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Friday, 11 May, 2001, 09:32 GMT 10:32 UK
Timeline: Oklahoma bombing
The Oklahoma federal building
The bomb killed 168 people and injured hundreds more
The 1995 Oklahoma bombing killed 168 people, including 19 children, and injured more than 500 others, making it the most deadly peacetime attack on US soil.

Timothy McVeigh, a 33-year-old Gulf War veteran, was convicted of carrying out the bombing and sentenced to death by lethal injection.

BBC News Online charts the events surrounding the bombing.


23 April: Timothy McVeigh born, Pendleton, New York.


McVeigh enlists in the US Army.


McVeigh sees active service as a gunner in the Gulf War.

After the war he tries to join Special Forces, but is unfit and fails. He is later discharged and returns home to live with his father in Pendleton.


August: Federal forces storm the isolated home of white separatist Randy Weaver at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, the target of a guns investigation. His wife Vicki and their son, Sammy, are killed.

The deaths raise questions about the excessive use of force by federal agents.


March-April: McVeigh visits Waco, Texas, where federal forces have surrounded a compound which is home to the Branch Davidian sect led by David Koresh.

19 April: Federal troops storm the compound near Waco. The 51-day siege ends but 82 people are killed in the process.


19 April: At 0902 a van packed with home-made explosives and parked outside the Alfred P Murrah federal building in downtown Oklahoma city explodes.

Timothy McVeigh
McVeigh: Traffic offence
Half of the nine-storey building collapses. The cost of the damage is later estimated at $80m.

Less than 90 minutes later, Timothy McVeigh is stopped by an Oklahoma traffic policeman for driving without licence plates and detained on firearms charges.

21 April: Just as he is about to be released from custody, McVeigh is identified and charged with the bombing.

McVeigh's former army colleague, Terry Nichols, surrenders to police in his home town of Herington, Kansas.

23 May: The ruined building is demolished.

10 August: A Grand Jury indicts McVeigh and Nichols on bombing and conspiracy charges.

A third man, McVeigh's army friend Michael Fortier, pleads guilty to a firearms charge as part of a plea bargain.

15 August: McVeigh and Nichols are arraigned separately in the Oklahoma City federal court.

1 December: Judge Wayne Alley is removed from the case after a federal judge rules that damage to his chambers could raise doubts about his impartiality.

4 December: Judge Richard Matsch is put in charge of the case.


20 February: Judge Matsch rules that media coverage in Oklahoma has "demonised" the defendants and orders that the trial be moved to Denver, Colorado.

Fireman Chris Fields carries the body of one year old Baylee Almon
Nineteen children were among the dead
19 April: First anniversary of the bombing. Relatives and survivors gather at the site of the explosion. They mark 168 seconds of silence - one for each of the dead.

15 July: Judge Matsch rules that a law allowing a closed-circuit broadcast of the trail is constitutional. He later orders the transmission to be relayed to a government auditorium in Oklahoma.

25 October: Judge Matsch orders that McVeigh and Nichols should be tried separately.


31 March: Jury selection begins.

24 April: Trial begins. Prosecution calls 137 witnesses in 18 days. Defence calls 25 witnesses in four days.

2 June: McVeigh is convicted on all 11 counts. The jury takes four days to reach its verdict..

13 June: Jury sentences McVeigh to death by lethal injection.

20 June: Stephen Jones steps down as McVeigh's lead lawyer after a row with his client.

31 October: Nichols trail begins.

23 December: Nichols is convicted of manslaughter and conspiracy.


7 January: The Nichols jury fails to agree on the death penalty.

Timothy McVeigh
McVeigh waived the right to appeal
January: McVeigh appeals. Lawyers say pre-trial publicity and what they call "inflammatory" statements from survivors prejudiced the trail.

27 May: Fortier is sentenced to 12 years in jail and fined $200,000 for failing to warn the authorities about the bombing.

4 June: Calling him an "enemy of the constitution", a federal judge sentences Nichols to life imprisonment without parole, the maximum possible sentence.


6 March: McVeigh's appeal is rejected.

30 March: Nichols is charged with murder in an Oklahoma state court. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

11 July: McVeigh is moved to the newly-opened death row facility at Terre Haute federal prison in Indiana.

17 August: McVeigh appeals again, alleging incompetence by his lawyers.

October: Judge Matsch rejects the second appeal.


19 April: President Clinton opens Oklahoma City memorial. It includes 168 chairs bearing the names of the victims; the "survivor tree," an elm tree that lived through the bombing though badly damaged; a reflecting pool; and bronze gates that symbolically preserve the moment of the explosion, 0902.


11 January: McVeigh waives his right to appeal and says he wants a date set for his execution.

29 March: Publication of "American Terrorist: Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing," by Lou Michel and Dan Herbeck. The two local reporters spent 75 hours interviewing McVeigh in prison.

12 April: Attorney General John Ashcroft announces that 250 survivors and relatives can watch the execution via a secure closed-circuit television link.

19 April: Sixth anniversary of bombing. A federal judge refuses a request to broadcast McVeigh's execution live on the internet.

11 May: Attorney-General John Ashcroft postpones the execution for one month after it is revealed that the FBI failed to release thousands of documents to McVeigh's lawyers.

31 May: Folllowing the FBI admission, McVeigh asks for a stay of execution, tellling his lawyers he wants to preserve the integrity of America's judicial process.

6 June: US federal judge, Judge Richard Matsch, rules that the execution will go ahead saying the newly-released documents did not change the fact that McVeigh was guilty.

8 June: McVeigh's lawyers announce that he will not exercise his right to appeal to the US Supreme Court for a further stay of execution.

11 June: McVeigh is executed by lethal injection at Terre Haute, Indiana, after rejecting any further legal avenues to stop the sentence being carried out.

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