Richard Jewell Chronology - Richard Jewell Chronology Following is a chronology of the case of Richard Jewell falsely accused and later cleared in the

Richard Jewell Chronology - Richard Jewell Chronology...

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Richard Jewell Chronology Following is a chronology of the case of Richard Jewell, falsely accused and later cleared in the Olympic Park bombing at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. This case remains a case study in media handling of criminal suspects before formal charges are brought. July 27, 1996: A crudely made pipe bomb explodes in the early morning hours in Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta during the Summer Olympics. An Olympic security guard, Richard Jewell, spotted the green knapsack that contained the pipe bomb minutes before it exploded. He alerted police and helped move people away from the site. One person was killed and more than 100 were injured by the blast. July 30, 1996: FBI agents interview Jewell about the bombing. The Atlanta Journal- Constitution publishes a special edition with the headline, “FBI Suspects Hero Guard May Have Planted Bomb." Distribution of the special edition begins around 4:30 p.m., Atlanta time. A CNN anchor reads the report on the air verbatim, and other media immediately follow with the news that Jewell is a suspect. All three major networks pick up the story for evening newscasts. July 31, 1996: Media descend on Jewell’s apartment, recording the comings and goings of FBI agents and the removal of Jewell’s personal belongings from the apartment. By midday, more than 200 national and international journalists are on the scene. Jewell “categorically” denies being the Olympic Park bomber. August 1, 1996: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution details the search the previous day, including the exact address and number of the apartment Jewell shared with his mother. The paper reports that Jewell became a suspect after investigators received a call from the president of Piedmont College, a small college in north George where Jewell once had worked as a security guard. The president of Piedmont said that Jewell had been “overzealous” in his duties, often harassing students and asking to work undercover. August 1996: In the weeks that follow, Jewell, a former sheriff’s deputy in northern Georgia, is profiled extensively by both print and electronic media. His personality and personal history seem to fit the profile of someone who would have planted the bomb. Bombing victims Lorenzo Espinosa and Nancy Davis file suit against Jewell. Espinosa also sued AT&T, Anthony Davis Associates (the company hired to provide security personnel) and the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games. Davis also sued AT&T and Anthony Davis Associates. August 20, 1996: Retired FBI agent Dick Rackleff, who had been retained by Jewell's legal team, announced that Jewell had passed a polygraph. October 8, 1996: U.S. District Judge Owen Forrester, in a court hearing, says that the Jewell case involved “the worst example of media coverage I’ve ever seen since watching La Dolce Vita .”
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October 23, 1996: Judge Forrester, in making a ruling on an FBI request, says he does not believe that Jewell is a suspect at the time.
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  • Fall '14
  • Peterson
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation, Richard Jewell, Centennial Olympic Park bombing, Jewell, Eric Robert Rudolph

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