Albion Monitor /Features
Interview Index
"They Asked Who Did it, and I Said 'Timber'"
It was the loudest noise I'd ever heard
[... My next memory was of the bomb blowing up ...]

JUDI: And I knew it was a bomb immediately. I never experienced a bomb in my life, but there wasn't any question in my mind what it was. It was the loudest noise I'd ever heard. The noise of the explosion was so loud, that the sound had a physical force of its own, it was that loud.

The most violent thing I had ever experienced thus far was being rammed by a log truck, which had happened a year earlier -- and it certainly immediately brought that to mind -- but it was twenty times, fifty times more violent. I felt the bomb rip through me. And as opposed to the log truck, which was one, single metallic smash, this was diffuse: it came up from underneath me. I felt it. I know exactly where that bomb was because I felt it rip through me.

I don't remember blacking out, though I know that I did. I have no memory of losing consciousness. I thought I had retained consciousness the whole time, but now that I've been through all the crime scene stuff, I found out that I didn't.

So the bomb exploded, and I was knocked out for awhile, and my car drifted -- it's like explosion ripped through the car, people heard it all over: people who were Vietnam veterans say in the report that it reminded them of Vietnam: they had never seen anything like this other than that. Nobody had any questions that it was a bomb.

I have no memory of what I said. All I remember is the pain.
I slumped to the side of my seat and my car drifted out of control, and it drifted for about two blocks, drifted into the opposing lane, and it came to rest on the opposing curb. But I have no memory of that at all . . . But I regained consciousness very quickly afterwards, and the pain -- I didn't know that pain like that existed.

Can you compare it with childbirth? To anchor it at least for many women readers.

JUDI: I can. And that is a comparison in one way. It was so horrible -- no comparison as far as the level of pain, but what was the comparison: I'm described in the police reports as "screaming in pain." I wasn't screaming. The sounds coming out of my mouth were guttural and involuntary -- similar to the guttural and involuntary sounds that come out of your mouth during childbirth. That part really reminds me of it. I had no control over it. It was more like kia in karate than it was like a conscious scream. I wasn't screaming saying: Help! Help! Guttural, involuntary sounds were coming out of my mouth.

There is no way I can describe the pain. I always thought that if you were in enough pain, eventually, you would pass out. Not true. It just went beyond any level I could imagine. I couldn't move either of my legs. I had no feeling in my legs, but my back -- I knew my back was broken. All the reports say that all I would say was: "My back is broken. I'm dying."

I have no memory of what I said. All I remember is the pain.

And I remember that it hurt so bad that I wanted to die. And I felt that I was dying. I could feel the life force draining out of me. And I just wanted to die. And I tried to picture my children's faces to try to find a reason to stay alive.

During this time, Judi, did you hear Darryl's outpouring of love for you?

JUDI: I remember very vaguely -- kind of at the side of this pain I was immersed in, I hear him saying: "I love you. I love you." I don't have any memory of seeing him. I couldn't move. I knew I was paralyzed. I thought of Brian Willson. . . . Another one of the fleeting thought that went through my mind at the time was: this is what men do to each other in war. I remember vividly thinking that, and of comprehending the horror of it for the first time. I mean, you can intellectually think about the horror of war, but that human beings could do this to each other, this horror -- it was really a shocking thing in itself.

They were following me into the operating room saying: "Who did this?" I said, "Timber"
But mostly, I was so overwhelmed from the pain, and from the horror of seeing -- my legs were in weird positions and I couldn't move them. But my back hurt so much that it was overwhelming every other sensation. I begged the paramedics to put me out, and they wouldn't ...


JUDI: Because when you have internal injuries, they need you to be conscious so they can monitor your internal injuries. As I found out later, as a matter of practice, they want you to stay conscious so they can help save your life. So they wouldn't put me out, and moving me -- I thought there couldn't be any pain worst than what I was suffering, but when they moved me, it went up by another magnitude of ten. It was so awful, it is indescribable. All I wanted to do was die, and I began to think there are worst things than dying, there are worst things than dying -- and I couldn't picture my children. I began to think it's time for me to die."

I remember when I got to the hospital, they had to move me again, and I remember how horrible that was. I now read from the police files that the Oakland police met me at the hospital, and were questioning me as they wheeled me into surgery! I was outraged to learn that. (Finally, during depositions, when we interviewed the person who questioned me he said: "Of course I did that. It could have been a death bed confession.") Death-bed confessions, I have since learned, have a different legal weight. They are not considered hear-say, because when you are that close to death, you are not capable of lying.

And so they were following me into the operating room saying: "Who did this?"

I said, "Timber." "Well, who?"

I didn't know who. I just said, "Timber."

That's what I said according to the police reports. I didn't say, "Oh, it's my bomb and it exploded, " I said "Timber." -- because the people who had most recently confronted me were a kind of Fort Bragg Nazi group.

I said, "Fort Bragg."

I said, "Nazis."

I said, "Death threats."

I said all those things as I was being wheeled in.

-- At least according to the police report. I have zero memory of this. I don't remember being questioned. I don't remember a policeman being there. All I remember is feeling the life-force draining out of me, wanting to die, thinking: "Gee, it's not so horrible to die.

They knew I wasn't capable of lying in this state, and yet they ignored it
And I remember drifting, finally feeling like I was leaving my body and drifting, and then everything blacked out and I remember right before blacking out, feeling as if I was being jerked back. That was the last memory that I had.

Later on, you learn on site, immediately, the FBI determines you are a terrorist carrying a bomb in the back cavity of your vehicle. Do you remember any kind of interaction with the man who makes that determination while you were there in colossal pain?

JUDI: I was gone. I was in the ambulance in probably ten minutes. Nobody from the FBI admits to being there before I was gone. I don't even remember the paramedics. I remember being taken out of the car. But I don't remember having an oxygen mask put on my face. All I remember is being moved and how bad it hurt to be moved.

After I drifted off -- they were giving me anesthetic at this point, which by the way, this is like sodium pentathol. This is truth serum! They knew I wasn't lying when I said these things. They knew I wasn't capable of lying in this state, and yet they ignored it.

NEXT: Unconcious and Under Arrest
Entire Judi Bari interview © New Settler Interview

The New Settler Interview
POB 702 Mendocino, CA 95460
(707) 937-5703
$15 per year (12 issues)

Comments? Send a letter to the editor.

Albion Monitor January 13, 1997 (

Front Page