April 11, 2006
Jury sees photos of 9/11 victims
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal prosecutors on Tuesday
showed a jury photos of the charred remains of people burned at
the Pentagon on September 11 during a day of wrenching
testimony at Zacarias Moussaoui's sentencing trial.
As some people in the courtroom gasped and defense
attorneys objected, prosecutors showed several graphic
photographs of charred, blackened bodies of victims burned when
American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon on
September 11, 2001.
One photograph appeared to be most of a body, resting on a
blue plastic sheet. Another showed burned body parts found
inside the Pentagon and a third appeared to be several bodies
lying side by side.
"Burn all Pentagon next time," Moussaoui shouted after the
judge and jury left the courtroom for a lunch break.
Moussaoui has pleaded guilty to six counts of conspiracy in
connection with the September 11 attacks. The jury must decide
if he is to be executed or sentenced to life in prison.
After the photographs were shown, survivors of the attack
on the Pentagon -- located only a few miles from the court
where Moussaoui's trial is being held -- spoke about how they
fought through smoke and heat to escape the building.
Army Lt. Col. John Thurman described facing a "curtain of
fire" and said the smoke and heat were so overwhelming he just
wanted to lie down and take a nap.
"And that's when I knew I was going to die," said Thurman.
"So I just got very angry. ... At that point I realized I just
had to ... with every ounce of strength I had, to get out of
Thurman said he was not permanently injured from the attack
but still felt guilt about surviving when 26 of his colleagues
and friends died in the Pentagon.
"There's guilt about being the survivor, about getting the
lucky break," he said.
Lt. Nancy McKeown dropped her stiff Navy bearing and broke
into tears as she recalled trying to find two men who worked
for her as she sought to escape the burning building. The men
Prosecutors are expected to finish presenting their case by
Wednesday and the defense will begin on Thursday. The case
might go to the jury by late next week.