Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Atlanta Child Murders

End to the Lull

Angel Lenair
Angel Lenair

The lull came to a nasty end on March 4, 1980 when twelve-year-old Angel Lenair finished her homework and left her apartment in southwest Atlanta. When she didn't come home for her favorite television show, her mother Venus Taylor called the police. As Angel was approaching puberty, her mother worried more and more. Their home was near Fort McPherson and men were starting to take an interest in Angel.

Venus Taylor's worst fears were confirmed on March 10, 1980 when the police found Angel's body tied to a tree with an electrical cord around her neck and a pair of panties that did not belong to Angel stuffed into her mouth. Cause of death was asphyxiation by strangulation with the electrical cord. Although Angel's hymen had been broken and there were some minor abrasions in the genital area, the medical examiner did not interpret those facts to mean evidence of sexual assault. Those findings became controversial and did not mean that Angel was not the victim of some sexual abuse.

This particular case was quite different than the previous cases, in that the victim was female and her body was found under different circumstances than the previous male victims. There were two suspects, who were eventually cleared of the murder.

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