ON THE TRAIL OF JOHN DOE #2
by: Dan Yurman w...@igc.apc.org
Special to the Econet Western Lands Gopher Service
Author ID: Dan Yurman lives in Eagle Rock, Idaho, about 40 miles from
the Wyoming border.
Original Dateline -- 5/26/96
(updated with new information -- 8/5/96
Who is John Doe #2 and why hasn't the government found
him? A former German military officer may hold the key to Doe's
identity, but the FBI reportedly isn't very interested in this
lead. Why is John Doe #2 important? The reason is he is the
alleged "helper" and mystery man who may have aided Tim McVeigh
in the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal building on April 19,
1995 which killed 168 people.
Further, why is the Alabama militia movement posting wild
conspiracy tales about John Doe's alleged identity on the
Internet, and why has this group been spectacularly successful in
attracting the attention of mainstream big city newspapers?
Andreas Strassmeir may know who John Doe #2 is, but he's
not talking and has left the country. Now living in Germany,
Strassmeir, age 37, not only met Tim McVeigh, but also lived at a
white supremacist compound in Oklahoma. John Doe #2 is alleged
to have been Strassmeir's roommate at Elohim City, OK, an
"intentional community" of Chistian Identity believers and
sometime home to many activists in neo-Nazi and other extreme
right wing causes.
Strassmeir has been interviewed in Germany by American
television network news and other American news media. He's also
the subject of a court suit filed by families of the victims and
survivors of the OKC bombing who allege he knows more than he's
talking about to the press.
One of the most startling pieces of information to turn
up is that John Doe #2 may not be "middle eastern" in appearance,
but may be Italian. This could account for the widespread
reports of a "swarthy" man who was identified as having breakfast
with McVeigh and Nichols at the Santa Fe Diner in Herrington, KS,
on April 18, 1995. The same description is the basis for the FBI
composite drawing circulated all over the country. He is
believed to have been with McVeigh at the time he rented the
Ryder truck used in the bombing. John Doe #2 has not yet been
In a series of Internet posting activists within the
militia movement have alleged he is Michael Brescia of
Philadelphia, PA [Judy Thomas, Kansas City Star, 6/23/96; and
Ambrose Evans Pritchard, London Sunday Telegraph, 6/30/96]
Brescia once lived at Elohim City as Strassmeir's roommate, but
is now missing and believed fled to Canada. He closely resembles
the FBI's widely circulated composite drawing but lacks the
muscular build ascribed to the suspect.
Strassmeir is closely linked with attorney Kirk Lyons who
has defended many US neo-Nazis in court proceedings. Lyons, who
has deep contacts with neo-Nazis in Germany, also defended Louis
Beam, who coined the idea of "leaderless resistance." This
strategy is thought to be behind a nationally significant series
of abortion clinic fire bombings alleged to have been carried out
by militia supporters or sympathizers. It may have been the
inspiration for the OKC bombing.
Strassmeir & McVeigh
What puts Strassmeir in the crosshairs of analysis is his
admitted meetings with McVeigh not only at a Tulsa, OK, gun show
in April 1993, but also a second time in 1994 at the first
anniversary service at Mt. Carmel near Waco, TX, where more than
80 Branch Davidians died April 19, 1993. Strassmeir has a number
of ambiguous and confusing roles.
McVeigh telephoned Elohim City on April 5, 1995, asking
to speak to Strassmeir who was living there at the time. The
call was made the same day McVeigh rented the Ryder truck which
was eventually blown up in front of the Murrah Federal Office
Building. However, Strassmeir says through his attorney, Kirk
Lyons, that he didn't take the call and didn't know about it
until much later.
Elohim City has so many white supremacists with violent
backgrounds associated with it that it could be the next place
involved in a confrontation with law enforcement agencys like
those involving the Monatna Freemen, Texas Branch Davidians, and
Idaho's Randy Weaver at Ruby Ridge.
Too Many Secrets
Many of the mysteries associated with the OKC bombing
have their trails running to ground and disappearing at Elohim
City. These include the identity of John Doe #2, the mystery of
the second Ryder Truck, McVeigh's phone call, and links to
various underground cells of the militia movement like Ray
Lampley, convicted earlier this month of planning to blow up the
office of the SPLC and ADL. The Aryan Republican Army bank
robbers, including Kevin McCarthy and Richard Guthrie, also
stayed at Elohim City at one time, and may have been there the
same time as Strassmeir.
A key mystery is there are too many vehicles and not
enough people accounted for in front of the OKC Federal Bldg the
morning of April 19th. For instance, who drove McVeigh's car to
Oklahoma City if McVeigh and Nichols were in the Ryder Rental
truck that carried the explosive? If Nichols drove the car, who
was in the truck with McVeigh?
Is Strassmeir the key to these mysteries or is he a red
herring? Is Strassmeir a real link to America's underground neo-
Nazi movement or is he being touted part of a disinformation
strategy by the McVeigh defense team to sow confusion in the
minds of potential jurors and thus spare McVeigh and Nichols from
the death penalty?
Soldiers of Fortune?
Some think he's an agent of the government, and other
think he's just a "soldier of fortune" type who hung out with the
wrong people. An unresolved question is how Strassmeir is linked
to Vincent Petruskie, a former U.S. Air Force Colonel who spent
much of his career in counter-intelligence assignments. When
Strassmeir was stopped for a traffic check by the Oklahoma State
Police in 1992 copies of correspondence with Petruskie were found
in the car's trunk.
For his part, Petruskie has been quoted by several
sources as saying he helped Strassmeir come to this country to
participate in a reenactment of the US Civil War battle of
Gettysburg held in 1989. Strassmeir's letters to the now
retired Air Force Colonel asked for help in obtaining employment
with various law enforcement agencies of the Federal government.
Petruskie is quoted as saying none of the job leads panned out
beause Strassmeir did not have a "green card," only a tourist
visa. Despite his temorary status, Strassmeir managed to stay
in the US for nearly eight years.
Strassmeir doesn't look anything like the composite
drawing of John Doe #2, even with a baseball cap on his head.
It's what's inside his head that people want to know.
The Militia Movement Thinks It Knows
Who is John Doe #2 and why does the militia movement
think it's Michael Brescia? On May 26, 1996, I wrote the article
you've just read article on the bombing of the Federal building
in Oklahoma City. I explored the question of whether former
Elohim City, OK, resident Andreas Strassmeir, a German national
now age 37, was connected in some way with the identity of John
Doe #2, the mystery man alleged by the FBI to have been a part of
the bombing along with Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols.
I posted this article on the Internet to see what others
knew about the subject. One startling response was to find
myself placed on the email distribution of a private group within
the militia movement. Members of this list shared an almost
obsessive interest in the subject of who else, besides McVeigh
and Nichols, might have been involved in the plot to blow up the
Oklahoma City federal building.
I did not ask to be placed on this Internet email list,
and it's not something I would have chosen to do. I am not a
supporter nor even sympathetic to the aims and beliefs of the
militia movement. Perhaps the list owner knows this since I have
written widely on the Idaho militia movement and have been
profiled and quoted in several mainstream newspapers, including
the New York Times on 9/27/95, for these efforts. However, I
continue to receive mailings.
The results are some insights into what the militia
movement considers to be important about the Oklahoma City
bombing. So far, the list has received 17 separate email
postings since mid-June 1996.
Who Is Behind the Green Curtain?
Is the militia movement's interest in "solving" the
Oklahoma City bombing really a dis-information campaign full of
the proverbial smoke and mirrors? Is the militia movement trying
to distract the public's attention from its links to the two
primary suspects - Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols? To get a feel
for a good example of the popular origins of the idea of smoke
and mirrors v. reality, one need only turn to the movies.
In the movie classic "Wizard of OZ," Dorothy and her
companions arrive at the palace of the Wizard of Oz only to be
confronted by a fearsome visage wreathed with explosions of fire
and smoke - namely, an image of the wizard. He shouts at and
berates the travelers and sets their knees knocking with fear.
While this is happening, Dorothy's dog Toto pulls back a
curtain on one side of the Wizard's hall to reveal a balding, pot
bellied, old man manipulating a series of levers and speaking
into a sound system. Upon being found out, the image of the
Wizard thunders, "pay no attention to that man behind the
curtain, he is my assistant." Well, he's not. He's the real
Wizard, and he eventually agrees to help Dorothy and her friends.
Militia Media Campaign
Not all images created with smoke and mirrors wind up
with happy endings or even get resolved to find the truth. In
June 1996 militia leader Mike Vanderboegh of Pinson, Alabama,
[email: mo1...@aol.com] began sending me copies of news media
clippings on who he thought was responsible for the Oklahoma City
The two most important clippings are an article by Judy
Thomas of the Kansas City Star of 6/23/96 and an article by
Ambrose-Evans Pritchard of the London Sunday Telegraph of
6/30/96. Both articles cite as their sources the Glenn (wife
Kathy) Wilburn family who lost two grandchildren in OKC bombing.
Who's the Primary Source?
What these article do not cite is Vanderboegh's role as a
source and link to militia support groups who have helped the
Wilburns in their private investigation of the OKC bombing.
Vanderboegh has bragged repeatedly on the Internet about his
communications with Pritchard. However, these claims have been
posted solely to the private mailing list he established and not
in the public Usenet group on the Internet titled
What these articles also do not cite is a steady stream
of articles written by one J.D. Cash of the McCurtin Daily
Gazette in Idabel, Oklahoma. [Post of 7/16/96 attached] Even
James Rigdeway of the Village Voice, who has written extensively
about the extreme right wing in America, did not know about the
Militia movement's role as a source for information and supporter
of the Wilburn's quest for justice.
In July 1996 I spoke by phone with Ridgeway. He and I
agree that there are many allegations made by Vanderboegh which
cannot be proven. Indeed, some are contradictory and others
simply strain at common sense. However, there are enough
questions raised, which won't go away, which make what he has to
Pin the Tail on the Donkey?
Cash's articles and Vanderoegh's postings all drive to
centering the nexus of conspiracy plans for the Oklahoma city
bombing at Elohim City, an intentional community of Christian
Identity and neo-Nazi sympathizers. In April 1995 Tim McVeigh
made a phone call to Elohim City asking to speak to Andreas
Strassmeir. What's significant about the call is that McVeigh
placed it minutes after he rented the Ryder truck found to have
been blown up in the blast in front of the Oklahoma City Federal
office building on April 19, 1995.
Toto, We're Not in Kansas Anymore!
Why would the militia movement want to help the Wilburns?
Why would the militia movement be interested in "investigating"
an act of domestic terrorism with which it has been closely
identified? Further, why would the militia movement be
interested in putting distance between itself and its well
documented links to American neo-Nazis?
The answers are the militia movement wants legitimacy in
the political mainstream which it can't get as long as it is
tagged with the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building.
Further, if it can position itself as a foe of Nazi influences,
instead of being a haven for them, it could gain members which
might otherwise stay away. The militia movement believes that if
it can point the finger of blame at anyone who is a Nazi, e.g.,
visitor or resident of Elohim City, and who is not linked to the
militia movement, that it can lift a burden of negative public
perception from its shoulders.
Some in the militia movement have woven fantastic
conspiracy theories which allege that Strassmeir was an
informant for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms (BATF)
and knew that the bombing was going to take place. These same
theories allege the bombing was a "sting" operation which went
sour. The only point in mentioning these conspiracy theories is
to indicate how far some in the militia movement will go to point
the finger of blame in some other direction.
Seventh Inning Stretch
To use a baseball analogy, here is a box score of what
Vanderboegh has alleged in his Internet postings.
** The Wilburns
Mike Vanderboegh of Pinson, Alabama, is in direct
communication with the Glenn Wilburn family [email:
gwil...@aol.com] in Oklahoma City, OK, who lost two
grandchildren in the OKC bombing. The Wilburns believe, without
having a whole lot of physical evidence besides some photographs,
that Andreas Strassmeir, a German national who lived in the US
for eight year, knows who John Doe #2 is. They further believe
that if they can find John Doe #2 they will have solved the
mystery of who helped Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols kill their
grandchildren and make sure all the guilty parties receive the
To that end they have a filed a civil suit which could be
actionable if Strassmeir ever returns to the US. It would compel
him to answer questions they believe the FBI has not asked. The
Wilburns have told Judy Thomas, a reporter for the Kansas City
Star, that they believe Michael Brescia, of Philadelphia, PA, is
John Doe #2. Thomas published this in the Kansas City Star on
** Strassmeir at Elohim City
James Ridgeway, a columnist for the Village Voice, NY,
published similar information, but with a highly skeptical slant,
on 7/16/96 and a follow-up article on 7/23/96. Last winter, in
separate articles and visits, Ridgeway and Thomas filed
on-the-ground reports from Elohim City, OK, an intentional
neo-Nazi community where Strassmeir and Brescia lived in 1994/95.
Ambrose Evans Pritchard of the London Telegraph
interviewed Strassmeir for five hours in London in May 1996, and
published a column with similar information, plus Strassmeir's
denials through his attorney, Kirk Lyons, on 6/30/96. Strassmeir
lived at Elohim City during 1994-1995 and left the U.S. after a
falling out with that group.
The Wilburns may be on the right track in trying to
compel Strassmeir to tell what he knows. However, if a top
reporter from a major European newspaper couldn't get a
consistent story from Strassmeir after five hours of interviews,
what do the Wilburns think they'll accomplish with a U.S. Federal
*** Aryan Bank Robbers
J.D. Cash, a reporter for the McCurtain Daily Gazette,
Idabel, OK, wrote on 7/16/96 that Mark Thomas, a long-time
Christian Identity disciple, who lives just outside Philadelphia,
is believed to have known Brescia, Strassmeir, others at Elohim
City, and is thought to have known Richard Guthrie and Kevin
McCarthy, the Aryan Republican Army bank robbers arrested this
Spring for a string of midwestern bank heists in which the
thieves wore coats with the letters 'FBI' emblazoned on the back.
In fact, Thomas appears to be the one connection all of these
people have with Elohim City.
In a startling turn of events, Guthrie was found dead in
his jail cell in Covington, KY, on Friday 7/12/96. The official
preliminary finding is that he hanged himself with a bedsheet.
Significantly, Guthrie had promised to tell the FBI who in the
neo-Nazi movement he gave the proceeds to of a series of midwest
Dennis Mahon, another leader in the neo-Nazi movement,
who lives near Elohim City, told Ridgeway (column of 7/23/96) he
(Mahon) believes Guthrie was murdered for agreeing to tell what
he knows to the FBI and because he knew too much about the cash,
which has never been recovered, from Guthrie's bank robberies. A
few days before he died Guthrie reportedly told his attorney the
money was given to underground cells of the Aryan Nation.
** The murder of the William Mueller family
The body William Mueller, age 53, an Arkansas gun dealer,
former special forces soldier, and militia/patriot activist, was
found at the bottom of a river in Arkansas this June along with
the bodies of his wife, age 28, and her eight-year old daughter.
They all disappeared from their home last January.
All three had black plastic bags tied around their heads.
Mueller's home had been robbed of $30,000-$50,000 in gold,
silver, and guns in 1995. Law enforcement officials believe
Mueller knew who the robbers were and that they came back to
prevent the family from talking.
Mueller had complained to other militia members that
Andreas Strassmeir and Michael Brescia, who were roommates at
Elohim City, came to one of the gun shows where he was exhibiting
and harassed him about his militia/patriot literature. Mike
Vanderboegh charges that they might know who killed the
One theory is that Richard Coombs, a violent neo-Nazi
activist wanted for the assassination style killing of a Missouri
state tropper, is a more likely suspect as Mueller's real killer.
Coombs is known to have visited Mueller at least once. There is
no known link between Coombs and Strassmeir or Brescia.
More recently, a rumor emerged that one of Mueller's
guns, possibly pistol, showed up among the weapons confiscated by
the FBI in the arrest of a group of militia members in
Bellingham, WA, in July 1996. Whoever brought that gun to
Washington might know something about the Mueller murders. If it
turns out there is no such weapon, then the trail to Mueller's
murderer goes cold once again.
A Form of Organized Crime?
Another theory is that the Bellingham, WA, militia could
have links to the Phineas Priesthood, a group which is alleged to
have twice robbed and bombed the US Bank in Spokane, WA, and
which also is alleged to have bombed the Spokane, WA, offices of
the Spokesman-Review newspaper and the counseling center of
Planned Parenthood. All of the stolen vehicles used in the
Priesthood's crimes came from western Washington locations.
One rumor is that Coombs is one of the six Priesthood
members involved in these crimes. As a cult, the Priesthood
organizes itself into cells of six men each. Only two or three
are accounted for so far in terms of composite drawings released
by the FBI.
This leads us to the question of the nature of a federal
response if it turns out there are substantial links between some
militia groups and Elohim City and the Aryan bank robbers or with
the Phinaeas Priesthood. Would federal prosecutors consider
treating such groups as a form of organized crime? Would they
seek to apply the harsh penalties associated with federal laws on
So far, militia members arrested in Georgia, Arizona, and
Washington states have been charged with firearms violations and
with making plans to construct pipe bombs and target federal
buildings. Charging them with being a form of organized crime
could be more of a quantum leap than any federal prosecutor would
care to take, but the thought may have crossed some minds.
So Where Are We?
Strassmeir is living in Germany. Brescia can't be found
and is believed fled to Canada. Guthrie is dead. Thomas is
still living in Philadelphia and fending off rumors he once was a
ballet dancer in Los Angeles. The Wilburns still want revenge
and are willing to take help from anyone, even the militia
movement itself. Mahon says he and Thomnas know all the players
and the answers, but they're not telling. Coombs is still a
fugitive, armed and dangerous.
Meanwhile, bombs are still going off in America and the
militia movement continues to try to find ways to separate itself
from the events of April 19, 1995 by pointing the finger of blame
at someone else, anyone else, even if they are among the missing.
------------ start MV Sidebar -------------
Who is Mike Vanderboegh?
A militia leader from Pinson, Alabama, Vanderboegh, age
43, works in an aluminum recycling plant by day and pursues his
political aims by night. Previously affiliated with Jeff
Randall, also of the Alabama Gadsden Militia, Vanderboegh was
once a part of an effort called "Dees Watch" designed to report
on the research conducted by Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty
Legal Center (SPLC) on the militia movement itself. Endorsed by
Indiana militia leader Linda Thompson, Dees Watch fell apart, at
least publicly, for lack of financial sponsorship from fellow
The Gadsden militia achieved national attention in 1995
when they released a video tape of a picnic organized by current
and former members of the federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco &
Firearms (BATF) at which racist literature and skits were
observed. It was a major coup for the Gadsen militia, who revile
the BATF for its enforcement of firearms laws, to have given that
agency a hit in the head over its employees' racist behaviors.
Even more astonishing, given the links between some
militia groups and anti-semitic neo-nazis, is that Vanderboegh
was once quoted in the Christian Science Monitor as a spokesman
for an association of Jewish gun owners opposed to the Brady
Bill. It's not known whether Vanderboegh is Jewish. He appears
to distance himself from the usual collection of paranoid
theories associated with the militia movement. He is much closer
to some of its original reasons for being, e.g., opposition to
gun control. He does not appear to have any sympathies for
neo-Nazi or Christian Identity teachings. Indeed, he has harshly
criticized and even threatened attorney Kirk Lyons via email for
representing such groups.
Vanderboegh established an Internet mailing list in June
1995 of selected individuals who he believed would be interested
in newspaper clippings and other materials on the search for John
Doe #2. To this end he's sent out 17 items with the latest dated
There is continuing media interest in this subject. He
and some of his political allies in the militia movement have
been sources, on deep background, for mainstream media coverage
of the search for John Doe #2 including articles in the Kansas
City Star, London Sunday Telegraph, and the Philadelphia
------------ End MV Sidebar ----------------
------------ Start Militia Email Sidebar ----------
THE ALABAMA MILITIA'S EMAIL
This is the 13th of 17 email messages sent out by Mike
Vanderoegh as part of his campaign to identify and "bust" John
Doe #2. Vanderboegh begins each email with a message criticizing
the FBI for their failure to find and arrest Michael Brescia as
John Doe #2.
He types in the news article offering running commentary
separated by asterisks ****. Some of the original may not be
typed in accurately. This posting contains an article from the
McCurtain, OK, Daily Gazette which sums up much of what
Vanderboegh and others, e.g., the Wilburns, have turned up in
>From Mo1...@aol.com Sun Jul 21 14:43:33 1996
Date: Sun, 21 Jul 1996 12:11:51 -0400
To: pi...@connecti.com, Mo1...@aol.com, UnreC...@aol.com Cc:
wh...@cs.utexas.edu, HPB...@aol.com, CopW...@aol.com,
ntc...@iadfw.net, epl...@megalinx.net, TipRi...@aol.com,
JHC...@aol.com, MIP...@aol.com, A2Fa...@aol.com,
MIL...@tomlinson.com, Gloc...@aol.com, J...@crl.com,
K19...@aol.com, nry...@capecod.net, thu...@pen.net,
haw...@norden1.com, CGrib...@aol.com, Mar...@aol.com,
ts...@ix.netcom.com, rf...@dopig.uab.edu, sba...@hr.house.gov,
AHA...@aol.com, but...@connecti.com, dyu...@world.std.com,
bob...@telepath.com, QLQ...@prodigy.com, BlkJ...@aol.com,
bucq...@pilot.msu.edu, COP...@aol.com, GWil...@aol.com,
Subject: JOHN DOE #2 IDENTIFIED (PART THIRTEEN)
JOHN DOE #2 IDENTIFIED; BUT CAN WE GET THE FBI TO ARREST HIM?
By Mike Vanderboegh, 1 ACR
Well, folks, here we go with Part Two of J.D. Cash's story on the
Mutt & Jeff of the ATF, Strassmeir and Brescia. But first, a few
words from the peanut gallery....
Kirk Lyons has finally made direct contact with us, and an
amusing interchange is opened. Some of our back-and-forth will
be presented in the next edition of John Doe #2 Identified.
Also, I have been taken to task for capitalizing the commentary
in the news stories previously posted. This is, as I knew prior
to the series, the equivalent of shouting on the net. I was
convinced to capitalize the commentary early on by a fellow who
felt my commentary was not sufficiently separated from the text
and thus misled the reader. Thus, to draw attention to the break
in the story, I have now begun using an asterisk line,
******************** , and capitalizing only "TRANSCRIBER'S
NOTE". I will still use all caps on sentences that I feel
require emphasis to point out important items. Apologies to all
those gentle souls who cannot hear for all the shouting going on.
And now, without further ado, Part Thirteen-----
JOHN DOE #2 IDENTIFIED; BUT CAN WE GET THE FBI TO ARREST HIM?
PART THIRTEEN (ATTACHMENT)
McCurtain Daily Gazette
Tuesday, July 16, 1996
Agents Probe OKC Bombing Links To Bank Robberies
By J.D. Cash
Second of Two Parts
Elohim City is no stranger to problems with the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms or intrusive surveillance
techniques. Today, folks who make their home on the 400-acre
Christian Identity compound near Muldrow get a little edgy when
you bring up the names of Andy Strassmeir or some of his
It seems that Andy brought a lot of bad luck down on the white
separatist colony. Last August, when investigators for the
Timothy McVeigh defense team began showing up here, several
residents suddenly took off. "(Mike) Brescia, the Ward brothers
and Strassmeir all sort of moved about that time," recounts the
spiritual leader of the community. The Rev. Millar
continued,"Andy was sent to us by Kirk Lyons, and I still believe
Kirk is a fine patriot, but we're not so sure about Andy
(TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: But if "we're not so sure about Andy
anymore," then how can anyone be sure Kirk is "a fine patriot"
given Kirk's more- than-lawyerly relationship with "Andy?" Since
he has been in the U.S. Strassmeir has had an umbilical cord
relationship with Lyons. Wherever Andy stayed, Kirk arranged it:
The apartment in Knoxville, the place on McCue in Houston, Elohim
City, even Kirk's own place in North Carolina,. not to mention a
couple of others. We'll leave the monetary arrangements for a
more formal court, but anyone who has followed Kirk's statements
about his little pet German client over the course of the last
nine months has discerned a more-than-"everyone deserves a
The story continues....
Today's chief of security at Elohim City recalls some ideas Andy
had. "As soon as Andy arrived here," remembers Zara Patterson,"He
told me he wanted to take over the security job. I didn't care...
It was one less headache for me."
Later, Strassmeir's demands became more questionable. "Strassmeir
went out and replaced all our deer rifles with assault weapons,"
said Patterson. "Next, he wanted us to start doing illegal
stuff...a lot of illegal stuff. I kept telling Andy that we were
defensive here, and we didn't want any problems from the law.
During the mid-'80s, we had a standoff with the feds. I told him
to keep us out of trouble."
Patterson wouldn't say what the projects were that Strassmeir
wanted to do, but the Rev. Millar did shed a tiny bit of light on
the subject. "The illegal gun business!" Millar commented, "And
when I found out about it, I put a stop to it!"
Kirk Lyons, Strassmeir's attorney, still maintains that
Strassmeir was never head of security at Elohim City and that his
client would certainly never promote anything illegal. However, a
source with state law enforcement quite familiar with
intelligence reports on Elohim City residents says that
Strassmeir was believed to be operating a large-scale terrorist-
training facility at Elohim City.
Speaking on the condition that his name not be used, the source
said,"Every few months, 15 to 30 individuals from around the U.S.
would show up for a few weeks of military-style training. The
recruits," the source explained, "were primarily members of the
Aryan Nation." Among those who participated, the source said,
was Timothy McVeigh, who, it is widely believed, was a regular
visitor to the reclusive compound.
Tending to evidence this, in October 1993, McVeigh was ticketed
on a back-roads highway which winds its way past Elohim City.
And, in spite of Kirk Lyons' statements to the media, every
resident at Elohim City interviewed by the Gazette says that
Strassmeir was the head of security there until sometime after
the bombing. Elomites believe that Strassmeir and his roommate,
Mike Brescia, were stripped of their security roles because of
"training exercises" the elders thought were "too violent."
A professed revolutionary who kept a travel trailer at Elohim
City well remembers the German Strassmeir. "Yeah, I thought
Andy was a friend," explained former Oklahoma KKK leader Dennis
Mahon. He added, "I knew that he had some type of undercover
background in Germany, but I didn't think he was all that smart."
Mahon, who shares a home with his twin brother in Tulsa, is
currently the reputed No. 3 man in the Aryan Nation spin-off
White Aryan Resistance (W.A.R.).
Only a few weeks before the Oklahoma City bombing, Mahon received
a phone call from a Nebraskan who the German government has long
wanted to get their hands on. Gary Lex Lauck, dubbed the "Farm
Belt Fuhrer" by the media, had, for many years, been the primary
source of neo-Nazi materials flowing into Germany. But not
"Yeah, I got a call from Lauck sometime before the bombing...He
told me that he was making another trip to Europe. I told him he
was too hot, and he shouldn't go." Shaking his head, Mahon says
now, "He should have listened."
Mahon, who is also banned from traveling to Canada or Germany
because of his own KKK organizing activities, related how his
buddy, Lauck, was arrested when he got off the plane in Denmark.
Mahon believes the authorities knew he was coming. But how?
"Well, I did tell Strassmeir about the trip," said Mahon. "You
know, I really thought Andy was OK..."
(TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: "I really thought Andy was OK..." Well, if
even a megalomaniac dim-bulb like Mahon can figure it out, why
can't Kirk? IF, as J.D. Cash has written, Andy was an ATF agent
provocateur, and folks in the racist side of town like Louis Beam
and Dennis Mahon can figure it out, then why does a bright boy
like Kirk Lyons, a man whose personal and monetary arrangements
with his putative "client" would make him a co-conspirator in
your average, everyday drug dealer case, continue to defend him
The story continues.....
Family's Remains Located
On June 28, the remains of an Arkansas couple and an eight-year-
old child were located by a fisherman in the Illinois river bayou
near Russellville. State authorities report that the bodies had
been handcuffed at the feet and hands and their heads wrapped in
trash bags and bound with duct tape.
William Mueller, 53, a gun show dealer, his wife, Nancy, 28, and
her daughter, Sarah Powell, lived in a cabin near Tilley, Ark.
Authorities believe they were abducted from their home on Jan. 5
of this year. Neighbors say the couple's place had been broken
into and there were some signs of trouble inside, but no blood.
Since the bodies were discovered, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette
has been regularly reporting on the story. The eerie similarities
to another robbery of an Arkansas gun dealer have caused
investigators to examine possible connections to suspected
members of the Oklahoma City bombing conspiracy.
On Nov. 5,1994, a Royal, Ark., gun dealer was robbed and bound
with duct tape. His life spared, Roger Moore lived to tell
authorities that he suspected a former house guest, Timothy
McVeigh. Later, a federal Grand Jury reported that the robbery
was indeed linked to McVeigh, Nichols and Fortier. And, evidence
showed, the proceeds of the stolen loot helped finance the
Authorities believe the Muellers were preparing to attend a gun
show in Oklahoma, but probably never left their home. An
investigation was begun when neighbors reported the family, and
much of their personal property, was missing. Friends also noted
the Muellers' animals were locked up and had not been fed. A
month later the missing family's automobile and trailer were
found some 17 miles from their house.
Arkansas authorities also say that the Muellers were involved in
an earlier incident. In February 1995, William Mueller reported
that his home had been broken into and some $35,000 to $50,000
worth of silver bars, gun parts and ammunition had been removed.
Later, friends say, Mueller began expressing fears that the
robbers would return and kill him. Some of those same friends say
Mueller knew who the burglars were.
Mueller, a Special Forces veteran, told a friend and fellow
militia member, George Eaton, that he was concerned that he might
be a target for assassination. Mueller explained to Eaton that he
believed this because he had been having trouble with the ATF.
The problem, Mueller said, centered on the type of products the
family was selling at gun shows.
The Mueller's did not sell many firearms at the shows, rather,
their sales were primarily gun parts, ammunition and anti-
government video tapes, books and assorted literature. Friends
say much of that literature was highly critical of the Clinton
administration and his political cronies.
Complaining about the situation to an Arkansas news reporter a
month before the family was murdered, Mueller and his wife told
Gene Wergis that they had written a letter to their congressman
detailing their feelings about the ATF's (perceived) harassment.
Armed with correspondence related to the subject, Mueller
explained to Wergis that promoters of gun shows told him to stop
selling the anti-government literature because the ATF was
threatening to "cause them problems."
One letter Mueller showed Wergis was from the director of the
ATF, John Magaw, that responded directly to Mueller's complaints.
In that document, Magaw explained that, "While the ATF couldn't
legally regulate the type of products Mueller sold, the ATF had a
new policy which encouraged promoters of gun shows to improve
their image by essentially policing their clients who rented
tables at the shows."
Producing a spiral binder that Mr. Mueller kept his notes in, the
dealer told Wergis that he was especially concerned about two men
who had given him trouble at an earlier show. Those two men,
Mueller believed, were probably ATF agents because they were
arguing with him about the type of materials he was selling.
Wergis told the McCurtain Gazette that the two men's names,
written down in Mueller's notebook, were Michael Brescia and
Informant Scared Stiff
During a series of interviews conducted by Ambrose Evans-
Prichard, the Washington based correspondent for the London
Telegraph, Strassmeir revealed many of the closely guarded facts
involving the bombing of the Murrah federal building. Some of the
facts that Strassmeir exhibited knowledge of have never been
reported. When asked how he knew these things, the coy German
replied, "I have sources."
Readily admitting that the ATF "blew the sting" at the Murrah
building, Strassmeir told Evans-Prichard that, "McVeigh made some
changes in the plan - he is a very undisciplined soldier, you
know...In retrospect, the ATF should have made the bust when the
bomb was being built in Junction City."
When was the building to be blown up? Evans-Prichard reports
that Strassmeir replied,"During the night, when no one was there
- that's why the ATF had the building staked out from midnight
until 6:00 a.m. Later, the informant believed that the bombing
was off for that day and reported that...the ATF lost control of
the situation, and McVeigh and the others were able to bomb the
How many trucks were used? "Two trucks were used in the
operation." How many men were in the parking lot with McVeigh?
"Four, plus the informant and McVeigh."
Asked if the informant would ever speak out, Strassmeir was
quoted as saying to Evans-Prichard, "How can he? What happens if
it was a sting operation from the very beginning? What happens if
it comes out that the plant was a provocateur? What then? The
relatives of the victims are going to go crazy and he's going to
be held responsible for the deaths of 168 people? Of course the
informant can't come forward. He's scared stiff right now."
(TRANSCRIBER'S QUESTION FOR KIRK LYONS: If your client wasn't an
ATF agent provocateur, how is it that he has such forceful and
clear recollection of the bombing conspiracy? And if Andy ain't
the informant who "Can't come forward... He's scared stiff right
now.....", then he apparently knows who is. If so, why hasn't
Andy told you so you can make it public to the authorities? Or
Dead Men Don't Speak
Immediately after the arrest of McVeigh and Nichols, federal
investigators said there could be reason to suspect the bombers
night have been involved in a series of bank holdups which had
sprung up across the Midwest. A group calling itself the Aryan
Republican Army had been on a wide-ranging and profitable crime
spree since 1992.
Mocking their pursuers with cartoons and letters to newspaper,
the bandits used various disguises, including Bill Clinton masks
and Santa Claus hats, and sometimes even donned makeup and wigs
to appear Middle Eastern. Witnesses said the crooks often spoke
in "gibberish" while they cleaned out the tellers' drawers.
By December of last year, the men had hit 22 banks and made off
with some $250,000. Investigators said that much of the money was
funneled back to various neo-Nazi groups. None of it has ever
Finally, a Break in the case occurred in January, when a pair of
suspects were arrested in Ohio. Peter K. Langan, 37, and Richard
Lee Guthrie Jr., 38, were picked up and charged as accomplices in
the robberies. Soon after Guthrie made a deal with prosecutors
and began naming names. And some of those names would be familiar
Admitting that the gang's purpose was to finance the white
supremacist movement, Guthrie eventually led investigators to two
other members of the group, Kevin McCarthy, 19, and Scott
Stedeford, 27. On May 24 and 22, respectively, the two were
arrested near their hometown of Philadelphia, Pa.
In short order, various news organizations found out that the
last two suspects had links to Elohim City and two former
residents there, Andreas Strassmeir and Michael Brescia. "Yes,
it's true," Said Millar. "Those two men stayed at Elohim City
before the bombing. Stedeford for a short time, maybe a few
weeks. Kevin McCarthy, for several months."
Also , Millar, remembers, "Strassmeir and Brescia did spend some
time with them while they were here." In fact, after Brescia
left Oklahoma in January, he returned to his native Pennsylvania
and stayed with white supremacist guru Mark Thomas, 44, also a
A close friend of fellow Aryan Nation radical Dennis Mahon, Mark
Thomas now admits that he visited Elohim City just days before
the bombing. Thomas says the trip was to visit with his son, who
also lived at the compound. During questioning by the FBI, the
elder Thomas admitted that he introduced Stedeford and McCarthy
to Guthrie and Langan.
Media investigators also report that Mike Brescia formed a rock
band dubbed "Cyanide" with McCarthy and Stedeford just prior to
the pair's arrest. Referred to as the "Mystery Man" in a June
30 story appearing in the Philadelphia Inquirer, local
authorities indicated that Brescia could be of special interest
to them, although his whereabouts are unknown.
However, the man who recently made a deal with prosecutors is not
going to be of any help now. Richard Guthrie's testimony was
expected to unlock this tangled web of characters and events, but
that inmate was found dead Friday. Kentucky prison officials
said that they found Guthrie hanging from a bed sheet in his
cell. The cause of death has been tentatively ruled as suicide.
Authorities say two notes were left in the cell. The contents of
the notes were not released.
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