Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #164 The Atlanta Child Murders

Lis­ten: One seg­ment

From July of 1979 through June of 1981, a string of mur­ders of African-Amer­i­can youths ter­ror­ized Atlanta’s black pop­u­la­tion.

Blamed on Wayne Williams, a “lone nut” black man who was con­vict­ed of the mur­ders, the killings have reced­ed in the pub­lic con­scious­ness in the two decades since they began.

This pro­gram presents evi­dence sug­gest­ing that the killings were the result of a well-orga­nized con­spir­a­cy by Atlanta Ku Klux Klan ele­ments, aimed at trig­ger­ing a race war.

Based on infor­ma­tion from a 1986 arti­cle in Spin mag­a­zine, the broad­cast high­lights the activ­i­ties of the Sanders fam­i­ly, sev­er­al of whose mem­bers belonged to the Atlanta Klan. The Sanders con­nec­tion was called to the atten­tion of the Atlanta police by a reli­able infor­mant. When Charles Sanders tried to recruit the infor­mant into the Klan, he alleged­ly told him about the plot to start a race war by killing black chil­dren and sought the infor­man­t’s help in com­mit­ting more killings. The source report­ed that Sanders swore to sodom­ize and kill 14 year old Lubie Geter Geter was sub­se­quent­ly mur­dered.

Cir­cum­stan­tial evi­dence point­ed toward the Sanders fam­i­ly and a tap was put on Charles Sanders’ phone. That phone tap yield­ed more ref­er­ences to the Klan killing black chil­dren. Oth­er cred­i­ble sources con­tributed infor­ma­tion about the killings. Jo Jo Bell was the next black youth to dis­ap­pear. The restau­rant where he worked received a call short­ly after­ward say­ing ” ... They’re about to kill me....” Tim Hill (Jo Jo’s best friend) dis­ap­peared twelve days lat­er.

The next night, a woman called the same restau­rant and said that she was try­ing to get Tim Hill released. (The woman sound­ed white.) Like Jo Jo, Tim still would be found in a riv­er. Amid indi­ca­tions that a racial explo­sion was brew­ing, pres­sure was build­ing to bring the inves­ti­ga­tion to a close.

In June of 1981, Wayne Williams (an Afro-Amer­i­can) was charged with the killings. Although the evi­dence against him was almost non-exis­tent, Williams was pros­e­cut­ed and con­vict­ed. In order to obtain the con­vic­tion, pros­e­cu­tors per­mit­ted tes­ti­mo­ny to be changed, phys­i­cal evi­dence to be dis­re­gard­ed and then extrap­o­lat­ed from the cas­es in which Williams was charged to 29 mur­ders. How­ev­er, no one could con­nect him to the oth­er killings. (Record­ed on 7/25/99.)


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