Cold cases tear at my heart strings but when they involve the unsolved murders of children, they are even more upsetting. Bill Comeans was 5 days from turning 15-years old when he was murdered in Columbus, Ohio. He was a student at Westland High School in Galloway, Ohio. I attended this high school and Bill grew up in my neighborhood. Everyone who knew him had nothing but glowing comments about him. He was a thoughtful, loving kid with a giant heart. He had a paper route that he got so he could use his earnings to buy a piano. Every year he played Santa Claus for the neighbor boy. It brought him great joy to spread kindness to others, but someone wanted to harm Bill. That is what is so unbelievable about this case. Bill had no enemies that anyone knew of. He was well liked by everyone.
Someone was attacking Bill. On September 5, 1979 Bill was attacked for the first time. He was left in woods behind Prairie Lincoln School with a trash bag over his head tied with a bike inner tube.
On October 22, 1979 Bill was attacked a second time. He was collecting on his paper route and was only two blocks from home when he was approached from behind, strangled with a rope and his body was left under an evergreen tree.
On January 7, 1980 – four days before his 15th birthday, Bill was victim to a third and final attack. Bill was taken from his front porch while his father was working in the garage. He was found a block from his house laying in the snow near railroad tracks. He had been strangled with his winter scarf and was found with it tied tightly around his neck barely clinging onto life. Bill’s father and his two older brothers found him and tried desperately to save him, but he died later at Doctors West Hospital.
Bill was an honor student, played the piano, and had many friends. His family was what others in the neighborhood considered to be a Norman Rockwell family. They took family vacations, had family picnics, spent time together and loved each other immensely. Bill’s sister was 9-years old when Bill was murdered. Bill’s death was the first death that she had ever experienced, and the first funeral she had ever attended. She was his shadow…she followed Bill around everywhere and Bill never complained about it. He loved his sister and enjoyed her company. Kathleen remembers fondly all of the times that Bill read to her and played games. His death greatly affected her and to this day, Kathleen has worked tirelessly for 32 years to bring awareness to her brother’s case and to identify his killer.
Kathleen wrote this note after Bill was attacked in October 1979. She was 5-years old. It is hard to read the words of a little girl who was trying to make sense of who was hurting her big brother. It makes this case that much more heart-wrenching. Kathleen lost her brother, her best friend, and her idol months later.
If you have any information regarding the murder of Bill Comeans please contact the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department at (614) 525-3351 or (614) 525-6488.