Darron Glass revisited

So I just finished reading this book about the unsolved 1980 disappearance of Darron Glass, the only presumed Atlanta Child Killer victim who is still missing. I’ve written about Darron on this blog twice before.

The book is self-published and more of a booklet than a book, only 28 pages long in large type. Normally I wouldn’t have bothered with it, but it was written by Thomas Bailey, who was Darron’s foster care caseworker at the time of his disappearance, so I thought it might have some insights. It did.

Bailey says much of what has been reported about Darron is wrong. His foster mother, Fannie Mae Smith, was interviewed by the media and described him as “immature but streetwise.” However, Bailey says Darron was in fact mentally disabled, and that his IQ had tested at 65, and he “was in no way streetwise.” Smith claimed Darron, or someone claiming to be him, called her on the day of his disappearance, but Bailey doesn’t believe Darron called or even knew his foster home’s phone number.

I’m not sure what to make of this information. Certainly I’m going to put the info about Darron’s mental disability on his Charley Project profile, but I don’t think his low IQ necessarily means Smith didn’t know what she was talking about.

An IQ in the 60s indicates a mild mental disability. According to some research I did, most people with IQs in that range function relatively normally. They can take care of themselves in terms of stuff like bathing and dressing and keeping their living area clean and so on. They can conform socially and they can acquire reading and math skills up until around the sixth-grade level. With some support, they can usually work a job and live independently as adults.

With this in mind, and given that Darron grew up in inner city Atlanta and had a rough life (per Bailey, Darron’s father murdered his mother in front of him), I can totally see him presenting as “immature but streetwise” to most people. If anyone is in a position to speak about children with mild mental disabilities, I’d be happy to hear it.

Bailey has more to say. Fannie Mae Smith’s foster home, he says, was very unsuitable, both for a mentally disabled child and for kids in general; in fact, he says, “How this home became certified is a mystery to me.” He says there were often “people of questionable character” in the home, and suspicion of drug use and even drug selling. Bailey says he had raised concerns about the placement with his supervisor but was ignored.

Per Bailey, he was informed of Darron’s disappearance on September 15, the day after it happened. That same day, he got a call from a woman who identified herself as Darron’s sister. Darron did have a sister whom he wasn’t in contact with, and Bailey wasn’t sure how she would have gotten his number.

The caller said she lived out of state and wanted to adopt Darron. Bailey told her Darron was missing, and she ended the conversation without leaving any contact info, and did not call back.

Bailey started getting anonymous calls saying if he would give the caller money, the caller would disclose Darron’s whereabouts. He says it was always a child’s voice, “maybe a young boy with adult voices in the background.” He told the police about the calls and they put a tap on his phone. Nothing seems to have come of it.

Bailey does not believe Wayne Williams was the Atlanta Child Killer, or at least that if he was a killer, he did not kill all the victims lumped under the Atlanta Child Killer case. (I agree.) He also thinks Darron was probably not murdered at all.

Bailey’s theory is that Darron’s sister was in contact with Fannie Mae Smith and that there was some kind of plan for the sister to take Darron, and that she did so on the day Darron disappeared, and that Darron is alive and well today.

He has a lot of criticism for both the Department of Family and Children Services, and the Atlanta Police Department, and thinks the police were too quick to dump Darron in the pile of serial killer victims instead of actually looking for him.

11 thoughts on “Darron Glass revisited

  1. Amy February 1, 2019 / 8:46 am

    Having lived in Atlanta during that time, I don’t believe Wayne Williams killed any of the kids. He may have killed some of the young adults later lumped into the case. So many things happening in the city at that time. For a good read, find the book, The List, by Chet Detlinger and read that. I think Darron is buried in the wrong grave if he is buried at all.

    • Brooks May 24, 2019 / 3:18 pm

      Hi Amy. I too am a lifelong Atlanta resident, although I was born in 1990. I have been fascinated by this case and have done extensive research on my own over the last 2-3 years, including visiting many of the locations where the victims lived, were last seen, and bodies discovered.

      I have been trying to get my hands on “The List” for a long time now…..this is rather difficult, as it has been out of print for years and sells for over $300 online.

      I’m not sure that we will ever know the full story of everything that went on with all of these cases, but I think a lot of the dots can still be connected and some more revelations made. I have been interested in trying to find others such as myself who share a similar interest and want to continue to piece this puzzle together!

    • james June 20, 2019 / 4:47 pm

      amy do you know the name of the priest who was at darron glass’ funeral?

      • Meaghan June 20, 2019 / 4:48 pm

        Darron didn’t get a funeral. His body was never found.

  2. Lacey February 19, 2019 / 8:21 pm

    My youngest daughter is 9 years old with an IQ of 68 so slightly higher then this boys but the same range .

    She is in normal classes and keeps up with her peers , she does get help with reading and math but is on grade level .

    She is a bit socially immature but you would only notice if you spent a lot of time with her .

    She is able to dress her self , and attend to her daily living as any child her age .
    I do wash her hair because she doesn’t rinse it well but that may be typical for her age .

    I have full faith she will live a normal adult life .
    She may not become a rocket scientist or a doctor or lawyer but she is fully capable of having a job one day , a house and marriage and children if she chooses .

    I just wanted to shed light on my own experience with a young child with similar IQ.

    • Meaghan February 19, 2019 / 8:25 pm

      Thank you. Your description matches my research.

      • Lacey February 19, 2019 / 8:59 pm

        I just wanted to clarify , with an IQ my daughter is not considered mentally disabled .
        She doesn’t even qualify for special education or services .Unless things were very different in the 1980’s ,he would not have been considered mentally disabled Soley based on an IQ of 65 .

        She is considered to have a mild delay .
        She is capable of remembering phone numbers and addresses just like anyone else .
        The main thing I have to watch with her is she easily influenced.

      • Meaghan February 19, 2019 / 9:03 pm

        My understanding is that to be considered mentally retarded (I mean this as a technical term for intellectual disability, not as a slur) for legal purposes anyway, your IQ must be below 70. If it’s below 70, you aren’t eligible for the death penalty because the Supreme Court says people who are mentally retarded should not be executed.

  3. Lacey February 19, 2019 / 9:34 pm

    I am not sure .
    My daughter has never been referred to as mentally retarted Or mentally disabled by professionals.
    The 70 you are talking about may refer to an adult IQ.
    Here in New York State , a child does not qualify for services for intellectual disability unless the IQ is below 60.
    Adults qualify below 75.

    My understanding is my daughter will have another IQ test in high school , that IQ tests on children are not always accurate as they do tend to go up a few points as they mature .

    I am not expert on this at all, just a mom of a child with an IQ of 68.

    I know children have to have an IQ of less than 60 to automatically qualify for a IeP ( individualized education plan) similar to the old special Ed .
    When my daughter was tested , they also told me , it used to be believed your IQ was pretty much set .
    They have know come to find out , you can increase it by exposure. I take my daughter to art shows, museums, science events on a regular basis.
    She won’t have her IQ tested until high school again but we have seen vast improvement in her reasoning and thinking skills .
    This may be why , at least in New York State , the standard to receive services for children and adults differs.
    I am not personally offended by the word retarted by the way .
    Retarted means slow, Same as delayed 🙂

    • Meaghan February 19, 2019 / 9:35 pm

      You sound like a very caring, involved parent. Your daughter is lucky to have you.

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