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RE: Atlanta Monster 8-8-2018

Can Atlanta Monster be called a “true crime” podcast, without providing facts? No.
The truth matters, listeners of this podcast deserve better, Atlanta deserves better.
Failing to report facts and choosing to omit primary sources perpetuates lies. It is a
shame because many listeners consider Atlanta Monster to be legitimate history: It is
not.

The podcast was a waste of time. The Slate.com review “Clueless”, by Laura Miller,
accurately described it as a “meandering mess of a mystery with a hapless detective at
its center”. https://slate.com/culture/2018/03/the-true-crime-podcast-atlanta-monster-
hosted-by-payne-lindsey-reviewed.html . As the “detective” trying to lead listeners
through the Atlanta Monster, Payne Lindsey fails because listeners never hear the
overwhelming evidence of Wayne Williams’ guilt.

Most of this mystery was long ago resolved beyond a reasonable doubt; Wayne
Williams is guilty. Yet the podcast producers deliberately omit verifiable truth in favor of
unreasonable doubts, alleged police incompetence, drama, speculation, rumor, self
serving lies and sources with questionable reputations. It is not the truth to devote so
much time to friends of Wayne Williams, a defense team private investigator, convicts,
ministers, Wayne Williams cellmate, and even more insipid and useless, interviews with
the cellmate’s mother. This was so boring.

Below are several knowledgeable, easily accessible sources the producers failed to
include, or even consult.

Assistant District Attorney Joseph Drolet (retired) served as one of the prosecutors at
the Wayne Williams trial, handled years of multiple appeals, and still lives in Atlanta.
Joseph Drolet has facts, not doubts. Despite being readily accessible, Joe Drolet was
not contacted. Were producers lazy or biased?

Robin McDonald, a reporter for the Daily Report (an Atlanta area newspaper focused on
the courts), and author of a fact based true crime book: “Secrets Never Lie: The Death
of Sara Tokars”, has interesting facts. This experienced, extremely competent and
detail driven reporter did more than merely report on this case. In 2006 McDonald
petitioned the Superior Court of Fulton County for a re-examination of evidence in light
of the scientific advances in the 25 years since the trial. Ms. McDonald confirmed the
“fiber methodology” practices used to establish links between Wayne Williams and
physical evidence found on 12 murder victims presented at trial were still valid. Her
insights would invaluable. (Source: “The Atlanta Child Murders the Night Stalker”, by
Jack Mallard, page 355)

APD Detective Robert H. “Bob” Buffington first found fibers in the shoe of 14 year
old victim Eric Middlebrooks. These are described as “the tuft of fibers wedged in
the tear in the shoes as if becoming attached while the body was dragged across
a carpet.” (Source: “The Atlanta Child Murders the Night Stalker”, by Jack Mallard,
pages 7& 8). Buffington’s trace fiber evidence discovery was witnessed by Detective
Danny Agan, and was a tremendous break in the case. Det. Buffington was a leading
witness for the prosecution during the Williams trial, and his testimony introduced the
“tuft of fibers” that were later matched to carpet recovered from the 1978 Ford driven by
Wayne Williams. These also matched evidence found on 12 year old victim Charles
Stephens (pattern case #3).

Payne Lindsey even gets this wrong. The first mention in “Atlanta Monster” of the critical
fiber evidence used in the Williams trial is in episode 2, at 32:21 when Lindsey
dramatically introduced the listener to statements by Atlanta Police Department (APD)
source G. M. "Mickey" Lloyd as the "local policeman found what appeared to be the
first signs of physical evidence.” You hear Lloyd say: "We had a body...a young boy
behind a building. We found a fiber on him, just one fiber. I removed it off his shirt. I
think it was blue.” This is all false. It is either a self aggrandizing lie or incompetent fact
checking by the producers.

Mickey Lloyd’s questionable reputation and readily available internet history should
have compelled Lindsey to omit this source who, in 2010, was accused of claiming to
have been a Navy Seal and awarded a Purple Heart, a Silver Star and a Bronze Star for
combat service in the Vietnam War. Multiple newspaper reports of Lloyd’s false claims,
and the subsequent investigation, were reported in the Marietta Daily Journal, and the
Atlanta Journal and Constitution archive from July 30, 2010. See
Https://www.ajc.com/news/local/cobb-public-safety-director-resigns-amid-questions-about-military-
record/HRc29Ty8gfuKazXBeWqTCO . During the investigation into falsified documents and his
claims of service medals for courage in combat (commonly known as “Stolen Valor”),
Lloyd resigned as Safety Director in Cobb County Ga. In fairness to Lloyd, his account
of the crime scene of Edward H. Smith is accurate, and it was Lloyd’s initiative at that
crime scene that led to the nearby discovery of the body of Alfred James Evans.

APD Det. R. H. Buffington deserves our sincere gratitude for his professionalism, his
attention to minute detail, and his significant role in the conviction of Wayne Williams.
Trace evidence was relatively new to police investigators 38 years ago, and Jack
Mallard on page 8 reports that “Buffington discussed with superior officers the
possible significance of being able to identify fibers as you can hair, but they
were not impressed.” Not impressed is an understatement. The APD Homicide
Lieutenant and Detective Sidney Dorsey openly ridiculed Buffington for the idea that
such fibers were of any evidentiary value. Mallard wrote further: “But, when he
(Buffington) delivered the trace evidence to the crime Laboratory, Micro Analyst
Larry Peterson was impressed.” Fortunately, Detective Buffington was able to
prevail over the incompetent police officials who doubted the value of fiber evidence. It
took courage to stand up to his Lieutenant, and to mockery by fellow Det. Sidney
Dorsey, regarding the legitimacy of fiber evidence.

Another questionable source chosen by Lindsey was Sidney Dorsey, a former APD
Detective, one time DeKalb County Sheriff, but now a convicted murderer serving a life
sentence. Dorsey shared the limelight with DeKalb County Chief of Police Louis
Graham in repeatedly questioning Wayne Williams’ guilt, disregarding physical
evidence, and both proclaimed that Williams was innocent. After William’s conviction,
Chief Louis Graham reopened the cases. When reporter Robin McDonald asked
Graham whether he intended to seek DNA analysis of the dog hair fibers introduced as
evidence, Chief Graham foolishly dismissed DNA testing as “junk” science. (“The
Atlanta Child Murders; the Night Stalker” by Jack Mallard. Page 355.) Dorsey and
Graham’s incompetence and repeated accusations of Williams innocence contributed to
the urban legend that Williams is innocent.

The listener is finally introduced in Episode 9 to Georgia Crime Lab hero, Micro-Analyst
Larry Peterson, and he is brilliant. Peterson even pursued and found evidence further
linking Williams to several of the homicides AFTER Williams was convicted.
Unfortunately Peterson’s contributions start after several listeners I’ve talked with had
already given up on this “meandering mess”. The work of Larry Peterson is the best
part of Atlanta Monster, and it explains the complex and scientifically rigorous
foundation for the evidence that convicted Williams.

Peterson and the many highly competent medical examiners were the unsung heroes of
this successful prosecution. They labored for hours in close contact with decomposed
and horrific smelling dead bodies in their search for tiny, even microscopic fibers and
dog hairs. Their phenomenal attention to detail shows the level of respect these
scientists had for every one of the victims.

Perhaps instead of wasting time describing dumping of a dummy (manikin) off a bridge,
producers could actually see, smell and describe the horrible conditions of the autopsies
of decomposed bodies, or difficulty in performing autopsies on bodies recovered from
water, or the capture and cataloging of maggots to determine the time of death. The
people performing these arduous forensic investigative tasks have my utmost respect,
and I wish Atlanta Monster producers had shared their science based contributions with
listeners.

The Atlanta Monster podcast failed to share the overwhelming and compelling evidence
presented during the murder trial: that Wayne Williams was a manic predator of male
children, he drove over 4000 miles a month mostly at night, he never had any contracts
with record companies, and never held a job. Testimony at trial described how he
solicited young boys for music auditions, and revealed Wayne Williams had sexual
contacts with teen and pre-teen boys.

It failed to report that multiple eyewitnesses testified at trial that Williams was seen with
7 of the 12 victims shortly before they were found murdered. Williams ultimately was
linked by over 450+ pieces of fiber and dog hair evidence to 12 homicide victims,
and found guilty and convicted of 2 murders. See the chart from page 176 of “The
Atlanta Child Murders; the Night Stalker”, by Jack Mallard that was prepared to
summarize physical evidence for one of the appeals.
Significant evidence has been found since the preparation of this evidentiary summary
that has further confirmed Williams’ guilt.

When these and multiple other relevant factors are considered at least 24 cases were
resolved with the conviction of Williams. Wikipedia was more informative than Atlanta
Monster (see Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayne_Williams ). To save your
time and avoid this meandering mess, go to Wikipedia.

This podcast also missed the opportunity to document the many heroic members of law
enforcement who did the heavy lifting in this investigation, who met with mothers and
families of homicide victims to inform them of the death of their child, who worked
gruesome crime scenes, and who endured the hot muddy buggy sleepless duty spent
on surveillance under bridges. Payne Lindsey glosses over the tough duty of cops,
prosecutors, crime scene technicians, GBI personnel, etc. to focus on… fluff.

The “Atlanta Monster” podcast did several things right: particularly in presenting the fact
based contributions of Crime Lab Micro Fiber Analyst Larry Peterson, and information
provided by local TV-WAGA Fox-5 reporter Dale Russell and Atlanta History Center
historian Calinda Lee.
However if someone wants to listen to a convicted serial murderer repeat boring claims
of innocence, Payne Lindsey provided that opportunity.

In the final analysis, messy as it was, the investigation and trial are examples of
successful Local, State and Federal coordination and cooperation. Wayne
Williams was convicted and eventually will die in prison.

The only mystery here is why “Atlanta Monster” failed to report these facts. The truth
matters, listeners of this podcast deserve better, Atlanta deserves better.

Lou Arcangeli, Atlanta Police Department- Retired.


PO Box 5445
Atlanta, GA 31107

Sources:
The Atlanta Child Murders; the Night Stalker. 2009, Jack Mallard.
ISBN-13:97814392663372, Library of Congress Control Number 2009910937
Available on Kindle. https://www.amazon.com/Atlanta-Child-Murders-Night-Stalker-
ebook/dp/B004EPZ30E

Daily Report, https://www.law.com/dailyreportonline/

“Clueless: The true crime podcast Atlanta Monster is a meandering mess of a


mystery with a hapless detective at its center”. By Laura Miller, March 19, 2018
Slate.Com https://slate.com/culture/2018/03/the-true-crime-podcast-atlanta-monster-
hosted-by-payne-lindsey-reviewed.html

“Cobb Public Safety Director resigns amid questions about military record”. Janel
Davis, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 7-30-2010 HTTPS://www.ajc.com/news/local/cobb-
public-safety-director-resigns-amid-questions-about-military-
record/HRc29Ty8gfuKazXBeWqTCO

“Safety chief Lloyd resigns” G. M. “Mickey” Lloyd. Katy Ruth Camp, Marietta Daily
Journal, 7-31-2010
http://www.mdjonline.com/news/safety-chief-lloyd-resigns/article_3292b7ea-4873-566a-
8e24-f3c6c2178299.html

Sidney Dorsey info on Wikipedia: "Most people who are aware of the child murders
believe as I do that Wayne Williams did not commit these crimes"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidney_Dorsey

Atlanta Magazine, August 1980 pg. 74. “A Dearth of Witnesses”, by Stuart Culpepper
describes the Eric Middlebrooks crime scene and the initial investigation by APD
Detectives Buffington, Agan and Henslee.
Wikipedia. Wayne Williams. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayne_Williams