Suspected bomber spent months at supremacist compound

Monday, June 2, 2003

SCHELL CITY, Mo. -- Suspected Olympic Park bomber Eric Rudolph spent about four months at a white supremacist compound in southwest Missouri 18 years ago, according to a director of the Church of Israel.

Dan Gayman told The Joplin Globe in 2001 that Rudolph, his mother, Patricia, and his brother Jamie stayed on the church's Schell City property for about four months from November 1984 until the next spring.

He said the family then left the tiny Vernon County community of about 300 people 100 miles south of Kansas City and headed to Florida.

Jamie Rudolph said in 2001 that his brother had formulated his political philosophy during the time he spent at the Church of Israel. The church, part of the Christian Identity movement, is anti-abortion, anti-gay and anti-Semitic.

Before coming to Schell City, Patricia Rudolph had led her two sons through several southern trailer parks and into right-wing subculture after the death of their father five years earlier, the newspaper reported.

Patricia Rudolph came to the Schell City church on the suggestion of Nord Davis, a longtime anti-government and Christian Identity director of the 130-acre North Point Team compound in Tipton, N.C., The Globe reported.

"They stayed very much to themselves while they were here," said Gayman, a pastor at the church. "When they did attend services, they attended very sporadically and sat on the very far back pew and hardly talked to anybody."

Gayman said he heard nothing of the Rudolphs until the Olympic Park bombing 11 years later.

Gayman's son and daughter-in-law, Tim and Sarah Gayman, who left the Church of Israel in 1991 because they considered it a cult, disputed Gayman's portrayal of the Rudolph family.

Sarah Gayman said in 2001 that Eric Rudolph idolized Dan Gayman and regarded him as a foster father.

Dan Gayman has denied he had close ties to Eric Rudolph and the allegations that the Church of Israel is a cult.

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