New memorial for 2 dozen murdered children opens in Atlanta, case still under investigation

ATLANTA — The City of Atlanta has created a new way to honor the more than two dozen children murdered in the city in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Officials unveiled a new memorial for the victims of the Atlanta Child Murders that terrorized the metro area.

The monument was built at Atlanta’s City Hall.

Channel 2′s Wendy Corona was at the site Tuesday to share part of the story.

City officials call it the Eternal Flame. Written across its smooth surface are the names of more than two dozen children who were killed over about two years.

From 1979 to 1981, almost 30 Black children and teenagers, most of them boys, were reported missing in the Atlanta metro and were later found dead.

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The monument is made of raw, curved steel, formed in what officials call the shape of an embrace.

The narrative of their deaths is inscribed on the ground in front of it, with an eternal flame lit on the side that metaphorically lights the way into the future.

June Thompson’s brother, Darren Glass, was one of the victims.

Thompson told Channel 2 Action News that she’ll never forget her brother’s loss, but now she has somewhere to go to remember him.

“It does bring back sad memories, however, I can say I truly thank God for this eternal flame,” Thompson said.

The memorial itself was built by artist Gordon Huether. He said he wanted it to be a place to honor and celebrate the young victims.

“People tend to forget things over time,” Huether told Channel 2 Action News. “That’s what a memorial is for, so we don’t forget.”


At the new site for the families of the victims and the larger metro Atlanta community to remember and reflect, former Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms read the names of the victims.

The idea to build a memorial to the nearly 30 children who were killed started in 2019, during Bottoms’ time as mayor.

The monument to the victims was intended to acknowledge the lives cut short and show gratitude for the many who helped in searches, and still work to solve the murders.

In 2021, Bottoms announced a new effort would start to reexamine old DNA evidence.

The monument is there “so that every single person that passes the grounds of Atlanta city hall remembers that hose children mattered to us then, they matter to us now, and they will matter to us for generations,” Bottoms said at the unveiling.

More than 40 years after the murders, Atlanta police say the case is still open and there’s still an active investigation.

The case remains open despite one suspect, Wayne Williams, having been convicted for two of the murders. Williams is still serving time in prison.

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