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Atlanta Child Murders – True Story Behind ‘Mindhunter’ Season 2

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Atlanta Child Murders – True Story Behind ‘Mindhunter’ Season 2

• Netflix’s second Season of Mindhunter returns August 16.
• The season will focus on the Atlanta Child Murders, a string of kidnappings and killings that occurred between 1979-1981.
• The murders ended after the arrest of Wayne Williams.


In April 1981, at roughly 2:50 a.m. under Atlanta’s James Jackson Parkway bridge where the body of a boy had been found one month prior, an FBI surveillance team heard a loud splash. They radioed teams above, who immediately stopped a light-colored station wagon making its way across the bridge toward the highway entrance. The driver, identifying himself as Wayne Bertram Williams, said he was talent scout. He said he didn’t drop anything from the bridge. He said he hadn’t even stopped there. He did give permission, however, for a vehicle search. In the car, agents found a bedspread, a bag of men’s clothing, a bag of women’s clothing, and a 2-foot-long nylon cord. Having no legal justification to hold Williams, the agents let him go. And he drove on.

Two days later, fishermen found the strangled body of Nathaniel Cater (27) just over a mile downstream from the bridge. Cater was then the 29th body the bureau and local police had found over the last 2 years.

The FBI had titled the case “ATKID,” Atlanta Child Murders. The children included teens and young adults. Most of them were boys. All of them were black. And all 29 of them were kidnapped and murdered between 1979 and 1981 across the Atlanta area.

Season 2 of Netflix’s Mindhunter will explore this gruesome case, and the FBI’s role in profiling the killer. Here’s what to know about Wayne Williams and the Atlanta Child Murders.

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Wayne Williams leaving his attorney’s office.

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Who is Wayne Williams?

Wayne Williams was born in Atlanta and grew up with two college-educated parents. Williams, however, did not graduate college, one in a series of many personal failures, notes former FBI agent Susan E. Lloyd who recently wrote about the ATKID case for the Grapevine. William worked as a talent recruiter, a photographer, a DJ. He would occasionally ride along with late night ambulance drivers.

After the abduction of a 7-year-old girl in 1980 (the ninth victim), the FBI and the Behavioral Sciences Unit joined the investigation. The bureau assigned more than two dozen agents to the case, including special agent John Douglas (upon whom Jonathan Groff’s Mindhunter character, Holden Ford, is loosely based). Douglas was tasked with developing a profile of the killer.

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Special Agent John Douglas

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In documents obtained by the newspaper the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC), Douglas described Williams after his arrest as “an angry young man seeking power, who wears a mask to cover his personal inadequacies.” Douglas said that Williams was not dissimilar to the serial killers he had interviewed over the course of his research—including Ed Kemper, Jerome Brudos, and Charles Manson.

Douglas had submitted a profile to the FBI even before Williams’ arrest. He predicted that the killer (then unknown) would have been over-pampered by his parents. He wrote that the killer most likely resided in the area, was single, had difficulty relating to women, held an occupation that brought him to remote locations, and likely, at some point, impersonated law enforcement. Douglas also predicted (though it would be rare for serial killers at the time) that the Atlanta killer was black—that he was able to move in black communities inconspicuously, Douglas believed, proved this. (Douglas even suggested that the killer’s favorite colors were “black, dark blue, and brown.”)

In 1976, Williams was arrested and charged with impersonating a police officer. He was soon after released. The killings began three years later.

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Wayne Williams as a child.

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When did Wayne Williams commit the Atlanta Child Murders?

Douglas believed that the killings commenced when the stress and failures in Williams’ life became too much to bear: his not graduating, his causing his parents to file for bankruptcy after their investment in his failed business, and his having trouble with employment. Douglas wrote that Williams likely used the killing to assert control and give his life notability, success.

On July 28, 1979, the body of Edward Hope Smith (14) who had been missing for a week, was found in a vacant lot—shot. Not far from Smith, another body, Alfred James Evans (13) was also found. Evans had been strangled.

Almost four months later, Milton Harvey (14), was found dead. That same day, another body: Yusef Ali Bell (9), strangled and left in a vacant lot.

Four months passed. Then, the first female victim: Angel Lanier (12), found strangled on March 10, 1980. Then, over the course of two months, Jeffrey L. Mathis (10), Eric Middlebrooks (14), Christopher Richardson (12), Latonya Wilson (7), Aaron D. Wyche (10), Anthony Bernard Carter (9), and Earl Lee Terrell (10) all went missing. All were later found dead.

A task force was formed and two FBI agents from the Behavioral Science Unit arrived in Atlanta.

Autumn. Clifford Jones (13), Darren Glass (11), Charles Stephens (12), and Aaron Jackson (9). All went missing. All—with the exception of Glass—were found dead. (Glass’ body was never recovered.)

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Members of the Atlanta Police SWAT team search the woods, 1981

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Green nylon fibers and dog hairs had been found on many of the bodies. This detail was published by the AJC and soon after the killer changed his habits, dumping mostly naked bodies in the rivers. Patrick Rogers (16) was the first of this new spree. And then, in January 1981: Lubie Geter (14) and Terry Pue (15).

John Douglas arrived in Atlanta shortly after, tracing the crime scenes and beginning work on his profile.

The killings continued. February: Patrick Baltazar (12) and Curtis Walker (13). March: Joseph Bell (14) and Timothy Hill (13).

Atlanta issued a curfew for youths under the age of 16. Then the killings changed.

Eddie Duncan (20) was found in the Chattahoochee River on March 31. In April: Larry Rogers (20), Michael McIntosh (23), John Harold Porter (28), and Jimmy Ray Payne (21). In May: William Barrett (17).

For over a month, the FBI set up surveillance along the river’s bridges. On May 22 they heard a splash.

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Williams being taken to court.

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How did the FBI connect Wayne Williams to the murders?

While executing the search warrant, agents found in Williams’ home fibers and dog hairs consistent with those identified on 18 and nine victims, respectively. They also found carpet fibers consistent with those identified on 13 victims. (Williams’ wardrobe, they discovered, was composed of primarily drab brown colors.)

Agents arrested Williams on June 21, 1981. He was 23.

The trial began on January 6, 1982. Though no fingerprints or murder weapons were presented as evidence, prosecutors pointed to 19 sources of fibers and hairs that matched those on the victims. Fiber experts testified, stating that the probability of finding that exact carpet in a random home was approximately 1 in 7,792. Witnesses also testified to seeing Williams with his victims before they were killed.

Before the trial, Douglas advised prosecutors how to treat Williams on the stand, suggesting that they focus on Williams’ failures in life. The tactic proved effective and Williams became combative, at one point calling prosecutor Jack Mallard a “fool.”

On February 27, 1982, Williams was found guilty of the murders of Nathaniel Cater (27) and Jimmy Ray Payne (21) and given two consecutive life sentences. (Law enforcement believes at least 23 of the other killings can be attributed to Williams.)

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Homer and Faye Williams (front row) at an appeal trial

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Where is Wayne Williams now?

Williams is currently serving out his life sentences at Hancock State Prison. He maintains his innocence to this day. He is 61.

The reconstructed history in this story owes much credit to the FBI Grapevine story “ATKID: The Atlanta Child Murders Case,” which appears in the January/February 2019 edition and is authored by Susan Lloyd (FBI 1979-2004). The Grapevine is published by the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI.

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Do You Get Money for Winning a Grammy? — Do Awards Come With Money

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60th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Show

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While the glitz and the glam of the Grammys, and other award shows like it, seem very alluring, the night is also a stressful one for the musicians, producers, and songwriters nominated for awards. Getting all dressed up to find out that you didn’t win that gold statuette is probably a bummer, and while there are still plenty of popular, talented artists that have never won a Grammy, most artists dream of winning one.

This understandable thirst for a Grammy has led some fans to wonder if there’s also a monetary prize for landing yourself a Grammy. Worldwide acclaim and a hefty check? Sounds good to me. Here’s what we know about the money behind Grammy awards.

Do artists get money for winning a Grammy?

The short answer is no: Artists, producers, and/or songwriters do not get a check or monetary amount for winning an award. But what they do get, however, is a whole lot of recognition, and they’ll forever be known as “the Grammy award-winning singer _____.”

But even though The Recording Academy doesn’t give out physical checks with statuettes, Grammy winners still report an upward tick in their concert ticket sales and producer fees after they snag an award.

The 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Press Room

Adele with her six Grammys in 2012.

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In 2012, Forbes sampled a number of performers and producers, and they all showed a “Grammy Bounce” of at least 55% in concert ticket sales and producer fees in the year after a Grammy win. David Banner, a rapper/producer who won a Grammy for his work on Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III album, said that his producer fee went from $50,000 to $100,000+ after his win.

And acts can also score more money in their touring numbers. In the years after winning their first Grammy, Bruno Mars’ average nightly gross went from $130,000 to $202,000, and Esperanza Spalding’s jumped from $20,000 to $32,000. And Taylor Swift? Her nightly gross soared from $125,000 to $600,000 in 2010—a 380% increase.

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Who Is Jack Antonoff, Lana Del Rey’s Grammy-Nominated Producer?

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  • Jack Antonoff produced and co-wrote Lana Del Rey’s album Norman F**king Rockwell!
  • He’s also helped Lorde, Taylor Swift, and St. Vincent make great albums of their own.
  • Antonoff is nominated for three Grammys—two alongside Lana, and one on his own.

    Thinking about what’s going on behind the scenes isn’t always the first reaction when someone gets really into a new album. For example, when listening to Lana Del Rey’s amazing Norman F**king Rockwell! (up for two Grammys this year), you’re definitely hearing her voice, thinking about her lyrics, and most likely have an ideanof what she looks like. But when you see her surrounded at her Grammy seat you might not know who these people sitting around her are. Word to the wise: these are the people who helped Lana make that album that you can’t stop thinking about. In this case, that someone, sitting right next to her, is Jack Antonoff, and Ms. Del Rey is far from the first pop artist he’s helped make a great album.

    Antonoff himself is nominated for three Grammys; two alongside Del Rey, for Norman F**cking Rockwell (Album of the Year and Song of the Year), and also the Producer of the Year honor, by himself. In addition to Lana, he also worked with Taylor Swift, Kevin Abstract (of Brockhampton), and his own group, Red Hearse this year.

    Even prior to this year, Antonoff has become one of the most popular producers in the industry. He’s co-written and produced incredible albums for artists like Lorde (Melodrama), Taylor Swift (Lover), and St. Vincent (Masseduction), giving their music a distinct pop sound that makes songs feel fully fleshed out but with a quality that makes listeners almost always want to sing along.

    At first, Del Rey was skeptical about working with Antonoff because of the reason we just outlined above: he had achieved so much success with other artists in a similar genre. “I wasn’t in the mood to write,” Del Rey said in an interview with Billboard. “[Antonoff] wanted me to meet him in some random diner, and I was like, ‘You already worked with everyone else; I don’t know where there’s room for me.’”

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    Eventually, though, he played her something different enough that she was able to move forward and make Norman F**cking Rockwell!, what she described as “10 minutes of weird, atmospheric riffs.”

    Where some producers have a very specific sound—for example, the legendary Rick Rubin brings out the same harsh, rock sound with everyone from Red Hot Chili Peppers to the Beastie Boys to Kanye West—Antonoff’s goal is to work with artists to create an album that represents the very best version of them.

    “I like to be looking at the North Star with someone, and we’re both trying to get there,” he told the L.A. Times of his collaborations. “It’s a glimmer at first…. Every day we inch forward.”

    In addition to his work as a producer, Antonoff has also spent time as a member in a number of different groups. He leads his own project, called Bleachers, and also has a side group called Red Hearse. From 2008-2015, he played guitar and a number of other instruments in the band fun., which had hits like “Some Nights” and “We Are Young.” When Antonoff was dating actress and writer Lena Dunham, he debuted a fun. song called “Sight of the Sun” during the credits of her HBO show, Girls.

    Antonoff’s idiosyncrasies as a producer and songwriter have helped to make him one of the more interesting figures in the entire music industry, and he’s been a staple at the last few Grammy ceremonies. Del Rey’s thinking before working with him was a fair line of thinking: with so many great pop albums already in the can, how can there be anything left? But with each succeeding album he continues to prove that line of thinking wrong. This year, it was Lana Del Rey and Taylor Swift, and one logical question remains: who could be next?

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Calum Scott Shows Off Toned Physique in Instagram Progress Pic

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English singer and songwriter Calum Scott has shared progress photos from his fitness transformation on Instagram, ahead of pushing himself to get in even greater shape in 2020. The pictures, which blew up online after Scott posted them this week, were taken during his Only Human tour in 2018, and show noticeable results, with him becoming leaner, with visible six-pack abs, more defined pecs, and toned arms.

Scott, who rose to fame on the reality TV competition show Britain’s Got Talent in 2015 and is best known for his acoustic cover version of the pop song ‘Dancing On My Own’ by Robyn, also opened up about his struggle with staying motivated on his fitness journey, especially when it comes to keeping his nutrition on point.

“I always yo-yo with my weight because I love wine and carbs 😬,” he said, “but I learned that that’s ok. It’s about making sure you train hard and eat well, then the treats are well deserved.”

Scott didn’t go into detail about how he got so shredded while on tour; maybe he took a leaf out of rapper Kevin Gates’ book, and worked out prior to every live show to get pumped up before performing. He added in the caption that he’s looking to build on his 2018 gains and pursue his fitness goals throughout the year ahead. “This year I am going to push myself harder than ever before,” he said. “Who’s getting fit in 2020?”

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