William Rose

On September 18, 2023, authorities announced that William B. Rose, 24, was the lead suspect in the January 13, 1972 rape and murder of 9-year-old Debbie Lynn Randall in Atlanta, Georgia.

She had been kidnapped walking home from a laundromat about a block from her home. Her remains were found after an exhaustive 16-day search that was participated in by more than 4,000 members of the community. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled to death.

In October of 2001, the FBI conducted DNA testing on a strand of hair found at the crime scene. Only a partial profile could be developed. Another partial profile was developed in 2015 from Randall’s clothing. Further DNA testing was done in 2019.

The FIGG investigation was conducted by DNA Labs International in partnership with the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office. They used the Forenseq Kintelligence System, which DNA Labs says was important in overcoming the degradation of the DNA samples, which were more than 50 years old. Rose’s remains were exhumed, and his STR-DNA profile was compared with that developed from the crime scene. The investigation was funded by the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.

Rose committed suicide in 1974. He had family and friends who lived in the same apartment complex as Randall. It is thought that he would have seen her playing outside at the apartment building. Police are not aware at the present time of any other cases in which Rose is a suspect.


Chasan, Aliza. “Girl’s Killer Identified More than 50 Years After She was Abducted in Georgia.” CBS News, September 18, 2023. Accessed September 21, 2023. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/cold-case-killer-debbie-lynn-randall-georgia-identified-dna/.

Taylor, Michelle. “Genealogy Names Suspect in 1972 Murder of 9-Year-Old Girl.” Forensic Magazine, September 20, 2023. Accessed September 21, 2023. https://www.forensicmag.com/607201-Genealogy-Names-Suspect-in-1972-Murder-of-9-Year-Old-Girl/.

Vargas, Ramon Antonio. “A Georgia Girl was Murdered in 1972. Her Parents Died Not Knowing Her Killer.” The Guardian, September 20, 2023. Accessed September 21, 2023. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/sep/20/a-georgia-girl-was-murdered-in-1972-her-parents-died-not-knowing-her-killer.


First Name William
Last Name Rose
Other Names
Victims 1 (Details)
IGG Started nd
Case Cleared 2023-09-18


Case ID Name Age Case Opened Location Investigating Org Most Serious Charge Disposition Court
2061 Debbie Randall 9 1972-01-13 Atlanta, GA Cobb CDA Second degree murder Case was cleared by exception due to death of perpetrator n/a

Last updated: February 13, 2024

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Case data and narrative licensed under CC BY 4.0: Dowdeswell, Tracey (2023), “Forensic Genetic Genealogy Project v. 2022”, Mendeley Data, V1, doi: 10.17632/jcycgvhm96.1. All other content, including photos, have been added.