(CBS46) – The night Danny Stowe was killed – Wayne Williams – the main suspect in the Atlanta child murders was convicted of killing two men.
Police devoted every resource trying to link Williams to the horrific crimes.
Danny's widow Lou Ann Stowe Carmichael said police never even called to tell her what happened.
“The call came from his brother who was with him that night,” she said. “My dad came and we had to go pick up the belongings.”
Danny, 28, was shot in the chest by an angry customer he'd escorted out of the Purple Onion on Stewart Avenue.
The street in Southwest Atlanta was known for its nightlife, prostitution and crime.
Danny and his brothers were regulars at the popular strip club.
“The regular doorman called in sick,” said Carmichael. “And Danny said, 'Well I'll stand there.'”
The shooter escaped in a 1960s Chevy Nova with a black top and orange body.
CBS46’s crime scene investigator Sheryl ‘Mac’ McCollum said finding the Nova is key.
Mac and former Fulton County Assistant District Attorney Dawn Belisle reviewed the case file.
“I think that car is his office. I think everybody knowns him around that car,” said Mac. “That's not even the kind of car you would steel if you had any sense. There weren't two of them in Atlanta.”
“And that's a flashy car,” Belisle said.
Nearly 40 years later, while new DNA technology is re-testing old evidence in the recently re-opened child murders – Danny's killer remains at large and all the evidence from his case is misplaced and lost.
“They put everything on the back burner. They didn't care,” said Danny’s son, Tommy Stowe. “I think the city of Atlanta was sloppy.”
In 1982, witnesses told police Danny's killer with the bartender over running a tab which was against the club's policy.
He’s described as a black man just over 6 feet tall, then sharply dressed wearing pointed toe shoes, a tan trench coat and a wad of cash he kept flashing.
Stowe said Danny’s two brothers were playing pool in the back when one went running after a single shot rang out.
“He ran out front. And dad was laying down. He says he didn't see anything,” he said.
Three from a drinking glass and a 38-caliber bullet from Danny's chest were submitted into evidence, but it's unknown if anything was ever tested.
“Locations changed. Database changed. We even went as far as Washington D.C. thinking they had possibly been sent there, they couldn't find them.,” Carmichael said.
Carmichael and Stowe have spent the last 20 years, and thousands of hours and dollars searching for the killer.
We reached out to forensic criminologist Dr. Laura Pettler for help.
Pettler is part of Dr. Oz’s True Crime team, which airs on CBS46.
“We're going to light that laser up show where the shooter was,” she explained to CBS46 as she recreated the crime scene.
Using, the Kaleidoscope system, Pettler constructed the crime scene, to create a profile of the killer.
Pettler invented the system in 2009, and it’s the most comprehensive bloodstain and bullet trajectory kit in the world.
Based on the killer’s case file, Pettler said he is a power assertive offender.
“They're the biggest baddest most masculine guy in the bar. They're pushy,” she said. “This particular case you're looking for somebody who's known to law enforcement a person who's been arrested numerous times. Most of the time he'll have assault on a female type charges.
Pettler said the killer saw Danny as an interference and he paid the ultimate price.
“Here he is the object that's keeping the offender from getting what he wants which was to sit in that bar and drink. So of course, he's the one that takes the hit,” she said.
Mac said it's time to move this case forward.
“I think we need to re-release the car picture and the tag number,” said Mac. “And I think we need to re-release the dates and times so that people can make oh wait I remember something about that.