McVeigh’s last day: friendly, no remorse

The Associated Press
Friday October 19, 2001

LOS ANGELES — To his dying day, Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh impressed his jailers as well behaved, funny, pleasant to be around — and completely without remorse — according to documents reviewed by the Los Angeles Times. 

“Mr. McVeigh remains stable emotionally. He does not suffer from a major mental health disorder or defect,” according to a May 18 psychiatric evaluation of McVeigh, who would be executed in less than a month, on June 11. 

“He spends his time watching TV, reading his correspondence and writing letters,” the evaluation said of McVeigh, who was put to death for the April 19, 1995, bombing that killed 168 people at the Oklahoma City Federal Building. 

The 33-year-old Gulf War Army veteran spent more than six years in maximum security prisons. Throughout that time, according to 2,000 pages of documents obtained by the Times, he was almost always good-natured and rarely caused trouble, the newspaper reported on its Web site Wednesday. 

“He has just returned after hearing the verdict of a death sentence yesterday,” the records noted at one point. “He is taking the verdict and sentence remarkably well and is not depressed.” 

After his sentencing, he was sent to “Supermax” in Florence, Colo., the nation’s most secure prison. 

During his two years there he committed only one infraction, refusing to stand up during a head count. 

“He just looked at us and laughed,” a prison official wrote. 

Run-ins he had with prison officials elsewhere also were minor. He was written up for trying to mail various harmless items to friends, including a “Star Wars” action figure. He once griped about not getting immediate care for a chipped tooth and another time for not getting enough sunlight. And he made it clear he didn’t like being disturbed when he was watching a war movie on television. 

He always kept his cell tidy and his bed well made, authorities said, and earned a certificate for completing a video study course called “Earth Revealed.” 

He never apologized. 

“The inmate still displays no remorse for his actions, nor does he spontaneously discuss the matter,” it was reported in February 1998. 

“He remains in good spirits with a keen sense of humor,” according to a report filed in April, just weeks before his execution in the Terre Haute, Ind., death house. 

Upon learning that schools in Terre Haute would be closed on the day of his execution, he said he expected to hear from schoolchildren thanking him. 

When execution day finally arrived, he “cooperated entirely,” according to Warden Harley G. Lappin.