Willard Russell With Arvin Russell, Carl Henderson, Helen Hatton, and Sheriff Lee Bodecker
While passing through Meade, OH, Willard stops at a diner and happens to take serial killer Carl Henderson's seat. This small interaction leads to the two men meeting their future wives. Once back home in Coal Creek, WV, Willard's mother introduces him to Helen Hatton, who she promised God he would marry if God brought Willard back home safe. Unfortunately, he's already in love with Charlotte, the waitress from the diner. Willard then moves to Knockemstiff, OH to marry Charlotte and they have a son named Arvin. By not marrying Helen, Helen is able to have Lenora, aka Arvin's step-sister.
Sadly, Charlotte dies from cancer. Willard believes that if he makes sacrifices to a cross he's built, things will work out for his family. Although he's told his son they're going to visit his mother, Willard commits suicide the same evening they bury Charlotte. Willard's suicide connects Arvin and Sheriff Lee Bodecker as Lee is the officer called out to deal with the scene.