July 2021: Phone Bank from CENTBOM Investigation

The FBI's July Artifact of the Month is a phone booth from the FBI's investigation into the bombing at Centennial Olympic Park in July 1996.

The FBI's July Artifact of the Month is a phone booth from the FBI's investigation into the bombing at Centennial Olympic Park in July 1996. (Select image to view high-res.)

As spectators watched the 1996 Summer Olympics, Eric Robert Rudolph planted a bomb in Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta. The subsequent blast killed one woman and harmed more than 100 other people—and triggered a five-year manhunt for Rudolph.

Before the bomb detonated on July 27, 1996, Rudolph twice called 911 to warn about the bomb. The FBI’s July Artifact of the Month is a phone from the phone bank where Rudolph placed the calls.

Over the next two years, Rudolph placed two more bombs in Georgia and one in Birmingham, Alabama. The resulting blasts caused several injuries and the death of a police officer.

The FBI placed Rudolph on the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list on May 5, 1998. He stayed on the list until May 31, 2003, when a police officer arrested him in North Carolina. 

Rudolph pleaded guilty to federal charges stemming from the four bombings. He is currently serving multiple life sentences without the possibility of parole.

As part of his plea deal, Rudolph also revealed where he had stashed 250 pounds of dynamite. The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives dispatched teams to locate the dynamite and dispose of it.