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First victim of 24/7 news cycle dies at 44
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, August 30, 2007

That's how I saw Richard Jewell characterized on another site. And I don't necessarily disagree. His case was a shameful example of poor law enforcement and poor journalism combining into a circus which all but convicted the wrong man of the Atlanta Olympic bombing in the court of public opinion.

First lauded as a hero and then as the primary suspect, Jewell was hounded by the media and as I recall, some pretty nasty stuff was said/reported about the man, his family and his background. Later it was determined the bomber was Eric Robert Rudolph.
The FBI cleared Jewell of any wrongdoing. He was never charged with a crime.

[...]

After he was cleared, Jewell sued the AJC and other media outlets for libel, arguing that their reports defamed him. Several news organizations settled, including NBC and CNN.
Jewell had recently developed some very severe health problems:
He said Jewell had been diagnosed with diabetes in February and had a couple of toes amputated. "He had been going downhill ever since," Worley said.
It is believed he finally died of kidney failure.

Jewell was a security guard for the Centennial Olympic games in Atlanta and working at the time the bomb there went off on a hot July night in 1996.
Whitlock described Jewell as "a good officer. A go-getter."

"You know how they say people live their work. Richard ate and drank his job. He loved it," Whitlock said.
But his life turned into a living hell when, for some reason, he became the primary suspect in the bombings. Living in Atlanta, I remember being bombarded by the local media with Richard Jewell stories and remember vividly the poor man trying to escape the media's intrusive scrutiny. He had a hunted look in his eyes. It was awful.

Recently and thankfully, Georgia's Governor, Sonny Perdue, made an effort to set things right:
A year ago this month, Jewell was commended by Gov. Sonny Perdue at an event marking the 10th anniversary of the bombing.

"The bottom line is this: His actions saved lives that day," said Perdue. "Mr. Jewell, on behalf of Georgia, we want to thank you for keeping Georgians safe and doing your job during the course of those Games."

Jewell, his voice choked with emotion, responded:

"I never sought to be a hero. I have always viewed myself as just one of the many trained professionals who simply did his or her job that tragic night. I wish I could have done more."
RIP, Richard Jewell.
 
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3/4 of what he won in settlements went to legal fees, the rest went to buy his mom a house...

One of the cases is still in litigation, 11 years later.

The man showed grace and poise after this whole dirty mess, and I thank him for that.

RIP Mr. Jewell.
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
It would be fitting if the false accusers were named, publicly and personally. It’s too late to help Richard Jewell, but it would perhaps serve to encourage more responsible behavior in the future. A judgement against a paper or an agency is meaningless.
 
Written By: MarkD
URL: http://
Jewell had been diagnosed with diabetes in February and had a couple of toes amputated.
Time to get out of my chair and eat a whole bunch of nasty ass disgusting tasting vegetables.
 
Written By: jows
URL: http://

 
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