The Suspect: An Olympic Bombing, the FBI, the Media, and Richard Jewell, the Man Caught in the Middle

Kevin Salwen (BSJ79) and Kent Alexander

Salwen and Alexander present a harrowing and comprehensive chronicling of the terrorist bombing at the 1996 Olympic Games and the security guard caught in the middle. On July 27, 1996, a former cop turned security guard named Richard Jewell spotted a suspicious bag in Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park at the 1996 Summer Games. Inside was a bomb, the largest of its kind in FBI and ATF history. Minutes later, the bomb remotely detonated by the attacker into a crowd of  50,000 people. While the explosion killed one person and wounded 111, the death toll could have been far worse if not for Jewell, who alerted authorities and helped evacuate the area. While the games played on, the pressure mounted to find the bomber responsible. Within three days, Jewell went from the hero to the FBI’s main suspect and his identity was released by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a false accusation that forever changed his life and let the true bomber roam free to commit more bombings.