Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Wayne Williams and the Atlanta Child Murders

Up to No Good

Wayne's dream was to find the next Jackson Five or Stevie Wonder and ride that talent to fame and wealth as their promoter and manager. He spent much of his time talent scouting among black youth and recording the works of the boys he believed had promise. Unfortunately, he did not have the ear to select musicians with enough talent to make it commercially. Nonetheless, he continued to spend his parents into bankruptcy creating expensive demo recordings of boys with mediocre abilities.

Wayne was known around town as a pathological liar and a bullshitter, suggesting that he had major record deals cooking and knew the right people to make it big.

Socially, Wayne lived with his parents and had few friends. Bernard Headley tells of an interesting aspect of Wayne's life that is typical behavior of serial killers: "He had acquired, for instance, an uncanny ability to impersonate a police officer. The practice got him into trouble back in 1976, when he was arrested in the city (but never convicted) for "impersonating a police officer and unauthorized use of a vehicle." The vehicle had been illegally equipped with red lights beneath the grille and flashing blue dashboard lights.

There were rumors that he was homosexual, but nothing to substantiate them.

Dettlinger says that in the days immediately following the event on the bridge, Wayne and his father "did a major cleanup job around their house. They carried out boxes and carted them off in the station wagon. They burned negatives and photographic prints in the outdoor grill."


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