Canadian commander sentenced to life for murders

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    Oct 21, 2010 7:25 PM GMT
    "BELLEVILLE, Ontario -- The former commander of Canada's largest air force base said Thursday he deeply regretted his "despicable crimes," moments before he was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 25 years for murdering two women.

    Col. Russell Williams pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder, two sexual assaults and 82 counts of breaking-and-entering, during which he took hundreds of undergarments from women and young girls. ...

    Williams took pictures of himself in the women's bedrooms, posing in their underwear, and he meticulously catalogued the photos on a hard drive and stored the undergarments in his home. Prosecutor David Thompson detailed in court how Williams raped, photographed, videotaped and killed Comeau, who pleaded with Williams to "have a heart" and spare her life. During most of the proceedings, Williams sat looking downward. ..."
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    Oct 21, 2010 7:52 PM GMT
    They are now stripping him of his medals, and they want him to pay back his salary from the day of his arrest.

    He will be stripped of his rank, but will receive his pension.

    Col Williams was on the fast track to one day likely become Chief of Defense Staff (the top military officer). He commanded our no-longer-secret Camp Mirage in UAE from where all Cdn ops in Afghanistan were deployed.

    This is a betrayal of the uniform, and it is right that he be stripped of rank - but the medals recognise service in a campaign.
    They cannot "unearned" after the fact. It is not like an Order of Canada, which is a bestowed honour.


    For people to call for him to have him stripped of his medals shows a total lack of understanding of what they represent.


    Just because he committed a heinous crime, it does not now mean he DID NOT serve in those missions. And that is all those medals represent. They are a visible resume on your uniform.

    And though he is no longer entitled to wear the uniform on which he could wear them - those medals are his property - "gifts from the Crown".







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    Oct 22, 2010 2:45 AM GMT
    they are probably gonna write a book or a movie on this guy.. its just insane what he did icon_sad.gif
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    Oct 22, 2010 3:05 AM GMT
    I've had to stop reading the stories on this because I kept getting angrier and angrier on his lack of human decency.

    Reading the final moments of both women he killed, which he videotaped makes me sick. How could someone be so evil?icon_cry.gif
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    Oct 22, 2010 3:16 AM GMT
    ummmm....

    russell-williams-pic-ap-image-3-85100272









    russell-williams-pic-ap-image-1-16680380
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    Oct 22, 2010 3:17 AM GMT
    Good, he should go to prison for life. But a betrayal of the uniform? Please, being in Afghanistan at all is a betrayal of everything Canadians THINK they stand for. That uniform is beyond tainted. Let's not forget that Canadian soldiers were proven to be torturing people in Afghanistan as well (it's not just the Americans who torture innocent poor people)... the only redemption that uniform could ever achieve is by leaving Afghanistan. Then... MAYBE... just maybe Canada can pretend like we actually stand for peace, perhaps live up to the national myth so many have believed in before.
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    Oct 22, 2010 12:57 PM GMT
    MeOhMy saidGood, he should go to prison for life. But a betrayal of the uniform? Please, being in Afghanistan at all is a betrayal of everything Canadians THINK they stand for. That uniform is beyond tainted. Let's not forget that Canadian soldiers were proven to be torturing people in Afghanistan as well (it's not just the Americans who torture innocent poor people)... the only redemption that uniform could ever achieve is by leaving Afghanistan. Then... MAYBE... just maybe Canada can pretend like we actually stand for peace, perhaps live up to the national myth so many have believed in before.


    nonsense.

    Spoken like a civilian who knows nothing of the culture.

    Your knowledge of little military history is patently minimal. Leave critical commentary to those who know what they are talking about - refrain from commenting if you speak from ignorance.

    The uniform is highly respected - just apparently not by you.

    Care to expound of the source if all your insight? (you start by repeating the civilian cliche (never true) that we were "peacekeepers." Your ignorance is showing.



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    Oct 22, 2010 1:01 PM GMT
    It just goes to show, don't judge a book by its cover.
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    Oct 22, 2010 1:42 PM GMT
    I just can't fathom his mind. How he could be getting his jollies from any of this? Way, way too bizarre for my comprehension.
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    Oct 22, 2010 7:38 PM GMT
    UpperCanadian said
    MeOhMy saidGood, he should go to prison for life. But a betrayal of the uniform? Please, being in Afghanistan at all is a betrayal of everything Canadians THINK they stand for. That uniform is beyond tainted. Let's not forget that Canadian soldiers were proven to be torturing people in Afghanistan as well (it's not just the Americans who torture innocent poor people)... the only redemption that uniform could ever achieve is by leaving Afghanistan. Then... MAYBE... just maybe Canada can pretend like we actually stand for peace, perhaps live up to the national myth so many have believed in before.


    nonsense.

    Spoken like a civilian who knows nothing of the culture.

    Your knowledge of little military history is patently minimal. Leave critical commentary to those who know what they are talking about - refrain from commenting if you speak from ignorance.

    The uniform is highly respected - just apparently not by you.

    Care to expound of the source if all your insight? (you start by repeating the civilian cliche (never true) that we were "peacekeepers." Your ignorance is showing.



    Perhaps my sarcasm was a little too complicated for you to understand? When I referred to the "civilian cliche" of peacekeeping as what Canadians "think" we stand for, and as a "national myth," perhaps you interpreted that (somehow) as my endorsement of it? haha. Speaking of ignorance. We have never been peacekeepers, I don't even believe in that ideal of peacekeeping. I don't respect uniforms, I respect people deserving of respect. If one person in uniform is deserving of my respect, then so be it, but I have no respect for an article of clothing, and it's rather absurd to think in such ways.

    The Canadian military has "subcontracted torture" in Afghanistan, just like the Americans, this is no secret.
    http://www.canada.com/news/Canadians+subcontracted+torture+Afghanistan+Testimony/2906621/story.html

    Being an imperialist occupying force in a foreign country... does not make the uniform respectable, despite what you may think. I would respect any soldier who would refuse to serve in such an abhorrent colonial project. There is no honour in going around the world to kill innocent poor people in foreign lands. Sorry.

    I have absolutely NO respect for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and the soldiers who serve in the occupied territories. I do not respect their uniform. I do, however, have enormous respect and admiration for the Israeli refuseniks or shministim, who are those that refuse to serve in the occupied territories, despite mandatory conscription, and thus often serve jail time. That takes real courage and honour, and they are deserving of my respect and admiration. They earned it. Not because of the uniform they wear (or refuse to wear), but because of the actions they take and the ethics they uphold.

    To respect a uniform simply because it is a uniform is utter insanity and is totally irrational. In fact, it's extremely dangerous, as history shows that the most brutal oppressors humanity has ever known... wore military uniforms. To have blind faith in an institution such as the military, or blind faith in the "uniform" based upon what you THINK it represents is absurd. And you say MY ignorance is showing? Interesting.
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    Oct 23, 2010 2:26 AM GMT
    Gov. Gen. David Johnston has agreed to strip Russell Williams of his rank as a colonel in the Canadian Armed Forces.

    Senior members of the Forces went to see Johnston Friday morning and asked that Williams be stripped of his Queen's commission, meaning he is no longer an officer.

    A CBC News source believes that this action is unprecedented in Canadian military history.

    A judge sentenced Williams to two terms of life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years on Thursday for the first-degree murders of Cpl. Marie-France Comeau and Jessica Lloyd.

    The decorated former commander of Canadian Forces Base Trenton was also sentenced in Ontario Superior Court in Belleville to 10 years for each of his two charges of sexual assault and two charges of forcible confinement. He was also sentenced to one year for each of the other 82 lesser break-in charges he faced.

    The source said Forces members went to Kingston Penitentiary, where Williams is serving his sentences, and advised him of the Governor General's action.

    Rank stripping 'extraordinary': Natynczyk
    Gen. Walter Natynczyk, chief of defence staff, issued a statement Friday afternoon in which he called the revocation of Williams's commission "an extraordinary and severe decision that may constitute a first of its kind in Canadian history."

    Natynczyk said the military will also strip Williams of his medals, terminate and recover his pay from the date of his arrest and deny him severance pay.

    He said Williams would also be promptly released from the Forces under "service misconduct, which is the most serious release item possible."

    "I wish to point out that under the [Canadian Forces] superannuation act, there are no grounds to revoke his pension and a court martial would not have any impact on these accrued benefits," Natynczyk said.

    Williams 'indescribably ashamed'
    Before he was sentenced Thursday, Williams told Justice Robert F. Scott he was "indescribably ashamed" of the crimes he'd committed, and especially apologized to the families of the two murdered women.

    Williams, 47, had pleaded guilty Monday to 88 charges.

    He also said: "I committed despicable crimes, your honour, and in the process betrayed my family, my friends and colleagues and the Canadian Forces."

    While Williams is eligible to apply for parole in 25 years, Scott said there is no guarantee he will be released.

    Crown lawyer Lee Burgess said he did not seek to have Williams declared a dangerous offender because it would have just prolonged the hearing. He called it "superfluous" because he believes the facts he outlined during the week will prevent a parole board from ever allowing Williams out on parole.

    The court heard graphic evidence of how Williams carried out his crimes and saw portions of a video recording of his 10-hour interrogation by police, during which he finally confessed.



    Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/10/22/williams-stripped.html#ixzz1392SBpfR
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    Oct 25, 2010 7:40 PM GMT
    WILLIAMS ENTERS "GRIM EXISTENCE"

    The Canadian Press

    Date: Monday Oct. 25, 2010 6:54 AM ET

    TORONTO — From flying military jets and meeting dignitaries to living in a cell the size of a walk-in closet at Kingston Penitentiary -- Russell Williams has entered a "grim" existence.

    The former airbase commander turned sado-sexual killer was sentenced Thursday to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years for the slayings of Jessica Lloyd and Marie-France Comeau.

    As Williams was being promptly whisked away to the maximum security prison, the lead detective in the case said he'll serve his sentence in the segregation unit, home to some of Canada's most notorious inmates -- including schoolgirl killer Paul Bernardo.

    "In general people of his nature are taken down into solitary confinement, kept by themselves, they don't have access to any other inmates," Det. Insp. Chris Nicholas said outside the Belleville courthouse.

    Defence lawyer Tony Bryant, who represented Bernardo, expects Williams will be on the same range as his old client, where the prison cells are 2.5 by 3 metres.

    Bernardo's tiny cell -- his home for the past 15 years -- is not much larger than a typical household washroom, equipped with a cot, desk and toilet.

    Prisoners can talk to the inmate in the adjoining cell, but can't see them at the prison, which opened in 1835.

    "It's a grim existence, no question about that," said Bryant.

    "Most people would say rightly so, given the horrific nature of the crimes these people have committed."

    Williams would likely be in the segregation unit for his own safety, said Bryant, adding prison officials have an obligation to take care of everyone -- they can't pick and choose.

    That doesn't mean Williams is free from the risk of physical harm.

    Bernardo has been attacked and harassed at the prison. He was punched in the face by another inmate while returning from a shower in 1996. In June 1999, five convicts tried to storm the segregation range where he lives and a riot squad had to use gas to disperse them.

    Williams' military training gives him an edge in defending himself in prison, said lawyer and psychologist Patrick Baillie in an interview from Calgary.

    But the former colonel's life behind bars is a stark contrast to the one of privilege he's experienced.

    "That will be a huge adjustment. It is a massive change from the lifestyle he's had in the past which was independent, which was widely respected and which had with it all sorts of future possibilities," said Baillie.

    "Now you're an individual who's going to be told what you eat, and when you eat and how many people are going to be living in your cell and which cell you're going to be in."

    The transition will be particularly difficult for someone like Williams, who is used to having a large degree of control over others and who is very smart, said Baillie.

    He will have to adjust as well to the monotony of being in custody.

    "Some people will rebel and fight. Others will have an initial period of shock and then a decision that they need to get on with it," said Baillie.

    Prisoners in the segregation unit get an hour outside their cell for exercise. For the other 23 hours a day, they are locked in their cells. They can watch television -- if they buy a television. They can read and have writing materials. But there's no access to computers or the Internet.

    Prisoners cannot receive telephone calls but can make them to people on an authorized call list, if they pay for the calls.

    Offenders can hug and touch approved visitors, even have conjugal visits with spouses.

    During his time at the Quinte Detention Centre in Napanee, Ont., since his February arrest, Williams could only speak to visitors from behind glass.

    Prison officials will likely monitor Williams' state of mind, given his suicide attempt at the Quinte Detention Centre over the Easter weekend and his subsequent hunger strike.

    Early psychological treatment or training programs for Williams are unlikely, said Baillie and Bryant, who note space in programs are limited and reserved for those closer to release.

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    Oct 25, 2010 7:43 PM GMT
    TAXPAYERS PICK UP COST OF DAMAGE TO WILLIAMS HOME

    BELLEVILLE, Ont. — Ontario taxpayers footed the bill to repair the floors of convicted sex killer Col. Russell Williams' Ottawa home after police searched it for evidence.

    An Ontario Provincial Police spokeswoman says if there's damage after police search a home, an owner can seek compensation.

    Sgt. Kristine Rae says such a request was made for the Williams residence, and it was granted.

    Rae would not confirm if it was Williams' wife, Mary-Elizabeth Harriman, who asked for the compensation, or how much money was given for the repairs.

    The brother of one of Williams' murder victims, Andy Lloyd, called it ridiculous that police paid "$3,000 to fix her hardwood floors and apparently $1,400 to fix a lamp because the OPP damaged them dragging boxes of bras out of her house."

    During a videotaped police interrogation, which was shown in court this week, Williams became teary-eyed as he desperately tried to protect his wife's home from a destructive police search.

    Williams, during the Feb. 7 interview, stressed how attached his wife was to their new Ottawa home and even offered up the location of two hard drives hidden in the basement where he stored the evidence of his skin-crawling crimes.

    Williams was sentenced to two concurrent life sentences on Thursday with no possibility of parole for 25 years for the killings of Jessica Lloyd and Marie France Comeau.

    The former commander of Canada's largest military air base pleaded guilty to raping, torturing and murdering the two women, as well as to two sex assaults and 82 fetish break-ins.

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    Oct 25, 2010 8:07 PM GMT
    I can see three responses to this.

    1) WTF! The taxpayers are fixing this criminal's house?!?!

    2) If it is legally the wife's house, too, she didn't do anything and so deserves compensation for the damage.

    3) Let the wife be compensated from the husband's personal funds, if he has any.
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    Oct 25, 2010 8:10 PM GMT
    What a creep