Robert Williams is a 30-year-old homeless, ex-convict, ex-Blood, torture-rapist who also likes to steal things.
Robert Williams also goes by the name of “Pooh.” As in “bear,” I’m sure.
He has quite the past, Mr. Robert Williams, does. Williams has beaten up strangers he met in the subway, he’s shot a neighbor four times while trying to steal a necklace, he’s thrown feces at prison guards.
He’s a likable guy.
On April 13 of 2007, at about 9:30 at night, Robert Williams was in the apartment building of a 23-year-old journalism student attending Columbia University. He followed the girl into the elevator. When she got off on her floor, he confused her by asking for some imaginary neighbor, then pushed the girl into her apartment, slapping her cell phone out of her hands.
Over the next 19 hours, Robert Williams raped and tortured the girl. He sodomized her and forced her to give him oral sex several times.
He cut her hair with scissors, telling her that it got in the way. After he did that, the girl was able to actually grab the scissors and swing them at Robert Williams’ neck…but he saw it coming and knocked her down again.
After telling her that she had “disrespected him” by trying to stab him, Robert Williams forced the girl to stand in her bathtub, naked and with her lips Krazy glued and duct-taped shut while he boiled water in a teakettle in the kitchen.
Then, of course, Robert Williams poured the boiling water all over her.
He also threw bleach in her eyes, which would have blinded her except for the fact that she was wearing contact lenses.
He forced her to swallow several handfuls of pain medication, washed down with four glasses of beer, in an attempt to keep her sedated. During her ordeal, she slipped in and out of unconsciousness. When she passed out, Robert Williams would leave the apartment to take money out of ATMs using her bank card.
Towards the end of the girl’s ordeal, Robert Williams told her a second time to gouge her eyes out with the pair of scissors. She refused, instead trying to stab herself in the neck to kill herself and end the pain.
This really pissed off Mr. Williams, who hit the girl so hard with something – a television set, or a turntable, something – that he split open her scalp and knocked her senseless for the amount of time it took him to go boil more water, return and pour it over her.
She screamed over and over for Robert Williams to end it. “Just kill me, just kill me,” she cried.
After the girl passed out a final time, Robert Williams lost interest in his play toy and left.
On the afternoon of the 14th of April, she woke up to the smell of smoke. Robert Williams had, before escaping, set fire to the futon in the hopes it would spread, burn the girl’s body, and conceal any evidence linking the crime to himself.
With the fire raging around her, the student was able to use the fire to melt the cords that tied her to the futon Robert Williams had left her on to die. She also remembered everything, going so far as to take blindness so that she could remember and memorize distinguishing features about her attacker.
She was able to escape and worked with police to identify Robert Williams.
According to the prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Ann Prunty:
She described this man to a T.
Robert “Pooh” Williams was arrested and charged with attempted murder, kidnapping, rape, arson, sodomy and a whole slew of other counts. 71 charges in all.
The DNA of Robert Williams was found on the victim and her clothing, and her DNA was found on his clothing.
ATM security cameras captured him trying to withdraw the money.
The now-31-year-old ex-convict refused to come to court on the 6th of June, 2008, but his victim did.
She testified against him, quite believably I might add. She told the jury about how her experience with Robert Williams left her with a scarred face, severe burns and liver damage from the pills.
He threw me against the wall. I couldn’t breathe very well. I was trying to fight.
When he put me in a choke hold and I started to black out, I thought I was going to die. I wanted to survive so I did what he told me.
People You’ll See In Hell will, of course, follow this trial closely.