Home grown terrorist and homosexual hating Eric Rudolph killed two people and injured around 150 as part of his hybrid homophobic and anti-abortionist agenda. He acquired his Olympic sobriquet at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics and his trademark was dynamite packed in nails. Despite a $1 million dollar reward on his head, and being on the FBI Ten Most Wanted list, he evaded capture for five years.
Eric Rudolph evaded capture for so long because of both the survival techniques he acquired in the army and the support given to him by many who were sympathetic to his ‘cause’. Numerous sources suggest that these people were drawn from a loose coalition of white supremacists.
Rudolph also killed an off duty police officer when he bombed an abortion clinic. Thankfully, his continued campaign, including the bombing of a government building and a gay bar, left enough evidence to clear Richard Jewell, a security guard at the Olympics. Initially praised for spotting the knapsack containing the Olympic bomb, Richard Jewell became the chief suspect and was subsequently subjected to intense media scrutiny and FBI surveillance.
When Eric Rudolph was finally arrested, he was caught digging through rubbish bins for food in North Carolina, he showed little remorse. Asked by a judge whether he was responsible for bombing an abortion clinic, he replied: “I certainly did, your honour”.
He may have been proud of his actions and been prepared to kill for them but he certainly wasn’t willing to die for them. In April 2005 he pleaded guilty to all charges in return for avoiding the death penalty.