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Olympic Park Bombing Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here is a look at the 1996 Olympic Park Bombing in Atlanta.


Two people died and more than 100 others were injured as a result of a bombing at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Alice Hawthorne, 44, of Albany, Georgia, was killed by the explosion. Turkish cameraman Melih Uzunyol died of a heart attack as he rushed to film the scene.

Eric Robert Rudolph was convicted of placing the bomb, filled with nails and screws, in Centennial Olympic Park.


July 27, 1996 – An anonymous 911 call warns that a bomb will explode in Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, during the Olympic Games. The caller says: “There is a bomb in Centennial Park. You have 30 minutes.” The call is later determined to have been made from a pay phone near the park. Twenty-two minutes later, at 1:25 a.m. (some sources say 1:20 a.m.), a 40-pound pipe bomb explodes.

July 30, 1996 – Centennial Olympic Park reopens.

July 30, 1996 – Quoting an unnamed source, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution names security guard Richard Jewell as a suspect in the bombing. Jewell was initially praised as a hero for discovering the backpack that held the bomb and alerting the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to it. Jewell denies any role in the bombing.

October 26, 1996 – The US Justice Department announces that Jewell is no longer a suspect in the Olympic Park bombing.

February 2, 1998 – Rudolph is named as a suspect in the Olympic Park bombing.

October 14, 1998 – Rudolph, also a suspect in a bombing at an abortion clinic in Alabama, is formally charged in connection with the Olympic Park bombing.

November 15, 2000 – Rudolph is simultaneously indicted by federal grand juries in Atlanta and Alabama, on a total of 23 charges. The indictments formalize charges previously filed against Rudolph for the Olympic Park bombing and two other bombings in the Atlanta-area — at an abortion clinic and a nightclub — as well as a bombing at an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama.

May 31, 2003 – Rudolph is captured and arrested in Murphy, North Carolina, by rookie police officer Jeff Postell.

April 13, 2005 – Rudolph pleads guilty to the Birmingham, Alabama, abortion clinic bombing and the three Atlanta-area bombings, then releases an 11-page statement blaming the violence on the legalization of abortion.

August 22, 2005 – During his sentencing, Rudolph apologizes to his victims and their families for the Olympic Park bombing. Rudolph is sentenced to serve four consecutive life sentences plus 120 years in prison for the three Atlanta-area bombings. In July, Rudolph was sentenced to two life terms for the Alabama bombing.

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