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2003-06-03

Nurse Emily Lyons, Victim of a 1998 Abortion Clinic Bombing, Speaks About the Capture of Eric Rudolph

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"I lost my left eye, it damaged my right eye, broke the right side of my face, first, second and third-degree burns on the front of my body, broke my left leg…tore the muscle and skin off the front of my legs, hole in my abdomen — my intestines were hanging out."

After the largest manhunt in U.S. history the man charged with two attacks on abortion clinics and the bombings in Atlanta Olympics has been captured.

Federal authorities decided yesterday Eric Rudolph will be tried in Birmingham, Alabama first.

It was there on one morning in 1998 that a bomb exploded outside the New Woman All Women Health Care Clinic. Police Officer Robert Sanderson was killed. Nurse Emily Lyons was critically injured. She is now blind in one eye. The bombing came just days after anti-abortion foes protested the 25th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

A medical student said he saw Eric Rudolph walking away from the scene, and someone else saw his license plate. The circumstantial evidence in the Birmingham case is the strongest.

Eric Rudolph was flown to Birmingham and arrived at the Jefferson County Jail yesterday.

Rifle-wielding agents followed behind Rudolph’s car and law enforcement snipers on the roof of the nearby Sheraton Birmingham hotel watched his arrival.

U.S. marshals and Jefferson County deputies led Rudolph with wrists and legs shackled into the jail.

Eric Rudolph spent part of his youth living The Army of God and with Christian Identity, a white supremacist religion that is anti-gay, anti-Semitic and anti-foreigner.

For years, the survivalist and army veteran hid deep in the forests of Appalachia from police equipped with bloodhounds, infrared-equipped helicopters and motion detectors.

He received support from locals. They sold T-shirts saying 'Run Rudolph Run' and slipped pictures of dead fetuses on the cars of FBI and media joining the chase.

Well, last Saturday afternoon, a rookie policeman in Murphy, North Carolina saw a man he suspected was breaking into the Save-A-Lot grocery store. He arrested him. The man was Eric Rudolph.

Rudolph’s lawyer, Sean Devreaux, said Rudolph will not plead guilty.

If convicted, Rudolph could receive the death penalty.

  • Emily Lyons, nurse and victim of abortion clinic bombing.
  • Ann Glazier, director of Planned Parenthood security.
  • Chip Berlet, Senior Analyst at Political Research Associates, and co-author of Right Wing Populism in America.

Links:

Planned Parenthood

Christian Identity: A Bibliographic Genealogy

Eric Rudolph–The Public Eye

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