The FBI has turned over 17 internal reports to a Utah lawyer who is trying to prove his brother was killed in a federal holding cell in Oklahoma City during a botched interrogation by federal authorities.
The records were handed over on Thursday under a Freedom of Information Act request filed by Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue, who is seeking evidence for his theory that his brother, Kenneth Trentadue, was murdered in an isolation cell at the Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City in August 1995.
Jesse Trentadue believes authorities mistakenly suspected that his brother _ a convicted bank robber _ was part of a gang that robbed banks to finance attacks on the government, possibly including the April 19, 1995, Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people.
Among other things, the documents reveal that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies were investigating evidence of a wider conspiracy in the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building months after claiming the conspiracy was limited to Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols.
The documents, which have been heavily redacted to delete the names of confidential sources and other information, also indicate that investigators looked into McVeigh's attempts to contact a resident of Elohim City, a heavily fortified compound in eastern Oklahoma, in the days prior to the bombing.
Separate documents state that telephone records and confidential informants indicate McVeigh called the Elohim City compound at least twice _ on April 5, 1995, and around April 17, 1995. ``McVeigh may have been trying to recruit other individuals to assist him,'' states a document dated Jan. 26, 1996.
Another heavily edited memo, dated Jan. 4, 1996, states that someone affiliated with the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights group, was at Elohim City about two weeks before the bombing when one of the Oklahoma bombing suspects allegedly called looking for a co-conspirator.