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Who Killed Atlanta's Children? (2000)

TV Movie  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery  -  16 July 2000 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 436 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 1 critic

In the early 1980's there was someone killing the children of Atlanta. Eventually a single man was caught and convicted in one of the largest manhunts in our nation's history. Ever since ... See full summary »

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Title: Who Killed Atlanta's Children? (TV Movie 2000)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean McCann ...
Aubrey Melton
Royal McCullough
Phil Peters
J.J. Johnston ...
Clark Hildebrandt
Jack Johnson
Lynda Gravatt ...
Mildred Glover
Debra Sharkey ...
Sally Laughlin
Bill MacDonald ...
Craig Eldridge ...
Robert Ingram, GBI
Matthew Cooke ...
Lubie Geter


In the early 1980's there was someone killing the children of Atlanta. Eventually a single man was caught and convicted in one of the largest manhunts in our nation's history. Ever since the case has been closed until four years later two reporters investigate charges that the original investigation was filled with errors and tainted evidence. They seek to find the truth behind the Atlanta Child Murders. Written by mts77

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Two reporters searching for the truth... no matter where it takes them.


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Release Date:

16 July 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Echo of Murder  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


These murders prompted the first extensive use of serial killer profiling and forensic fiber analysis. See more »


Written by Barbara L. Jordan and William Peterkin
Performed by Sarah B.
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User Reviews

echo of race, politics, and police work.
13 December 2001 | by (walnut grove, CA) – See all my reviews

Echo is a well-balanced treatment of the famous child murders that terrified Atlanta in the early eighties. Two reporters, played by Jim Belushi and Gregory Hines, plunge in to the biggest story their publication ("Spin") would ever handle. This is a salt-and-pepper team with the roles reversed: Hines is the conservative "suit" and Belushi is the rambunctious maverick--at first; later Hines is drawn in deeper and becomes the more committed of the two (not surprisingly since it is black children mainly who are being killed, and the "perpetrator" is a black man.) The sleuth-reporters uncover much evidence that in fact Williams may be innocent of at least most of the crimes and the KKK, in a wild politically-motivated conspiracy, are shown developing a regulated armed force and are carrying out mass murders. Police agencies (of course--a new-age view of cops) mishandle and cover up evidence (both purposely and by the inbred nature of such infighting agencies. Racial politics in the film is complex and a bit confusing (in fact a new black mayor seems to play ball with white politicians to keep a balance of power in the city.) In short, complications, ambiguities, and loose ends ensue, leaving Williams' conviction up in the air, and to this day (he's still doing two life terms) unresolved for many critics of the case. The production and acting are just fine. The balancing of history and drama are convincing and satisfying to me. Little in the way of contrivance or forced sentimentality here. It is a puzzle and a tragedy for Williams that he is doing life for a case decided on so little evidence (fibres at the scene, and blood stains in his car related only by type and not by DNA--yet; the possibility for this approach has surfaced recently.) It is a greater tragedy for the slain children and their parents (a moving sub plot of the film--the mothers.) The interposing of actual photos of the kids is poignant and dramatic.

One wonders what other treatment(s) could perhaps better present this story. Perhaps the story from the "inside," a representation based on the killer's (or killers) point of view. So much of this film is after-the-fact and from the outside (flash backs and speculation) that it is indeed "echoes." One might like to see a story structured on projected motivation-means-evidence--from the internal material. This is an ongoing drama, and those parents are still out there, and the spirits of those kids may never rest until released by the truth.

At least a five (something off for story treatment)

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