On July 27, 1996, a hapless former cop turned hyper-vigilant security guard named Richard Jewell spotted a suspicious bag in the middle of Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park. Inside was a bomb, the largest of its kind in FBI or ATF history. The explosion killed two and injured over 100 — the worst Olympics tragedy since Munich 1972. If not for Jewell, scores more would have perished. But the everyman hero soon became the top suspect, trapped in his home for months by the FBI and the media during a viral rush to judgment that presaged the still-years-away social media era. The Suspect unravels the true tale of injustice, perseverance, and resilience through the intertwined lives of three main characters: an irreverent female police reporter who broke the hero-turned-suspect news; the unwavering FBI agent who made the case that wasn’t; and Richard Jewell, of course. Ultimately, the narrative lens shifts to the real bomber, a virulent antisemite who strikes again. Clint Eastwood’s 2019 film, Richard Jewell, is based on The Suspect and a 1997 Vanity Fair article.
The Suspect: An Olympic Bombing, the FBI, the Media, and Richard Jewell, the Man Caught in the Middle
- From the Publisher
September 1, 2019
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