Mindhunter season 2 delves into an unsolved serial killing spree that took place in Atlanta from 1979 to 1981 where over 25 people, ranging from children to adults, were murdered, according to CNN. No one has been charged in connection to most of the murders, although police have long suspected Wayne Williams in this so-dubbed Atlanta Child Murders case.
People magazine reported that Williams was arrested in 1981, at age 23, in connection to the murders. His trial attempted to prove he was responsible for 10 of the murders by utilizing evidence such as dog hair and carpet and bedspread fibers. According to People, in 1982, Williams was convicted of killing two adults in the Atlanta Child Murders case (which is a misnomer since not every victim was a child). He was given two life sentences, and police closed numerous other cases in the Atlanta Child Murders case, believing Williams to have been responsible, even though he was only formally convicted of two murders.
Williams Maintains His Innocence
The New York Times reported that Williams continues to claim he is innocent of all the murders. He has unsuccessfully tried to appeal or get his conviction overturned multiple times. His conviction was initially upheld in 1998 by the Georgia Attorney General. In 2004, he attempted to be granted a new trial but his request was declined in 2006. The judge who turned his request down wrote in her decision:
"It is not proper for this court to string this case out endlessly in the hope that somehow Mr. Williams may someday find some exculpatory evidence that will be so convincing as to overturn the considered judgments of the many courts, including this one, that have presided over or reviewed his criminal proceedings and concluded that they pass constitutional muster."
The aforementioned CNN article reported that, in 2010, a re-test of the hairs on one of the victims could not rule out Williams as the perpetrator. His case stalled again.
Where Is Wayne Williams Now?
According to Georgia inmate records, Williams is still serving his two life sentences. He's located at the Telfair State Prison, which is a men's prison in McRae-Helena, Georgia. He's now 61 years old.
Police Are Now Re-Testing Old Evidence
In March 2019, WSB-TV reported that the Atlanta police said they planned to re-test the evidence in the case. DNA and other evidence testing has advanced a lot since the '80s. Police could potentially find something that could help Williams in his quest to prove his innocence. And while that will certainly be Williams' focus with this case update, that's not the police's.
Rather, police stated that they wanted to try to give the victims' families closure since most of the murders were never solved. "We don't know what we'll find, but what we do know is that we have an obligation... to these families that every imaginable investigatory lead is followed," Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields said, per WSB-TV.
Now both the families and Williams just have to wait to see those leads go anywhere.