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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Eric Rudolph Sentenced; What Made Him a Murderer?

Aired August 22, 2005 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


HEIDI COLLINS, CNN HOST: Thank you, Lou.
Good evening, everybody. On a day her son is sentenced, Eric Rudolph's mother, in her first TV interview. It's 7:00 p.m. on the East Coast, 4:00 p.m. in the West. A special edition of "360, "Eric Rudolph: The Stranger Among Us."

ANNOUNCER: Domestic terrorist Eric Rudolph receives four consecutive life sentences for bombings in Atlanta. Tonight the courtroom confrontation between the killer and his victims. A "360" exclusive: Eric Rudolph's mother talks about her struggle in her first television interview, and how she's trying to understand what made her son turn into a vicious murderer.

PAT RUDOLPH, MOTHER OF ERIC RUDOLPH: I think each man is destined in life to fulfill whatever he's called to do. And, some people, unfortunately, are on the dark side.

ANNOUNCER: Eric Rudolph, captured about a five-year man hunt. New details about how he survived the North Carolina mountains. Plus, did a mountain community help him elude police?

And, meet Eric Rudolph's former girlfriend. She reveals intimate details of her relationship with the Olympic bomber.

CLAIRE, RUDOLPH'S EX-GIRLFRIEND: When I dated him, I was 18 years sold. So, to me, as an 18-year-old, he was like sexy and exciting and a little bit dangerous.

ANNOUNCER: This is a special edition of ANDERSON COOPER 360. "Eric Rudolph: The Stranger Among Us."

COLLINS: Good evening, everybody, I'm Heidi Collins. Anderson is off tonight.

Here are some of the questions we will be looking at tonight. One of six children. What in Eric Rudolph's life turned him into a home-grown terrorist? And how was Rudolph able to remain a fugitive and elude law enforcement while living in the woods for five years? Did he have help? And what motivated Eric Rudolph's mother to give her first television interview tonight? What does she hope to accomplish?

And we begin with judgment day for Eric Rudolph. The bomber who terrorized and taunted Americans for years was sentenced today to four life terms in prison for three bombings in Atlanta. One at the 1996 Olympics, the others at a gay nightclub and an abortion clinic. He's already been sentenced for another abortion clinic bombing in Birmingham, Alabama. Today, in Atlanta though, he did not go quietly. In court, Rudolph talked about his crimes and he heard from some of his victims.

Tonight, we are going to take a close look at Rudolph, the stranger among us. This evening, in a "360" exclusive, Rudolph's mother speaks out about her son, what he did, and why he did it.

But first, the final chapter for a natural-born killer.

(voice over): Seven years after his last bomb took a human life, Eric Rudolph faced his final sentencing. But not before his victims and their families had their say. One by one, they stood before the killer and told him how his cold-blooded actions forever changed their lives.

RON SMITH, BOMB VICTIM: I just wanted him to see what he had done to me, what he's done to a lot of innocent people out there.

COLLINS (voice over): Behind him, a photograph of his wife, Alice, who died when Rudolph bombed Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park in 1996. John Hawthorn put a face on an innocent victim.

JOHN HAWTHORN: This date to her, I'm sure, means that justice has been served and that she can now rest knowing that we're going to move forward.

COLLINS: After 14 victims or relatives had their say, it was Rudolph's turn to speak. But he apologized for only one of his deadly deeds, the Centennial Olympic Park bombing, saying, "I accept full responsibility for the consequences ... I would do anything to take that night back. I sincerely hoped to achieve my objective without harming civilians.

And that had some of his victims doubting the sincerity of his words.

FALLON STUBBS, DAUGHTER OF ALICE HAWTHORN: I think he said what he thought should have been said. He apologizes for the Olympic bombing. He never makes any reference to an apology for Birmingham or for the club.

COLLINS: In the end, the sentence was no surprise. Rudolph's bombs killed two people and injured more than 100 others. In all, Eric Rudolph has been sentenced to four life terms without parole, plus 120 years in a federal prison in Colorado.

(On camera): As Eric Rudolph faced his victims in court today, CNN's Henry Schuster. Schuster is CNN's senior investigative producer, and the author of the book, "Hunting Eric Rudolph." He joins us now from outside the courthouse tonight.

Henry, tell me what the victims and their families, when they spoke today in court, how did Rudolph react to that? What was his demeanor? HENRY SCHUSTER, CNN SR. INVESTIGATIVE PRODUCER: He was impassive -- at times he would turn away. One victim actually said to him, You must be getting bored of hearing us by now. I think one of the reasons she said that was because he was not making very much eye contact with the victims. He would look down, he would look at the judge, he would turn to one of his lawyers and he would basically ignore them for most of the time.

COLLINS: Then, when Rudolph spoke, though, did he seem to be apologetic or have any sort of sincerity at all when he said what he said in court today?

SCHUSTER: You know, there was very little sincerity. He looked down and in a monotone, he read a statement. Some of that statement had come out after his plea agreement back in April. And it's important to note that, when you start thinking about this, and as some of the victims pointed out afterwards, that Eric Rudolph apologized for his first bomb and said that, he apologized for the consequences, yet it was the very next time that he went out that turned him into a serial bomber. If you had dropped off of Mars and you had come into this courtroom, you would have thought, okay, this guy's apologizing for the last thing he did. But what he was apologizing for was the first act, and then he went on to do a string of bombings after that, killing another person and wounding many more people.

So, that by itself was a little bit odd. And that's what had a lot of people, including the prosecutor, saying, you know, this guy is just not being straight with us. In fact, one of the prosecutors at the end said, you know, Eric Rudolph is going to a prison that used to house Timothy McVeigh and now houses Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber. And it is important he be remembered in that context as those people, that he is a terrorist, and if he is remembered ten years from now, he should be remembered as a serial bomber, as a murderer and as a terrorist.

COLLINS: All right. Henry Schuster, thanks so much for that tonight.

In fact, as you mentioned, Rudolph's future will be a very lonely one. Want to give you a 360 download. Rudolph will serve his life sentences at the federal maximum security prison in Florence, Colorado, where he will spend 23 hours a day in solitary confinement. There he will join other infamous terrorists, as Henry just mentioned, including Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, Oklahoma City bombing accomplice Terry Nichols, and Ramzi Yussef, the man behind the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center.

The seeds of Rudolph's hatred were planted long before his first attack, but his reign of terror didn't begin until a hot summer night in 1996. And he made sure the whole world was watching. CNN's David Mattingly has more.

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Unknown to everyone in the hot wee hours of July 27th, 1996, the peaceful celebration of the Olympic Games in Atlanta had become Eric Rudolph's first target in a deadly one-man war. More than 100 people are injured by shrapnel. One woman is killed. In the confusion that follows, the investigation first mistakenly focuses on Security Guard Richard Jewel, but then turns to eyewitness accounts of this man. But the question of who and why remained unanswered as the bombings continue.

January 16th, 1997. Two bombs target a suburban Atlanta medical clinic where abortions are performed. Seven are injured. Thirty-six days later, two more bombs target an Atlanta lesbian nightclub. Five are injured. Then, 11 months later, January 29th, 1998, a bomb explodes outside a women's clinic in Birmingham, Alabama. An off-duty police officer is killed and a nurse is severely injured. This time, a witness spots a grey pickup truck and a North Carolina tag that is traced to Eric Rudolph. One week later, Rudolph's truck is found abandoned near his hometown of Murphy, North Carolina. Now, a direct suspect in the Birmingham bombing, agents also begin work to connect Rudolph to the other crimes.

But in spite of a massive man hunt in the densely-wooded mountains, Rudolph disappears. As the months and the years go by, Rudolph is linked to and charged in all four bombings based on evidence gathered from the bombs themselves. The case against him is ready, when surprisingly, he is arrested back in the town of Murphy in May of 2003. Rudolph is caught one night, looking for food in a dumpster, by a local police officer. Seven years after the Olympic Park bombing, the hunt for Eric Rudolph is over.

David Mattingly, CNN, Atlanta.

COLLINS: Sophia Choi from HEADLINE NEWS joins us with some of the other stories we are following in tonight's "World in 360."

Sophia, hello.

SOPHIA CHOI, HEADLINE NEWS: Hi there, Heidi.

A draft Iraqi constitution is submitted just minutes before a midnight deadline, but a vote on the constitution is on hold for three days to iron out what the speaker of Iraq's National Assembly called "outstanding sticking points." Sunni Arabs, the minority that dominated Iraq under Saddam Hussein and has been leading the insurgency, have been fighting against turning Iraq into a federal state.

Athens, Greece. Investigators say flight recorders from Helios Airways Flight 522 revealed desperate calls for help just 2 seconds before that plane crashed on August 14th. All 121 people on board were killed when the plane smashed into a mountain near Athens after running out of fuel.

In Bavaria, Germany, a mysterious 20-year-old dubbed "The Piano Man" was flown home Saturday after being released from a mental health facility south of London. The man was discovered in a distressed state on an English beach more than four months ago, triggering a global hunt for clues to his identity. He refused to speak and was dubbed "Piano Man" when he gave a virtuoso performance on a hospital piano. German authorities have not released the man's name or how he ended up in England.

And in Tlaxcala, Mexico, 40 people injured during the annual running of the bulls. Look at that. One broke through a gate and attacked spectators. Other angry bulls ran through the street for more than two hours. Some dramatic video, there.

And Heidi, apparently a lot of those people that injured, not from the bulls, but from street fighting and surprise, surprise, drinking involved. What do you think about that?

COLLINS: I think it's totally not a surprise. All right. Sophia, thank you. We'll see you again in about 30 minutes or so.

Ahead on this special edition of 360: Eric Rudolph, stranger among us. Who was he before he became a cold-blooded killer and why does his former lover say he wasn't alone in causing the bombings?

Plus this...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

I don't see him as a monster. I don't think I could.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

A "360" exclusive interview. Eric Rudolph's mother defends her son.

Plus, we meet a woman who survived one of Eric Rudolph's bomb blasts and faced him in court.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Welcome back to 360 and an in-depth look at Eric Rudolph, the stranger among us. Years before Rudolph bombed and murdered, he was described as an angry, young man who had already planted his seeds of hate.

That description comes from his ex-girlfriend Claire, who dated Rudolph after his father died. His mother, Pat, was left with six children to raise. Claire asked that we not use her last name. I spoke with her just a bit earlier.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: Tell me what kind of a person Eric Rudolph was -- Rudy, as you called him?

CLAIRE, RUDOLPH'S EX-GIRLFRIEND: He was very tenacious, funny. A lot of fun to be around, very active. Didn't really like to sit around doing nothing too much. You know, he was very smart, very articulate, very well-read. He liked to read a lot of books about Germany and Hitler and those types of things.

COLLINS: He identified with Adolph Hitler and you knew that, right? Did that make you nervous? Did he ever talk to you about that? CLAIRE: Yes, he talked to me about it. It didn't make me nervous, because I mean -- you have to remember when I dated him, I was 18 years old. So, to me, as an 18-year-old, he was like, sexy and exciting and a little bit dangerous. You know, and I was, you know, little miss, you know, suburbia girl coming up to the mountains to hang out and drink water off the mountain and swim at the swimming hole and you know, have a good time.

So, I didn't really think that much about that kind of stuff, because, you know, I wasn't into history. So, quite frankly, that stuff bored me. I though, "there he goes, talking about history again.

COLLINS: So, you didn't argue about it? You didn't say, Hitler was a mass murder?

CLAIRE: No, because I didn't no enough about Hitler. He knew so much about Hitler, like it would have been pointless for me, being so ignorant about those types of issues to even, you know, engage. I would never even engage him in that stuff.

COLLINS: He has considered himself a warrior against many things. One of them, abortion, but according to his sister-in-law, Debra, she said it actually had a lot more to do with race; the idea of killing white babies. Do you agree with that?

CLAIRE: Yes, I would agree with that to a certain degree. I mean, I think it's a deeper wound than most people may know about. He has some old, unresolved grief from when his father died. His father died at a critical point in his life and I don't think that, that was ever resolved. And I think...

COLLINS: And he was 13.

CLAIRE: Right. Eric was 13 at that time and, I think that everything was kind of chaotic from that point on. And, I don't think that those issues of grief were ever resolved. And I think that, you know, Rudy viewed that as, you know, his father died helplessly, because kind of the pattern of the rest of his life was trying to help people.

I mean, when he went into the Army, he wanted to be a ranger and that didn't quite work out for him for numerous reasons and then, when he left the Army, you know, he got into, obviously, this whole thing about, you know, trying to defend helpless unborn children.

COLLINS: Talk to me about Pat and the relationship that she had with Eric after his father died. I mean, did she wrap her arms around him and bring him in closer to her or was he isolated?

CLAIRE: I think he was isolated. I think the rest of their lives were impacted. They were moving from Florida to North Carolina. There was a lot of transition and none of that seemed to work out well for Rudy. I mean, I know that when he was in school in Florida, he got into some fights and it didn't work out well and then when he was in school in North Carolina, you know, he was writing, you know, papers that were controversial. And that didn't work out well. And he's so smart and he's so brilliant that, you know, all those types of things that, you know, would make him angry.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: In a moment, part two of my interview with Claire. She talks about their isolated life in North Carolina and Rudloph's anti- semitic views. And you just heard her talk about how she thinks that Rudolph's mother is largely responsible for his sociopathic behavior.

So, later, we'll hear what Eric Rudolph's mother has to say in an exclusive interview.

Also ahead: Inside the massive hunt for Eric Rudolph. How did he allude the feds for years? New, shocking details of Rudolph's life on the run.

Also tonight: A man wrongly accused. Where he is now? An update on Richard Jewell, the security guard cleared as a suspect in the 1996 Olympics bombing.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Welcome back to a 360 in-depth look at convicted bomber Eric Rudolph, a stranger among us. We hear more now from Rudolph's ex-girlfriend, Claire, who asked that we not use her last name. I spoke with her earlier about her isolated life with Rudolph in North Carolina, and his anti-Semitic views.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: All the time that you spent with him in the North Carolina mountains, when did you start to notice that, you know, something is just not right here?

CLAIRE: When I would try to talk about the future, you know, like, what's the plan, what, you know, is it going to be like this forever, you just want to be up here in these mountains? Because you know, we talked about that kind of stuff. He would talk about, you know, what do you think about staying up here, and, you know, having babies and us just being together and...

COLLINS: You thought about marriage?

CLAIRE: Yeah, we talked about marriage. It wasn't something I ever considered because it was too isolated up there for me. I'm a girl from the suburbs, you know. I like to go shopping and get my nails done. You know, and that just doesn't happen in the North Carolina woods. You know, it's let's chop wood, you know, let's be at home, and those kinds of things. It just wasn't that kind of life for me. It was beautiful, and I could appreciate it, you know, but it wasn't -- it wasn't something that I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing.

And then he would go on those tangents, you know, about, you know, the TV and media, and all those kinds of things. I mean, that kind of stuff was just always a constant threat.

I know sitting, having dinner with that family was unlike any experience I've ever had.

COLLINS: How so?

CLAIRE: Well, just the discussion, you know, about, you know, blaming everything on the Jews, and you know, credits would roll from a TV show, and you know, all of them changed their names, you know, when they came over here after the Holocaust and things like that. I mean, it was just bizarro.

COLLINS: You knew that something wasn't right, though.

CLAIRE: Oh, absolutely. Well, and I knew, too, you know, after he had asked me, you know, would you ever rat me out to the feds on the front porch, you know, I'm thinking, you know, that's not a normal question.

COLLINS: Rat him out about what?

CLAIRE: Rat him out about anything. I didn't know particularly what. But he just said -- and he was very unspecific.

COLLINS: He was sentenced today to four consecutive life terms, and then 120 years on top of that for the attacks. Do you think somehow, because he will not be put to death, this was some type of victory for him?

CLAIRE: Oh, yeah. I think he's won. I think he's -- I think in his mind, he thinks he's won against the government. And he's made that statement, you know? That I'm not, you know, I'm not going to be put to death, which would be the government's wish for me. And then I also think he's -- in a sense, cracked wood on the ball for the unborn children of the world.

COLLINS: Because of his -- because of his thoughts about being against abortion? I mean, we see anti-abortion activism quite a bit in this country, and people are not killing people in the name of that.

CLAIRE: Right.

COLLINS: And he chose to do so. What...

CLAIRE: Because he's just that tenacious, and he has that much of an ego.

COLLINS: Well, tenacious and ego, though, are probably two very different things. Tenacity can be quite a positive, quite a compliment to people.

CLAIRE: Sure. Sure, if it's channeled appropriately. But he's been his own man, a one-man show all the way through all of this. I mean, there's been no intervention. I mean, from that age of impression to now, there's been no interventions. COLLINS: Do you think he should be put to death?

CLAIRE: No.

COLLINS: Why?

CLAIRE: As a Catholic Christian, I do not believe in the death penalty, just like I don't believe in abortion. Abortion is never the right thing to do. It may be the best thing to do at the time, but as a Catholic, it's never going to be morally the right thing to do.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: A 360 exclusive. Eric Rudolph's mother talks about her struggle in her first television interview, and how she's trying to understand what made her son turn into a vicious murderer.

PAT RUDOLPH, MOTHER OF ERIC RUDOLPH: I think each man is destined in life to fulfill whatever he's called to do. And some people, unfortunately, are on the dark side.

ANNOUNCER: Eric Rudolph, captured after a five-year manhunt. New details on how he survived the North Carolina mountains.

Plus, did the mountain community help him elude police? 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Today, convicted serial bomber Eric Rudolph was sentenced to four life terms in prison for attacks on the 1996 Summer Olympics, an abortion clinic and a gay night club. We know what he did, but the question remains, why? To find out, we tracked down the one person who knows Rudolph better than anyone else, his mother. Tonight, in an exclusive interview, she talks about her son, from his days as a boy, to the path that led him to terror. CNN's Rick Sanchez has more in this exclusive report you won't see anywhere else.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RICK SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Though he's now been in jail for two years and though his first bid for infamy, bombing the Atlanta Olympics, was nine years ago, whatever it is that churns so angrily inside Eric Rudolph is still largely a mystery, even to this woman. His 77-year-old mom.

PAT RUDOLPH, MOTHER OF ERIC RUDOLPH: I don't see him as a monster. I don't think I could.

SANCHEZ: At his sentencing today, Eric Rudolph did apologize for hitting non-government victims at the Olympics, but he's had precious little to say about what motivated his choice of targets. Though murky, it seems a homegrown mix of racist, anti-government, anti-gay ideology. His mother says the only part he would have gotten from her is being anti-government.

P. RUDOLPH: I think the government that rules the least is the best.

SANCHEZ: For her part, Pat Rudolph makes no apologies for her anti-government views. In the '60s, she and her husband protested the Vietnam war. She joined radical pacifist like the Catholic Worker Movement. Today, she's critical of U.S. involvement in Iraq.

In fact, she blames the military, where Eric spent nearly two years, for making her son a killer.

(on camera): Is there something about the way that Eric grew up watching your political activeness and your husband's, that may have confused him?

P. RUDOLPH: Apparently it turned him off, because he's already written an article against pacifism.

SANCHEZ (voice-over): During our interview, she seems to be saying her son was impatient for results, that he learned protest and resistance from his parents, but that he wasn't impressed with the pace of change through pacifism. She deplores his methods, but agrees, even respects some of his anti-government sentiments.

P. RUDOLPH: So, I do understand the protesting part of it. Of course, that would not include maiming others.

SANCHEZ (on camera): Do you sometimes wish you could have grabbed Eric when he was having some of these thoughts of violence and said, "Son, what are you thinking?"

P. RUDOLPH: I think each man is destined in life to fulfill whatever he's called to do and some people, unfortunately, are on the dark side.

SANCHEZ: Pat and Erica Rudolph are barely on speaking terms, because she is speaking out. This mother of six once hoped to be a nun, then joined radical peace activist. Then later when her husband died, she travelled with Eric in the summer of 1984 to Missouri, to join a Christian Identity group with purported ties to white supremacists. She says she was drawn there because of the promise of homeschooling, not the views of race.

DEBORAH RUDOLPH, RUDOLPH'S SISTER-IN-LAW: I think it goes back to a race thing. Again, back to this idea that the majority of abortions performed in this country are performed on white women, but yet, black women, Hispanic women are allowed to have all these kids and the government is going to support them.

So, I think that was the issue with that. The Olympics, I think it's a matter of all these people coming from all different countries and cultures and colors and races and religions, all coming together in one place. SANCHEZ: As for his mother, her ordeal did not begin until 1998, when Eric was named a suspect in the bombing of an Alabama abortion clinic and eventually the Olympic Park terrorist attack.

P. RUDOLPH: And it was quite a shock. Quite a shock to me, physically.

SANCHEZ: And now, she knows the truth.

(on camera): Bottom line: Despite whatever your son has done, you still love him?

P. RUDOLPH: Definitely.

SANCHEZ: And if he's angry at you right now, you still love him.

P. RUDOLPH: Yes and the rest of the family, because whatever I do, reflects on them, also. And, I know some of them are not going to even accept this interview, but all I can say is -- I love them, but I also love my fellow man. And, I feel people need to know why good, you know -- why these things happened.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ: It's important to note the other person you saw commenting in this report was his sister-in-law Deborah. Now, I asked Pat Rudolph again and again how it was possible that her son could have such violent and such racist views if she didn't. And she continued to insist again and again, that she was, if anything, a pacifist throughout her life.

She did say one thing though, that stood out in seeming contrast to that, she said, and I quote here, "Only two men in history have ever accomplished anything through nonviolence." She mentioned Ghandi and then she mentioned Martin Luther King.

COLLINS: So Rick, only two people then. Does that mean that she in some strange way, might condone Eric Rudolph's behavior?

SANCHEZ: Although it might sound that way, when I pressed her on that, she was really being critical of violence of a hole and saying that there was just too much of it worldwide and that had been her cause. But it certainly does sound that way.

COLLINS: All right. Rick Sanchez, thanks for that.

SANCHEZ: Thank you, Heidi.

COLLINS: 360 next, more from Rick: Living on the lam. Eric Rudolph spent five years as a fugitive. Did anyone help him run from the police?

Plus: A security guard turned world-famous suspect, Richard Jewell. The man wrongly accused of the 1996 Olympics bombing. Where he is now? We'll have an update. And a little later: Lost at sea. The boyfriend of singer Olivia Newton John is missing and the details of his disappearance are only adding to the mystery.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Nearly seven years after that first bombing, the most intensive man hunt ever on American soil, ended on May 31, 2003. That was the day Eric Rudolph was captured. For half a decade, the homegrown bomber alluded an Army pursuers. How did Rudolph stay free for so long? CNN's Rick Sanchez has the fascinating details on the killer's years on the run.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ: For five years, Eric Rudolph hid in this mountainous corner of western North Carolina in an area approximately a half- million acres wide. He had a myriad of hiding places and camps, some of which have still not been found. But through details found in letters and conversations he shared with his mother, we are now able to retrace his steps and we do so with the man who's mission it was to hunt him down. Charles Stone headed the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's anti-terrorism unit and has now co-written a book on "Hunting Eric Rudolph."

CHARLES STONE, FMR. GBI TASK FORCE LEADER: You're talking about a double-canopy forest here, where you have deciduous trees, and then you have -- directly underneath it, you have laurel thickets, mountain laurel thickets that do not lose their leaves.

SANCHEZ: Add to that that he was familiar with this turf.

STONE: Grew up in the area. He loved to play hide and seek in this area. He was a student of survival, escape and resistance in the military.

SANCHEZ (voice-over): Pat Rudolph describes her son's survival not just in terms of skill, but also in terms of dumb luck. Like the time, as he explains in a letter, he stole a truck from Buy-Rite Motors in Murphy, North Carolina, then ran out of gas, and then found himself staring at a police officer.

P. RUDOLPH: It was in the middle of the night, and the police officer came by, and asked him what was wrong. He told him, and he said, oh, don't worry about it, I have gas in my car for when I run out, and you can have that. So, he gave it to him.

SANCHEZ (on camera): The police officer didn't know that he was helping a fugitive who was on the lam.

P. RUDOLPH: Right. Right.

SANCHEZ: According to conversations he had with his mother, Eric Rudolph would climb silos like this one all the way up to the top, and then fill bags with corn and soybean. One night, though, he looked across and he had to hunker down when he suddenly realized, he says, that there were hunters there. And then he looked closer and realized they had a dog, a dog he was convinced, he tells his mother, was going to sniff him out.

P. RUDOLPH: He was hanging inside the silo, and peeking out over the top of the silo, when he heard this crash, you know, like -- and a yelp, down below. And the men that were there started screaming, "the dog, the dog, the dog's been hit." Something's happened to Lil. And they all ran, and he's watching them, and, yes, sure enough, the dog was killed.

SANCHEZ (voice-over): Rudolph is known to have gotten help from just one person while hiding out in these mountains. Family friend and health food store owner George Nordman gave him vitamins and other supplies. But then, he called police. By the time police arrived, Eric Rudolph had fled to wander these mountainous trails, by counting his steps and committing them to memory. That ability alone, and his familiarity with the terrain, leads investigator Charles Stone to conclude he probably did do it alone.

STONE: I'm sure that he has the road map areas imprinted on his mind.

SANCHEZ (on camera): Let me show you how he explained to his mother that he would cross some of these streams and some of these rivers at night. Essentially, with old garbage bags that he would find, and he would use them as weighters.

(voice-over): And when he got to the other side of the Valley River, here in Andrews, North Carolina, he would hit the McDonald's, to devour the uneaten hamburgers that had been thrown into the dumpster. Or he'd dumpster-dive behind the Civic Cinema for leftover popcorn.

Behind Gibson's furniture, he would keep current by scrounging for news, usually "USA Today." Owner Virgil Gibson says he found out about all of this when he was paid a visit by FBI agents.

(on camera): What did you think when all of a sudden, the authorities knocked on your door, and said, "Mr. Gibson, how come Mr. Rudolph has your reading material?"

VIRGIL GIBSON, OWNER, GIBSON'S FURNITURE: Well, they surprised me a little bit. It was the FBI man that came by, and I said, "man, I know nothing about it." I took him out back and showed him where he could get it out of the trash can, so evidently, he just picked it up out of the trash can.

SANCHEZ: So, he was going in your trash can and getting your half-smoked cigarettes?

GIBSON: Right, yeah.

SANCHEZ (voice-over): But it was in another dumpster, in another town, about 10 miles away, in Murphy, North Carolina, that the manhunt for Eric Rudolph finally came to an end.

STONE: He came around the corner of the building and saw Eric, and, subsequently arrested him.

SANCHEZ (on camera): As a mother, you, on the one hand, you know that what he did was wrong, but yet you...

P. RUDOLPH: Yet I know he's alive. He's alive, but being buried in a cell for the rest of your life is not a very good thought.

SANCHEZ (voice-over): In the towns of Andrews and Murphy, North Carolina, they do think about Eric Rudolph, and they think about what secrets, what other hiding places he may have left behind in this vast mountain wilderness.

Rick Sanchez, CNN, Murphy, North Carolina.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: Before Eric Rudolph was a wanted man, you might recall Richard Jewell was wrongly accused of the Atlanta Olympic bombing and was cleared after what he called "88 days in hell."

Here's a 360 download now on what he's doing. Jewell is now a policeman in a small town in North Georgia. He is married and looks much slimmer than in this video, since he lost about 70 pounds. He is still wary, though, of the media and especially the FBI after his ordeal.

But this past April, Jewell travelled to Birmingham, Alabama, saying it was important to be in court when Rudolph pled guilty to the bombing there.

More now on Eric Rudolph's life on the lam. It's the subject of a book written by CNN senior investigative producer, Henry Schuster. Its title, "Hunting Eric Rudolph." And Henry joins us now from Atlanta.

Henry, I just want to ask you, tell me what the key factor was, do you think, for Rudolph being able to elude authorities for a whole five years?

HENRY SCHUSTER, CNN SR. INVESTIGATIVE PRODUCER: Heidi, he just knew those woods so much better than they did. You know, as they would say up there, they ain't -- they ain't from them parts, and he was. This is a guy who, as a teenager, used to play in those woods. He talked with his brother even as a teenager about stockpiling things in the woods. He grew marijuana in those woods. People don't realize this about him, that he was a marijuana smoker and a marijuana grower. He used those woods literally as his backyard.

There is a time his family tells about, how one time during -- in the middle of a Christmas dinner, Eric just got up and he left, and he came back three weeks later. He had been out camping in the woods.

COLLINS: How much do you think, Henry, his military training might have helped him in the woods? I mean, I'm not sure if he went through survival training or not. Seems like he obviously knew how to live out there amongst trees. SCHUSTER: Well, I think he knew a lot before he got into the military. I think the military helped him sharpen those skills and hone those skills. And one of the things that -- about survival skills that they teach you in the military, is they teach you to use everything possible. If that means scavenging in dumpsters, that means scavenging in dumpsters. If that means sneaking into town, it means sneaking into town. It's not some Jeremiah Johnson thing, where you are just communing with the animals all the time. It means, using everything available. If it means breaking into mountain cabins, which he did, he would steal underwear. That's how he'd get clothes. He would even go to trout farms, and go in there, and try to get fish from there.

So, he used every resource available, and one of the things that the Army taught him to do was think in that way.

COLLINS: Henry Schuster, thanks so much tonight, coming to us from Atlanta.

And coming up on 360 now, Eric Rudolph's rage, and how it scarred one victim for the rest of her life. A Birmingham abortion clinic bombing survivor tells her story.

Also tonight, singer Olivia Newton-John's desperate mission. She is searching for her longtime boyfriend, who vanished on a mysterious boat trip.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Sophia Choi from "HEADLINE NEWS," joins us now with other stories happening tonight cross country. Hi, Sophia.

CHOI: Hi there, Heidi.

Well, he's already sentenced to death in Virginia for the shootings that terrorized the Washington area in October of 2002, but today, convicted sniper, John Allan Mohammad was transferred to Rockville, Maryland, to face additional murder charges. Both Mohammad and John Lee Malvo, who was 17 at the time, are accused of shooting random victims through a hole bored in a car trunk, killing 10 people and wounding three.

The Pentagon says it's still trying to find evidence that a secret military intelligence unit identified Mohamed Atta and three other 9/11 hijackers as members of al Qaeda before the 2001 terrorist attacks. A former member of the secret intelligence unit called "Able Danger," recently made those claims.

And now to Los Angeles, where the Coast Guard is looking for a missing person with a Hollywood connection. Singer Olivia Newton John's long-time boyfriend failed to return from an overnight fishing trip off the California coast. That was seven weeks ago. Since then, the Coast Guard has only found the missing man's personal items on the boat. Officials are still interviewing everyone else who was on the boat. By the way, Heidi, Olivia Newton John has been dating this man for nine years and she's now asking anyone with information to come forward

COLLINS: Wow. Seven weeks he's been gone. All right. We'll keep our eye on that one, of course. Sophia, thanks so much. See you again in about 30 minutes. Let's go ahead and find out now what's coming up at the top of the hour on "PAULA ZAHN NOW." Hi, Paula.

PAULA ZAHN, HOST, "PAULA ZAHN NOW": Hi, Heidi.

At the top of the hour, we are going to pose a question we've been hearing a lot more frequently lately: Is Iraq becoming a quagmire like Vietnam? We're going to look at the growing discontent in the country toward the president's policies and the president's new effort to try to blunt some of that.

Also, a one-time child actor who is a very long, dark way from his appearances on the Power Rangers TV series. I'm going to have the disturbing story of why he is in court facing charges that could cost him his life. That's about eight hours -- eight hours? No, not really, Paula. Eight minutes, let's try.

COLLINS: Eight minutes.

ZAHN: Everybody will be asleep in eight hours from now. Where be here in eight minutes flat.

COLLINS: All right. Paula, thanks so much. We'll see you then.

Next, on this special edition of 360: Eric Rudolph, Stranger Among Us: His bombing of an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama over seven years ago. We talk to a woman who was lucky enough to survive, but is scarred for life.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: 360 is back with the story of a nurse from Birmingham, Alabama, who is a victim of rage. Emily Lyons knows what a bomb blast is like. She was in the abortion clinic bombing in Alabama and, lived to tell about it.

In her book, "Life's Been A Blast," Emily Lyons was in Atlanta today, in the courtroom there listening to the testimony of others whose lives will never been the same again, because of Eric Rudolph's rage.

She is joining us now. Emily, I want to go ahead and show these pictures to our viewers, right after the 1998 Birmingham abortion clinic bombing. You were in the courtroom today with the man who did this to you as he apologized only to the Atlanta victims. Did that bother you?

EMILY LYONS, BOMBING VICTIM: It didn't seem sincere, you know. If he had wanted to apologize, he would have done that weeks ago. But as we stated in the book, he didn't want to take responsibility for the Olympic Park bombing. He would plead guilty to the others, but he didn't want that one. So, no, I don't believe it was sincere. It was just, in essence, apologizing because his bomb didn't work as he had designed it and he didn't kill who he wanted to that day.

COLLINS: And Emily, let me just say, after seeing those pictures and looking at your right now today, you look fantastic. And thank you for being with us to share your story, now feeling much better, I hope.

LYONS: Yes.

COLLINS: Alice Hawthorne's daughter though, Fallon, was just 14 years old when her mother was killed in the Olympic Park bombing. She said to him these words, "In all honesty Mr. Rudolph, I would not be who I am today without you. I have learned to be a tolerant person because of you." What struck you the most about this statement?

LYONS: I think the statement applies to several people that were in there. I have said for years now, that he made me a mentally stronger person because of this event. And I have seen some of that change in Fallon since Rudolph was captured. It has made her a more powerful woman.

COLLINS: That being said, you cannot work, you no longer see very well, certainly not well enough to drive or to read, which is something that you loved to do. But you say, in some ways, Eric Rudolph did change you for the better. Can you elaborate a little bit more on that?

LYONS: Well, I used to be a real quiet person, better to not be seen and not heard and so, that has completely changed. I'm much more outspoken. I pretty much say my mind now and as I said earlier, he did make me mentally stronger. I know that I can do more than I thought I could before the bomb. I've survived things people should never have to in their lifetime. But I know that I did it and I could probably do it again.

COLLINS: You can do many things, but can you forgive Eric Rudolph?

LYONS: Never. That is not in my vocabulary for him. I can't forgive and definitely can never forget.

COLLINS: Understandable. Emily Lyons, again we appreciate your time. Thank you.

LYONS: Thank you.

COLLINS: That does it for us, everybody. I'm Heidi Collins. CNN's primetime coverage continues now with Paula Zahn. Hi, Paula.

END

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