Once upon a time…
One Easter Sunday, a group of kids in Baltimore made the usual trek to the movie theatre after Easter Sunday dinner. One of those kids would never return after being plucked from the crowd and murdered. As an intern at America’s Most Wanted, I will never forget crossing the threshold of that home. A home now filled with ghosts and grief. A home that now resembled a museum to a life that was snuffed out too soon. I wish I could say that this story was not the norm. However, millions of Black kids go missing without a trace. You never hear about them, their families or the void in their life from a loved one being murdered. All that changed when children began dropping out of sight in Atlanta, Georgia.
The rumor was that an only child with musical aspirations had been linked to the murder, which totaled more than 20 lives lost, ranging from pre-teens to adults. That only child was arrested and convicted of murder. His name is Wayne Williams. Williams has maintained for well over a decade his innocence and that someone else committed these heinous crimes. Everyone was convinced of his guilt and his off the cuff behavior didn’t help matters. Enter Atlantas’ Mayor Keisha Bottoms and Police Chief Erika Shields, who believe there is a possibility that Williams may actually be telling the truth.
Directed by Sam Pollard and Maro Chermayeff, Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children takes us back to re-examine the case, it’s victims, survivors, officers who worked on the case, the evolution and importance of DNA – then and now, as well as, the possibility of another suspect that no one saw coming. The Atlanta Murders: The Lost Children is one of those un-resolved cases that make you wonder why human life is not considered sacred when the color of your skin is black or brown. It makes you wonder why instead of empathy and understanding for these childless mothers are labeled and treated as troublemakers. If you are curious at all about the answers, take advantage of HBO’s free offer and stream this intriguing and eye-opening five-part documentary NOW.