Wednesday, May 08, 2002


Florida killer posts personal ad for cyber-friend

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (Reuters) - The online personal ad reads nicely, describing a world-traveller and scholar who loves cooking, water sports, yoga and hiking.

"Hi, I'm Bill. I'm compassionate, 6' 2" 200 lbs. (1.88 m, 91 kg) athletic guy who enjoys Mediterranean food, the poetry of Keats and Kavafy, and baroque music," says the ad, accompanied by a photo of a smiling, benign-looking fellow.

What William Coday's ad doesn't say is that he used hammers to kill two ex-girlfriends.

"I just find it very interesting that he chose to leave out some important details about his criminal history," Broward County prosecutor Chuck Morton, who helped convict Coday of murder in April, told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

The web site where the ad is posted offers potential pen-pals a clue -- Coday also offers up his inmate number along with a post office box.

A jury convicted Coday, a former librarian in Fort Lauderdale, of first-degree murder for beating and stabbing his girlfriend, Gloria Gomez, after she broke up with him in 1997. According to trial evidence, Gomez had 57 wounds from the hammer and 87 stab wounds and gashes.

The jury was not told that Coday was previously convicted of manslaughter for killing another ex-girlfriend in 1978 in Germany. He admitted using a shoemaker's hammer to beat her to death and served 18 months in a German prison.

The personal ad also didn't say that Coday is awaiting a sentencing hearing in June at which a judge will decide whether he gets life in prison or the death penalty.