Albion Monitor /News

Bombing Conspiracy Theorists No-Shows at Grand Jury

by Bill Johnson

on grand jury and conspiracy theories and previous article on this topic
(AR) OKLAHOMA CITY -- A freelance reporter whose stories about the federal building bombing made him the darling of the conspiracy advocates did not show up as promised to testify last week before a county grand jury.

J.D. Cash, whose stories appeared in right-wing publications and a small southeastern Oklahoma daily newspaper, had promised a grand jury investigator he would appear voluntarily.

But December 1, when he was supposed to be heard, Cash was in Denver attending the trial of Terry Nichols, the second man charged in the April 19, 1995, bombing that killed 186 people and injured more than 500 others.

Nichols, 42, who is accused of helping build the bomb that devastated the federal building, is on trial for his life in Denver. Timothy McVeigh, a 29-year-old former Army sergeant, was convicted by a federal court jury in Denver in June of being the actual bomber and was sentenced to die.

Patrick Morgan, first assistant Oklahoma County district attorney, said the grand jury is anxious to hear from Cash and that steps were being taken to compel his attendance.

Elohim City became linked with the bombing when it was discovered McVeigh had called there only days earlier, asking to speak to Andreas Strassmeir
Cash wasn't the only no-show before the grand jury last week, however. The other was Cary Gagan, 53, who lives in the Denver area. Gagan, an informant, reportedly told investigators of an alleged plot to bomb federal court buildings in Denver and other cities in the spring of 1995.

One who did show up, however, was the Rev. Robert Millar, leader of the white supremacist enclave of Elohim City in northeastern Oklahoma. Millar told reporters he didn't have the answers to the bombing, and that he had questions about some of the people who used to live at Elohim City.

McVeigh's former lead attorney, Stephen Jones, said Gagan told the McVeigh defense team he made at least one trip to Kingman, Ariz., to discuss a plot to bomb federal buildings. Jones said Gagan produced receipts showing he had been in Kingman.

Michael and Lori Fortier, former friends who became witnesses against McVeigh, lived in Kingman and McVeigh stayed with them there on occasion. The Fortiers testified that McVeigh used cans of vegetables in their trailer home to demonstrate how barrels of explosives could be stacked to cause the most damage.

Gagan was given immunity from prosecution after he contacted the U.S. marshal's office with his story. Prosecutors said investigators found nothing substantial in Gagan's story, however.

Cash has written stories in which he said he believed McVeigh was involved in the bombing, but that he also believes a group of white supremacist bank robbers were involved, too. Cash also said the government knew about a bombing plot but failed to stop it.

Elohim City became linked with the bombing when it was discovered McVeigh had called there only days earlier, asking to speak to Andreas Strassmeir, a German nationalist who lived there for two years. Strassmeir left the United States for Germany shortly after the bombing.

Carol Howe, a former undercover informant for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, infiltrated Elohim City. She told authorities that while there, she heard Strassmeir and Dennis Mahon, leader of the White Aryan Resistance, talking about bombing federal buildings.

Mahon and Strassmeir denied any connection with the bombing.

Millar told The Daily Oklahoman he would like to know who Strassmeir really is, and why he came to Elohim City.

"Was he really seeking spiritual help, as sometimes he intimated, or was he here as a decoy, or was he here as an instrument of left-wing, anti-terrrorist, counterintelligence from Germany with the approval of the FBI?" the newspaper quoted Millar as saying.

Millar also called Michael Brescia "a bit of a disappointment."

Brescia, a member of the Aryan Republican Army who lived at Elohim City for about 18 months, pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy and robbing banks to fund white supremacist activities.

The late Glenn Wilburn, who helped organize the petition drive that called the county grand jury, insisted Brescia was the John Doe 2 depicted in a composite drawing of bombing suspects.

McVeigh was identified as John Doe 1, but the government eventually said there was no John Doe 2.

"Evidence" of advance knowledge of bombing revealed to be vague message repeated from Internet
One of the reasons state Rep. Charles Key (R-Oklahoma City) and Wilburn circulated the petitions were the stories several Oklahoma City and Kansas residents told of seeing McVeigh with another man before the bombing. Wilburn lost two young grandchildren in the building's wreckage.

Key, who also was selling a $19.95 video tape outlining his theories, said he wanted the grand jury to determine whether all those involved had been found and whether the government had advance knowledge of the bombing.

Wilburn cited a call received by Oklahoma City Deputy Fire Chief Leonard Charles Gaines as backing his believe of advance knowledge.

Gaines appeared before the grand jury last week to relate how he received a telephone call that was mistakenly routed to him five days before the bombing.

"The call was from a person who said he was a part of the OSBI," the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, Gaines has said "The person's name was Gilmore. Mr. Gilmore said, 'FYI, there could be something catastrophic happen this weekend.'"

Kim Koch, OSBI spokeswoman, said the agency had no one by the name of Gilmore in 1995.

Gaines, who said it was not unusual for the fire department to get these kind of calls, said this call was routed to him because the person who was to have received it was out of the office. He said the caller did not give any location and did not say it was a bomb threat.

"He just said he received the information from the Net," Gaines said.

Bruce Shaw, who works downtown, appeared earlier before the grand jury and related that an unidentified ATF agent told him as he was rushing to the bombed building that ATF agents had been warned to stay home that day.

The ATF denied any foreknowledge of the bombing and said he could not find anyone who had spoken with Shaw.

Valerie Rowden, ATF office manager who was injured in the bombing, also testified before the grand jury last week, but declined to talk with reporters.

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Albion Monitor December 8, 1997 (

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