Wayne Williams Case Study

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Forensics

Wayne Williams Case Study

Wayne Williams was considered a main suspect for the Atlanta Child Murders, which occurred in 1979 through 1981. Williams was convicted of killing two men in 1982 and was later declared the murderer behind the child murders. He was blamed for twenty three out of the thirty child murders. He was an only child of two school teachers. He still lived with his parents at the age of twenty three, after dropping out of college. Williams was a disc jockey of a small radio station, which he ran from his parent’s house. He was well known for finding local talent.

Out of the thirty child murders in , Williams was held responsible for twenty three of them. When the bodies of these unfortunate children were found, it was gruesome to see what Williams had done to these kids. For example, on November 8th, 1979, a nine year old African American boy was found dead in an abandon school. Cause of death, he was strangled to death. Also, a young African American girl was found tied to a tree, where she was strangled to death. Extracted from her throat, were someone else’s panties. There was a victim found lying beneath a railroad trestle with his neck broken. The most common causes of death for the victims were blows to the heads (especially by blunt objects) and strangling. This Wayne Williams was no ordinary man. Not only did he brutally murder his victims, but he also raped them. His victims were always young African Americans, boys and girls, from around . He raped and killed children because he was strong enough to simply overpower them.

Wayne Williams was convicted with evidence of the fibers from the trunk of his car, and other places, matching the fibers found on multiple victims. Throughout Wayne Williams’ trial, which lasted two months, prosecutors were able to match nineteen different sources of fibers both Williams’ car and house. Matching fibers were from Williams’ bedspread, bathroom, gloves, carpets, his dog, clothes, and an uncommon tri-lobal carpet fiber. Violet acetate and green cotton fibers were found in his bed spread, green and yellow nylon was found in his bedroom, dog hair from his German Shepherd, yellow rayon and acrylic in his blanket (the blanket was in his bedroom), rayon and nylon in his carpet in his car, blue acrylic found in a blue rug on the porch of Williams house, polypropylene in his carpet close to his room, yellow nylon, blue nylon and white polyester in his car, white polypropylene in the carpet of his other car, brown wool and rayon found in his jacket, and gray acrylic from a glove found in Williams car.

The microspectrophometer is a combination of a compound microscope, phase-contrast microscope, comparison microscope, phase-contact microscope, scanning electron microscope, spectrometer and spectrophotometer. The microspectrophometer locates minute traces, and shows how the light interacts with the material. The microspectrophometer gives both a magnified visual and an infrared pattern at the same time, which makes it easier to find similar characteristics between the two fibers. To see if the two fibers are similar, the scientist compares shape, dye content, size, chemical composition, and microscopic appearances between the two fibers. Scientists used microspectrophometers to compare fibers found on victims and Wayne Williams belongings.

In the Wayne Williams case, fiber evidence was used to link other evidence together. In the case, there was a similar “pattern” for each victim. In the case, their was a total of ten “pattern” followers; Alfred Evans, Eric Middlebrooks, Charles Stephens, William Barrett, Terry Pue, John Porter, Lubie Geter, Joseph Bell, Patrick Baltazar and Larry Rogers. The Pattern that these ten followed were African American male, missing clothing, no car, poor families, no evidence of forced abduction, broken home, no apparent motive for disappearance, defendant claims no contact, asphyxia by strangulation, no valuables, body found near expressway ramp or major artery, street hustlers, body disposed of in unusual manner, and transported before or after death. Another way the evidence is linked to the fibers is the cops heard the mysterious “splash” and then stopped Williams car on the bridge, which is were the “splash” is thought to of come from. The fibers from the body that made the splash matched the fibers from the carpet found in the trunk of the car, Williams was driving that night.




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