James “Tom” Thurman, is in a word, a hero. As a supervisory special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, specializing in explosives and hazardous devices, Mr. Thurman served as chief forensic examiner in a number of large and complex bombing investigations for 12 years. But none of his investigations can compare with his work in the aftermath of the bomb that blew a plane apart over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 in 1988. His discovery of the fragment match two years later was a critical piece of evidence that led to the criminal indictments of two Libyans. In recognition of his valuable work, the ABC World News Tonight team named Thurman as its “Person of the Week” for week ending Nov. 15, 1991. (EKU Alumni)
According to the FD-302 of Tom Thurman that is provided with the police report, he received K1 from Richard Sherrow of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Lab on 15 June 1990.
Thurman’s testimony at the US Grand Jury. (Page 36)
Q Did Mr. Sherrow ultimately make this timer (available to you)?
A He made this available to me as an inter-comparison item.
This position is clearly inaccurate, as was discovered during the precognition process. In fact Sherrow gave the timer K1 to the CIA in late 1987 and it was in CIA possession until June 1990.
John Orkin* of the CIA was the person who identified the similarity between PT/35(b) and K-l, not Thurman.
Crown precognition of Thurman
I was told that, as far as the CIA (the Agency) was concerned, it was not to be involved in the chain of custody and that the device was to be regarded as having come directly from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
I took the device and said that I would obtain instructions from headquarters as to how to deal with the situation. I showed the timing device and photograph to the laboratory director and he agreed with the identification. This was the first occasion on which I “fronted” a find for the Agency.
The decision to present the situation in this manner was made within the administrative confines of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I do not know who made the decision. For public consumption, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms had provided the timer.
Thurman about his Grand Jury Testimony (CS93)
At page 36, (line 13) I have testified that Mr Sherrow made the timer available to me as an inter comparison item. To my knowledge, I have not met Mr Sherrow.
I do not believe that this testimony is misleading. I did not say that Mr Sherrow made the timer available to me directly. As far as I am concerned, Mr Sherrow brought the device back from Lomé, Togo for inter comparison purposes by a number of people.
Thurman about his FD302 dated 29 August 1991 (not a Production)
This document was prepared by me. The document suggests that I received the Timer (DP/84) directly from Richard Sherrow on 15 June 1990. That is incorrect. The Scottish investigators and FBI knew that the Togo timer had come from the CIA.
I do not have an answer as to why I I drafted the FD302 of 29 August 1991 in this manner. I do not recall. I agree that the FD302 was authored approximately one month before my Grand Jury testimony where I have stated that I received the timer from Sherrow.
EKU Alumni: James Tom Thurman
Thomas Thurman Crown precognition (11 January 2000)