Nightly News   |  April 19, 2010

In McVeigh's chilling confession, no remorse

In never-before heard audiotapes, the man who bombed an Oklahoma City building in 1995 expresses no compassion for the 168 people he killed, including 19 children. NBC's Pete Williams on Timothy McVeigh 15 years after the bombing.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

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>>> this was the scene this morning at the memorial to the 168 people who died in one of the worst terrorist attacks ever in this country . the oklahoma city bombing 15 years ago today. family and friends of the victims placed flowers, stuffed animals and notes in the empty chairs that now symbolize those who were lost. then came 168 seconds of silence . the memorial stands at what was the site of the alfred p. murrah federal building which was, of course , destroyed in the blast. that building was blown up by a former u.s. army sergeant, timothy mcveigh , who looked to many like the kid next door. tonight msnbc will debut a documentary with audio recordings that have never been heard in public before, that reveal timothy mcveigh 's own chilling confession. some are bracing to hear. our report from our justice correspondent pete williams .

>> reporter: two days after the oklahoma city bombing , the world got its first look at timothy mcveigh as federal agents took him into custody. he would later say he was determined to look proud on his murderous attack on the government .

>> i had to concentrate where the steps were going to be without dipping my head down.

>> reporter: that is mcva's voice recorded in 1999 in a federal prison in colorado by reporter and author lou michele. excerpts from their hours of conversations will be heard tonight for the first time in an msnbc documentary. michele calls the audio tapes valuable history.

>> can you imagine if lee harvey os wald had the chance to spill his guts.

>> reporter: it is the only time mcveigh admitted his crime, building a 7,000-pound bomb, drying into oklahoma city in a truck and lit the fuse.

>> i lit the main fuse in two minutes. i pulled up to the building, stepped out and walked across the street .

>> reporter: these are the key items of evidence, pieces of that truck found in the debris, now on display at fbi headquarters . a part number led agents to the place where the truck was rented and eventually to mcveigh himself. the explosion killed 168 people including 19 children and injured hundreds more. in the interviews, mcveigh show nod compassion.

>> you are not the first mother to lose a kid. you are not the first grandparent to lose a granddaughter or grandson . get over it.

>> reporter: that's impossible for jany coverdale who lost her two grandsons.

>> i can get up out of the bed in the morning and feel good but sometime that day i'm going to start crying.

>> reporter: in the spring of 2001 , mcveigh was executed. pete williams , nbc news, washington .

>> you can see it all tonight . the special report hosted by rachel maddow . "mcveightapes."

>>> when we come back, the