Episode 062: Jon Hersley and Larry Tongate – Oklahoma City Bombing (Part 2)

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 we learn more about the 168 victims—including 19 children—and the more than 500 people injured from the bombing. The warped ideology that motivated Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols to blow up the Murrah building is also reviewed. Jon Hersley was assigned to the Oklahoma City Division. Larry Tongate was in the Bureau’s Kansas City Office. The bomb blast 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, McVeigh was executed on June 11, 2001 and 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:

FBI Overview – 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 Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum was dedicated on April 19, 2000, five years to the day after the Oklahoma City bombing. Two towers on either side of a reflecting pool where the Murrah building stood show the time immediately before and after the explosion. On the adjacent lawn there is a chair for each of the 168 victims. (Photo Credit – Harold Hall Photography)

















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 photo and mug shot.










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 families.


















Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, attempts to relive her glory days by writing crime fiction and hosting FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast available for subscription on iTunes and Stitcher. Her debut novel—Pay To Play— about a female agent investigating corruption in the Philadelphia strip club industry is available now at amazon.com. 



This episode was sponsored by FBIRetired.com – the only on-line directory made available to the general public featuring “retired” FBI AGENTS / ANALYSTS interested in showcasing their skills to secure business opportunities.

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Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, attempts to relive her glory days by writing crime fiction and hosting FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast available for free subscription on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, and other popular podcast apps. Her nonfiction book FBI Myths and Misconceptions: A Manual for Armchair Detectives and her FBI corruption squad police procedurals featuring Special Agent Kari Wheeler are available wherever books are sold.

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