appears on a manifest. Evidence you know you saw disappears. News reports get reported as fact.

The media? They get it right, except for the names, addresses, dates, and material facts. Example? I worked on a particularly senseless and brutal homicide. The newspaper reported it. The report was so bad that I knew it was my case for only one reason: I was in a photo at the crime scene.

In short, it surprises me not at all that a report could say there was a videotape, and a witness could say there was no videotape. I would be surprised if the situation were otherwise.

Posted by: Rick The Lawyer at 1:14 PM on 20 April 2004

I can't say that I'm surprised to hear this, especially nine years after the fact; story drift is a fact of life in the justice system.

Perhaps it's safest to remain as skeptical as possible.

Posted by: CGHill at 2:01 PM on 20 April 2004