Its 1979, and Atlanta is a city on the rise. It finds itself neck-and-neck with Birmingham as the hub of the New South. It’s been branded, “the city too busy to hate.” But in the summer of ’79, two kids go missing: 14-year-old Edward Hope and 13-year-old Alfred Evans. Both male. Both black. They would later be found dead. Murdered.
For the next two years, the city of Atlanta lives in fear. African American children, adolescents and young adults go missing, one by one, only to be found later, their bodies disposed of in remote areas. There was a real-life boogeyman on the prowl. Parents demand more attention and effort from law enforcement, as racial tensions rise. There are no leads. There are no suspects. But there is pressure to close these cases, and preserve Atlanta’s status as a thriving metropolis.
As the list of missing and murdered rises to more than 25, the “Atlanta Monster” is seized. 22 years old. Black. Wayne Williams. He is convicted only of two adult murders, but authorities close the majority of the child killings, attributing them to Williams. The city returns to business as usual for most, but did law enforcement get the right man? Questions still linger today. This is the story of fear, a grieving city, and a search for justice: 40 years ago, and today.