Fiber Evidence VS. Wayne Williams

Who was Wayne Williams?

Walter Williams was born in Atlanta in 1958. He Graduated from Fredrick Douglas High School with honors but and dropped out of Georgia State University after only a year. After failing at his dream of being an entertainer, he turned to selling crime scene pictures to the newspapers. He was Arrested June 21, 1981 for the suspected murders of 2-31 people.

The Case

From 1979 to 1981, at least 28 African-American youths were found murdered in Atlanta, Georgia. Almost all of them were minors and most were fatally asphyxiated. Williams name first came up when two cops were sitting at a spot on the Chattahoochee River near where victims had been recently found. They heard a splash and saw a car drive off. After pulling over the car, they found the driver to be none other that Wayne Williams. He claimed to be on his way to visit a client (that didn't exist). After searching the river, two days later the nude body of a young boy was found. The cause of death was the same as the rest of the victims (asphyxia). After checking his whereabouts on the day in question and putting him through three polygraphs, all results were negative. The FBI was even able to match fibers from his home, car, and dog to the fibers on the victims. It is safe to say that the rest of the case was built off of fiber evidence.

How Fiber Evidence was Important

Williams wasn't charged for ten of the murders because of the fiber evidence testing. The dog hairs found only matched mitochondrial DNA and not nuclear DNA. This means that only the maternal lineage could be proven and not the actual genetic coding of the dog.

Later, the color and manufacturer of his carpet was matched to the carpet fibers on the victims. They then found that that color carpet was only on the market for a year and that 1 in every 7,792 homes in Atlanta had that carpeting.