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American RadioWorksDocumentariesAmericaKay Fulton's Diary

Page  1  2  3  4   Listen(Real Audio, 18:27 min)

The Federal Penitentiary in Terre Haute

I am somewhere in between Chicago and Indianapolis. It's late, it's dark and everybody on the train is asleep so I am trying to be really quiet.

Choosing the train has been the right choice for me, because I really have had the chance to just calm down. And I think tomorrow, when I get up, then I can face just what it is I am getting ready to walk into. But now it's just kinda nice, just this quiet sound of the train, and then there is a guy snoring next to me!

  An aerial view of the Federal Penitentiary in Terre Haute where Timothy McVeigh died by lethal injection June 11, 2001. Photo: Federal Bureau of Prisons.

   (Reporter) "We met up with Kay Fulton on the banks of Terre Haute's Wabash River, a safe two miles from the media onslaught at the federal prison where tomorrow morning she will witness the execution…"

It's Sunday, about 10 o'clock and I am with Boyd Huppert with Channel 11, KARE, and we are getting ready to do an interview. Here we go.

Is it OK if I keep my sunglasses on? Cause I'll be squinting really badly and I'll get a headache and the rest of the day will be really bad.

   (Huppert in the TV news broadcast) "A few hours after we talked, Kay reported to the prison. She and the other witnesses were briefed on what to expect, then taken to a secret location to spend the night."

    (TV anchor) "Death penalty advocates and opponents are demonstrating here on the grounds."

    (Reporter) "…and at precisely 4:12, began a 168 minute silent candlelight vigil."

   (Prison warden) "Timothy James McVeigh has been executed by lethal injection. He was pronounced dead at 7:14 a.m.Central Daylight Time. McVeigh's body will be released to a representative of his family."

Hi, it is Monday, 8 a.m. It's just an hour after the execution, and it is over with. I am just on my way over to the media area to do some interviews. But you know, actually, I feel really good, there's been a great cloud lifted. I'm just so relieved, there's been such a weight lifted. Talk to you later, bye.


Watching McVeigh Die

Hi it's still Tuesday. I am in the car. I am driving from Terre Haute back to Indianapolis to get home, but I wanted—as early as I could—to tell you about the actual execution and then try to talk to you about emotionally what's been going on.

When I saw him, I was really taken aback. You know, for 6 years, the pictures I have seen of him—he's a cocky arrogant —I'm sorry, he WAS — a cocky, arrogant, you know, strong-looking tanned, proud, defiant. When they opened that curtain and I saw him, it didn't even look like the same person. He was gaunt, but it was his color—he was just pasty looking, his head was almost shaved.

  Kay calls this her "thumbs up" photo of Paul. It's the one she held against the glass during the execution. Photo: Kay Fulton

He turned his head to his right and looked at our window for a few seconds and then he laid his head back down.

Then they announced that the first drug had been introduced. And it was a while. I almost had the feeling he was trying to fight it or maybe it just takes that long to take effect. It seemed like a long time to me. I did see after the 2nd drug was introduced — the one that slows the breathing —I saw the little puff of air come out of his mouth and I like to think I watched him take his last breath.

During the execution, I took my picture of Paul and since I was in front, I was able to put Paul's picture right up against the glass. And although McVeigh could not see the picture, symbolically it was a way for me to let my brother watch his murderer die, and I don't know if that's anything Paul would have wanted, and… I don't know. I don't know. I hope I did the right thing for him.

It's Sunday the 17th, six days after the execution and I'm back home, and I haven't done anything because I was just so physically exhausted when I got back. I have no regrets about being there.

But it would feel really hurt to think people condemn me, because this was something I needed to do.

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