Terry Lynn Nichols (born April 1, 1955) is a convicted American bomber and mass murderer, who prior to his incarceration, held a variety of short term jobs including farmer, grain elevator manager, real estate salesman, ranch hand, and house husband. He met his future co-conspirator, Timothy McVeigh, during a brief stint in the U.S. Army, which ended in 1989 when he requested a hardship discharge after less than one year of service. In 1994 and 1995, he conspired with McVeigh in the planning and preparation of the Oklahoma City bombing – the truck bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on April 19, 1995 which claimed the lives of 168 people including 19 children.
After a federal trial in 1997, Nichols was convicted of conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and eight counts of involuntary manslaughter for killing federal law enforcement personnel. He was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole because the jury deadlocked on the death penalty. He was also tried in Oklahoma on state charges of murder in connection with the bombing, and was convicted in 2004 of 161 counts of first degree murder, which included one count of fetal homicide, first degree arson, and conspiracy. As in the federal trial, the state jury deadlocked on imposing the death penalty. He was sentenced to 161 consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole, and is incarcerated in ADX Florence, a super maximum security prison near Florence, Colorado. He shares a cellblock that is commonly referred to as "Bombers Row" with Ramzi Yousef and Ted Kaczynski. Only three people, McVeigh, Nichols and Michael Fortier were ever indicted for the bombing.
Nichols was born in Lapeer, Michigan. He was raised on a farm, the third of four children of Joyce and Robert Nichols. Growing up, he helped his parents on the farm, learning to operate and maintain the equipment. According to the Denver Post, he also cared for injured birds and animals.