Olympic Park Bombing Fast Facts

Posted at 12:46 PM, Jul 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-22 14:46:45-04

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

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

Eric Robert Rudolph was convicted of placing the 40-pound bomb, filled with nails and screws, in Centennial Olympic Park.

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

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, security guard Richard Jewell is named by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a suspect in the bombing. Jewell was first praised as a hero for discovering the backpack that held the bomb and alerting the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to it. The area was being evacuated when the bomb exploded. Jewell denies any role in the bombing and is later cleared of any wrongdoing by the FBI.

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

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

October 14, 1998 – Rudolph, also considered 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 Birmingham on a total of 23 charges. The indictments formalize charges previously filed against Rudolph for the Olympic Park bombing and two other bombings in Atlanta, as well as one in Birmingham.

May 31, 2003 – Rudolph is captured and arrested in Murphy, North Carolina, by 21-year-old 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 and denies that he is an anarchist.

August 22, 2005 – Rudolph apologizes to his victims and their families for the 1996 Olympic Park bombing while appearing in court for sentencing. He does not apologize for any of the other attacks to which he confessed. Rudolph is sentenced to serve four consecutive life sentences plus 120 years in prison for the three Atlanta-area bombings. Rudolph was sentenced to two life terms in July for the Alabama bombing.