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|“||Are you feeling sad? Thinking about someone you're never gonna see again? Mom, Dad, boyfriend? No, huh? Someone else, someone who you would give anything to see just one more time. Well, I'll just try to put him out of your mind, okay? 'Cause you're never getting out of here alive.||„|
|~ Lewis taunting Olivia Benson.|
|“||You want to hear how I tied her to the bed. Not too tight, so I could watch her struggle. No? Not your thing, huh? Oh...what about if I made her go down on her knees, forced myself inside of her? Or you want to hear about the pyrotechnics? How I put out my cigarettes on her. How I branded her private parts with keys and hot hangers. You want to hear how she was alone with me all night. A 60-year-old woman. She did things that...she never expected to do, that she never imagined were possible. With her fingers. With her mouth. Or do you want to hear how, at the beginning, she said she would do anything? I mean, she begged me for her life. And by the morning time, she was begging me to take her out of her misery. Which one do you think I enjoyed more?||„|
|~ Lewis boasting about how he tortured and raped Alice Parker.|
William Lewis, born Lewis Williams, is a major antagonist in the crime series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
He is the main antagonist in the episodes "Her Negotiation", "Surrender Benson", "Psycho/Therapist" and "Beast's Obsession", a posthumous antagonist in "American Tragedy" and "Wednesday's Child", & the overreaching antagonist in "Post-Mortem Blues. He was famous on SVU for being the archenemy of the main protagonist Olivia Benson.
Much of his early life is unknown. However, after an extensive search using alternate names, the SVU was able to get a basic picture of his past. He was apparently born in Kentucky (under the original name "Lewis Williams"). He claims that, when he was 8 years old, his father's girlfriend performed oral sex on him, and when his father caught her, he raped her right in front of his son. He would later describe the incident as the best day of his life, and the moment that he knew what he had been put on Earth to do: to rape, terrorize and kill women and young girls.
In 1998, he abducted and raped the mother of his girlfriend when she tried to break them up. He offered her a ride in the Circle K parking lot, stopped at a hardware store, purchased duct tape, rope and a soldering iron, and finally stopped at a liquor store to pick up some alcohol. After that he tied her up and force fed her alcohol and drugs and then found an abandoned mobile home in the woods where he raped her and left her. A hunter found her days later. However, he got lucky, because the mother was also a drug addict and thus the DA was unwilling to put her on the stand to testify, so the charges were dropped.
Lewis mockingly told SVU that he was from "all over", listing off Texas, Florida, and Delaware before he came to New York, using the thin explanation that he was from a military family. While this was primarily a lie to hide his past (while taunting the SVU about his lack of past ID or records), there is apparently a kernel of truth that after his initial sexual assault in Kentucky, he proceeded to travel from state to state committing various acts of rape and sexual torture, then moving again to stay one step ahead of the police.
After Kentucky, Williams next appeared in records from Alabama, where he was the suspect in a kidnap/rape/torture of a pair of roommates. Williams broke into their apartment, put them in the truck of their own car, drove them to a fishing cabin and raped and tortured them for three straight days and leaves them there tied up and they eventually escape. Again, Williams managed to slip through the system, because both victims were too traumatized to testify in open court, so the lawyer got him off. Worse, his name was misspelled on the paperwork as "Louis Williams", so the record did not follow him. Moreover, this gave Williams the idea of using aliases which were intentionally similar-sounding, to confuse police records which mistook it for simple spelling mistakes.
From facing repeated court appearances for rape charges, Williams became increasingly adept at manipulating points of court procedure - i.e. even while bragging to the SVU about how he raped, branded, and tortured an elderly woman for eighteen hours, he was still clever enough to phrase his entire boast as a hypothetical statement ("if I were to have raped her, I'd have branded her with a coat hanger" etc.) meaning it was inadmissible in court as an actual confession.
Indeed, Williams seemed to actually be gloating not so much about the rape he had committed, but about the fact that he could describe the entire rape but get away with it so long as he used the hypothetical word "if". If Williams spots a break, he catches it, and slips around the police and courts. Moreover, Williams managed to get the charges dropped in Alabama because he charmed and ultimately seduced his own female defense attorney, who even went so far as to post his bail and even support him financially (because he was unemployed).
After Alabama, Williams next appeared three years later in Maryland, where his name was further misspelled as "William Lucas", and he went to trial for the murder/rape of his then girlfriend - his own former defense attorney from Alabama. She may have been attempting to break off their relationship, which is why he raped and killed her. He took her to a foreclosed house where he rapes her for two days and leaves her to die. The police had him dead to rights – DNA, witnesses. His new lawyer gets them to offer a plea of second degree murder and he turns it down and as a result the new attorney does her due diligence and finds another boyfriend of the victim and creates reasonable doubt. Lewis walks and the DNA is expunged again.
Arrival in New York and Acquittal
In New York, Lewis exposes himself to two women in Central Park. He manages to slip away from these charges with various lies (given that the charge of indecent exposure is only a misdemeanor anyway), only to later rape and torture a 60-year-old woman who had filed the complaint for 18 hours straight.
The SVU team arrests Lewis again, and Benson interrogates him. Lewis gloats about wat he did to the women - while keeping it in the abstract - and Benson plays along in order to get him to talk. Lewis becomes obsessed with Benson, and resolves to make her his next victim.
Lewis is able to worm out of his most recent charges by yet again adeptly manipulating the legal system and benefitting from by blind luck. In an example of the latter, the DNA evidence from his assault in New York is mishandled, which he and his attorney seize upon as reason to deem it unacceptable in court. Next, his attorney points out that the elderly woman he raped and tortured is so traumatized that she might not accurately remember the face of her attacker, creating reasonable doubt. Lewis is acquitted and released.
New York Rampage
Lewis' vicious attacks would come to a head when he breaks into Benson's apartment, holds her at gunpoint when she arrives home, and ties her up. For the next several hours, Lewis tortures and humiliates Benson, forcing her to ingest sleeping pills and vodka while burning her with cigarettes and heated keys.
Lewis then returns to his halfway house, intimidates his old roommate into handing over his car keys, and steals his car, picking up his most recent defense attorney to have dinner at her parents', the Mayers, house while Benson is still bound and gagged in the trunk. Afterwards, Lewis drops off his lawyer at the train station and returns to her parents' home, where he viciously attacks her father, binds and gags him with duct tape and leaves him to die of a heart attack. Meanwhile, he rapes and tortures her mother while forcing Benson to watch.
Leaving Mrs. Mayer bound in her closet, Lewis steals her credit card and car and drives around the coast with Benson still captive, looking for a suitable house to "work". While en route, Lewis stops by a hardware store and, using the Mayers' stolen credit card, buys rope, duct tape, wire, and a handheld blowtorch, intent on using all of them on Benson. He kills a police officer who pulled him over for running a blinking red light, takes his gun and badge and steals his patrol car. He uses the vehicle to pull over a young woman and her infant child, pistol-whipping her and locking them both in the trunk, taking their minivan with Benson in tow.
Finally finding a seemingly vacant house that Lewis deems perfect for his sick plans and intentions, he violently throws Benson on the bed and chains her up with handcuffs after "helping" her go to the bathroom. Lewis ditches the stolen minivan in front of another house to throw off any potential suspicions. He returns to the house and prepares to cut Benson's clothes off, when suddenly the family's maid arrives with her young daughter. Lewis abducts them, preparing to rape, torture, and murder them as well.
In order to buy time, Benson mocks Lewis for raping children and old women, saying that he isn't "man enough to get it up" for a woman his own age; she further enrages him by claiming that he is afraid of her. Intent on proving her wrong, Lewis unbuckles his pants, but at that moment, Benson breaks off the iron post of the bed that she was cuffed to, and smashes it into Lewis' face, breaking his nose and violently pushing him against the wall. Immediately, Lewis attempts to grab his gun from the adjacent night table, but Benson hits his arm with the post and kicks him in the groin. As Lewis whimpers in pain, Benson grabs the gun and uses it to knock him out.
Taking the key to the cuffs that bound her, Benson frees herself and cuffs Lewis to the bed, and releases the maid and her daughter. Returning to Lewis, who is still seemingly knocked out, Benson voices her disgust and hatred towards him and her desire to torture and kill him, before admitting that he might enjoy that too much. She then mentions her old partner, Elliot Stabler, and how she knows that he would break every bone in Lewis' body if he knew what he had done to her and so many others.
Revealing himself to still be conscious, Lewis attempts to goad Benson into killing him, picking apart her life and relationship with Stabler. He then gloats about all the women he has raped and killed. Realizing that Lewis does not have an ounce of humanity within him, Benson points her gun in his face, barely resisting the temptation to kill him as Lewis encourages her to do so. Benson tries to calm herself until Lewis sneers, "I knew it. You don't have the balls." Finally reaching her breaking point, Benson takes the bed post and hits Lewis over and over again as he screams in agony, eventually beating him within an inch of his life. She finally calls the police and her squad, who arrive and take Lewis away, as Benson's colleague Odafin "Fin" Tutuola tells her that the rapist managed to survive.
Over the following months, Benson tells her therapist that, though she is still traumatized, Lewis is locked up and can no longer hurt her.
In "Psycho/Therapist", Lewis goes on trial for attempted murder, kidnapping, rape, and assault. While he survived Benson's assault, it left him blind in one eye, walking with a limp, and suffering hearing damage and severe headaches. He is determined to get revenge against Benson, and represents himself so he can call her as a witness and torment her all over again. When Benson testifies, he claims that she attacked him after he rejected her sexual advances, a claim she vehemently denies.
Lewis offers to plead guilty to raping Benson, but Benson refuses, insisting that he did not rape her. Benson is so driven to put Lewis behind bars that the normally straight arrow cop commits perjury, lying that she had beaten him in self-defense when he attacked her. The jury acquits him on the attempted murder and rape charges but convicts him of kidnapping and assault of a police officer. Four months later, he fakes a seizure in prison. It is implied he is in a relationship with his DOC doctor after she holds his hand while he is on the stretcher, where he is shown smiling.
William Lewis appears once again in "Beast's Obsession", having escaped from prison after having what appeared to be convulsions and a heart attack. The cause of these afflictions were spiked pastries given to him by Bronwyn Freed, one of the jurors in Lewis' original trial. Freed, who delivered the jury's verdict, had frequented Lewis' prison, believing Lewis to have been wrongly convicted. During one of Freed's visits to Lewis, she prepared an assortment of pastries, which contained antidepressants she used to quell her anxiety 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, attempted to stabilize him. However, doctors later pronounced him dead when attempts to resuscitate him failed. Soon after, he spontaneously "auto-resuscitates" in what one of the doctors describes as "The Lazarus Effect". Amidst the resulting chaos, he manages to change into the attire of a hospital employee. Under the guise of a doctor, he escapes the hospital and resumes his killing spree. Before departing from the hospital, he rapes one of the nurses, and hangs her unconcious body in a storage closet. He also murders a cop by snapping his neck and steals his gun. He then calls now-Sergeant Olivia Benson, saying: "I missed you, sunshine" before hanging up.
Benson and the SVU team, along with other law enforcement personnel, gather at the police headquarters to discuss an appropriate course of action. However, their meeting is interrupted by Lieutenant Declan Murphy, who forces Benson to cede her leadership position to him for the remainder of the investigation, due to conflict of interest and bias. Lieutenant Murphy designates agents Delano and Carlson to Benson as her security and protection personnel.
Later on during the investigation, Lewis invades the Cole household, residence of one of the nurses who tried to resuscitate him after he his seizure. While there, he murders Janice Cole, the nurse's mother, by shooting her in the face, rapes the eldest daughter Lauren and binds and gags her in a closet, and Lauren reveals to the detectives that he Lewis entrusted her with a message meant solely for Benson: "Tell the truth, or the girl dies".
Benson understands what this means, and tells Murphy that she perjured herself during Lewis' trial. Murphy adamantly instructs Benson not to make the confession, under the impression that "it will feed the beast" and that he may still kill and/or assault Amelia. Soon after, at police headquarters, Lewis calls them on the landline, and demands to speak to Benson. On the phone, he again asserts that she must make the confession soon or he will kill Amelia, but now also adds that his previous defense attorney will also die if his demands are not met. Benson agrees to make the confession on public television under the condition that Amelia and the attorney remain alive. He agrees, but then violently shoves the attorney down a flight of stairs and beats him.
Meanwhile, the remainder of the SVU and law enforcement triangulate the location from where the call was made. They deduce the location to be Roosevelt Island, which only has one exit route, and the detectives believe that by blocking the exits, they can corner him with no route of escape. However, when they evacuate a tram, they find that the phone is there, but Lewis is not; he has made off with Amelia, and left her backpack behind. This prompts Benson to make a televised confession in which she describes her perjury.
While eating dinner at a bar under Secret Service protection, Benson requests to go to the bathroom, and uses it as an opportunity to contact Lewis and escape. Outside, she uses her authority as a cop to "borrow" a civilian's car. She then drives off to Lewis' presumed location.
She arrives in a junkyard, and demands that Lewis confront her. Lewis does so, surprising her from behind at a distance. He quickly draws his gun, and approaches Benson, disarming her, removing her cell phone, and unstrapping her police vest. He forces her into the car and drives off to Amelia's location, a deserted and decrepit factory.
There, Lewis forces Benson to choose between allowing him to rape her or rape Amelia. Nobly, Benson volunteers, and Lewis begins to fondle and caress her. When she refuses to show him fear, however, he forces her to partake in a savage game of Russian Roulette with him. He loads a six-chambered revolver, puts the muzzle to his head, and fires, only to reveal a blank. He slides the gun to Benson, forcing her to fire the gun at her head, with the threat that he will shoot her if she doesn't do it. Reluctantly, with an 80% chance of survival, she holds the gun, and fortunately reveals another blank. Lewis puts the gun to his own head, and fires yet another blank.
Right before Benson takes her turn, however, Lewis hears helicopters and realizes the police have found them. Remaining composed, he taunts the detectives, who are floors below them through his walkie-talkie and informs the SVU of their "game" and tells them they are half-way finished with three chambers left. Benson uneasily takes the revolver once more and fires, hitting an empty chamber. Lewis then then informs the authorities that two chambers remain and remarks, "You know how lucky I am". Without hesitation, he pulls the trigger once more. Benson appears devastated when she sees that it was a blank. Both having realized that the only chamber remaining is the loaded one, Lewis tells Benson "Game over". Suddenly, after intimidating and psychologically tormenting her with the prospect of her death, he raises the gun to his head using his left hand and fires, killing himself in an attempt to frame Benson for his death.
However, at Benson's grand jury hearing weeks later, Murphy testifies that he ordered Benson to make a false confession in order to lure Lewis in and talks about his history, saving Benson's job and causing his actions to be in vain. Benson views Lewis' body in the morgue to get a sense of closure, but it is implied in several later episodes that he still haunts her.
- 30 Unknown victims in Texas, Florida, and Delaware
- 2-year-old girl in (Florida kidnapped and raped, was rescued)
- 1998, Lexington, Kentucky: May Stu (abducted and raped)
- 2003, Montgomery, Alabama: Unnamed pair of roommates (kidnapped, raped, and tortured)
- 2010, Maryland: Unnamed Alabama lawyer/girlfriend (raped and murdered)
- 2013: New York City, New York:
- Astrid and Tilde (flashed only)
- Alice Parker (raped and tortured at gunpoint; later dies of a heart attack due to the trauma)
- Olivia Benson (kidnapped, tortured and attempted to rape)
- Herb Mayer (bound and gagged; dies of a heart attack due to the trauma)
- Liz Mayer (raped and tortured)
- Jimmy Hamilton (shot once in the head)
- Viva Nunez (abducted only)
- Luisa Nunez (abducted only)
- 2014: New York City, New York:
- Unnamed police officer (snapped his neck and filched his firearm)
- Unnamed nurse (raped and mutilated; she was discovered hung in a storage closet)
- Home invasion at the Cole household:
- Janice Cole (shot once in the head)
- Amelia Cole (abducted, forced to drink alcohol, and bound in a factory)
- Lauren Cole (raped, assaulted, tortured, bound and gagged, was later found and rescued in a closet at their home)
- Unnamed store clerk (bound, gagged, and pistol whipped in his store for supplies and alcoholic drinks)
- Danny Weston (killed and dumped in the river)
- Martha Marron (attempted)
- Unnamed clerk (bound, gagged, and shot while Amelia was still hostage)
- Standoff at the deserted factory in New York City
- Olivia Benson (taken hostage, groped, assaulted, tortured, and forced to partake in Russian Roulette with Lewis due to her unwillingness to comply with his sexual demands, was ultimately rescued)
- He is described as one of the most heinous rapists that SVU has ever encountered (which is saying something).
- Some serial rapists try to maintain the outward appearance of a normal lifestyle and occupation. However, for Lewis, he rapes and murders "for a living".
- According to Mariska Hargitay, Lewis' arc was the most realistic, because everything was real, and she had to be tortured in ways to let it seem real.
- Lewis and Sheila Porter are Mariska Hargitay's favorite antagonists from the show.
- William Lewis on the Pure Evil Wiki
- William Lewis on the Law & Order Wiki
- William Lewis on the Antagonists Wiki