'It was just wrong,' retired detective says after Wayne Williams calls into town hall meeting

ATLANTA — It’s been decades since retired Detective Lou Arcangeli worked on the case of the Atlanta child murders.

But the memories are still vivid.

“I remember seeing one of the little boys in the morgue. Wayne did that,” Arcangeli said.

That’s why Arcangeli said he felt offended this week when Atlanta native Wayne Williams, the man he believes killed the children, called in from prison to a town hall forum about the killings.

Several of the victims' families were present.

“It was just wrong. It was very offensive," Arcangeli said.

Williams was convicted in the deaths of two adults in 1981. A police recruit heard the splash of a body hitting the Chattahoochee River, which led to Williams' arrest. It was the last body recovered in the case.


Police also think he is responsible for at least 22 of the children's deaths, though he has never been tried for them. Williams has maintained he never murdered any children.

“He had become literally the night stalker of Atlanta,” Arcangeli said. “To have Wayne Williams, a convicted serial murderer, talking in church about ‘I pray’ and ‘I want this for the family’ and having to listen to his theories about who the killers were, was just reprehensible.”

Channel 2's Justin Wilfon was also inside the West Hunter Street Baptist Church in southwest Atlanta when Williams called in.

“This isn’t just about clearing my name, but this is about getting some justice for you,” Williams said.

His call came after Atlanta’s mayor asked for a fresh look at some of the evidence in the case.

Arcangeli told Wilfon he already knows what Williams should say the next time he calls.

“He should confess," Arcangeli said.

The moderator of the event at the church gave people in the audience a chance to leave if they did not want to hear from Williams. Nobody left.