|Affiliation|| Jose Silva (roommate)|
Carlos Hernandez (cellmate)
|Pathology|| Serial/spree rapist|
Double cop killer
|First Appearance||"Her Negotiation"|
|Last Appearance||"Post-Mortem Blues"|
William Lewis (born Lewis Williams) was a serial rapist, serial killer, serial kidnapper, and sadist (later a spree rapist and spree killer).
Lewis was apparently born in Harland County, Kentucky on August 23, 1978 as Lewis Williams. Lewis revealed that his father used to drive him to his babysitter's house and put him in front of the TV to watch cartoons, while he went into the back and had sex with the babysitter. Lewis recounted that one day, when he was drunk, his babysitter began to perform fellatio on him. His father walked in on the scene, brutally raped her, and took Lewis to Dairy Queen for ice cream afterwards; Lewis claimed it was one of the best days of his life. In 1998, he abducted and raped the mother of his girlfriend when she tried to break them up. Though Lewis was caught, the DA was unwilling to put the victim on the stand to testify, as she was a junkie, and the charges were dropped.
In 2003, Lewis kidnapped two roommates in Alabama, and raped and tortured them for three straight days in a fishing cabin. They managed to escape and reported him to police, but Lewis avoided prosecution again because both victims were too traumatized to testify in open court, so his lawyer got him off. His name was misspelled on the paperwork as "Louis Williams", so the record failed to follow him. This gave Lewis the idea of using aliases that sounded similar, to confuse police records that would mistake it for simple spelling errors. In 2010, Williams appeared in Maryland, where his name was further misspelled as "William Lucas", and he went to trial for the rape and murder of his then-girlfriend, who was also his defense attorney from Alabama. His new lawyer, however, found another boyfriend of the victim and created reasonable doubt, causing Lewis to be acquitted.
In New York, Lewis began his attacks by flashing women in the park. He managed to slip away from these charges with various lies given that the charge of indecent exposure was only a misdemeanor anyway, only, later, to rape repeatedly, for eighteen hours straight, the 60-year-old woman who had filed the complaint.
Lewis was able to worm out of his most recent charges by yet again adeptly manipulating the legal system. First, and more by blind luck, the DNA evidence from his assault in New York was mishandled when it was tested in improperly cleaned equipment, which Williams and his attorney seized upon as reason to deem it inadmissable in court. Next, his attorney pointed out that the elderly woman he raped and tortured was so traumatized that she might not accurately remember the face of her attacker, creating plausible deniability.
Arguably, Lewis' initial flashing incident might have been a calculated, pre-planned tactic (which would have dispelled Det. Munch's theory that Lewis operated on instinct, not pre-planned). Williams was very capable of manipulating the legal system, particularly creating plausible deniability, and his greatest pleasure was not simply to commit acts of sexual torture, but to get away with them as well. One of the defenses Williams used at his trial was that his rape victim was obsessed with him, and thus was either making false charges against him, or was so traumatized that she became honestly confused and mixed up her attacker's face with his own in her memories. This created enough "plausible deniability" that Williams was able to go free - but it never would have worked if he had simply raped a random stranger he had never met.
Thus the full pattern of Lewis' attacks was actually pre-planned, well thought out, and ruthlessly calculating; every time he moved to a new state, he harassed women with sexually provocative but relatively minor offenses (indecent exposure of one's self is a misdemeanor at worst), then subsequently kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and tortured them - to such an extent that he could claim that a severely traumatized victim might plausibly blame him simply because she was the target of his "allegedly unrelated" previous harassment.
Lewis' vicious attacks would come to a head when he broke into Detective Olivia Benson's apartment, held her at gunpoint when she arrived home, and bound and gagged her. For the next several hours, Lewis would torture and humiliate Benson, forcing her to ingest sleeping pills, whiskey and vodka while burning her with cigarettes and heated keys.
Lewis then returned to his halfway house, intimidated his old roommate into handing over his car keys, and took his car, picking up his most recent defense attorney to have dinner at the house of her parents, the Mayers, while Benson was still bound and gagged in the trunk. Afterwards, Lewis dropped off his lawyer at the train station and returned to her parents' home, where he viciously attacked her father, bound and gagged him with duct tape and left him to die of a heart attack. He then proceeded to rape and torture her mother with Benson being forced to watch, escalating her torture if she ever shut her eyes from the carnage.
Leaving Mrs. Mayer bound in her closet, Lewis stole her credit card and car and drove around the coast with Benson still captive, looking for a suitable house to slowly rape and torture her. While en route, Lewis stopped by a hardware store and, using the Mayers' stolen credit card, bought rope, duct-tape, wire, and a handheld blowtorch for his impending torture of Benson. Killing a police officer who pulled him over for running a blinking red light, Lewis took his gun and badge and stole his patrol car, using it to pull over a young woman and her infant child, pistol-whipping her and locking them both in the trunk of the police vehicle, taking their minivan with Olivia in tow.
Finally finding a seemingly vacant house that Lewis deemed perfect for his sick plans and intentions, he violently threw Benson on the bed and chained her up with her own handcuffs after he had "helped" her go to the bathroom. Ditching the stolen minivan in front of another house to throw off any potential suspicions, Lewis returned and prepared to cut Benson's clothes off until the maid of the family who live in the house arrives with her young daughter.
While initially eager to chase the maid away, Lewis changed his mind when he looked at her five-year-old daughter and instead abducted them, preparing to rape, torture, and murder both as well. While he was preparing to do so, Benson taunted Lewis with how pathetic she was convinced he probably was to prey on old women and children, accusing him to his face of not being "man enough to get it up" for a real woman. As Lewis was enraged at the detective's claims, Benson added insult to injury by telling the sadist that she believed he was afraid of her.
Intent on proving her wrong, Lewis unbuckled his pants, but at that moment, Benson broke a bar off the iron post of the bed to which she had been cuffed, and smashed it into Lewis' face with all her might, breaking his nose and violently pushing him against the wall. Immediately, Lewis attempted to grab his stolen gun from the adjacent night table, but Benson smashed his arm with the post and kicked him in the groin. As Lewis whimpered in pain that he had NOT inflicted on himself, Benson grabbed the gun and held it to his face, using the same threat he had previously given her if he tried to attack her: "One move--lights out." She then used it to knock him out.
Taking the key to the cuffs that had bound her, Benson freed herself and cuffed Lewis to the bed, the tables finally turned on the sadist, and released the maid and her daughter afterwards. Returning to Lewis, who was still seemingly knocked out, Benson voiced her disgust and hatred towards him and her desire to torture and kill him, before she admitted that he might enjoy that too much. She then mentioned her old partner, Elliot Stabler, and how she knew that he (Stabler) would have broken every bone in his body if he had ever found out what Lewis had done to her and so many others.
Revealing himself still be to conscious, Lewis attempted to goad Benson into killing him, picking apart her life and relationship with her old partner. Disturbingly reading Benson's entire life and motivation like an open book, Lewis revealed the reason he raped and tortured. His father would often bring him over to his babysitter's house to watch cartoons while he went into the back and had sex with her. One night, his father had passed out drunk and the babysitter had begun to have intercourse with Lewis, in the middle of which his father had woken up, punched her hard in the face, and violently raped her with Lewis watching.
While Benson was disgusted, as she had initially believed that Lewis had been trying to obtain some sympathy from her, Lewis revealed the contrary--that his father had taken him out for ice cream afterwards, and that it had been one of the best nights of his life, the night where he believed he learned the reason for why he was born. Realizing that Lewis did not have an ounce of remorse, redemption, or humanity within him, Benson pointed the gun at his face, barely resisting the temptation to kill him as Lewis encouraged her to do so.
Refusing to kill even such a sick-minded individual and, thereby, become anything like him, Benson tried to calm herself until Lewis commented, "I knew it. You don't have the balls." Finally reaching her breaking point, Benson took the bed post again firmly in her hands as Lewis looked on, visibly shaken. Benson then struck Lewis over and over again as he screamed in agony, eventually beating him within an inch of his life. She finally called the police and her squad, who arrived and took Lewis away, as Fin revealed to a shocked Benson that the rapist had managed to survive his extensive wounds, although he later revealed in court that he died four times in the ambulance.
Over the following months, Detective Benson mentioned that, though she was still shaken and angry, Lewis was locked up and could no longer hurt her.
Lewis stood trial for Benson's attempted murder, kidnapping, rape, and assault. However, like before, he attempted to continue his legal winning streak as he feigned innocence and injury from permanent scars on the left side of his face, and claimed partial blindness in his eye and deafness in one ear, as well as limping in the courtroom--though this was likely him faking, as he showed a significant amount of energy when yelling at Benson. While he was able to force Benson to relive her memories and torment her throughout the trial, the jury acquitted him of the attempted murder and rape charges, but convicted him of the charges of kidnapping and assault of a police officer, and he was sentenced to imprisonment for 25 years to life.
Before he left, Lewis gave Benson one final twisted look, believing he had the last laugh by forcing her through the hell in the trial. Once Lewis was taken away, Benson took time to herself in the stairwell and finally released all her emotions, crying in relief that it was over. Four months later, he faked a seizure in prison, likely for preferential treatment. It is implied he was in a relationship with his doctor after she held his hand while he was on the stretcher. Lewis gave a twisted smile as he was escorted to the hospital, implying a possible return.
William Lewis later escaped from prison after having what appeared to be convulsions and a myocardial infarction. The cause of these afflictions was spiked pastries given to him by the jury forewoman in Lewis' original trial. The forewoman, who had delivered the jury's verdict of not guilty on the charges of murder and rape and guilty of kidnapping and assault of a police officer, had frequented Lewis' prison, believing Lewis to have been wrongly convicted. During one of the visits that she (the juror) made to Lewis, she prepared an assortment of pastries, which, unbeknownst to Lewis, contained anxiety relieving prescription drugs which she used herself to quell her angst during her onstage mandolin performances.
Lewis was later discovered by his cellmate convulsing violently after falling from his bed. He was subsequently rushed to a nearby hospital where Janice Cole, one of the doctors employed there and his prison doctor, attempted to stabilize him. However, doctors later pronounced him dead when attempts to resuscitate him failed. Soon after, he spontaneously "auto-resuscitated" in what one of the doctors described as "The Lazarus Effect." It was at this time that, amidst the Monday morning mayhem, he managed to change into the attire of a hospital employee. Under the guise of a doctor, he absconded the hospital and began, or rather resumed, his manic killing spree. Also, before departing from the hospital, he also raped one of the nurses, and hung her unconscious body in a storage closet. He also murdered a cop by snapping his neck and stealing his gun.
Once he evacuated the hospital, he continued his brutal mind games with now-Sergeant Olivia Benson by calling her, saying: "I missed you, sunshine" before hanging up. Benson and the SVU, along with other law enforcement personnel, gathered at the police headquarters to discuss a prudent and appropriate course of action. However, their meeting was interrupted by Lieutenant Murphy, who forced Benson to (likely temporarily) cede her leadership position, much to her outspoken chagrin, to him for the remainder of the investigation, due to conflict of interest and bias. Lieutenant Murphy believed that due to her previous encounter with Lewis (when he assaulted and attempted to rape her), it would be impossible for her to conduct an impartial investigation. Lieutenant Murphy designates agents Delano and Carlson to Benson as her security and protection personnel.
Later on during the investigation, Lewis, having fugitive status, invaded the Cole household, residence of one of the doctors who tried to resuscitate him after he began seizing. While there, he murdered Janice Cole, the mother, by shooting her in the face, raped the eldest daughter Lauren and bound and gagged her in a closet, and abducted the youngest daughter Amelia. The detectives, an unfortunate step behind Lewis' heinous plots, arrived at the scene too late. They arrived and saw that the house had been ravaged, with torn upholstery and upturned furniture everywhere, and upon entering the kitchen, they saw Janice Cole's remains. During the team's further search of the house, they uncovered Janice's daughter, Lauren, in a closet, and rescued her. However, Lauren revealed to the detectives that he (Lewis) had entrusted her with a message meant solely for Benson, and that Lewis had abducted Amelia from the house. She requested to speak to Benson alone, for Lewis had otherwise vowed to murder Amelia Cole.
At the hospital, Lauren was granted her wish of solitude with Benson when she confided, in Benson, the horrid details of her own rape. In addition, she also delivered the message from Lewis to Benson: "Tell the truth, or the girl dies." While this had perplexed Lauren, Benson understood what this meant. When Lieutenant Murphy asked her about the cryptic demand's meaning, she explained that she had perjured herself during his trial. In court, she had testified (under oath) that when she had bludgeoned William Lewis with a steel rod, it had been necessary to restrain him, as he had managed to get free from his handcuffs, and that such battery was necessary for self-defense. However, the bludgeoning had actually occurred while William had still been handcuffed and defenseless, and had therefore not been necessary to subdue him. Lieutenant Murphy adamantly instructed Benson not to make the confession, under the impression that "it will feed the beast" and that he might still kill or molest Amelia. Soon after, at police headquarters, William Lewis called them on the landline, and insisted that he speak to Benson.
On the phone, he again demanded that she make the confession soon or else he would kill Amelia, but he now also added that his previous defense attorney would also be murdered if his demands were not met. Benson ruefully agreed to make the confession on public television under the condition that Amelia and the attorney remain alive. He agreed, but then violently shoved the attorney down a flight of stairs and beat him. His fate was not clarified, but it is likely he survived due to the superficiality of his injuries. Meanwhile, the remainder of the SVU and law enforcement had successfully triangulated the location from where the call had been made. They deduce the location to be Roosevelt island, which had only one exit route, and the detectives believed that by blocking the exits, they can corner him with no route of escape. However, the evil Lewis again proved to have outfoxed them when they evacuated a tram and found that the phone was there, but William Lewis had made off with Amelia, and left her backpack behind. This prompted Benson to make a televised confession where she described her perjury. She declared that she had assaulted William Lewis out of rage, rather than necessity, and stated that her admission had been made without "coercion" and "by her own volition," despite the fact that neither of those statements was true.
Benson was later seen at Magna's Bar drinking and wracked with angst about her admission, and accompanied by her two-person security convoy, Delano and Carlson. She confirmed that she felt remorseful, and was dubious about William Lewis' vow to release Amelia as he had said; she woefully expressed this while Delano and Carlson made small talk. Benson requested to go to the bathroom, and Delano escorted her to make sure the bathroom was "safe." Upon deeming it so, she gave Benson her requested privacy, but Benson used that as an opportunity to contact Lewis, who said that she could come rescue the girl. Her security personnel, distracted and taken with the bar's vigor, were unwitting of Benson as she fled the bar unnoticed. Outside, she used her authority as a cop to "borrow" a civilian's car, much to his dismay. She then drove off to Lewis' presumed location.
She arrived in what appeared to be a dusky junkyard, and demanded that Lewis confront her. Lewis did so, surprising her from behind at a distance. He quickly drew the gun he had stolen and approached Benson, disarming her, removing her cell phone, and unstrapping her police vest. At gunpoint, she was forced into the car as Lewis drove the two of them off to Amelia's location.
Back at the station, Lt. Murphy was livid when he discovered that Delano's and Carlson's laxity at the bar had afforded Benson an opportunity to escape, and dismissed the two of them after a caustic spiel. He then asked Nick Amaro, Benson's partner, about what Benson was most likely doing. Amaro responded by saying she had gone to confront Lewis. When the scene again switched, it was to show Lewis directing Benson aggressively towards a deserted and decrepit factory, which was also the site he was using to hold Amelia hostage.
As they traveled to the top, Lewis taunted her cruelly as they approached the uppermost floor. Lewis forced her to choose between letting herself be raped or having Amelia, who was bound by her wrists, be raped. Nobly, Benson volunteered, and Lewis began to fondle and caress her, causing her great repulsion. When Benson repeatedly and understandingly refused to submit to his sexual desires, he forced her to partake in a savage game of "Russian Roulette" with her. He loaded a six-chambered revolver, pressed the muzzle to his head, and fired, only to reveal a blank. He slid the gun to Olivia, forcing her to fire the gun at her head (five chambers remained), with the threat that he would shoot her if she did not do it. Reluctantly, with an 80% chance of survival, she held the gun and fired it, fortunately revealing another blank. Lewis, becoming excited, pressed the gun to his own head, now with a 75% chance of survival as four chambers remained, and fired, firing yet another blank.
Right before Benson took her turn, however, Lewis heard helicopters and realized that the police had located him, Amelia, and Benson. Remaining composed, he taunted the detectives, who were floors below them, through the walkie-talkie he had stolen, informed the SVU of their "game," and told them that he and Benson were half-way finished, with three chambers left. Benson uneasily took the revolver once more (with a 66.6666% chance of not being killed) and fired, as another blank was used. Lewis then informed the authorities that two chambers remained and remarked, "You know how lucky I am." Without hesitation, and with a 50% chance of killing himself, he essentially tossed a coin by again squeezing the trigger. Seeing that it was a blank, Benson appeared devastated. Both having realized that the only chamber remaining was the loaded one, Lewis told Benson, "Game over." Suddenly, after intimidating and psychologically tormenting her with the prospect of her death, he raised the gun to his head and fired, Benson watched, shocked. The story closed by showing Benson splattered with Lewis' blood, his last act having been one of evil and of his having imparted one final terror upon her.
- Unknown dates:
- 1998, Lexington, Kentucky: May Stu (abducted and raped)
- 2003, Montgomery, Alabama: Two unnamed roommates (both kidnapped, raped, and tortured)
- 2010, Cecil County, Maryland: Unnamed Alabama lawyer (his girlfriend; raped and left her to die of exposure)
- 2013, New York City, New York:
- May 12:
- Jose Silva (assaulted and burned his hand on a kitchen stove)
- Astrid and Tilde (both flashed)
- May 13: Alice Parker (raped and tortured at gunpoint; died of a heart attack three days later due to the trauma)
- May 20: Detective Olivia Benson (kidnapped, tortured, branded, burned, and attempted to rape; she escaped)
- May 23:
- Herb Mayer (bound and gagged; died of a heart attack due to the trauma)
- Liz Mayer (raped and tortured)
- May 24:
- Officer Jimmy Hamilton (shot once in the head)
- Unnamed woman (assaulted; pistol-whipped, locked in the truck of Hamilton's car, and stole her car)
- The woman's unnamed baby (held hostage; locked in the truck of Hamilton's car with the mother)
- Viva Nunez and her daughter Luisa (kidnapped and intended to rape, torture, and murder; both were rescued)
- May 12:
- 2014, New York City, New York:
- March 31:
- Officer Foster (snapped his neck and stole his firearm)
- Unnamed nurse (raped and mutilated)
- The Cole family:
- April 1:
- Unnamed store clerk (assaulted; bound, gagged, and pistol-whipped)
- Danny Weston (shot once in the head)
- Martha Marron (attempted)
- Unnamed clerk (bound, gagged, and fatally shot)
- April 2: Detective Olivia Benson (held hostage, groped, assaulted, tortured, and forced to partake in Russian Roulette; was rescued)
- March 31: