It's rare to get inside the mind of a terrorist, but Maryanne Vollers does just that in her new book, "Lone Wolf: Eric Rudolph: Murder, Myth, and the Pursuit of an American Outlaw."
"Lone Wolf" tells the story of Eric Rudolph, a deadly bomber who evaded the largest manhunt in FBI history. Letters from Rudolph unlock the mystery surrounding his mindset and run from the law.
Vollers paints a chilling, disturbing portrait that no reader will soon forget.
"Liberty for the wolves means death to the lambs." --Isaiah Berlin
1: Lone Wolf
In the end, the moon was just another enemy. It hadn't always been that way. When he started writing about his fugitive years the word he chose was addicting: "There is something addicting about the full moon on an early summer or fall evening in the South…" Now the moonlight pinned him to the shadows, kept him off the roads and dirt tracks where the breeze would quickly disperse his scent, leaving no trace for the hounds to follow. The damp grass and foliage could hold his trail for days. The years of hiding, he later said, had turned him into a nocturnal creature, sleeping in the day, prowling for food at night, always watchful.
Eric Rudolph kept his campsite orderly: Hiking boots lined up like soldiers on the cardboard pallet beneath a double tarp. Discarded newspapers and magazines stacked to read. A small ring of stones for a cooking fire, with two blackened pots upturned to drain. He had scattered overripe bananas, tomatoes and onions to dry in the sun. He could store them, use them later when food was scarce. His life was consumed with planning: Figuring out the movement of police patrols through town, knowing which days the grocery stores dumped their expired bread and vegetables. He traced a grid on notebook paper to make into a calendar. Every day was neatly crossed off as it passed. When the federal agents found the calendar at his camp the last marked date was May 30, 2003.
It was a weekend night, not much of a moon, and the lone patrolman would be distracted by teenage drunks out looking for trouble. Rudolph pulled on his "rummaging" clothes: a black cotton tee shirt, dark slacks, old black tennis shoes. In the darkness his feet remembered the steep trail down the small mountain overlooking town. When he reached the bottom he watched for the glow of headlights approaching, and when it was safe he ran across the four-lane highway, following the bridge a short distance until it crossed the Valley River. One time a car had surprised him and he'd had to hang off the side of the bridge to keep from being seen. Tonight the trip went smoothly and he dropped down quietly into a field on the other side of the river. He followed another well-worn path through the grass and weeds to the edge of a small shopping mall. The patrol car usually drove down this alley once every hour or so. He crouched in the darkness and waited.