Is Wayne Williams Innocent?

by TChris

It's tempting for police detectives to "clear" an unsolved case by blaming it on a person who was convicted of a similar crime. Even if unsupported by evidence, placing blame improves their "cases closed" and "crimes solved" statistics without requiring any further work by the detectives. That may have happened in Atlanta, where 29 children were killed between 1979 and 1981.

Wayne Williams, 47, is serving a life sentence for the murders of two young men. After his conviction, authorities blamed him for 22 of the other slayings but never charged him.

The evidence of Williams' commission of the two charged murders was sketchy. Fibers found on the victims' bodies were similar to fibers found on rugs and fabrics in the home and car of Williams' parents. The new police chief of Dekalb County thinks Williams is innocent.

"After Wayne Williams was arrested, there was this decision by some people to close the cases, and I have never been one to espouse that kind of investigation or paint that kind of broad brush," [Police Chief Louis] Graham told The Associated Press. "I have never believed that he did anything."

Williams' prosecutor, of course, refuses to acknowledge the possibility of mistake. Kudos to Graham for reopening the investigation.

< Reform Needed in VA Crime Lab | Paying for Security >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Re: Is Wayne Williams Innocent? (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:49 PM EST
    It's heartening to learn that a leader of law enforcement will not stand by as an idle figurehead, and will actually pursue justice, instead of just waiting for it to be handed to him. However, I do have one lingering question: Did these types of killings not stop when Williams as apprehended. as the prosecuted contended? Then again, we are talking about Atlanta here, not exactly the safest city in the country. Bottom line is, I hope the real killer is caught and wish Williams a fair trial, if he is not the killer. I saw his special on A&E on American justice, an never was convinced he was the perpetrator.

    Re: Is Wayne Williams Innocent? (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:49 PM EST
    It was a rail-roading of Biblical proportions if you look at the trial evidence...they had more on O.J. and Robert Blake, like a hundred times more stuff than this poor kid who was guilty of nothing more than "being a suspect while black."

    Re: Is Wayne Williams Innocent? (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:50 PM EST
    I recall in a book by one of the FBI profilers -- I think it was Robert Ressler -- he stated that although he thought that Williams was indeed responsible for several of these crimes but not all of them by a longshot, and that Atlanta city officials were engaged in a coverup, but he refused to go into details or name names. Should be very interesting to see how this plays out.

    Re: Is Wayne Williams Innocent? (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:50 PM EST
    I lived in Atlanta during this period and remember the case vividly. My feeling at the time was that Wayne Williams was being railroaded, and I have seen nothing to refute that observation. Many of my friends in the African-American Atlanta community were convinced that the only thing that stopped was the reporting of deaths after Williams was arrested and I have long agreed with this conclusion.

    Re: Is Wayne Williams Innocent? (none / 0) (#5)
    by DawesFred60 on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:51 PM EST
    if the cops say he is, he is, what is happening in this insane world order?

    Re: Is Wayne Williams Innocent? (none / 0) (#7)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:58 PM EST
    Back when the Atlanta Police were at a impasse they sent for other police dept to come and see if they could help. Well my father at the time was a NYPD Homicide Detective and he was one of the people that were sent to Atlanta. Nothing came of it, but to his dying day he is his partner never believed Wayne Williams did it. Now all I am going to say is that is almost impossible to be a Homicide Detective 1st grade in the NYPD. It is a very elite group of people. I have to think he got to that rank by being right most of the time when it came to investigations.

    Re: Is Wayne Williams Innocent? (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:21 PM EST
    This comment is posted to Tina and any other person who has not done any research on this crime rather you are a racist or not... I have been interested in this case because of an unsure feeling of guilt in this case. Like a lot of other cases there have been plenty BlACK citizens that were wrongly convicted of crimes just because of their race. Let alone blacks American citizens period have been wrongly convicted and later found innocent. The government doesnt want this information released because they are afraid of looking bad in the public's eye. Anyway upon reading different literature I have found that the fiber evidence that they supposedly had found was similar to half of the apartment complex' in Atlanta. Also the technology back then was not as advanced as it is now to be able to even compare the two. Plus if they were so sure why did they destroy, loose and contaminate so much of the evidence that they had. Now that technology is so advance they could have easily went back to the evidence from the past and do DNA testing on the animal hairs as well as the fiber evidence that they had. Why did they not investigate all of the other people that were put in to faces like the man whom which I can not remember his name that was a known homosexual and a lot of the boys frequented his home and one of the victims was last seen with and spent the night at his home the night before he was murdered. Im not saying that Wayne Williams is innocent but Im most definately am not going to say he is guilty and the reason the murders stopped to your knowledge is because thats what the system wanted you to believe. If you do your research there were way more children that went missing in that time that were not tied to those crimes whom could have been. They changed the profile of the murders on a number of different occasions. Do your research!

    Is Wayne Williams Innocent? ... YES (none / 0) (#9)
    by Investigator21 on Fri Jul 11, 2008 at 03:01:21 AM EST
    This case was a complete sham from the start and Mr. Wayne Williams NEVER got a fair trial.
    What amazes me is this (then kid) ... now a growing old, man has been left to literally rot in jail for crime NOT committed by him nor did he have anything to do with any of this .
    Since his incarceration many many investigations have been done in this case both publicly ,However, many many done privately ... all whom have come to the same and only conclusion and that is "This kid did Nothing".
    I am an investigator and have a complete team who researched this case from A to Z several times (pro-bono)and still cannot figure out HOW they even got a conviction ?
    He had a poor legal defense, the politics in play were under much pressure to GET SOMEBODY and if neccessary anybody ... and make it FIT and so they did !...
    The prosecution had NO real evidence , actually to go a step further NO evidence .... Its just unbeleivable how this kid was railroaded !
    Even during the trial there were many who KNEW this was not thr right person,However, it appears they were under pressure to as already stated get somebody and most importantly the person they got had to be that of African American decent, this was done to immediately calm all the racial tension at the time down ... had someone been arrested for this that was white, an all out race war would have broken out which is what was beleived at the time.
    There is and have been much discovered about all of these murders and those actually involved but who are allowed to roam free just to cover up what really was going on .

    As for the question raised by another poster about the murders stopping after he was arrested ... the answer to that is a very Blatant NO !
    Those murders continued long after , However, were not connected to that case any longer .

    There was a lot of powers and influential persons involved in the mass cover up of this case .

    I remember at one point in time Geraldo Rivera was investigating this and was scheduled to air a show exposing a multitude of evidence depicting that of Waynes innocense in this case , However, mysteriously Geraldo's show on that never aired , research and a few insiders tips revealed that Geraldo was quietly or should I say strongly suggessted to NOT air that particular show and it did not air !
    He did at some point ... much much later in time , air a very very watered down version which did not even come close to touching on the points of that original show that did not air .

    Even the parents of those murdered kids did not beleive Wayne Williams had anything to do with the murders , some changed their story after receiving visits from certain individuals who basically pressured and intimidated them .

    I could go on for awhile with this ( but will keep it brief) as I and my team have spent a lot of man hours totaling about 1.75 years investigating and researching this case and its just a shame to see this travesty .

    Heck, if you simply start with the court transcripts pertaining to the case ( which IS public record) ... In just reading that , you'll be left with one question ... WHY IS THIS GUY IN JAIL ?