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Bomber Rudolph writes about life on lam

Article posted on militantly anti-abortion Web site

By Henry Schuster
CNN

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Read book passages from "Hunting Eric Rudolph," written by CNN's Henry Schuster. 
• Part 1: High Times
• Part 2: Life in the Wild
• Part 3: Eric and the Islamists

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Acts of terror
Eric Robert Rudolph

(CNN) -- An article apparently written by Eric Robert Rudolph and published on a militantly anti-abortion Web site offers new details about how the confessed Southeast bomber survived and evaded federal agents for five years in the mountains of North Carolina.

The chapter-long account centers on how Rudolph gathered, stored and cooked his food while trying to avoid a massive law enforcement manhunt that began soon after a January 1998 bombing at a Birmingham abortion clinic and ended with his arrest in May 2003 when a deputy found him foraging through a garbage bin in Murphy, North Carolina.

Rudolph, in a deal to avoid the death penalty, pleaded guilty in April to the Birmingham attack and three others, including the 1996 Olympics bombing, a 1997 double bombing at a suburban Atlanta abortion clinic and an Atlanta gay and lesbian nightclub. The attacks killed two people and wounded more than 110 people. He will be sentenced next month.

The Web site -- www.armyofgod.com -- features graphic images of aborted fetuses and pays tribute to people who have been convicted of attacks on abortion clinics and physicians who have performed abortions. The publisher, Rev. Donald Spitz of Chesapeake, Virginia, was a self-described spiritual adviser to Paul Hill, who was executed in Florida for murdering a doctor who performed abortions.

While Spitz has not returned CNN's phone calls, the page said the story was "recently transcribed from a handwritten copy he (Rudolph) sent."

An investigator familiar with Rudolph said the story looks to have come from the bomber.

"Based upon the information contained in this, there's no doubt it was written by Eric," said Charles Stone, a former member of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation who was one of the supervisors of the Rudolph investigation and manhunt.

Two close calls

The account described two close calls Rudolph had in the fall of 1999 with hunters who stumbled across his efforts to steal corn, wheat and soybeans from a silo near Andrews, North Carolina.

In the first incident, Rudolph said a squirrel hunter walked up on where he was boiling a soybean meal. He quickly ran for a ridge, expecting federal agents to follow, but the hunter apparently never reported the sighting, he wrote.

"The FBI headquarters was less than three miles from where I was spotted. It should take them less than an hour to get their stuff together and start a systematic search. Where were they? Where were the choppers?"

In the early morning hours several days later, a truckload of coon hunting dogs and their masters pulled up as Rudolph was perched on top of the grain silo. A speeding car ran over and killed one of the dogs, diverting the hunters just before they might have spotted Rudolph, he said. Rudolph named his story "Lil," the name of the unfortunate coon dog.

Living on stolen grain

The 5,000-word article opens with two sentences mimicking the opening of Charles Dickens' "Tale of Two Cities" to describe his daily diet of boiled and fried corn, wheat and soybeans.

"It was the best of foods. It was the worst of foods," Rudolph wrote.

It detailed how Rudolph systematically salvaged used garbage bags from a McDonald's garbage container, washing them in a river for use in transporting and storing stolen grain. He also took four plastic garbage cans from stores in Andrews and used them to carry the bags of grain.

Rudolph wrote that he climbed to the top of the grain silo dozens of times over several weeks, tediously dipping out five gallons at a time until after a number of days he had filled the cans with two tons of stolen grain.

The story ends before he reveals how he carried out his plan to steal a pickup truck from a nearby used car lot to move the grain closer to his mountain camp site.

But in what was apparently a tease to interest the reader in a future installment, he concluded:

"But just wait until you hear about the time the cops took me to get some gas for my stolen truck. Maybe next time."

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