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Jewell cleared of Olympic park bombing

jewell October 26, 1996
Web posted at: 1:50 p.m. EDT

ATLANTA (CNN) -- The U.S. Attorney's office delivered a letter to Richard Jewell Saturday afternoon clearing the former security guard as a suspect in July's Centennial Olympic Park bombing.

"It says what we have known all along -- that he is no longer a suspect in the bombing," Jewell attorney Jack Martin said. "We are overjoyed." Martin told The Associated Press he received the hand-delivered letter from U.S. Attorney Kent Alexander and he showed it to Jewell, who planned to hold a news conference Monday.

The letter reads: "This is to advise you that based on the evidence developed to date, your client, Richard Jewell, is not considered a target of the federal criminal investigation into the bombing on July 27, 1996, at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta. Barring any newly discovered evidence, this status will not change. I am hopeful that Mr. Jewell will provide further cooperation as a witness in the investigation."

The U.S. Attorney's office decided to issue the letter after Jewell agreed to an interview with the FBI, Georgia Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Attorney's office on October 6. Jewell did refuse FBI requests to take a polygraph test.

Jewell was at first considered a hero in the bombing at the park, where he was working as a security guard, after he alerted police to a suspicious knapsack shortly before a pipe bomb concealed in the bag exploded, killing one woman and injuring more than 100 people.

Jewell later became a suspect, and was the focus of intense media and law enforcement scrutiny. The letter from the U.S. Attorney's office apparently contained no apology.


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