‘Wayne Williams didn’t kill my son,’ mom says 36 years later

From 1979 to 1982, more than 20 black boys were found killed around Atlanta. 

Many authorities have long held the belief that Wayne Williams was the killer. But in DeKalb County, five cases of slain black boys from the Atlanta Child Murders era remain unsolved, locked in a strange limbo – considered part of the most notorious and depraved string of murders in Atlanta history, or just similar tragedies caught up in the lore.

One of the DeKalb victims’ mothers, Catherine Leach-Bell, remained resolved even 36 years later to find justice for her son. “Wayne Williams didn’t kill my son,” she said. 

Read an in depth report on what she’s doing to get the cases revived, the doubts and theories of other suspects, including Ku Klux Klan members on

The Atlanta Child Murders are the focus of a new podcast that debuts today. “Atlanta Monster” is one of several new projects providing a fresh look at the city’s most notorious crime.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution covered the disappearance and murder of young children in the city as they happened. When Wayne Williams was arrested and convicted, we were there. Read the AJC’s comprehensive real-time coverage on our Wayne Williams page.

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