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News, documents and analysis on violent extremism

Monday, June 5, 2006

Richard Guthrie's Suicide

New Details Of 'Aryan' Bank Robber And OKBOMB Suspect's Death In Prison

By J.M. Berger

Richard GuthrieRichard Guthrie was a bank robber with ties to U.S. white supremacist movements. He and other members of his bank robbery gang, the Aryan Republican Army, have long been suspected of involvement in the Oklahoma City bombing. He died in prison as the result of an alleged suicide.

For more documents and a fuller description of the story of Richard Guthrie, and another alleged prison suicide with striking similarities, see The Trentadue Files on INTELWIRE.

INTELWIRE previously released more than 100 pages of files detailing the ATF's investigation of Guthrie. Some of the documents here reference Guthrie's suspected ties to the Oklahoma bombing. Now, for the first time, INTELWIRE is releasing the official record of Guthrie's death for journalists, researchers and the general public.

The new documents were obtained from the U.S. Marshals Service via the Freedom of Information Act. They include the complete autopsy record, as well as documents relating to the investigation of Guthrie's death by local police and prison officials, and U.S. Marshals Service custody records.

Source: INTELWIRE FOIA Requests (Donate)

Richard Guthrie Autopsy and Death Records

Findings reported appear consistent with suicide. Interestingly, neither the autopsy nor the arrest records make reference to Guthrie having a tattoo -- an alleged distinguishing characteristic that many investigators have cited in attempting to prove Guthrie was the never-apprehended OKC suspect known as "John Doe 2."

Richard Guthrie Prison Records, Suicide Details

Among many interesting items in the prison records, handwritten notes indicate Guthrie left two suicide notes and had threatened to attempt an escape shortly before his death. The testimony of the prison's guards, again, appears consistent with suicide.

Richard Guthrie Custody Records, (USMS)

The formal record of Guthrie's term of custody with the U.S. Marshals, which ended in his death.

Letter to Guthrie from L.A. Times Reporter

As previously reported, Guthrie had contemplated telling his story to the press shortly before his death. This letter from Judy Pasternak of the L.A. Times was found in his cell.

Guthrie Spotted By Marshal In 1993

Perhaps the most significant of the documents retrieved in this FOIA request from the perspective of possible connections with the Oklahoma City bombing. A suspect believed to be Guthrie was spotted in 1993 by a U.S. Marshal in Noel, Mo., who said the suspect was attempting to "recruit young boys" into "the Brotherhood." It has never been conclusively determined whether Guthrie had a formal affiliation with an organized white supremacist group. The "Brotherhood" here may refer to the Aryan Brotherhood, a prison gang affiliated with the Aryan Nations.


ATF Investigative Files: Richard Guthrie

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Views expressed on INTELWIRE are those of the author alone.



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INTELWIRE is a web site edited by J.M. Berger. a researcher, analyst and consultant covering extremism, with a special focus on extremist activities in the U.S. and extremist use of social media. He is a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, and author of the critically acclaimed Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, the only definitive history of the U.S. jihadist movement, and co-author of ISIS: The State of Terror with Jessica Stern.


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