Former APD detectives David Quinn and Vince Velazquez are the stars of the TV One show "ATL Homicide," which looks at past cases they've worked.

How the AJC covered the Valerie Payton murder from "ATL Homicide"

From the archives: Killer known as "Mr. X" was suspect in deaths of prostitutes in the mid-1990s.

The TVOne true-crime show "ATL Homicide" featured the 1994 murder of Valerie Payton, a prostitute who was found strangled, next to a handwritten note signed by "Mr. X." Police at the time believed that the killing might have been connected to seven other killings of prostitutes in the mid-1990s. In 2010, Michael Darnell Harvey was convicted of Payton's murder, due in part to DNA evidence linking him to her. 

» THE LIST: Georgia crime cases featured on true-crime shows and podcasts 

» MORE: Georgia's most notorious serial killers 

The TVOne true-crime series, now in its second season, recreates cases as told by David Quinn and Vince Velazquez, two retired Atlanta Police Department homicide detectives. 

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution covered the Payton investigation extensively in 1994 and 1995, and again more than a decade later when Harvey's name became attached to the case. You can find highlights of those articles below. You can find the AJC's coverage of other "ATL Homicide" cases here. 

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From Oct. 20, 1994: 

Police probe similarities in slayings of 8 women 

Police searched today for the killer of a 39-year-old woman whose slaying may be linked to the killings of seven other prostitutes in southeast Atlanta. 

The stabbed and slashed body of Valerie Payton was found in high weeds near railroad tracks in southeast Atlanta on Wednesday. A sign taped to her nude body said, "I'm back in Atlanta." ...

Read the full story here. 

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From Oct. 21, 1994: 

Serial killer? Police chief dubious 

Acting Atlanta Police Chief Beverly Harvard said Thursday she is still not "comfortable suggesting we have a serial killer" preying upon crack-addicted prostitutes but a forensic psychiatrist disagreed. 

"It's quite likely it's a serial killer," said Dr. Dave Davis of Atlanta, basing his opinion on news reports. ...

Read the full story here. 

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From March 10, 1995: 

Searching for a strangler 

Three months have passed since the last prostitute was found strangled in an abandoned building in Atlanta, but time doesn't ease the anxiety of detectives awaiting lab results to see if they've put a killer in jail. 

Hair and blood have been taken from at least five suspects for DNA testing against evidence found at the crime scenes, police said. Three suspects have been named publicly. ...

Read the full story here. 

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From March 13, 2008: 

Police to talk to man accused in '94 strangling 

Atlanta homicide detectives will talk to a homeless man accused of strangling a prostitute 13 years ago to see if he knows anything about other streetwalkers who were killed around that time, a spokeswoman said Wednesday. 

Michael D. Harvey was arrested Monday after DNA linked him to Valerie Payton, whose body was found Oct. 19, 1994, in high weeds in the Reynoldstown neighborhood in Atlanta. ...

Read the full story here. 

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Michael Darnell Harvey, also known as "Mr. X", was convicted in 2010 for the rape and murder of Valerie Payton in Reynoldstown in 1994. In the 1990s, police suspected that “Mr. X” might have been a serial killer preying on prostitutes. The mugshot on the left is from 2012 and the one on the right is undated, but more recent. (Fulton Sheriff's Office, Ga. Dept. of Corrections)
Photo: Fulton Sheriff's Office

From April 6, 2010: 

‘Mr. X' murder case finally goes to trial 

Jury selection will continue Wednesday in the trial of a man linked by DNA evidence to the 1994 strangling of a woman in southeast Atlanta's Reynoldstown neighborhood. ...

Read the full story here. 

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From April 13, 2010: 

Mr. X: Guilty on all counts, gets 3 life sentences 

A Fulton County jury on Monday convicted Michael Harvey in the 1994 rape and strangling of a 39-year-old woman. 

The jury convicted Harvey, 49, of murder, aggravated assault and aggravated sodomy in the death of Valerie Payton ... 

Read the full story here. 

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From April 15, 2013: 

Court upholds 'cold case' murder conviction 

The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday upheld convictions against a man who remained undetected for years after he raped and strangled a 39-year-old woman. ...

Read the full story here. 

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Learn more about the details of Michael Harvey’s case here

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» MORE: Read the AJC's coverage of the cases in "ATL Homicide" Season 1 

» RELATED: How the AJC covered the events in "The First 48 Presents: Homicide Squad Atlanta" 

» THE LIST: Georgia crime cases featured on true-crime shows and podcasts 

» RELATED: Who are Georgia's most notorious serial killers?

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