Atlanta Child Murders

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From the summer of 1979 to the summer of 1981, at least twenty-eight people were abducted and killed during a murder spree in Atlanta, Georgia; these killings would come to be known as the Atlanta Child Murders. While the victims of the killings were people of all races and genders, most of the victims of the Atlanta Child Murders were young African-American males. These murders created great racial tension in the city of Atlanta, with its black population believing the murders to be the work of a white supremacist group. (Bardsley & Bell, n.d., p. l) However, when police finally apprehended a suspect in the case, they found it was neither a white supremacy group, nor a white person at all; it was a 23 year-old African-American man named …show more content…
21). Initially the district attorney was hesitant to prosecute Williams, feeling the evidence that the FBI had collected was too weak to obtain a conviction, but after Williams failed three polygraph tests administered by the FBI and multiple eyewitnesses emerged that confirmed that Williams was seen with several of the victims prior to their disappearance, the district attorney decided to indict Williams on the murders of Jimmy Payne and Nathan Cater. (trutv 25) The prosecution’s main evidence were fibers and dog hairs collected from the bodies of the victims that matched samples taken from Williams’s home. Ultimately, Williams was found guilty for the murders of the two men (Bardsley & Bell, n.d., p. 32), and was also linked to ten other “pattern killings” that were part of the spree (Bardsley & Bell, n.d., p. 28). Although he still claims that he is innocent of the murders, the Atlanta Child Murders came to an end after he was stopped on that bridge.

Rational choice theory is predicated on the idea that crime is a matter of choice in which a potential criminal weighs the cost of committing an act against the potential benefits that might be gained (Siegel, 2011, p. 84). James Q. Wilson expands on this decision in his book Thinking About Crime, stating that “people who are likely to commit crime are unafraid of breaking the law

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