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Speaker Series: Kent Alexander & Kevin Salwen

December 8, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Join Kent Alexander & Kevin Salwen as the discuss their new book, The Suspect: An Olympic Bombing, the FBI, the Media, and Richard Jewell, the Man Caught in the Middle. The book is a masterful true-crime account of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing that captured the world’s attention, and the heroic security guard-turned-suspect at the heart of it all.

With a Clint Eastwood film about this story being released the same week, take the opportunity to hear from the contributing sources to the Warner Bros.’ film, Richard Jewell starring Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates, Jon Hamm, Olivia Wilde and Paul Walter Hauser right here at the Charleston Library Society!

Tickets for this event are $5 for members and $10 for nonmembers. to purchase tickets, call 843-723-9912 or click here.

About the Book:

On July 27, 1996, a hapless former cop turned hyper-vigilant security guard named Richard Jewell spotted a suspicious bag in Atlantas Centennial Olympic Park, the town square of the 1996 Summer Games. Inside was a bomb, the largest of its kind in FBI and ATF history. Minutes later, the bomb detonated amid a crowd of fifty thousand people. But thanks to Jewell, it only wounded 111 and killed two, not the untold scores who would have otherwise died. With the eyes of the world on Atlanta, the Games continued. But the pressure to find the bomber was intense. Within seventy-two hours, Jewell went from the hero to the FBI’s main suspect. The news leaked and the intense focus on the guard forever changed his life. The worst part: It let the true bomber roam free to strike again.

What really happened that evening during the Olympic Games? The attack left a mark on American history, but most of what we remember is wrong. In a triumph of reporting and access in the tradition of the best investigative journalism, former U.S. Attorney Kent Alexander and former Wall Street Journal reporter Kevin Salwen reconstruct all the events leading up to, during, and after the Olympic bombing from mountains of law enforcement evidence and the extensive personal records of key players, including Richard himself.

The Suspect, the culmination of more than five years of reporting, is a gripping story of the rise of domestic terrorism in America, the advent of the 24/7 news cycle, and an innocent mans fight to clear his name.

About the Authors:
Kent Alexander was the US Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia at the time of the 1996 Olympics. He spent hundreds of hours in meetings with the FBI about the bombing, and ultimately, he wrote and hand-delivered Jewell’s clearance letter.

Journalist Kevin Salwen is a former Wall Street Journal columnist and an editor who ran southeastern coverage for the paper during the Olympic Games.


December 8, 2019
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm