Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Wayne Williams and the Atlanta Child Murders

A New Investigation in 2005

Chief Louis Graham
Chief Louis Graham

DeKalb County Police Chief Louis Graham said he plans to reopen the investigation of the murder of five boys between June, 1980 and May 1981. These five murders are part of the series called the Atlanta Child Murders.

The five murdered young men were Aaron Wyche, 10; Patrick Baltazar, 11; Curtis Walker, 13; Joseph Bell, 15; and William Barrett, 17.

Wayne Williams, now 47, has always maintained his innocence. Chief Graham is of the same mind:

Five victims from youngest to oldest
Five victims from youngest to oldest

"After Wayne Williams was arrested, there was this decision by some people to close the cases, and I have never been one to espouse that kind of investigation or paint that kind of broad brush," Graham told The Associated Press. "I have never believed that he did anything."

Chet Dettlinger told CNN he sided with Graham.

"'I do agree with Louie that Wayne Williams didn't kill anybody,' he said. But Graham, he said, believed at the time the Ku Klux Klan may have been involved, and Dettlinger disagreed.

Wayne Williams
Wayne Williams

"I don't know if Wayne Williams is innocent or not,'" he said. "'I just don't think they proved him guilty of anything.'"

Wayne Williams was not convicted in the murder of the five young men who are the current focus of the cold-case squad that Graham has assembled, but the cases were considered committed by one individual.


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