WHAT HAPPENED? (1)
Eric Rudolph is an American terrorist and serial bomber, convicted of various anti-gay and anti-abortion bombings around the southern United States between 1996 and 1998.
His bombs killed a total of 3 people and wounded 150 others.
He spent 5 years on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, and was finally caught in 2003. He plead guilty to state and federal homicide so he could avoid a trial and a death sentence.
He was sentenced to 4 consecutive life sentences and is still in jail today.
Eric Rudolph is most known for the Centennial Olympic Park Bombing in Atlanta on July 27th of 1996 during the summer olympics. The bomb killed 1 spectator and wounded 111 others. (1)
He did it because he felt that the Olympics supported the ideals of global socialism, and he wanted the games to be cancelled (or at least for people to be too scared to go) so the government would have to eat all of the money it spent. He also wanted to, "embarrass the Washington government in the eyes of the world for its abominable sanctioning of abortion on demand". Because, you know, the best way to hammer home your pro-life beliefs is to detonate a bomb in a crowded park. (1)
His statement admitting to the bombing cleared Richard Jewell, the security guard who had found the backpack with the bomb and was initially seen as a hero for clearing the area, from the FBI and media believing he was the bomber. (1)
Rudolph also bombed an abortion clinic in Sandy Springs, an Atlanta suburb, on January 16th 1997 and a lesbian bar on February 21st, 1997. (1)
His bombing a Birmingham abortion clinic on January 29th, 1998 killed a police officer and critically injured nurse Emily Lyons. (2)
Emily continued to work at the New Woman, All Women Healthcare Clinic in Birmingham even after the bombing. Her shins were blasted away, her left eye was destroyed, her right eye was extremely damaged, and her entire body was riddled with nails and shrapnel, causing her to undergo multiple surgeries and medical procedures. (2)
The bomb was a part of a campaign against abortion and the "homosexual agenda". He was associated with the Christian Identity Movement, a white supremacist sect of Christianity (not really, but that's what they consider it) who see themselves as God's chosen people. (2)
Emily was, at the time of the bombing, quiet and apolitical, but has turned into a fierce, dedicated and outspoken champion for a woman's right to choose. (2)
The police officer killed in the bomb was Robert "Sande" Sanderson. He worked overtime at the abortion clinic, and was the first person to ever be killed by an abortion clinic bombing. (3)
He was a U.S. Air Force veteran and had served on the Birmingham Police Department for 9 years. He left behind a wife and one child. (3)
FINDING A FUGITIVE (1)
Rudolph was identified as a suspect in the abortion clinic bombing on February 14th, 1998 following tips from witnesses who had seen his car leaving the area.
His family was questioned, but ultimately believed his innocence. His older brother videotaped himself cutting off his left hand as a message to the FBI and the media. Because as we all know, a really good way to show that you and your family aren't insane is to dismember yourself on camera. (Surgeons were able to repair his arm.)
In 2003, Rudolph was finally arrested in North Carolina. He was found by a rookie cop in a dumpster looking for food.
He agreed to a plea bargain that allowed him to avoid the death penalty and said that taking the life sentence was a "purely tactical choice" against a government who wanted him dead. He spends 22.5 hours alone in his cell. You really stuck it to the man, Eric.
He considered abortion to be murder and felt that its perpetrators deserved death, and that the U.S. was horrible for losing its sanctioning over abortions. He also had to resist by force the practice of homosexuality.
In prison, he has claimed he was not a member of the Christian Identity Movement, but a Catholic who hopes he will be able to die a Catholic. But he also said he is a firmer believer in Nietzsche than the bible.
He maintains that he was providing a moral duty, and has never felt remorse for his actions.
REFERENCES: 1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Rudolph