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The Wayne Williams - Case Study Example

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A string of Georgia, Atlanta based child murders began in 1979, targeting the black children of the community. The paper "The Wayne Williams Case" tells about the murderers that continued for 2 years, and ended by the arrest of Wayne Bertram Williams on charges of murdering 2 adult men…
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The Wayne Williams Case
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Download file to see previous pages Early fiber evidence collected showed 2 types of fibers present at the crime scene; "a violet-colored acetate fiber and a coarse yellow-green nylon fiber with the type of tri-lobed qualities associated with carpets". The yellow-green carpet fiber that was found on the body of Cater was later compared and analyzed alongside a similar looking yellow-green carpet that was found at the home of Williams. He used the carpet to cover the floor of his home. The carpet, thanks to the cooperation of the manufacturer DuPont, was traced down to the company that manufactured the fiber known as Wellman 181B, a common carpet that was commercially sold by the manufacturer. Due to the high volume of carpet sales, connecting the yellow-green carpet to Williams and the murder became a game of odds. The importance of connecting the fiber to him became even more imperative when the dog that Williams owned showed up on the body of other murder victims as part of trace fibers (Ramsland, K., “Fibers and Probability Theory”). In an effort to create a convincing case, the prosecution decided to include a 2nd victim in the Williams murder trial. That of Jimmy Ray Payne who had trace fibers similar to those found in Williams' car, a single rayon fiber that was consistent with the carpeting in Williams' station wagon. Chevrolet, the car manufacturer informed investigators that there was a; “1 in 3,828 chance that Payne had acquired the fiber via random contact with a car that had this carpeting installed.”...
The importance of connecting the fiber to him became even more imperative when the dog that Williams owned showed up on the body of other murder victims as part of trace fibers (Ramsland, K., “Fibers and Probability Theory”). In an effort to create a convincing case, the prosecution decided to include a 2nd victim in the Williams murder trial. That of Jimmy Ray Payne who had trace fibers similar to those found in Williams' car, a single rayon fiber that was consistent with the carpeting in Williams' station wagon. Chevrolet, the car manufacturer informed investigators that there was a; “1 in 3,828 chance that Payne had acquired the fiber via random contact with a car that had this carpeting installed.” (Ramsland, K., “Fibers and Probability Theory”). By introducing trace fibers from the 10 other murders that held similarities to the fiber collected from the home and car of Williams, the prosecution was effectively allowed to build its case by the Georgia courts. The investigation of the Williams serial murders came down to a numbers game simply because of the trace evidence found at the scene of the crime for each victim. Every time a comparison was done, there was a similarity either with the car or home carpet fiber of Williams. During that era of early forensic investigation, these similarities were considered damning evidence that in theory, proved who committed the crime. When combined with the fact that the prosecution successfully connected 28 fiber types to Williams, along with testimony from witnesses who swore that they had actually seen him with each of the murder victims, the fact that Williams failed his polygraph test 3 times, and the suspicious injuries that were ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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