Nearly 40 years after the Atlanta Child Murders terrified and gripped the city, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced today that Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Fulton County District Attorney’s Office and Atlanta Police Department will examine existing evidence related to the case.
The Atlanta Child Murders were a series of killings committed between 1979 and 1981. At least 29 people, all African American, and mostly children and adolescents, were targeted. The first victims were two boys, one 14 and the other 13, both of whom disappeared within four days of each other.
Wayne Williams was convicted of two of the murders and suspected in the others. He was given a life sentence in 1982, but continues to maintain his innocence in the case.
“As a mother and Mayor, my hope is that the city never forgets the young people and families who suffered through this heinous time,” said Mayor Bottoms. “This joint effort is rooted in equity and transparency and the victims of these crimes deserve our attention. My belief is that history will judge us for our efforts, and when we look back at this moment, I am proud we will be able to say we tried.”
“There are few pains in this world as devastating as the loss of a child,” said Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields. “Technology has advanced [since we originally examined the evidence], and we owe the parents of these children an assurance that we have done all we can to seek justice on their behalf.”
Evidence was last tested in the 1990s, and with advancements in science, further analysis may uncover additional information related to this investigation.
This is the second announcement Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has made related to the Atlanta Child Murder Case. During her 2019 State of the City address, she announced the formation of The Atlanta Children’s Memorial Taskforce. The task force will create a permanent tribute to those lost during one of the darkest periods in Atlanta’s history.