Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods
Murder by City
Atlanta, GA<br />Atlanta Child Murders
Atlanta, GA
Atlanta Child Murders
Between 1979 and 1981, at least 28 African Americans in Atlanta met deaths that would later be attributed to failed music promoter Wayne Williams (left), although he was only convicted of two killings. Most of the victims were children, and most of them died of asphyxiation. Author James Baldwin reported on the story for Playboy and later in a nonfiction book, calling Atlanta at the time "a kind of grotesque Disneyland." Baldwin agreed that there was something terrifying in Williams' karma or aura, but he thought the conviction rested on shaky evidence. The killings, search for the killer, and trial brought the city's racial tensions to a head, with many believing that the KKK (sketch right) was responsible for the murders. Some experts still speculate that there may have been more than one killer, or that it might not have been Williams at all. Williams maintains his innocence.

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