Atlanta Mayor Says Serial Killer Rumors 'Not Helpful' in Katherine Janness' Murder Probe

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said the serial killer rumors and false information being spread on social media "will not help us get this monster off the street," when it comes to Katheine Janness' murder investigation, the Associated Press reported.

"I know there have been several rumors that there is a serial killer on the loose in our city," said Bottoms at a Tuesday briefing. "We don't have any evidence of that."

Bottoms also dressed the speculation the killing was a hate crime as Janness was a member of the city's LGBTQ community. "As of now, we don't have any proof of that."

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:

Bottoms Addresses Rumors in Katherine Janness Case
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms addressed the serial killer rumors surrounding the murder case of Katherine Janness and said they were not helpful. Bottoms speaks at a press conference on March 17 in Atlanta, Georgia. Megan Varner/Getty Images

In a slaying that has stoked intense interest and fear across the city, Janness, 40, was found just inside an entrance to Piedmont Park about 1 a.m. last Wednesday. She had been stabbed multiple times in what the deputy police chief described as a gruesome scene.

Police on Tuesday released images from surveillance cameras showing six possible witnesses who were in and around the park around the time of the slaying. They're hoping for the public's help to identify them.

"Not saying that they're responsible—I want to be clear about that," Atlanta police Deputy Chief Charles Hampton Jr. said. "But we're hoping they saw something that could further our investigation."

Detectives have also gone door-to-door in neighborhoods near the park, asking neighbors and businesses for surveillance footage. A $10,000 reward is being offered for information regarding the slaying.

Investigators sought help from the FBI almost immediately, said Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant.

The homicide "was so unique that I felt that we needed to collaborate with as many resources as we possibly can," Bryant said.

Janness, known to her friends as Katie, was a bartender at a nearby restaurant, friends and relatives said. She was also a devoted daughter, sister, wife, and a friend of many, Hampton said.

"She was a vocal advocate for social justice," he said. "Now it's time for us to give justice for Katie."

Atlanta Mayor Address Rumors About Janness Case
Katherine Janness, 40, was found stabbed to death in the park in the early hours of July 28. Police say her dog was also killed at the scene. A makeshift memorial to Janness is seen at the entrance to Piedmont Park on Sunday, August 1 in Atlanta. Ron Harris/Associated Press