Richard Jewell om at blive fejlagtigt anklaget for olympiske bombninger

Richard Jewell om at blive fejlagtigt anklaget for olympiske bombninger


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På et pressemøde den 28. oktober 1996 leverede sikkerhedsvagt Richard Jewell en følelsesmæssig beretning om de vanskeligheder, han led, efter at han fejlagtigt blev bebrejdet for at have plantet en rørbombe ved de olympiske lege i Atlanta den 27. juli.


Hvad skete der egentlig med Richard Jewell? Clint Eastwoods film om bombning under OL i 1996

Den legendariske Hollywood-skuespiller og instruktør Clint Eastwoods nye film "Richard Jewell" har fået Oscar-buzz siden premieren i november, men nu tiltrækker den opmærksomhed af en anden art.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution har truet Warner Bros. med en ærekrænkelsessag over filmen, der fortæller historien om en sikkerhedsvagt i Atlanta i 1996, der reddede hundredvis af liv under et indenlandsk terrorangreb, kun for at få sit navn udtværet og livet afsporet af skødesløs nyhedsdækning og en kontroversiel FBI -undersøgelse.

Fox Nation's nye dokumentarfilm, "Hero for a Moment: The Richard Jewell Story", genundersøgte bombningen og dens efterspil ved hjælp af sjældne optagelser af politiafhør og interviews med forfatterne af "The Suspect: An Olympic Bombing, FBI, Media og Richard Jewell, manden fanget i midten. "

"[Jewell] havde en passion for at være i retshåndhævelse," sagde Tom Davis, Special Agent-in-Charge ved Georgia Bureau of Investigation, til Fox Nation, "Det er sådan set det første indtryk, jeg fik fra ham, at han virkelig ville at være betjent. "

Davis mødte Jewell, da Davis arbejdede som assisterende tilsynsførende på Centennial Park i Atlanta under de olympiske lege i 1996. En del af Jewells ansvar indebar patruljering af området omkring et midlertidigt medietårn, der blev bygget på grunden. Den 27. juli 1996 opdagede Jewell en mistænkelig taske under en bænk under tårnet og advarede Davis.

"Richard. Var meget bekymret over rygsækken," huskede Davis. "Jeg vil kategorisere det mere som værende meget ivrig efter situationen mere end at freake ud af det. Vi begyndte bare at spørge alle mennesker i det generelle område, om rygsækken tilhørte dem. Og selvfølgelig påstod ingen ejerskab af den. "

Et bombediagnostisk team blev sendt, og en af ​​dem kiggede inde i posen og så ledninger og rør. De indså ikke umiddelbart, at det var en bombe, men sikkerhedsvagter begyndte at flytte folk væk fra området. Så eksploderede pludselig tre rør bomber-fyldt med søm og skruer-.

"Jeg vil aldrig glemme det," sagde Davis. "Det var en meget høj eksplosion. Og varmen fra den var enorm. Det tvang mig bare til jorden. Og fra det tidspunkt var det bare et totalt kaos."

To mennesker blev dræbt, en 44-årig kvinde i Georgien og en tyrkisk kameramand, der forsøgte at dække hændelsen. Flere end 100 andre blev såret. Lovhåndhævelse begyndte straks at søge efter mistænkte, og medierne hyldede i første omgang Jewell som en helt.

"Alle vil vide, hvem sikkerhedsvagten er," sagde Kent Alexander, der var den amerikanske advokat i Atlanta i 1996 og medforfatter til "The Suspect". "Du fik interviews på CNN, interviews med aviser rundt omkring, interviews med The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Tirsdag morgen er han i gang med Katie Couric på 'The Today Show'."

"Uden at Richard Jewell vidste, på det tidspunkt var han blevet FBIs største mistænkte," fortsatte Alexander, og snart ville disse oplysninger blive rapporteret til offentligheden.

ATLANTA, GA - 28. OKTOBER: Richard Jewell smiler under et pressemøde i Atlanta, Ga. Jewell blev ryddet som mistænkt i bombningen af ​​Centennial Olympic Park den 27. juli, tre måneder efter at FBI meddelte, at han var deres hovedmistænkte. (Fotokredit skal læse DOUG COLLIER/AFP/Getty Images)

"Kathy Scruggs var den, der brød historien om Richard Jewell," sagde Lyda Longa, der var politireporter for avisen under legene i 1996, til Fox Nation. "Hun havde meget gode kontakter til politiafdelingen. Hun havde været der et par år, og hun havde kontakter med FBI. Og jeg tror, ​​at navnet kom til hende via nogen fra FBI."

AJC's juridiske team sendte mandag et seks sider langt brev til Warner Bros. og Eastwood med påstand om, at filmen forkert repræsenterer Scruggs 'arbejde, der døde i 2001. Avisen hævder, at filmen antyder, at Scruggs havde sex med en FBI-agent i bytte for følsomme oplysninger i undersøgelsen.

Warner Bros slog AJC's "grundløse" påstande til og beskyldte avisen for at "forsøge at ondskabsfulde vores filmskabere og medvirkende."

Paul Walter Hauser spiller rollen som Richard Jewell, en sikkerhedsvagt, der blev undersøgt i forbindelse med bombningen af ​​Centennial Olympic Park i 1996.

Scruggs -rapporten satte gang i en kæde af begivenheder, der forstyrrede FBI -efterforskningen og sparkede et mareridt i gang for Jewell, som senere blev ryddet af FBI.

Den 30. juli, natten efter at Scruggs 'artikel blev offentliggjort, sagde NBC-nyhedsanker Tom Brokaw on-air: "' De har nok nok til at arrestere ham lige nu. Sandsynligvis nok til at retsforfølge ham, men du vil altid have nok til at dømme ham også. Der er stadig huller i denne sag. ''

"Forestil dig, hvordan det var for Richard Jewell," sagde Fox News juridiske og politiske analytiker Gregg Jarrett til Fox Nation. "Han reddede utallige liv. Han bliver hyldet internationalt som en helt. Pludselig er han en skurk. Han er monsteret, der gjorde dette. Og OL var ikke engang slut."

Alexander sagde: "Ingen ville have hans navn derude, da historien brød ud om, at Richard Jewell var mistænkt. Det kastede efterforskningen til pandemonium. Folk var chokerede. Bankede bordet med deres knytnæver. Det var bare ikke noget, som retshåndhævelse ville at sige."

For at se hele "Hero for a Moment: The Richard Jewell Story" skal du gå til Fox Nation og tilmelde dig i dag.

Fox Nation-programmer kan ses on-demand og fra din app til mobilenheder, men kun for Fox Nation-abonnenter. Gå til Fox Nation for at starte en gratis prøveperiode og se det omfattende bibliotek fra Tomi Lahren, Pete Hegseth, Abby Hornacek, Laura Ingraham, Ainsley Earhardt, Greg Gutfeld, dommer Andrew Napolitano og mange flere af dine foretrukne Fox News -personligheder.


Richard Jewells advokat er enig i, at filmen blev smurt i Atlanta -avisreporter

Advokaten for Richard Jewell, der blev mistænkt i bombningen af ​​Olympic Park i 1996, før han blev fritaget, kritiserede filmen "Richard Jewell" torsdag aften og kaldte dens skildring af en reporter i filmens centrum "falsk og fordømmende".

Filmen, instrueret af Clint Eastwood, tyder kraftigt på, at reporteren, Kathy Scruggs fra The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, sov med en FBI-agent for at få oplysninger om efterforskningen.

Mange journalister har kraftigt kritiseret fremstillingen for at forevige en skadelig og falsk stereotype, som nogle kvindelige journalister bytter sex for information, som amerikanske nyhedsorganisationer forbyder som uetisk.

Scruggs døde i 2001 i en alder af 42. Jewell døde i 2007 i en alder af 44. Journal-Constitution har fastholdt, at der ikke er tegn på, at Scruggs sov med alle involverede i undersøgelsen og har krævet, at Warner Bros. og filmskaberne udsender en erklæring, der anerkender at de tog dramatisk licens i deres fremstilling af Scruggs.

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I en tråd på Twitter torsdag aften sluttede Lin Wood, den fremtrædende ærekrænkelsesadvokat, der repræsenterede Jewell i retssager mod Journal-Constitution og andre medieorganisationer, filmens kritikere.

Wood henviste til avisen med sit almindeligt anvendte kaldenavn og skrev: "Jeg behandlede Richard Jewells sag mod AJC i 16 år. Da sagen sluttede, var Richard & amp. Scruggs begge døde. Der var INGEN beviser til støtte for en historie at fru Scruggs byttede sex for tips om Richard. Vi har aldrig fremsat sådan en falsk og fordømmende påstand. "

1/ Jeg behandlede Richard Jewells sag mod AJC i 16 år. Da sagen sluttede, var Richard og fru Scruggs begge døde. Der var ingen beviser til støtte for en historie om, at fru Scruggs byttede sex for at få tips om Richard. Vi har aldrig fremsat sådan en falsk og fordømmende påstand. https://t.co/Wii3yiCK7y

- Lin Wood (@LLinWood) 13. december 2019

Wood fortsatte med at skrive, at beviser viste, at Scruggs datede en politibetjent i Atlanta på undersøgelsestidspunktet, og at avisen uafhængigt bekræftede med FBI, at Jewell var en førende mistænkt før offentliggørelsen.

"Den historie kan måske ikke vinde nogen en Oscar, men det er sandheden under beviserne," skrev Wood.

I 2011 afgjorde Georgia Court of Appeals for avisen, der havde nægtet at forhandle en løsning på Jewells retssag. Andre nyhedsorganisationer, herunder NBC News, afgjorde lignende sager, generelt for ikke oplyste summer og med påstanden om, at de stod fast ved deres rapportering.

Ud over Eastwood og filmens produktionsteam er Olivia Wilde, skuespilleren, der spillede Scruggs i filmen, også blevet udsat for kritik. Hun reagerede tidligere torsdag i en lang Twitter -tråd og sagde, at hun ville dele sit perspektiv på rollen og præcisere tidligere kommentarer, hvor hun sagde, at hun troede, at striden var en "grundlæggende misforståelse af feminisme som from sexlessness."

En af de ting, jeg elsker ved at instruere, er evnen til at kontrollere filmens stemme og budskab. Som skuespiller er det mere kompliceret, og jeg vil dele mit perspektiv på min rolle i filmen "Richard Jewell".

- olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) 12. december 2019

"I modsætning til et par nyere overskrifter tror jeg ikke, at Kathy 'byttede sex for tip'," tweetede Wilde. "Intet i min forskning foreslog, at hun gjorde det, og det var aldrig min hensigt at foreslå, at hun havde. Det ville være en forfærdelig og kvindehadsk afskedigelse af det vanskelige arbejde, hun udførte."

"Perspektivet for den fiktive dramatisering af historien, som jeg forstod det, var, at Kathy og FBI-agenten, der lækkede falske oplysninger til hende, var i et allerede eksisterende romantisk forhold, ikke en transaktionel udveksling af sex til information," Wilde fortsatte.

Wilde sagde også i sin Twitter -tråd, at Scruggs var i centrum for den "brutale og uretfærdige fordærvelse" af Jewell, og at filmen var centreret om tragedien i anklagerne mod ham.

Eric Rudolph, en amerikansk indenlandsk terrorist, blev senere fundet at have været ansvarlig for at sætte bomben i gang, der dræbte en person og sårede 111 andre mennesker ved sommer -OL i Atlanta i juli 1996. Jewell, en sikkerhedsvagt i parken, hjalp med at evakuere området, efter at bomben blev opdaget.

Scruggs tidligere venner og kolleger talte om journalistens arv i Journal-Constitution for en artikel i avisen med titlen "The Ballad of Kathy Scruggs." Scruggs 'tidligere rapporteringspartner, Ron Martz, spillet af David Shae i filmen, sagde, at ingen fra filmen kontaktede ham.

"Hvis de rent faktisk havde kontaktet mig, kunne det have ødelagt deres idé om, hvad de ville have historien til," sagde Martz til avisen. "Det er indlysende for mig, at de ikke gik særlig langt for at finde ud af, hvordan de rigtige karakterer var."

Han fortsatte med at sige, at Scruggs var "en af ​​de bedre journalister, jeg nogensinde har arbejdet sammen med."


Ryddet i Olympics Blast, får Jewell penge fra NBC

ATLANTA-Richard Jewell, verdens mest berømte sikkerhedsvagt, har for nylig vundet to store sejre: en meget offentlig erklæring fra FBI om, at han ikke plantede bomben, der knuste OL i 1996, og en meget stille, seks-cifret afvikling fra NBC, hvis stjernenyhedsanker havde landet netværket i en vanskelig position.

Hvordan lykkedes det Mr. Jewell at gøre overgangen fra velkendt mistænkt til stærkt kompenseret offer? Historien begynder faktisk ikke sidste juli, med bombningen, men for ti år siden på ottende etage i Atlantas Richard Russell Federal Building.

Det var der, Mr. Jewell mødte manden, der ville komme for at tjene som hans korstogsadvokat. Dengang var Mr. Jewell forsyningssekretær i postrummet, og G. Watson Bryant Jr. var en advokat på lavt niveau, der lukkede lån for Small Business Administration. Nogle dage ville Mr. Bryant give Mr. Jewell en tur hjem og lade ham låne sin radardetektor. De holdt ofte frokostpauser sammen på en nærliggende Chick-Fil-A og zappede imaginære rumvæsener i "Galaxians" videospil i guldminearkaden.

Nu er de to gået sammen igen, denne gang mod langt større mål. Sammen med et par frittalende personskadeadvokater er herrer Jewell og Bryant i gang med et vedvarende overfald på nogle af landets største medievirksomheder. De har allerede taget imod NBC og anker Tom Brokaw og afvist den ekstraordinære kontante betaling for at afværge en mulig ærekrænkelse. Netværket undskyldte ikke, og dets afvikling tiltrak få overskrifter, da det blev annonceret 9. december. Men folk, der er bekendt med aftalen, sagde, at NBC accepterede at betale over $ 500.000 - langt mere end den "generende værdi", der lejlighedsvis tilbydes til potentielle sagsøgere.

Mr. Jewells juridiske team har også sagsøgt en radiostation i Atlanta og hævdet, at det uretfærdigt latterliggjorde Mr. Jewell i en lokal billboardkampagne. Advokaterne har offentligt truet med at sagsøge Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Advokaterne har støttet NBC -aftalen og har i hemmelighed mødt en leder af Cable News Network for at diskutere et forlig. CNN, en enhed fra Time Warner Inc., afviser at kommentere.


Formodet skyldig

Illustration af Jeremy White

Denne artikel opstod oprindeligt i vores december 1996 -nummer.

Dette adjektiv hjemsøgte Richard Jewell længe før han blev kendt som FBIs førende mistænkte i bombningen af ​​Centennial Olympic Park den 27. juli 1996.

Selv som barn syntes Jewell at være drevet af et dybtliggende behov for altid at gøre mere, end han blev bedt om.

Tag instansen på Towers High School i Dekalb County. En morgen spionerede han en ny lærer gående hen over parkeringspladsen og kæmpede for at bære to papkasser fulde af bøger. Han gik hoppende over græsplænen og gik op til samfundsfaglæreren med et smil på læben. "Kan jeg hjælpe dig, sir?" spurgte han og tog en af ​​kasserne og førte Richard Muska til sit klasseværelse.

I modsætning til mange af de andre elever ville Richard komme til Muskas værelse mellem klasserne og kammerater og fortælle historier og vittigheder. Hans venlighed syntes ikke Muska som beregnende. Frem for alt troede han på, at Richard var ægte - et godt barn, der altid var villig til at hjælpe.

Men da han blev betjent, 11 år senere, var det Jewells iver efter at behage, der ofte blev hans forræder.

Ligesom dengang han måneskinede som sikkerhedsofficer i et lejlighedskompleks i DeKalb County og gik for at bryde en sen nat fest på et spabad. Han kunne have ringet til politiet og ventet på dem, men i stedet gik han selv til at bryde det op og endte med at blive anholdt for at efterligne en politibetjent.

Eller dengang han var vicebetjent i Habersham County, og han ville senere sige, bemærkede en bil, der trak ud bag en bygning. Det så mistænkeligt ud, så han tog fart efter og sluttede med at køre ned i sin patruljevogn. Ikke nok med det, men lensmanden var skeptisk over for denne historie og ødelagde ham til vagttjeneste i amtsfængslet. I stedet forlod han magten.

Så er der den tid, hvor han arbejdede som sikkerhed for Piedmont College. Det tog ham ikke lang tid at forværre college-messingen, udstede billetter off-campus på hovedvejen og skrive lange, detaljerede rapporter om tilsyneladende mindre hændelser og foreslå hemmelige undersøgelser. De sluttede med at bede om hans fratræden.

Derefter fik han et job som sikkerhedsvagt i AT & ampT Global Village, i Centennial Olympic Park. Under en bænk, meter væk fra indgangen til lys- og lydtårnet, hvor han var stationeret, opdagede han en rygsæk, der indeholdt en bombe. Det eksploderede, dræbte en kvinde og sårede 111, men uden Jewells opdagelse kunne tallene have været svimlende. I tre dage var Jewell skålen i Atlanta, i landet, endda i verden.

Et øjeblik så det ud til, at Richard Jewells iver endelig havde tjent ham rigtigt. Derefter gik alt i et øjeblik galt. Den bragende overskrift tirsdag den 30. juli 1996 sagde det hele: FBI SUSPECTTS ‘HERO’ GUARD KAN HAVE PLANTET BOMB.

Før den olympiske bombning gjorde hans navn til et husstandsord, Richard Allensworth Jewell havde levet et så anonymt liv som muligt. "Uopmærksom", er den måde, Habersham County Attorney Robb Kiker beskriver Jewells femårige embedsperiode som stedfortrædende sherif i det amt. "Faktisk, da dette skete, var jeg nødt til at tænke i fem minutter bare for at tænke på, hvilken officer han var," siger Kiker.

Jewell, 33, blev født i Danville, Va. Men lidt vides om hans tid der. Journalister for Danville Register & amp Bee kæmmet gennem gamle telefonbøger og bybøger på udkig efter fortegnelser over familien Jewell. De kontrollerede andre sandsynlige kilder skatteoptegnelser, ægteskabsoptegnelser, dødsregistre, ejendomsregisteret. Ikke noget.

En talsmand for skolerne kunne ikke bekræfte, om Jewell nogensinde var elev. Optegnelser ved Dan River - byens største arbejdsgiver - viste ikke, at nogen ved navn Jewell nogensinde havde arbejdet på møllen i løbet af 1960'erne, den tid, familien formodentlig boede der. I en historieoverskrifter SUSPEKTS LINK TIL DANVILLE STADIG ET MYSTERI, reporterne for Tilmeld tænkte: "Har Richard Jewell nogensinde sovet her?"

Manglen på information stoppede ikke mediernes vanvid. Borgmesteren i Danville holdt et pressemøde og besvarede spørgsmål om, hvorvidt byen kunne "leve ned i skændsel", hvis Jewell blev anklaget for bombningen. "... Hvis manden forlod Danville i en alder af 6, kunne vi ikke blive beskyldt for at have plejet ham," svarede borgmesteren.

Jewell, som enebarn, er "stort set blevet adskilt fra sin far i en årrække", ifølge Jack Martin, Jewells forsvarsadvokat. Han er meget tæt på sin mor, og flyttede med hende til Atlanta, da han var 6. Hun arbejder for Sedgwick James fra Georgia forsikringsselskab, hvor hun for nylig var virksomhedens medarbejder for året.

Jewell gik på Towers High School i Dekalb County og var en af ​​de stille elever, som få synes at lægge mærke til eller huske. I skoleåret 1982, Jewells seniorår, nævnes han hverken i klasseprofetien eller seniormappen. Faktisk var nogle af hans klassekammerater og lærere på gymnasiet ikke engang klar over, at de var gået i skole med "at Richard Jewell ”, indtil en journalist kontaktede dem.

Men for sin tidligere lærer, Richard Muska, skiller Jewell sig ud. "Han var en lysende stjerne," siger Muska. ”Han var altid et barn, der var villig til at hjælpe, og i slutningen af ​​1970’erne var det meget ejendommeligt.

»Han var et barn, der ikke involverede sig i de negative ting. Han var meget ked af alt, hvad der var uordenligt omkring skolen. På det tidspunkt var der racemæssig spænding, og der var opblussen. Og han kom ind på mit værelse, og han rystede på hovedet og sagde: 'Det er ikke rigtigt', og vi ville tale om det. Han var en god knægt, og dengang var der darned få gode børn. ”

Jewell var ikke en kompliceret person. "Han var aldrig sløv på nogen måde," siger Muska. ”Hvis nogen skulle vokse op til at blive en god gammel dreng, var det Richard. Det siger jeg som et kompliment til sydboerne. Denne knægt var et produkt af det sydlige land, der boede på kanten af ​​storbyen. ”

Jewell tog eksamen fra Towers High i 1982 og arbejdede i en række forskellige job, blandt andet som forsyningsrumsmedarbejder for U.S. Small Business Administration. Det var der, han mødte Watson Bryant, der dengang var advokat på bureauet. De blev hurtige venner, stævner næsten hver eftermiddag i deres frokostpause i arkaden i CNN Center, bemandede video -destroyere og kæmpede med fremmede skibe.

Jewells kaldenavn var "Radar." Bryant siger, at han var så effektiv til sit job - den forudgående, der var villig til at gøre den ekstra indsats, ligesom sin navnebror, Radar O’Reilly, fra MOSE. ” Richard har altid gjort det bedste, han kunne, uanset hvad den tildelte opgave var, og han gjorde det normalt bedre, end alle ville have, at han skulle gøre det, ”siger Bryant, der nu fungerer som Jewells advokat.

Han blev hurtigt forfremmet til vejleder for forsyningsrummet og postrummet. Ved at arbejde i divisionen, der specialiserede sig i at yde katastrofelån i hele Sydøst og Midtvesten, ville Jewell ofte skulle få en varevogn klar med et øjebliks varsel for at gå til et feltkontor. "Her kommer Radar," ville hans chef sige. "Det er det, jeg har brug for, Radar." Og uanset hvor uklart et emne, ville Richard Jewell finde det.

At være politimand var altid en ambition for Jewell, og i 1990 fik han et job i Habersham County som fængselsbetjent, indgangsniveau i lensmandsafdelingen. Hans iver efter at behage havde tjent ham godt som forsyningsfuldmægtig. Men da han først begyndte at arbejde inden for retshåndhævelse, begyndte det at føre ham til problemer.

Samtidig gik han på arbejde med lensmandsafdelingen, Jewell månede også som sikkerhedsvagt på DeKalb County -lejlighedskomplekset, hvor han boede.

Tidligt om morgenen den 26. maj 1990 modtog han klager over ro i et spabad i komplekset. Jewell bevæbnede sig med en 9 mm pistol, tog sine håndjern og gik for at undersøge. Da han fandt de to personer ansvarlige, identificerede han sig som en viceminister i Habersham County og anbragte en 22-årig mand anholdt for offentlig beruselse og skabelse af en krænkende tilstand.

I processen kom han i slagsmål med den mistænkte, der ifølge anklagerens ord "blev slået af Mr. Jewell, ikke alvorligt nok til at kræve lægehjælp." Mere bekymrende var Jewell ikke engang en certificeret officer, han var bare en fængselsbetjent uden magt til at arrestere nogen. I stedet blev han selv anholdt af DeKalb County Politi for at efterligne en politibetjent.

Watson Bryant kalder det nu en misforståelse. "Fyren angreb Richard, og han måtte lægge ham på jorden og sidde på ham," siger Bryant. “Richard havde en hat på, der sagde, at han var vicechef i Habersham County var en stedfortrædende lensmand, tildelt fængslet. Han ringede til politiet, og uanset årsagen kom han og DeKalb -politimanden ikke sammen - fyren skal vise Richard, hvem der har ansvaret og anklager ham for at efterligne en betjent for at have udført sit job som sikkerhedsvagt. ”

Over 70 beboere i lejlighedskomplekset underskrev et brev til støtte for Jewell ifølge en retsudskrift, og hans advokat fortalte retten, at hans klient kun forsøgte at være en "meget nidkær beskytter" af de mennesker, der bor der. "Jeg tror, ​​at politiet følte, at han var overivrig," sagde advokaten og brugte det tillægsord, der er kommet til at hjemsøge Jewell i hans lovhåndhævende karriere.

Anklageren, Elisabeth MacNamara, fandt hændelsen foruroligende nok til at tyde på, at Jewell var overivrig til det punkt, at han måske var ude af balance. "Den primære bekymring, som jeg indsamlede fra alle involverede i denne sag, er, at Mr. Jewell muligvis skal evalueres for en eller anden form for mental sundhedsbehandling," sagde hun til retten.

Jewell erkendte sig skyldig i den reducerede tiltale for ordensforstyrrelse. Han blev sat på prøve og beordret til at gennemgå en psykologisk vurdering.

Dels fordi sigtelsen blev droppet fra forbrydelse til forseelse, var han i stand til at beholde sin stilling som fængselsbetjent i Habersham County og måneder senere blive forfremmet til en fuldgyldig stedfortrædende lensmand. "Han ville arbejde 12-timers vagter, gå hjem, gå i bad og derefter komme tilbage på arbejde og køre med en stedfortræder," sagde tidligere stedfortræder Randy Bowden Newsweek.

Derefter, i 1995, styrtede Jewell sin amtscruiser, mens han hævdede, at han jagtede et mistænkeligt køretøj. Da lensmanden tvivlede på hans beretning om ulykken og degraderede ham tilbage til fangevogter, trak Jewell sig.

Derfra tog han et job, der arbejdede som sikkerhed ved Piedmont College, i Demorest. College embedsmænd fortalte senere journalister, at Jewell var overivrig, skrev lange og detaljerede rapporter om mindre hændelser og udstedte trafikbilletter på hovedvejen, langt ud over campusgrænsen. I en 1. august historie i Atlanta Journal Constitution headlined A DAD MAN TO CROSS ON His BEAT, blev elever også citeret for at sige, at Jewell gik til ekstremer.

"Han var meget macho, og han kunne blive meget krigerisk," sagde Piedmont College junior Nikki Lane. "Jeg har set ham gå fra ro til vrede, tilbage til ro og tilbage til vred på få sekunder."

Jewell fortalte 60 minutter at kollegiets forværring med ham stammede fra deres frygt for, at hans hang til at foretage anholdelse af narkotika og spirituskørsel ville bringe kollegiet ugunstig omtale i lokalavisen.

Begge sider er enige om, at Jewell blev bedt om at træde tilbage.

Han fik hurtigt et job, der arbejdede som sikkerhed i Centennial Olympic Park til de olympiske lege. Omtrent på samme tid, som han blev ansat, blev to medlemmer af en højreorienteret gruppe anholdt i Crawford County og sigtet for at lave bomber. Rygter, der senere viste sig at være falske, dukkede op i pressen om, at bomberne var beregnet til de olympiske lege.

"Hvis der sker noget under OL," sagde Jewell angiveligt til venner, "jeg vil være midt i det."

Det blev en profetisk erklæring og i mediernes og FBI's øjne en, der voksede til at få skumle konsekvenser.

De to feds sank i knæ, flikkede på lommelygter og dyppede under bænken mod rygsækken. Ti meter væk, nøje overvåget, var Richard Jewell sammen med hans vejleder, Bob Ahring, en GBI -agent ved navn Tom Davis, som også arbejdede med sikkerhed i Centennial Park, og en AT & ampT virksomhedssikkerhedsofficer.

Jewell fortalte Ahring (som fortalte denne kronologi til Atlanta magasin) at hans opmærksomhed er blevet tiltrukket af en gruppe på fire børn, der er ved at drikke, mens de var samlet på en bænk nær lys- og lydtårnet, hvor han var stationeret. De så mindreårige ud, og, sagde Jewell annonce til sin vejleder, han havde markeret Davis (der nægtede at blive interviewet til denne historie), og de var gået hen mod bænken for at undersøge.

Børnene rejste sig for at gå, forklarede Jewell til Ahring, og det var da han opdagede rygsækken, der sad under bænken, ved siden af ​​et hegn sagde Jewell, at han og Davis råbte til børnene for at spørge, om de havde glemt deres taske. Han forklarede, at børnene sagde, at det ikke tilhørte dem og syntes at øge deres tempo, før de forsvandt i mængden.

Efter alt at dømme gik Jewell og Davis ikke for at se, hvad der var inde i rygsækken eller fandt ud af, om den havde et navneskilt - du legede ikke med pakker, der ikke syntes at have en ejer. I stedet havde Jewell udsendt Ahring, en assisterende politimester fra Blue Springs, Mo., Der havde tilsyn med den 36-mands nattevagt-sikkerhedsstyrke, mens Davis havde ringet til Centennial Parks bombegruppe.

Nu nåede en af ​​bombeeksperterne ud til rygsækken. Han åbnede meget forsigtigt en klap, fokuserede sin lommelygte og lænede sig derefter frem for at kigge indenfor. Et øjeblik frøs han simpelthen. Derefter, næsten samtidig, krypterede begge feds baglæns, ud fra under bænken og væk fra rygsækken. De rejste sig og tog ikke engang tid til at vende om, de fortsatte bare baglæns. Op til hvor Jewell, Ahring, Davis og den anden mand ventede. Og så forbi dem.

De fire mænd forstod straks: Dette er virkeligt. Dette er en bombe.

Ahring indhentede en af ​​de feds. "Hvad har vi?"

"Det er stort," svarede han tydeligvis rystet.

"Rigtig stor," sagde foderen, da han trak en mobiltelefon frem.

"Skal vi evakuere?" Spurgte Ahring.

Den fodrede nikkede kraftigt med hovedet, da han ringede til et nummer.

Det var tæt på 1:10 a. m., 27. juli 1996. Cirka 10 minutter tilbage.

De bevægede sig hurtigt øjeblikke før eksplosionen. Det første, Ahring gjorde, var at sende Jewell til lys- og lydtårnet med ordre om at evakuere alle. Imens sendte Tom Davis sin kommandopost til statstropper for at hjælpe med at flytte folk væk fra tårnet. Der var en menneskemængde på græsset lige foran rygsækken Davis og Ahring gik der først.

"Vi har en mistænkelig pakke tilbage ved tårnet," sagde Ahring til folk, "vi forsøger at isolere den. Vil du venligst gå væk fra dette område?" Han nævnte målrettet ikke ordet bombe, det sidste, de havde brug for, var en panik. Heldigvis samarbejdede alle og begyndte at flytte tilbage.

Jewell stødte 11 mennesker ud af lys- og lydtårnet og bogstaveligt talt skubbede nogle af dem ud. Derefter gik han udenfor for at hjælpe de andre med at evakuere mængden. Han blev ved med at fortælle dem at komme tilbage. Flyt væk fra området, tak. Men mange af dem nægtede og holdt stædigt ved bænkene tæt på tårnet.

Da bomben eksploderede, var Bob Ahring kun 10 meter væk. Hjernerystelsen bankede ham frem seks fod og sendte ham spredt på jorden. Der var røg overalt. Og duften af ​​krudt. Men hvad Bob Ahring vil huske mest er lyden. Så var der pludselig dødsstille i hele parken: Og han kunne høre granats fløjt susende væk fra lyset og lyden tårne ​​gennem luften mod mængden.

Det var det mest uhyggelige, han nogensinde har hørt i sit liv.

Ahring kunne se to civile nede lige foran ham. Han kiggede tilbage over skulderen. Han så flere statstropper nede på den anden side af tårnet. Flere civile også. Og i minutterne efter eksplosionen så Ahring Richard Jewell passe på de faldne.

I kølvandet, Jewell blev en berømt helt. Han var på CNN. På den I dag at vise, USA Today interviewede ham. Han opfattede sig som genert og høflig over for en fejl og tegnede de fleste sætninger med "Ja, sir" eller "Ja, frue."

Fire dage senere vendte verden vrangen ud, og han blev fokus for FBI -efterforskningen. For medierne var det for sexet til at modstå: Helt bliver mistænksom.

Når Atlanta Journal brød historien sent, at den efter tirsdag eftermiddag udløste en lavine af opmærksomhed. Under det hypotetiske FBI -scenario havde Jewell plantet rygsækken og derefter skyndte sig til en bank med betalingstelefoner et par blokke væk fra Centennial Olympic Park og ringede 911 for at advare politiet om bomben. Derefter løb han tilbage til lys- og lydtårnet, "opdagede" bomben og heroisk flyttede folk ud af skade.

Medierne erklærede hurtigt, at han var skyldig.

"Richard Jewell, 33, en tidligere retshåndhæver, passer til profilen af ​​den enlige bombefly," skrev Kathy Scruggs og Ron Martz i andet afsnit af en historie i en "Ekstra" udgave af Atlanta Journal den 30. juli 1996. “Denne profil omfatter generelt en frustreret hvid mand, der er en tidligere politibetjent, militærmedlem eller politi’ wanna-be ’, der søger at blive en helt.

“Jewell er blevet en berømthed i kølvandet på bombningen, og dukkede op her til morgen i den genåbnede park med Katie Couric på I dag at vise. Han har også henvendt sig til aviser, bl.a. Atlanta Journal-Constitutionsøger omtale for sine handlinger. ”

NBC's Tom Brokaw fortalte seerne: "Spekulationerne er, at FBI er tæt på at 'gøre sagen' på deres sprog. De har nok nok til at arrestere ham lige nu, sandsynligvis nok til at retsforfølge ham, men du vil altid også have nok til at dømme ham. There are still some holes in this case.”

The FBI spent most of Wednesday, Aug. 1, combing through the apartment of Jewell’s mother, where he was staying during the Olympics, They rifled through Barbara Jewell’s undergarments and carted out box after box of potential evidence, including her set of Tupperware and 22 Walt Disney tapes. Jewell sat on the steps outside his apartment in humiliation and in full view of the phalanx of media encamped in the parking lot of the Buford Highway apartment complex.

AJC columnist Dave Kindred, in his second column on Jewell in two days,compared the scene to the time law enforcement officers sought evidence against Wayne Williams, the man convicted of two murders in Atlanta’s missing children case when “federal agents came to this town to deal with another suspect who lived with his mother. Like this one, that suspect was drawn to the blue lights and sirens of police work. Like this one, he became famous in the aftermath of murder.”

Kindred later offered a spirited defense of his column, saying he was comparing scenes, not characters. «The column was a comparison of the media frenzy more than it was a comparison of Richard Jewell and Wayne Williams,” he says. “Also, I quoted a neighbor in the column, saying Jewell is a good fellow,and I said the FBI has done this before and come up empty.”

Meanwhile, Jewell’s past was quickly put under a microscope Jewell was villainized and vilified. Even Jay Leno joked about him on Showet i aften, calling him the “Una-doofus.”

Then, as the weeks passed with no arrest, a debate ignited within the journalistic community. Had everyone overreacted? Had the FBI used them to put pressure on their main suspect in the hope of breaking him into a confession? Should they have more vigorously challenged the FBI to produce evidence before trumpeting Jewell’s name and his past? Many thought the answers were all yes.

“I think the media’s performance has been downright embarrassing,” says Howard Kurtz, a media critic for Washington Post. “Every news organization in the country has contributed to ruining this guy’s life without the faintest idea of whether he’s guilty or innocent.”

At particular issue was the original Atlanta Journal article printed in the “Extra” edition, with the big, bold headline on Page 1, FBI SUSPECTS ‘HERO’ GUARD MAY HAVE PLANTED BOMB. The article contained no attribution and quoted no sources, leaving the reader to wonder whether the claims came from a legitimate law enforcement official or from a proclamation of God.

“I find it appalling, quite frankly, at how quickly everybody leapt to finger this guy,” says David Shaw, the media writer at the Los Angeles Times. “To write about it in the context of a larger story about the explosion, down in the sixth or eighth paragraph —that’s one thing. But to bring out a special edition and start leading your newscast and putting out Page 1 stories on it — that’s over the top.”

Earl Casey, CNN’s domestic managing editor, defends the overall coverage. CNN quickly followed the AJC in naming Jewell as a suspect, and Casey says remembering the context of the event is important. A TWA jet had just crashed near Long Island, and a bomb was suspected. There was an extreme fear of terrorism at the Olympic Games. The international media was gathered in Atlanta. Then the bomb exploded in the park intended as the center of the Olympic celebration.

And by that point Jewell was already famous. “Had this been some anonymous bloke, would his name have emerged? Maybe not,” says Casey. “Maybe the stories that day would have read that law enforcement are considering a security guard without the identity. But I think it’s difficult for journalists at a distance or on the academic level to really make value judgments on this thing. They’re often right in theory,but when you get down to the application, something in that theory falls apart.”

The same could be said for the initial FBI theories about Jewell’s role in the bombing.

The FBI’s Jewell-as-the-lone-bomber theory was quickly shattered when it proved impossible for him to have made the 911 bomb threat from a bank of pay phones two blocks away from Centennial Olympic Park, an estimated five- to eight-minute walk The 911 call was placed at 12:58 a.m., at 12:57 Jewell was standing in front of the light and sound tower with Tom Davis as Davis radioed for the bomb squad. And Jewell stayed in the area in front of dozens of witnesses until the bomb went off.

In addition, the voice of the 911 caller was described as a white male with no discernible accent. Anyone who heard Jewell speak immediately noticed his slow Southern drawl. And although the AJC had breathlessly stated that Jewell approached the paper seeking publicity, it turns out he didn’t.

CNN was the first to interview Jewell in the aftermath of the bombing, and Earl Casey says it took them “20 or 30 calls and a lot of shoe leather” to secure the interview with him. Because Jewell worked for a security company subcontracted through AT&T, a media relations specialist for AT&T named Bryant Steele eventually began fielding the requests Jewell was receiving for interviews.

Steele spent the Sunday afternoon after the bombing with Jewell. The security guard didn’t seem especially giddy that he was going to be on CNN and the I dag show as much as anything else, he seemed dutiful about it. When Steele told him that USA Today also wanted to talk to him, Jewell quietly replied, “Yes,sir, that’ll be fine.”

Steele says he decided to contact the AJC as a courtesy to the local paper, to let them know Jewell was available if they wanted to interview him, and Jewell’s lawyers say that Jewell himself never called the paper. That contention was eventually and went unchallenged by the editors.

Kathy Scruggs declined comment on her coverage of Jewell citing a gag order imposed by her editors. Ron Martin, the AJC‘s editor, declined to be interviewed for this story, saying the paper expects to be the target of a libel suit from Jewell. “Everything we have to say, we’re putting in the newspaper,” he said. In a statement prepared for 60 Minutes in September and provided to Atlanta magazine, Martin wrote, “Our reporters have done an excellent job of reporting fairly, fully and accurately everything we can learn about the bombing and how the investigation is progressing. We stand proudly behind our coverage.” In mid-October the Sunday AJC reprinted an article from American Journalism Review that took a critical look at the Jewell coverage.

The telephone rang in Ahring’s hotel room the Tuesday afternoon after the bombing. Centennial Olympic Park had been closed while federal investigators combed for cluesit had reopened that morning.”Yes, sir, it’s Richard Jewell. I’d heard you were hurt and wanted to know if you were all right,” he asked his supervisor, who recalled the conversation for Atlanta Magazine.

Ahring hadn’t even noticed until later that he had taken shrapnel hits on the left shoulder and in the lower left leg. “I’m fine,” he told Jewell. ‘”Are you okay?’

“I’m fine, sir,”Jewell responded.

By then Jewell’s role in discovering the bomb was well known just that morning he’d been on the I dag show with Katie Couric. But now Jewell was eager to get back to work. The two men chatted for a few minutes, and as they were about to hang up, Jewell told Ahring, ‘”I’ll see you at work this evening, sir.”

By 6 o’clock, when he was supposed to be reporting to work, Jewell was at the FBI offices. The agents told him they wanted his help they were going to make a training film on bomb scare response techniques. Jewell believed them. Only when the news reports put Jewell on notice that he was a suspect, New York Times subsequently reported, did the FBI decide to advise him of his rights,

While it is always convenient to bash the media, it was, after all, the FBI that targeted Jewell and then whispered his name to reporters calling in from all over the country.

The FBI continued to count Jewell as a suspect into October. He lived under virtual house arrest, followed by an almost comical convoy of undercover federal officers that trailed him wherever he went. Jewell’s lawyers demanded that the FBI either charge him or else clear him and apologize.

“My gut reaction, based on 47 years of lawyering, tells me the case against Jewell is total bullshit,” Summerville defense lawyer Bobby Lee Cook said early in the investigation. “The FBI is caught up in psychological profiles and decided he fit and jumped on him.”

For Jack Martin, the lesson to be learned is that the news media has to be more skeptical of what law enforcement tells them, “It didn’t take me long to find out that it was impossible for him to make the 911 call,”he says, “Didn’t take me long to find out that this man has friends and is gregarious and isn’t a loner like the profile,”

Jewell’s lawyers are preparing a bevy of lawsuits, targeting everyone from the AJC to NBC’s Tom Brokaw. “I can almost assure you Atlanta Journal-Constitution will be sued by December,” said Watson Bryant as autumn approached, ‘We want to give them a Christmas present. I’d love to do for their reputation what they did to Richard’s. Because they damned well deserve it.”

Some think it is doubtful Jewell can ever win a lawsuit against the FBI, even if he’s never charged. “He’ll be thrown out [of court],” says Cook “I might be jumping the gun, but I think there is a moral to this: The FBI and federal agencies can set out recklessly to ruin someone and effectively do it, and there’s really not an adequate cause of action to put your name and your character back into place. I see that as a very frightening thing.”

For Richard Muska, who now teaches at Chamblee High School, the rush to judgment is forcing a reassessment of his own beliefs about the American system and how he presents it to his students, When he first saw the headlines, he told himself, “No, not this kid,” He wrote a letter of protest to both the AJC and the FBI.

“I was the civics teacher,” Muska says. “I’m the guy that got up in front of the class and said, ‘This is the best country in the world, where you get justice and freedom,’ And to see this happen to Richard — he’s obviously been singled out and made a scapegoat for a government agency that couldn’t do their job right — that really hurts.”

On a Saturday afternoon in late October, almost three months to the day of the Centennial Olympic Park bombing, U.S. Attorney Kent Alexander met Jack Martin at a Virginia-Highland coffee shop and handed over a letter that flatly stated Richard Jewell was no longer a target of the FBI investigation. Atlanta Journal-Constitution printed seven stories in its following day’s edition, dissecting everything about the case except its own role in starting the media lynching of the hero turned suspect.

One day later, on October 28, Richard Jewell made perhaps his last run through the media gauntlet when he walked with his lawyers into a roomful of reporters gathered at a hotel conference room in north Atlanta. “The public trial in the media of Richard Jewell is over, and the verdict is not guilty,” said Lin Wood, a lawyer who will handle the civil suits Jewell intends to file.

“We’re glad the emperor has finally admitted he has no clothes,” added Watson Bryant. When asked if he was disappointed the FBI had offered no apology, Bryant paused and smiled ruefully. “They don’t have the guts to apologize,” he responded. “And that is a sad situation when they can’t say, ‘We’re sorry.’ There was not one bit of evidence, and look at what they did to him. It’s unbelievable. This investigation was like a freight train once it got started, it wouldn’t stop.”

Moments later, dressed in slacks and a cream-colored dress shirt with blue stripes, Jewell stood up and at last addressed the very same cameras that had stalked him for three months. “This is the first time I have ever asked you to turn the cameras on me,” he said. “You know my name, but you do not really know who I am…. For 88 days I lived a nightmare…. I felt like a hunted animal followed constantly, waiting to be killed…. In their mad rush to fulfill their own personal agendas, the FBI and the media almost destroyed me and my mother. … The media said I was an overzealous officer. That was a lie. I always performed my job to the best of my ability and gave 110 percent. That’s not being overzealous. That’s being dedicated…. I am going to try to re-enter law enforcement…. I love helping people. That’s what I do, that’s what I have done, and that’s what I want to continue to do in the future.”

Before he concluded, Richard Jewell put down his prepared statement. He paused for a moment and then looked directly at the cameras. His voice turned strong, as though it was resonating for the very first time.


Richard Jewell Was Wrongly Implicated in a Mass Attack. He’s Not the Only One.

In one case, the authorities charged an innocent man with capital murder. Other, smaller errors are common after mass shootings.

POINCIANA, Fla. — Brandon Gonzales did not shoot anyone.

But for more than a week this fall, the authorities in Texas were convinced that he was the gunman who killed two people and wounded several others at a homecoming party. With no chance of posting his $1 million bail, Mr. Gonzales passed his days in an orange jumpsuit poring over the Bible, writing out prayers, trying not to think about how he could face execution if convicted.

“Dear Lord, I am a innocent man and a scared man,” Mr. Gonzales, 23, wrote in jail. “I have done no wrong and they have no evidence.”

Mr. Gonzales’s arrest, and his eventual release with charges dropped, was the result, the authorities now say, of a misidentification by a witness in the tense hours after the shooting. In the chaotic aftermath of violence — when news cameras are swarming, residents are demanding answers and conspiracy theories are swirling online — mistakes often emerge.

Sometimes, the number of assailants is reported to be higher than it really is. Other times, victim counts are mistaken. But sometimes, the errors are more damaging, and as Mr. Gonzales’s case shows, inaccurate information spreads so quickly that the fallout can never be fully contained.

“It shocks me how I can look up my name on Google or on YouTube, and it’s going to pop up everything,” Mr. Gonzales said recently in Florida, where he moved to escape the notoriety that came with his arrest, but has still been unable to find steady work. “My kids, their kids, can always look up and they can see, oh, he was arrested for capital murder.”

The potential for inaccurate information about a tragedy to spread quickly and ruin lives has drawn increased attention amid a high number of violent gun attacks this year and since the release of the movie “Richard Jewell,” which tells the story of a man who was wrongly implicated by the news media in a bombing during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

In the highly competitive news environment that follows a mass shooting, reporters sometimes fall for malicious disinformation online, such as after the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., or cite unnamed sources who may or may not be right. In other instances, when the police provide on-the-record information that later turns out to be wrong, news articles initially report information incorrectly and sometimes those details continue to live online. Like many local and national news outlets, The New York Times wrote about Mr. Gonzales’s arrest and published his mug shot. The Times also wrote an article when he was released.

“There’s balancing priorities between wanting to get the facts right, and knowing that the first information you get is usually inaccurate or wrong, and the public’s right to know,” said Chuck Wexler, who leads the Police Executive Research Forum, which advises departments on best practices. He described briefing reporters after a mass shooting as “piecing together a jigsaw puzzle instantly.”

In Santa Clarita, Calif., where a gunman shot five people last month at a high school, the sheriff’s office was initially duped by an Instagram account that they wrongly linked to the gunman. Reporters, who had been reassured by law enforcement officials vouching for the postings, had to backtrack after publishing excerpts.

In Jersey City, N.J., the authorities initially said a shooting at a kosher market this month appeared to be random. Soon after, the gunmen were linked to a fringe group that espouses anti-Semitic views, and the mayor called the killings a hate crime.

And in Las Vegas, where 58 people died in 2017 when a gunman fired more than 1,000 rounds into a crowd at a music festival, conspiracy theorists spewed wild, unsubstantiated claims that gained traction online. The problem was not helped by the police releasing a timeline of events that contained several errors and that twice had to be corrected.

“Although it hurts, and it can ruin, an agency’s or individual’s credibility, I think it’s more important to acknowledge as soon as we realize something is inaccurate,” said Assistant Sheriff Charles L. Hank III of the Las Vegas police.

Many police departments now train for the eventuality of a mass shooting, using the hard-earned lessons of places that have already endured one. Daniel Oates, who was the police chief in Aurora, Colo., during the 2012 movie theater shooting, compiled a list of 24 points of detailed advice that he shared with colleagues in other cities. Among them: Focus on the victims, prepare to combat online conspiracy theorists and “end the media circus as soon as you reasonably can.”

Mr. Oates, now retired, recalled showing up at the scene of the Aurora shooting to hear that officers were searching for a second gunman who turned out not to exist.

“It always comes back that people see more shooters than there are,” Mr. Oates said. In his first statement to the press, perhaps 90 minutes after the shooting, Mr. Oates correctly told reporters that the only shooter was in custody, but slightly overstated the number of victims.

Because mass shootings are so chaotic and unintentional mistakes have happened so frequently, police chiefs now make a point of qualifying their early statements. They say their information is preliminary and subject to change, or they give an estimate of the number of casualties rather than a firm number.

But failing to say anything increases the possibility of rumors and conspiracy theories spreading online, chiefs said.

“We just tried to overwhelm the public with our Twitter feed,” said John Mina, who was the police chief in Orlando, Fla., when 49 people were killed at a gay nightclub in 2016. He said a rumor that there had in fact been two gunmen at the nightclub — there was only one — proved especially “hard to squash.”

This October, sheriff’s deputies in another city responded to another mass shooting at another late-night party venue. A gunman had stormed into an event hall near Greenville, Texas, where hundreds of college students and other young adults were wearing Halloween costumes and celebrating homecoming.

Randy Meeks, the county sheriff in Greenville, said in a statement that mass shootings in rural areas like his were especially difficult because of the limited number of officers available to provide backup and secure the crime scene.


Louis Freeh is the real culprit in the Richard Jewell story

If you want to know what really happened in the controversial case of Richard Jewell, who was a suspect in the 1996 bombing at the Olympics in Atlanta, don’t watch the new movie produced by Clint Eastwood.

Gripping though “Richard Jewell” is, it wrongly blames FBI case agents for bullying Jewell and leaking his name to the press as a suspect. The real culprit, whose misguided intervention and stubbornness led to the Richard Jewell debacle, was Louis Freeh, then the FBI director.

When a pipe bomb exploded at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, the FBI became interested in Jewell, a security guard who had alerted police to a suspicious green backpack. Jewell appeared on TV to describe how he tried to evacuate the area before the bombing, which killed two people and injured over 100.

Citing unnamed sources, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution published a story saying Jewell was a suspect in the FBI’s investigation. That afternoon, FBI agents Don Johnson and Diader Rosario drove to Jewell’s apartment and asked him to come to the field office. If Jewell could clear up questions to the agents’ satisfaction, they planned to drop their interest in him.

Jewell agreed. But as the agents were reviewing Jewell’s background with him, Mr. Freeh called David W. “Woody” Johnson Jr., the FBI’s special agent in charge in Atlanta. Mr. Johnson was in his office down the hall from the room where Jewell was being questioned. With him were other SACs and Kent B. Alexander, the U.S. attorney in Atlanta.

Mr. Freeh said the agents should read Jewell his Miranda rights.

Any fresh agent out of the FBI Academy at Quantico knows that, based on a long line of court rulings, a suspect must be read his Miranda rights if he is in custody or is about to be arrested. Yet in Jewell’s case, neither was true.

As revealed in my book “The Secrets of the FBI,” Mr. Johnson pointed this out to Mr. Freeh, and Mr. Alexander told Mr. Freeh on the speaker phone he agreed with Mr. Johnson. But the director was adamant.

Robert M. “Bear” Bryant, who was about to be named deputy director under Mr. Freeh, was with the director when he made the call. A lawyer, Mr. Bryant also made the point to Mr. Freeh that Miranda rights were not required. Mr. Freeh wouldn’t listen and demanded that agents read Jewell his rights.

Woody Johnson walked down the hallway and pulled out the two agents who were successfully interviewing Jewell. He passed along Mr. Freeh’s instruction. The agents went back to the conference room and read Jewell his rights. Jewell said he would like to call an attorney, and that ended the interview.

“If we could have continued with Jewell, we could have confirmed what he told us and cleared him more quickly,” Woody Johnson told me.

Not until seven months after the incident did Mr. Freeh acknowledge in congressional testimony his own role in the fiasco. Pointing out that he had been a federal judge, Mr. Freeh said, “It is a matter of legal speculation whether a court would have ruled that Miranda warnings were required in Mr. Jewell’s case.”

Despite the fact that Jewell had gone there voluntarily, Mr. Freeh said he decided to order the warning “in an excess of caution” when he learned that the interview was “being conducted in a law enforcement structure [the FBI office].”

While the movie portrays an FBI case agent leaking Jewell’s name to Atlanta Constitution reporter Kathy Scruggs, who has since died, there is no basis for the claim. In fact, nine law enforcement agencies were aware that Jewell was one of dozens of suspects. After the movie premiered, Lin Wood, Jewell’s attorney, tweeted that evidence developed in lawsuits he filed against media organizations established that Scruggs’ boyfriend, who was a member of the Atlanta Police Department, tipped her off that Jewell was a suspect.

Three months after his FBI interview, the FBI cleared Jewell. It could have done so immediately if Mr. Freeh had not intervened and agents had been able to freely interview Jewell. In the opinion of the agents, Mr. Freeh was afraid that members of Congress would criticize him if Jewell had not been read his rights. Yet the FBI routinely interviews possible suspects in field offices without issuing Miranda warnings.

Eventually, fugitive Eric Robert Rudolph was charged with the bombing. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison.

“For 88 days, I lived a nightmare,” Jewell, who died in 2007, said in tears at a press conference after being cleared.

The Jewell case was another in a series of FBI fiascoes that were directly attributable to Mr. Freeh, who was never mentioned in the movie. Almost every six months, a new debacle erupted. By imposing his will in areas he knew little about, Mr. Freeh disrupted the normal deliberative processes within the FBI. His emphasis was on making himself look good in the short run. In the long term, that approach damaged the credibility and reputation of the FBI.

• Ronald Kessler, a former Washington Post and Wall Street Journal investigative reporter, is the author of “The Secrets of the FBI.”


Eighty-eight days after being named "a person of interest", Jewell is informed by formal letter that he is no longer under investigation.

In April 2003, Jewell, now a police officer in Luthersville, Georgia, is visited by Bryant who tells him that Eric Rudolph has confessed to the Centennial Olympic Park bombing.

An epilogue states that two years later, on August 29, 2007, Jewell died at the age of 44 of complications from diabetes and heart failure. It also mentions that Bryant and Nadya got married and had two sons, both of whom Bobi babysits to this day.

Jewell was never charged with a crime, but media speculation led to the FBI publicly searching his home twice, his friends and neighbors being questioned, as well as FBI surveillance of him. A Justice Department investigation of the FBI's conduct in the case, found that the FBI had “tried to manipulate Jewell into waiving his constitutional rights by telling him he was taking part in a training film about bomb detection”, although the report concluded “no intentional violation of Mr. Jewell's civil rights and no criminal misconduct” had taken place.

On October 26, 1996, the United States Attorney in Atlanta, Kent Alexander, sent Jewell a letter saying “based on the evidence developed to date . Richard Jewell is not considered a target of the federal criminal investigation into the bombing on July 27, 1996, at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta”. The letter did not include an apology, but in a separate statement issued by Alexander, the U.S. Justice Department regretted the leaking of the investigation.

The separately issued statement said that Jewell “endured highly unusual and intense publicity that was neither designed nor desired by the F.B.I., and in fact interfered with the investigation”, and that “The public should bear in mind that Richard Jewell has at no time been charged with any crime in connection with the bombing.” Det New York Times reported that the statement was “a tacit admission by Federal officials that they had been wrong in their suspicion of Mr. Jewell.”

On July 31, 1997, U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno expressed personal regret over the leak that led to intense scrutiny of Jewell. She said, “I'm very sorry it happened. I think we owe him an apology. I regret the leak.”

On August 2, 2006, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue honored Jewell for his rescue efforts during the attack, and publicly thanked him for saving people's lives. Perdue said Jewell “deserves to be remembered as a hero.”

CNN settled a libel suit brought by Jewell for an undisclosed monetary amount.

Jewell sued NBC News for this statement made by Tom Brokaw, “The speculation is that the FBI is close to making the case. They probably have enough to arrest him right now, probably enough to prosecute him, but you always want to have enough to convict him as well. There are still some holes in this case.” The network agreed to pay Jewell $500,000.

Jay Leno also apologized during a Tonight Show episode on October 28, 1996.

On July 23, 1997, Jewell sued the New York Post for $15 million in damages, contending that the paper portrayed him an “aberrant” person with a “bizarre employment history” who was probably guilty of the bombing. He eventually settled with the newspaper for an undisclosed amount.

Jewell filed suit against his former employer Piedmont College. The college settled for an undisclosed amount.

Released in late 2019, the movie got caught up in the hubbub of the COVID pandemic and the shutdown of theatres, but it is a worthwhile reminder of what happens when the media acts as a lynch mob and politicians and law enforcement go along for the ride. Richard Jewell was never the same after what he went through. He died a broken spirit.

Recently, in Sussex County, leaders of the Democrat Party – including former candidates, the former Party Chairwoman, and the current Democrat State Committeewoman – have been making defamatory accusations against their neighbors and the residents of their county. In concert with former candidate Kristy Lavin, Democrats like former Party Chairwoman Katie Rotondi have used public meetings to make unfounded accusations of criminal behavior against county residents.

Democrat operative Michael Schnackenberg has posted violent threats against political opponents – specifically targeting women with lurid, sexual insults – while Democrat Congressman Josh Gottheimer used the resources of his incumbency to make unfounded accusations of criminal behavior against political opponents. Before creating more innocent victims, in the way that Richard Jewell was a victim, the Democrats should think about it and perhaps embrace the historic liberalism they once possessed.

Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defense."

Artikel 11
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights


History of the ’90s podcast: Richard Jewell and the 1996 Olympic Park bombing

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In July 1996, a backpack bomb rocked the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, killing one and injuring over 100 others.

The bomb had been left under a bench in the middle of Centennial Olympic Park on the eighth day of the games.

On this episode of History of the 󈨞s, host Kathy Kenzora looks back at the tragedy that struck the 100th Olympic games and the police investigation that followed.

1:58 NDG man claims he was wrongfully accused of driving under the influence

Security guard Richard Jewell, who discovered the bomb before it exploded, was first hailed a hero. Then, just a few days later, he was identified as the main suspect by the media who had a field day with his reputation.

This is the story of Richard Jewell, a cautionary tale about what happens when the police and the media rush to judgment.

Hvis du nyder History of the 󈨞s, please take a minute to rate it, tell us what you think and share the show with your friends.

Kent Alexander, former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia

We LOVE that you are loving the ‘History of the 90s‘ podcast! If you haven’t subscribed yet — what are you waiting for?


Eric Rudolph: The Olympic Park Bomber

The FBI investigation was stalled until 1998, when authorities connected an abortion clinic bomb in Birmingham, Ala., to the Olympic bombing and two other Atlanta-area bombings. The FBI identified the car of Eric Rudolph, and issued an arrest warrant Rudolph escaped to the mountains of Western Carolina and lived there for five years before getting caught.

Rudolph, who was part of an extremist Christian movement, targeted abortion clinics and a gay nightclub. After pleading guilty to his crimes and receiving four life sentences, he released a statement explaining his motives in the Olympic bombing: &ldquothe purpose of the attack on July 27th was to confound, anger and embarrass the Washington government in the eyes of the world for its abominable sanctioning of abortion on demand.&rdquo


Se videoen: Richard Jewell: The 1996 60 Minutes interview


Kommentarer:

  1. Warley

    Ja det gjorde de

  2. Upchurch

    Nogen spiser nu hummer i badehuset, men almindelige mennesker sidder inaktiv ...

  3. Daigore

    Oplysningerne blev valgt meget vellykket, hvornår vil opdateringen være?

  4. Wemilat

    Så meget som du vil.



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