Wayne Williams

"The Atlanta Child Killer"

Early Life

Wayne Bertram Williams was born on May 27, 1958 in Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated from Douglass High School. Interested in journalism and radio, Williams established his own radio station. He then became a music producer and manager.


Williams first became a suspect in the Atlanta Child Murders in May 1981 when Cheryl Johnston's body was thrown off of a bridge into the river as a "big loud splash" was heard. Two days later, 27 year-old Nathaniel Cater turned up in the river. It was ruled that Nathaniel died of asphyxia. He was reported missing before his body was found. He then was convicted of also murdering 29 year-old Jimmy Payne. The first 2 child murders were 14 year-old Edward Smith and13 year-old Alfred Evans. He was suspected of killing more than 20 children.


In the case of Wayne Williams, fibers weighed heavily. There were 19 different types of fibers. Carpet fibers was what got Williams convicted. The same carpet fibers found in his home were found on the bodies of victims. This particular carpet fiber is very rare. His own hair and dog hairs ( William's dog) were found on the victims' bodies.


Williams was arrested on June 21, 1981. On February 27, 1982, he was convicted of Nathaniel Cater and Jimmy Payne's murder. There was enough evidence to connect Williams to another 20 of the 29 deaths. His criminal penalty was life imprisonment in Telfair State Prison, which is in Helena, Georgina.

Biased or not?

Many people may have thought that this case was biased because they did not think he murdered that many people. Some believe he was wrongly accused. A Atlanta homicide detective at the time said, "If they arrested a white guy, "there would have been riots across the U.S." Some people even attack the Atlanta government for not fixing the issues that hurt black people.