Detective Richard Willis is a detective from Kansas City who has been brought to Wind Gap to assist in the investigation of Ann and Natalie’s murders. Richard is on the brink of a big break in his career, and somewhat selfishly hopes that solving the case in Wind Gap will allow him to make bigger moves back home. As he and Camille bond over their “outsider” status—and the information they can give one another—an attraction forms between them, and soon they begin sleeping together. Camille likes Richard, but because of her scars is afraid to ever let him see all of her. When Camille sleeps with John Keene, Richard feels betrayed, and refuses to see her any longer; however, when Camille submits herself to Adora’s ministrations in order to ingest poison that can be used as evidence against her mother, Richard is among those who comes to save Camille and Amma and lock Adora away. As Richard glimpses Camille’s scars for the first time, seeing her in her mother’s bathtub, he is repulsed; after the case is closed, Camille doesn’t hear from him again, as she knew she wouldn’t the second she saw the way he reacted to her scars. Symbolically, this shows that Willis is committed to the truth, unlike Camille, only to a certain extent—as long as it is convenient and serves him.
Detective Richard Willis Character Timeline in Sharp Objects
The timeline below shows where the character Detective Richard Willis appears in Sharp Objects. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The detective, sensing Camille’s frustration, offers to start over. He introduces himself as Richard Willis and asks that they call a truce. Camille, though, continues asking him about why... (full context)
...of the clues and loose threads she’s encountered, Camille decides to head out and find Richard Willis, hoping that his rational outsider’s way of thinking about the murders will help calm... (full context)
Even though it’s not “the straightest of deals,” Camille accepts and asks Richard—on the record—whether he really believes Ann and Natalie’s murders were committed by an outsider. Richard... (full context)
...and John begin dressing frantically. When Camille opens the door, Vickery is there—and so is Richard. As he surveys the situation, he glares at Camille and tells her that Adora put... (full context)
...Camille drives back to Main Street and goes into the police station, where she finds Richard and begins attempting to “deny deny deny.” Richard, though, can see through her lies, and... (full context)
...asks Camille whether the “detective” is still on the case—she reveals, to Camille’s shock, that Richard Willis came by days ago and Xeroxed every single page of Marian’s files. The nurse... (full context)