Bill McVeigh: Tim McVeigh’s Dad Leads a Quiet Life Today

If there’s one thing absolutely nobody can deny, it’s that Timothy “Tim” McVeigh can only be described as an extremist and a killer considering his actions resulted in the death of 168 individuals. However, as carefully explored in HBO’s ‘An American Bombing: The Road to April 19th,’ it’s also true that he wasn’t always like this — he was once a good man with a great upbringing. He did reportedly have a bit of trouble following his parents’ divorce, yet his decision to stay with his father, William “Bill” McVeigh, while being close to his grandfather, Ed McVeigh, helped him a lot.

Who is Bill McVeigh?

It was back in the 19th century when the McVeighs came to New York to help build the Erie Canal, just to earn enough to stay by evolving into farmers before rising higher with automobiles. The truth is Ed Mcveigh served in a General Motors plant for over three decades, and his son Bill followed in his footsteps for another three, yet Timothy sadly didn’t even get an opportunity to do so. This plant actually downsized to the point of non-existence, ultimately leading the Buffalo-based youngster to join the army — this was also likely an homage to Ed owing to his passion for firearms.

Coming to Timothy’s actual upbringing, while his grandfather was the one he respected and cared for the most, he did have a rather great relationship with his father as well as his younger sister. “All four houses we lived in, we had a pretty good-sized garden,” patriarch Bill said in an interview long ago, per the film. “We had a pool [at one of them too]. Sometimes in the summer, when I’d come home from work, there’d be 15 kids in there,” indicating they led a more than comfortable, stable life. However, per his own accounts, things changed once his son was sent to fight in the Persian Gulf War — his experiences there sadly led him to develop not just PTSD but also extremist views.

Therefore, when Bill was informed Timothy was the prime suspect for the April 19, 1995, Oklahoma City bombing within days, he allowed federal officials to search his home without questions. In fact, according to FBI Special Agent Danny Coulson in the documentary, “After I had McVeigh in custody, I had his father flown [from Buffalo] to Oklahoma City to meet with me. I asked him, ‘You know your son, who would be involved in this?’ And he instantly said, ‘Terry Nichols and Michael Fortier.'” This actually turned out to be accurate, yet what’s also real is that it’s still hard for the former to fathom how his son could have killed 168 people, especially since he was once just a regular kid.

Where is Bill McVeigh Now?

From what we can tell, although Bill prefers to lead a quiet life in New York these days, there was a time he was often asked if he’d forgiven Timothy, to which he could only reply, “How can you forgive him for killing 168 people? You can’t. He’s my son, but he did something that was terribly wrong.” Nevertheless, he did his best to support his son at every step of the way during the legal proceedings because no matter what, he simply couldn’t abandon him or the bond they shared. As per the Irish Times, following the latter’s conviction, he went as far as to tell the court that while he understood the gravity of his son’s actions, he loved him and wanted him to live, but to no avail.

In other words, Timothy was sentenced to death, leaving Bill with no choice but to start preparing for the worst while also maintaining contact through letters, phone calls, as well as visits. Though the last time this 1999 retiree ever saw his son was April 10, 2001, more than two months before the execution on June 11, 2001, because the convict didn’t want any of his family members to be there; he was ready to die while they weren’t. Since then, this hobbyist golfer and bowler has candidly expressed, “he was disappointed — but not surprised — that his son would not apologize for the crime.” Yet, despite their different moral plus political views, he added, he will and has always remembered his son as the “little Timmy” he still loves rather than Oklahoma City bomber Timothy.

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