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On June 11, 2001, Timothy McVeigh was executed for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing. One hundred sixty-eight people died that day in 1995. It was the largest act of terrorism on American soil, until September 11. They were preceeded by the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in which 189 Americans were killed.

 Paul Ice in Miami, 1988. Photo: Kay Fulton  

The terrorist attacks have created a community of survivors' families. They are united by grief, anguish and desire for justice. They are joined by the shock that terrorism has fractured their lives.

Kay Fulton lost her brother Paul Ice, a federal customs agent, in the Oklahoma City bombing. For the last 7 years, she has been an activist, testifying before Congress on anti-terrorism legislation. She also volunteered to witness McVeigh's death by lethal injection. She began this audio diary in the weeks leading up to the execution.

I Want You to Know Who Paul Was

    (Paul Ice) "It's 9:45 p.m. Monday night, January 13, 1992. We're surveillance…"

This is a recorder I found shortly after the bombing, Paul was making a tape during a surveillance he was on.

   (Paul) "OK, we're driving by Shivvers' house one more time. The Mercedes I believe is boy-papa-papa 5-3-Romeo."

Listen to a recording of the explosion at the Oklahoma City Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995. (Real Audio, 2:49)
At 9:00 a.m. that morning, in a nearby building, the Oklahoma Water Resources Board began recording a meeting. The bomb went off at 9:02 a.m.

It's not a real good quality tape, but it's the only recording I have of his voice.

   (Paul on recording) "There's also a pickup that a man had the door open…"

He was just 42 years old and very accomplished. He had just retired a few months before from the Marine Corps reserves as a Lieutenant Colonel. He was a Senior Special Agent with U.S. Customs, he was a marathon runner, he was a pilot with his own plane. He loved his country and his entire adult life was spent in the service of his country. So, I didn't just lose a brother but you lost someone also.

The bombing, that moment when I saw it happen, felt it happen, it's not weighing on my mind every day like Paul's memory is. You know this is always, always with you. I mean, every day I miss Paul and I think about him every day.

A Seat at the Execution

    (TV news anchor) "Good evening. A week from tomorrow one of this country's most hated criminals will be put to death."

   (Second news anchor) "A Red Wing woman will be among the few selected to watch the historic and controversial event."

 Timothy McVeigh was convicted of murder, conspiracy and mass weapons charges in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City April 19, 1995. Photo: FBI

I got the call. I think it was on Wednesday the 18th — I won a seat to view the execution and I was so thrilled.

   (TV Reporter)"For 6 years she has worked to keep McVeigh out of her thoughts."

I haven't, in the last 6 years, spent a lot of time being angry with McVeigh, because that would make me have to stop and think about him and it would have to acknowledge his existence for me.

   (Reporter) "in this chamber at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana."

I personally always thought life imprisonment would be the consummate penalty for some horrific crime. Lethal injection is really so humane—I mean you just go to sleep. And it's just so fast! But now I've changed my mind about the death penalty. And I want, and I need to know that Tim McVeigh is going to face those few moments of extreme and utter fear and terror. That's something that in a lifetime of imprisonment they're never subjected to. If he—for just that split second—McVeigh just turns inside out with fear, then, maybe, this is the right thing.

Next: The Federal Penitentiary in Terre Haute

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