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A HERO IN HIS OWN MIND

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; The owls gathered in the trees around the silos because of the mice, which came because of the loose grain scattered on the ground. There were five silos, each 30 feet tall, standing together in the valley next to the Snowbird Mountain range. Nestled halfway between Murphy and Andrews in the very western corner of North Carolina, the area around the silos is a rich floodplain, thanks to the creeks and streams that feed into the Valley River, and the farmers there grow corn, soybeans and wheat.

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;Like the owls and the mice, a gaunt and weary man emerged from the woods in the fall of 1999 and went to the silos on a quest for food. In the months leading up to the harvest, he'd methodically scavenged 170 trash bags from the Dumpster behind the McDonald's in Andrews and cleaned each one of them in the Valley River. He figured if he double-bagged them, he could haul five gallons of grain, about 50 pounds, in each one.

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;The issue of how to protect his stash of grain from vermin was more problematic, but once he discovered the solution it seemed laughably simple. Where do trash bags go? Into wheeled trash bins. Why? Because they have lids. Once the harvest was finished and the silos were bulging with grain and beans, he stole four trash bins and carried them across the Valley River — one at a time on his back as he trudged through the cold, groin-high water. He cleaned them out in the river, using leaves to scrub out the gunk, and rolled them a mile and a half at night, past the little airport and down to his staging area. He stashed them in the bramble next to Oak Grove Baptist Church, across the road from the silos. During the day, he camouflaged them with white pine branches.

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;His camp was set up on the ridge above the silos, and he'd come down late at night, when traffic on Airport Road was almost nonexistent. Occasionally, a state trooper would park at the church and wait to catch speeders. And sometimes kids would park behind the silos to smoke pot or make out. One night he was trapped, lying face down on the ground, as a teenage couple had sex in a car parked barely 10 feet from him. It was the closest he'd come to being caught since he'd vanished 18 months earlier.

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;Every night for two weeks following the harvest, he climbed the silos using the steel ladder on the side. At the top was a small trapdoor that opened and gave him access to the fruits of the harvest. He would steady himself on the dew-covered metal, reach in and fill a bag with as much corn or beans or wheat as he could carry, and haul it on his back down to the ground. Then back up for more. Once he'd accumulated 50 pounds on the ground, he'd put the food into a doubled bag and lug it over to the trash bins.

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;In the deep of the night, he liked to sit on top of the silo and rest, firing up the half-smoked Marlboro Lights he dug out of the trash behind the Gibson Furniture store in downtown Andrews. These were some of the best times — sitting in the crisp autumn air, smelling the sweetly sour rotting cornstalks and getting so lost in himself that he could almost forget he was the most wanted man in the United States. In those moments, it was just him and the owls and the mice.

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;Eric Robert Rudolph was fascinated by the owls. Every night, he could hear their hoots in the distance. In the harvest moon, his eyes could pick up the round-faced birds as they gracefully flew from the trees and swooped down from the sky. He was so close to their killing field that he could see the clouds of dust the owls kicked up as they attacked their prey. Once the owl secured the mouse in its clutches, it would fly back to the tree line and celebrate its warm feast by hooting a little tune.

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;It seemed a perfectly natural synergy: The mouse got its food, the owl got its food and Rudolph got his. When he was finally finished, on Halloween, he stole a black Chevrolet Silverado truck from a used car lot and hauled the grain-filled bins to a hiding place up in the Snowbird Mountains. With just two weeks' work, he had guaranteed his ability to survive in the wild: He had amassed a stash of food that would sustain him for years.;

;In many American Indian cultures, the owl is the symbol of death. In statues and artwork, Mictlantecuhtli, the Aztec god of death, is depicted with owls, and American Indian lore says an appearance by an owl is a harbinger of death.

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;Three people died at the hands of Rudolph, and many more were maimed and injured, in a bombing spree that began 10 years ago at Centennial Park in Atlanta during the 1996 Olympic Games. Six months later, Rudolph set off two bombs outside of an abortion clinic in Sandy Springs, Ga. Five weeks after that, he placed two bombs in the rear of the Otherside Lounge, a gay/lesbian bar in Atlanta. He then laid low for almost a year. Finally, Jan. 29, 1998, Rudolph used a remote control to detonate a bomb containing dynamite and 5.5 pounds of nails in the face of off-duty police officer Robert "Sandy" Sanderson outside a Birmingham, Ala., abortion clinic. Sanderson was instantly killed.

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;The fact that more people didn't die from Rudolph's bombs is a fluke, according to Jack Killorin, who was the special agent in charge of the Atlanta office of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms during most of Rudolph's reign of terror. Killorin is intimately familiar with the thought and planning that went into the bombings. "He's one of the most successful serial bombers in history," Killorin says. "I do not respect Eric Robert Rudolph. But I do respect his capability as an opponent."

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;Rudolph very carefully set into place his plan to bomb the Olympic Games. He placed a bag under a bench by the AT&T tower in Centennial Park that contained smokeless gunpowder and was packed with more than 5 pounds of 3-inch cut masonry nails. The bomb was connected to a Westclox Baby Ben alarm clock and set to detonate in an hour, and it was situated so that the shrapnel would shoot out parallel to the terrain. But the bag was accidentally knocked over and was lying on the ground when the bomb went off. "It served to allow a lot of the explosion to go up and out instead of spreading straight into the crowd," says Killorin, now retired from the ATF. Two people died, but had things gone according to Rudolph's plan, there could have been dozens of deaths.

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;In Sandy Springs, Rudolph placed his first bomb at a wall outside the clinic's operating room. A second bomb was placed to spray shrapnel into the parking lot on the other side of the building, where Rudolph correctly assumed law enforcement personnel would gather. It was timed to go off about an hour after the first bomb. But again, fate intervened. "There was a substance abuse treatment center in the building and a couple came in that morning driving a 1985 Nissan Pulsar," says Killorin. "After the first explosion, they moved the car and happened to park it in front of the bomb. It absorbed huge amounts of the explosive."

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;As at the Sandy Springs clinic, Rudolph placed a second bomb at the Otherside Lounge, also targeted at law enforcement. But an officer spotted it and it was detonated with a robot. "His bombs hadn't killed or maimed a lot of people because of events that were out of his control," Killorin says of Rudolph's attacks prior to Birmingham. "That frustrated him. To solve the problem, he went to the remote control so he could make sure they killed and maimed."

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;After he was identified as the suspect in the Birmingham bombing, Rudolph fled into the mountains of western North Carolina, where he stayed for more than five years. The largest manhunt in U.S. history was launched to find him. Hundreds of law enforcement personnel fanned the woods of North Carolina looking for the fugitive. But when they couldn't find him, they scaled back. Four years later — when many thought he either was dead or living in a foreign country — Rudolph was captured by a rookie cop who found him Dumpster-diving in Murphy.

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;Rudolph has never spoken to the press and didn't respond to a written request for an interview for this story, mailed to him at the Supermax prison where he is housed in Florence, Colo. But during his two-year stay in the Birmingham jail, Rudolph wrote more than 100 pages of letters that, for the first time, detail his life on the run, his motives for the bombings, and how he pulled them off. Those letters, combined with federal court documents, offer fresh information and insights into Rudolph, his crimes and the investigation that ultimately led him to plead guilty to the bombings.

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;The letters and essays were posted on the hard-core anti-abortion website Army ;OfGod.com after Rudolph's April 2005 guilty plea. (Warning: The site includes extremely graphic images of aborted fetuses.) The letters are articulate and detailed, and have gone virtually unnoticed by a mainstream media that had long ago moved on to the next big story. They offer a rare window into the mind of a man who considers himself morally justified in his killing, even a hero.

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;To law enforcement, however, Rudolph stands out as a "lone wolf" — a singular figure, not associated with any group, who rises up from nowhere, strikes and then vanishes without a trace.

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;And he almost got away with it.;

;The 1996 Olympic Games were intended to be Atlanta's coronation as the "International City" it had always aspired to be. The eyes of the world were on the Olympics, and Atlanta hoped to showcase itself as the jewel of the South.

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;Rudolph, a right-wing extremist who lived near the Georgia border in North Carolina, had other ideas. "The Olympic temptation, he could not resist it," says Killorin. "It was too big a stage."

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;Rudolph's goal was to force the cancellation of the Games or, at the least, create such a state of anxiety that he would empty the streets around the venues. "The purpose of the attack was to confound, anger and embarrass the Washington government in the eyes of the world for its abominable sanctioning of abortion on demand," Rudolph writes. His original plan was to knock out the power grid surrounding Atlanta and, in effect, pull the plug on the Games. When he couldn't acquire the high explosives necessary to do that, he went to his backup plan.

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;He built five low-tech timed devices, propelled by smokeless gunpowder and covered with 3-inch masonry nails; the biggest bomb contained 5 pounds of them. He put each of the bombs into backpacks, and planned to explode one per day. Rudolph targeted law enforcement personnel, not civilians. "Each [explosion would be] preceded by a 40- to 50-minute warning given to 911," Rudolph writes. "The location and time of detonation was to be given, and the intent was to thereby clear each of the areas, leaving only uniformed arms-carrying government personnel exposed to potential injury. … I knew the weapons used (highly uncontrollable timed explosives) and the choice of tactics (placing them in areas frequented by large numbers of civilians) could potentially lead to a disaster."

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;Rudolph fell behind schedule and had to wait until the eighth day of the Olympics to execute his plan. When he reached the Atlanta area, he set up a staging area east of the city off Interstate 20, where crews were moving dirt and bulldozing land for what appeared to be a mall. He stashed four bombs there and took the biggest one with him.

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;Shortly after midnight July 27, 1996, Rudolph walked through the throngs celebrating the Olympics in Centennial Park and carefully placed a backpack containing the bomb on the ground under a bench. He set the timer and walked 10 minutes to a nearby bank of phone booths. He dialed 911 and claims to have launched into his "there's a bomb in Centennial Park" speech when the most amazing thing happened: The 911 operator hung up on him. Officials have confirmed the existence of a call to 911 during which the line went dead.

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;Rudolph realized the call would be traced and panicked. He quickly disappeared into the crowd, and spent several minutes gathering himself before he tried to find another phone booth. He wandered around downtown until he saw a pay phone by the Days Inn at Spring and Baker streets, where he held his nose to disguise his voice and called the 911 operator at 12:58 a.m. "The crowd was pushing in and after the first couple sentences, I was eyeballed closely by at least two individuals," he writes. "This caused me to leave off the last sentence, which indicated the exact location of the device. The result of all this was to produce a disaster — a disaster of my making for which I do apologize to the victims and their families."

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;Word of Rudolph's 911 call never reached the park. A security guard named Richard Jewell became the hero of the Olympic Games when he spotted the bag and informed his supervisor, who summoned two bomb experts. They crawled under the bench. One of them carefully opened a flap. He focused his flashlight, then leaned forward to peer inside. Almost simultaneously, both bomb experts scrambled backward, away from the backpack. When they stood up, they didn't even take the time to turn around; they kept walking backward.

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;"What have we got?" the supervisor asked.

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;"It's big," one of the bomb experts replied.

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;The security team was frantically trying to move people out of the area when the bomb exploded 10 minutes later, at 1:20 a.m. The supervisor later described it as the eeriest thing he's ever heard. After the bomb went off, the park was deathly silent; the only thing he could hear was the swooshing sound of shrapnel cutting through the air.

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;After the catastrophe of his first bomb, which caused the death of two civilians and injured more than 100 people, Rudolph got skittish. He returned to his staging area off I-20, detonated the remaining four bombs and went back home to Murphy, N.C. While the FBI spent the next three months on the Richard Jewell wild-goose chase, Rudolph spent his time preparing for his next move. He broke into an explosives storehouse in Asheville and stole more than 300 pounds of nitroglycerin dynamite.

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;And with that, he was back in business.

Two basic beliefs were at the core of Rudolph's mission: Abortion is murder, and the "homosexual agenda" is an assault upon the integrity of American society.

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;To him, the abortion issue is simple. An unborn baby is a child. Thus, abortion kills children. And that is murder. It is the duty of anyone truly against abortion to do whatever it takes, including violence, to stop the wholesale slaughter of unborn children. For that reason, Rudolph didn't suffer the pro-life movement easily. "For these people I have nothing to say other than you are liars, hypocrites and cowards," he writes. "You have the right, the responsibility and the duty to come to the defense of the innocent when the innocent are under assault."

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;His outrage over homosexuality was more complicated: Rudolph's younger brother is gay. Rudolph writes that he believes there is nothing wrong with consenting adults who practice homosexuality in private. "Homo-sexuality is an aberrant sexual behavior, and as such I have complete sympathy and understanding for those who are suffering from this condition," he writes. "But when the attempt is made to drag this practice out of the closet … in an ‘in your face' attempt to force society to accept and recognize this behavior as being just as legitimate and normal as the natural man/woman relationship, every effort should be made, including force if necessary, to halt this effort."

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;The difference between Rudolph and other extremists is that he was ready to act.

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;He gave the fight against abortion and homosexuality the same kind of devotion he'd given to marijuana when he was a grower and dealer. Despite his right-wing views, Rudolph smoked pot and didn't believe the government had the right to regulate something God put on the earth. After he left the Army in 1989 and returned to North Carolina, Rudolph supported himself growing and selling high-grade weed. "The story is he went to Europe to find seeds, and he studied ways to develop a really high-quality strain of marijuana," says Killorin. "That's him: ‘I'm the person who's the expert, I'm in control here.'"

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;Once he decided on his course of action as a serial bomber, Rudolph again immersed himself — and began to make himself disappear. His mother had moved to Asheville, N.C., one brother had moved to Florida, and his youngest brother had moved to New York City. The family home was located in the mountains northwest of Andrews, and Rudolph eventually bought it from his mother. Shortly before the Centennial Park bombing, he sold the house and told his family he was moving to Colorado.

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;Instead, he rented a trailer in nearby Murphy. He gave up his friends. He had no job, so he paid no taxes. And he focused on becoming one of the most dangerous terrorists of all — the lone wolf. Killorin says Rudolph schooled himself on the methods of the "Unabomber," Ted Kaczynski. "Eric was something of a student of the game," says Killorin. "I think he learned from the Unabomber that if you go underground, the trail goes cold. If you isolate yourself, you can evade identification and capture."

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;Six months after the Olympic bombing, Rudolph was ready to strike again.;

;Jack Killorin was 50 years old when he arrived in Atlanta to lead the local ATF field office. Prior to that, he was the assistant special agent in charge in Washington, D.C. Even in Washington, he had been touched by the Centennial Park bombing. One of his agents, who also happened to be a paramedic, was working security in the park during the Games. When the bomb went off, she grabbed her medical bag and went to work. One of the first people she reached was Alice Hawthorne, who would die from her injuries. "She called me moments later and told me there was one dead and a hundred down," he recalls. "She said she'd exhausted her medical bag within 15 minutes. I spent the rest of that night taking calls from reporters."

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; His first day of work in Atlanta was Jan. 16, 1997, and Killorin barely had time to introduce himself before he faced his first crisis: A bomb had gone off at an abortion clinic in Sandy Springs. He had just turned on the news and watched as a second bomb blew up on the other side of the building, where law enforcement officials were gathered.

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;A task force of 100 FBI and ATF agents was quickly assembled. They theorized the first bomb was intended to level the building. After all, the bomber had used a steel plate to direct the blast — the first sign of commonality with the Centennial Park bomb. The propellant, 21 half-pound sticks of dynamite, blew through 3 inches of reinforced concrete and caused 14 of 18 windows on that side of the building to shatter.

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;The task force soon discovered another similarity to Centennial Park: The bomber used four pounds of nails as shrapnel in the second "sucker bomb" intended for law enforcement. Although the Nissan blunted the blast, the bomb still seriously injured an ATF agent and an FBI agent, and sent five others to the hospital.

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;Investigators quickly realized that large-scale planning had gone into the bombing. It couldn't be coincidence that the culprit had placed the larger bomb outside the clinic's operating room. The bomber had correctly assessed where law enforcement would gather in the parking lot. And he had picked a clinic that was two blocks north of Interstate 285, to allow him a quick escape.

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;However, at that point in the investigation solid leads were nonexistent. No one claimed credit. There were no witnesses. No informants had information to offer.

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;Five weeks later, Friday, Feb. 21, the bomber struck again. When Killorin arrived at the Otherside Lounge, he looked over his shoulder and saw cars traveling north on I-75/85 and realized that, like before, the bomber had selected a target with easy access to the interstate. And other similarities were obvious. There were two bombs, the first apparently used to draw law enforcement and the second to ambush them. The first was placed on a stone ledge that overlooked the club's back patio and went off at 9:58 p.m. The patio was empty because it was winter, but the force of the blast hurled nails toward the building and five patrons standing inside were injured. An Atlanta police officer found the second bomb concealed in shrubbery on top of a low wall that ran along the lounge's parking lot, and it was safely detonated.

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;A couple of days later, four news organizations received letters handwritten in big block lettering. Signed "Army of God," the letters claimed credit for the Otherside and Sandy Springs bombings and referenced the siege of the Branch Davidians in Waco. "He gave us a code that he'd put on future letters to let us know they were really from him," says Killorin. "The code was ‘4-19-93,' the anniversary of the fire at Waco. We held that back from the public." The date also referenced Timothy McVeigh, who blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City April 19, 1995.

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;Investigators quickly tied the Sandy Springs and Otherside bombs together because all four were propelled by nitroglycerin dynamite, used an alarm clock and Rubbermaid containers, and contained steel plates. Even more intriguing, the Centennial Park bomb also used an alarm clock timer and a Rubbermaid container, and a steel plate. "It was 18 months before we knew enough forensically to tie the Sandy Springs and Otherside bombings with Centennial Park," says Killorin.

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;What they couldn't figure out was where and when the bomber would strike again. "We didn't know what we were dealing with until Birmingham."

On Christmas Eve, 1997, Eric Rudolph went to the sprawling Wal-Mart in Murphy and purchased two hose clamps. Parts from one of them were later found inside officer Sandy Sanderson's body during the autopsy following his death.

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;Rudolph's techniques had become more sophisticated. Rather than rely on an alarm clock, he fashioned a model airplane remote control into a detonator. He drove to Birmingham in his Nissan pickup truck and in the pre-dawn hours of Jan. 29, 1998, placed a bomb inside a pot by the front door of the New Woman All Women clinic. Then he put plastic flowers on top of it, presumably to draw attention to it. When Sanderson reported for security duty that morning, Rudolph was standing on a hill about a block away. He watched Sanderson walk over to the flowerpot and lean over it. And that's when Rudolph detonated the bomb.

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;Rudolph offers no apologies for Sanderson's death. "Despite the fact that he may have been a good guy, he volunteered to work at a place that murders 50 people a week," Rudolph writes. "He chose to wield a weapon in defense of these murderers … and that makes him just as culpable … I have no regrets or remorse for my actions that day in January, and consider what happened morally justified."

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;Rudolph parked his truck several blocks away, and that allowed federal agents to catch their first break in the case. A University of Alabama at Birmingham medical student saw a man walking away from the bomb site and thought it was suspicious because everyone else was going toward it. He followed Rudolph, got his license plate number — KND 1117 — and called police.

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;The next afternoon, Rudolph was watching CNN when he learned that a warrant had been issued for his arrest as a material witness. Rudolph had his last meal as a free man at the Burger King in Murphy, then went to a local grocery store and bought a large quantity of oatmeal, canned goods, batteries and camping supplies.

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;When agents arrived at his trailer at about 8 p.m. Jan. 30, they found the heat on, the lights on, the television blaring and the front door open. In the back, a garbage can was full of burned documents that were still smoldering.

Hundreds of federal, state and local law enforcement personnel descended on Andrews and Murphy, and they combed through the Nantahala National Forest. Even right-wing icon Bo Gritz, the model for Sly Stallone's Rambo character, put together a platoon of volunteers and went Rudolph-hunting. All of them found the terrain untamed and practically impenetrable.

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;"It was like chasing the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang," says Killorin. "They know the territory and that knowledge is an advantage. One of the reasons there are Cherokee casinos now is that large numbers of Cherokees hid out in the mountains when everyone else was relocated, and they were never found. It's rough, and beautiful, country."

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;The futility of the search turned Rudolph into an antihero in some circles, a modern-day Butch Cassidy. In the mountains around Andrews, where Confederate battle flags are as plentiful as the "No Trespassing" signs in front lawns, some residents were more than sympathetic to his cause and resented the heavy military presence in town. T-shirts declaring Rudolph the "Hide and Seek Champion of North Carolina: 1998" were a hot item in local convenience stores.

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;Yet despite his celebrity status, Rudolph's only game was survival. He calls the next 12 months a "starving time," during which he often subsisted on acorns and salamanders. He'd huddle in a dugout underneath a rock to avoid helicopters and their heat-sensitive equipment.

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;One afternoon in his first December in the wild, Rudolph hid underneath the rock as a chopper hovered overhead and scanned the ridge. Finally, the helicopter left and Rudolph climbed out of his hiding place. As he brushed icy dirt from his pants, he remembered the words of the Psalmist who wrote about seeing his enemies in "great power, spreading his branches and roots like a large tree." But after a while, the Psalmist looked around and beheld that his enemies were nowhere to be found.

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;As the sounds of the chopper faded away, Rudolph stood tall and shouted out in defiance, "I am still here!"

As the feds hunted Rudolph, he began to hunt them.

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;In the fall of 2000, he retrieved several pounds of dynamite from one of his stashes and made another remote-controlled bomb. Then, he set up two booby traps on the trail leading down to the National Guard Armory in Murphy where the FBI command center was set up. He surveilled the agents for days. When his reconnaissance work was complete, Rudolph almost literally walked up to the front door of FBI headquarters and put his bomb in place. He never detonated it.

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;"The agents didn't die that day," Rudolph writes. "Perhaps after watching them for so many months, their individual humanity shown through the hated uniform. It was not that I had lost my resolve to fight in the defense of the unborn, but rather an individual decision about these individual agents. I had worn the uniform of their legions, served in their ranks. I had no hatred for them as individuals. Even though they served a morally bankrupt government, underneath their FBI rags, they were essentially fellow countrymen."

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;The next day, Rudolph says, he removed the device and buried it. However, the feds found the 25-pound bomb filled with 20 pounds of screws buried across the street from the armory. Rudolph says he also detonated the booby traps.

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;After he stole the food from the silos, Rudolph settled into a fairly comfortable routine of hunting, camping and cooking. He'd mix the soybeans, wheat and corn into a water-filled cast iron pot and cook it over a fire for three hours. Then he would pound the grains and beans into a pancake-like mix and fry it with a little oil in a large skillet.

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;In the warm months, he would slip into Andrews and Murphy to Dumpster-dive. One of his favorite spots was the McDonald's across the Valley River in downtown Andrews, just three or four blocks from the federal search team headquarters. Rudolph noted that both he and the feds chasing him were eating the same food.

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;He also went into Murphy and would forage behind the Taco Bell and the Save-A-Lot grocery store. That's where he was May 31, 2003, when a rookie cop suddenly pulled in behind the building and made the arrest of his career.

Today, prisoner No. 18282-058 lives a spartan existence inside a 7-by-12-foot soundproof cell with a steel door and grate in the Federal Correctional Complex in Florence, Colo. It is known as "Supermax," where the worst of the worst are sent.

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;He shares a "bomber's row" cell block with Ted Kaczynski (the "Unabomber"), Ramzi Ahmed Yousef (mastermind of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center), Terry Nichols (Timothy McVeigh's accomplice) and "shoe bomber" Richard Reid. McVeigh was in Supermax until he was executed. Also serving time at Supermax are Charles Harrelson (father of actor Woody, convicted of murdering a federal judge), Mutulu Shakur (convicted murderer and Tupac Shakur's stepfather) and Dr. Malachi York (founder of the United Nuwaubian Nation, based in Putnam County, who was convicted of child molestation and racketeering).

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;Someone once described a cell at Supermax as a "breathable coffin." The furniture is primarily made of poured concrete, and it includes a desk, a stool and a slab covered by a thin mattress for his bed. Each cell contains a combination toilet/sink and a shower that runs on a timer to prevent intentional flooding. Some inmates are allowed a black-and-white television, but it shows only educational and religious programming.

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;The cells have small windows, but they are high on the wall and point to the sky. Communication with the outside world is limited to snail mail, and food is hand-delivered by prison guards, who slide it through a slot in the door. The guards are rotated on a daily basis so that no personal relationships can form. One hour each day, a prisoner is allowed to go to another concrete chamber, where he can exercise by himself. This is how the 39-year-old will spend the rest of his life.

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;After Rudolph entered his guilty pleas for the bombings at Centennial Park, the abortion clinics in Sandy Springs and Birmingham, and the Otherside Lounge, he released a statement that concluded with defiance. "The talking heads on the news [will] opine that I am ‘finished,' that I will ‘languish broken and unloved in the bowels of some supermax,' but I say to you people that by the grace of God I am still here — a little bloodied, but emphatically unbowed."

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;Eric Rudolph may be unbowed, but he is a dead man walking. And the song of the owl whispers only in his memory.

; A version of this story appeared originally in Atlanta's Creative Loafing.

; feedback@orlandoweekly.com

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