By Terrence McCoy
By Scott Fishman
By Deirdra Funcheon
By Allie Conti
By New Times Staff
By Ryan Pfeffer
By Deirdra Funcheon
By Kyle Swenson
Eventually, Calvin Williams learned to juggle his dual lives. By day, he was a polished professional, a teacher who commanded respect from students and colleagues. By night, he was an unbridled bachelor.
At L.C. Swain, records show he taught sixth- through eighth-grade classes, including math and critical thinking, to kids with various learning disabilities. Many of them warmed to Williams' friendly, outgoing style. One Swain seventh-grader remembers Williams encouraging kids to get good grades while striving to make class time fun. "He always had a smile on his face and said hi," says 12-year-old Jorge Orozco.
Roderick Johnson has similar memories of his dad. "He was always in a good mood, he always make you laugh; he just stayed happy. It was contagious."
Williams kept an eye on the troubled kids, the ones who fought in the halls or wore jeans instead of the required khakis. They were sent to him for discipline, but if he thought they were good students, he'd give them a break — maybe lunch detention instead of an all-day punishment. Jorge wasn't enrolled in Williams' classes, but his friend Gabrielle Garza was, and the two of them would stop by to chat with the teacher between classes.
"He was strict. He was nice at the same time, though," says 13-year-old Gabrielle. "Stay in school," she remembered him saying. "You'll get somewhere in life."
Williams' attitude pleased his boss too. "He has demonstrated discipline in the classroom and on the total campus," Swain Principal Edward Harris wrote in a 2008 evaluation. "Mr. Williams has developed a positive relationship with parents, students, and coworkers. He has performed his duties and responsibilities well."
But after the final bell rang, Williams played a different role. His interest in younger men clearly extended beyond books and grades.
Jorge, the seventh-grader at L.C. Swain, said he'd heard that Williams was gay through the rumor mill, but the teacher never talked about it.
Yet a longtime friend of Williams' family, Roosevelt Holman, 54, says everyone close to Williams knew he was gay. In fact, Holman used to argue with him about it. "He had these feminine ways, and I couldn't stand it," Holman says.
Love's brother knew Calvin Williams from gay bars and clubs around South Florida, including Club Dolce (formerly Kashmir Night Club) in West Palm Beach. Williams was "real discreet" and eager to buy younger men expensive cocktails. "You so sexy," he'd tell them. "Let me get you something to drink."
Police reports suggest Williams lived with a young boyfriend for at least a few months in 2008. Twice, Riviera Beach police were called to the apartment for domestic disputes between then-39-year-old Williams and 19-year-old Tirrelle Robinson. Robinson was once arrested for domestic battery, but prosecutors declined to pursue the case.
In his neighborhood, Calvin Williams asked kids to call him "Unc." On hot afternoons, he'd bring a cooler to the basketball courts in Lake Park and watch pickup games. He'd drink beer with a friend and hand out juice and Gatorade to the high school crowd. He'd also cheer on his friend, Lawrence Hunt.
The men first met in a park in 2006, when Hunt was 16. The teenager was built like a wrestler, with cheeks the color of caramel and long dreadlocks. Love's friends called him "red," meaning light-skinned. On the basketball court, he talked a lot of shit.
When he was in 11th grade at Palm Beach Gardens High School, Hunt and a group of friends were accused of knocking down another teenager and trying to rifle through his pockets. Hunt was arrested for strong-arm robbery but never convicted. He did a juvenile diversion program instead.
In some ways, Hunt's early-adult years mirrored Williams': At 18, Hunt fathered a son with a woman who lives in Jupiter. His job at Kmart didn't generate enough income for him to pay child support, court records show. At some point, he started taking classes at the for-profit Lincoln College in West Palm.
By the time he was 18, Hunt told police, he'd started exchanging blowjobs with Williams.
Sometime between 1:30 and 2:30 the morning of May 14, after the card game ended, the man described in police reports as Williams' boyfriend called the teacher to check in. "I'm tired and trying to get some sleep because I have to go to work in the morning," the boyfriend remembered Williams saying.
Actually, it was about that time that Williams was driving over to Hunt's place, a few blocks away. Hunt was now 20; they'd been hooking up for two years.
The night was humid, heated, like countless others the couple had shared. They returned to Williams' tiny apartment complex on Silver Beach Road — a dingy, single-story white structure not unlike a Dixie Highway motel. They walked past the card table in the living room and the cooler of beer.
According to a police report written weeks later, Williams offered Hunt a drink. He refused. He wasn't in the mood. In fact, he was furious.
Hunt had heard rumors that Williams had HIV. He'd thought about killing Williams, he later told the police, "but then realized that he couldn't." Still, he had brought his gun.