By way of background information, the Conyers Sheriff’s Office, Conyers, Georgia, received a call from an unknown white male on 1/8/81, claiming responsibility for the recent murders in the ATKID investigation. The unknown caller gave directions where the last victim, (Lubie “Chuck” Geter) was buried. The unknown caller did not refer to Geter by name.
A search by the Conyers Police Department and the Sheriff’s Office was conducted on 1/9/81, in the area described by the caller with negative results.
Suspect, [redacted] was developed by the Conyers Sheriff’s Office and interviewed on the morning of 1/15/81. Shortly after interview of [suspect] by investigators of the Conyers Sheriff’s Office, the Conyers Sheriff’s Office received a second call from an unknown white male saying the search was conducted in the wrong area. The unknown caller furnished additional directions where the search should have been made. The Conyers County Sherrif’s Office advised that calls from the unknown caller were made from a local convenience store located approximately two blocks from suspect [redacted] residence. [Suspect] admitted being in the store at approximately the time of the second call, however, [suspect] denied making the call to the Conyers Sheriff’s Office.
The unknown caller advised he was responsible for the child murders in Atlanta and made an additional threat to kidnap and kill a white child from one of the subdivisions off of Sigman Road in Conyers, Georgia. The unknown caller gave a 2/1/81, deadline in which he would carry out his threat.
“It should be noted that on January 8, 1981, The Rockdale County Sheriff’s Department received an anonymous call from an apparently white male who advised that he had placed the body of Lubie Gater out on Sigmon Road. The caller then threatened to place another body, of a white child this time, out on Sigmon Road before February 1. The caller told of an area on Sigmon Road that should be searched for Jeter’s body. The caller also related that he had three of the children still alive. An area on Sigmon Road was searched subsequent to this call and nothing was found. The caller then called back and advised the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Department that the wrong area had been searched, subsequent to this call the area described by the caller was searched with negative results. Terry Pue’s body was located on Sigmon Road within a mile of the areas previously searched.”
Aside from proving the killer(s) white, this was damning evidence that Wayne Williams did not kill either Terry Pue or Lubie Geter, two boys the FBI claimed Williams had killed. In the case of Lubie Geter, in fact, police did worse than drag their feet. Georgia Rep. Mildred Glover , representing the families of the children and writing to the Assistant Attorney General at the time, writes:
“Mrs. Assie Geter is disturbed by the informality and indifferent manner in which business is carried out in the Homicide Division of the Atlanta Police Department. She reports that her son’s case was only pursued when a family member, also a police officer, saw the report of Lubie’s death on a shelf, unattended, and took it upon himself to bring it to the attention of the proper authorities.”
Then there were the witnesses that were ignored. Consider this excerpt from the same letter regarding a witness the FBI and GBI turned away:
Mr. A—A White Male Witness
On August 14, 1982, at his request, I visited the home of a middle-aged white male in Atlanta (hereafter referred to as Mr. A) who gave a comprehensive accounting of the implementation of a calculated plan by whites to kill the black children. An excerpt from that conversation follows:
Q. “Mr. A—you said that you thought you wife and your wife’s mother hated the fact that your sons, who are white, went to school and played with the ‘colored’ boys—do you think that could be ft serious motive (racism, prejudice) for your family to take the lives of Atlanta’s black children?”
A. “Yes ma’am. Sure do. I mean, let me put it this way. They say, the South down here–the white people, the colored people and all—(Lincoln freed the slaves, you know)—well they say that everybody is happy and living together but there’s still a lot of old folks white old folks don’t feel that way. And her mother (wife’s mother) was one of the ones.
…Every morning she (wife’s mother) would come over here and have a cup of coffee with us before she went to work–and she was constantly every morning pouring that garbage in my kids’ heads.
…She didn’t talk about one specific boy—she didn’t know one specific boy—she just, ‘cuse my French—she just said ‘them damn niggers running over everybody.’ They were going to school with them down here at Benteen and them kids would get in fusses and fights just like any kids do—you know—but yet just because they was black, they’d come home and tell their grandmother, and then she’d say, ‘them damn little niggers, if it wasn’t for them, you wouldn’t have got in a fight like that.’
…Constantly, every morning, she’d come over here and it was nigger this and nigger that.
Her daddy–when she was little–they was raise in Jonesboro. And he’d come up to Atlanta in a horse and wagon ’bout every two weeks and he was up here, when the Ku Rlux was killing colored people and carrying them to the river in a wagon , and she was bragging to them young’uns and all–saying that’s what they ought to do again.”
At another taping in Mr. A’s home, he reported:
“My son was bragging and said that he killed the one that was stabbed in the stomach—the one that was found over there off Moreland.
As a matter of information, Mr. A lives in a predominantly black area of Atlanta. A resident of fifteen years at that address, he is one of the few whites that has remained in his community despite the high incidence of white flight common to urban transition. Mr. A and his family, themselves being poor, lived a similar lifestyle as their black neighbors. His immediate family members whom he accuses of mass murder, were frustrated by having to contend with, “their black environment—despising their children’s attendance at the black school; their social life at the same boys’ club; the fusses and fights at recreation centers; their forced joint involvement in every area of life.
Their only escape were the frequent visits to relatives in Conyers, Georgia who he accuses of providing the opportunity for murder through the use of their motor home.
Mr. A expresses strong familiarity with several victims by name. In fact, on my first visit to his home (accompanied by two parents), I was amazed at not only his knowledge of the children but also the parents. He greeted us and upon recognizing Mrs. Annie Rogers said, “Good evening, you’re Miss Rogers, aren’t you—Patriot Rogers was your boy.”
Mr. A claims to have an understanding of the route used by his family in the placement of the bodies. He says that his relatives’ motor home was used to:
1) Drop bodies in the Chattahoochee River from the side door of the vehicle; and
2) Circle the perimeter on the ground route that was used by him (Mr. A) and his wife in their employment with the Dillard Mumford E-Z Food Shops (a.k.a. Magic Markets). He says:
“Well, there’s one route–coming up 20 from Conyers going around 285—they was stopping at Moreland Ave down there at 285 where they was transporting the kids from a car to the motor home. They was going on around 285 and getting off at 166 and Campbellron Road (which they’re both the same street) and then turn left going to Fairburn Road and taking another left and going down Redwine Road which is approximately 3 miles from the E-Z Food Shop at Fair-burn and Campbellton.
This compelling and vivid account of hate murders as described by Mr. A clearly violates the very same protection as established by the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
Despite its potential for providing answers to the most heinous mass murders in the history of this country, Mr. A’s testimony was ignored and door were closed to him at every level of law enforcement. It is questionable whether his testimony would have been denied if 30 whites had been slain instead of 30 blacks.
Instead of pursuing slam dunk leads and charging Klan suspects they already had in custody, prosecutors charged Wayne Bertram Williams, lacking witnesses and credible physical evidence. Williams was initially charged with killing two black men, but prosecutors were allowed to pin him with the Atlanta Child Killings, and close their cases, simply because “they fit a pattern.”
The FBI Already Theorized a Klan Terrorist Operation
The following profile is one of several FBI documents detailing their concerns regarding Klan involvement in the Atlanta Child Killings, including notes that some right-wing elements in the local police department could very well have been involved….
“GOALS OF A TERRORIST GROUP: There are three main goals of any terrorist group that fit into the pattern in Atlanta.
1: To instill a sense of terror in the community in which the group operates.
2: By being able to act and not get caught, the group shows the weakness of the government, and undermines public support for and confidence in it.
3: To replace the existing government with one made up of supporters of the group), or that the group supports. In Atlanta, goals 1 and 2 have been achieved, and the next election will determine if goal 3 is reached.
MEMBERS: As indicated earlier (page 1) the members of the group are white males, age 25-4o, and in good health. And a check of the weekday disappearance chart (page 4), shows that it is most likely that they work at a job where they have Tuesday and Wednesday off (a list of such people would include not only police and fire officials, but also hospital or chain store employees). A list of known right-wing organization members, should be checked against employment, and this with schedules in an attempt to come up with a list of suspects fitting this pattern.
It is important to keep in mind that the members of this group do not look upon their actions as simple murder, but as a form of civic duty. It is the only way that they know to return their city to the proper form of government. Additionally, it is quite possible that they deplore the non-related killings, and that in some way they may serve as part of the justification for their acts. After all, any government that lets that many little children be killed does not deserve the right to be in office, and should be replaced by a new power structure that will be able to control the situation.”
THEORY: That the core killings, of children, in Atlanta, are the work of a small, fanatical, right-wing cell (possibly linked with the KKK, American Nazi Party, Minutemen, or other right-wing organization). Other killings are the work of copycat or cover-up killers, or the victims of random inner city violence.
MOTIVE: The motive of the killings is to discredit the black power structure in Atlanta. During the next city election, a “law and order,” candidate (backed by the major organization- but unaware of the true nature of the killings) will run for the office of mayor, and the killings will end.
METHOD: Nothing can instill in a population a feeling of fear and lack of faith in its leadership as fast as a series of seemingly random murders. And if the victims are children, the most defenseless members of the society, the sense of terror is heightened. It is for this reason that the killer group has chosen children as their victims. Their work has been made easier by the actions of copycat killers and random killings in Atlanta, that have served to conceal their actions.
GROUP COMPOSITION: It is my estimation that the killer group is made up four to five, white males, twenty-five to forty years old. These would be males in their top years of physical condition, powerful enough to overcome the resistance of a child without help. As to the size of the group, four men is the most that can fit, with ease, into a single car, and retain freedom of movement. It is also the size of a standard military rifle team, the base unit of any infantry organization. A fifth individual, if involved, would be the team leader and have the closest contact with the major organization.
SUPPORTING EVIDENCE: Several, unrelated facts and trends point to the possible team theory:
1: In recent months right-wing organizations around the nation have established paramilitary units, trained in guerrilla warfare methods.
2: Incidents of right-wing terrorist acts, such as the group of six recently apprehended in North Carolina in connection with a bombing plot stemming from the “death to the Klan” killings, are on the rise.
(page now missing from original PDF)
3: Atlanta, is a city on edge, and even assuming the existence of two or three copycat killers, any single individual trying to coax children into a car would draw attention to himself, and provide witnesses for police.
HOW TO GET THE CHILDREN INTO A VEHICLE: There are several possible methods that the grout) could employ to get the victims into a vehicle.
1: Money: The child is offered a relatively large sum of money (twenty or thirty dollars, and up front) to do some work for the killer. Later the money is removed from the body.
2: An accomplice (possibly a woman or another child) lures the victim to the vehicle with an offer of money or safety.
3: One member of the group), on foot, follows the intended victim for several blocks (or stands near him, if he is stationary). After a short period of time a second (and possibly a third) member of the group drives up to where the child is in a plain looking, four-door sedan. He rolls down the window or opens the door, calls out to the child, flashes some form of shield or ID, says he is a law enforcement official, and tells the child that the person following him is a suspect in the killings. The child gets into the car, while a fourth member of the group (in a second car) picks up the individual on foot. They may go so far as to have some form of radio contact between the cars (over a C.B. net), and then drive out of the area to a pre-determined location for the murder.
TYPE OF VEHICLE: If the groups is using a method like number three above, they must be using one or two, clean, plain looking sedans, of the type most common to the Atlanta police department. However, a more promising type would be a small van of some kind. Hot one with a fancy, “Star Wars,” paint job (that would attract too much attention) or a window van, but a simple panel van (probably with one way decals on the rear windows). Such a vehicle would draw little attention to itself, and could provide a rolling trader scene (and if the vehicle is carpeted inside, it could account for some of the fibers found on a few of the bodies).
RAPID RATE OF LAST FIVE KILLINGS: There are several possible explanations for the five killings between January and March, 1981.
1: They are the work of five, unrelated killers, who just by random chance struck within such a short period of time.
2: One of these killings is the work of the group, and the other four are random (as in number one, above).
3: All five are the work of the group, in one of the following patterns:
a: They are a, “Christmas bombing,” pattern, of several killings, to be followed by a lull in action by this group until a time closer to the elections.
SUMMARY: Based upon available data, the following are my tentative conclusions regarding the child killings in Atlanta
I: Killings number 1, 3, 5, 6, 10, 12, 13, are the work of the single right-wing cell, and are politically motivated. These six killings all share specific characteristics: all the victims were black, boys (except #5, see below), age 10-14, all were either killed by strangulation or asphyxiation (forms of death more inclined to instill a sense of terror in others than a shooting or knifing), no major effort was made to conceal the bodies, and all were last seen on a Tuesday or Wednesday.
IMPORTANCE OF AGE: A part of the motivation for these individuals to join the major organization s paramilitary unit, is the fear of a racial civil war in the next five to six years. In that case the children age ten to fourteen now, would be young men between sixteen and twenty when the war starts. In this way they are both sending a political message to the community and killing their enemy at the same time.
KILLING #5: The killing of, Angel Lanier, was a mistake. By that I mean that the members of the group did not realize that she was a girl until she had been lured into a trap. At that point they felt they had no choice but to kill her and make it look like a sexual motive was behind it.
a: SCHEDULING: The members of the group have to find a time when they can meet, without some personnel or family situation keeping them from joining the rest of the team.
b: NEED: The act of the group are not the only child killing in the city, and so to keep the situation hot and in the public eye, they need only strike every few months.
II: Other killings, not related to group actions:
1) Killings 1 & 2, would seem to be related to each other (according to newspaper accounts), however, they are not related to the group) killings.
2) Killing 4, this is a case of strangulation, however three points stand out from the group acts. First, the child was only nine years old (two years younger than the group victims mean age of 11.3); second, his body was concealed in an abandoned building; and third, he was last seen on a Sunday.
3) Killing 7, also is unrelated to the group acts.
1: The numbers assigned to the killings come from the, New York Times, Sunday 15 March 1981. “Investigators Believe Many Killers, Separately, Slew Atlanta Children” F.A. Barber