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Timothy McVeigh Executed in Terre Haute, Indiana

Aired June 11, 2001 - 09:39   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: A reminder to our viewers, from the White House in Washington, we do anticipate President Bush coming to the microphone soon to make a statement as well. But we have been taking the reaction not only from Oklahoma City, but also here in Terre Haute.

Earlier today, we are informed that the warden said Timothy McVeigh, prior to the time that he was executed was quote, "calm and cooperative" and reporters, 10 of them who were inside to witness it, say McVeigh was still, and when he came into the room and was strapped to the gurney, he made eye contact with each person, each individual who had gathered in the four different witness rooms inside the execution chamber.

According to the reports from the Associated Press reporter, he has the following timeline for McVeigh's death. He says at 7:10 Central time, that's local time here in Terre Haute, 8:10 Eastern time, the first drug was administered. At 7:11 a.m. local time, the second drug was administered. Then the third and final came at 7:13. The time of death, as announced about two hours ago, came at 7:14 a.m. Timothy McVeigh, the convicted bomber in the Oklahoma City bombing of April 1995, passed away at that time.

We have heard from attorneys. We do anticipate more reaction from them shortly here in Terre Haute. But as we continue to wait here for the president to come out in Washington, it may do us quite well to check in with once again with CNN's Susan Candiotti, who is at the briefing room now to bring us up-to-date on what we did not see thus far in the past hour as we were gauging reaction from Oklahoma City.

Susan, let's check in with you and give us a gauge for what we missed while we were gone.

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, things have quieted down considerably from here. Of course, once you broke away, we got a few more details from the various reporters who had witnessed the execution. But I think that, all in all, the sense we heard from the journalists who witnessed the execution was that it was conducted in a very clinical way, and that, as you just reported, death came within four minutes from the time the first of the three medications were induced into Timothy McVeigh's system.

We understand from the warden that there was an intravenous line that was implanted in his right leg, I believe the warden said. And let us go to some sound now with the warden, who described Timothy McVeigh's demeanor throughout all of this as very cooperative.

All right, we don't have that sound available at this time, but he say that as Timothy McVeigh was briefed by prison authorities, he was indeed very helpful, very attentive to everything that they said. And that he offered them no trouble at all as he walked into the death chamber and the execution room, and that he in fact helped himself up as he stepped onto a little step and then sat down on the table.

And as you heard the witnesses described, he had a sheet pulled up, up to his neck by the time the curtains opened. You will recall -- I think one thing of note, perhaps, is that Timothy McVeigh did make a final statement, but not audibly and this was something that was suggested, perhaps, by his attorneys who said that indeed he intended to make a final statement, and that he did not intend to cause any more pain.

Well, it would appear from listening to the family members that he did indeed cause some pain, although he did read what he had was this written statement of which we have a copy in his own handwriting, as you can see. Final statement, and copied written in 1875 called "Invictus," written by William Ernest Henley, and if I have time, I could read just a couple of lines from it.

He said: "I have not winched nor cried allowed. My head is bloody, but I'm bowed."

Bill, back to you.

HEMMER: All right, Susan. A short time, you may have seen while Susan was talking, the hearse, the black hearse entering the prison grounds here. At this time, McVeigh's body will be handed over to the local coroner. We do anticipate, through McVeigh's words and wishes, that his body will be cremated.

Also, we continue to wait for the president and the White House. While we do that, let's check also in Washington with our Justice correspondent, Kelli Arena, who has information now from Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Kelli, hello to you.

KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Bill. As you know, the attorney general was in Oklahoma City. He did not view Timothy McVeigh's execution, but was just there to be with victims and their families. He just issued a statement, which I will read to you.

He went to meet privately with victims and victim's families today so he could thank them for their guidance throughout the process, so he could thank them for their patience during the delay, and most importantly, so he could once again express his deep sorrow for the loss of loved ones in this terrible tragedy.

That statement from Attorney General John Ashcroft, who is on his way back to Washington, D.C. The Justice Department would not confirm for us where the attorney general was. They cited security reasons, but as we know, he was in Oklahoma City with victims and their families -- Bill.

HEMMER: All right, Kelli. Back in mid-May, you may remember, the attorney general had requested that this execution be delayed only six days prior to the scheduled execution original date. The number of documents that came out from the FBI, more than 4,400 documents. At the time, the attorney general felt it was best to pause and wait nearly a month and indeed that is what happened here.

On June 11, 2001, 7:14 a.m. Central time, Timothy McVeigh was declared dead here at the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana.

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