Submitted by Jon Freeman

A man named Richard Jewell was working as a security guard on July 27 at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. That morning he noticed a very suspicious unattended backpack in Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park. There was a large bomb inside the backpack that ended up exploding. But before it exploded Jewell had taken action. Immediately after finding the backpack Richard Jewell alerted Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) officers of its existence and began clearing people from the area.

Minutes after he had found the backpack, and evacuated many people to safety, the bomb detonated. It was a 40 pound pipe bomb, and was the largest of its kind in the history of the FBI. Because of Jewell’s efforts the bomb only caused the death of 2 people, and injured 111. Richard Jewell’s actions saved hundreds of lives that day. Mr. Jewell was a hero. However, his hero status would not last. There was tremendous pressure on the FBI to solve this case, and to solve it fast. The entire world was watching.

The Olympics were in the United States, in Atlanta, and there had been a bombing in the town square of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. Only a few days after the bombing Jewell became the FBI’s primary suspect in the bombing. On July 30th this information was leaked, and the media identified Richard Jewell as the FBI’s main suspect in the bombing. He suddenly became a person caught in a nightmare. Jewell was hounded by the media, and instead of being viewed as a hero, he was the primary suspect. Many in the media and the public thought he was guilty; that he was the bomber. Jewell would eventually be cleared of suspicion, and his status as the Centennial Olympic Park hero would be restored. But it would be a long and rough road going from hero, to FBI prime suspect vilified in the media, and back to hero again. The greatest hero of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics was not an Olympic athlete – it was Richard Jewell. Read the true story of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing, Richard Jewell’s fight to clear his name, and the search for the real bomber in this well researched book called The Suspect

You can find this book in the GCPL catalog here: