Suspected serial killer waives court hearing

A suspected serial killer waived his first appearance hearing Saturday in Fulton County Superior Court.

William Howard Davis, linked by police to at least three killings in southwest Atlanta, did not appear in court and remains in jail. His next court date has not been set but will come after an indictment.

Atlanta police say the men Davis was charged Friday with killing had much in common.

Dennis McGuire and Warren Williams Jr. both lived in the same southwest Atlanta neighborhood where Davis, 67, resided. Police say both men were killed following heated exchanges with Davis, who in 1987 was sentenced to 15 years in prison after being convicted of voluntary manslaughter.

Kenneth Ellis, 23, was shot and killed by Davis at the same address where he was arrested Friday, Atlanta police Lt. Keith Meadows said. Davis was a boarder at 294 Cativo Drive back in 1986 when Ellis was killed, and his landlord was the victim's foster mother. Despite that, the woman allowed Davis to move back into the boardinghouse after his release from prison in 1991.

McGuire was killed 16 years after Ellis, in 2007. Williams' fatal shooting occurred in 2008. They were killed with the same gun, Meadows said.

"We identified him through a series of ballistic tests," Meadows said. And police believe Davis may have been involved in two other murders in the area in the past 11 years.

Alfred Glass, a self-employed contractor, was killed Aug. 7, 1998, in a manner strikingly similar to McGuire and Williams, APD homicide detective Vincent Velazquez said.

Glass, 56, was working in his garage when someone shot him twice while his wife and the couple's grandson watched television inside, police said at the time.

A fourth victim, Joseph Williamson, also may have been killed by the same person in 2007, Velazquez said.

"We're looking into the possibility that he's been involved in the murders of [Glass and Williamson]," Meadows said.

According to a 1986 account of the incident in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Ellis was shot to death after he allegedly drew a knife on Davis, who complained that his landlord's foster son had stolen money from his room. A loud argument preceded the shooting.

Staff writer Bill Rankin contributed to this article.