Wayne Williams Trial

Fiber Evidence

Wayne Williams Profile

Serial Killer. He was born Wayne Bertram Williams on May 27th, 1958in Atlanta Georgia. He was 23 years-old at the time of the crimes. Prior to the murders, Williams was an aspiring DJ and ran an amature radio station from his parent's house. He was well known in his area for soluting young musicians, typically teenagers. Prior to the murders he had only been arrested once (never conficted) for impersonating a police officer.

The Crimes

On February 26th 1982 Wayne Williams was found guilty as charged for the murders of Nathaniel Carter and Jimmy Payne. These two murders took place in April and May of 1981. During William's 8 week trial period, evidence linking him to the murders of 10 other boys and young men was introduced. This evidence consisted of the association of various fibrous debris removed from the 12 murder victims' bodies and fibrous samples from the everyday environment of Wayne Williams.

Fiber evidence used in William's case differed in many ways from typical crimes. First of all fiber evidence has never played a role in a crime that involved so many victims as the Wayne Williams case. Secondly, other important evidence and findings in this trial were used to support the fiber evidence, which is usually not the case. Another difference from this case and other cases was the large amount of publicity the case received.

Known Victims

Name Age Date of disappearance

Edward Smith 14 July 21, 1979

Alfred Evans 13 July 25, 1979

Milton Harvey 14 September 4, 1979

Yusef Bell 9 October 21, 1979

Angel Lenair 12 March 4, 1980

Jeffery Mathis 10 March 11, 1980

Eric Middlebrooks 14 May 18, 1980

Chris Richardson 12 June 9, 1980

Latonya Wilson 7 June 22, 1980

Aaron Wyche 10 June 23, 1980

Anthony Carter 9 July 6, 1980

Earl Terell 11 July 30, 1980

Clifford Jones 13 August 20, 1980

Darren Glass 10 September 14, 1980

Charles Stephens 12 October 9, 1980

Aaron Jackson 9 November 1, 1980

Patrick Rogers 16 November 10, 1980

Lubie Geter 14 January 3, 1981

Terry Pue 15 January 22, 1981

Patrick Baltazar 11 February 6, 1981

Curtis Walker 15 February 19, 1981

Joseph Bell 15 March 2, 1981

Timothy Hill 13 March 13, 1981

Fibers Found on Victims July 1979- May 1981

Before Wayne Williams became a suspect in the Nathaniel cater murder case, The Georgia State Crime Laboratory recovered a number of yellow-green nylon fibers as well as violet acetate fibers from the murder victims' bodies and clothing. Investigators hoped to be able to link the murders together and back to Williams. The first step was determining what object could have been their source. This information would point them In the right direction.

While investigating they hoped to learn the source of the fibers. They used microscopic study (cross-sectional shapes) as well as Chemists and textile experts asked to ID the source of the fibers. The investigators learned that the yellowish green fiber was probably carpet but the shape was not common. They also learned that fiber is rare and not widely used. This was significant because it reduced the number of locations where the murders could have occurred.

How The Fiber Evidence Helped Investigators

The fiber evidence enabled the investigators to determine a number of key details to solving the crime :

First they could now determine where the crimes could have happened. They would also be able to pin point the manufacturer of the item from its fibers. The manufacturers could be contacted to gather a list of stores or people who bought carpet before the crime. Interviewing these purchasers might be able to bring in more clues.

Important Pieces of Evidence Found at West Point Pepperell Corporation

WPP produced the same rare fiber found on Nathaniel Carter's body and in William's house. This specific type of fiber was only used for one year. This significantly narrowed the search to only a small amount of the Southeastern US, and then again to possible number of rooms in Georgia and the in Atlanta where the murder could have taken place.

Statistical Probablity

The investigators used statistical probability to solve this case.

- Demonstrated low probability that the fibers came from anywhere else

- Same fiber and hairs used to connect Williams to other murders

- Hair belonged to Williams' dog (common source)

Bibliography

"Wayne Bertram Williams." Murderpedia.org. N.p., n.d. Web. Mar.-Apr. 2014.