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William F. Kinderman
Biographical Information
Gender Male
Affiliation(s) Shirley (mother-in-law)
Mary Kinderman (wife)
Julie Kinderman (daughter)
Title(s) Lieutenant
Portrayer(s) Lee J. Cobb (The Exorcist)
George C. Scott (The Exorcist III)
You know who you look like? John Garfield. Exactly, John Garfield, "Body and Soul." Do people ever tell you that, Father?

–William F. Kinderman

William F. Kinderman or Lt. William Kinderman is a central character appearing in the Exorcist and The Exorcist III. He is portrayed by Lee J. Cobb in The Exorcist and by George C. Scott in The Exorcist III.


William F. Kinderman is a lieutenant and homicide detective, assigned to thoroughly investigate and uncover the death of Burke Dennings, for the purpose he befriends Father Damien Karras to assist him in the case with a religious perspective. Kinderman is adamant that the tragic death of Burke Dennings was no mere tragedy but an assault. He also visits Chris MacNeil's residence to view things himself and was of the concealed opinion that Regan was indeed not herself and is possessed by a force potent enough to break Burke's neck and bring upon his untimely demise. Kinderman then probes the entire timeline of the exorcism and apparently apprehends that Regan wasn't guilty and the events were committed by an unexplainable entity.  



Kinderman is a kind Jovial man, whom despite the line of work, often tries to befriend people in an almost Columbo-like fashion. His technique be it suspect or witness, comprised of letting a little information about his case at a time to see how the subject in question would react, then try to end their conversation on friendly terms. With a few exceptions, he's rarely shown to be angry. Such as during the climax of the first movie where Chris answers the door to a very upset looking Kinderman. As well as in the third movie when the Gemini Killer taunts him over the death of his friend Dyer. The latter of which prompted him to break his nose. In the first movie it was unknown whether or not he believed in demons or possesion and while he suspects a murder regarding Burke Dennings, he seems oblivious to it until he witnesses the aftermath of Karras' sacrifice. Whereas in the third film after seeing the proof in his own eyes regarding Gemini and Karras he's a firm believer.

He is seen as a movieholic and extends movie tickets to anyone he befriends, mainly for night shows. He's also provided an autograph by Chris on his sheepish crave. Damien Karras also resembles Kinderman with veteran actor, Paul Newman.

Notes and trivia[]

  • In The Exorcist television series, Detective Lawrence is a rebooted version of Kinderman.