The Murder of Kenneth Trentadue

At 8:45 on the morning of August 21st, 1995, Wilma Trentadue received a call from Marie Carter, the acting warden of the Federal Transfer Center(FTC) in Oklahoma City, letting her know that her son, Kenneth Trentadue, had committed suicide earlier that morning by hanging himself in his cell.

Kenneth had been picked up in southern California for an alleged probation violation and then inexplicably transferred to the FTC in Oklahoma City. Kenneth had previously served six years in prison after he’d gotten hooked on heroin and committed two bank robberies. He had gotten out in 1987, cleaned up, married, was employed, and his wife was weeks away from delivering their son when he was picked up and transferred to Oklahoma City.

Tammi Gillis was the first from the Oklahoma City Medical Examiner’s Office on the scene at the FTC that morning. No one from the Medical Examiner’s Office was allowed to enter the cell thereby undermining them from being able to determine if foul play was involved. Gillis did report that she was able to look inside the cell and reported there being blood on the walls and floor. Chief Medical Examiner Fred Jordan later performed the autopsy and stated: “There was so much trauma to the head and neck that couldn’t be explained by suicide,” and that it appeared he had been beaten by something hard, like a baton. The Chief Medical Examiner’s Office was proceeding as if this were a murder, but the Bureau of Prisons(BOP) and the FBI were proceeding as if it was a clear cut case of suicide. Kenneth had been beaten from head to toe, his throat had been cut, and the soles of his feet had been beaten. It was obvious to those at the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office, who had no interest in this case other than delivering an accurate ruling, that this was a murder. So why were the other elements involved at the FTC, BOP, and FBI insistent that it was a suicide?

Kevin Rowland of the CME Office was told by Kenneth Freeman, the FTC officer in charge of special investigations, that the prison’s video cameras used to document death scenes were not working that morning. If a person or persons entered Kenneth Trentadue’s cell, it couldn’t be verified one way or the other since the cameras were not recording it. What is known as a psychological reconstruction is something that is mandated for any suicide taking place in a federal prison. In other words, a detailed investigation to make sure it really was a suicide. In Kenneth Trentadue’s case, this was never done despite it being BOP regulation. Fred Jordan and Kevin Rowland of the OKC CME office were a problem for the elements that were wanting to call this a suicide and the FBI was one of those elements. There were numerous attempts by the FBI to persuade the CME office on this matter. In addition, FBI Special Agent Jeff Jenkins had put Kenneth’s bloody clothing and bed sheets in the trunk of his car to be analyzed at a lab but later claimed he forgot this evidence was in his car, thus tainting the evidence as it sat in summer heat in the trunk for weeks. 4 months after the incident, Jordan and Rowland were finally allowed to enter the cell for the first time and applied Luminol to the walls, floor, and ceiling. Luminol is used to detect blood stains that are not visible to the naked eye. In their words, the cell lit up like a christmas tree, showing lots of blood residue all over the cell. It defies imagination how a person hanging themself could bleed all over the walls and ceiling in the process. As well, an inmate by the name of Alden Gillis Baker in a neighboring cell reported that he heard the torture and beating of Kenneth Trentadue. Baker would also later be dead of an alleged suicide by hanging in his cell. According to Jesse Trentadue, Kenneth’s brother, the coverup of this murder went all the way up the chain to Eric Holder, who was then a U.S. Attorney and later Attorney General. Holder had implemented a program known as “The Trentadue Mission” which aimed to prevent any real inquiries or revelations regarding the Kenneth Trentadue case. Suicide was their verdict and they were sticking to it.  

Attempts were made by the FTC to have the body cremated but brother Jesse, a Salt Lake City attorney, was astute enough to insist on the body being sent home to the family. When they viewed the body they were shocked at the condition of it. It was obvious Kenneth had been beaten to death. Without the dogged persistence of Kenneth’s family in pursuing the truth, especially by his brother Jesse, this incident would have easily been swept under the rug.  

During his investigations, Jesse received information from two different sources where each source stated that his brother Kenneth had been killed by the FBI in a case of mistaken identity. The intended target was a man named Richard Lee Guthrie. In 2003 Jesse received another call from a man named J.D. Cash, a reporter for the McCurtain Gazette in McCurtain county, Oklahoma. Cash told Jesse that Guthrie closely resembled Kenneth and had a dragon tattoo on his left forearm just as Kenneth had. Also, that Richard Lee Guthrie was believed to be “John Doe #2” from the Oklahoma City bombing, which took place in April of 1995. Multiple witnesses stated they saw Timothy McVeigh with another man in the Ryder truck on the morning of the bombing. From Freedom of Information Act(FOIA) requests from Jesse Trentadue to the FBI to view the footage of the Ryder truck approaching and parking at the Murrah building that day, all footage of this key element in the bombing they refused to provide. This is because the footage contradicts the government narrative on the bombing and provides proof that there was another man with McVeigh and that man was “John Doe #2,” which was quite possibly Richard Lee Guthrie. So what does that mean?

From other FOIA requests, Jesse learned about an FBI program called PATCON, an acronym for “Patriot Conspiracy,” which involved the infiltration of militia, white supremacist, and other right wing groups. According to former PATCON operative John Matthews, PATCON was all about inciting and provoking people into violence rather than actually trying to subvert it, and using people within these groups to work for them as operatives and informants. The PATCON program also infiltrated the staff of federal judges, staff of congressmen and senators, local law enforcement, media, and other federal agencies. Richard Lee Guthrie was a bank robber and member of the Aryan Republican Army. It is not known exactly what the relationship between Guthrie and the FBI was, but evidently he was a threat to them as he may have been a PATCON operative used in the Oklahoma City bombing to set up McVeigh as the patsy, but was later going to reveal the truth and destroy the official narrative of the bombing. Guthrie boasted that he was going to “blow the lid off the Oklahoma City bombing” and was set to give an interview to the Los Angeles Times about this. He was also working on a book about the bombing but the day before he was set to give the interview, he allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself in his prison cell while in federal custody in Kentucky in July of 1996. This would be pulp fiction if it weren’t true; but yes, Guthrie also died by allegedly hanging himself while in federal custody.

Regarding the murder of his brother, Jesse Trentadue stated: ” I believe it was the FBI, I firmly believe that for a lot of reasons now; I didn’t start out believing that, I started out trusting them, until I could see what they were doing, which was destroying evidence, threatening witnesses, doing everything they could to prevent the case being made for murder.”

For more information on this case and the Oklahoma City Bombing, see the documentary “A Noble Lie: The Oklahoma City Bombing,” as well as the interview below with Jesse Trentadue.

“Woe to those who seek deep to hide their counsel from YaHuWaH, whose works are in the dark; and say ‘who sees us?’ and ‘who knows us?'”   (Isaiah 29:15)

Read more: The Murder of Kenneth Trentadue

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