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 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

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 250 episodes available for free on all popular podcast apps.


  1. […] Episode 062: Jon Hersley and Larry Tongate – Oklahoma City Bombing (Part 2) […]

  2. Heather GraceAugust 11, 2023

    Hello Jerri,
    I just started listening to your podcast and these two episodes are two of the first that I listened to. I am listening it to it for a couple of reasons. 1) I just got home from Oklahoma City and some of my colleagues and I went to this memorial while we were there, and it is very sad and scary what happened there.
    2) On the day this happened I was in labor with my oldest child, we had no idea this had even happened until 5:00 pm that evening. It was one of those moments that makes you realize that even though something joyous was happening for us, others were facing a horrible tragedy.
    3) My youngest daughter is in the Marine Corps and she wants to work for the FBI after her time in the the Corps. I have encouraged her to listen to this podcast so she has and idea what the FBI does.
    Thank you so much. Heather Grace

    1. Jerri WilliamsAugust 11, 2023

      Thanks for listening to FBI Retired Case File Review! Jon and Larry provided a fascinating 2-part episode. You have no idea how much it means to me that you took the time to let me know that you enjoyed the interviews. Please also tell your daughter I appreciate your and her support of my mission to show the public who the FBI is. — Jerri


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