On the night of Friday, 27 July 1996, during one of the many concerts at Atlanta
's Centennial Olympic Park
during the 1996 Olympic Games
, a small pipe bomb
placed inside a backpack
propped against a light pole near the main stage at the park's center detonated. Visitor Alice Hawthorne
of Albany, GA
was killed, and more than 100 were injured; Turkish
television cameraman Melih Uzunyol
died of a heart attack
running to cover the immediate aftermath
As Jet-Poop explains well in his Richard Jewell node, the investigation was horribly bungled; security guard Jewell was first called a hero for attempting to clear visitors from the area when he spotted the abandoned backpack, then all but convicted in the media, then finally cleared. Eric Rudolph is now considered the main suspect.
The world learned of the bombing via two videos; amateur cameraman Robert Gee had the best direct shot of the explosion, while effects were best captured in an NBC interview with U.S. swimmer Janet Evans from nearby. In the Evans video, you could see the explosion in the background, and Evans's face going from shock to fear as she realized what had just happened. NBC went live all night long (EDT) with developments in the story; I remember waking up at 10 AM, turning on WWBT in Richmond, and thinking first "What's Tom Brokaw doing on so early on a weekend?", and second, "He looks like hell." I soon found out why.