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A contributing source for the Warner Bros.’ film Richard Jewell starring Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates, Jon Hamm, Olivia Wilde and Paul Walter Hauser. The masterful true-crime account of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing that captured the world's attention, and the heroic security guard-turned-suspect at the heart of it all On July 27, 1996, a hapless former cop turned h A contributing source for the Warner Bros.’ film Richard Jewell starring Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates, Jon Hamm, Olivia Wilde and Paul Walter Hauser. The masterful true-crime account of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing that captured the world's attention, and the heroic security guard-turned-suspect at the heart of it all On July 27, 1996, a hapless former cop turned hypervigilant security guard named Richard Jewell spotted a suspicious bag in Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park, the town square of the 1996 Summer Games. Inside was a bomb, the largest of its kind in FBI and ATF history. Minutes later, the bomb detonated amid a crowd of fifty thousand people. But thanks to Jewell, it only wounded 111 and killed two, not the untold scores who would have otherwise died. With the eyes of the world on Atlanta, the Games continued. But the pressure to find the bomber was intense. Within seventy-two hours, Jewell went from the hero to the FBI’s main suspect. The news leaked and the intense focus on the guard forever changed his life. The worst part: It let the true bomber roam free to strike again.  What really happened that evening during the Olympic Games? The attack left a mark on American history, but most of what we remember is wrong. In a triumph of reporting and access in the tradition of the best investigative journalism, former U.S. Attorney Kent Alexander and former Wall Street Journal reporter Kevin Salwen reconstruct all the events leading up to, during, and after the Olympic bombing from mountains of law enforcement evidence and the extensive personal records of key players, including Richard himself. The Suspect, the culmination of more than five years of reporting, is a gripping story of the rise of domestic terrorism in America, the advent of the 24/7 news cycle, and an innocent man’s fight to clear his name. 


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A contributing source for the Warner Bros.’ film Richard Jewell starring Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates, Jon Hamm, Olivia Wilde and Paul Walter Hauser. The masterful true-crime account of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing that captured the world's attention, and the heroic security guard-turned-suspect at the heart of it all On July 27, 1996, a hapless former cop turned h A contributing source for the Warner Bros.’ film Richard Jewell starring Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates, Jon Hamm, Olivia Wilde and Paul Walter Hauser. The masterful true-crime account of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing that captured the world's attention, and the heroic security guard-turned-suspect at the heart of it all On July 27, 1996, a hapless former cop turned hypervigilant security guard named Richard Jewell spotted a suspicious bag in Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park, the town square of the 1996 Summer Games. Inside was a bomb, the largest of its kind in FBI and ATF history. Minutes later, the bomb detonated amid a crowd of fifty thousand people. But thanks to Jewell, it only wounded 111 and killed two, not the untold scores who would have otherwise died. With the eyes of the world on Atlanta, the Games continued. But the pressure to find the bomber was intense. Within seventy-two hours, Jewell went from the hero to the FBI’s main suspect. The news leaked and the intense focus on the guard forever changed his life. The worst part: It let the true bomber roam free to strike again.  What really happened that evening during the Olympic Games? The attack left a mark on American history, but most of what we remember is wrong. In a triumph of reporting and access in the tradition of the best investigative journalism, former U.S. Attorney Kent Alexander and former Wall Street Journal reporter Kevin Salwen reconstruct all the events leading up to, during, and after the Olympic bombing from mountains of law enforcement evidence and the extensive personal records of key players, including Richard himself. The Suspect, the culmination of more than five years of reporting, is a gripping story of the rise of domestic terrorism in America, the advent of the 24/7 news cycle, and an innocent man’s fight to clear his name. 

30 review for The Suspect: An Olympic Bombing, the FBI, the Media, and Richard Jewell, the Man Caught in the Middle

  1. 5 out of 5

    Brandice

    The Suspect: An Olympic Bombing, the FBI, the Media, and Richard Jewell, the Man Caught in the Middle is a thoroughly researched book about the bombing at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. It covers the various parties involved, including Richard Jewell, the original primary suspect, as well as members of the FBI, the media, Richard’s family and friends, the legal teams involved, and eventually, the actual bomber. On July 27, 1996, Jewell was working at the Olympics, specifically at a post in Centen The Suspect: An Olympic Bombing, the FBI, the Media, and Richard Jewell, the Man Caught in the Middle is a thoroughly researched book about the bombing at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. It covers the various parties involved, including Richard Jewell, the original primary suspect, as well as members of the FBI, the media, Richard’s family and friends, the legal teams involved, and eventually, the actual bomber. On July 27, 1996, Jewell was working at the Olympics, specifically at a post in Centennial Park, as a security guard. He spotted a suspicious bag under a bench and began following protocol, alerting others and clearing the space. It was, in fact, a bomb that exploded, killing 2 people and injuring more than 100. While devastating, thanks to Jewell’s swift action, he likely saved countless other guests in attendance at the park that night. I felt terrible for Jewell who was wrongly accused as the suspected bomber and was irritated on his behalf at the hasty suspicion by both the FBI and the media. I understand some people were just trying to do their jobs and vet all possible outcomes but I don’t think that was the case for everyone involved in this particular investigation. Jewell seemed like a nice, genuine guy who maybe didn’t always fit in, but wanted to be liked, wanted to help people, and wanted to climb the ranks in a career in law enforcement. I didn’t necessarily agree with all of his decisions but he really came off as harmless from how he’s described in The Suspect. I can’t say the same for Don Johnson of the FBI or reporter Kathy Scruggs from the Atlanta Journal Constitution (newspaper) who are extensively detailed in the book as well. I was in elementary school during the 1996 Olympics so while I remember a few things, the details were hazy. This book did a great job filling in the gaps for me. Many of the places referenced are well-known and familiar to me, including Centennial Park, now as an adult and former ATLien. I had no idea it took so long ( 7 years) for authorities to find the bomber or that he was responsible for additional incidents in Atlanta and Alabama. ”Today more than two decades have passed since the Centennial Park bombing. Perhaps revisiting the tale of Richard Jewell will encourage the current media to pause longer and presume innocence before rushing to suggest guilt. Perhaps law enforcement will use the Jewell case as a rallying cry to treat leaks of individuals’ names as criminal acts, not just inevitabilities. And perhaps all of us in the news-consuming public will reconsider our expectation of immediacy and ponder the benefits of returning to an era when accuracy was prized over speed.” An interesting and informative account shedding light on a major U.S. event, The Suspect chronicles the 1996 Olympics, Richard Jewell’s unfortunate position as a temporary scapegoat, and the long-standing aftermath of this positioning.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Valerity (Val)

    This is a thoroughly researched book about the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and the bombing that happened. It also goes into the suspicion of Richard Jewell and all of the media surrounding the whole thing. There were reasons for them to look at Jewell, but he was just a little too convenient a patsy. I liked the look at some of the media’s role in the story, one writer in particular. This book was even better than I expected, and refreshed my memory on what happened with the case. It also has updates This is a thoroughly researched book about the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and the bombing that happened. It also goes into the suspicion of Richard Jewell and all of the media surrounding the whole thing. There were reasons for them to look at Jewell, but he was just a little too convenient a patsy. I liked the look at some of the media’s role in the story, one writer in particular. This book was even better than I expected, and refreshed my memory on what happened with the case. It also has updates on all of the main players from the story, which I really liked, and wrapped it all up nicely. A very good read for anyone who has any interest in the story. I learned quite a lot I didn’t know. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, authors Kent Alexander & Kevin Salwen, and the publisher. First published on my WordPress blog viewed here: https://wordpress.com/post/bookblog20...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Katie B

    There were certainly many good moments that came out of the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta such as Muhammad Ali lighting the Olympic Cauldron during the Opening Ceremonies and Kerri Strug competing on an injured ankle and securing a gold medal for the U.S. women's gymnastics team. However, tragedy also struck after a pipe bomb attack in Centennial Park killed one person, Alice Hawthorne, and injured 111 people. A cameraman also died when he suffered a fatal heart attack while running to the sce There were certainly many good moments that came out of the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta such as Muhammad Ali lighting the Olympic Cauldron during the Opening Ceremonies and Kerri Strug competing on an injured ankle and securing a gold medal for the U.S. women's gymnastics team. However, tragedy also struck after a pipe bomb attack in Centennial Park killed one person, Alice Hawthorne, and injured 111 people. A cameraman also died when he suffered a fatal heart attack while running to the scene. Law enforcement rushed to figure out who was responsible for the attack and unfortunately the case turned into a gigantic mess. Security guard Richard Jewell was working at Centennial Park the night of the bombing. He was the person who alerted higher ups of a suspicious looking bag that had been left unattended. While he helped secure the area, the bomb went off. Given the thousands of people in the park at the time, Richard was hailed a hero because without him taking action, the casualties could have been significantly greater. But within a few days, the FBI considered him a suspect and word leaked out to the media. Richard's world was turned upside down as the public perception of him quickly changed from hero to villain and he became a frequent punchline for late night comedians. Guess what? He wasn't the bomber. I was a teenager back in 1996 and even decades later this still remains one of the more bizarre things I have ever seen played out in the media. First Richard is the man who saved lives with his quick thinking. Then because he fits the lone wolf type profile he turns into a suspect. Oh no, we hate him now! But wait, looks like after law enforcement searches his home and digs more into past, maybe he didn't do it. After some bombings in Alabama, the authorities move on to a new suspect. It's okay people, Richard really is a good guy. We can like him again. The whole sage was just a roller coaster and I can't imagine what it was like to be in Richard's shoes. And that's why I wanted to read this book, as I almost felt like I owed it to him to learn more about what he went through and hopefully get a more well-rounded view of him as a person instead of the more sensationalized version the media put out. This is certainly a well-researched book and my guess is there probably will never be another book on the market that takes this close of a look into the case. While some of the key players involved are deceased, the authors were able to piece together the facts of the case by interviewing friends and family, combing through old news articles, watching television interviews, etc. Co-author Kent Alexander was actually involved in the case as he was the U.S. attorney who sent Jewell a letter formally clearing him. This was something negotiated ahead of time with Jewell's lawyers and after it was released it went a long way in shifting the public's perception of him as the man responsible for the bombing. I think the authors do a good job in painting the picture of everything going on during this time period. They write about everything leading up to the Games, including the security measures that were put in place. The internet and cable news channels really starting to gain popularity at this time helped contribute to the 24-hour news cycle. Law enforcement needed to find the person or persons responsible for the bombing quickly in case future attacks had been planned. There was a lot going on as it was like the perfect storm and unfortunately for Richard Jewell he got caught up in the middle of it. I think each reader will draw their own conclusions about the case. I think most of us can agree that Richard Jewell was put through the ringer which is extremely unfortunate given he was innocent. Now whether or not you can assign blame for what happened is where it becomes more of a grey issue. Was it law enforcement or the media that caused this absolute circus? Both? Should certain individuals take most of the blame like the reporter or the FBI agent? After reading the book, I can't say my opinions on the case have changed but I do think I have now gotten much more of a complete picture. The authors for the most part just present the facts without interjecting their opinions but I was left with the impression they didn't think too highly of a particular FBI agent. Definitely recommend reading this book if you want a definitive look at the case. Obviously a big part of the story is Richard Jewell, but the book does go into detail about Eric Rudolph, the man responsible for the Olympic bombing as well as other bombings. Once law enforcement correctly identified him as a suspect, the hunt for him took years before he was successfully apprehended. Chances are you are like me and can never remember the name Eric Rudolph as the media coverage wasn't as extensive with him as it was with Jewell. And how many people out there incorrectly associate Richard Jewell with the bombing and as memories fade, forget he was innocent? Eric Rudolph is responsible for the Centennial Park bombing as well as three other bombings. I think we owe it to Richard to remember that. Thank you to Netgalley and Abrams Press giving me an opportunity to read an advance digital copy in exchange for an honest review!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mika Ryan

    Outstanding read! The overzealous press, the FBI incompetence and prosecutorial overreach to hang this hideous crime on Richard Jewell is revealed and detailed in a well written book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I’m the person who sees a movie trailer, thinks it looks great and then searches if it’s a book. Indeed, this book was made into a movie. So I bypass movie and go straight to the book. This was fascinating. An entirely new nonfiction subject for me. It was never boring, it was intense and the flow was steady, never lagging.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Trader

    Incredibly well-researched, well-written, and engaging until the end. One of my favorite nonfiction-that-reads-as-fiction books to date.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Donna Hines

    Rush to judgement? Guilty before being proven innocent? A man's entire career and life was literally extinguished based on one charge. Ultimately, in the end that may have even lead to his untimely death from a sudden heart attack at the young age of 44 years of age. I do hope in the future this case is a warning to all to stop the public trials and social media outcries and allow due process. This is the an important reminder that everyone deserves their day in court and everyone deserves to have a Rush to judgement? Guilty before being proven innocent? A man's entire career and life was literally extinguished based on one charge. Ultimately, in the end that may have even lead to his untimely death from a sudden heart attack at the young age of 44 years of age. I do hope in the future this case is a warning to all to stop the public trials and social media outcries and allow due process. This is the an important reminder that everyone deserves their day in court and everyone deserves to have a voice.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    The story of Richard Jewell was just a little bit before my time - but after reading this book, I feel like I lived through it. Soon to be the subject of a major motion picture, Richard Jewell was a bit of a down-and-out wannabe police officer, a portly man from North Georgia who loved police work, the authority of the badge, and “fighting crime” more than anything. He got jobs here and there in the field, working as a lowly jailor and deputy officer for Habersham County, GA and as a security gu The story of Richard Jewell was just a little bit before my time - but after reading this book, I feel like I lived through it. Soon to be the subject of a major motion picture, Richard Jewell was a bit of a down-and-out wannabe police officer, a portly man from North Georgia who loved police work, the authority of the badge, and “fighting crime” more than anything. He got jobs here and there in the field, working as a lowly jailor and deputy officer for Habersham County, GA and as a security guard for Piedmont College, before forcibly resigning from both jobs for being, well, overzealous. In Habersham, he tried to “buzz” the cruiser of a neighboring jurisdiction like they do in Top Gun, only to crash into a telephone pole and knock out power for half a mile. While working for the college, he expanded his territory without permission and started to make “courtesy traffic stops” in the town, much to the chagrin of the local police force. Lucky for Jewell, the 1996 Olympics were coming up right in Atlanta. Jewell hoped he could get a job with a private security firm and use that to leverage future law enforcement work. One July night in Centennial Park, a beautiful public park built for the Olympics hosting concerts and other events for visitors, Jewell was pacing his normal route. He saw a suspicious green bag underneath a bench and immediately suspected it to be a bomb. He contacted all the right folks, formed a perimeter, and when the bomb went off, it killed only two people instead of the assumed 100+ who could have died without Jewell’s actions. He was touted as a hero and brought on national TV - but a few days later, he was the FBI’s number one suspect in the crime. He fit the profile of lonely wannabe cop who had the knowledge to build a bomb, get the attention and praise, and reenter law enforcement as was his dream. So who is Richard Jewell, really? And what would he do to become a hero? This book is immaculately researched, detailing not only Jewell’s backstory, but that of Jewell’s friends, Olympics organizers, FBI agents, APD detectives, and key reporters from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The level of detail is stunning - I can’t imagine how the Salwen and Alexander collected this volume of information and were able to synthesize it all in such a flowing, fast-paced way that hardly becomes boring. Moreover, it’s compellingly written - following in the vein of some of my favorite “nonfiction that reads like fiction” (aka narrative nonfiction) books, like Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster, In Cold Blood, Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors, and The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America. Although the book is lengthy, you won’t want to put it down. This was a particularly interesting read for me as I had never even heard of this event, the subsequent bombings, or the controversy around Jewell (revealing my age, probably!). I’m curious to know what this book is like for someone who lived through this whole event as it rolled out in real time. I didn’t want to be spoiled, since I wasn’t familiar with where the story went, but I will say that the ending is fantastic and exciting. There is so much to think about - where things went wrong, who was to blame, and how all of this happened in the first place. Remarking on Richard Jewell, Jay Leno commented, “Now, he seems to fit the typical misfit profile, cop wannabe, low self-esteem, and s cary resemblance to the guy who whacked Nancy Kerrigan.” Funny enough, the movie version of Richard Jewell in the Clint Eastwood-directed film by the same name (out in December 2019) is being played by Paul Walter Hauser, the same guy who played Shawn Eckhardt, Nancy Kerrigan’s attacker, in the 2018 film I, Tonya. The movie looks intense as hell, and I can’t wait to watch it. Thank you to Abrams Press for the ARC via Netgalley!

  9. 4 out of 5

    James

    Kathy Scruggs & Don Johnson seem to deserve a special place in hell, for what they did to the Jewell Family. Their lives seem to take the Karma led path to "all messed up". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has been acting like a chicken with it's head cut off, TRYING to protect Scruggs (not so good) name. So rich. An excellent book, filled with details. A deep dive after watching the Clint Eastwood film. Kathy Scruggs & Don Johnson seem to deserve a special place in hell, for what they did to the Jewell Family. Their lives seem to take the Karma led path to "all messed up". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has been acting like a chicken with it's head cut off, TRYING to protect Scruggs (not so good) name. So rich. An excellent book, filled with details. A deep dive after watching the Clint Eastwood film.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    Went back to watch my family vacation video from hours before the attack: https://www.instagram.com/p/B6CUNx9Fy... Went back to watch my family vacation video from hours before the attack: https://www.instagram.com/p/B6CUNx9Fy...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dick

    What the FBI and the media did to Richard Jewell's life is literally criminal. The FBI determined that he fit the profile - that they created - of a bomber. They then set out to prove that their hypothesis was a fact. Ignoring the basic rule of investigating . . . follow the leads and the evidence to wherever they take you. The media jumped all over the FBI theory and literally hounded Jewell into hiding along with his mother. Not only does this book - very well researched - show how irresponsib What the FBI and the media did to Richard Jewell's life is literally criminal. The FBI determined that he fit the profile - that they created - of a bomber. They then set out to prove that their hypothesis was a fact. Ignoring the basic rule of investigating . . . follow the leads and the evidence to wherever they take you. The media jumped all over the FBI theory and literally hounded Jewell into hiding along with his mother. Not only does this book - very well researched - show how irresponsible the media was (and remains), bu how dangerous the FBI was and still is. There is not enough money to have properly compensated Richard Jewell ans his mother. The role of the FBI should send chills down your spine if that agency ever decides to look into you and your life. You are no less secure if the media decides to look into your life, for they seemingly have no integrity when it comes to the truth and facts . . . rather, they are selling the news and in a lot of cases creating the news. The authors spent five years investigating the story before writing this book.t To say that the FBI and the media failed the test of integrity and basic investigative techniques is an understatement. Absolute lack of integrity on both fronts. The FBI violated Jewell's rights and tricked him into signing away his Miranda rights. Investigators fed leaks to the media -AJC - which should bring about prosecution of those investigators. This is a callous violation of professional investigatory techiniques, not to mention blatant violation of Jewell's rights. The FBI along with the AJC are guilty of destroying Jewell and his mother and literally leaving them in a pile of rubble with no remorse. Who can forget the Branch Dividians and the literal murder of the women and children who were burned out in 1983? Horrible. Or Elián González who was caught up on a custody battle and the INS literally took him from relatives - who can ever forget the terror on that little boy's face when they literally snatched him away? There was another instance involving the FBI in the northwest who determined that a group of men - handful - posed a threat to the public, though they were in the wilderness and far from any real city. The FBI found a way to kill one of the men by using a sniper. Back to the Olympic Bombing. It was ultimately determined that Eric Rudolph was the bomber, who later bombed two other places one of which was a gay bar in Atlanta. He fled to North Carolina and hid out. In Murphy , North Carolina. The interesting thing to me and my wife is that we had been to Murphy when we rented a cabin in the woods for a long week-end and shopped at the grocery store behind which Rudolph was ultimately found and arrested.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Drtaxsacto

    The bombing at Centennial Park during the 1996 Olympics was a case that involved almost a decade to solve. The author has done a magnificent job in dissecting all the elements in the story. There are four key actors in the story - an overzealous reporter from the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Key FBI investigator at the early part of the story, Richard Jewell and the actual bomber who did this terror act and a couple of others. The author describes how Atlanta beat out Athens for the Centenn The bombing at Centennial Park during the 1996 Olympics was a case that involved almost a decade to solve. The author has done a magnificent job in dissecting all the elements in the story. There are four key actors in the story - an overzealous reporter from the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Key FBI investigator at the early part of the story, Richard Jewell and the actual bomber who did this terror act and a couple of others. The author describes how Atlanta beat out Athens for the Centennial games. He then goes on in detail to describe the events around the bombing and the effects on each of the key participants. Richard Jewell's life (as an ambitious although somewhat flawed security guard who was a hero in saving lives) was torn asunder because of excesses done by the AJC reporter and by the FBI investigator. He eventually sued several of the news media sources for their defamation. At one point a judge ruled (in my opinion oddly) that Jewell did not deserve protection of privacy because he was a temporary public person. Richard Jewell was eventually able to get his life back together. The reporter eventually died of a drug overdose and the lead FBI guy was disgraced for some outlandish tactics. The bomber was able to negotiate a plea deal to save himself from the death penalty. Alexander is complete in his details of this set of tragedies. I read the book after seeing the Clint Eastwood movie about Jewell - while I thought the movie was interesting, the book is a much better telling of the story.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anna Machan

    Fantastic read Full disclosure, I am from Atlanta and can remember a lot of this but I was only 12 so I couldn’t have known it all. This book was a great read and I learned so much about my city and the events around the Centennial Olympic bombing. I had a hard time putting this book down. Kudos to Mr. Alexander and Mr. Salwen. Best book I’ve read all year (and I’ve read quite a few).

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Mcbroom

    Alexander probes the bombing of Centinell Park site of the Olympics in 1996 Atlanta. Caught in the crossfire is Richard Jewell, a people pleasing security guard who is first touted as a hero then asa suspect, an overzealous FBI agent with the moniker Don Johnson, and lastly Kathy Scruggs, a ruthless ambitious newspaper reporter whose goal is to get the story no matter what she has to do.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ana María

    "Soon Jewell began delivering doughnuts to surveillance agents who were on duty. When he realized they were having difficulty tailing him, he began notifying the drivers in advance where he was going. The agents were grateful and relieved. Earlier, they had suspected him of 'evasive driving tactics' with his fast, unpredictable turns. Once they had the addresses, they realized he just had a bad sense of direction and a lead foot."

  16. 5 out of 5

    Chris Harrod

    It's crazy how big and important this story was in the world (only 25 years ago), and yet I didn't even know this story happened before reading this book. Very well researched, informative, and entertaining. A good read for my generation, especially with the emphasis on media and reporting ethics in the internet and TV age.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jesse

    Really interesting account of the Atlanta Olympic bombing, focusing on law enforcement's initial jump to a conclusion that was wrong.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    Fantastic research and writing!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Justin Matthews

    In my mind this is an example of a perfect book. The writing is clear, full of detail that is interesting and not overwhelming. The narrative incorporates not just Jewell but the 1996 Olympics, how they ended up in Atlanta, how the FBI and various law enforcement agencies worked through CENTBOM, the various characters that played a role and how they got there. I was totally engrossed. (And it was cool to read about places that, as an Atlanta boy, I've been to dozens of times; I once even owned s In my mind this is an example of a perfect book. The writing is clear, full of detail that is interesting and not overwhelming. The narrative incorporates not just Jewell but the 1996 Olympics, how they ended up in Atlanta, how the FBI and various law enforcement agencies worked through CENTBOM, the various characters that played a role and how they got there. I was totally engrossed. (And it was cool to read about places that, as an Atlanta boy, I've been to dozens of times; I once even owned some of the '96 Olympics memorabilia discussed in the book, such as the green hat and the pins.)

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jill Crosby

    Excellent analysis of the media juggernaut destroying the life of an innocent-but-presumed-guilty security guard Richard Jewell at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics when a bomb detonated, killing 2 & injuring 111 others. There’s also the parallel story of the REAL bomber, the FBI’s rush to arrest a suspect, and the dubious motivations of the Atlanta newspaper to name names without proof. Excellent analysis of the media juggernaut destroying the life of an innocent-but-presumed-guilty security guard Richard Jewell at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics when a bomb detonated, killing 2 & injuring 111 others. There’s also the parallel story of the REAL bomber, the FBI’s rush to arrest a suspect, and the dubious motivations of the Atlanta newspaper to name names without proof.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Very well researched and written. I couldnt put it down

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    If you liked the movie (or were as moved by it as I was!) I strongly recommend this book, which is a deep dive that goes more into the history of ATL, the players, and even the Olympics. I love learning more context and history around those things “I thought I knew.” Plus it’s interesting to see how our culture and society have evolved, even in two short decades.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Peters

    Quick! What name do you associate with the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Bombing? Now, do you know who the actual bomber was? "The Suspect" by Kent Alexander and Kevin Salwen (read by Paul Michael) explores the events leading up to the July 27, 1996, act of terrorism, and the subsequent investigation and media storm. It explains how a badge-heavy cop wannabe became the focus of a FBI investigation, then how the FBI, desperate for results, saw only the evidence it wanted to see and ran roughshod over the s Quick! What name do you associate with the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Bombing? Now, do you know who the actual bomber was? "The Suspect" by Kent Alexander and Kevin Salwen (read by Paul Michael) explores the events leading up to the July 27, 1996, act of terrorism, and the subsequent investigation and media storm. It explains how a badge-heavy cop wannabe became the focus of a FBI investigation, then how the FBI, desperate for results, saw only the evidence it wanted to see and ran roughshod over the suspects rights, and finally, how the media turned this into a frenzied riot during the start of the cable television news era (Remember Atlanta is CNN's HQ). Interestingly, and sadly, of the four major players in this story (Security guard, FBI Agent, Reporter, Bomber) only the bomber is still alive (in a maximum security prison).

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

    This book was thoroughly researched and well written. This story could happen to anyone. It reminds us to get the facts first before destroying a reputation just to get a story out. May you Rest In Peace Mr. Jewell.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Justin

    4.5 stars if I could. Very well researched and written book. Definitely recommend.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Fascinating. Leaves you guessing, and variously angry or frustrated. Some strong language in direct quotes.

  27. 4 out of 5

    TJL

    Excellent book. Very well researched, and the points were made succinctly without injecting unnecessary details or fluff. I also admire the last bit of the book, with the authors saying that maybe this will encourage the authorities to be more diligent in preventing leaks, and the press to be more responsible and accountable to the lives it's capable of ruining just to get a good story. It was heartfelt and sweet. It's also not going to happen because the media/press has its head so far up its own Excellent book. Very well researched, and the points were made succinctly without injecting unnecessary details or fluff. I also admire the last bit of the book, with the authors saying that maybe this will encourage the authorities to be more diligent in preventing leaks, and the press to be more responsible and accountable to the lives it's capable of ruining just to get a good story. It was heartfelt and sweet. It's also not going to happen because the media/press has its head so far up its own asshole that it refuses to see itself as anything but holy martyrs telling down-home truths, but it was a nice sentiment to express.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jordan Larsen

    The place, Atlanta, Georgia. The year is 1996. “The City in the Woods” is the host for the Olympic Games. As millions flock to Atlanta and tune-in around the world, all eyes are on Atlanta’s Centennial Park, the epicenter of the games. Despite some of the most elaborate security measures implemented to ensure public safety, the 1996 Olympic Games will be forever remembered as an indelible event marked by terror and tragedy. That’s the premise behind the biography “The Suspect” by Kent Alexander The place, Atlanta, Georgia. The year is 1996. “The City in the Woods” is the host for the Olympic Games. As millions flock to Atlanta and tune-in around the world, all eyes are on Atlanta’s Centennial Park, the epicenter of the games. Despite some of the most elaborate security measures implemented to ensure public safety, the 1996 Olympic Games will be forever remembered as an indelible event marked by terror and tragedy. That’s the premise behind the biography “The Suspect” by Kent Alexander and Kevin Salwen. The source for the Clint Eastwood film “Richard Jewell;” the authors delve into the backstories of security guard Richard Jewell and a nefariously cunning bomber Eric Rudolph who eluded capture for seven years wandering the Georgia wilderness free to maim and kill. As depicted in the film “Richard Jewell,” the book highlights the horrendous smear campaign launch by the Atlanta Journal Constitutional (AJC) instigated by Cathy Scruggs, a narcissistic, agenda-driven Journalist. The media attention puts Richard Jewell at the center of the investigation. All the while, distracting the FBI and the media from the real culprit, Eric Rudolph. To see my movie blog on Richard Jewell, click below. https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog... After seeing the independent film “Richard Jewell,” I wanted to get my hands on the original source material. Listening to this book on Audible gave me a greater perspective on the real Richard Jewell and the cold-blooded lethality of Eric Rudolph. If you haven’t seen the movie, this book makes for a great precursor to get more in-depth analysis on the 1996 Olympic Centennial Park bombing and the players involved. Well worth the time to read or listen.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    Anyone over the age of 35 likely remembers the 96 Centennial Park bombing and media circus that erupted when Richard Jewell was named as a hero then suspect. In the early days of the internet and the 24/7 news cycle, this story captivated the world. The authors of The Suspect provide a detailed examination of the facts, the players, the egos, and the ethical implications that arose. This book is utterly absorbing and should be required reading for members of law enforcement and journalists. A fi Anyone over the age of 35 likely remembers the 96 Centennial Park bombing and media circus that erupted when Richard Jewell was named as a hero then suspect. In the early days of the internet and the 24/7 news cycle, this story captivated the world. The authors of The Suspect provide a detailed examination of the facts, the players, the egos, and the ethical implications that arose. This book is utterly absorbing and should be required reading for members of law enforcement and journalists. A film version of Richard Jewell’s life is in the works and this is a wonderful companion piece. Digital ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    This book was great! Even though I’m from Atlanta and knew a lot about the bombing already, I enjoyed learning about the event and surrounding characters in more detail. This book also offers an interesting peek into federal criminal investigations.

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