Investigators Uncover Rudolph's Base Camp
Posted June 4, 2003
MURPHY, N.C. — News about Eric Rudolph's five years in the North Carolina mountains is coming out of Murphy, where Rudolph was captured Saturday.
Investigators found another of his hideouts and talked to WRAL Tuesday about what they found.
Investigators said they uncovered Rudolph's base camp. They said it is on the Cherokee-Clay county line deep in the woods in an area known as Fire's Creek, a 45-minute hike through thick brush straight up a mountain.
There's a small clearing up there, and investigators said they found Rudolph's driver's license, a hunting rifle and bags of cornmeal and soybeans.
According to investigators, Rudolph took the grain from silos in Andrews, then would carry it all the way across the mountain to his camp above Murphy. The two towns are about 20 miles apart.
After Rudolph's arrest, agents first began searching another area not far from where Rudolph was captured. They said he kept a second camp down a trail into the hills. They found plywood there and think he stole it from Murphy High School.
"I'm not surprised, because it's right up here," Murphy principal William Suggs said, pointing to the camp's location. "Less than half a mile away, it would have been easy for him to come down the river and explore after school hours and see what's here."
The sheriff of Cherokee County said Rudolph told him he struggled to live five years in the woods and almost starved during the first winter.
"It's kind of hard to survive on acorns and lizards," the sheriff quoted Rudolph as saying.
He said Rudolph hunted turkey, deer, bear and wild boar.