Former Atl Mayor Bill Campbell: Boston bombing similar to Atl - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Former ATL Mayor Bill Campbell: Boston bombing similar to Olympic bombing

Posted: Updated:
Former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell Former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell
  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Bowl-A-Rama holds Back-to-School Bash

    Bowl-A-Rama holds Back-to-School Bash

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:19 PM EDT2014-08-02 03:19:59 GMT
    James Smith, studentJames Smith, student
    An Albany bowling alley is helping kids have a little fun before they go back to school. Bowl-A-Rama held its first Back-to-School Bash for High School Students in Dougherty, Lee, Mitchell, and Baker Counties. More >>
    An Albany bowling alley is helping kids have a little fun before they go back to school. Bowl-A-Rama held its first Back-to-School Bash for High School Students in Dougherty, Lee, Mitchell, and Baker Counties. More >>
  • Valdosta organization prepares for backpack giveaway

    Valdosta organization prepares for backpack giveaway

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:14 PM EDT2014-08-02 03:14:47 GMT
    Volunteers at Moody Air Force Base pre-packed more than 900 backpacks with school supplies on Friday.More >>
    Volunteers at Moody Air Force Base pre-packed more than 900 backpacks with school supplies on Friday.More >>
  • Sylvester residents gather for National Night Out

    Sylvester residents gather for National Night Out

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:11 PM EDT2014-08-02 03:11:03 GMT
    Scott Vandermolen, Florida residentScott Vandermolen, Florida resident
    A week after 8 teenagers were shot at a party in Sylvester people came together there Friday night to fight crime .A National Night Out celebration was held at Jeffords Park downtown. More >>
    A week after 8 teenagers were shot at a party in Sylvester people came together there Friday night to fight crime .A National Night Out celebration was held at Jeffords Park downtown. More >>
ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

Bill Campbell was mayor of Atlanta in 1996 when a pipe bomb exploded in Centennial Olympic Park. Campbell said he had a horrible sense of deja vu when he heard about the bombings in Boston.

"It really gives me chills just to reflect back. I was at home. I got a call almost immediately from Chief Beverly Harvard that there was an explosion," said Campbell.

An explosion rocked Centennial Olympic Park on July 27, 1996. The park was packed with spectators and athletes in Atlanta for the start of the Olympic games.

"I am stunned that there has not been more of a sense of correlation between what happened in Atlanta - a major sporting event, a backpack they say there were ball bearings used in Boston, there were nails used here," said Campbell.

Eric Rudolph pleaded guilty to detonating that bomb that killed one woman and injured 111 people. He also pleaded guilty to setting off a bomb outside an abortion clinic in downtown Birmingham in 1998.

Rudolph was on the run for more than five years before being captured in Murphy, N.C., in 2003.

A statue, which Mayor Campbell said was a gift to the city for hosting the Olympic games, still sits in the park and bears imprints from nails ejected from the pipe bomb.

"It was a gift from the Greek people. It ended up deflecting some of the nails that were placed in the pipe bomb by Eric Rudolph and ended up help to preserve life here in Atlanta," said Campbell.

Investigators initially focused their attention on security guard Richard Jewell, who turned out to be a hero. He spotted the backpack, as authorities were evacuating the park, the bomb exploded.


Campbell doesn't believe investigators in Boston will make the same mistake.

"The Atlanta investigation was a difficult one because, remember what's different from Boston is that the marathon was over, but the Olympic games here were just beginning," said Campbell.

Copyright 2013 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.