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Monday, 11 June, 2001, 14:38 GMT 15:38 UK
Eyewitnesses: McVeigh's final moments
Terre Haute prison
McVeigh was executed at Terre Haute prison
Witnesses of the execution of Timothy McVeigh have given details of the Oklahoma bomber's last moments of life.


I do not think he repented and personally I think he is in hell

Larry Whicher, a victim's relative

Among those allowed to witness the event were 10 victims' representatives, 10 news media members and McVeigh's personal witnesses - including his lawyers and Lou Michel, co-author of a book about the bomber.

There were also an unspecified number of government officials.

In Oklahoma City, about 300 survivors and victims' relatives had gathered to watch a closed-circuit TV broadcast of the execution sent from Terre Haute prison.

'Like a mummy'

McVeigh, who was strapped to a table in a green tile-lined chamber, was said to be wearing training shoes, khaki trousers and a white T-shirt.

Karin Grunden of the Terre Haute Tribune Star said McVeigh was lying on a white sheet with another white sheet up to his chest.

He was tightly wrapped like "a mummy".

Rex Huppke, another media witness, described a slight delay in setting up the video relay to the victims' relatives in Oklahoma.

He said the procedure began at 0706 local time, six minutes behind schedule.

McVeigh had an intravenous drip in his right leg, with yellow and grey IV tubes running from his body towards the wall.

'Eye contact'

Another media witness said his head was almost shaven and he looked thinner.

Execution chamber at Terre Haute prison, Indiana
10 journalists and 10 victims' representatives witnessed the death in person
"He tried to take charge of the room," said one.

Another witness said he made eye contact with each person present starting with media representatives and relatives' witnesses before giving "a cursory glance" towards government representatives.

Susan Carlson, a TV journalist from Chicago, said McVeigh appeared to die with a sense of pride.

"You could see his chest moving up and down... His eyes blinked a few times and then they remained open," Mrs Grunden said.

In Oklahoma City, Kathleen Treanor, whose daughter Ashley and her husband's parents died in the bombing, said there was no display of emotion in the room as the execution took place.

'In hell'

Larry Whicher, the brother of a bombing victim, said McVeigh looked into the camera with a cold, blank stare in the moments before he died.

"He had a look of defiance and that if he could, he would do it all over again," Mr Whicher said.

"I do not think he gave himself to the Lord. I do not think he repented and personally I think he is in hell," he added.

Witness Byron Pitts said he did not speak and died "with his eyes open".

No members of McVeigh's family travelled to Terre Haute, at his request.

Prison Warden Harley Lappin said: "Inmate McVeigh was calm throughout the entire process [and] co-operated entirely."

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See also:

11 Jun 01 | Americas
Defiant McVeigh dies in silence
10 Jun 01 | Americas
McVeigh: Countdown to death
04 Jun 01 | Americas
Prosecutors oppose McVeigh delay
31 May 01 | Americas
McVeigh's on-off date with death
16 May 01 | Americas
FBI admits McVeigh blunder
12 Apr 01 | Americas
Live from death row
11 Jun 01 | Americas
Barriers separate death protesters
11 Jun 01 | Americas
Inside McVeigh's mind
11 Jun 01 | Americas
Protesters gather for death vigils
11 May 01 | Americas
Oklahoma bombing: The background
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