RealNews

Sympathy for Bombing Suspect May Cloud Search for Evidence

Betty Howard made many people happy today, and it was not for her daily special. Around noon, Mrs. Howard walked outside, glanced up at the sign in front of her diner and decided to change the lettering on the marquee from “Roast Turkey Baked Ham” to “Pray for Eric Rudolph.” “Bless his heart,” Mrs. Howard said. “Eric needs our help.” Mrs. Howard said she was going to start an Eric Rudolph legal defense fund. Many customers have already said they would chip in. A day after the authorities finally collared Eric R. Rudolph, the 36-year-old phantom survivalist who had been wanted for five years in connection with the bombing at the 1996 Olympics and attacks on abortion clinics, it is becoming clearer how fiercely loyal this community is to him, and how that might complicate the case. With Mr. Rudolph in jail, the investigation is shifting to who in this rugged corner of western North Carolina might have helped him. And there may be no shortage of suspects. Full Story

OODA Analyst

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