Regina King to Produce, Star in Atlanta Child Murders Drama, ‘No Place Safe’

By Sameer Rao Apr 13, 2017

Actress Regina King‘s ("The Leftovers") next project will bring the story of 29 young Black Atlantans’ murders to FX.

Deadline reported Tuesday (April 11) that King will star in "No Place Safe," a drama series adapted from Kim Reid’s 2007 memoir of the same name. The book follows Reid’s adolescence as her mother, an investigator with Fulton County’s district attorney’s office, devoted increasing time to investigating the murders of Black children and young adults between 1979 and 1981. "No Safe Place" depicts Reid’s various intersecting personal conflicts, including the paranoia surrounding the killings and the indifference of White classmates at her elite private school.

As Deadline notes, a Black man named Wayne Williams was convicted and sentenced to two consecutive life terms in 1982 for two of the murders, after which the Atlanta Police Department linked more of the deaths to him. USA Today reported in 2015 that the DNA evidence used to link him to those crimes was ruled faulty by the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ). Williams still maintains his innocence, and a 1986 Spin Magazine feature dug into court and police documents to uncover the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s parallel inquiry into the possibility that Ku Klux Klan members killed 14 of the slain Black children—an investigation the bureau hid from the public and closed after Williams’ conviction. CNN reported in 2010 that a revised DNA test with better-validated technology ultimately could not exonerate Williams, and the FBI and DOJ ruling did not convince prosecutors to re-open the case.

King will executive produce the series with her sister Reina King, John Ridley, Michael McDonald and series writer Wendy Calhoun ("Empire"). The actress previously worked with Ridley and McDonald on Ridley’s "American Crime," for which King won two Emmy Awards for "Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie."

The series is part of an overall deal between ABC Studios and King’s production company, Royal Ties, where Reina King works as a development executive. Deadline did not report a premiere date.