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Did a 'John Doe 2' get away 20 years ago today in the Oklahoma City bombing?
Today is the 20th anniversary of the terror bombing of the Murray Federal building in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people and wounded hundreds. Two years after that attack, the New Yorker magazine assigned me to investigate lingering questions about a possible 'John Doe 2.' I criscrossed Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and Texas talking to witnesses. And I got access to some of the then sealed FBI investigation files. The result - a 10,000 word article - focused on the FBI's investigation in the days immediately after the bombing. It challenged the Bureau's thoroughness in its hunt for a missing conspirator and raised the possibility that there might indeed have been someone else aiding bombers Tim McVeigh and Terry McNichols. Two years ago, on the 18th anniversary of the bombing, I published that long form journalism as a Kindle booklet, "THE THIRD MAN: WAS THERE ANOTHER BOMBER IN OKLAHOMA CITY?"
Do not expect any final answers to the query posed by an Oklahoma Literary Journal, "Is he out there, or a figment of fertile imaginations?" Still, I have unanswered questions. As I conclude in the article from 1997, "The government's long dormant file on John Doe 2 cannot be closed conclusively no matter how much the FBI and prosecutors wish it were so. The possibility - slim but real - that a third man involved in the terror attack on the Murrah building got away with mass murder is inexcusable. This case is still open."
On the 20th anniversary, that unfortunately is still correct.