REIDSVILLE, Ga. - Imprisoned for ordering the murder of a political rival, a former sheriff says he rather talk about another high-profile killer's innocence than his own.
Former DeKalb County Sheriff Sidney Dorsey answered few questions about his personal situation, saying in a newspaper interview at the state prison in Reidsville that he wanted to talk about Wayne Williams instead.
Dorsey, convicted in 2002 of arranging the murder of the man who defeated him for sheriff, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for a story published Sunday that he believes Williams was wrongly blamed for the murders of two dozen black boys and young men in the Atlanta area between 1979 and 1981.
Dorsey said Williams, who is black, "was the perfect suspect, the perfect fall guy."
"If they arrested a white guy, there would have been riots across the U.S," said Dorsey, who was an Atlanta homicide detective at the time of the Atlanta child killings.
The DeKalb County police chief has reopened the cases of five of the 29 victims - all blacks and mostly boys. The deaths led to one of the most intensive criminal investigations of the century.
Williams was convicted of two murders and blamed for 22 others, but he was never charged in the other cases.
When the subject turned again to his situation, the 65-year-old Dorsey, who is appealing his own case, said he knows how Williams feels. In his mind, they are two men framed for murder. Dorsey was convicted of arranging the December 2000 assassination of Sheriff-elect Derwin Brown after Brown had ousted him in an election.
"Wayne Williams is probably thinking there's light at the end of the tunnel," Dorsey said. "Someone predicted something similar to his situation might befall me. I think there is hope."