By day, he was Mr. Williams, the handsome, six-foot-four-inch teacher at L.C. Swain Middle School, always ready with a smile and a word of encouragement for the kids who struggled most.
Calvin Williams, 41, was certified to teach special education and had a bachelor's degree in social work. He began his career supervising juvenile delinquents at the now-defunct Palm Beach Halfway House and worked in crisis intervention at the Roosevelt Full Service Center before moving on to teach special ed.
At L.C.Swain in Greenacres, he 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. He was the rare teacher they stopped by to visit between classes.
"He was strict. He was nice at the same time, though," says one former student,
13-year-old Gabrielle Garza. "Stay in school," she remembered him saying, "You'll get somewhere in life."
But after the bell rang, Williams led a life his students wouldn't recognize. They didn't know he'd once been accused of exposing himself to a male student at Palm Beach Lakes High. Or that he favored boyfriends who were half his age.
The lover charged with killing him, Lawrence Hunt, is 20. Riviera Beach police say Williams was also dating a 22-year-old man who had keys to his apartment.
At Dolche, a popular gay club in West Palm Beach, Williams was "real discreet," says one 21-year-old man who frequents the bar. Williams would hand out compliments and buy fancy cocktails, without demanding anything in return.
"You're so sexy," Williams would coo. "Let me get you something to drink."
Williams was open about his sexuality with friends, including the men he played cards with the night before he was killed.
"Everybody knew it," says Roosevelt Holman, a friend who often attended Williams' card games.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
In fact, Holman says he used to argue with Williams, because the teacher's sexuality made him uncomfortable. "He had these feminine ways, and I couldn't stand it," Holman says.
But Holman was shocked to learn that Williams had been killed. Hunt told police a drunken Williams invited him over to have sex early on the morning of May 14, after the card players left.
In Williams' bedroom, Hunt confronted him about rumors the teacher had HIV. Hunt pointed out the unmarked pill bottles -- later identified by police as HIV meds -- in the room. But Williams ignored him.The teacher threw him on the bed, announcing, "I'ma get that ass," Hunt told the police. The men struggled, and Hunt shot Williams in the head.
And just like that, Williams' dual lives came to an end.