"This is a solemn event. At the same time, I can tell you that companies that service visitors are going to make money."
EBay, the biggest Internet auction site, offered numerous McVeigh items last month, including a wall clock and a refrigerator magnet bearing McVeigh's police mug shot; a T-shirt picturing a large syringe with the words "Hoosier Hospitality" and "Final Justice"; copies of letters he's written; and a button with a rifle cross-hairs superimposed over his photo.
After criticism, eBay suspended sales of all merchandise connected to McVeigh and other killers on May 17--a day after his first scheduled execution.
Walker is exporting T-shirts from her Body Art Emporium tattoo parlor. "I've been shipping to California, Florida, New Jersey, a lot to Texas. I don't know what's going on in Texas.
"I consider them a keep-sake," Walker said, as she handed a profane version of the pro-execution shirt to an NBC cameraman from New York for $20. "Twenty, 30, 50 years from now, you can give this to your grandkids and they'll know you were here."
At Books-a-Million, "American Terrorist: Timothy McVeigh & the Oklahoma City Bombing" is a best-seller. Two copies are on a shelf between the biography of the World Wrestling Federation's Chyna and Marie Osmond's thoughts on postpartum depression. Until recently, there were 30 people on a waiting list for the McVeigh book, in which McVeigh admits planting the bomb and calls the 19 children who died "collateral damage."
"I don't think we should even sell it," said bookstore co-manager Deb Thorpe. "He's the scum of the earth."
Henry said hotels increased the prices of rooms when the execution date was announced, but that practice is normal when events increase tourism.
Larry Taylor, who lives across a two-lane highway from the prison, will park more than 100 media vehicles on his lawn. He plans to donate the $3,000 he'll make from the parking to his church.
Two homes north, Thomas Norris plans to park about 50 cars on his lawn for $10 a day. He's charging a TV station $1,100 to park its satellite truck on his property.
"I ain't greedy," Norris said. "The prison is charging $2,000 to park across the road.
"I pay to park when I go to a carnival. I figure they should pay to come to this carnival."
Norris plans to sell coffee, soda and sandwiches to reporters and protesters who keep vigil throughout the night before the 7 a.m. execution.
"Why shouldn't I make some money on this?" Norris asked. "The hospital made theirs out in Oklahoma City; the mortuaries made theirs; the cemeteries made theirs. What's wrong with making a few bucks?"
Community leaders have expressed disgust with residents profiting from McVeigh's death. An editorial in the Terre Haute Tribune Star called T-shirt sales a "moronic marketing venture" by people "only trying to make a buck."
That paper plans a 12-page, 50-cent special edition to be published in the hours after the execution and rushed to the prison to be sold to protesters. The newspaper is selling ads in the special edition.
"It is being warmly received" by advertisers, particularly restaurants, said circulation director Rob Koewler.
And at Walker's tattoo parlor, there is an execution special: 10 percent off tattoos for reporters.
"It's America," smiled tattoo artist Damon Thompson. "It's capitalism at its best."