John Doe No. 2 and the Dreamland Motel

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Overview

On April 19, 1995, a truck bomb exploded just outside of Oklahoma City?s Murrah Federal Building, killing 168 people. Within a matter of hours, the FBI launched the largest manhunt in U.S. history, identifying the suspects as Timothy James McVeigh and John Doe No. 2, a stocky twentysomething with a distinctive tattoo on his left arm. Eventually the FBI retracted the elusive mystery man as a bombing suspect altogether, proclaiming that McVeigh had acted alone and that John Doe No. 2 was the by-product of ...

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John Doe No. 2 and the Dreamland Motel

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Overview

On April 19, 1995, a truck bomb exploded just outside of Oklahoma City’s Murrah Federal Building, killing 168 people. Within a matter of hours, the FBI launched the largest manhunt in U.S. history, identifying the suspects as Timothy James McVeigh and John Doe No. 2, a stocky twentysomething with a distinctive tattoo on his left arm. Eventually the FBI retracted the elusive mystery man as a bombing suspect altogether, proclaiming that McVeigh had acted alone and that John Doe No. 2 was the by-product of unreliable eyewitness testimony in the wake of the attack.

Womack recreates the events that led up to this fateful day from the perspective of John Doe No. 2—or JD, as he is referred to in the book. With his ironic and curiously detached persona, JD narrates—from a second-person point of view—his secret life with McVeigh, Terry Nichols, and others in America’s militia culture as McVeigh and JD crisscross the Midwest in McVeigh’s beloved Chevy Geo Spectrum.
 John Doe No. 2 and the Dreamland Motel is the tragicomic account of McVeigh’s last desperate months of freedom, as he prepared to unleash one ofthe deadliest acts of domestic terrorism in the nation’s history. Womack’s novel traces one man’s downward spiral toward the act of evil that will brand his name in infamy and another’s desperate hope to save his friend’s soul before it’s too late.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“A bold attempt to inhabit the mind of an individual whose very existence remains in dispute, and in doing so Womack makes this phantom figure seem remarkably real. This is the power of good fiction, of course, and Womack pulls it off spectacularly, mixing historical detail of the 1995 Murrah Building bombing in Oklahoma City and of domestic terrorist Timothy McVeigh with vividly imagined details of John Doe's possible unwilling involvement.”—Dinty W. Moore, author of Between Panic & Desire

“An engaging read. Addresses issues of domestic terrorism that are still significant today in the national debate. The suspense is sustained throughout the narrative. Womack's novel leaves us with the poignantly uneasy reminder that it is not that hard to become a fallen Quaker, or fallen war hero.”—Ray Petersen, author of Cowkind and the editor of Drummed Out

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780875806402
  • Publisher: Northern Illinois University Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2010
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 236
  • Sales rank: 1,461,652
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Kenneth Womack is Professor of English and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Penn State University’s Altoona College. He is the author of numerous works of nonfiction, including Long and Winding Roads: The Evolving Artistry of the Beatles.

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Read an Excerpt

Lying on the dresser are mounds of receipts. From filling stations, mostly, across the Heartland. There’s a receipt for $2,775 worth of nitromethane gas—whatever that is—from an Ennis, Texas, racetrack. And another for ammonium nitrate from a farm co-op in McPherson, Kansas.

And then you see it: a handful of crystals lying in a baggie in the top dresser drawer. A stray meth pipe and brown paper bags. Numerous brown paper bags. Ghastly evidence.
Timothy McVeigh is gone, you think. Too far gone.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 9, 2010

    Highly Recommended - even if you are not intitially intrigued by the Timothy McVeigh/Oklahoma City Bombing, you will be after reading this book.

    If this expertly crafted tale gets the attention it deserves, it is surely bound for the NYT Bestsellers List. I became so intensely involved in this story, that I read it in two days & was sorely disappointed when it came to an end. I have just joined a book club through my local bookstore, and this is the book we have elected for our next read. The subject in general generates discussion, but the book brings even more intrigue to the Timothy McVeigh story & the possiblity of an unknown accomplice. And how refreshing to read a well-written thriller.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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