If an award was given out for the individual who worked the hardest to kill himself, that award would have to be given to Kenneth Michael Trentadue. In his cell at the Oklahoma City Federal Transfer Center on August 21, 1995, he patiently tore his sheet into dozens of strips, tied them together into a noose, attached it to a vent grate, and made his bed like a good little boy.
He then proceeded to hang himself.
Unfortunately, his handy work wasn’t up to par, and the noose broke, whereby he first hit the sink, “ricocheted” to the metal desk, hitting his head, bouncing again, hitting his head on the wall, and scraping skin off his back. Being half-conscious, he got up and fell again, hitting his head on a metal stool. Being determined to kill himself, he then cut his throat ear to ear with a plastic knife or tube of toothpaste, but this didn’t do the job, and so tried to hang himself again, this time being successful. Not to be outdone by anyone else, all of this was not only accomplished, but accomplished in record time. Everything occurred within sixteen minutes, including tearing the sheet into strips and forming the noose.
At least that’s what the U.S. Government said happen to him.
Well, they didn’t tell his family all these strange circumstances that led to his death until, well, three years later, with the introduction into the picture of a forensic expert by the name of Tom Bevel. (More on him later)
Marie Carter, the acting warden of Oklahoma City Federal Transfer Center (OKFTC), phoned Trentadue’s mother at 3 a.m. to inform her that her son had just hung himself with a bed sheet. And, like all good acting wardens, she offered to immediately cremate her son free of charge. Mom said “thanks but no thanks” and informed the Good Samaritan Marie that one of her other sons was a lawyer and they’d get back to her.
When the family got Trentadue home, they would find his body beaten and gashed from head to foot—literally—as there were even bruises on his feet. Along with his throat being cut ear to ear, there were three wounds to the head, all fracturing his skull. There was also a strange impression on his throat, which, for anyone who has handled what are called cable ties (and as law enforcement uses them for handcuffs—Flexcuffs), knows, the impression on Trentadue’s throat was made from the ridges on a cable tie being pressed and tightened around his neck.
It was obvious to the family, including Jessie Trentadue-the lawyer in the family-that his brother was beaten and murdered. But what wasn’t obvious was why the Government was trying to cover it up.
What they would come to find out after a sinuous journey of lies, deceptions, stonewalling, and cover-ups from the Bureau of Prisons, FBI, and eventually Eric Holder, was the following. Kenneth Michael Trendadue, in the aftermath of the bombing of the Arthur P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995, was murdered because the FBI thought he was the elusive John Doe #2 and wouldn’t admit to it (at least until they said John Doe #2 didn’t actually exist, contrary to dozens of witnesses).
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