March 9, 1998 in Nation/World

Bombing Hot Line Attracted Some ‘Nonsensical Musings’

Compiled From Wire Services

Call it the FBI’s not-so-hotline.

In the days after the Oklahoma City bombing, thousands of calls swamped the bureau’s nationwide toll-free number set up to help gather leads about the perpetrators.

The tips weren’t always what federal investigators had in mind, though.

One man wanted to report that former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger “had no toilet paper.” An elderly woman “candidly admitted she knew nothing about the bombing but thought it would be nice to chat.” Still others simply wanted to praise or criticize the bombing investigation.

It ended up being part-Dr. Laura, part-Psychic Friends Network and part-Lonely Hearts Club.

“Many callers … provided no information at all,” Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Connelly wrote in a brief made public last week. “Other calls were nothing more than vague and often times nonsensical musings.”

And none, said federal officials, resulted in payment from the Oklahoma City bombing’s $2 million reward fund.

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