Wayne Williams Case
By Dominique Bowlin
- Was accused of murdering 2-31 victims
- Williams first became a suspect in the so-called Atlanta Child Murders in May 1981 when a police surveillance team, watching a bridge near a site where victims' bodies had been discovered, heard a "big loud splash", suggesting that something had been thrown from the bridge into the river below.
- Two days later, the body of 27-year-old Nathaniel Cater, who had been missing for several days, turned up in the river. The medical examiner ruled he had died of "probable" asphyxia, but never specifically said he had been strangled.
Trial and evidence
- He was arrested on June 21, 1981, for the murders of Cater and 29-year-old Jimmy Payne.
- The trial began on January 6, 1982 in Fulton County.
- During the two-month trial, prosecutors matched 19 different sources of fibers from Williams' home and car environment—his bedspread, bathroom, gloves, clothes, carpets, dog and an unusual tri-lobal carpet fiber—to a number of victims.
- After 12 hours of deliberation the jury found him guilty on February 27 of Cater's and Payne's murders.
- Was sentenced to life imprisonment.
- There was no political influence or possible bias.
- Was an DJ and also producer who was starting to look for unsigned artists in his neighborhood.