Richard Jewell, a security guard at the 1996 Summer games in Atlanta, saved many lives ~ he uncovered a backpack complete of pipeline bombs at a concert event, however the media shortly turned on him.

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Richard Jewell went from hero to villain within a matter of work after he uncovered a deadly pipe bomb while functioning as a security guard at the 1996 Summer Olympics.

Jewell came throughout a backpack under a bench in Centennial Park and also immediately alerted officials to the suspiciously package. Within the pack were three intricate pipe bombs filled v nails and screws.

His discovery saved numerous lives as he and other protection guards and also law enforcement were able to begin clearing the area before it detonated. The park to be jammed with people watching a concert, however Jewell and also others were able to get attendees far from the benches.

Still, one human was killed and 111 to be injured once the bomb exploded throughout the crowded Olympics event. A cameraman also died that a heart assault while rushing to cover the event.

While Jewell was at first lauded together an American hero, he to be soon eyed together a feasible suspect. This shift was depicted in Clint Eastwood"s 2019 film "Richard Jewell," showing just how "the regulation enforcement wannabe becomes the FBI"s number one suspect, vilified by press and also public alike, his life ripped apart,” a Warner Brothers push release stated. Most recently, the instance is explored in the 2nd season that the Netflix series "Manhunt: deadly Games." 

The FBI began investigating Jewell, and also Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Kathy Scruggs reported the he to be being eyed together a possible suspect after one FBI resource leaked information on the examination to her, Vanity fair reported.

Jewell to be then ruined in the media.

The new York short article called the both "a town Rambo" and "a fat, failed previous sheriff"s deputy,” follow to Vanity Fair. At the same time TV host Jay Leno said,"What is it about the Olympic gamings that brings out big, fat stupid guys?" 

Despite the media circus, Jewell was never officially called a suspect.

He was cleared 88 work after the bombing. The U.S. Attorney"s office delivered a letter come Jewell i m sorry lifted main suspicion from him but offered no apology, CNN reported.


Jewell subsequently filed lot of libel lawsuits versus news organizations and also other entities for incorrectly spreading him together a suspect. He sue the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the document that first named him as a feasible suspect and also compared him come Wayne Williams, a killer thought to it is in responsible because that the Atlanta kid Murders, the brand-new York times reported. Jewell additionally sued CNN and also NBC and also received unspecified settlements from both, CNN reported. He sued the brand-new York Post, from which he likewise received a undisclosed settlement. He likewise sued Piedmont college after the president dubbed Jewell a "badge-wearing zealot,” according to a 1997 Washington article article and also the college also worked out for one unspecified amount.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution to be the just defendant the didn"t market Jewell a settlement. His lawsuit versus them to be dismissed in 2011 after ~ the Georgia Court of Appeals finish “the articles in their whole were dramatically true at the moment they to be published" –– not in the feeling that he was responsible for the bombings, rather that the FBI to be in truth looking in ~ him together a possible suspect –– the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

In 1997, after the settlements, Jewell actually appeared on Saturday Night Live. That joked with Weekend Update organize Norm McDonald about receiving negotiation money indigenous NBC and additionally fielded mock concerns from the comedian about being responsible because that the deaths the Princess Diana and Mother Teresa.

That very same year, U.S. Attorney general Janet Reno apologized for the FBI leak, stating "I"m an extremely sorry the happened. Ns think we owe that an apology. I regret the leak," CNN reported.

The genuine bomber, Eric Robert Rudolph, wasn"t arrested until 2003. The pleaded guilty in 2005 for the Olympic bombing, as a well as three various other attacks, in a transaction to prevent a potential fatality penalty. He bombed two abortion clinics, one in the Atlanta area and also one in Birmingham, Alabama, and also a nightclub in Atlanta area.

Jewell was ultimately exonerated fully after Rudolph’s 2005 plea deal and also was even in the courtroom as soon as the plea to be entered, though he didn"t make any comment, the associated Press reported at the time.

He walk on to host several police jobs after the bombing, consisting of working together a sheriff"s deputy for the Meriwether county Sheriff’s department in Georgia due to the fact that 2003, the Los Angeles time reported.

“I always thought he was a great officer,” Sheriff Steve Whitlock called the outlet in 2007. “He loved regulation enforcement. That’s what that ate and also slept: legislation enforcement.”

Jewell died in 2007. He reportedly had been experiencing from health and wellness complications stemming from diabetes, the new York times reported.

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To this day, journalists have actually expressed remorse because that Jewell"s therapy in the media, consisting of one recent commentary written through Henry Schuster, a previous investigative producer because that CNN who arranged for Jewell"s first TV interview adhering to the bombing, entitled "I made Richard Jewell renowned - and destroyed his life in the process."

Paul Walter Hauser theatre Jewell in “Richard Jewell,” a movie based upon the true occasions surrounding the bombing and its circus-like aftermath. The film, directed by Clint Eastwood, access time theaters nationwide Friday.