Cold Case Wiki
Zeke in 1963
Zeke Williams
Portrayed by Paul James
Episode Strange Fruit
Status Deceased (1963)

Ezekiel "Zeke" Williams was a teenager who was murdered in a lynching in 1963, He is the son of Donald and Mary Williams.


In 1963, the Williams family moved to Philly into a predominantly white neighborhood. Zeke idolized Martin Luther King, Jr. and wanted to go see him on his march to Washington DC, where King would deliver his iconic "I Have A Dream" speech.


Zeke met Mathilde Jefferson, the maid of the Jones family. He also befriended Judith and her daughter, Charlotte. Clyde objected to Zeke befriending the Jones family and revealed that Mathilde was being raped by their patriarch, Henry.

Zeke convinced Mathilde to go to the police, but they were on Henry's side. Zeke punched one of the police officers, which led to him getting beat up and arrested. To save his life, Judith told Zeke that they weren't friends and that he should leave town. He spent his money on a train ticket for Mathilde to go to Delaware, then decided to go to Washington DC by himself.

Unfortunately, the Jones brothers pressured Judith into telling them where Zeke was going and took Charlotte along with them. They and their cronies from the factory picked Zeke up on the road and beat him severely. When he threatened to tell his father, Zeke was hanged from a tree. This act was so horrible that even Henry didn't want his daughter to see it. Zeke's corpse was then dumped in a playground where it was discovered by a young Will Jeffries.

Zeke's death broke his family and his mother died not long after. For years, people came to pay respects at the playground until in 2004 when Jeffries found that no one left anything at the site. This caused him to try to finally solve the case. Zeke's spirit appeared to Jeffries in the end.