Gary Mcconnell Obituary, Death – We are sorry to inform you that Gary McConnell, a former sheriff of Chattooga County and the director of GEMA, passed away on Monday. I am writing to share this news with you. It is with the utmost sadness and regret that I must proceed in this manner. When Gary took over as Sheriff of Chattooga County in 1967 from his father, he became the youngest person in the history of Georgia to ever hold the post.
His father had held the office before him. In 1967, Gary won the election for the position of Sheriff of Chattooga County. However, in 1996, when he was Head of Security Concerns for the Atlanta Olympic Games, he was in control of close to thirty thousand law enforcement officers. During that time, he was in charge of a staff that comprised of fifty deputies and civilians.
the course of his long and famous career, he went from investigating “Good ol’ Boy Moonshiners” to investigating the “Centennial Park Bomber.” In his role as sheriff, he was engaged in 13 instances that led to the imposition of the death penalty; one of these being the notorious Scudder/Odom Devil Worship Case. As the head of GEMA, he was called upon to respond to three major incidents.
The blizzard of 1993, which caused Interstate 75 to be closed between Chattanooga and Valdosta and left some people without power for as long as six weeks; the South Georgia Flood of 1994, which was the worst natural disaster in Georgia’s history and resulted in 55 counties being declared disaster areas; and, of course, the bombing of the Olympic Park in 1996.