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In Others Unknown, Stephen Jones, Timothy McVeigh's lawyer in his trial for the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Office Building in Oklahoma City, provides the fullest possible account of the worst act of terrorism in American history. In a complete revision of his 1998 hardcover, Jones tells for the first time the whole story of his investigation of the case, including what he was told by McVeigh and what he learned about others involved in the conspiracy. His account differs significantly from the tale McVeigh is telling as he faces execution for his crimes.
In interviews with Buffalo News journalists, reported in their recently released book American Terrorist(ReganBooks, April 2000), McVeigh claims total responsibility for the bombing, saying "It was my choice and my control to hit that building when it was full." In Others Unknown Jones sets the record straight, saying what he could not say when he first wrote this book, before McVeigh effectively waived attorney-client privilege: that based on what he learned as McVeigh's counsel, Jones knows that the bombing was a conspiracy, and that McVeigh was not its mastermind. "I'm not trying to say he was innocent. He has exaggerated his guilt to protect others. He played a role, but he was a foot soldier, a mule, not the general," says Jones.
"I know it did not happen the way he tells it in his book."
Jones reports in detail what McVeigh told him as the case progressed; explains why McVeigh did not plead guilty; and shows McVeigh's real role in the conspiracy and how he obstructed his own defense. This is the definitive historical record of a heinous act of murderous rage; an account indispensable to understanding what happened. And, says PublicAffairs CEO and publisher Peter Osnos:
"We think it's important that Tim McVeigh not be given the final word."
Posted June 15, 2001
The building where I work is one block from the site of the Murrah Building. My office actually overlooks the site and I witnessed first hand the devastation of half the building being blown away in the twinkling of an eye. I am intriqued--if not compelled--to learn as much as I can about what REALLY happened in my 'backyard.' Now after reading Stephen Jones' OTHERS UNKNOWN, I have a much better understanding. Although Jones tends to jump around in giving his account and at times this makes following the timeline of events a bit hard, overall his book is a virtual banquet of 'food for thought.' It is obvious McVeigh did not act alone. From Jones' account, McVeigh was not even the main perpertrator, but merely a 'scapegoat'--one who took the blame to divert it from the true culprits. It also reaffirmed the thoughts I had during McVeigh's trial that there were too many descrepancies and 'holes' in witnesses' accounts. Jones' intriquingly delves into this with the tenancious scrutiny of a truly gifted trial lawyer. He allows you inside his mind and the picture you see emerging is truly shocking and scary. One or two people could not have pulled this off, so who did? Where are they now? Why did the Government not pursue the other good, solid witness leads? I know after reading this book, I feel differently about our government and the details surrounding the bombing. I encourage all Americans to 'read and to beware.' If 'they' are still out there--as Jones' contends--the Murrah bombing tragedy could happen again. And next time, it may be in YOUR backyard.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 13, 2001
The author, Timothy McVeigh's former lead defense attorney, sets out to sow the seeds of doubt concerning Timothy Mcveigh's role in the OCB, diminishing Tim's role to that of an appointed patsy in a much larger scheme. Unfortunately, these seeds neither take root in the FBI, which was not interested in even entertaining the thought of a possible conspiracy despite unresolved facts, nor in the minds of the jurors- minds, Steven Jones asserts with logical argument and careful observation, which likely were already biased against McVeigh from the onset, a contributing factor leading to an unfair trial for McVeigh. ... Conspiracy: a phone call to the Department of Justice in DC stating that the Murrah building had been bombed, half an hour BEFORE the explosion actually occurred; the Murrah building being on prior 'bombing' lists by various groups, and being scoped by another person dear to this story mentioned in the book when Tim was just in high school and had not yet even met this person! ... Unresolved facts: an extra LEG at the crime scene...still UNIDENTIFIED...John DOE #2? McVeigh allegedly alone, ordering dinner at the Dreamland Motel, but the delivery person described SOMEONE ELSE answering the door, and this is just the tip of the iceberg, as Jones recounts the testimonies of the Ryder rental shop employees, at least one of whom described someone OTHER THAN MCVEIGH. ... FBI Obfuscation: The government had an obligation to hand over all exculpatory evidence to the defense team, but always dragged its feet and tried to hide as much as possible. FBI laboratory analysis ineptitude: a given, with supporting facts. McVeigh's clothing: kept in a PAPER BAG, not a sealed, plastic bag, which allowed all sorts of contaminants to taint it, including even McVeigh's own personal gun. ... Unfair Trial: This needs to be read firsthand, as Jones is the expert here. Bottom line: biased jury, and a possibly biased judge who wouldn't allow Jones to even present much of the conspiracy evidence and prime witness testimony (i.e., Carol Howe). Although this may not have proved McVeigh innocent, it would certainly have created REASONABLE DOUBT in any individual with a functioning brain. ... (I have read 'American Terrorist,' by Michel and Herbeck, and mention is never made in that book about the phone call, the extra leg, and FBI obfuscation, though it does gloss over the possibility that the trial may have been unfair.) ... 'Other's Unknown' is a MUST READ for those who want a more complete story that only Timothy McVeigh's lead defense attorney can offer. This book is not a personal book about Timothy, the young man, but is strictly related to the development of McVeigh's defense and the obstacles faced by the defense team.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 25, 2001
I am a good citizen, and I love our flag and our country. However, after reading this work, one has to think about the irregularities that go on in the deep, dark caves of our government. Equal Justice under law, may be after all, an allegoric phrase on a building in Washington, DC. Good job for Mr. Jones. Great person, great attorney. Others in his field should learn from this book. I highly recommend it whether you hate Timothy McVeigh, whether you hate our government, or you just don't have an opinion about this subject yet.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 5, 2001
I was very impressed with the book Stephen Jones has written. I had previously read the book, `American Terrorist¿ and was curious to see how Mr. Jones's side of the story would stand up to Timothy McVeigh¿s. On almost every count, Mr. Jones states very unequivocally that Timothy McVeigh was by far not the only and sole person responsible for the bombing of the Murrah Building. He points out many inconsistencies of Tim¿s story. I truly feel at a lose for words to describe the book. I am saddened the courts and the jury never got to see all of Mr. Jones¿s brilliant work; because I truly feel that if they did, Mr. McVeigh¿s sentence would be much different than it stands now. All I can say is, read the book and discover the truth for yourself. I think you¿ll be amazed at what you find. I¿ll end with a quote from Tim¿s first lawyer, Susan Otto, ¿When you everything I know, Stephen, and you will soon enough, you will never think of the United States of America in the same way.¿ I¿d have to say the same thing about `Others Unknown¿.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.