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Walter Zileski is a former costumed criminal formerly known as The Screaming Skull.


Walter Zileski was a bored graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Being a thrillseeker, Zileski decided to don a costume and become a supervillain, calling himself the Screaming Skull.

The Screaming Skull became active in the late 1930s and throughout the 1940s battling members of the Minutemen including Nite Owl. His most notorious scheme was the time he set up a three-month. forty-member conspiracy to destroy the Minutemen headquarters building and accidentally blew up the wrong brownstone. His last criminal scheme went into operation in 1950. In 1951, Zileski was captured and sentenced to twenty years in prison.

Although at one time Screaming Skull was wanted for the theft of more than $15.000.000 in property, he is said to have cleared as little as $2000 from his years of villainy due to rising insurance costs and steep thug overhead.[1]

After he got out of prison in 1971. he reformed and hung up his costume and went into the insurance business. He later became a born-again Christian in the early 1980s. He resides in Queens with a wife and two kids.[1][2]

In 1985, Zileski ran into his old foe and former Nite Owl Hollis Mason in a supermarket and the two of them exchange addresses.[2]


Walter Zileski was more interested in having a good time than he was in reaping the spoils of crime. He always prided himself on the skill with which he could play the roll of a typical "comic book'' villain. He often tell the story of how he flipped a coin to decide whether or not he would be good or evil.


  • When Hollis Mason was being beaten to death by Derf and the other Knot Tops, he imagined himself fighting Screaming Skull and the rest of his past enemies.[3][1]
  • Screaming Skull's impulsive need to flip a coin to decide his actions is similar to that of Batman villain Harvey Dent/Two-Face.
  • According to a review of The Book of Rorschach, real life band Iron Maiden made an album titled after Screaming Skull.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Watchmen Sourcebook
  2. 2.0 2.1 At Midnight, All the Agents...
  3. Old Ghosts
  4. ​​​Review: Sons of Pale Horse's 'The Book of Rorschach' Is Still a Mess | Revolver (