Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Atlanta Child Murders

Ku Klux Klan Connection

Wayne Williams
Wayne Williams

By the fall of 2005, the ongoing investigation into Wayne Williams was slow. The lack of new evidence was blamed for the slow progress DeKalb County Police Chief Louis Graham and the newly formed "cold case" team made while investigating the murder cases attributed to Williams. According to Harry R. Webber of the Associated Press (2005), Graham cautioned that "he did not come into the case with any new evidence" but hoped to soon uncover some new leads and revive old ones that would likely vindicate Williams. In the interim, the emphasis of the investigation focused primarily on the alleged involvement of Ku Klux Klan (KKK) members, some of who are now deceased. 

Lubie Geter
Lubie Geter

The KKK's alleged link to the murders was first noted during the initial investigation but was discounted later when Williams became the main suspect in the Atlanta child murders. During the inquiry into the murders in the 1980s, there were secretly recorded conversations made of reputed KKK members under police surveillance. Webber reported that in a 1981 recording of one of the conversations, Charles Sanders, the younger brother of an alleged KKK officer, told a Georgia Bureau of Investigation informant that "the killer had 'wiped out a thousand future generations of niggers...,' which would inevitably create an uprising among blacks that they were killing the children, that they are going to do one each month until things blow up." In his article, Webber stated that the informant also "told police that Sanders had threatened to strangle one of the children, Lubie Geter, because Geter ran into Sanders' car with a go-cart." Geter was later found strangled to death but Sanders was never implicated in the murder.

A month and a half into the investigation of the KKK members, the police dropped the case against the men after they passed a lie detector test. Soon after, Williams became the main suspect in the murders. Some of the victims' parents believe that the men may have played a role in several of the abductions and murders, although there is no substantiating evidence, aside from the tapes. Williams' defense team was forced to look elsewhere for new clues.

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