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Search words: iosaf
Pro-Life Terrorist is sentanced for Murder.
crime and justice |
Tuesday August 23, 2005 01:03 by iosaf
"Inside the mind of a terrorist and his victims"
Eric Rudolph was sentenced in Atlanta today to four consecutive life sentences as well as 120 years in prison for three bombings in Atlanta and one in Birmingham, Alabama between 1996 and 1998.
Rudolph, a right wing extremist bombed the Atlanta Olympic games in 1996, killing 1 and injuring 111 with a nail bomb. Today reading from a prepared statement appeared to show remorse for the first time.
but his regrets were restricted to the innocent victims of his first bombing that of the games. He offered no apologies or pleas for forgiveness of his second and third bombings, a gay night club which injured 11 in 1997and an abortion clinic in Alabama in 1998 where he killed a police officer and seriously wounded a nurse.
["Rudolph was identified after the Alabama blast and spent the next five years hiding in the mountains of western North Carolina. He was captured in 2003 while scavenging for food behind a grocery shop in Murphy, North Carolina.
Before his sentence was handed down, Rudolph apologised to the victims of the Olympics blast. He claimed that he had wanted to wanted to harm only government workers and embarrass the US Government for allowing abortion on demand.] (AP).
"to confound, anger and embarrass the Washington government in the eyes of the world for its abominable sanctioning of abortion on demand." [sic - source chinese news]
"Listening to the many victims of the Centennial Park bombing, I cannot begin to truly understand the pain that I have inflicted upon these innocent people, I would do anything to take that night back, and to those victims, I apologise."
Here are statements from his victims at the sentancing today, main source - Atlanta Journal constitution but also material from New York Times:-
John Hawthorne, husband of Alice Hawthorne killed in the Atlanta bombings.
Today marks what would have been our 18th wedding anniversary.
Every August 22nd since 1996 has been filled with anger, weeping and sorrow. But this anniversary has a new meaning. It brings to an end a very painful and emotional chapter in the lives of each member of this family. This day signals a new beginning.
I am comforted by the 5th verse of the 30th Psalm, when in the dedication of the Second Temple, the Psalmist wrote, "For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for Life; Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." And today I can one once again appreciate Psalms 118:24 when it says "This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."
The months and years between July 27, 1996 and this anniversary of our wedding has, to me, been a long continuous night of weeping. But on this morning there is joy in my heart. Relief and peace will eventually take the place of anger. This is the day Alice can rest, for justice is finally being served.
God's Word is Universal and covers us all — even you Mr. Rudolph. Psalms 30:5 tells us "His favor is for life" and today that favor is for your life. You have chosen to save yourself from certain death and God, not mankind, has granted you that favor with this sentence.
What can the rest of mankind make of you, who displays such bravado in justifying acts of terror? Do you really expect the world of Man to believe that innocent people had to die so you could make your voice heard? Why, if your cause is just, are you not willing to die for it as so many others have done in the past for their cause?
I know why. And I think you do, too.
The first time I laid eyes on you was in Birmingham. I had made peace with myself and supported the recommended sentence by the Justice Department.
As you were brought into the courtroom, my daughter and I were sitting behind the U.S. Attorney's table with the other victims of your crimes. I held my thoughts and emotions in check; I wanted to see if there was any sign of contrition or remorse on your face.
You walked in and winked at us — as though this were a cat and mouse game. My daughter began to cry and I wished we could go back in time and retract our support for life over death for you.
But then I saw you standing next to one of your attorneys, a very tall woman. Seeing you next to her, I said to myself, "This is a very small guy." And then I realized that is what best describes you. You are a very small man. And like other small men who act as you have acted, you have a Napoleonic complex and a need to compensate for what you lack. Little person, big bomb. But you are still a small man.
As you have said, there are those who feel the same way you do, so that hardly makes your thoughts on the subject original. And some of these others have also killed in the cause you advocate, but that doesn't make you a revolutionary — it makes you a copycat.
Your twisted hatred extinguished a bright and innocent flame; a woman who was helping to light the way for those whose low self-esteem sometimes leads to acts you say you oppose. Alice chose to address the problem by showing compassion, understanding and love; by helping young people understand the one mistake doesn't have to lead to another and another.
Alice worked at the grassroots level by touching one life at a time. That is how you resolve an issue — not killing. Have you considered that you may have killed unborn children by setting off a bomb in a crowd filled with defenseless women?
You have said people don't have the courage to stand up to the government. It appears that you don't either. A man doesn't stand up for his beliefs when he hides behind false names or explodes a bomb among innocents. A real man has the courage to raise his voice to change the law. Such men win respect and inspire change. After all that you've said and all that you have done, the law is still in place and nothing has changed — except many people have suffered.
Your complete lack of respect for the victims, their families, the court and the process of justice are, I now know, a show put on by a very small man. You show defiance and arrogance, but only to hide your fear of the dismal future in store for you — total isolation from family and friends and the world. The fear that your life will have no further meaning.
If it were in my power, the media would never mention your name again, because doing so makes your words seems important and feeds many small people who copy other people's thoughts because, like you, they have none of their own. Unfortunately, I can't do that. But I will ask the media to respect my wish that after today I will never give another interview or answer another question about Eric Robert Rudolph.
After today, the government is finished with you. You won't be flown at taxpayer expense to see new sights. Your few visitors will appear before you at intervals; they will age before your eyes until infirmity stops their visits all together. The only new people you meet will be guards.
I'm told your existence will be one of isolation where you will never again see the beauty of the flowers, trees, the setting and rising of the sun, those things we all take from granted until we no longer have them.
You no longer have them. You are a young man and may God bless you with long life.
Bob Ahring, coordinated security detail at Centennial Olympic Park
In July and August of 1996, I had been hired by AT&T to coordinate and supervise a security detail for the Global Olympic Village at Centennial Park. As a law enforcement executive, I was eager to tackle a new challenge and an opportunity to explore the corporate security field during one of the largest events of the 20th century. I arranged my schedule to take 3 weeks of vacation from my position as the Assistant Chief of Police at the Blue Springs, Missouri Police Department. Working at the summer Olympic games was an experience that I will never forget. It was exhilarating, but it also definitely prepared me to evaluate and control possible worst case scenarios in the future.
The morning of July 27, 1996 should never be forgotten. After we discovered the abandoned satchel under the park bench and realized that it contained an incendiary device, we immediately began an emergency evacuation of the people attending the concert. Approximately 10 minutes after being discovered, the satchel exploded. One woman was killed instantly and another 111 individuals were wounded. When the bomb exploded, I was also struck by shrapnel in my left shoulder and lower left leg. Not realizing I had also been struck by shrapnel, I immediately began treating other wounded people nearby. At the time of the explosion, my son Jason was part of the concert crew working near the stage. It wasn't until later, after he found me helping the paramedic treat the wounded, that we discovered the reason the back of my shirt was blood-soaked was due to my own injuries. A short time later, I was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital for treatment. Over the past 9 years, I have battled health problems from a chronic staph infection I received as a result of the injuries I sustained during the explosion.
Initially, we felt the bomb was placed near the base of the tower in an attempt to topple the structure. As the investigation progressed, it became obvious that the bomber's intention was to kill and maim as many innocent people as possible, including children of all ages who were enjoying a Friday night concert in Centennial Park. There were no religious, political or environmental issues involved with placing the bomb in a large crowd of innocent bystanders. The placing of the bomb was a gross act of cowardice by a contemptible domestic terrorist. He should be punished accordingly.
In 2002, I retired from the Blue Springs, Missouri Police Department after 32 years of service. Soon after, I accepted the position as Director of Public Safety/Chief of Police at Central Missouri State University. Each time the University has a large event or special occasion on campus, I am reminded of that summer in 1996, which changed my life and mental outlook forever.
You can rest assured that I appreciate the work you and your office staff have done. For the past 9 years, your staff has kept me updated on the investigation, the filing of criminal charges against Rudolph, and his ultimate capture. Please convey my thanks to your staff for a job well done.
Dianne Polk, sister of Alice Hawthorne, who was killed in the Olympic Centennial Park bombing
As the sister and aunt of two of your victims, I have had great difficulty getting on with my life since July 27th, 1996. I have been under the care of a doctor since that time for problems with my health that have been directly attributed to the stress and anguish your actions evoked. I have suffered from depression, hypertension, sleepless nights and have suffered so much since the death of my sister. You cannot imagine the mental anguish that I have felt and am still going through because of your actions. I am still struggling to forgive you for what you have done. Maybe your answers to these questions will help in some way.
At age 46 I was injured in the explosion in Centennial Olympic Park that was set by Mr. Rudolph.
Due to the severity of the injury to my neck I underwent a cervical fusion at C-5 & C-6 in September of 1997.
It was later determined that the formation of scar tissue at the point of surgery was impinging on nerve tissue, and that I would experience pain for the rest of my life.
Through psychoanalysis Dr. Scot Elkin explained post-traumatic stress disorder to me, and treated me for "situational depression." I underwent many weeks of pain management therapy, physical therapy, and work hardening therapy, from 1996 through 1998. I have regained some of my physical strength though pain remains as a daily reminder of Mr. Rudolph's cowardly act.
Through much prayer, and faith in God, and Jesus Christ, I find great comfort, and strength in my recovery. Finally, I would like to urge Mr. Rudolph to pray earnestly to find if there is any good that he can do in this world, and do so.
In closing, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the FBI, to the federal Justice Department, and to the Texas workmen's compensation commission for their service to me and this great country.
Mary Agnes Lee, who was working as a groundskeeper at Olympic Centennial Park
My mental stress has caused me to take millions of pills to help me cope and I still can't cope. I suffer fear wherever I go, and worse when I am sleeping.
Kenneth Magee, DEA agent who tried to help Alice Hawthorne who died in the Atlanta Games bombing:-
Today, I still find it very difficult to forgive you for your heinous crimes. As a Christian, I realize that forgiveness will come. But, for now, this is about you and addressing the damage that you caused to life, property, and to the reputation of our great country. You based your actions on some sort of religious belief that I find sick, twisted and demonic.
I will always be haunted by the memory of Ms. Hawthorne in a pool of blood, as well as the sight of her daughter, Fallon, crying out for her mother while lying in pain because shrapnel had ripped through her body, exposing flesh, blood and bone. While treating and comforting Fallon with a group of nameless and courageous people drawn to the park that night, I also saw fellow Federal Agents injured and stunned. In fact, one agent was covered with the blood that once sustained the life of Alice Hawthorne and he will never be the same. Bloodstains fade, memories don't.
Ron Smith, injured at Olympic Centennial Park
When I close my eyes I see the chaos, the panic of the crowd, and the fear and pain on victims' faces. I see the bright lights of the ambulance, of the emergency room, and the faces of the doctors as they assessed my extensive injuries. I hear my cell phone ringing — it was my wife. She had seen the breaking news report of your cowardly action on television. She feared for my safety, and with good reason.
Mr. Rudolph, make no mistake — I will never understand, accept, nor even try to create some false rationalization for the suffering you inflicted on so many innocent people.
May my face, my injuries, and my statement be what you see and hear every night as you lay your head down and close your eyes in your jail cell — one long night after another for the rest of your life.
Randolph Paige, injured in bombing in Sandy Springs
I would love nothing more than to hear you say you're sorry and actually mean it. . . Sorry for causing me nightmares for years. . . Sorry for almost killing me and causing me permanent damage, sorry for filling me with fear every time I enter a crowded place or hear loud noises. I want to know that you feel sorry for treating me like I was some sub-human who didn't deserve to live. Instead, I'm here today to tell you personally that you did not kill me! I get to go on being a part of society. I get to laugh out loud and have others laugh with me. I get to speak up and be heard and I will! I will trump your evilness with kindness and love for the remainder of my days.
Rob Stadler, injured in bombing in Sandy Springs
was with his twin infants in the same building as the Atlanta clinic when Mr. Rudolph bombed it in 1997, said he was surprised by what he saw at today's sentencing: "I saw a scared Eric Rudolph."
...My wife Christine operated a law firm two floors directly above from where the first bomb expolded. I had just arrived a few minutes before this blast to pick up our eight-month-old twin girls — Audrey and Caroline — from the office and take them home. They sometimes spent mornings in a nursery we had set up in one room of the law office. While on the way, I had called on my cell phone and asked the staff to have the girls ready in the office lobby. I consider that the most important phone call I've ever made. Just moments after walking in the office door, we felt the massive explosion and shock wave. It shattered windows, collapsed ceilings and destroyed the twins' nursery. Their playpen was filled with shards of glass and debris. But by the grace of God, they were safe, as were the staffers in the office that morning.
Rudolph a former soldier with what is described as "strong views" on homosexuality and abortion had plea bargained on his arrest to avoid the death penalty. He has no parole option.