North Carolina Fugitive: Catch Him If You Can

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If survivalism were an Olympic sport, Eric Robert Rudolph could have won gold in Atlanta. Instead, he's wanted for questioning over the bombing of the 1996 summer games, and has been named as a suspect in an Alabama abortion clinic attack. But Rudolph's Olympian survivalist skills have allowed him to elude federal agents for almost six months while never venturing far from his home county.

Last week Rudolph stole a truck and a six-month supply of food from a health food store owner in Andrews, N.C. CNN reports that Rudolph gave storekeeper George Nordmann a handwritten grocery list, requesting sufficient quantities of batteries, oatmeal, beans and other items to keep him supplied for a year. A few days later Nordmann's truck and up to 75 pounds of food were taken from his home. CNN's sources also allege that Rudolph left $500 as payment; the truck was found abandoned at a campground on Monday.

Rudolph reportedly told the storekeeper, "I will not be found by federal agents or dogs," and as if to underline his confidence, according to the New York Times, he even left a handwritten note in the abandoned truck explaining that it belonged to the well-liked Nordmann. That suggests Rudolph may be trying to move toward an endgame, an impression reinforced by one other detail: The fugitive reportedly asked Nordmann for a detailed map of were the federal agents are staying. So far his exploits seem calculated to make him a legend in the fringe world of right-wing militias and antigovernment enclaves, despite the fact that his only noteworthy achievement is to be suspected in terrorist bombing attacks on innocent civilians.