Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Atlanta's Lovers Lane Killer-A Southern Zodiac?

There are many baffling murders and crimes committed every day. Many go unsolved. I am always enthralled with the mysteries surrounding the Jack the Ripper and Zodiac murders. They were never solved, and the blogsites, presses, and chat boards light up with theories and ideas about the identity of these killers, as well as their motives.

In Atlanta, in 1977, such a crime spree occurred. The killings were dubbed the Atlanta Lovers Lane Killings, and the murderer was called the Lovers Lane Killer. Like the Ripper and the Zodiac Killer, Atlanta's Lovers Lane Killer was never nabbed. It all began on January 16, 1977, when police came to the scene of an accident where LaBrian Lovett crossed an intersection and hit a street sign. Inside the car, Lovett and a woman, 26 year old Veronica Hill, were found naked with gunshot wounds; Lovett's wounds were in the head, stomach, right leg, and left arm. Hill's wounds were in the left leg and her abdomen. Both were taken to the hospital and later died of their wounds. It was determined that the two had been involved in sexual intercourse at nearby Adams Park. Lovett attempted to drive for help, but obviously his injuries overtook him and caused him to loose control of the car. When police arrived at the accident scene, Hill was in the backseat of the car under a coat.

The killer came out again, twenty seven days later, on February 12th. This time he struck at nearby West Manor Park when he attacked a teenage couple who were necking in the park. He came to their car around 2:45 a.m. and fired six rounds in to the vehicle. Luckily, the two were not hurt, but the assailant, who was described as a large African American male, seemed to grow frustrated by the fact that his bullets had not hit their mark. He tried to open the car doors, but they were locked. He left the scene on foot, and the teeangers were spared of the fate suffered by Lovett and Hill earlier in the year. Police reported that it was a .38 caliber gun that was used in both of the shootings.

Police were baffled by these crimes. The motives did not seem to be rape or robbery, as the assailant took nothing from the scene and did not attempt to sexually assault the female victims. On March 12, some twenty eight days after the second attack, Diane Collins, age 20, was with her fiancee in Adams Park. They had seen a movie earlier that evening and were closing out their date there. The couple did not see the gunman as he drew near their vehicle. He shot six rounds in to the passenger side window, killing Collins. Her fiancee was wounded in the head, but survived. After the attack, he managed to drive the car to his home where he phoned for an ambulance.

Police had no answers to the puzzle of the Lovers Lane Killer. They felt that since there was a 27 day difference between the first and second shootings and a 28 day interval between the second and third, that it would be logical to stake out nearby parks 29 days after the third shooting. This would be April 6-8. However, the gunman did not materialize. As the days and weeks passed, the assailant remained quiet. He seemed to have left the scene as quickly as he appeared, and noone ever heard from him again. Two years later in 1979, police admitted that they had no leads or suspects in the case. The mystery of his identity and reason for his crimes has never been solved.

So who was the Atlanta Lovers Lane Killer? Why did he strike? Was he planning his murders in intervals, 27, 28.....? Why did he prey on victims in the park that seemed to be in love? Was he a rejected lover? Did he have some fetish with couples? Perhaps he watched the couples for a while before he struck. Is he still out there? Did he change his killing habits and strike again undetected by the police as the Lovers Lane Killer? Just as interesting as the disappearance of Mary Shotwell Little is the story of the Atlanta Lovers Lane Killer.

3 comments:

scooter said...

Wayne Williams?

Caprice said...

Hey Scooter!
Could be...
Maybe he grew tired of attacking adults and turned (mostly) to the children.
Probably not, though.
Isn't it odd that Atlanta had all those random attacks and murders from 1977 to 1981? Atlanta's Lovers Lane in 1977 and the Atlanta Child Murders (Wayne Williams) from 1979-1981?
Was there something going on with the public water system?
But then, you mentioned Jack the Ripper, Professor... I was surprised to hear about a previous figure attacking women in London about 50 years before Jack the Ripper. Spring Heeled Jack is the name given a character who attacked women (Spring Heeled because he apparently could leap high walls to get away...)in London and Scotland starting in 1837 and he was seen up until 1907. I just thought it was odd that there were two "Jacks" attacking women in London. I know Jack the Ripper gave himself his name - I was wondering if he pulled it from Spring Heeled Jack.
... or maybe he's ONE IN THE SAME!
... hope I didn't deviate too far from the original subject...

scooter said...

never know Caprice!

Speaking of London, did you get to see the Henry Players production of Sweeney Todd? Went tonight and it was great!

One show left tomorrow at 2:30 pm.....I'd recommend it!

Scooter