October 9, 2009 | 11:52am
On March 31, 2008, Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue won an unprecedented legal victory over the FBI in his years-old lawsuit to force the agency to hand over everything it has on the mysterious death of his brother, former Westminster resident Kenneth Trentadue. That day, the US District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma ruled that Trentadue and other family members had suffered severe emotional distress as a result of Kenneth's bizarre death at the Federal Transfer Center near Oklahoma City, which prison officials claimed was a suicide by hanging--a claim rather at odds with the bruises, footprints and other obvious marks of a brutal jailhouse beating.
A judge awarded Jesse Trentadue $1.1 million, but he refused to stop and declare victory. Instead, he's put the years of experience he's gained filing Freedom of Information Act requests on his brother's death to use in an effort to force the FBI to hand over its files on the Oklahoma City bombing, an incident that he believes has everything to do with why his brother was arrested and sent to the prison where he died. Specifically, Trentadue believes authorities suspected his brother, who closely resembled the description of a man witnesses claimed they saw with Timothy McVeigh in the days before the bombing, of being involved in the plot.
Officially, McVeigh had no help from anybody other than Terry Nichols in carrying out the bombing, but Jesse Trentadue has continued to uncover FBI documents that suggest that, not only was McVeigh aided by a host of individuals with ties to a racist gang of bankrobbers and a fundamentalist sect based at an Oklahoma compound called Elohim City, but that the bureau may have known about the terrorist plot but failed to stop it in time.
The latest "evidence" of a coverup? Trentadue just forced the FBI to release security camera footage at the moment of the blast that just happens to go dark when McVeigh--and possibly an accomplice--parked the bomb-filled Ryder truck in front of the building.
According to Andrew Gumbel, a freelance reporter who has investigated the Oklahoma City bombing for the past eight years, the gap in the tape is suspicious. "There were people--law enforcement officials--at the time who saw the tapes and then described them to Channel 4 in Oklahoma City, and to the LA Times, and said it showed two men getting out of the Ryder truck," he says. "McVeigh, who was sitting in the driver's seat, got out first, and then another man got out and they both crossed the street and disappeared. Unless these officers were delusional, these tapes exist. The FBI claims it hasn't edited them, but that doesn't mean some other agency hasn't done that."
You can watch the newly-released video footage here.