Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation

Killing McVeigh: The Death Penalty and the Myth of Closure

Jody Lyneé Madeira


On April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh detonated a two-ton truck bomb that felled the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people. On June 11, 2001, an unprecedented 242 witnesses watched him die by lethal injection. In the aftermath of the bombings, American public commentary almost immediately turned to “closure” rhetoric. Reporters and audiences alike speculated about whether the victim's family members and survivors could get closure from memorial services, funerals, legislation, monuments, trials, and executions. But what does “closure” really mean for those who sur ... More

Keywords: lethal injection, closure, Timothy McVeigh, Oklahoma City bombing, survivors, victims, trauma, mass murder

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780814796108
Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016 DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814796108.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jody Lyneé Madeira, author