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He's cookin' now! They cookin' him good! They're about done, I reckon! Whooo!!

~ Wharton taking sadistic thrill in Del's sabotaged execution.
You love your sister? You make any noise, you know what happens? I'm gonna kill her instead of you. (turns to other sister) You make any noise, I'm gonna kill her. You understand? (turns back to first sister) You understand? Shh...
~ Wharton before raping and murdering Kathe and Cora Detterick.
Boy, what you lookin' at? What you lookin' at, you limp noodle? You wanna kiss my ass? You wanna suck my dick?
~ Wharton's last words, before being shot in the stomach by a psychologically broken Percy Wetmore.

William “Wild Bill” Wharton is the main antagonist of the Stephen King novel The Green Mile as well as its movie adaptation. He was a psychotic serial killer who murdered people just to get a thrill and to cause as much mayhem, and suffering. Eventually he was captured and sentenced to death. While on death row, he made it his goal to create as much discord as he could before his sentence was carried out.

He was portrayed by Sam Rockwell.


William Wharton was a cunning and sadistic criminal, who before being apprehended, had raped and murdered two girls named Kathe and Cora Detterick, had killed at least three more people (including a pregnant woman), and possibly killed many more. He was arrested and first put into Brier Ridge Mental Hospital, before being transferred to the Cold Mountain Penitentiary.

When he first arrives at the Cold Mountain Penitentiary, he manages to convince the guards that he is in a drugged stupor, only to attack and attempt to strangle Dean Stanton to death when they reach E Block. He continues to wreak havoc on the Mile and plays tricks such as urinating on the guards and spitting a chewed-up Moon Pie into Brutal's face. He is punished by being placed in solitary confinement, but never seems to learn his lesson. As John Coffey is being smuggled to Hal Moores's house, Wild Bill grabs his arm and Coffey sees that he actually committed the crimes for which Coffey was convicted. Therefore, Coffey gives Percy the "sickness" he took from the warden's wife, causing him to kill Wharton.


William Wharton is extremely psychotic, cruel, cunning, odious and dangerous. In fact, he is the most insane and deranged criminal ever faced by Edgecombe and his fellows. He hides his bloodthirsty, sadistic and destructive behavior under a dimwitted and mischievous facade. He does not stand authorities of any kind, so he takes a delightful pleasure into tormenting the other guards, mostly Percy Wetmore, though he also abuses the other inmates. Wharton is totally remorseless, devoid of any altruistic qualities, and hoped to cause a maximum of troubles before his imminent death, which he successfully did. Judging by his crimes, it's possible that Wharton shows disregard towards women, as one of the three people he killed in a robbery was a pregnant woman, and he raped and killed two little girls before his arrest.

What Makes Him Pure Evil?

  • He raped and murdered two little white girls (a crime that John Coffey was put on death row for), and kept said girls quiet by threatening to kill one should the other one call for help.
  • He killed three people during an armed robbery, one of whom was a pregnant woman.
  • Upon being taken to the titular Green Mile, he fakes being doped so that he can attack the guards once they come in. Consequently, he nearly succeeds in strangling Dean to death with his handcuffs.
  • He tries to cause the most trouble while he's incarcerated, like spitting in Paul and Brutal's faces (the latter with a moon pie) and urinating on Harry.
  • He gropes, kisses, and threatens to rape Percy as he whispers in his ear.
  • He shows sadistic delight while and after hearing Del's execution.
  • Although he has many comedic moments, it does not detract from his overall depravity.


  • To help drive the point of Wild Bill being pure evil home, Sam Rockwell actually felt pretty uncomfortable delivering his lines in the flashback sequence showing how he kidnapped the Detterick girls, because he got along really well with the actresses who played them off-set. He also didn't like calling John the N-word, but he justified it by claiming that Wharton was more "people-ist" than racist.

External Links


           Stephen King Template.png Pure Evils

Randall Flagg

Mr. Gray


The Shawshank Redemption
Samuel Norton | Bogs Diamond

Rose Madder
Norman Daniels

The Boogeyman

The Green Mile
William Wharton

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