Russell Williams is a formal colonel in the Canadian Forces. He has been convicted of sexual assault, two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of forcible confinement, and 84 counts of breaking and entering after confessing to the crimes on February 7, 2010 during a transcribed police interview. His crimes were fetish motivated. On October 21, 2010, he was sentenced to two life sentences, four 10-year sentences, and eighty-two 1-year sentences to be served concurrently. The earliest he can be paroled from the maximum-security prison Port-Cartier Institution will be at age 72.
Russell Williams emigrated from England to Canada as a young child. His parents divorced when he was 6 years old and his mother remarried. After completing high school, he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and political science from the University of Toronto Scarborough. The following year, Russell Williams enrolled in the Canadian Forces. In 1991 he was promoted to Captain and married Mary Harriman. He was entrusted with flying government officials and foreign leaders, and in 1999 he was promoted to Major. In 2004, Williams obtained a Master of Defense degree from the Royal Military College of Canada and further promoted to lieutenant. Finally, a year prior to his arrest, he was promoted to colonel.
Crimes and Victims
*The following may be disturbing to some readers. Details of sexual assault and murder are discussed below. Reader discretion is advised.*
Williams’s fetish related crimes start in September 2007, although he made a habit of waiting in people’s rooms in college to “play pranks”. Between September 2007 and November 2009, Williams broke into 82 homes, 61 of which went unreported or undetected. During these break in’s Williams would steal female underwear, sometimes of victims as young as 9 years old, take photos, and lay in their beds and masturbate. These crimes were all documented through photographs and videos he took, along with stolen items he kept and cataloged. His photos generally followed the same pattern with each victim.First, he would take pictures of the victim’s bedroom in general and anything that helped identify the victim such as mail. Then he would take photos of undergarments in the victim’s drawer before laying them out on the bed or floor and taking more photos. The next photos would be of him wearing the underwear, and then him ejaculating, generally back at his house. He would meticulously categorize the photos, undergarments, and police and news reports. Of the people who he could not identify in their bedrooms, he would name the files in which their respective photographs were kept, “mysterious little girls”. He would also leave notes with some of his victims, one of which was “merci”, which means “thank you” in French, on a 12-year-old’s computer.
As time went on, William’s crimes escalated. One victim’s house he broke into a total of nine times. On the 6th time, he watched a woman get into the shower from outside of her window, broke in, got naked, stole her panties naked, then left the house before she got out of the shower to discover him. In another case of his fetish and crimes escalating, Williams got completely naked in masturbated in bushes outside of a teenager’s window. On New Years in 2008, Williams broke into a 15-year-old girl’s bedroom, and after taking undergarments and photographs, touched his genitals with her make up brush and left it behind in her bedroom to later be used. Williams obtained so much panties, bras and lingerie that he still had several boxes and bags of it despite burning much of it to make room. Between two victims alone, he stole around 60 items of intimate clothing.
Of the four sexual assaults, the first victim’s name has not been released. On September 16th, 2009, Williams cut the screen to the side window of the victim’s house and crawled in while she was asleep. He snuck up next to the bed and after watching her for a short while, hit her with his fist, waking her. They struggled, and she expressed concern for her young baby in the next room and her own life. He told her that he was not going to hurt her, took photos of her in various undergarments she had, stole some undergarments, and left.
The next victim was Laurie Massicotte. Williams removed a screen from the back window of her house, slid the window open, and climbed in. Massicotte was asleep on the couch in front of the T.V. in her living room. Williams hit her in the head with a flashlight in hopes of rendering her unconscious. This attempt was unsuccessful. Williams struggled with Masscotti, tied her hands behind her back and told her that there were other men robbing her house. He claimed to her that he was in charge of controlling her and that he would not hurt her if she complied with him. Because her hands were tied behind her back he removed her shirt by cutting it off of her. He took various photos of her in her underwear and sexually assaulted her over a period of two to two and a half hours before telling her to wait for a period of time before calling the police. He then went home a couple houses away and went to sleep.
The first murder victim was Marie-France Comeau, a fellow military woman who worked at William’s Air Force Base, CFB Trenton. Williams broke into her residence a few nights prior to her murder, stealing panties after wearing them himself inside of her house. On November 24, 2009, after listening to her having a conversation on the phone in her bedroom from outside, Williams went through her basement window and hid behind the furnace waiting for her to fall asleep. Comeau’s cat notices Williams and is fixated on him. Comeau comes into the basement trying to call her cat upstairs when she discovers Williams. Williams and Comeau get into a physical struggle where he hits her about her head with his flashlight in an attempt to knock her out, ties her hands behind her back, and duct tapes her mouth the prevent her from screaming. At some point during the struggle Williams ties Comeau to a pole in her basement and goes outside to put the screen back on the window to prevent anyone noticing something is amiss. Williams leads her up the stairs to the bedroom, but Comeau faints on the stairs and he carries her the rest of the way. Over a series of hours Williams rapes Comeau. While he left the room to check outside the windows for people coming, Comeau runs to the bathroom where she tries to get help through the window. He subdues her and brings her back to the bedroom. He attempts to strangle her, but she put up too much of a fight for him to successfully do so. Instead, he places tape over her nose (with her mouth already being taped) and holds her down on the floor face down until she suffocates. After her death, Williams then removes the tape and places her back in bed and pulls the covers up before leaving.
On January 28, 2010, Williams notices Jessica Lloyd on her treadmill as he drives past her house. Williams broke into her home through the kitchen window before she came home, then left. When she returned and she went to sleep he came in through the unlocked back patio door. He snuck up to the side of the bed intending to try to knock her out with his flashlight, but she woke up before he could. She was compliant to his demands so he did not hit her, instead placed a zip tie around her neck and told her if he did not like what she did, he would pull the zip tie. Over a span of three to four hours he raped and took pictures of Jessica Lloyd before loading her up into his vehicle and driving her back to his cottage closer to work (his wife lived at their newly built house). Upon arrival, they laid in his bed so he could nap, wrapping the rope that bound her hands around his body so he would feel if she tried to leave. She began to have a stress induced seizure sometime after more sexual assault, and he claims to have given her water, talked her through it, and had another nap on the floor with her after the seizure because she was exhausted. After taking series of photos of both her in different undergarments and him and her together, he told her he would bring her back home. They ate some fruit and then as they went to leave the house, he struck her on the back of the head with his flashlight. The blow rendered her unconscious with him believing that her skull caved. While she was unconscious, he strangled her. He then removed the zip tie, bound her body into a fetal position with duct tape, and placed her into the garage so he could go to work. After spending a time with his wife for a few days, he went back to his cottage and disposed of her body along a road behind a rock. A roadblock on Highway 37 on February 4th discovered his Pathfinder’s tires produced the same tracks as those found outside of Jessica Lloyd’s house and he was brought in for questioning a few days later. There they found his shoe prints matched those found in the snow outside of her house and he confessed to both murders, the sexual assaults, and 82 break ins.
Conviction and Sentencing
On October 7, 2010, Williams plead guilty to all charges and on October 22, Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Scott sentenced him to two life terms to be served concurrently, without the possibility of parole for 25 years. Williams’s commission and metals were revoked, and he was expelled from the Canadian Forces. In turn, his uniform was burned, medals destroyed, vehicle scrapped, and commission scroll shredded. Despite this, Williams is still entitled to his military pension, amounting to $60,000 annually. Williams refused to pay victim surcharge fines, which are only $8,000, leading to a lawsuit against him by one of his victims. This case was later settled.