A few weeks after the reports first implicated Nichols and McVeigh in the bombing, Lana Padilla, Terry Nichols' ex-wife, contacted me saying she wanted to reveal information about her ex-husband. With the type of work I do and as important as this story was, I could not help but think this would be another huge feather in my professional headdress. After numerous telephone conversations, I realized that Lana and Terry's son Josh were just as amazed about Terry's role in the bombing as everyone else, and they really didn't have anything to offer to the story at that time. Because of the size of the story and Lana being who she was, I had no doubt that a book could be written from her point of view, but I passed. Ten years later, Terry Nichols revealed information to Lana, and timing became a factor in developing her second book with me.
What I did find intriguing was the call I received from someone who identified himself as "John Doe Number Two." The man told me that he had been falsely implicated in the bombing disaster. After a little investigation, I found that his only crime, which wasn't a crime at all, was wearing a shirt that resulted in false implication. His name was Todd Bunting. After a little work on his situation, we were able to help him prove that he was innocent of anything with regard to the bombing, and he was able to go on quietly with his life.
There are different types of reactions from people who are thrust into the public eye or think they are in a position to be thrust into it. Some are just plain scared. They do not want any attention and just want the situation to pass. Some crave the limelight; they get a high out of the attention given for being involved in something people think is important. There are the ones who really do want the truth to be told; who, in many cases, will put themselves at risk to make sure it is. Others use the attention as a cleansing process, getting things off their chest that they have held inside for a long time or nobody believed.
There are as many different reasons people get involved in the media machine as there are stories. The ones I watch out for are those I call opportunity seekers. These are the people who see getting my attention as their shot at making it in the entertainment business, and they are willing to bend the truth or just plain lie to get in front of the camera or see their names in print. When someone from the media wants to talk to you, you become more important. Sometimes, what the opportunity seekers say cannot be trusted. I have no problem with people pursuing their dreams or making some money. I do have a problem with people being dishonest to get there.