TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Offering no trace of remorse, Timothy McVeigh went to his death Monday with the same flinty look he showed the world when he was first arrested for killing 168 people in the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building.
The government McVeigh so despised executed him by chemical injection. He died silently, with his eyes open.
Instead of making an oral statement, McVeigh, 33, issued a copy of the 1875 poem "Invictus," which concludes with the lines: "I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul."
He was pronounced dead at 7:14 a.m. CDT, becoming the first federal prisoner executed in 38 years.
In Oklahoma City, 232 survivors and victims' relatives watched a closed-circuit TV broadcast of the execution, sent from Terre Haute in a feed encrypted to guard against interception.
Some said he seemed to stare straight at them from 620 miles away by gazing directly into the overhead TV camera in the death chamber with a cold, hard look.
"I think I did see the face of evil today," said Kathy Wilburn, who grandsons Chase Smith, 3, and brother Colton, 2, died in the bombing six years ago on April 19, 1995.
McVeigh, wearing a white T-shirt, khaki pants and slip-on sneakers, looked pale as he awaited death. His hair was cropped short. A light gray sheet was pulled up tightly to his chest as he lay strapped on the gurney.
McVeigh made eye contact with his four personal witnesses, then with the 10 media witnesses, then squinted toward the tinted window shielding the 10 victims' witnesses from his view.
The lethal injection was administered to his right leg. When the first drug was delivered, he let out a couple of deep breaths, followed by a fluttery breath. His head moved back, his gaze fixed on the ceiling, and his eyes were glassy.
In Washington, President Bush declared that McVeigh had "met the fate he chose for himself six years ago."
He added: "For the survivors of the crime, and for the families of the dead, the pain goes on. Final punishment of the guilty cannot alone bring peace for the innocent. It cannot recover the loss or balance the scales and it is not meant to do so."
In a recent letter to The Buffalo News, McVeigh said his body would be released to one his attorneys and cremated, and his ashes would be scattered in an undisclosed location.
In Oklahoma City, Kathleen Treanor, whose 4-year-old daughter, Ashley, and her husband's parents died in the bombing, watched the closed-circuit broadcast. Afterward, she held up a picture of her daughter and said: "I thought of her every step of the way." She said there was no display of emotion in the room as the execution took place.
Larry Whicher, the brother of a bombing victim, said McVeigh looked straight into the camera with a cold, blank stare in the moments before he died -- "and that stare said volumes." The camera was suspended from the ceiling and pointed at angle at his face.
"He had a look of defiance and that if he could, he'd do it all over again," Whicher said. He added: "I don't think he gave himself to the Lord. I don't think he repented and personally I think he's in hell."
Jay Sawyer, who also watched via TV, said: "Without saying anything he got the final word, absolutely, his teeth were clenched, just like when they showed him coming out of that facility when he was first arrested. His teeth were clenched, his lips were pursed and just a blank stare. It was the same today."
Janice Smith, whose brother Lanny Scroggins died in the bombing, prayed with her children at the Oklahoma City National Memorial, then left after getting word that McVeigh was dead.
"It's over," she said. "We don't have to continue with him anymore."
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