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The Atlanta Child Murders. Atlanta: 1979 - 1981. 27 black boys are murdered Similar fibers are found on the bodies When this is revealed, bodies start being dumped in water. Wayne Williams. Wayne Williams. Stopped by police on a bridge Said he was at a club, but no one saw him there

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Atlanta 1979 1981 l.jpg
Atlanta: 1979 - 1981

  • 27 black boys are murdered

  • Similar fibers are found on the bodies

  • When this is revealed, bodies start being dumped in water



Wayne williams4 l.jpg
Wayne Williams

  • Stopped by police on a bridge

  • Said he was at a club, but no one saw him there

  • Two days later a body appears downstream


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Serial killers usually are…

  • White

  • Male

  • Middle-aged

  • Heterosexual


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Wayne Williams was…

A young black man—not a typical serial killer


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BUT …This case pioneered the use of fiber evidence.


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Key Fiber Evidence

  • Avocado carpet fibers matching those in Williams’ home

  • Purple carpet fibers matching those in Williams’ car


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These two fibers were found on almost all the bodies.Many also had dog hairs, blanket fibers, etc. that also matched items in Williams home.


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Because the carpet fibers were unusual colors, the probability they would be on a body was quite low.The probability they would appear together was even lower.


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Probabilities probability they would be on a body was quite low.


Overall probability 5000 x 1800 9 000 000 about 1 in 9 million l.jpg
Overall probability … probability they would be on a body was quite low.5000 X 1800 = 9,000,000… about 1 in 9 million


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There are about 2 million people in metro Atlanta, so it is probability they would be on a body was quite low.VERY unlikely the murderer was someone else.



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Since his conviction there have been numerous appeals and re-investigations, most recently in May, 2005.Each time, the evidence was found convincing.


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After Williams was taken into custody, the murders stopped. re-investigations, most recently in May, 2005.


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Information from: re-investigations, most recently in May, 2005.


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