July 21, 1979
14-year-old Edward “Teddy,” Hope Smith is murdered, becoming the first in a string of killings known as the “Atlanta Child Murders”
Smith disappeared four days before another 14-year-old, Alfred “Q” Evans, disappeared. Both were found on July 28 in a secluded area. Smith has been shot in the back while Evans had been strangled. These murders are considered to be the beginning of the Atlanta Child Murders (also referred to as the Atlanta murders) which spanned from 1979 to 1981 and claimed the lives of 28. Despite the killings being referred to as the “Child Murders,” six victims were adults, from 20 to 28 years old.
Though the victims were did not share a common age range and were not killed in the same manner (methods of death included strangulation, asphyxiation, bludgeoning, shooting, and stabbing), they were attributed to the same killer by the geographical location of their bodies.
Convicted murderer Wayne Williams, who is serving a life sentence for the murders of two men, has been alleged to be behind at least some of the Child Murderer killings, though he has never been charged with, tried, or convicted of any of their deaths. He maintains his innocence in these murders.
The case will be featured in season 2 of Netflix’s Mindhunter, scheduled to air in November 2018.