It's not about justifying the convicted killer Wayne Williams, who was involved in the killings as the prime suspect, but closing the families of victims who have long sought answers to the murderers of their children, Bottoms said.
The mayor was nine years old when the murders began, and now has four children of his own. Admittedly, there were adult victims, two of whom had been convicted of murder on a Williams jury and had been serving life sentences. At least two dozen were children between 7 and 17 years old.
Recently, Bottoms spoke with Atlanta police chief Erika Shields, she said, to see if there were any clues that could be re-examined, "which may provide some peace for peace, as long as there can be peace in such a situation." give the families of the victims. "
The City of Fulton County and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation will never investigate previously analyzed evidence and re-examine other evidence in the case, though the officials did not promise results that would change the situation 40-year-old narrative ,
"We do not know what we're going to find," said Shields, but the city feels obliged to do anything to give answers, and will look in each evidence box to see if anything needs further analysis. [1
" It looks like it gives Fulton District Attorney Paul Howard said that the case was the first in our community. " Task for the newly created conviction integrity unit of his office.
One of those hearts belongs to Catherine Leach, whose 13-year-old son Curtis Walker is counted among the unsolved murders. She thanked the officials for her interest in reopening the cases and complained that this had not happened earlier.
"I've been through this for a long time, I've been abandoned," she said. "It seems that the missing and murdered children in Atlanta have been forgotten in this city, I do not think it is right that all these children are killed in this city, and nobody was worried about it."
she added, "I want a closure, I want to know who killed Curtis."
Killings caught the nation's attention
The case, which included 29 killings of mainly black children between 1979 and 1981 – scared parents and children in Atlanta, which were Olympics before 1996 and a major airport expansion, were not the big city it is today. The interest was also nationally big.
., Frankie Sinatra and The Jacksons performed at charity concerts to raise funds for the victims' families. The killings spawned a 1985 CBS miniseries starring James Earl Jones, Morgan Freeman, and Martin Sheen. Even today, Netflix's second season of "Mindhunter" is expected to plunge into the case, and Payne Lindsey – of "Up and Vanished," a podcast, has dedicated his latest project "Atlanta Monster" to the kid killers in Atlanta.
In 1981, President Ronald Reagan's government provided more than $ 2 million to track down leads and finance youth retraining programs.
Years after William's arrest it became known that the authorities had investigated the Ku Klux Klan as part of their investigation of the murders, and Williams would curiously refuse repeatedly in a CNN documentary to discuss whether he received a CIA training that contained the proper means to perform a throttle kick.
Although Atlanta Police Responsible for Most of Those Responsible By the Infanticides, Williams Father's Day was arrested in 1981 and was not charged in the killing of youth, but in the murders of Nathaniel Cater and Jimmy Ray Payne, both adults whose bodies are chatting had been discovered Tahoochee River. He was convicted of both murders in 1982 and sentenced to life imprisonment.
The former news reporter and wannabe music producer was then 23 years old. He was convicted with the help of the then-nascent forensic technology that combined dog hair and numerous fibers – some from Williams' house and car – with Cater and Payne. A juror would tell CNN decades later that he and others felt that the odds were "astronomical," that everyone else could be connected to the various fibers of the body. The case, however, was far from over. It would come up for years.
Atlanta "in panic"
DeKalb County Police Commissioner Louis Graham, who controversially voiced his doubts that Williams was behind the killings, opened five cases out of his jurisdiction in 2005 – without Success.
Most recently, Williams spoke to CNN in 2010, after forensic experts said human hair found on the body of eleven-year-old victim Patrick Balthazar could not rule out Williams's murderer Williams has always maintained his innocence, questioning the disappearance of certain evidence and accusing investigators of manipulating other evidence.
"The end result is that no one ever testified or even claimed that I beat another person, strangling, stabbing, hitting or killing anyone, or hurting someone," Williams told CNN, "because I do not [Thisonecouldhavebeenmanipulatedinthiscasemereandsimplepointssimplybecausetheyhadasuspect-itwasWayne-andthatthemanipulationundoubtedlyalsoaftermineProcessanduptothispointpersisted"WilliamssaidtoCNN
Retired FBI scientist Harold Deadman, who testified at Williams' 1982 trial about the hair findings and later became head of the FBI's DNA lab, said in the CNN's 2010 documentary's That Hair that were found on Patrick's body were the strongest findings with this particular type of test.
"It would probably exclude 98% or so of people in the world," said Deadman.
Of 1,148 African-American hair samples in the FBI's database, the FBI said only 29 had the same sequence – in other words, only 2½ out of 100 African Americans.
None of the Caucasian or Hispanic hair samples in the database had this sequence. If these samples are added together, the probability increases to almost 130 to 1 over the hairs of anyone other than Williams.