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Timothy McVeigh's Death

Timothy McVeigh

He's remembered as perhaps the most infamous home grown terrorist in United States history.

Born in upstate Lockport, New York, Timothy McVeigh was one of three children born to William and Mildred McVeigh. He was their only son and when they divorced when he was ten, Timothy went to live with his father in Pendleton, New York.

He was remembered by some as being shy and withdrawn as a youth, while others claimed he was outgoing as a child but starting withdrawing in his teenaged years. He later said he didn't know how to impress girls and claimed in his authorized biography that he had a strong desire to die.

While in high school, he developed a knack with computers and was even named the most promising computer programmer in his high school. He also hacked into government systems.

His grandfather introduced him to guns and he sometimes took weapons to school to impress the other kids. He later became very interested in gun ownership rights and the constitutional amendment (second) protecting them.

Timothy said he was bullied in school and imagined how he would get even with his tormentors. (He later concluded that the U.S. federal government is the ultimate bully.)

A Gulf War veteran and a militia sympathizer, McVeigh had a beef with the United States government. So – coupled with his troubled past - he planted a bomb in a rented truck outside the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995.

Oaklahoma City Building Timothy McVeight tried to blow up

He said he did it in retribution for the Waco siege in Texas two years to the day earlier, in which 76 people died.

After the initial blast blew the façade off the building …

Oaklahoma City Building after McVeigh tried to blow it up

….killing hundreds….

Fireman carrying a baby

…McVeigh escaped the scene of the blast. But by tracing the Vehicle Identification Number on the truck's rear axle found in the wreckage, the FBI narrowed it down to a Ryder rental leased to McVeigh under an assumed name.

McVeigh was pinched when he was stopped while driving his car without a license plate…..

Timothy McVeigh's rental car

…and the officer noticed a bulge under his jacket that McVeigh admitted was a gun.

Now in custody, he was named in an eleven count federal indictment in August 1995, including charges of conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction.

Timothy McVeigh's mug shot

Less than two years later, he was convicted on all counts. The jury recommended the death penalty, but the sentence was delayed pending appeal. McVeigh also requested that if he was to be executed, it should be televised nationally. That was denied.

Finally, by January, 2001, McVeigh said he'd rather die than spend the rest of his life in prison. May 16 was set as his execution date but then U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft announced another one month stay of execution, because evidence had been withheld from McVeigh's attorneys. It wasn't enough to change things, though.

On the morning of June 11, 2011, McVeigh had his final meal – two pints of mint chocolate chip ice cream – and was put to death by lethal injection

Timothy McVeigh's electric chair

McVeigh had two co-conspirators, Terry Nichols and Michael Fortier.

Terry Nichols and Michael Fortier

They were also convicted Nichols getting a life sentence and Fortier, who turned state's evidence, released from prison in 2006 and given a new identity.

McVeigh was the only one put to death.

Timothy McVeigh in prison

His cremated remains were scattered at an undisclosed site.