(CNN) -- Saying he believes the man presumed responsible for most of the 29 Atlanta-area murders of boys, young men and two girls between 1979 and 1981 is innocent, a police chief plans to reopen four murder cases.
"Quite frankly, I don't think Wayne Williams is responsible for anything," DeKalb County Police Chief Louis Graham said. "I don't think he did anything. I made up my mind with that 20 years ago, and I still feel that way."
Graham has formed a cold-case squad to look into four young men slain in DeKalb County, east of downtown: Patrick Baltazar, 11; Curtis Walker, 13; Joseph Bell, 15; and William Barrett, 17. They were all killed between February and May 1981. "At this point, there are just too many open questions," said Graham, who was a member of the multi-agency task force that led to Williams' arrest. "And all I'm trying to do is answer those questions as best we can."
In 1982 Williams, then 23, was convicted and given two life sentences for murdering two men. Afterward, police declared Williams responsible for more than 20 others but never charged him. Williams, still in prison, has never wavered from his stance that he is innocent of all the killings.