GA GA - Wayne Williams - Atlanta Child Murders & more - 1979-1981

Namlok04

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Im not defending Atlanta PD on how this was handled at the time, but you have to remember Atlanta has been a high crime area for a long time, and up until then had handled its own cases.

On top of this case was also dealing with a rash of other murders, rapes, robberies, drugs, assaults, missing persons, burglaries, and everything else at the time not associated with the ATKID case.

Serial crime can be extremely hard to solve as it is , but its even exponentially more so when they are hidden among some 75-100 other murder cases alone on top of everything else.

This was LONG before departments started sharing info and asking for help from each other.

In the ATKID case, you are looking at 28 + murders, that means there could in theory be at least 28 offenders but in this case, at least 3 but possibly as many as 5 serial killers could be working the same area.

Not all of them are serial killings, some of these were robberies that went wrong, some were street beefs, some were rapes , 1 could be a filicidal murder, and thats just some of the child victims.

Add into that now a possible KKK connection and then add into that the adults now you have even more of a dynamic to work with.

SO again Im not defending APD, but I understand what its like in a large metropolitan PD, and these were not the only things they were dealing with at the time.

Agreed. It's a lot of work to take on for one department in a densely populated area, and with all those high crime rates. I meant more how the department handled their cases after the arrest and conviction of WW. Even though some of those cases (I think based on fibers it was 5-8?) were connected by latent evidence to him, those twenty some other cases should not have been closed until we had a definitive answer and/or unsub(s) in custody.
I still have hopes that even today, we're able to find answers for the families.
I know the main task of police is to try to solve the crime after it's happened- so why aren't there more cold case units?
(I'm sure I could speculate; lack of funds, not enough bodies, not enough leads, etc) But I think of cases like Deborah Sue Williamson - where the sheriff outright told their family that they're not actively investigating her case anymore.
I'm not trying to paint LE in a negative light, I think we can all agree that it needs some tweaking, I just hope that they're now able to use all of today's technological advances to their advantage to put the right people away.
 

Namlok04

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Im not defending Atlanta PD on how this was handled at the time, but you have to remember Atlanta has been a high crime area for a long time, and up until then had handled its own cases.

On top of this case was also dealing with a rash of other murders, rapes, robberies, drugs, assaults, missing persons, burglaries, and everything else at the time not associated with the ATKID case.

Serial crime can be extremely hard to solve as it is , but its even exponentially more so when they are hidden among some 75-100 other murder cases alone on top of everything else.

This was LONG before departments started sharing info and asking for help from each other.

In the ATKID case, you are looking at 28 + murders, that means there could in theory be at least 28 offenders but in this case, at least 3 but possibly as many as 5 serial killers could be working the same area.

Not all of them are serial killings, some of these were robberies that went wrong, some were street beefs, some were rapes , 1 could be a filicidal murder, and thats just some of the child victims.

Add into that now a possible KKK connection and then add into that the adults now you have even more of a dynamic to work with.

SO again Im not defending APD, but I understand what its like in a large metropolitan PD, and these were not the only things they were dealing with at the time.

Agreed. It's a lot of work to take on for one department in a densely populated area, and with all those high crime rates. I meant more how the department handled their cases after the arrest and conviction of WW. Even though some of those cases (I think based on fibers it was 5-8?) were connected by latent evidence to him, those twenty some other cases should not have been closed until we had a definitive answer and/or unsub(s) in custody.
I still have hopes that even today, we're able to find answers for the families.
I know the main task of police is to try to solve the crime after it's happened- so why aren't there more cold case units?
(I'm sure I could speculate; lack of funds, not enough bodies, not enough leads, etc) But I think of cases like Deborah Sue Williamson - where the sheriff outright told their family that they're not actively investigating her case anymore.
I'm not trying to paint LE in a negative light, I think we can all agree that it needs some tweaking, I just hope that they're now able to use all of today's technological advances to their advantage to put the right people away.
 

tilomagnet

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The KKK theory is probably the most baseless and dumbest thing Ive read in regards to Serial killers, and that includes Ted K or DB Cooper being the Zodiac. It is unfortunate that this is being dragged around over and over again for obvious reasons.
 

Falcon500

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I’ll say it again. The strongest indicator that Wayne Williams was the sole offender in the Atlanta child murders is that the murders stopped the night that he was arrested. No more bodies of black boys in the water, no more boys abducted off the street, the end.
 

Namlok04

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@Falcon500 - I wish I could believe it was a sole offender situation, but I think too much evidence points towards multiple. I'm not saying it's all a single group or gang perpetuating the crimes, but I certainly think a pedophile ring or other single sex offenders in the area could've done others. I believe it's wrong for any of us to definitively say W.W. did it for all the murders, especially in the face of so many closed cases- all without being investigated any further. You could attribute the murders stopping to multiple things, the other killer(s) saw one man go down for all & decided that it's a good time to stop before they were caught (or they simply left the area), they changed their MO, which is something W.W. did (in terms of presumably going from children victims to young adult victims). Or- they just got better at concealment, hiding their crimes or victims better. To me- and I'm sure to many other victim's families - these cases aren't solved yet.
 

BraveMom

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@Falcon500 - I wish I could believe it was a sole offender situation, but I think too much evidence points towards multiple. I'm not saying it's all a single group or gang perpetuating the crimes, but I certainly think a pedophile ring or other single sex offenders in the area could've done others. I believe it's wrong for any of us to definitively say W.W. did it for all the murders, especially in the face of so many closed cases- all without being investigated any further. You could attribute the murders stopping to multiple things, the other killer(s) saw one man go down for all & decided that it's a good time to stop before they were caught (or they simply left the area), they changed their MO, which is something W.W. did (in terms of presumably going from children victims to young adult victims). Or- they just got better at concealment, hiding their crimes or victims better. To me- and I'm sure to many other victim's families - these cases aren't solved yet.
New DNA was obtained according to this report. I hope all of the murders can be solved. I don't think Wayne williams killed all of the victims but I'd like to know for sure.
Atlanta child murders: Investigators extract DNA tied to 2 cases as part of a re-investigation of the decades-old cases - CNN
 

Quiet Time

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dotr

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July 19 2021 rbbm.
DNA Extracted In The Decades-Old Atlanta Child Murders Case
''ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10/CNN) – As part of Atlanta’s probe into dozens of unsolved Atlanta child murders from 1970s and 1980s, investigators were able to extract DNA from two cases for additional analysis, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Friday.

Authorities in March 2019 reopened the investigation into a series of child murders to re-examine the evidence in the hopes that technological breakthroughs might point to a definite killer in the cases, most of which were never solved.''
“Part of my asking that this be reopened was in light of where we are with DNA testing some 40 years later. What, if anything, more could we take a look at to make sure that we have examined everything possible to make sure that the person or people responsible are being held accountable,” Bottoms said in her announcement of the DNA findings.

Fiber evidence was re-analyzed in all 30 of the cases, and investigators also extended the timeline from 1970 to 1985 to ensure any additional children or victims are not overlooked, the mayor said.

At least two dozen of the 30 cases were children between the ages of 7 and 17, most of whom were Black victims.''
 

Kell1

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That entire case, was a nightmare from all sides.

You have a high crime area with a history of distrust in police and in this case, rightfully so, you have multiple offenders, 1 or 2 of which are prying on children of all things, which is a touchy area to begin with, in a racially charged area , You have the APD vs the FBI, you have the people of Atlanta vs both , you have people scared.

The Klan link wasnt as baseless as some claim, as if I recall it was revealed that some of the police officers in the APD were actually members of the KKK or the even more radical and violent NSRP, if you want to see a time bomb situation, and wonder where the distrust in the APD came from at the time , imagine that scenario.

What type of message does that send? what do you think people would think? you expect anyone to trust the police when something like that is coming to light ?

Who would even come forward if they could ?

The FBI stated early they felt they were dealing with multiple offenders, Douglas would never explain his statement further in public , however once Williams , who almost certainly committed some of the murders, was arrested the state made him the prime suspect for all, and oddly the murders stopped.

You have to wonder why that was , why pin everything on a single offender when there was evidence there was possibly more than one ? , why not delve into it further, why seal it up and file it all on Wayne Bertram Williams, who almost certainly did commit some of the crimes but how do you not look at other evidence? how do you look away when theres a chance a person killing children is still on the loose?

Who would benefit from having caught a killer when a spree of killings was going on ?, why was Williams arrest the perfect time to stop ?

Serial Killers don't stop because someone else took the rap, they move on and keep going.

SO why not look for other suspects ?

Because the truth probably isn't pretty
 

ct71

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I always found it suspect that WW was said to be the Atlanta "child' murderer but was NEVER convicted of killing any children!! I read a book once about it. Called 'The List.' Can't find that book anywhere now but it did dispute a lot of the evidence that he was convicted on.
 

Proud Country Gal

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I always found it suspect that WW was said to be the Atlanta "child' murderer but was NEVER convicted of killing any children!! I read a book once about it. Called 'The List.' Can't find that book anywhere now but it did dispute a lot of the evidence that he was convicted on.
Are talking about this book? The List by Chet Dettlinger, Jeff Prugh
 

mickey2942

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Just throwing this out there, I would guess that some of the missing or dead children were killed by caregivers, who were more than likely happy to lay the blame on Williams.
 

tilomagnet

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AFAIK there was no evidence that there was more than one killer. WW was convicted of 2 or 3 killings and the other cases were closed based on the assumption that WW did the rest, too.
 

Kell1

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"Do you think the right man was caught? The Atlanta police reopened the case earlier this year.
I never thought that Wayne Williams did all of those cases. There are other cases that should not be on the list. Two of the girls, Angela Lanier and Latonya Wilson, and some other ones that did not fit. Roy Hazelwood [another FBI profiler] and I had about ten of them that we thought were behaviorally linked. Now they are looking at it again. It’s not that [Williams] didn’t do any [of the murders]. But it’s the question, did he do all 28 of them?"........John Douglas on the ATKID case


There was also physical evidence that didnt match on all of the cases,
 

PrairieWind

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"Do you think the right man was caught? The Atlanta police reopened the case earlier this year.
I never thought that Wayne Williams did all of those cases. There are other cases that should not be on the list. Two of the girls, Angela Lanier and Latonya Wilson, and some other ones that did not fit. Roy Hazelwood [another FBI profiler] and I had about ten of them that we thought were behaviorally linked. Now they are looking at it again. It’s not that [Williams] didn’t do any [of the murders]. But it’s the question, did he do all 28 of them?"........John Douglas on the ATKID case


There was also physical evidence that didnt match on all of the cases,
I think that is why they only prosecuted him for the two murders. Makes sense.
 

Kell1

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I think that is why they only prosecuted him for the two murders. Makes sense.

I have little doubt Williams killed some of those victims, but I doubt severely he killed them all

Some just don't fit the pattern of a serial killing, the physical and behavioral evidence doesn't match up, some of the killings seemed like your typical robberies gone wrong, one has all the markings of a parental killing etc..


I feel Williams is where he deserves to be, but that raises the question, why were all these murders pinned on him, when there was evidence to support more than 1 killer ?, and why wasn't he brought to trial on the rest? why was there no evidence to link him to any more ? and lastly why did they stop once he was named the suspect ?
 

PrairieWind

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I have little doubt Williams killed some of those victims, but I doubt severely he killed them all

Some just don't fit the pattern of a serial killing, the physical and behavioral evidence doesn't match up, some of the killings seemed like your typical robberies gone wrong, one has all the markings of a parental killing etc..


I feel Williams is where he deserves to be, but that raises the question, why were all these murders pinned on him, when there was evidence to support more than 1 killer ?, and why wasn't he brought to trial on the rest? why was there no evidence to link him to any more ? and lastly why did they stop once he was named the suspect ?
I don't think there is any question he killed the two he was convicted of. The FBI profiler has said there evidence that conclusively links him to 11 of the other murders. DNA has linked him to at least 2 more. He repeatedly has his case appealed on Habeas reasons to federal courts and each time those judges have shot down his claims. Did he kill all of these people? No probably not, there are a few, as you say, that don't really fit. Did he kill most of them? Yes, I think he probably did.
 

Kell1

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I don't think there is any question he killed the two he was convicted of. The FBI profiler has said there evidence that conclusively links him to 11 of the other murders. DNA has linked him to at least 2 more. He repeatedly has his case appealed on Habeas reasons to federal courts and each time those judges have shot down his claims. Did he kill all of these people? No probably not, there are a few, as you say, that don't really fit. Did he kill most of them? Yes, I think he probably did.

I agree, (having spoken to Douglas personally ) i certainly dont think he was involved in any of the cases, of the female victims.

A few others as well
 
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