Defending McVeigh: The Extra Leg

  • Share
  • Read Later
DENVER: The message to the jury was simple: someone else bombed the Alfred P. Murrah building two years ago, not Timothy McVeigh. As the defense got underway in the Oklahoma City bombing trial, Oklahoma state medical examiner Fred Gordon detailed the task of matching 98 body parts with the 168 victims found in the rubble in gruesome testimony that left some jurors looking queasy. The last body part was the key to his testimony, if highly inconclusive as evidence: while eight bodies were found without left legs, nine left legs were found. The extra leg, Gordon said, did not match any of the dead, and might belong to a 169th victim, the rest of whose body was never found. As TIME's Patrick Cole reports: "Jones was clearly trying to establish that the leg belonged to the real bomber, an unidentified person who died in the blast." While no information has yet been established in the trial as to whether that leg was male or female, it was shaved. Gordon was followed on the stand by T.K. Marshall, a retired state pathologist for Northern Ireland, who testified that he believed the leg came from somebody who was standing very close to the bomb, and whose body likely was blown to bits. Jones next chipped away at another strand of evidence concerning his client, once again raising questions about a possible unidentified co-conspirator. Restaurant worker Jeff Davis told the court that a few days before the bombing, he delivered Chinese food to Room 25 of the Dreamland Motel in Junction City, Kansas on a day when McVeigh allegedly was staying in the room. Davis said he handed the food to someone who did not look like McVeigh. Jones is expected to lay out the rest of his case in about one week.