Unabomber News History

Copyright 1995 The Atlanta Constitution

The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

May 2, 1995, Tuesday, CONSTITUTION EDITION


LENGTH: 571 words

HEADLINE: OKLAHOMA BOMBING: THE AFTERMATH; AT A GLANCE; Police artist gives fugitives a face

BYLINE: From our news services


If you see a stylistic similarity between the Unabomber and the newest John Doe No. 2, you're not mistaken.

Jean Boylan is a free-lancer who 15 years ago came up with a radically new way to draw the faces that appear on wanted posters nationwide. Now the FBI calls her to work on some of its most difficult cases.

Boylan won't talk specifically about her sketch, but she does talk about her method.

Most police artists fail in an elemental way, Boylan believes, by suggesting things to a witness or victim. Police artists frequently give a witness a book of photos, asking the person to pick out a set of eyes here, a set of ears there.

"There's a whole body of research that's found the memory begins to distort and defuse after showing them as few as 12 photos," Boylan said.

Boylan does things differently. She talks with the witness or victim, softly, about a wide range of topics that have nothing to do with the crime. She uses a comfortable room. She positions herself in a low chair.

"As soon as the pressure is taken off, as soon you stop trying so hard, it comes to you," she said.

ABUSING THEIR RIGHTS: In Washington, President Clinton urged Americans on Monday to denounce anti-government zealots who he said have taken the constitutional right to bear arms to "mean the right to keep and bear an arsenal of artillery."

"These people, who do they think they are - saying that their government has stamped out human freedom?" he said.

"I don't know that there's another country in the world that would by law protect the right of a lot of these groups to say what they want to say to each other over the shortwave radio or however else they want to say it, to assemble over the weekend and do whatever they want to do, and to bear arms."

THE SHOW MUST GO ON: At the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Hall in Shawnee, Okla., a weekend knife and gun show held back nothing in deference to recent events. The camouflage fatigues were stretched across broad backs, the AK-47s were on the folding tables, and the ATF storm troopers glowered from the NRA poster taped to the front door.

And many people see no conflict in defending the trappings of war displayed at the weekend gun show while condemning the carnage at the Oklahoma City federal building. "Like I told the FBI the other day," said Marion Brimer, owner of the Gun Shop in Tulsa, "if you want a firing squad of gun dealers, I can get you one in about five minutes."

RAZE OR PRESERVE? Once the rescue effort is complete, probably within days, another debate will begin: Structural engineers will get their first thorough check of the girders and beams to see how badly the federal building's skeleton was weakened, and whether the building should be saved or razed.

"Emotions should have a chance to cool," said Ron Loftis, a designer who worked on the nine-story, 380,000-square-foot building. "Some people believe this is a building that killed. Some people think this building saved lives. Some people think it symbolizes some nasty thing, and they never want to think about it again. I can understand every viewpoint."

Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating is among those who would like to see the site turned into a memorial park with a bronze statue of a firefighter cradling a baby.

COMING UP: A bail hearing for James Nichols is scheduled to resume today in Milan, Mich. He is being held as a material witness to the bombing.