Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Atlanta Child Murders

Chaos

That same year, residents of a housing project named Techwood Homes took to the streets in protest that the police were not doing their jobs in protecting the public. The group of residents decided to take matters into their own hands and they formed a "bat patrol." The patrol was made up of residents armed with baseball bats, hoping to prevent murders from happening in their community. Sadly, the resident's attempts, like the authorities, had also failed to prevent the murders from occurring. On the exact day that the residents had taken up "bat patrol" and in the very housing project in which it was formed, another person named Eddie (Bubba) Duncan disappeared.

Eddie Duncan
Eddie Duncan

The first adult to make the List was twenty-one-year old Eddie (Bubba) Duncan. He disappeared on March 20, 1981 and was found dead on April 8, 1981. He, like Timothy Hill, had been dumped in the Chattahoochee River. Eddie had several physical and intellectual handicaps. With Duncan's death, the parameters of the List changed to encompass older victims. Before this period, other victims who were young adults were left off the List because they were considered "too old." Those earlier young adult victims were never added, even after the parameters changed. Once again the medical examiner guessed; "probable asphyxia" was documented. And, Eddie Duncan was also connected with another list victim, "Pat Man" Rogers.

Mayor Jackson with the reward money
Mayor Jackson with the reward money

Immense sums of money were offered as rewards to help find the killer(s) at large. Much of the money was donated or raised by corporations and famous figures, such as Muhammad Ali, Burt Reynolds and Gladys Knight and the Pips. In 1981, President Reagan issued more than two million dollars to the city of Atlanta and the Task Force to use towards the investigation and for citizens who needed help in dealing with the stress of the murders. Other monies that were donated and raised were mostly used to help in the investigation, as well as to help the families of the List victims. Unfortunately, only a few of the victim's families ever received the money that was raised or donated. The city and nonprofit organizations poorly controlled the money. Much of the money fell through the cracks of the system, misplaced or lost all together. However, despite the massive flow of money into the city to help put an end to the murders, they still continued.

Larry Rogers
Larry Rogers

The second adult to make the infamous List was twenty-year-old Larry Rogers (no relation to Patrick Rogers). He turned up dead after missing for more than two weeks in April 1981. He was not found in a river, like the three victims before him, but in an abandoned apartment. His cause of death was documented as "probable asphyxia, by strangulation." Rogers was mentally retarded.

Rogers was one of the few victims to be connected to Wayne Williams. Supposedly, Williams had hidden the younger brother of Larry Rogers, from police. The younger Rogers had been involved in a violent fight in which he suffered a head injury. It was Wayne Williams, in fact that had taken him to the hospital. Williams overheard on his police scanner news of the fight and had beaten the police to the scene. Williams had picked up the mother of the boys and took her to his apartment where young Rogers was. Mrs. Rogers would later testify against Williams at his trial. The apartment that Williams had taken her to was close by to the place where her older son was later found dead.

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