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Gay Club Bombed By Rudolph Gutted By Fire


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Gay Club Bombed By Rudolph Gutted By Fire

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

Posted: October 5, 2005 3:00 pm ET

(Atlanta, Georgia) Fire has swept through the building that once housed a gay club that was attacked by serial bomber Eric Rudolph in 1997.

Atlanta fire officials said on Wednesday that the building is a complete write-off.

The building once housed the Otherside Lounge. It had been vacant for some time and was up for sale. Wednesday investigators sifted through the charred rubble determine what triggered the fire and where it started. They also questioned three homeless people found in the vicinity of the building.

Rudolph is serving four life sentences in federal prison for the bombing at the club and three other blasts including the bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Four people were injured when a pipe bomb went off near the doorway of Otherside Lounge in February 21, 1997. The bombing occurred about 9:30 pm, just as the club was beginning to fill up.

After patrons were evacuated from the club, investigators discovered and detonated a second bomb that had been hung in shrubs overlooking the parking lot.

A week earlier a bomb exploded in suburban Atlanta at the Northside Family Planning Clinic in Sandy Springs.

The bomb, on the back porch of the building, caused minor damage to an examination room at the clinic. The bomb went off before the clinic opened for the day, but about 90 minutes later, at 10:37 a.m., as the parking lot of the building filled with investigators, a second bomb, buried in a flower bed at the front of the parking lot, exploded.

A car that had been moved from the rear of the building after the first blast took the brunt of the second explosion. Seven people were injured.

But, Rudolph's most serious bombing was at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.

At 1:25 a.m., a nail bomb exploded in Olympic Park, sending nails and screws flying through the air for more than 100 yards.

Nearly 100,000 late-night revelers had gathered at the 21-acre central square to celebrate the middle weekend of the Olympics. Alice Hawthorne, 44, of Albany, died of head injuries from flying shrapnel. Turkish television cameraman Melih Uzunyol died of a heart attack while running to cover the explosion. More than 100 people were injured, including Hawthorne's 14-year-old daughter.

Rudolph became a suspect in the bombings following the 1998 bombing of the abortion clinic in Birmingham after his truck was spotted leaving the scene.

After Rudolph was identified by authorities the white supremist went into hiding.

He was captured by police in North Carolina in June 2003. (story)

©365Gay.com 2005

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