As a true crime author, I have a trust of law enforcement. It’s not a blind trust, but one borne out of experience. When I saw the film, Richard Jewell, that trust as far as the FBI was shaken.
So when I saw season two of Manhunt – Deadly Games was about Eric Rudolph, the actual Olympic Centennial Park bomber, I was intrigued.
Apparently both works were filmed at around the same time, which is wild given that some of their sets and scenes are eerily similar. The acting is different and many scenes play out quite a bit different in the TV series, but this is a complex story that goes far beyond Richard Jewell.
Eric Rudolph set off a number of bombs, including the Centennial Park bombing, before he was driven to ground in the forests of North Carolina. He survived off the land and with help of locals for a long time before law enforcement finally apprehended him.
There’s some creative licensing that has been done with this season of the show, much like the Unabomber one. Some aspects, such as the timelines of the key events have been fudged for the series, but that makes it a little more engaging. After the Richard Jewell film, there was an uproar about the portrayal of Kathy Scruggs, the reporter who broke the story of Jewell. Her portrayal in this series is more compelling, but far less complimentary.
Rudolph is a completely unlikable character. Unlike the first season, we don’t get much about his background to make him at all relatable. In that aspect, it likely mirrors real life. Ted Kaczynski, who could generate some sympathy as to how he became the Unabomber – Rudolph comes across as merely a sociopath with no moral compass.
Still, the series of worth watching. I liked the film version much more than this, but the series goes far beyond the events of the movie which really does manage to hold your attention and pull you in. It is on Netflix and I recommend you give it a chance to grow on you.