Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Richard Serrano Of L.A. Times Sticks With The Oklahoma City Story

More than 10 years after the dread Oklahoma City bombing of a federal office building, Richard A. Serrano of the Los Angeles Times is still on the story, and he produced another Page 1 humdinger this morning.

According to that story, Terry Nichols, a friend of Timothy McVeigh who is serving federal and state life terms for the bombing, has written the grandmother of two of the victims that a third person was in on the conspiracy and saying he (Nichols) has more to tell.

Nichols' implication of Arkansas gun collector Roger Moore in the bombing, saying that he provided some of the components used in the bomb, may well inspire Congressional hearings and a reopening of the Oklahoma City investigation.

Colleagues know Serrano, who joined the L.A. Times staff in 1987 and moved to the paper's Washington bureau in 1993, as the ultimate in dogged investigators. He never tires, he never rests, and he has become one of the foremost authorities in the country on domestic terrorism, plus an invaluable reporter also on ramifications of the War on Terror worldwide.

Serrano in 1998 wrote a book on the Oklahoma City bombing, "One Of Our Own," about McVeigh, who was executed for the bombing that killed 168 persons on April 19, 1995.

There have long been unexplained aspects of the bombing, such as whether there was a second conspirator, a "John Doe," present in Oklahoma City that day.

This was the worst terrorist act in American history up until the events of 9-11, and it is clear it cannot be laid to rest until every last of the guilty, if there are other guilty parties, is brought to justice. It's not all that uncommon that mu rderers are sometimes brought to justice many years later. We see that in the Mississippi civil rights killings.

Serrano's latest story also reports that Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, Republican of California, has been gathering new evidence on the bombing and may call hearings.

Moore has denied involvement in the bombing in the past, although he could not be reached for new comment this week by Serrano. He claims explosive components belonging to him which were used in the bombing were stolen from him.

The latest reports are a fresh indication that vaunted FBI investigations may not be as comprehensive as first advertised.

It took the authorities 10 years, in fact, to discover the latest explosives underneath Nichols' home in Kansas. What an unpleasant surprise, and now there may be others.

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