Wayne Williams, prime suspect in Atlanta Child Murders, denied parole

Despite interest from Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, suspect will remain in jail for murders he said he did not commit

Wayne B. Williams leaves the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta to go to court where he will continue testifying in his trial on charges of killing two young Atlanta blacks, Feb. 23, 1982. (AP Photo/Gary Gardiner)

Wayne Williams, suspected of killing more than 20 Black children in Atlanta from 1979 to 1981, was denied parole by the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole.

Although Williams has never been charged with killing a child, he is serving two life sentences for killing two adults. Still, authorities have always considered Williams, 61, as the main suspect in the Atlanta child murders, which terrorized the nation at the time, according to WSBTV.

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For his part, Williams has always professed his innocence in the child murders.

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole said the primary reason why Williams was denied parole was “insufficient amount of time served to date given the nature and circumstances of your offense(s),” reported WSBTV.

The timing of the parole denial comes as there is renewed interest in the Atlanta child murders. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said last year that the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, along with Atlanta police, would revisit the cases.

Williams has people who believe in his innocence and told Channel 2 before his parole hearing that they expected him to be released.

“I don’t see why anyone would want to hold a man in prison if there is still lingering doubts that’s he didn’t do any of the things he’s convicted of,” Dewayne Hendrix, head of the Wayne Williams Freedom Project, told the station.

READ MORE: Atlanta’s Mayor pushes for review in ‘Atlanta Child Murders’ cases

Venus Taylor, mom of 12-year-old, Angel, who was killed in March 1980, said she knows Williams is not her daughter’s killer. Taylor claims that a Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent even told her that they knew who did murder Angel but stated that person would never be prosecuted.

“Wayne Williams had nothing to do with killing my child,” Taylor said, adding that she wants authorities to release him from prison. “I think he’s done enough time.”

Williams’ next parole hearing has been set for November 2027.