The Olympic Park bomber will spend the rest of his life in federal prison - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

The Olympic Park bomber will spend the rest of his life in federal prison

August 22, 2005

Atlanta-- It's been nine years since Eric Robert Rudolph planted the bomb in Atlanta's Olympic Park that killed one South Georgia woman.

A picture outside the courthouse on Monday read: While most Georgians will remember with pride their capital's hosting of the '96 Olympics, Albanians will remember with despair the senseless loss of one of our own, Alice Hawthorne.

"I feel better today, much better today. Today is a good day," says her daughter Fallon Stubbs. Alice's daughter Fallon was in court as Rudolph was given life in prison. She had a chance to not only witness his sentencing but also look him in the eyes and voice how she feels.

"My moment for mourning for me and my Mom had passed and I cry for him because he's the condemned soul, not us," says Stubbs. Rudolph offered apologies to the Hawthorne family for the bombing, a big change from when they first saw him in Birmingham when he pleaded guilty to a bombing there.

"He was a little bit more humble. He showed a little sense of remorse and today I changed. Today I am better," says Stubbs. "I was somewhat taken aback but I must say that I was pleased. It sounded sincere. Whether it was or not, no one will ever know other than him," says her husband John Hawthorne.

For Alice's husband John Hawthorne, the sentencing comes on a day with mixed emotions. "Today would have marked our 18th wedding anniversary," says Hawthorne. The family says after nine years of waiting, they finally received closure in court. "This day to her means that justice has been served and she can now rest knowing that we are going to move forward," says Hawthorne.

"We are still here. We are still standing and we cannot be broken," says Stubbs. To move forward, they say they had to forgive Rudolph which was a hard thing to do. "It was. But as time goes by, you realize in order for you to move on, you have to be able to forgive," says Stubbs.

Although they forgive, they'll never forget. The family recently revamped the Alice Hawthorne Education and Development Foundation. It's a scholarship program to help at-risk youth.

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