"...and if my job is worth anything, it's to make sure good folks don't suffer."― William Adler
William is a tall, burly coyote, with tan and white fur. He has dark brown hair, with mutton chops and some stubble. He has gold eyes. William also has numerous scars, including claw marks on his muzzle and a notch in his left ear.
He wears a slightly unbuttoned white dress shirt, with suspenders and black pants. William also wears a watch on his left wrist.
William is a no-nonsense type of man. He acts professionally and has strong convictions about justice. Despite his rough exterior, William cares for the town of Echo and its inhabitants' safety.
Despite his attraction to other men, William views homosexuality as unsightly and does not identify as a homosexual himself. This denial of his identity has led William to feel a strong sense of guilt regarding his past marriage and family.
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William Adler was born on December 18th, 1880. Not much is known about William's early life, though Cynthia mentions that he is of native descent. Before coming to Echo, William was a detective in a city controlled by organized crime. He also had a wife and child. At some point after exposing a number of criminals involved in organized crime, William was forced to retire from the force for his own protection. In the process, he left behind his family, who went on living under new names.
At some point William left the city and settled in Echo, where he became the town sheriff. He later became a client, and later close friend, of Samuel Ayers.
William is first seen talking with Murdoch in the town's center, after Jack's body is discovered. He spots Samuel and beckons him over, enlisting his help in gathering information on Jack. He promises to elaborate further when he visits Samuel that evening.
Samuel performs fellatio on William before the two of them meet with Murdoch in the saloon. Cynthia leads the three of them into the powder room, where William meets with with Madam Dora. After a gunshot is heard outside, William orders everyone in the powder room to stay inside.
William announces to the powder room that Todd has handled the situation, and that it's technically safe to leave. As everyone disperses, Samuel comes over and urgently needs to talk to him. The two go up to Samuel's room, and the mountain lion confesses to killing Jack. To Samuel's surprise, William believes his side of the story, and even congratulates him on the act. In addition, William refuses to take Samuel in—he believes that James Hendricks III would have him hanged. Instead, William resolves to help Samuel cover up his crimes.
He leads Samuel, Murdoch, and Nikolai in the direction of the mines. The group runs into Todd, who reports that he saw three dancing ladies enter the mine—though he is unsure if they were real or not. William admonishes the otter before sending him back to the station. Before the otter leaves, though, William instructs him to put a warrant out for Samuel if they don't return before dawn.
The group enters the mines, and are briefly startled by the sounds of women laughing. They press on, and Nik leads them to the hollow where Jack's body was found. William follows Murdoch and Samuel inside, where they find and photograph the evidence the mountain lion was talking about. While Murdoch is taking photos, William spots one of Samuel's coins lodged in the wall. As they're leave the mine, William hears a voice call out "I love you," and he shouts back a warning to what he assumes are trespassing youths.
William and Samuel return to the station, where Todd is waiting for them. He dismisses the otter, and obliges when Samuel asks to spend the night. William sets up a bed for Samuel, and chooses to sleep in the jail cell himself. He also returns Samuel's coin. The next morning, William cooks breakfast for Samuel before he wakes up. The two of them discuss where to go from here, and William invites Samuel to a poker game in the evening to test his perception.
William meets the rest of the group at his office, although he is displeased by Cliff's presence.
The next morning, William comes looking for Samuel and Nikolai. He questions them about their encounter at the mine, but Samuel feigns ignorance and Nik walks back his statement. Frustrated, William leaves, and later attempts (and fails) to discretely follow Samuel around town.
In Flynn's route, Chase Hunter stumbles upon two pictures of William. One was taken after a partial collapse of the Hendricks 'Castle,' and the other features William and Clifford Tibbits at a town meeting discussing Echo's relationship with the Meseta tribe.
William is a regular client of Samuel. He enjoys the services provided, but much to Sam's disappointment, he does not reciprocate sexually during these meetings. Despite this, the two of them are close friends, and they are often honest with each other. William feels a "harsh protectiveness" of Samuel, and uses his position as sheriff to protect him. In return, William sees Samuel as a potential informant for his investigations.
William and Murdoch have a professional, working relationship.
William and Cliff have a terse relationship. In Cliff's route, Cliff erupts at William for looking down upon him. William fires back with some slurs before requesting Samuel to escort Cliff away.
William and Nikolai are acquaintances. The two seem to have a mutual respect for one another, though on Nikolai's route the badger is willing to lie to the sheriff to keep Samuel safe. William is known to play poker with Nikolai, and the sheriff is among the very few to be aware of the badger's dealings with Samuel.
- William was the first character ever revealed for the game. Because of this, fans assumed him to be the game's protagonist. However, this wasn't and isn't the case.
- According to the writer, William is from the Echo universe's version of Chicago.
- William is an ancestor of a character from Echo, Janice Adler.
- Though William was married and has a child, dialogue on his route seems to indicate that he got married out of obligation and in denial of his sexuality rather than as a result of actual attraction. This was confirmed by the staff of TSR in a Q&A session.
- William's favorite book is The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.