Episode 187: John Glover – Atlanta Child Murders, Wayne Williams

Retired Agent Dr. John Glover, Ph.D., served in the FBI for 23 years. He became an Executive Assistant Director, one of three direct reports to the FBI Director and highest-ranking African American in the FBI. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, John Glover reviews the Atlanta Child Murders case. As Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Division, he oversaw the FBI investigation of the killings of black youths in Atlanta and led the joint state-federal task force, which resulted in the arrest and conviction of Wayne Williams.

John Glover received his appointment as a Special Agent with the FBI in October 1966. Following a period of training at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, he was assigned to the Kansas City Field Office in Missouri, where he served until February 1968, when he was transferred to the Washington, D.C. Field Office. In December 1972, he was transferred to the FBI Academy at Quantico, VA, as the FBI’s first African American Firearms and Defensive Tactics Instructor.  In January 1974, he was promoted to supervisor in the Identification Division, FBI Headquarters, Washington, D.C. John Glover became an inspector’s aide in the Inspection Division, FBI Headquarters, from August 1975 to August 1976, when he assumed supervisory duties in the Laboratory Division. He then continued his series of “firsts” with his transfer and promotion to the Newark Field Office as Assistant Special Agent in Charge of all FBI operations in the state of New Jersey, before being designated as an inspector in the Planning and Inspection Division in July 1978.

John Glover made FBI history again when he was promoted to Special Agent in Charge of the Milwaukee Division in February 1979, where he was in charge of all FBI operations in the state of Wisconsin. In April 1980, he was reassigned as the Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta, Georgia Office, where he oversaw the FBI investigation of the killings of black youths in Atlanta. The joint state-federal inquiry led to the arrest and conviction of Wayne Williams. John Glover was named Assistant Director of the Inspection Division in September 1982, another first for an African American agent, and in April 1986, he was designated Executive Assistant Director for Administration, at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. On March 31, 1989.

Executive Assistant Director (Retired)

John Glover

1966 – 1989








“As long as there’s this belief among a certain number of people that he didn’t do it, I think that feeds into his position that he didn’t do it. He did it.” — Retired Executive Assistant Director John Glover

The following are links to articles about the Atlanta child murders case:

FBI Website:  Serial Killers – Part 5: Wayne Williams and the Atlanta Child Murders

FBI Studies:  ATKID: The Atlanta Child Murders Case

Rolling Stone – 8/20/2019:  Atlanta Child Murders Case Has Been Reopened

AJC (VIDEO) – 5/31/2019:  Despite new inquiry, no new answers in Atlanta Child Murders

Neflix:  Mindhunter – Season 2

After Wayne Williams was arrested and convicted of two murders, he received a life sentence in prison, and the Atlanta child killings stopped.






With this letter addressed to Atlanta SAC John Glover, the City of Atlanta formally asked for FBI assistance on August 21, 1980.

























Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, jokes that she writes about the FBI to relive her glory days. After 26 years with the Bureau specializing in major economic fraud and corruption investigations, she calls on her professional encounters with scams and schemers to write police procedurals inspired by true crime FBI cases in her Philadelphia FBI Corruption Squad crime fiction series featuring flawed female FBI agent Kari Wheeler. Jerri’s FBI for Armchair Detectives nonfiction series enables readers to discover who the FBI is and what the FBI does by debunking misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. Her books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks wherever books are sold. She’s also the host of FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast with more than 300 episodes available on all popular podcast apps and YouTube.


  1. Rob BurgoyneNovember 20, 2019

    Brilliant and informative, enjoyed the story as told in mind hunter enjoyed it better when shared by Mr Glover, cheers Jerri well done.

    1. Jerri WilliamsNovember 20, 2019

      I also thought Dr. Glover’s review enhanced awareness of the Atlanta child murders case. Thanks for listening.


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