Eric Rudolph: A Profile
Friday, December 12, 1998
The year-old manhunt continues for Eric Robert Rudolph in the forests and ravines of western North Carolina. Rudolph has been charged with one bombing in Alabama and three unsolved bombings in Atlanta, including the 1996 Olympic explosion.
FBI agents maintain that they have enough evidence to keep searching around the Andrews, N.C., area. Reports have indicated Rudolph may be getting help from residents and even staying in someone's home.
He is well familiar with the area as he spent his youth in the forests where the boundaries of Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina meet. Rudolph is from Murphy, about 15 miles southwest of Andrews, N.C., and is an experienced outdoorsman.
Rudolph was charged Oct. 14, 1998, with the fatal bombing at Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park and in connection with the 1997 double bombings at the Sandy Springs Professional Building and the Otherside Lounge in Atlanta. He has also been charged in connection with the bombing of a health clinic in Birmingham in which a police officer was killed and a nurse critically wounded.
He is known to own firearms and to have targeted law enforcement. According to his FBI profile, he is a white male with blue eyes and brown hair and a noticeable scar on his chin.
The search for Rudolph, age 32, began on Jan. 30, 1998, the day after the Birmingham bombing. Rudolph made a purchase at a local store near his house and drove his pickup truck a few hundred yards, where he abandoned it and disappeared.
In July, he alledgedly left five $100 bills at the home of a former neighbor in a mountain town near the search area and took a six-month supply of food and the man's pickup truck.
That same month FBI authorities released a drawing of Rudolph with a beard. Officials said reportedly Rudolph's hair was longer and worn in a ponytail, and he is believed to be wearing camouflage fatigues, a camouflage jacket and gloves.
Rudolph has drifted in and out of white supremacist groups and is considered one of a new dangerous type of "loner" terrorist. FBI officials say Rudolph learned the radical ideology of the Christian Identity movement as a teenager living with his mother who attended the "Church of Israel," a congregation that espouses the view that the white race is God's chosen nation.
Federal investigators said Rudolph maintained contact with other Christian Identity groups in recent years and also appears to have been in contact with the Aryan Nations, the Idaho-headquartered organization that has periodically spawned violent offshoots and recently has sought to exert its influence over the militia movement.
© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Co.