Unit 5 Crime Conversations: Atlanta Child Murders

Posted by Stacey Leitz on 11/9/2016 9:47:09 AM

Crime Conversations: The Atlanta Child Murders

Case:  Wayne Williams was convicted of murdering two people in 1981, however the cases of many other Atlanta children were closed at the same time.  Click here for a video review of the case profile.  There was circumstantial evidence as well as class evidence in the form of hair and fibers.  In a 2010 interview with CNN Williams maintained his innocence.  His appeal.   Many people argue that Williams was framed.   Additionally, hair analysis has been called into question as an incontrovertible forensic science technique by The Innocence Project, the National Academy of Sciences and the FBI's inspector general.  In a recent Retro Report for the NY Times, titled: DNA Analysis Exposes an Inexact Forensic Science, hair analysis is reexamined.  At the time of the murders, DNA fingerprinting was not available, so we may never know the validity of the hair analysis.


Investigate:  Consider the following questions:

  • Do you think the circumstantial and class evidence was sufficient to convict Williams?

  • Many people maintain that Williams was framed.  What do you think the defense could have done to better promote this thesis?

  • Williams got upset when he testified, if you had been a juror, how do you think that would have affected you?


Evaluate:  You will earn up to 10 points for your participation in the discussion and will be assessed using the discussion rubric: General Requirements for Discussions.

Post your thoughts on the questions posed about the case and submit them by the due date. 10 points