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Wayne Williams Says Child Murders Movie Was Accurate

February 19, 1985

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (AP) _ Convicted murderer Wayne Williams says he found some ″technical errors″ in the television movie ″The Atlanta Child Murders,″ but claims that the film about his case was in general an accurate portrayal.

″Overall, I feel (writer Abby) Mann did a good job with a difficult subject. True, there were some technical errors and overacting ... The main point is the movie strongly, if not overly in some places, points out that a judicial travesty occurred in Atlanta,″ Williams wrote in a letter to the Gwinnett Daily News in Lawrenceville.

Prison officials refused last week to allow Williams to comment publicly on the CBS movie, which aired Feb. 10 and 12 and which strongly suggested that Williams was railroaded by police, city leaders and the media.

Williams indicated he wrote the letter just after watching the second installment of the two-part drama at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Center near Jackson, where he is serving two life sentences.

Williams, 26, was convicted of murder in February 1982 in the deaths of two of 29 young blacks who were killed during a 22-month period ending in May 1981. Officials later closed 22 of the remaining cases, blaming them on Williams but not formally charging him.

Atlanta’s leaders, who said the movie ignored pertinent facts, went to New York in early February in an attempt to persuade CBS to grant them free air time to rebut the film. CBS did not agree to the rebuttal, but did air a disclaimer at the beginning of the movie saying it was a drama based on certain facts and warning that its contents might be disturbing to young viewers.

In his two-page letter, dated Feb. 12, Williams cited several factual errors in the film but added: ″It would be virtually impossible for them to have gotten it all exact because so much is unknown.″

The movie ″says we’re in real trouble when a person’s innocence comes in second to soothing a city’s administration,″ he wrote.

He said he was aware of the generally negative reaction to the movie in Atlanta, but added: ″Keep in mind the main ones reacting negatively are the local media and leaders.″

Williams concluded his letter by saying: ″Atlanta officials were overly concerned, along with the media, more about the city’s image than dealing with the problem forthright. Remember one thing, the truth always hurts 3/8 3/8″

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