William Giles (Oz)

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William Giles is a fictional character on HBO's prison drama Oz played by Austin Pendleton. Other than his erratic speech patterns, he also delivered the quote: "I kill, but never lie!"

Character overview

Prisoner 58G714. Convicted February 6, 1958, second-degree murder. Sentence to life, up for parole in 60 years. Later convicted in January 2001 for the murder of inmate Louis Bevilaqua and sentenced to death. Death sentence was later overturned.

Season 2

Though not considered to be insane or otherwise mentally deficient by the prison system, or prison psychiatrist Sister Peter Marie, he speaks in one word riddles and does not carry on normal conversations. He spends the majority of his time in Oz in solitary confinement due to violent outbursts. He helps Sister Peter Marie find out more about the murder of her husband years earlier by repeating a series of words that she is able to decipher. She discovered that not only did Giles see who killed her husband, but Giles actually killed the man who murdered her husband. Once she finds out, she gives him a box full of toothpaste, toothbrushes, and mouthwash as a thank you present.

Season 3

Giles ends up in the hospital ward after suffering a heart attack. While Father Mukada is doing his own investigation on who actually killed Samuel Hughes, the father of Clayton Hughes, a guard at OZ, he asks Giles, because Giles was in the prison that day, over 17 years ago. Giles reluctantly tells Father Ray Mukada that the man responsible for the death of Clayton's father was none other than Warden Leo Glynn. Glynn later confesses that he always felt responsible because he ignored Samuel's advice to ignore a simple disagreement between prisoners. Glynn was attacked by many prisoners, Samuel came to save him, and was stabbed in the struggle. In doing this, Giles shows that while he may have some mental problems, he shows surprising clarity.

Season 4, Part 1

His only scene in this season takes place after Father Mukada suggests 'rec time' for an hour of the solitary inmates. Miguel Alvarez was about to be stabbed by Louis Bevilaqua during rec time, when Giles grabbed the shank and killed Bevilaqua, and also stabbed Alvarez.

Season 4, Part 2

For the murder of Louis Bevilaqua, Giles is sent to death row where he requests death by stoning, once his appeals run out. When Governor James Devlin opposes his request, Sister Pete gets an anti-death penalty group to file a lawsuit on his behalf. Warden Leo Glynn points out that the ensuing legal battle could drag out for years. Rather than face that, this request causes capital punishment to be overturned in the courts. Giles' sentence is commuted to life in prison, and he is returned to solitary. Capital punishment is restored soon afterward, however, limiting the condemned's options to lethal injection and the electric chair.

Season 5

After being released from solitary due to the chemical buildup in the ventilation system, Giles keeps his head relatively low. The one exception is when Miguel Alvarez approaches him in the gym and begins physically bullying him as retribution for Giles stabbing him (and to show how much smaller and weaker the older Giles was to him in front of the other inmates in the gym). Giles turns the tables on Alvarez, striking him in the groin, then punching him in the face. This gets a round of applause from the inmates in the gym and Giles raises his hands in triumph.

Murders committed

  • Unknown man - Murdered by Giles, while trying to steal his car, by pushing him on a road, then getting run over.
  • Ron Bebe - Murdered by Giles, for trying to nick his toothbrush.
  • Louis Bevilaqua - Murdered by Giles, during the walk round the gym while hearing Alvarez and Bevilaqua talking Leo Glynn's daughter being raped, Giles also stabbed Alvarez but never killed him.