Truth to Power

Wayne Williams evidence to get DNA testing

ATLANTA – State lawyers have agreed to allow DNA testing of dog hair that was used to convict Wayne Williams, who has been blamed for the murders of two dozen children and young men in the late 1970s and early ’80s.

…During his original trial, dog hairs found on most victims were consistent with hairs removed from the Williams’ family dog. During the trial, witnesses testified they saw Williams with the victims even though most of the case against him was based on analysis of fiber and hair evidence found in Williams’ car and his parents’ home, where he lived.

“The good news is they’ve agreed to DNA testing,” Martin said. “We just want to see what the testing shows and we’ll argue about what it means later. It’s odd that they should claim the dog hair evidence doesn’t make any difference when they made such a big deal about it at trial.”

I was a high school student during the days of Atlanta’s “Missing and Murdered” children ordeal. I remember not being scared, since I didn’t meet the profile of the victims, but it was a stressful time in the city. I read a lot about the case, including the now out of print The List, which was written by an former FBI investigator, who argued that Williams was blamed for crimes he never committed, because the task force overseeing the case saw a chance to clear old crimes by linking them to a serial killer. It will be interesting to see what DNA evidence will bring. Georgia recently released a man held 21 years after being falsely convicted of rape, thanks to the Innocence Project.

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