The Sus­pect: An Olympic Bomb­ing, the FBI, the Media, and Richard Jew­ell, the Man Caught in the Middle

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2019

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.

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