Episode 061: Jon Hersley and Larry Tongate – Oklahoma City Bombing (Part 1)

Retired agent Jon Hersley served in the FBI for 30 years and retired agent Larry Tongate served for 29 years. They were case agents assigned to the nation-wide investigation of the April 19, 1995, Oklahoma City bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review with Jerri Williams they are interviewed about the fast-moving search to identify, capture and charge the persons responsible. Jon Hersley was assigned to the Oklahoma City Division. Larry Tongate was in the Bureau’s Kansas City Office. The bomb blast caused the death of 168 innocent people—including 19 children and injured more than 500 people. It also destroyed the entire north side of the nine-story concrete and granite Murrah building, incinerated nearby cars, and damaged more than 300 buildings. The OKBOMB investigation, as it became known, is the United States’ deadliest act of homegrown terrorism.  After being tried and convicted of the crime, Timothy McVeigh was executed on June 11, 2001 and Terry Nichols was sentenced to life in prison. A third individual, Michael Fortier was sentenced to 12 years in prison for failing to report the planned attack and for lying to the FBI. In their book—Simple Truths: The Real Story of the Oklahoma City Bombing Investigation—Hersley and Tongate and their co-author Bob Burke, assembled a chronological review of the initial events and of the evidence gathered in the case against McVeigh, Nichols and Fortier.

Supervisory Special Agent (Retired)

Jon Hersley

1/11/1971 – 10/31/2000


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Agent (Retired)

Larry Tongate

9/9/1969 – 10/1/1999


 

 

 

 

 

 

The following are links to FBI overviews and newspaper articles that provide additional information about the investigation of the Oklahoma City bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995:

Oklahoma City Bombing – 20 Years Later (VIDEOS)

FBI Famous Cases – Oklahoma City Bombing

The History Channel – Oklahoma City Bombing: April 19, 1995

CNN – Oklahoma City Bombing Fast Facts

The photo shows the north side of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building after the Ryder truck bomb explosion orchestrated by McVeigh and Nichols on April 19, 1995.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Timothy McVeigh’s composite sketch and mugshot.

 

 

 

 

 

The Simple Truth is an account of the events and the evidence that made up the case against Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. All proceeds from the book, available here, are donated to Oklahoma City bombing victims and their families.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, jokes that she writes about the FBI to relive her glory days. After 26 years with the Bureau specializing in major economic fraud and corruption investigations, she calls on her professional encounters with scams and schemers to write police procedurals inspired by true crime FBI cases in her Philadelphia FBI Corruption Squad crime fiction series featuring flawed female FBI agent Kari Wheeler. Jerri’s FBI for Armchair Detectives nonfiction series enables readers to discover who the FBI is and what the FBI does by debunking misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. Her books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks wherever books are sold. She’s also the host of FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast with more than 200 episodes available for free subscription on all popular podcast apps.

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