Killing McVeigh The Death Penalty and the Myth of Closure


Killing McVeigh The Death Penalty and the Myth of Closure



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 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 survive—or lose loved ones in—traumatic acts? In the wake of such terrifying events, is closure a realistic or appropriate expectation? n Killing McVeigh, Jody Lyneé Madeira uses the Oklahoma City bombing as a case study to explore how family members and other survivors come to terms with mass murder. The book demonstrates the importance of understanding what closure really is before naively asserting it can or has been reached.


9780814796108 (hb.), 9781479856671 (pb.), 9780814724545 (ebook)

Publication Date



New York University Press


New York, NY


McVeigh Timothy-Trials litigation, McVeigh Timothy-Imprisonment, Domestic terrorism-United States-Psychological aspects, Domestic terrorism-Social aspects-United States, Capital punishment-United States-Psychological aspects, Victims of terrorism-United States-Psychology, Victims of terrorism-Rehabilitation-United States, Oklahoma City Federal Building Bombing, Oklahoma City 1995-Psychological aspects.


Criminal Law | Law | Law Enforcement and Corrections | National Security Law


Full bibliographic details available here.

Copies available in the Jerome Hall Law Library, KF 224.M37 M33 2012

Killing McVeigh The Death Penalty and the Myth of Closure