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Dr William Bruffin was a doctor at Hawthorne. He began working there whilst Dr Jeremiah O'Kane was director and became close to him, visiting him regularly after he retired to the grounds and Dr Colin Dove took over. He had feelings for colleague and friend Beatrice Hearst, who was secretly having an affair with Dr Dove.

William began an investigation of his own after a schizophrenic patient, Clegg, was found murdered and Dr Dove covered it up. Beatrice insisted that it was necessary for the clinic's survival with the takeover by Peter Russell, who William was wary of and who he learnt had been raised by Dr O'Kane. Whilst walking around the grounds one night, he heard the laughing of a little boy and was chased before running into Julie Gilchrist. Having almost been the most recent victim, he researched the clinic and its history as a leprous house. He collected records on the history of the land and tried to show them to Beatrice before leaving them for Russell to read. Russell gave them to Liz Shaw, an action that William questioned. Russell claimed that they could trust her.

Because Clegg used to reside in the room next to Patient Zero, William grew suspicious of Dr Dove and his "special patient", suspicions that he shared with Russell. He made a phone call and got the door to the secure ward opened for Russell, but after finishing the call he was attacked. Dr Dove, Beatrice and Russell found his body in Room 0. His disfigured corpse was briefly reanimated by the reservoir of evil which made him sing "Daisy Bell", which Dr Dove saw as the sign that perihelion was approaching. (HOMEVID: The Zero Imperative)

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