Between 1979 and 1981, a serial killer in Atlanta killed as many as twenty-eight Black males. A majority of the victims were children or teenagers and were primarily killed by asphyxiation.
On May 22, 1981, a police stakeout witnessed Wayne Williams driving away from a bridge late at night after throwing something large in the river. The naked body of Nathaniel Cater, an adult male, was found in the river the next day. Cater had also been last seen with Williams. When police went to the home of Williams, they found hair and fiber from another adult, Jimmy Ray Payne, who had been recently murdered.
Derwin Davis, 14 years old at the time, says he narrowly avoided being murdered by Williams in 1979. He said Williams asked him strange questions and then tried to grab him. Davis says he elbowed Williams in the face to escape. Isaac Rogers also maintains that him and his two cousins escaped Wayne Williams when he was seven years old. His older brother Patrick Rogers was murdered just months earlier and Williams is the only suspect. Patrick Rogers was sixteen when he was killed.
The FBI concluded that there was fiber and hair evidence linking Williams to the murder of eight minors and four adults. Fibers from a rare type of carpet in Wayne William’s home was found on ten victims. Nine victims had dog hairs that matched William’s German Shepard. Six victims, all young, had yellow fibers matching a blanket owned by Williams. Some victims had fibers that the FBI believed came from William’s car.
Over the years, DNA testing has provided more evidence linking Williams to some of the victims.
In 2007, DNA testing on dog hairs found on the body of Patrick Baltazar, aged 11 at the time of his death, contained a rare sequence that was present in a German Shepard owned by Williams. Experts say only 1% of dogs have the sequence.
In 2010, a test on a human hair found on Baltazar’s body contained an extremely rare DNA sequence. When the FBI ran it against a database of DNA samples from crime suspects, no White, Latino, or Asian suspects on file had the sequence. Out of 1,148 samples from Black suspects, only 29 had the sequence. One of those 29 samples, one was from Wayne Williams himself. The DNA testing of hairs found on Baltazar was considered strong evidence but no conclusive enough to get a conviction.
Officially, Williams was suspected of killing four adults and eighteen minors, but was only tried and convicted of killing Cater and Payne. Police never got any confessions and did not believe they had enough evidence to get convictions for other murders. Over the years, more victims have been added to the potential total.
The investigation was hampered because Atlanta had an incredibly high Black murder rate. During the 1970s and early 80s, Georgia had one of the highest homicide rates in America. Atlanta had one of the highest homicide rates of any major city. In 1973, Atlanta’s homicide rate was 52.7 per 100k, and the media declared the city the “murder capital of America.” When the serial killings started in 1979, the city was experiencing a new surge in murders.
In 1978, Atlanta had 143 homicides, for a rate of 32.3 per 100k. In 1979, Atlanta had 140 homicides just by August. Atlanta police claimed that 200 to 300 armed robberies occurred every month in 1979. The first homicides associated with Wayne Williams were Black teenage males. Police simply thought they were related to drug/gang violence. There were so many murders, with the majority Black on Black, that nothing initially stood out as unusual.
Eventual, the murders became a major investigation by local, state, and federal law enforcement. Ronald Reagan even allocated $2 million to the city of Atlanta, which was partially aimed at capturing the perpetrator.
One of the victims had previously been driving a go-cart when he bumped into and damaged the car of a known member of a Ku Klux Klan group. The owner of the car and other members of the group were probed for any connection to the boy’s murder. There were multiple police informants in the group who secretly recorded private conservations for police. At some point the man was given a polygraph test concerning the boy’s murder and passed. It was determined that there was no connection to any of the killings by any member of the group.
The Atlanta NBC affiliate, 11 Alive, is now pushing a fantastical conspiracy theory to blame White people for the murders. Their theory is that members of the Ku Klux Klan carried out the killings as a campaign of ethnic cleansing and multiple law enforcement agencies destroyed evidence to cover it up. They first recorded video clips shamelessly pushing this theory three years ago. These have have combined into one “documentary” which they are once again pushing on the front page of their website. Their source is an anonymous man who allegedly was a member of the group and also a police informant. He is featured with his face blacked out and his voice altered. He never actually presents a single piece of evidence.
The NBC affiliate doesn’t want to discuss the real issues. Such as the chronic problem of high Black homicide rates. So they shamelessly push baseless anti-White conspiracy theories instead. Instead of looking at the facts of the case, they focus on the a crude joke once told by a White man.
It is entirely possible, if not likely, that some of these victims were killed by other people. However, Atlanta has large numbers of unsolved murders every single year. In 2021, authorities took evidence to a lab in Salt Lake City for more advanced DNA testing. The goal was to provide closure for family members. So far, none of the results have been published. The authorities are not stating why they have not released any results yet.
Despite the media’s false narratives, the majority of American serial killers are Black. The percentage of serial killers, who are Black, has also been rising in recent decades. This is extensively documented in the book Rise of the Black Serial Killer by Justin Cottrell.