Fifteen years after Olympic Park bomb - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Fifteen years after Olympic Park bomb

It's been 15 years since the tragic Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta. A pipe-bomb loaded with nails exploded during a concert in Centennial Park. More than 100 people were injured by the blast, and only one was killed.

That victim Alice Hawthorne, happened to be from Albany and she left behind a legacy that sill shines bright today.

Alice Hawthorne was working as Winfred Dukes' campaign manager, but because the Olympics games were located in Atlanta, they decided to suspend the campaign and head to Atlanta to celebrate. But that celebration turned into a nightmare.

It was a blast heard around world.

"It's a huge boom and a loud concussion..sound wave..I mean you could feel it I mean it shakes stuff," said Emory Murphy, who witnessed the blast.

Atlanta was hosting the 1996 Olympic Games, which for many was cause for celebration. But July 27, 1996 turned into a night so terrifying, memories are still just as vivid 15 years later.

Emory Murphy experienced the sights and sounds first hand. "When you looked up you could see holes blown through the AT&T tent."

He was in Atlanta with the Georgia Peanut Commission..promoting peanuts in Centennial Olympic Park during the games.

"We knew what it had to be..because there was no reason for an explosion of that magnitude to go off," he said.

A pipe-bomb loaded with nails exploded during a concert in Centennial Park...sending shrapnel everywhere.

More than 100 people were injured."It was a very sobering experience, I mean you get a knot in your stomach," he said.

But only one person was killed..44-year old Alice Hawthorne of Albany. "It was almost as if you were living in a bad dream," said Winfred Dukes.

State Representative Winfred Dukes says Alice Hawthorne was his campaign manager and good friend.

"I thought no way is that going to be Alice," he said.

But sadly it was Alice and her daughter was injured. Every year, those who knew Hawthorne remember what a wonderful lady she was.

In 2005, The Olympic Bomber Eric Rudolph was sentenced to life in Prison. 

Alice Hawthorne grew up in Albany and graduated in 1994 from Albany State University. She also owned a ice cream shop that was named after her daughter, Fallon.

Here is previous WALB coverage on the bombing, Alice Hawthorne, and related events--

Albany remembers the 1996 Olympic Park bombing  7/27/2009

The night Terror Hit Home     7/27/2006

Settlement reached in Olympic Park Bombing    7/14/2006

Olympic bomber sentenced in Albany woman's death    8/22/2005

Hawthorne family to attend Rudolph's sentencing    8/20/2005

Victim's family hears Rudolph's plea     4/13/2005

Victim's survivors speak out on Rudolph plea    4/11/2005

Olympic Park victim not forgotten   4/13/2005

Olympic Bombing Civil Suit Renewed By Albany Man    6/13/2003

Bombing victim's daughter elated over Rudolph's capture    6/2/2003

The future of Alice's Wonderland   9/24/2002

Alice's Wonderland breaks ground    7/17/2002

 

Copyright 2011 WALB.  All rights reserved.  

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