Search for Rudolph continues 5 years after bombing
ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Almost five years after a pipe bomb shattered the celebrations at the 1996 Olympic Games, Eric Robert Rudolph remains at large.
Rudolph is charged with the July 27, 1996, bombing in Atlanta, Georgia's Centennial Olympic Park that killed Alice Hawthorne and wounded more than 100 others.
He is also accused of the January 1997 double bombing outside a suburban Atlanta clinic that performed abortions, the double bombing of an Atlanta lesbian nightclub a month later and the January 1998 bombing of a Birmingham, Alabama, clinic that performs abortions.
Off-duty policeman Robert Sanderson was killed in the Birmingham blast and Emily Lyons, a nurse at the clinic, was badly wounded.
Rudolph's pickup truck was spotted near the clinic, triggering a massive manhunt.
Authorities believe Rudolph went into hiding after the last bombing in the 517,000-acre Nantahala National Forest in western North Carolina.
Rudolph moved to the area with his family as a teen-ager and was an active outdoorsman. Authorities say he was very familiar with the many caves and abandoned mines in the mountainous, heavily wooded area.
Dozens of heavily armed teams searched the woods for Rudolph.
Rudolph was also put on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list and a $1 million reward was offered for his arrest.
Despite the high-profile search, there has been little sign of Rudolph.
The last known sighting was in 1998, when Rudolph reportedly went to the home George O. Nordmann, the owner of an Andrews, North Carolina, health food store.
According to published reports Rudolph asked Nordmann for help and gave him a list of supplies.
Nordmann agreed to bring him the supplies, but changed his mind and spent the night in his store. When he returned home, Nordmann discovered his pickup and 75 pounds of food and supplies had been taken. He found five $100 bills on his table.
He called the police four days later and authorities found his truck, but not Rudolph.
Since then, various break-ins and thefts have been blamed on Rudolph, but authorities have not said he was the culprit.
Some people have speculated that Rudolph may have left the area, while others think he may not be alive.
In December, 1999, John Magaw, retiring director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, said he thought Rudolph was dead.
The Southeast Bomb Task Force, the multi-agency group leading the search for Rudolph, is working under the assumption that he is still alive.
The task force has scaled back its operation, but is continuing to search for Rudolph.
|Back to the top|