Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

FBI Issues Alert for 2 in Bombing New Sketch of Suspect Out

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

FBI Issues Alert for 2 in Bombing New Sketch of Suspect Out

Article excerpt

Federal authorities put out an alert Monday for two men said to be associates of Oklahoma City bombing suspect Timothy McVeigh. The men were said to be potential witnesses in the case.

One of the men, identified as Gary Allen Land, was said by sources to bear some resemblance to "John Doe 2," the unidentified key suspect sought in the bombing.

The FBI also issued a new composite sketch of John Doe 2, a stocky man in a baseball cap, and described him as "very tan" and muscular - perhaps a weight lifter.

On April 19, the day of the bombing, investigators believe Land and a man identified as Robert Jacks checked into a motel in Perry, Okla., the same town where McVeigh was arrested on a motor vehicle violation 90 minutes after the blast. That same day, the two men checked into another motel in Vinita, a town in northeastern Oklahoma. "We want to know why they checked into two motels the same day," an investigator said.

Federal law-enforcement officials said the trail of the two men provided the strongest lead yet in the search for a second suspect and for a wider circle of conspirators who they believe were responsible for the explosion.

Investigators have linked Land and Jacks to McVeigh based on accounts of witnesses in Kingman, Ariz., where all three men stayed in cheap motels in the weeks before the bombing.

McVeigh, a drifting former serviceman with ties to paramilitary groups in Michigan and Arizona, stayed from Feb. 11 to Feb. 17 at the Hilltop motel and from March 31 to April 12 at the Imperial - both in Kingman - leaving to drive east one week before the bombing.

Land and Jacks rented an apartment at the nearby El Trovatore Motel, according to motel manager Bill Terranova, from Nov. 3 through April 3. Terranova in a phone interview described the men as loners and recalled that they drank lots of beer and were unemployed, saying they lived off Jacks' pension. When they left, Jacks said they were heading to Oklahoma, where he had children.

Terranova said he never saw McVeigh with the men, although he did recall seeing McVeigh in a neighborhood Tru-Value hardware store.

***** `Like Barney Fife'

The two men surfaced again twice on April 19 - once at an unidentified motel in Perry and that evening at Deward and Pauline's Motel in Vinita, 180 miles northeast of Oklahoma City. They stayed there until Monday, April 24.

Juanita Crafton, wife of the manager of the motel, said in a phone interview that the two men arrived in a white 1981 Thunderbird with Arizona plate JWK923. Crafton said her husband told the FBI that one of the men, believed to be Land, whom she described as muscular and about 190 pounds, bore a strong resemblance to John Doe 2. The other man was thin - "like Barney Fife" of "The Andy Griffith Show," Crafton said. …

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