"I have committed despicable crimes" - Macleans.ca

“I have committed despicable crimes”

Russell Williams speaks to his victims


Marie-France Comeau begged for her life. “I don’t deserve to die,” she said, cowering in the corner of her own bedroom. “Have a heart, please. I’ve been really good. I want to live.” Russell Williams put a piece of silver duct tape over her nose, and captured her final breaths with his video camera.

Williams assured his next murder victim, Jessica Lloyd, that he would set her free as long as she complied with each of his sick demands. And she did—for 18 hellish hours. Then he cracked her over the head with a flashlight, strangled her with a rope, and left her dead body in his garage for the next four days.

On Thursday morning—at the end of a sentencing hearing that revealed the true depth of Russell Williams’ shocking double life—Justice Robert Scott asked the man in the prisoner’s box if he had anything to say. He did.

“I stand before you, your Honour, indescribably ashamed,” said the disgraced air force colonel, his voice low, his ankles shackled. “I know the crimes I’ve committed have traumatized many people. The families and friends of Marie-France Comeau and Jessica Lloyd in particular have suffered and continue to suffer profound and desperate pain and sorrow as a result of what I’ve done.”

As he spoke, Williams paused for long stretches of time, fighting back tears (real or not). He listed all his crimes—including two home-invasion sexual assaults, and dozens of burglaries targeting women’s lingerie—and acknowledged that his actions caused many innocent women to “suffer terribly.” His family, he said, has also “been irreparably harmed.”

“The fact is I deeply regret what I have done and the harm I know I have caused,” he continued. “I have committed despicable crimes, your Honour.” Again, Williams had to stop and compose himself, reaching to accept a Kleenex from one of his lawyers. “And in the process, I betrayed my family, my friends, my colleagues, and the Canadian Forces.”

Sniffling and wiping his eyes, Williams paused one more time. “I shall spend the rest of my life knowing that I ended two vibrant, innocent and cherished lives,” he finally continued. “My very sincere hope is that my detailed confession on the night of Feb. 7, my full cooperation with investigators since, and ultimately my guilty pleas earlier this week have in some way served to temper the very, very serious harm I’ve caused my victims, their families, and friends. Thank you.”

When Williams finished, Justice Scott rubberstamped his mandatory sentence: two concurrent life terms to be served in a solitary cell at Kingston Penitentiary. Technically, Williams will be eligible for parole in 25 years (when he is 72) but the gruesome evidence revealed this week will almost certainly ensure that the National Parole Board keeps him behind bars until the day he dies. “His depravity has no equal,” the judge said. “He may be best described as Canada’s bright shining lie.”

A gifted pilot and a natural leader, Williams was once a rising star in the Canadian military, an elite officer who piloted prime ministers and the Queen and was later awarded the top job at CFB Trenton, the country’s largest and busiest air base. He seemed to have it all: a happy marriage, a hefty salary, and the respect of everyone under his command. But he was harbouring a dark, uncontrollable secret that—even now, after seeing the overwhelming evidence—is still difficult to believe.

“What makes it more despicable is that this was a man who was considered above reproach,” said Lee Burgess, one of the Crown Attorneys who worked the Williams file. “That a man like this could commit such monstrosities really makes you feel that the world is no longer a safe place, no matter where you are.”



“I have committed despicable crimes”

  1. The total depravity of man is very evident in this poor excuse for a human being. May the God of the Universe have mercy on his soul as it's doubtful any else will nor should they.

    • What depravity, he reminds us of what humans really are and what they can do when they lose it and become dangerous. So why dump it on a God? Wow! Let's pass the buck again to some God or invisible hand instead of facing the facts of what we are and what we can do when the right strings are pulled to activate our fragile egos and frustrations. Maybe what we need is a mirror not a God.

  2. Hopefully, while incarcerated, he can receive the mental health care he obviously requires. This is a very mentally disturbed man, whose deviant abhorrent behaviour is atypical of any socially (well) adjusted individual. Canadian society should search to understand what are the factors (i.e.: parenting, social-economic environment, educational system, pop culture “hypes”, existing prejudices & stereotypes, social funding agencies'/programs' priorities, and/or what?) which may contribute to producing the Homolkas, Bernados, Williams & others who so shock society. Does Canadian society need some mending?

    • Nope. Some people are born broken, and some just snap. "Canadian society" does not need mending on account of this.

    • It's more than a little ridiculous to suggest that some overarching societal problem(s) would drive this man to be insane beyond comprehension. You're not empathizing with the human… you're rationalizing his actions. Did he murder two women because "society" is "prejudiced" against grown men who want to masturbate into little girls' underwear? Or because his parents didn't love him enough? All of those "factors" you list are combined into a context that humans refer to as "life." Sometimes it's not easy. But that doesn't mean that we should place the fault on society for senseless acts of individuals. The guy CHOSE to break into houses over 80 times and escalated his acts to sexual assault and murder. AND IT WAS FOR PLEASURE. You have to be pretty naive to believe that a middle aged man with those kinds of issues can (or needs to be) rehabilitated. His life is over and deservedly so.

      • It is difficult to believe that a baby-boy (or baby-girl for that matter) is born to rape and murder (and/or commit 80 some break-ins) for pleasure.

      • I agree with you completely. No societal system is perfect. If this were a societal problem it would be much more frequent. Someone capable of doing this has a serious personal defect that could allow these actions regardless of their upbringing / society. He has proven himself incapable of living among law-abiding, decent people and should not be allowed to do so.

      • You are exactly right. Canadia society doesn't need to do any soul-searching. rkozga1 wants to point the finger at the educational system? Social Funding agencies? Seriously?
        Of course it's reasonable to ask why? Why did this happen? Well the answer is never going to be simple and straightforward. Somewhere along the way, this man became a sexual deviant. I'm certain it was the result of a number of factors. However, I highly doubt the most culpable of those will be social funding and education.
        Seriously. It sounds as though rkozga1 is suggesting the solution to murder, rape and sex criminals is having more social programs. Well, I smell a liberal.
        It is very nice to dream that there are ways to stop this from ever happening again, and we should all certainly take action to minimize the likeliness of these atrocities. However, I find it slightly offensive to suggest such flimsy solutions as better education and less prejudice. Yes, these are things I want. No, they are not what caused a sick human being to act as he did.

        • No this isn't a liberal you smell, it's an NDPer

    • Definitely pop culture. A little more Beethoven and a little less Justin Bieber and we'll all be murdering less.

    • For “ElizabethJ” & “Not an idiot”: Now when have either the Liberals or NDP ever come up with a social program (or any initiative for that matter) specifically to meet the needs and concerns of Canadian men and/or boys? When did either ever propose to do anything specifically for the benefit of men & boys?

    • Are you for real?Sometimes people are just bad.Remember those two little bastards that tortured and killed James Bolger (I think his name was) in England 20 years ago?They were just bad.They should have been put to death.So should Williams.

  3. Checkout the value of antidepressants and lithium in preventing sexual offenses and all forms of violence. A study at the Karolinska Institut showed that at leat ninety percent of murderers are mentally ill
    Potential rapists and murderers need to know that cost/effective tretment is available. Compulsions of any variety are very difficult to self-control. An exhibitionistic, compulsive masturbator was recently handed a lfe sentence by a Vermont judge. Psychiatry needs to clean up its act., and become less ideological and more pro-active.

    • I'd like to know the scientific method employed to determine that 90% of murderers are mentally ill. That seems impossible to determine and probably fabricated.

      • Good luck, Julian – you come up with hard science to figure these freaks out.

  4. Cut off his testicles and put him into the general population in Kingston. This would still be better than what those two women got. He knew exactly what he was doing so none of this nonsense talk of him being sick is worth mentioning about with this monster. What a complete waste of money to the taxpayers to maintain this individual for the rest of his life. Give him the option of ending it now by lethal injection.

    • Your suggestion for sexual mutilation is gruesomely sexist. No doubt, your dismissal of Williams being “sick”, also applies to mothers who murder their children. Don't they also know exactly what they are doing? Or do the gender double standards apply then?

      • No, mothers who murder their children are sick and twisted too! Please save your pity for the dead children, the murdered women.

    • Why is ever solution to a rape to cut off the perpetrator's testicles. It makes us a bunch of barbarians monsters. It's called mutilation for a lack of words and it sounds a lot like something from the old testament where monsters were in charge of society. My understanding of the code "we should cut off his testicles" is as long as somebody else does it. Obviously it's in the same line of thinking as giving him the lethal injection as long as someone else does it. Like Pontius Pilate, everyone has a grand idea of how to mulitate others while washing one's hands.

      • Briansz wrote Why is ever solution to a rape to cut off the perpetrator's testicles. It makes us a bunch of barbarians monsters.

        And what do you think Williams is? a gentleman? He's a barbarian in disguise. What does it matter if the law fights fire with fire? A rapist is a lowly barbarian, a woman wishing to protect herself or others from a rapist wishes castration. That isn't barbaric, it's logical.

  5. Lethal injection is too easy for him. They should let the guys in Kingston get at him and have their fun. No solitary confinement or protection for him like they have given Bernardo. The guards should one day mistakenly let Williams out into the general population during the exercise period. Let them have their day with him……making him suffer. That would make it so we wouldnt spend tax dollars on this crazy lunatic and give him three square meals a day.

    • cheer, cheer!

    • I agree with you. But I know some people who work in Corrections, and trust me when I say…Williams will fit right in. Not all rapists and murderers are assigned to the 'lonely life'. The only reason he is going to solitary is because the case became so high profile (and that was also due to his high ranking in the forces). In the general population, he would be a leader!

      • Kathy, you're sick.

    • He is not a lunatic but a human being that needs his 3 squares in confinement so that he can reflect on his so called evil ways and to remind us how close we are to this behavior if we fail to control our urges and self gratification. Also he is a reflection of our society and how anybody can go where no man or women thinks they will ever go when the proper strings in our collective psyches are pulled by our passions and lack of control. Hence, we should make sure the 3 square meals are always there because one never knows.

  6. Think the miltary better improve their screening tests.

    • Why improve screening tests only in the military, how about in all other walks life as written in Orwell's 1984. When big brother starts shaking the human tree, one never knows what could fall out, even one's saintly self.

  7. You funny Canadians. You have a fruitcake dressing up in woman's underwear, masturbating in thier houses and finally torturing, killing and raping two young women. The man is an unredeamable fruitcake. Lock him up forever or put him to sleep for good. Who gives a darn if he can be rehabilitated in prison. Maybe someone can get hold of him there and rehabilitate him. Society has nothing to do with this, and trying to find an excuse is simply bleeding heart liberals justifying criminal behaviour. Go to jail and visit the guy every day and blow him kisses if you feel that way, but thank goodness he is finally locked up and the rest of your funny country can be safe from at least him.

    • "you funny canadians"


      go back to watching fox news and eating deep fried butter, yank.

      (altho i do agree with your stance, just don't like your "tude" dude).

    • Cary…

      Commenting on this very sad and tragic story is your right. But to take a stab at Canadians as a whole ("funny Canadians") has completely taken away from your message and shows your poor taste. This is not about you.

      God bless Marie-France and Jessica and may their families find peace. I also wish the best to Mr. William's wife as her life is forever change by this.

    • Your comment rings very true but of course is overshadowed by the fact that you feel the need to include the a comment regarding Canadians. What does that have to do with anything?
      Let's not even begin to name the number of sick American criminals (which I'm sure is where you're from by the small minded comment) that have committed dispicable crimes and murder.

    • The Boston Strangler-Albert DeSalvo, Son of Sam-David Berkowitz,Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer,
      The DC Snipers, just to name a few. Oh, and let's not forget Charles Manson and his crowd. If Canadians are funny you Americans are freaking hilarious!

    • funny? who's going to take you seriously after that pathetic little jibe!

    • shorter Cary: "Go back to Russia, Canadians!"

    • Canadians are thoughtful, and analyze everything 360 as evidenced here provoking your straightforward comment.
      That doesn't, of course, mean that Williams isn't going to be locked up for a loooong time. We don't, however, have capital punishment here. We also have a far lower percentage of citizens incarcerated.

      You see, we try not to call others things like 'fruitcake', and this respect mostly enables us to live in a kinder, civil society. If you're not a fruitcake yourself, and tried living here, the benefits of living in this kind of sensibility on a day to day basis would probably reignite your faith in your fellow man. My American friends absolutely love it here.

    • Wow, Cary. What to say? You impune an entire nation over the actions of a single "fruitcake." Good grief. Call me impolite, but frankly, you are an idiot.

    • We caught this guy pretty quick, due to great police work, Cary. How many girls/women were murdered at the hands of your serial killers? Green River, Ted Bundy…

      • Ummm.They do have like 25 times our population in like a quarter the space…..

    • I am a proud Canadian.Born and raised.All my brothers and sisters were born in the U.S. on Air Force bases and my Mother was an American.(My father was a Canadian serving in the US Air Force).I like to think that I understand Americans and I tend to be not too much like my Canadian counterparts in alot of ways.That said, I agree.This is a great reason why we should have the death penalty in Canada.Olsen,Bernardo and Homolka, Picton, the woman out East that killed her daughter to be with her boyfriend.These sickos need to die,not be a burden on hardworking taxpayers for the rest of our lives.Even without capital punishment Canada couldn't even get the 'let him out into general population' plan to fly.They're to sissy to even do that.Stick him in an American prison and goodbye Mr.Freakshow.ala Dahmer.

  8. Cary, Why won't you just go F yourself? You silly american. You never hear anything like this in Canada but in the states, you hear all kinds of things….Calling us funny Canadian/Country…wow, I'm surprised you even called us a country and not a state…acting all tough on a post. I would really like to meet you in person and discuss the states and how every one of you no NOTHING about any other place on the map except your silly little state

  9. Poor taste, Joel. Not the forum nor comparison to draw.

  10. Part 1: It's just the tip of the iceberg of authoritarian behavior acting out to get one's rocks off, even killing people. It's a similar behavior, different flavor of authoritarians technocrats and bureaucrats with dead eyes who restructure companies and put millions of people out of work, out source people's jobs and harass another human being to the point that he ends up committing suicide or very mentally sick while these same authoritarians explain it off as "the victim had personal problems". Worst, these same authoritarians who are always in control even try to explain their behavior as serving legitimate business needs. So why are we surprised that some push their need of control to extreme ends especially when they are in control.

  11. Part 2: In our new modern Rome like society amusing ourselves to death, people like to gather around the virtual gallows and be virtual spectators and virtual armchair pseudo psychologists explaining off someone else's failing and deviances. The situations and incidences with the Russell Williams of this world need a lot more explaining than heehawing misplaced anger on blogs, and playing pseudo psychiatrists, because we will discover other Russell William types among the crowd of offended virgins and never understand what is going on in todays society's anomie. Those who need to grieve are the victims and their families and they do not need arm chair spectators acting out as judges and pretending to empathize. We should have reacted to what is going on in our society long ago and maybe read some Erich Fromm about learning to connect with our being instead of consuming our asses off looking to fill our abysmal hole in our soul.

  12. Part 3: Society's pseudo judges need to look at the enemy and potential deviant in the mirror and hope they are capable of reacting to their stresses, frustrations and anxieties without acting out in extremes as most do today instead of learning to delay one's gratification or presentism in society which seems to be the norm today when one can't have his way with other people or control them like authoritarians like to control everything around them. We are seeing a rash of people yelling at each other, of spousal abuse, pedophily, house invasions, hunting humans and killing children. No one is safe anymore. Why is this behavior so rampant today? Maybe it's because as they say:"WE HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY, HE IS US" and we are all still in denial on how far each one of us is ready to go to get our rocks off to have our way over others.

  13. Most serial killers are male. Perhaps because women are still seen as commodities and objects to be controlled, mutilated, hidden, and enslaved the world over. We've made progress as women here in the West, but this type of extreme sadosexual behaviour reflects the "overarching" social attitude toward women over the last 1,000 years, albeit writ large. Women still earn less, we're still worth less.. in many ways, undervalued, disposable for male pleasure.. not in all cases or environments, but in many. Williams simply took these attitudes to their hideously logical conclusions.

  14. Joël,
    Your opinion is not only overly simplistic, it is patently stupid. You only succeed in giving people the impression that you are every bit as fu#ed up as Williams. Also, if you plan to continue spewing nonsense like this either here, or on other web sites, you best go back to school to improve your grammar. The number of errors in your two short sentences is abysmal.

  15. His statement is right up there with tricky dick's "I am not a crook"
    He is a prime example of why we need to bring back hanging. Taxpayers should not be forced to pay to house this monster and allowing him to collect pension benefits in jail is yet another crime against taxpayers.

    • I agree, the last hanging that took place close to where i live is in St. Catharines Ont. It took place close to 50-60 years ago in the public square where all could see. This way any person thinking about committing such an undescribable crime, would think twice……….especialy if his neck was stretched about two feet longer, i would love to pull the hatch lever to let this man down, literaly, besides, i think that his pension should go to all the victims in this case.

  16. Now just what the hell are they locking up MULTIPLE MURDERERS FOR?!?!?! Don't they have enough grandmothers with glaucoma growing a pot plant or two to run into prison?! Don't they have enough farmers growing hemp to lock away?

    It's absolutely despicable when the Canadian government has to resort to arresting and imprisoning VIOLENT CRIMINALS when they could be out getting people for serious crimes like "failure to use a turn signal" or "possession of safe, non-toxic, natural, UNPATENTABLE plant matter."

    What has this world come to, when we can't even rely on our own "criminal justice system" to leave violent criminals alone, and keep attacking non-violent people like they are paid to do!

    No wait…they're going to fix all that with Bill S-10! The murderers won't get such a bum rap after S-10 gets enacted…but if you're a gardener…LOOK OUT!!! You're getting MANDATORY MINIMUM PRISON SENTENCES!!!

  17. Well,,,considering what this man has done ,give me the gun and I will pull the trigger to eliminate him from taking a breath or ever laughing again. He will sit in a jail cell and rob the earth of oxygen. He does not have a right to breath. Those two women who he killed and the others he raped have been robbed of joy and life. He will now sit in his cell and watch TV and laugh at shows and dream of how he could rape the women on TV. He will also dream of how he killed and raped those two women. He does not deserve to live people. Just give me the gun and I will pull the trigger. Sounds Bad to some , but good to the victims who have no say in the matter.

  18. maybe, just maybe many in this country can wake up and realize that Capital Punishment is a fair and just punishment for crimes like this. If a person pleas guilty and their is no question of guilt, why let them live? an eye for an eye…

  19. Although serving his sentence would be the most painful option for Mr. Williams, lethal injection should be a viable option! Given that is not the case, I don't know if he has access to weight lifting equipment (gym) during his 1 hour of free time, but he can always position himself to do a bench press and then release his grip and drop the bar on his neck.

  20. If he lives for sixteen years, Canada and the armed services will pay a Million dollars to support him.

  21. If my name was Russell Williams, I would be making moves to change it.

  22. This Man?? should be put to death. It is clear he is a lunatic and beyond rehab so why waste our time and money on this animal.