Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The Face of Evil

A confident Eric Rudolph, who led federal authorities on a five-year cat-and-mouse chase through the woods of North Carolina, winked at prosecutors today when he pleaded guilty to setting off bombs at two abortion clinics, a lesbian nightclub and the 1996 Olympics.

When the judge asked Rudolph whether he detonated the bomb outside a Birmingham abortion clinic, he answered, "I certainly did, your honor."

Rudolph carried himself as if "20 years from now, he's going to walk out a hero to his people."

The string of bombings began at 1:25 a.m. on July 27, 1996, when a bomb full of nails and screws stuffed into a backpack exploded in Centennial Olympic Park, where a crowd had gathered for a concert.

In January 1997, two bombs rocked an abortion clinic in the Atlanta suburb of Sandy Springs. The second, probably timed to hit police responders, injured more than 50 people, according to the Justice Department.

The third target was the Otherside Lounge, a gay nightclub in Atlanta. On Feb 21, 1997, two bombs exploded there, injuring five people.

On Jan. 29, 1998, the fourth bombing targeted New Woman All Women Health Care, an abortion clinic in Birmingham. That attack killed Robert Sanderson, an off-duty police officer, and left nurse Emily Lyons studded with nails over her whole body.

Rudolph is alleged to have claimed responsibility on behalf of the Army of God, a group that advocates killing abortion providers.

During the search for Rudolph, investigators talked to his family and friends, and learned he was an experienced outdoorsman who held antigovernment and racial separatist beliefs, and might have grown marijuana in the mountain woods.

Rudolph and his family were connected with the Christian Identity movement, a militant, racist and anti-Semitic organization that believes whites are God's chosen people.

Rudolph's mother, Patricia, spent time with Nord Davis, a Christian Identity ideologue who built a walled compound called Northpoint in the Nantahala community. Davis wrote propaganda decrying a "New World Order" that he claimed was controlled by Jews, and he advocated killing gays and those who engaged in mixed-race relationships.

Davis reportedly contacted the Church of Israel, a Christian Identity congregation in Missouri that espouses the belief that only white people descended from the biblical Adam and Eve, on Rudolph's mother's behalf. Patricia Rudolph brought 18-year-old Eric and an older brother to the Church of Israel compound in 1984. They returned to North Carolina after less than a year.

Rudolph attended ninth grade at Nantahala School, and once wrote a paper arguing that the Holocaust was fictional. He later dropped out and was homeschooled.

UPDATE: Read my article on his press release.


Blogger ERL said...

People like that should be immediately committed to the nearest mental institution - perhaps his high school essays could have served as a warning sign to either his teachers, parents, or both?? What is wrong with people?!

3:40 PM  
Blogger Sarah Beth said...

Scary isn't it.

4:30 PM  
Blogger Helen said...

This may not be a popular thing to say but my heart goes out to him. (as it well does for all the many victims of his horrible crimes) It must be horrible to have to carry that much hate in your heart.

7:10 PM  
Blogger Sarah Beth said...

I have no compassion for someone who willfully destroys life. If he's so hate filled he should turn it on himself and leave everyone else alone.

10:14 AM  

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