Richard Jewell tells the story of the character assassination of an every day man, who was certainly a hero.
In the early morning of July 27, 1996, after chasing off drunken revelers during a Jack Mack and the Heart Attack concert, Jewell notices a suspicious package beneath a bench, which an explosives expert confirms contains a bomb.
Two died, and 111 others were wounded but by all standards, many more would have lost their lives if not for Jewell.
An ambitious reporter who didn’t check out everything before going to press and a FBI agent, who wanted to solve the case quickly looked to Jewell as the bomb suspect. Jewell was unknown to authorities, and a lone wolf profile made sense to FBI investigators after they were contacted by his former employer at Piedmont College. Jewell was named as a person of interest, although he was never arrested. Jewell's home was searched, his background exhaustively investigated, and he became the subject of intense media interest and surveillance, including a media siege of his home.
It’s a sad story of how jumping to conclusions can not just hurt but destroy.
Richard Jewell died on August 29, 2007, at the age of 44 from serious medical problems related to diabetes. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Kathy Scruggs, who broke the story, died of a prescription drug overdose in 2001.