Convicted Olympic Park bomber to pen autobiography

by: Mark Winne Updated:

A flash from a large explosion can be seen in this image from video shot in the Centennial Olympic Park, early Saturday morning in Atlanta. Two people were killed and more than 200 injured in the blast in the 21 acre park where thousands of Olympic fans gather. (AP Photo/Robert Gee)

ATLANTA - Convicted 1996 Olympics bomber Eric Rudolph is working on an autobiography and a law enforcement agency that helped hunt him down is now forced to help him.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said its forensic artist, Marla Lawson, drew two sketches of Rudolph to catch him when he was on the loose after the Olympic Park bombing along with three others.

The GBI champions open-records, so it has no choice but to honor a pair of requests on behalf of Rudolph, even if it means one of the sketches may now help him.

"Three people died as a result of his actions. It's regrettable that we have to comply, but we will," said GBI spokesman John Bankhead.

"Mr. Rudolph may have a right to tell his story, but he doesn't have a right to profit off it," U.S. Attorney Sally Yates said.

In a letter dated from September, attorney Bill Bowen mentions he's one of the attorneys who represented Rudolph who "is currently confirmed in the federal Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado."

It said Rudolph is writing an autobiography and would like to use Lawson's sketch on the cover.

"He has a lot of nerve," Lawson said. "Who would want to buy a book from a person like that?"

A second letter indicates it's from Rudolph's brother, Daniel, and that he's doing maps with routes and campsites. He describes a format to put the sketch in.

"It is a specific provision of his plea agreement that if he were to write a book and to make any money that, that money is immediately assignable to the victims of his crimes," Yates said.

Bowen said Rudolph would not personally profit off the book.

"Does it upset you that you have to sort of help him now?" Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne asked Bankhead.

"Yes, it does," Bankhead said.

Bankhead said since the Rudolph sketch, Lawson produced thousands of sketches or sculptures for police statewide as a GBI artist.

Her daughter, Kelly, is training to take over.

"I only draw what I draw to help victims," Lawson said.

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