The Wayne Williams Trial
By Jordan Bowens
1. Who is Wayne Williams?
Wayne Williams was born in Atlanta, Georgia on May 21, in 1958. Both of his parents were school teachers and he developed his own carrier current radio station. His dream was to get into the music business as a music producer and manager. He first became a suspect at the age of 23 when the police heard his car leaving a crime scene on a day in may 1981.
2. The Wayne Willams Case
In the Wayne Williams case dog hairs were used to tie Williams to 12 different murders at his trial. After comparing dog hairs it was noted that matching mitochondrial DNA which is different from nucleaur DNA because mitochondrial is more biological and comes from lineage. This means that another dog of the same breeds could be linked instead of Williams' dog. Over the course of 2 months, 19 different sources of fibers where found from Williams home and car.
3. How is this case different from others?
This case is different from previous ones as they had to look at the exact type of fibers on the victims and used those fibers to match in to the suspect. For example, they found the fibers of a rug from a Boston based company and learned that it was only created for one year. Then by looking at how many were sent to Georgia, the odds in finding it in many homes was 1 to 7792. The match of the rug fibers could not be a coincedence.
4. What did the Investigators hope to learn from their examination of fibers?
They hoped that the fibers of one victim first of all would be linked with the others, so that the murders would have occured from the same person. After matching all of the fibers on the victims they hoped that it would match the objects in his house, proving that he carried them to the victims.
5. What did they do and what did they Learn? Why is this important?
First, the they had to do DNA tests on the dog by finding it in the mitochondria of the dogs cells. This DNA had to be extracted from dog hair fibers found on the victims. Then, when this evidence could not be used because it was not nuclear DNA and could have been a similar dog, they tested for the fibers within his house and car. By going to the makers of these products, they learned that the probability of all of these connections matching items in his house, and the victims, he obviously had committed the crimes. This is important because without the use of special equipment to look at the fibers, these cases would not have been linked to William.
6. The Importance of West Point Corp.'s Carpet in the Case
Investigators noticed a number of yellow green nylon fibers on the bodies on many of the victims murdered in Atlanta. Once Williams was identified as a suspect the found the source of the carpets manufacture. Then they found out how much was sold in the Atlanta area. Because of the rarity of carpet, the chance of finding it in an Atlanta home was 1 to 7792. Since fibers will fall off in a short period of time they concluded it was likely the source was his home. After this investigators realized that the chance of this variety of fibers of victims all similar to objects at his house was not a coincidence.
8. Statistical Probabilty
Once the investigators had identified all of the different types of fibers on the victims, contacted companies, and looked at the chances of it being in the suspects house, it was almost impossible for him to have not done the crime as it would be extremely difficult to find all those exact fibers on objects in a different house, in the Atlanta area.