Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Wayne Williams and the Atlanta Child Murders

Damaging Testimony

While Wayne Williams did not have a criminal record, his character was not exactly unblemished in the eyes of those who knew him. Most people knew Wayne Williams as a person who either lied about or vastly exaggerated his accomplishments. As an example, Eustis Blakely, a successful black businessman and his wife were friends of Wayne. Wayne told Blakely that he flew fighter jets at Dobbins Air Force base. Blakely knew that was a lie because he had been in the Air Force and was not able to fly planes because he wore glasses. Wayne Williams eyes were much worse than Blakely's.

But the real showstopper during the trial was what his wife had to say about Wayne. She had asked Williams after he had become a suspect, "If they get enough evidence, will you confess before you get hurt? She said that he answered "yes." She then went on to say that Wayne told her "he could knock out black street kids in a few minutes by putting his hand on their necks."

On cross-examination, Binder asked her if she implied that Wayne had killed someone. She answered, "Yes, I do. I really feel that Wayne Williams did kill somebody, and I'm sorry."

Gino Jordon, who ran the San Souci club, was asked if Wayne Williams had been at his club before the bridge incident, as Williams had told authorities he had been. Jordon said it was not that night of the bridge incident, but the following night that Williams came by the club to pick up his tape recorder. The club cashier confirmed Jordon's statement.

When the man in charge of the Ben Hill Recreation Center was asked if Wayne Williams was playing basketball the evening of the bridge incident as Williams had claimed, the answer again was no.

These two testimonies reflected that Wayne Williams was lying about what he did before the incident on the bridge. This lack of an alibi played right into the prosecution's theory that Williams was with Cater that evening and dropped his body off the bridge.

What Williams was left with were a bunch of lies about what he did before the bridge incident and an explanation about what he was doing on the bridge that nobody believed. Attempts to find the mysterious Cheryl Johnson led most people to believe that she was nonexistent.


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