Eyewitness Accounts of McVeigh's Execution

LINDA CAVANAUGH, KFOR-TV REPORTER: My name Linda Cavanaugh. I'm with KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City. The last time I saw Tim McVeigh was in the courtroom in Denver. He had changed markedly. He was paler, he was thinner, and he did not have the same look of arrogance that he had in the courtroom in Denver.

Today, when we came in, his head was almost shaven, as they have described. He was laying flat, but as the windows, as though you were in a bed and you were trying to see what was over the edge of it, he strained his neck to look at us. His lips were partly open, his eyes were open and when they started administering the drugs, he began staring at the ceiling.

After the first drug was administered, his lips began turning a little bit paler, his skin became pale. After they administered the next drug, it appeared that he was breathing through his mouth for the first time, as though he was trying to control his breathing. He took two or three breaths like that and then from that point on for the next several minutes, when the final drug administered until he was pronounced dead, there was no additional movement from Timothy McVeigh.

It was very orchestrated, clinical procedure.

CAVANAUGH: I think it went fairly much as they had planned it. The marshal who was in the room and the warden who were in the room stood with their arms crossed in front of them, seldom looking at Timothy McVeigh. And the atmosphere in the press room was one of almost wonderment at what was transpiring in front of you: watching a man die.

The procedure began when they said, "We are ready. You may proceed." At that point, they began the execution process. It culminated when the warden pronounced him dead at 7:14.

SUSAN CARLSON, WLS RADIO, CHICAGO: My name is Susan Carlson. I'm a reporter with WLS Radio in Chicago.

When we walked in the room, we saw him just a few feet in front of us, and he was wrapped tightly in a white sheet. And he almost looked like a mummy. And he deliberately lifted up his head and looked at one of us each by each. He took the time to make eye contact with each of us. And he was slowly nodding as he was looking at each of us across the room, the media witnesses, and the relative and the victim witnesses who were in a room adjacent to us.

After he looked at everybody, he put his head back down and he stared straight up at the ceiling. And his eyes did not move from that position for the rest of the procedure. In fact, I didn't even see him blink once after they started administering the drugs. And he died with his eyes open. As he laid back in position and they started administering all the drugs, his breathing became a little more shallow.

At one point, he filled up his cheeks with air and then just kind of let it go. But I don't believe that was his last breath. There was still some shallow breathing that followed. His skin began to turn a very strange shade of yellow towards the end. And he remained extremely rigid.

CARLSON: I think as a reporter, you cover a lot of things and we've seen dead bodies, but the most chilling part of this was the fact — for me at least — that he took the time to look up and look at each of us in the eye and there was almost a sense of pride as he nodded his head, laid back down, and seemed very resigned to his fate.

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