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This Day in Georgia History

February 21, 1997

Bar Bombed Twice

A bar frequented by homosexuals was bombed twice, one bomb going off after authorities arrived to investigate the earlier bombing. Though unknown at the time, these bombings, and others, were the work of Eric Rudolph, also guilty of the Centennial Olympic park bombing in 1996. Between 1996 and 1998, Rudolph was responsible for bombs in Atlanta and Birmingham that killed two and injured hundreds. By May 1998, he had made the 10 Most Wanted List of the FBI, which offered a reward up to $1,000,000 for his capture. Rudolph, a survivalist, managed to elude authorities by hiding in the mountains, until captured May 31, 2003, in Murphy, North Carolina. In 2005, Rudolph and the U.S. Justice Department reached an agreement, where he would plead guilty if federal prosecutors would not pursue the death penalty. In July, he was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences without parole for the Birmingham bombing, and in August he received three more life sentences for the Atlanta bombings. He is serving his sentences at a maximum security federal prison in Colorado.