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Why the government considered Jewell a suspect

Unsealed documents reveal investigators' questions

October 28, 1996
Web posted at: 7:00 p.m. EST

ATLANTA (CNN) -- Shortly after Richard Jewell's attorneys requested the four search warrants used in the case be unsealed, the government filed a memorandum with the U.S. district court stating why Jewell was still considered a suspect.

In the document, released Monday, the government listed seven reasons Jewell was under investigation. The following excerpts were taken directly from the document. Names and other information were deleted before the memorandum was released.

1) Where is Jewell's knapsack?

Witnesses stated Jewell owned (deleted) backpack that resembled the pack used to store the bomb. (deleted) was shown a pack believed by investigators to be similar to the bomb-pack, and (deleted) advised that Jewell had an identical pack in the trunk of his patrol car when Jewell worked as a deputy sheriff in Habersham County. (deleted) said that Jewell kept large amounts of ammunition in the pack and that he saw the pack on a number of occasions in Jewell's patrol car. (deleted). In addition, (deleted) formerly a member with Jewell of the Northeast Georgia Drug Task Force, advised the FBI that he had given Jewell a (deleted) pack. Although thorough searches of every place in which Jewell is known to reside or store property, investigators have not found such a pack in his possession.

2) What is the nature of the north Georgia explosion?

A former neighbor of Jewell's (deleted) reported to the FBI that in early 1994 of 1995 at around 10 in the morning on a clear weekday, he heard a loud explosion in the woods near his and Jewell's property. (deleted) went outside his residence and saw a large cloud of smoke in the area of the house that Jewell was renting. Minutes later, (deleted) saw Jewell standing in the woods near the edge of (deleted) property looking very nervous. (An FBI search of the area has not revealed metallic fragments.)

3) Why did Jewell say he was going to be a hero?

According to (deleted) two days before the explosion, Jewell told some employees at the (Centennial Olympic Park) Swatch pavilion, "You better take a picture of me now because I'm going to be famous." Investigators are still looking for Swatch employees who recall this incident.

4) Why did Jewell take a break for the first time on the night of the bombing?

Although Jewell was known for never taking extended breaks while working at the tower, on the night of the bombing at about 10p, for the first time to the FBI's knowledge, Jewell had a back-up security guard relieve him, and was away from the tower for 15-20 minutes.

5) Why was Jewell so resistant to being assigned away from the tower?

As recited in his affidavit, and as confirmed in subsequent interviews, prior to the bombing Jewell vigorously resisted an attempt to change his assignment from the tower to another part of the park.

6) Why did Jewell ask whether one of the towers would stand up to an explosion?

Approximately 4-6 weeks before the bombing, during construction of one of the towers in the park, Jewell inexplicably asked whether the tower would stand up to an explosion.

7) Why did Jewell (deleted) information about bombs?

(deleted) a former colleague of Jewell advised the FBI that at the beginning of March 1996, he saw Jewell (deleted) at Piedmont College. (deleted) saw a drawing consistent with a bomb. Jewell commented to (deleted), "I'm trying to learn about how to take bombs apart." This person made a small drawing for FBI agents, based on what he had seen (deleted) that appeared to be a cylinder with wires attached. (deleted) containing date on, among other things, bomb making.

The document also says in part: "To be sure, it is quite possible that Jewell had no involvement in the bombing. There are numerous suspects and leads in the case entirely unrelated to Jewell, and there is evidence suggesting that Jewell did not commit the crime. (we make no effort to catalogue the exculpatory evidence here)

Nonetheless, Jewell cannot yet be eliminated as a suspect in the case, and the cloud of suspicious circumstances that surrounds him has not fully dissipated. Despite the assiduity of scores of agents who have worked to get to the bottom of the Jewell side of the investigation, questions remain."

 
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