Atlanta’s mayor and chief of police are leading a push to re-examine evidence from a string of murders from 1979 to 1981 that terrorized the city’s black community.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Police Chief Erika Shields announced Thursday that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation will review evidence in the so-called “Atlanta Child Murders” to see if any could be used for further testing.
Wayne Williams was given two life sentences in 1982 for convictions in the deaths of two adults, thought to be among 29 black children and young adults killed. After Williams’ conviction, police closed 22 other cases, blaming them on Williams without formally charging him.
The announcement comes as law enforcement across the country have been able to close cold cases by comparing DNA samples to genetic testing databases.