At least twenty-nine black children and young adults were murdered by an Atlanta serial killer between the summer of 1979 and the spring of 1981. Drawing national media attention, the “Atlanta tragedy,” as it became known, was immediately labeled a hate crime. However, when a young black man was arrested and convicted for the killings, public attention quickly shifted. Noted criminologist Bernard Headley was in Atlanta as the tragedy unfolded and provides here a thoughtful exploration of the social and political implications of the case both locally and nationally. Focusing on a singular historical event, Headley exposes broader tensions of race and class in contemporary America.