Police To Re-Test Evidence In Atlanta Child Murder Cases

Mar 21, 2019

Police will re-examine evidence from the Atlanta child murder cases of the 1970s and '80s.  

From 1979 to 1981, nearly 30 African-American kids, teens and adults were killed in Atlanta. The majority of them were male.

About a year later, Wayne Williams was convicted and sentenced for only two of them. Now, Atlanta police want to take another look at the evidence to see what they find.

Catherine Leach's son, Curtis, was one of the victims. She said she's thankful the city is finally taking another look.

"I want to know who killed Curtis,” Leach said fighting back tears. “His case just still sitting on the shelf, getting dusty and rusty and you can't see the pages. I want some closure. I want some justice, so that I can rest in peace."

But Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said this doesn’t mean any new people will be charged.

“It is not what is considered officially reopening,” Bottoms said. “But we are formally working with the GBI to make sure that retesting has begun, or testing of new evidence, that perhaps has not been tested in the past.”

Bottoms said they are starting with the evidence that was collected 40 years ago. She acknowledged that the length of time that has passed since evidence was gathered could pose a challenge.

“There may not be any evidence available that can be reexamined,” she said.  “But, we are taking the necessary step to formally say that we are going to open up every box and look in every corner to see what we have and what we know.”

Bottoms said she also intends to create a memorial for the victims and their families.