AP NEWS
Related topics

Mailing Company Reveals Details About Bombing Suspect’s Life

April 28, 1995

KINGMAN, Ariz. (AP) _ Oklahoma City bombing suspect Timothy McVeigh picked up his mail at the same private postal service used by an Arizona militia leader convicted in a foiled attempt to hijack an armored car.

McVeigh began renting a box at The Mail Room in May 1993 in this rural northwest Arizona town.

He came in for his mail about two or three times a week, usually wearing combat boots and military fatigues, business manager Lynda Willoughby said Thursday.

``I didn’t know him very well,″ she said. ``He was quiet and always polite, though.″

McVeigh lived in a trailer park outside Kingman from June through September 1993. He was last seen picking up his mail in early April, Willoughby said. The previous month, he told her that he would be going out of town and made arrangements for friends to get the mail.

One of those friends bore a striking resemblance to a sketch of John Doe 2, Willoughby said, referring to an unidentified suspect sought in the Oklahoma bombing.

But, she added, ``I can’t guarantee it. It was some time ago and it was only once.″

Michael Fortier, a friend whose address McVeigh listed as his home on the post office rental, was the other person who picked up the mail, Willoughby said. Fortier lived for a time near Fort Riley, where McVeigh served in the Army.

``We’ve talked to that fellow, and he’s not John Doe Number 2,″ a law enforcement official in Washington said of Fortier. ``We’re not sure what if any involvement he may have had,″ the official said, speaking on condition of anonynity.

After McVeigh’s arrest, the contents of his mailbox were seized by FBI agents who ordered Willoughby to turn over any future mail addressed to him.

According to a statement issued Thursday by the Anti-Defamation League, McVeigh used the alias ``T. Tuttle″ when he advertised for sale a military style launcher that can be modified from use with flares to explosives.

The 1993 ad ran in The Spotlight, a publication put out by the anti-Semitic Liberty Lobby, the ADL said. McVeigh listed his Kingman mail drop as his address, the ADL said.

The FBI has said McVeigh has used the names ``Terry Tuttle″ and ``Tim Tuttle.″

Federal agents asked Willoughby to contact them the next time she saw another one of her customers _ Jack Maxwell Oliphant, described by the FBI as a leader of the right-wing militia, the Arizona Patriots.

Oliphant, 71, was convicted of conspiracy in 1987 with two other people in a plan to bomb and rob an armored car carrying casino money to and from Laughlin, a gambling town in nearby Nevada.

Oliphant admitted that money from the heist was intended to build a compound for a group associated with white supremacists who believe Jews are the root of society’s evil, according to FBI reports.

Oliphant served four years in prison on the conspiracy charge, then returned to his ranch in mountains about 40 miles east of Kingman. He has refused to speak to reporters.

Willoughby, who has known Oliphant and his family for several years, said she does not know whether he knew of McVeigh.

AP RADIO
Update hourly