It is now over. Timothy McVeigh, 33, who killed 168 people in the worst act of terrorism on American soil, was executed this morning, strapped to a plastic-covered seat in a death chamber in Indiana.
McVeigh was last night said to be in good spirits as he waited in the 9ft by 14ft isolation cell where he was transferred yesterday at the Terre Haute federal prison. McVeigh, who destroyed the Alfred P Murrah building in Oklahoma City in 1995, was said to believe he was the "victor" in what he saw as a war against the US government.
Lou Michel, a reporter with The Buffalo News who interviewed McVeigh and who was also an execution witness, said: "He feels he is the victor. He has made his point, and he's now going on to ... the next step.''
One of McVeigh's lawyers, Nathan Chambers, said the bomber was in "very good spirits. He was upbeat ... He is at peace with [his] decision."
Amid a media carnival that has built up around the prison, protesters for and against the death penalty had been trying to make their voices heard.
Harold Smith, 51, an unemployed songwriter from Albany, New York, said he had come to protest against the death penalty because it was giving the message that "violence and not forgiveness" was the way to deal with people like McVeigh.
In Terre Haute, church services were being held for the 168 victims and McVeigh.
* The US Supreme Court last night blocked a request to allow the execution to be videotaped.Reuse content