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$500,000 reward offered for Olympic Park bomber

Voice of 911 caller played for first time

icon 911 tape (118K/5 sec. AIFF or WAV sound) green knapsack

December 9, 1996
Web posted at: 2:20 p.m. EST

ATLANTA (CNN) -- The FBI launched a new strategy Monday in its investigation of last July's Centennial Olympic Park bombing -- releasing the tape of the 911 call that warned of the bomb, and offering a $500,000 reward.

FBI Deputy Director Weldon Kennedy also displayed a green Army knapsack similar to the one that carried what he said was a 40-pound bomb.

"We are releasing these pieces of evidence in hopes that members of the public who have yet to realize they have important information, or photos, or videos will help solve this case by calling us," Kennedy said at a news conference in Atlanta.


Kennedy announced the $500,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the July 27 bombing. One person was killed in the explosion, and more than 100 were injured.

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FBI Press Conference on the Olympic Park Bombing

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Kennedy played the 911 call, which came in to the Atlanta Police Department 22 minutes before the pipe bomb exploded in the park during a late night concert.

"There is a bomb in Centennial Park," the mystery caller told the 911 operator. "You have 30 minutes."

The tape has been analyzed by FBI voice print experts, but the results were inconclusive. On Monday, the FBI asked for help from the public in identifying the voice on the tape, and also put out a call for anyone who has photos and videos taken in the park, in an effort to generate fresh leads in the case.

Kennedy on bomb probe

  • Reconstructed bomb
         (512K/22 sec. AIFF or WAV)

  • Bomb was moved
         (288K/25 sec. AIFF or WAV)

  • Appeal for information
         (192K/17 sec. AIFF or WAV)
  • Sources say that videotapes and photographs taken in the park that night indicate that the bomb may have been planted as long as an hour before it went off.

    In recent weeks the FBI has interviewed a number of people who took photographs in the park, in an attempt to find the bomber or bombers. They have also re-interviewed some of those wounded in the bombing as well as witnesses near the sound tower where the bomb went off.

    Handling of Jewell under investigation

    The FBI has faced a barrage of criticism for its handling of the investigation, especially after security guard Richard Jewell -- who initially brought the knapsack containing the bomb to police attention -- became a high-profile suspect and then was dropped as a target of the investigation.

    On October 26, the government sent a letter to Jewell, telling him that he was no longer a target.

    The Senate plans to hold a hearing on the FBI's handling of the case and how Jewell's name got out. The hearing has been delayed while the Justice Department finishes two internal probes into the FBI's handling of Jewell.

    Sources close to the investigation say they still expect the case to be solved, but said that no arrest is imminent.

    The FBI has set up a toll free number:
    for those with any information.


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