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The Centennial Olympic Park bombing: The true story of security guard Richard Jewell

The Centennial Olympic Park bombing was a domestic terrorist bombing that killed one person and injured 111 others.

The attack took place at the Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia on July 27 during the 1996 Summer Olympics.

Security guard Richard Jewell saved numerous lives after he discovered the explosive and began clearing the area around it.

However, the bomb detonated two to three minutes into the evacuation, before everyone could be removed. The events surrounding the explosion are now the subject of a new film directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Sam Rockwell, Jon Hamm and Olivia Wilde.

Clint Eastwood directs 'Richard Jewell' the film (Getty Images)
Clint Eastwood directs 'Richard Jewell' the film (Getty Images)

What happened when the bomb went off?

The Centennial Olympic Park was designed as the centre of the Olympics, and thousands of spectators had gathered to watch a concert.

Shortly after midnight a backpack was placed beneath a bench containing three pipe bombs surrounded by three-inch long masonry nails.

The nails caused the majority of the injuries in the explosion.

A 44-year-old woman named Alice Hawthorne was killed in the explosion. A cameraman from a Turkish television station also had a fatal heart attack while running to the scene.

Jewell was made a person of interest due to his lone wolf profile.

He was subject to intense media scrutiny, and his home was besieged by camera crews.

Who was responsible fore the Centennial Olympic Park bombing?

After Jewell was exonerated the case made little progress as the FBI had no other suspects.

That all changed in 1997 when three more bombings took place, two at abortion clinics in Alabama and Atlanta, and third at a lesbian nightclub in Atlanta.

Police were able to link the three bombings to the Olympic park bombing due to similarities in the design of the explosive devices used.

Handyman Eric Rudolph was identified as a suspect. Unfortunately Rudolph was able to evade capture, and he spent five years on the run. He was finally arrested in 2003 in Murphy California, and is now serving three life sentences without the possibility of parole at ADX Florence supermax prison in Florence, Colorado.

What happened to Richard Jewell?

After his exoneration Jewell filed lawsuits against NBC News and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Jewell won $500,000 from NBC News, but the court ruled in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's favour.

He also sued the New York Post for $15,000,000. The case was settled for an undisclosed sum.

Jewell died from diabetes at the age of 44 in 2007.