Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced the Atlanta Police Department will re-open the investigation into the Atlanta child murders that gripped Atlanta four decades ago.

Mayor Bottoms announced that officials would take a fresh look at the evidence in the cold cases at a news conference with Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields on Thursday.

She said forensics experts will re-test old evidence with new technology.

“It may be there is nothing left to be tested,” she said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

28 children, adolescents and adults were killed over a 2 year span between mid 1979 and May 1981.

Bottoms said the operation will be a joint investigation with officials from the Atlanta Police Department, Fulton County and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

She said she decided to jumpstart the case after speaking with Catherine Leach-Bell, whose son, 13-year-old Curtis Walker, was among the last victims. His body was dumped into Atlanta’s South river in 1981. No one was ever tried or convicted in his case.

Bottoms said she hopes the fresh look into the cases will assure the families of the victims that “we have done all that we can do to make sure their memories are not forgotten and, in the truest sense of the word, to let the world know that Black lives do matter.”


Wayne Williams, who was 23 years old at the time of the last murder, was convicted of two of the adult murders on Feb. 27, 1982.

Investigators believe Williams is a serial killer who stalked and murdered most, if not all, of the victims. But police declined to pursue more charges against him.

Williams, now 60, still maintains his innocence while serving 2 consecutive life sentences at Hancock State Prison in Sparta, Georgia.

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