Colonel Williams’ wife, under attack

An accused killer’s spouse struggles to rebuild her shattered life

Jim Rankin/Toronto Star/ Jerome Lessard/QMI Agency

On July 15, 2009, an hour before Col. Russell Williams was sworn in as the new boss of CFB Trenton, a two-seater jet skidded off the air base runway and smashed through a fence.

The plane, a 1950s-era Canadian Forces Silver Star, was being delivered to a private buyer in the U.S. when something went wrong during takeoff, forcing the pilot to abort.

For a few minutes, at least, the crash threatened to spoil Williams’s big day: his official change-of-command parade. But as emergency crews raced to the plane, they found a scene that could have been much worse. The pilot was conscious and alert, and the jet, resting on its belly, was still intact. So shortly after one o’clock, with the pilot safely in hospital, the festivities went ahead as planned.

GO TO LIVE BLOG from inside Col. Russell Williams’ hearing, day 2

If the accident was an omen for the unthinkable things to come, only Williams could have known that at the time. In the eyes of everyone else gathered at his swearing-in ceremony—including his wife of 18 years, Mary-Elizabeth Harriman—the colonel deserved what he was about to receive: the reins of Canada’s largest and most strategically important air base, a vital hub that does everything from search-and-rescue operations to welcoming home the flag-draped caskets returning from Afghanistan.

Harriman, a senior official at the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, sat smiling in the front row that Wednesday afternoon as her husband, dressed in his crisp air force blues, accepted the commander’s pennant from his predecessor, Col. Mike Hood. In his speech, Williams thanked the friends who had come to celebrate his prestigious posting. He thanked Hood, now a brigadier general, for his “outstanding leadership” over the previous two years. And he thanked his wife, a woman who had watched him go from rookie officer to the prime minister’s personal pilot to the senior man at 8 Wing, an assignment that almost surely would have ended with a promotion to general.

Following military tradition, Hood, the outgoing commander, presented Harriman with a bouquet of flowers. “She was very excited about Russ’s new job,” says one air force employee, who spoke to Harriman that day. “They were very much in love.”

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If detectives are correct, by the time Harriman was handed those flowers, her husband had already broken into 33 different homes—including one house six separate times—and stolen hundreds of women’s undergarments, including bras, panties and even bathing suits. And in the coming months, with his wife oblivious to his perverted double life, Williams would allegedly graduate from lingerie burglar to serial predator. Now locked in a solitary cell, awaiting his next court date, the former air force star is accused of sexually assaulting two women and killing two others: Marie-France Comeau, a 38-year-old corporal stationed at his base, and Jessica Lloyd, 27, a Belleville, Ont., woman whose body was dumped at the side of a dirt road.

Comeau was buried at Ottawa’s National Military Cemetery on Dec. 4, 2009. In the days after her funeral, while police hunted for a killer, the colonel and his wife attended a number of Christmas parties at CFB Trenton, including four in one night. Lloyd vanished on Jan. 28, a Thursday. Williams and Harriman were together at their Ottawa home that weekend, his last as a free man.

It is impossible to fathom how hellish the past six months have been for Mary-Elizabeth Harriman. The person she shared her life with for two decades is not the person she thought he was. But one thing is absolutely clear: the woman who knew Russ Williams better than anybody—and who was betrayed in a way that defies description—is desperate to salvage what’s left of her privacy, her impeccable reputation, and a future that nobody could have foreseen.

Despite being named in hundreds of news articles about her husband, the 52-year-old has not once spoken publicly about his case. In June, four months after Williams’s arrest, Harriman did file a sworn affidavit in a Belleville court—“The revelation of these charges has been devastating to me,” she wrote—but only because she was forced to say something. One of Williams’s alleged assault victims is now suing Harriman, claiming that she “fraudulently” acquired her husband’s share of their $700,000 Ottawa townhouse six weeks after his arrest in a “secret” deal to shield his assets from potential lawsuits. Harriman denies the allegation, insisting that she paid “valuable consideration” for Williams’s stake in the home, and that “the timing of the transfer was not unusual given the crisis facing the marriage.”

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As part of her defence, Harriman is asking the judge to seal all the evidence she plans to present, including personal financial statements and details about her career. In a written briefing filed in advance of a July 27 hearing, her lawyer, Mary Jane Binks, goes so far as to suggest that Harriman deserves the same privacy protections as the women her husband is accused of attacking. “Although the defendant Harriman is not a criminal complainant against the defendant Williams,” Binks says, “she is nevertheless a victim.”

Few would disagree with that statement. By all accounts, Mary-Elizabeth Harriman is a remarkable and inspiring woman—talented, loyal, passionate about her job, and forever humble. While her now-infamous partner was climbing the chain of Canada’s military, she was working hard to improve the health of average Canadians. On top of her responsibilities as associate executive director of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (where she earns a six-figure salary), Harriman has served on a long list of national and international committees that have tackled everything from chronic disease prevention to end-of-life care issues. Twice, she has been recognized in the House of Commons.

“The best way to describe Mary-Elizabeth Harriman is that she’s just one of the kindest people I’ve ever met,” says William G. Tholl, who was CEO of the foundation from 1995 until 2001. “People have an extraordinarily high regard for what she’s done. But high-profile? That’s not Mary-Elizabeth. She doesn’t seek that life.”

In January, just days before police caught up with Russ Williams, the Heart and Stroke Foundation celebrated the 11th anniversary of its “Health Check” program, the little red and white label that appears on everything from cereal boxes to frozen food, confirming that the product meets the nutrient recommendations in Canada’s Food Guide. The initiative has been a monumental success, and is now a staple on grocery store shelves across the country. Among those who helped transform that idea into reality was Mary-Elizabeth Harriman.

Tragically, though, the average Canadian only recognizes her name for one reason: she is his wife. She is that woman who had no idea that her husband, now an accused double murderer, was allegedly stealing drawerfuls of underwear and hiding them inside their home. She is that woman who will be talked about for years to come by people she has never met, each one wondering the same question: how did she not know?

“Mary-Elizabeth is a wonderful lady and she doesn’t deserve this,” says George White, a friend and former neighbour in the Ottawa suburb of Orléans who was among those invited to Williams’s change-of-command ceremony. “She is an innocent victim.”

Even some of the women whose homes were allegedly targeted by Col. Williams feel horrible for his wife. “I don’t know how he could have kept all this stuff hidden, but he did,” says Patty Mitchelmore, whose Ottawa house was broken into in August 2008. “Her life is destroyed.”

Mary-Elizabeth Harriman (Mary-Liz, as her friends call her) was born on Nov. 15, 1957, and raised in Madsen, Ont., a mining town northwest of Thunder Bay. Even before she laid eyes on Russell Williams, hers was a military family. Frederick Harriman, her father, was a decorated Second World War veteran who served with the storied North Shore Regiment, the New Brunswick army unit that stormed Juno Beach on D-Day.

When he returned to Canada after five years overseas, Frederick earned a geology degree from the University of New Brunswick and took a job in Rouyn-Noranda, Que. It was there he met Irene Lavigne, who worked as a stenographer for the same mining company. They married on May 2, 1953.

Frederick spent the bulk of his career in northern Ontario, as chief geologist for Madsen Red Lake Gold Mines Ltd. His daughter, a pretty girl with short hair and large circular glasses, was an honours student at Red Lake District High School, where, even back then, she displayed a passion for healthy living. In her graduating yearbook, Harriman listed “fattening foods” as her pet peeve and a “career in food sciences” as her ambition. (Her favourite saying was: “ . . . but what can you do.”)

Mary-Liz grew up as an only child. Her parents did have a son, Peter John, but he died as an infant.

After high school, Harriman attended the University of Guelph, where she graduated in 1980 with a bachelor of applied science, specializing in human nutrition. Between 1986 and 1989, she pursued a master’s degree in adult education at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S. By then, the Madsen gold mine had shut its doors and the population of her hometown was dwindling. Her mom and dad had joined the exodus, selling the family home and retiring to a red-brick bungalow in the Ottawa Valley community of Beachburg.

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It wasn’t long before Fred and Irene would be introduced to their future son-in-law.

Harriman met her would-be husband in the late-1980s, around the time Williams, still a lieutenant, was finishing his basic flying course at CFB Moose Jaw, Sask. A natural in the cockpit, he was later assigned, in the spring of 1990, to an instructor’s post at CFB Portage la Prairie, where he trained new recruits in the old single-engine Musketeers. Harriman was with him in Manitoba.

“She is just a sweetheart of a lady,” says Daryl Ford, a friend and retired captain who lived in the same townhouse complex, and who hitched a ride to work with Williams every morning. “Of anybody you knew, they totally had their act together. They were a successful, nice couple, the kind of people you would leave to watch your house. That’s why it’s so absolutely devastating to everybody. How do you go from that to this?”

Like so many others who considered Williams a close friend, Ford can’t reconcile the man he knew with the man police arrested. “My wife and I were blown away when this story broke, and we felt so sorry for Mary-Liz,” he says. “If you were to cut a mould of the perfect person—successful, had his stuff together financially, and just everything in life—it was Russ.”

On June 1, 1991, a Saturday, Williams and Harriman exchanged vows at a civil ceremony in Winnipeg. She was 33. He was 28. “It was a very small wedding, about 20 people,” recalls Yves Gosselin, another former pilot who was among Williams’s circle of friends during their stint at Portage la Prairie. “They were both very happy. He was always smiling.”

After the wedding, Gosselin remembers asking Williams whether he planned to have a family. “I wanted to have kids, but he said: ‘I don’t want to have kids,’ ” Gosselin recalls. “He said they didn’t want to put a kid in the kind of world that we were living in.”

Williams and Harriman left Manitoba in 1992 for a posting in Nova Scotia, but three years later they were on the move again, this time to Ottawa. They purchased a corner-lot home in the suburb of Orléans, and would live there for more than a decade—a rarity for a military family.

Williams and Harriman gardened together. They golfed. If they went for a walk, it was always hand in hand. And whenever she returned from a business trip, her husband would meet the taxi in the driveway, give her a peck on the cheek, and carry her luggage into the house. They had a cat named Curio. When it died of old age, they adopted Rosebud, a black and white kitten.

“They were a well-respected and nice couple in our neighbourhood, and we felt very lucky to have them with us,” said Shirley Fraser, who lived across the street. “I wish I could wake up and say this was just a bad dream.”

When they first moved to the area, Williams was flying Challenger jets at the 412 (Transport) Squadron, the unit that ferries VIPs, including prime ministers, across the country. He would go on to become the Queen’s personal pilot during her 2005 royal visit to Saskatchewan and Alberta, spend six months commanding Canada’s secret outpost in the Middle East (Camp Mirage), and advise the Department of National Defence on millions of dollars worth of military aircraft purchases. Yet his wife’s resumé—though not as glamorous as a photo op with the Queen—is equally impressive.

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Modest, unassuming and universally respected by her peers, Harriman’s long list of accomplishments includes helping to create the Canadian Stroke Strategy, an initiative that aims to build a nationwide approach to prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. She helped organize the first-ever International Conference on Women, Heart Disease and Stroke. And while on loan to the Health Charities Council of Canada, she helped author a briefing for the historic Romanow commission on the future of health care.

“She is about as dedicated and capable a person as you could ever meet, and she always understates her own abilities and overstates the abilities of others,” says Mike Savage, a former board member at the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and now the Liberal MP for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour. “She has a great sense of humour—in a dry, quiet way—and whenever things would get tense in any of the work that we did, she was calm, imperturbable, and managed situations to cause the least amount of stress for other people.
“She is a really good person,” he continues. “My heart goes out to her.”

In September 2000, Harriman lost her mother to Lou Gehrig’s disease. Four years later, on Canada Day, her dad passed away at the age of 84. They are buried in the same plot at a cemetery in Fort-Coulonge, the small Quebec community where they married.

Two months after her father’s death, in August 2004, Harriman and Williams purchased what would later become a crime scene: 62 Cosy Cove Lane, a $178,000 waterfront cottage in the village of Tweed, Ont. By then, Williams had been promoted to lieutenant-colonel and was the commanding officer of Trenton’s 437 (Transport) Squadron, the unit that chauffeurs prime ministers on international jaunts and delivers supplies to Canadian troops overseas. He spent his weeks in Tweed, commuting to the base an hour each way, while Harriman remained at their home in Orléans.

After work, Williams would often put on a bathing suit and clean the beach in his Tweed backyard, making sure his wife had a nice place to swim. During most summer weekends, Harriman joined him there, as did a steady flow of close friends and co-workers. The mailbox had both their names written on it—Williams and Harriman. Inside the cottage, Frederick’s war medals were framed and mounted, a gift from Russ to Mary-Liz.

According to police, the burglaries began on Sept. 9, 2007, when Williams walked through the unlocked front door of the cottage directly beside his. Three weeks later, he apparently did it again. By the time he and Harriman celebrated her 50th birthday that November, Williams had allegedly committed five break and enters and pocketed the first items in what would become a massive collection of women’s lingerie.

The rest of his charge sheet paints a stomach-churning portrait of a methodical, obsessed intruder who targeted dozens of homes within walking distance of either his Orléans house or the Tweed cottage. The most heinous of his alleged crimes—two home invasion sexual assaults and two murders—all occurred after he took command of Trenton, at a time when he and his wife were once again living apart during the week.

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Still, despite not seeing each other for days at a time, nothing about the couple offered any clue of what was to come. “She is just a wonderful lady—a wonderful lady,” says one member of 8 Wing, who asked not to be named. “I am used to meeting senior officers’ wives and calling them ‘ma’am.’ That’s the normal protocol. Well, when she introduced herself, I said: ‘Good evening, ma’am.’ She said: ‘Okay, stop. Let’s try this again. Hi, I’m Mary-Elizabeth.’ I said: ‘Hi Mary-Elizabeth.’ She said: ‘That’s better.’ ”

On June 3, 2009, a few weeks before Williams took the Trenton reins, Mike Savage stood up in the House of Commons to praise some of the “great health advocates” who have fought hard for anti-tobacco legislation. Among those he acknowledged was his old colleague, Mary-Elizabeth Harriman. The day before—and the day after—her husband allegedly broke into the same Orléans home and added to his stock of stolen panties.

The chain of events leading up to Williams’s arrest is now common knowledge. On Thursday, Feb. 4—desperate for a lead in the disappearance of Jessica Lloyd—police set up a RIDE-style canvas on Highway 37 in Belleville. Officers were instructed to look at everyone’s tires, hoping to match a unique set of treads left near Lloyd’s home on the night she vanished. Col. Williams and his Nissan Pathfinder were among those pulled over.

By Sunday evening, he was sitting in a police interrogation room, reportedly confessing to the long list of crimes now typed on his charge sheet.

That same night, Feb. 7, Harriman was alone at the couple’s swank new townhouse in the trendy Westboro district of Ottawa. After months of delays (and after selling their long-time home in Orléans), the construction was finally finished. They moved in just a few days before Christmas—a month after Comeau was killed, and a month before Lloyd went missing. They had been there barely a month (and Williams mostly on weekends) when cops came looking for the stolen lingerie.

Even before police announced the sexual assault and murder charges at a Monday morning press conference, Harriman went into hiding, shielded and comforted by an inner circle of fiercely loyal friends and colleagues. One of those women, a classmate from her high school days in Red Lake, flew from Calgary to be by her side.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation issued a statement of “complete support” for its associate executive director, describing Harriman as “a kind and compassionate individual” and a “long-serving, greatly admired and universally liked member of our team.” At the headquarters building of CFB Trenton, many of Williams’s stunned subordinates immediately thought of Mary-Liz. “I feel absolutely horrible for his wife,” said Lt.-Col. David Alexander, who worked down the hall from Williams. “She is not as much of a victim as Marie-France Comeau or Jessica Lloyd or the women attacked in the Tweed area, but her life has been changed and altered through no fault of her own.”

But now, a judge is being asked to decide whether Harriman did do something wrong. On March 22, six weeks after her world was shattered, she made a deal with her incarcerated husband. He took the notorious Tweed cottage; she took the Ottawa townhouse, paying him $62,000 in cash and assuming the remainder of the mortgage. Williams’s first alleged assault victim—a 21-year-old woman who was blindfolded, stripped naked, and photographed while her baby daughter slept in another room—now claims in a lawsuit that the “suspicious” real estate deal was a “fraudulent conveyance” aimed at thwarting her pursuit of damages. The victim’s lawyer, Michael Pretsell, declined to comment.

In defence documents, Harriman says “her reputation in the community is exemplary” and “at no time was there any intention whatsoever to fraudulently defeat” the victim’s claim. “The revelation of the criminal charges against the defendant Williams and the defendant Harriman’s identity as his wife has been devastating to her,” her lawyer wrote. “In addition to the obvious emotional devastation to her, the defendant Harriman’s previously anticipated future and financial security had become jeopardized.”

Harriman and her lawyer did not respond to repeated emails and phone calls seeking comment. Maclean’s also contacted dozens of Harriman’s friends, relatives, colleagues and associates, but very few agreed to be interviewed. They respect her so much, and feel such sympathy for what she has endured, that they figure it’s best to keep quiet. A spokeswoman for the Heart and Stroke Foundation also declined to speak, answering every question with a “no comment.”

Is Harriman still visiting her husband in prison? Does Williams phone the house? Does a part of her still cling to the hope that he might actually be innocent, and that the police have made a terrible mistake? Has he apologized to her?

For now—and perhaps forever—Harriman is not saying.

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What is obvious, though, is that she is determined to regain some semblance of a normal life. She has moved back into the Westboro townhouse that was once surrounded by yellow police tape and television news trucks. She has returned to her office in downtown Ottawa, where colleagues have been nothing but supportive (and where she was served with the lawsuit). And in June, after her 19th wedding anniversary passed with her husband in prison, Harriman helped usher in the first-ever Canadian Stroke Congress, a major conference of the leading experts in stroke prevention, treatment and recovery. Not surprisingly, her photo did not appear in the program alongside other members of the organizing committee.

Michael Gennis, who lives in the townhouse next to hers, spoke to Harriman when she returned home, long after all the camera crews left. “I said to her: ‘I’m sorry for what you’re going through,’ ” he recalls. Harriman’s response, however unnecessary, is yet another testament to her character. “She just apologized for having put the neighbourhood through all the scrutiny.




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Colonel Williams’ wife, under attack

  1. Note to the writers: Is someone's importance or reputation enchanced by being a chauffeur for dignitaries as distinct from being an officer, successful or not. On the same point, how many times does the charity work by the spouse need to be mentioned. Seems like a write-through without getting enough new information, ergo, just repeat what we have a few times and push the story.

  2. It is an extremely sad situation indeed but one must remember that there is a lot of speculation … We all must wait until all of the facts come out in a court of law (unless a plea bargain is reached)

    • It just seems like of another case of greedy people trying to beat the system. Him making big money and her also making a 6 figure income. All along not being a married couple. They will both end up with they deserve. Yes even GREED comes with a cost.

      • I would hardly call a woman who has worked so hard dedicating herself to the betternent of others greedy. She has an absolute right to strive to make a six figure income and no doubt she earns every penny. Remember as you speak out that yes greed comes wiith a cost so so does jealousy!!! Her earning capacity has nothing to do with her husbands alledged crimes nor should she be bad mouthed because of it.

        • How about when she takes all of HIS assets to prevent the victims having access to it? Including his pension? And makes taxpayers foot the bill to REPLACE (not just repair) floors damaged by police in their home? I want my money back. She can sue Russ for it. If it wasn't for him, the police wouldn't be there.

          A deal with the devil. A marriage forged in hell.

          • You have to be joking.  The poor woman has suffered enough.  I can only imagine how devastated she must be through no fault of her own.

    • Well now we know the facts, as Williams is sitting in his cell. Notice that the Mrs. was not at his trial. They split up their assets – he owns the cottage now (which will probably be flattened), she owns the house in Ottawa. Yet, they did not divorce. Hmmmmm, has that anything to do with the fact that there is a $60,000.00/yr pension to be had by Mrs. Williams, while hubby rots in jail? He's well out of the way, she has distanced herself from him, but still reaps the benefits. Nicely done. Also she allegedly sued the OPP for $3,000.00 to replace her hardwood floors and $1,100.00 to replace a light fixture, which were damaged while the place was searched. I'm sure the families affected by her husband's murderous activities would be very happy if they were 'out' a hardwood floor instead of a loved one.
      This woman has gonads of steel.

      • i agree… how dare she complain about a floor and light fixture when her husband, her best friend, her confidente stole two innocent lives and ruinded countless others.. and that is not speculation it is provable fact now.
        He is a loser, and she should be showing more concern for his true victims. Yes she is a victim too.. but not nearly to the extent of the ones who attended funerals.

      • Seriously… for this woman to be concerned about her floor and her light when people lost their cherrished daughters, aunts, sisters, wives, girlfriends, what have you?
        I cant believe anyone even entertained the idea of her floors being replaced, how retarted.
        I cant believe she has shown know compassion for his true victims.. the ones who cant wake up tomorrow and start all over.

      • Is that true she sued OPP if that is ture I have lost my sympathy for her.

      • I thought in Ontario couples have to separate for at least one year before they are granted a final divorce. So give this lady a chance.

      • Not sure if this is something that might have crossed your minds or not, BUT when faced with something this huge suddenly, out of the blue, a person may disassociate from events, and what they will do is attempt to deal with the things they ARE able to control. Your partner for the past eighteen years is suddenly “outed” as a sadistic criminal, are you immediately going to be able to deal with that? Perhaps the flooring was one thing she COULD immediately wrap her mind around; something she was able to handle without losing her mind while she tried her best to come to grips with everything else in her life. She’s not the first person who has asked for compensation for actual damages done to their home, and most likely won’t be the last. Doesn’t necessarily mean she has no empathy for her husband’s victims. She may just not have been able to deal with it yet. All I ask is that you think about that and consider the possibility.

  3. Please explain the purpose of the word "different" in your phrase "her husband had already broken into 33 different homes". How does it read without the word "different". The sentence then goes on to say "including one house six separate times". Does the word "separate add any meaning?

    • They're called "adjectives," and as this isn't a lab analysis report, it's okay to use them.

    • He's using for them for emphasis. Weird he would go back to one six times, don't you think?

      • even in under pants fresh is best. Couldn't resist

  4. I feel sorry for his wife, but I believe that her records should not be sealed because of the multiple crimes and frequent moves, complex relationships her husband has been charged with. She is a victim, but then so was Karla Holmoka. There must have been some clue to her that the soldier was awol.At the same time, he ruined families. Their lives are not a secret in any way and they were the actual victims. How sad for their families.They have no privacy and the living victims will need years of continued theapy.
    I also agree, how much do we need to mention the charity over and over?

    • KARLA HOLMOKE WAS NEVER EVER A VICTIM

      • RIGHT ON. Where have you been??

        • Actually, when she was first sighted in the news it was with a beat up face from her husband's flashlight. It was during this time that she reported "his" crimes. That is why she was viewed kindly at the time.

          • I didn't realize Paul Bernardo used a flashlight. As I recall, RW hit Jessica Lloyd and Marie-France Comeau on the head with a red flashlight.

    • Karla Homolka was a murderous evil woman who helped her husband do everything he did. She was NEVER a victim. Anyone who calls a woman who helped murder her own sister a "victim" needs serious therapy.

      • ASGaibn RIGHT ON

    • Chase, invoking the name of Karla Homolka as a victim to prove a point = FAIL. You know not of what you speak.

      • Was Chase using a touch of irony, or sarcasm?

        Karla was the one who obtained those drugs from the vet clinic used to subdue the victims, including her younger sister. Karla was very much involved in the sexual assault and death of her sister. Karla also had something to do with encasing one victim's body parts in concrete, not to mention luring victims to her car and home for her husband's sick desires.

        • And I can't help noticing that no-one died until Karla came along. And, as far as we know, no-one died at the hands of Paul after she left. So perhaps Paul was right about that one point.

          How anyone could ever paint her as a "victim" is beyond me.

          And the fact that she was allowed to keep her child – well don't get me started…

    • That monster's name has no place in either this topic, nor any other that I could imagine- with the exception of one. But that's a different topic.

    • Karla Homolka was not a victim, she was a participant in 3 murders, including her own sister. BIG difference.

    • Karla Homolka, was not a victim, she participated in her husbands unspeakable crimes,even to stealing the drug from the vets' clinic that causewd her sister's death .She served a jail sentence. But Ms Harriman is to be pitied, It sounds strange that she didn't know about her husbands other life bur she had her own career & spent more time in Ottawa while he was in Tweed. She reminds us that even when married, many people don't fully know their spouse.

    • What? Excuse me! But, there is no comparison, even from the info that I have been able to gleam, so far about Mary-Elizabeth Harriman. Karla Holmoka was an accomplice. From what I can gather, Ms. Harriman, absolutely is a victim.

      If this guy was smart enough to go as far as he did as an airforce pilot and a senior commander in the Canadian military, you can bet, sure enough, that he could have found a way to lead this type of double life. It has been pulled by far less successful people than him in the past.

      I would be really careful, especially at this point in time, about ever mentioning these two women as having anything in commom. Think about it.

    • Karla was not a victim.. hence why she spent 12 years in prison. The video tapes that were held illegally by pauls lawyer for 16 months proved she was a willing and active participant. Had those videos not been kept secret for 16 months without others knowing about them there would have been no deal with the devil and she would be rotting in a cell close to bernardo and williams.

    • Karl Holmolka a VICTIM?
      What have you been smoking?

    • Karla Holmoka a victim???? Give your head a shake and wipe your mouth out with soap for comparing Ms Harriman with that piece of trash!

    • Why are some of her records relative to anything, particularly her medical records? She is attempting to protect her own future. As for her not knowing something was going on, she saw the man 2 days per week, and he’d switched jobs then immediately began spending his weeknights 200 km away from her… How was she to know what was different due to his new job stresses as opposed to that homicidal rage she knew and loved so well?

  5. What an amazing woman!

    I remember thinking when this story broke "how terrible for his wife, she must be wondering how she didn't know – how could this be".

    God Speed Mary-Elizabeth. Continue to be brave!

    • An amazing woman knows what their husbands are doing. She obviously dropped the ball on this one. I wonder what their sex life was like… Hmmmmmmm.

    • No one knows what goes on behind closed doors! sure she was eloquent etc in public.As was he, but again who knows what goes on behind closed doors, kinky sex play or what have you ??__She knew something,maybe not to the extent of knowing her murdered woman or sexually assaulted them__but perhaps he gave her the womans panties as a gift,letting her believe they were new?______Regardless may he rot in the prison and hopefully the truth will come out about his wife.
      Both of them have come off as NICE to everyone,they have secrets she knows the secrets and we might never know.

    • and she went to the prison to celebrate their 19th Wedding Anniversary???!!!

    • The amazing woman who demanded that Ontario tax payers replace (not polish and rebuff) her wood floors because of two minor scratches that she found after the police had been through!

    • she must be a total idiot if she didn't know anything was going on, or she was in complete denial

    • Kat – I think you are pretty naive to think this is an amazing woman. Who knows what enabling she allowed to go on behind closed doors? Let's see … a woman 5 1/2 years older than her husband… no children…but obsessive about a kitty-cat … perhaps for much of their married life, she supported his fetishes and encouraged him to "dress-up" during their sex games, but then life got in the way …first her mother dies of Lou Gehrig's in 2000, then her ex-military father in 2004 (Daddy must have been important cause hubby gave her a montage of Daddy's war medals), then two homes and their lives started to be lived apart for much of the time with him in Cozy Cove and her enraptured with building a posh place in Ottawa. Comment too long – continued in another post.

    • And at her age she was likely experiencing menopausal issues (I can say that as I'm 53!) so maybe she started saying, "Russy, enough with the silly little sex dress-up games." So more and more he's on his own, and maybe starts surfing lots of porn sights at first, but that's not good enough for his sexual gratification and he's into photography so he decides to get his own porn shots. She had a judge seal her disclosures so hiding what went on behind the scenes if plausible. Her interest in her house and her lack of comments toward the victims could very well indicate that she's got a the double demeanor as well – appearing warm amid society but self-centered and self-serving at heart.

    • You say "she didn't know – how could this be", easy, they live apart for most of the week. Tweed/Trenton, where Williams is most of the the time, is 3 hours from Ottawa where his wife lives. Then there's the fact that the wife travels a lot for her job. Combine that situation and Williams had loads of opportunities to be on his own doing god knows what.

    • Yes she is a victim, but rather greedy with the assets, I think she should make a donation to crime victims, the survivors
      of the assault in Tweed deserve something for being tortured. They live in mental pain everyday, I am talking
      about Laurie and the other young mother. I feel empathy for the the families whose daughters were slaughtered.
      .

  6. It is an unfortunate situation for Mary Elizabeth to find herself in no doubt. But perhaps too much emphasis is being put on whatever level of victimization she is, has, or will be subject to. Being human, we all learn at some point in life that we don't always get what we deserve or for that matter even want. Most of us pick up the pieces and move on. What other choice have we got really? She certainly is not the first woman to discover that the man she married was not the man she thought he was, nor will she be the last. My heart lies with the victims and their respective families.

    • That is true, but no one should beat up on her. After all, when do other women find out their husbands committed crimes during the marriage, or they've been having affairs with younger women? After the fact, that's when! So people should lay off Ms Harriman. Of course the surviving victims and relatives of dead victims have it worse. No one can imagine what it feels like unless they've been victimized. I'm hoping and praying that they will find the strength to go on.

  7. Tawdry, schlock journalism. Not worthy of Macleans but more of News of the World or the Enquirer. Why torment someone is obviously suffering

    • I think you are ridiculous. The story was handled in a very delicate manner not tawdry, schlock journalism. Regardless of whether the wife is suffering , the story needs to be told.
      Obviously, you read the Enquirer. Maybe you stick to it. You don`t have any idea of what good journalism is!

      • I agree with you, the journalism was professional. I think Elizabeth Harriman should make a substantial donation
        to the surviving victims for their pain, and she should step up to the plate and make a comment, One of
        the surviving victims is two doors away from the crime scene where Jessica Loyd was tortured and killed.

  8. Experts should have a field day studying the Williams case. If there has ever been a more startling case of someone leading a double life, I am not sure what it could be. All of those telltale characteristics of sexual predators we get from "Criminal Minds" – loners, underachievers, unable to form relationships with women – none of them applied to Williams. In most cases, you would shake your head and ask, "how could his wife not have known?", but it is clear that Williams was a master at fooling people for years. Bizarre…

    • I believe he had sever sexual disfunction and seeing as him and his wife were rarely together in the first place there probably wasnt time to really see the effects of that.
      He was a loser… she is five years older than him and led her own life.

  9. I thought the story was about the col's wife and the possible suspicious transfer of property to avoid a law suit. Seems there maybe some truth in this and whether there was fair consideration given will be decided soon enough. Maybe there wasn't the timeing surely wasn't good. If I was the one victimized I wouldn't tlike the appaearance of the transfer

    • Jeff, I'm sure you can put yourself in the place of an innocent family member who does not want to lose their home when they contributed to the purchase of it and did nothing to warrant losing it. We are not in ancient Egypt where the wives and slaves jumped in the crypt with the dead pharoh. If the wife of the defendant were suspected of wrong doing or any knowledge of the crimes, she would be on trial too. For now, she is also sadly a victim of a man who maybe a dangerous sociopath. I empathize with this mans victims but I don't believe taking his wife's home, which she owns at least one half of according to Canadian law is just.

      • I perhaps am not clear on my feelings here. I don't think she should loose her half of what she owns but he certainly should not be able to give his assets away to protect them from a suit. His wife is probably a victim but we don't really know what she did or didn't know. How long did it take before we found out Karla was just as bad or worst than Paul? I'm not saying Williams wife knew anything, just that we will need to see everything and that includes how the transfer was done.

        • until that info is established jeff she should be able to move on with her life and in no way should the courts block her from doing so. until such time that it found that she knew something (which I highly doubt she did) the the system should clraly back off!!!!

      • i dont know insider… her husband volunteered information for them to believe there was no one else who was involved.
        but i suspect she may have known more than what is being told and it is her lack of compassion or concern, her willingness to sit idly by and protect her husband in silence that makes it uncomfortable for people to trust her.

        • I agree, why hide???. How can she not know? Boxes of underwear….they had to be invisible? Usually women have an insight on their husband…???
          She is a victim to what degree? Both of them look ''normal'', both of them were ''super nice'' and '' super intelligent''. So people who knew her would be as surprised as they were for Russell William.
          It is hard for me to think that she knew nothing and would not be surprised to find out later that she knew a part at least.

      • I'm pretty sure, but certainly not positive, that any joint assets would be at stake. I believe if a husband goes through a bankruptcy, the house is toast if it's in joint names – the wife doesn't get to keep "her half". If that's the case for bankruptcy, I'd be surprised if it were different for a lawsuit of this kind. But I'll totally caveat that – I've never been through bankruptcy – that's just my understanding of it.

        Anyway, I think that, unfortunately, an irresponsible spouse can really screw you. Let alone a sociopathic spouse like Harriman's husband.

    • I'm sure the idea came from her lawyer – he would have thought of it immediately knowing what was no doubt coming her way.

      • I'm not a lawyer either but the thought crossed my mind too. All that needs to be determined is if fair consideration was given. If not, then some more consideration will be required.

      • I thought about this right away when I heard assets had been transferred. This is a good way to insulate your questionable activities and is done often. The problem lies in timing. From my point of view the assets at the time of the crime were together as one and therefore should be treated as one in the lawsuit, not as two individuals. I don't think you should be able to separate the assets for the convenience of saving one partner.

  10. Is it just me or does anyone else wonder why Mary Liz has never commented on the victims or expressed anything about their plight?
    She is "devastated" – true enough – but others have suffered much more – no thoughtful considerate words for them. Oversight? Am thinking its a tad odd…..

    • I agree with you, I have thought the same thing. I have trouble feeling sorry for someone who thinks only of themselves!

    • And the both of you, of course, even knowing nothing about her other than the information provided to all of us in this article, still deem yourselves to be completely knowledgeable about what she has or hasn't said in this regard.

      • JOhn it is the fact she has made no public apology or condolence to the Canadian people who trusted her husban or his victims, she stated it was devestating to her… but no concern or regard for the TRUE victims… maybe he was getting the stash for her??

    • A public statement is required of the spouse of the accused? Really?

      I am willing to accept devastated and feel no need to hear any more from this lady. So, no, not a tad odd at all.

    • Read the article, it says that she hasn't spoken publicly at all. She may have commented privately to her friends, but they are also respecting her privacy by not speaking.

    • Very good point made here…I don't want to victimize her by saying she is guilty but her lack of insitfulness and sensitvity is what got her here tdy…not showing emotion (like her monster husband) makes one think how inoccent is she really?….I think she is a very selfish individual and got right to the point where the money $$$…IT ALL ABOUT MARY LIZ …like what kind of sex did they have together if any? Does she wear lingerie? At no point did she look into the boxes, go into his office…one might think that moving into a new home is exicting (Russ thought this house was very special to his Lizzie?)….you don't want it in disawray for ever you would empty or move boxes around (outta sight, outta mind) but this was not the case…I'm thinking if my husband did not get to his chores and clean-up I would try a get them done for him…these boxes of lingerie etc were in plain site in the basement…

      • "but her lack of (sic) insightfulness and sensitivity is what got her here tdy"

        I tend to agree. Whatever his inner demons, Colonel Williams had them at least somewhat under control until 2007. I don't know what happened at that time to set him off, but I can't conceive that anyone, even with those inner demons, would have fractured so explosively and completely if they had a truly supportive and loving life partner to turn to.

        I also found it quite strange that Williams' biggest concern – even at the time of his imminent arrest!!!! – was how upset his wife would be?!? And that he always referred to the Ottawa residence as "her" house, never "our" house. Something doesn't smell right here.

        • we dont know they were under control.. that is just what they tell us… he could have been doing this his whole life.

          there are sure to be other victims and crimes revealed later on….

    • I'm with you on that one. I believe her spokeperson said she was devastated by the charges…. interesting choice of words. Not devastated by his actions, but devasted that he was charged? It's completely open to interpretation. His victims get no words of sympathy or support; all they see is her trying to protect her assets. A very bad move from someone who should be PR savvy.

    • Yes, I thought she would eventually issue some sort of statement in support of the victims.

    • I think it is extremely strange, that Mary Liz has never commented on the victims or commented
      about their horrible death and the assault s of the surviving women. The survivors deserve compensation,
      I think the military and Mary Liz should make a substantial donation to the victims and surviving family
      members of Jessica LLoyd and Cpl Marie-France Comeau.

  11. The heading says 'Williams wife, under attack'. Umm who is actually attacking her, that is never mentioned at all.
    If you mean the 21 year old girl who was stripped naked and terrorized by Williams, she is not attacking the wife, she is seeking some sort of justice and hopefully compensation for whatever future therapy she may need.

    Yes the wife owns half the townhouse, so what? Sell it, take your half, and go buy something else, what's the big deal? She makes 3 figures, the 21 year old girl doesn't. I call her a girl, despite her being a mother, because 21 is still delicate and vulnerable. The wife was not a mother and she apparently went along with Williams not wanting to bring a child into this world, which would have been tip-off number one for me.

    Oh and it doesn't matter how sweet and kind and compassionate the wife is, I'm sure the victims were every bit as kind and sweet. Let the judge decide whether or not the wife wanted to get the townhouse into her name quickly and deceitfully, or quickly and honestly. It is not for us to judge.

    • I see the mob has assembled. All that's missing is the stones.

    • Humanity's capacity to blame victims through crap reasoning never ceases to amaze and horrify me.

    • I agree with you guest. I order to receive compassion, one must be compassionate.

    • I agree with you whole heartedly, it doesn't make any sense. Why would she want to stay in that house? It's very very creepy! And why are people bashing and judging the poor victims of this horrible person. Nice that everyone stands around his wife and protects her, but who protects these victims. Not the wife, she is more concerned with protecting what's hers rather than saying, I can't believe the man that I loved through good times and bad times did this to you. I want my privacy, I am humble, I did the following, come on, remember the victims, his wife is not a victim, she is a wife who was betrayed by her husband. Many women have experienced that crap at one time or another. This one is just much worse than you would expect for a wife!

    • Everyone goes on saying HOW SWEET AND NICE Mary-Elizabeth Harriman is. How is she so sweet and nice when considering the events surrounding her husband — the murder of two young women, two sexual assaults and several break and enters, not to mention the fact that her husband who she has claimed to love is sitting in jail WHILE ALL SHE DOES IS WORRY ABOUT THE CONDITION OF HER FLOORS FROM A LITTLE SCRATCH CREATED BY POLICE INVESTIGATION AND FOR WHICH SHE CONSTANTLY HARASSES THE POLICE DEPARTMENT AND CLAIMING FOR FULL RENOVATION COST OF OVER $3,000 FOR WHICH TAXPAYERS WILL PAY, INSTEAD OF JUST REPAIRING THE SMALL AREA AFFECTED. I have read that she has had numerous contact with her husband to complain about this situation and also called the police station on numerous occasions. SO MUCH FOR THE LOVING WIFE!!

    • I totally agree. How could this article even be called "Colonel Williams' wife, under attack"? It does indeed seem that they must be referring, unfairly, and inappropriately, to the innocent young woman whom Williams blind-folded and then attacked. Perhaps Macleans is 'sucking up' to Harriman, hoping to get the first exclusive story.

    • if you read through it again, you'll see that he got one property and she got another. Personally, I just think she's trying to distance herself as far away from her husband as possible, emotionally, and financially.. I'd prolly do the same in that situation.

  12. Poor woman…

    • not that poor, atleast she is alive.

  13. I have no sympathy for his wife at all. Yes, she , like many others who put their professional life before their personal relationships, has paid for her warped priorities. She may not have known but anyone one who had any interest in her husband would have picked up on something. She has never expressed sympathy for the victims. Everything seems to be about her. What a self-centered wimp. Had she been more alert and interested in what was going on in her own home instead of makeing a 6 figure salary maybe the women who were brutalized and murdered could have been saved. Why the hell whould anyone feel sorry for Harriman.

    • You spelled – making- and -would- wrong and six should be spelled out since it is less than ten. Hopefully someone won't make you pay for being more concerned with ranting than spelling. (I won't get into the sentence structure)

      I hope your spouse is at home making you dinner or someone might get the back of the hand tonight.

      • probably typos….must be a teacher. A great contribution.

      • Who appointed you editor – or is that idiot?

    • Another couple of people who know not of what they speak. I believe the wife knew nothing and many will agree with me. Of course she was interested in his 'military life' but again, knew nothing of his secret past. But of course someone like you will continue to bash an innocent wife who is devastated and will have difficulty for a long time getting her life together!! Shame on you.

      • It wasn't a "secret past", it was a secret PRESENT.

    • Exactly. See Dale

    • Exactly. She should be an important part of the investigation .I know if i was involved my wife certainly would be.

    • so if the wife knew her place……in the kitchen and keeping him happy in the bedroom he wouldnt have raped and killed.
      you are right BAD BAD woman…know your lack of interest in children has been murderous.
      lol climb back into ur time capsule…circa 1952.

    • Indeed why should anyone feel sorry for her when all she does is worry about a tiny little scratch on her floors created by a police investigation from searching the house for contents that included computer hard drive and several boxes of women's and children's lingerie. She communicates with her husband regularly just to bitch about the mess the investigation is causing her house. ALL SHE CARES ABOUT IS HER HOUSE. And she made sure he transferred it all to her to just to do one of his victims out of making any claims of his estate. REAL NICE WOMAN.

      • Yes, we tax-payers are footing the $3,000 bill for replacing her hardwood floor – and apparently the police had been meticulous to not tear apart her house while they searched for evidence – apparently she has placed several calls to the police to complalin about the scratched floor. That seems to suggest that she is far too concerned about herself and about her precious home.

    • I agree with you. How could a wife of all those years not know what he was doing? Did they meet only weekdays for business only? Was he that good at concealing his sick urge? No doubt she is doing some damage control here. Ottawa is filled with politicians and lobbyists. She is just doing what she has been trained to do in her role as an administrator. Sad really..

  14. I feel the wife is a cold, calculating fish with no sympathy for the women whose lives have been changed forever. Maclean's reports she makes a 6-figure salary and she is worried about her financial future. What about the future of the women who have been desecrated?

    • How can you possibly have decided that from what has come out in the media? How do you know she has no sympathy? She has no control over what the media publishes?
      Get a grip!

    • I agree Kitty, how could she be married to a Monster for 20 years and not know anything ,I hope the victims take everything she has!

      • I hope they take everything he has rather than what she has. She is entitled to her half, but the rest, she should willingly give up, for peace of mind and compassion of these victims!

    • I think the cold, calculating fish is you,. Do you have NO sense of what this poor woman is going through? I feel great sorrow for the victims and their families, but she is a true victim too and has to live with the knowledge that her husband was a killer for the rest of her life. Show some empathy!

      • I agree that what Kitty "feels" is probably very far from the truth. I "feel" that Louise is defaming the character of someone she knows nothing about.

    • So what if she makes a 6-figure salary!? She didn't hurt those women and while I completely sympathize with them, it's not her fault and why should she be responsible for their future?! It's her husband the victims should be going after, not his wife who knew nothing. They would live separately often because of the nature of his work, it is quite possible that she knew nothing! I agree with Myles – get a grip!

  15. wow. I hope she never reads most of those comments.

    I don't think not having kids should automatically mean you support your husband's alleged sexual assaults. If so I may be in trouble, I better go forth and multiply quickly before it's too late! I better also call home to make sure my husband is accounted for while I am at work.

    No one should ever be violated like the victims were. I can't even imagine their pain. I especially feel for the families of the victims having to see details about the death of someone they love.

    However, until you are in a similar situation maybe you should suspend your accusations that Harriman is complicit. He fooled a lot of people and his wife must feel the most betrayed. She has probably been told not to speak publicly and may for all we know be horribly upset about what these women suffered.

    It is a terrible tragedy for all involved and when he is found guilty he should be made to pay to the fullest extent of the law.

    If I was married to a man about to go through a costly court battle I would be worried about finances too!

    • by the looks of the comments she and her friends are here voting too

    • Thank you, Mac, very well said!!! Being an ex military wife (hubby served many years until his retirement and has since passed). It took us 4 years to conceive one child (thank God) and then had much difficulty having any more. How can anyone know that they didn't want children? Perhaps she couldn't conceive and even if for some reason she didn't want children, that is no one's business but their own and should not warrant comment from someone who doesn't know. Your response was excellent. Thank you.

      P.S. I agree that she has in all probability been told not to discuss the issues at hand but I'm sure she is terribly hurt and embarassed yet I'm sure she also feels much compassion for those women.

    • If you read Mc Leans on internet. Subject brought up to him at his wedding as to wether he was going to have children?
      Answer was why would I want to bring a child into a world like this. Again self serving, and he is one of the reasons why I shouldn't have had 4 children. But I wouldn't change a thing. Would he….. God forbid if he did

    • Hopefully none of us will be in any kind of a similar situation……It is not all that common…Get rid of the low life and lets ge on with life. The Bastard still lives while he killed and assulted our justice system lives on

    • I Totally Agree With you 100%..Those Whom Judge Other's Should Be ashamed Of Themselves & No I don't Know them.. But I do Live In Trenton Ontario Near The air Base!!!

    • When you are married to someone, you are in part responsible for any consequence of the marriage. So victims are entitled to go after her, no question about it. Other similar example is: if you are parents and your child has made some big mistake, then victim will go after the parents.

    • Right on, Mac. Fair comment.
      Most of the other comments are callous and reflect the reactions of persons who cannot comprehend suffering.

    • Right on, Mac. I don't have kids and I never wanted any, and that does not make me a bad person, nor does it mean I'm about to do something to hurt someone. I still believe in respecting another person's privacy.

      I feel for the victims and their families too, and I hope that they get professional help so that they can learn how to live again.

      One should not expect Mary-Elizabeth to make statements concerning her husbands 'activities.' Do any wives of murderers speak out about their husbands' misdeeds? I would go into hiding too, and wonder how I can face the world because I have to go back to work and do my shopping amongst people who judge me even though I have not 'participated' or known what was going on.

      Russell Williams did receive $62,000 for his share of the down payment for the Ottawa house and he owns the Tweed cottage outright. So why should his wife sell her house and give half of the money to the young woman? The Ottawa house solely belongs to Mary-Elizabeth Harriman and she is assuming the mortgage. It is just plain greed to go after an innocent person, even if the plaintiff was hurt. I wonder if that young woman knows anything about down payments and mortgages? Perhaps someone should enlighten her on that subject. She could go after his cottage instead, and if she wins it, she could sell it and buy herself a cottage elsewhere. Like the other woman who was tied up and photographed, she has been greatly traumatized and her infant was also threatened with death. I hope that things will be resolved for her, and I hope that Russell Williams will offer her a settlement so that she can move on with her life. I hope that she can get past her addiction to substance(s) and be a capable mother to her child Where is the father in all of this? Is he around to help out or give child support?

  16. I don't understand how someone could even think of going after this woman, I know that many other women have been victims, but how could someone be so cold as to do that? She too is a victim and going after her is no solution to the problem. That also goes for the paparazzi…..

    • no, but money helps. In legal terms I believe it is called pain and suffering.

    • The victim is not going after the wife, she's going after an asset that was held by Williams when he attacked her and was arrested for it. I feel for the wife as well, but I hardly think she's being attacked!

      • The victim is suing the wife, therefore going after the wife. It's not the wife's fault, it's her house now, bought fair and square. Go after the husband!

        • She is named in the suit as a technicality, If that property is not included in the suit, which it validly can be …. then he would possibly not have enough to cover her claim.
          It is a legal precaution.

        • This thinking in Ann's post is incredibly naive. When you marry someone, his/her finances become your finances. That's why Harriman has access to Williams' pension in the first place.

          Married people can't have it both ways. They can't only be able to share in the financial good times. They have to collectively assume responsibility in the bad times.

          • Ya your right when you marry someone your finances are together..But why should she pay for her husbands crimes..She has every right to keep whats hers..I know i would be trying to hold on to all my things if it was me,wouldn't you?? And damn right she should get all his pension for the betrayal he caused..Her husband is a nut and she didn't know,Love is Blind…

          • Love is blind in this case. I hope that he at least loves her. He certainly shows respect and feared her being upset. I wonder when his pension kicks in: now or when he's 60.

  17. I feel for Mary -Elizabeth, she was duped by her husband, why should be duped by society?
    I believe the woman should be entitled to the property split mutually , she worked and contribuated to the accumalation of property and wealth, why should she not be entitled tohalf.If the court is gobng to offer financial settlements to his victums, let it be from his share of the property and wealth, why should this lady be made to suffer any more because of this man?

    • someone can be duped by their husband (not sure how she was duped by society) but the law is fairly clear on hiding assets for the purpose of not paying on other obligations. It is not a matter of feeling bad for M-E or not feeling bad. This is all about how the cake is divided. In the end it is the tax payers who will be the last victims but it will be money well spent.

      • Yes Jeff the law is clear. IF he is found guilty, HE will be responsible for paying the obligations out of HIS assets. Selling the townhouse would be premature, given that he has plead not guilty and the trial has not happened. Even the Canadian Revenue Service doesn't garnishee joint bank accounts when only one spouse owes money.

        • he confessed already, there is no IF. This is something else I find bizzar. Why did he do that? Also, Revenue Canada is a different creature. You file separately.

          • The point is Jeff that you cannot hold a person finacially or morally responsible for the crimes of another.

  18. You know not of what you speak, shame on you! My hubby is ex military (retired) so we knew of them (met them once) and no she didn't have a clue of what was going on. Similar situations, although rare, have happened before… so my advice to you is stop reading into something you know nothing of!!!

  19. Time to lighten up! How about a series of funnies of Dudley Doowright and the Perils of Policing.

    Did you see that talking stick the commissioner Fudd totes around? The Oberbefehlshaber der Luftwaffe would have been impressed – it’s a doozie!

    We Canadians, sadly, don’t do militarism very well.

    • I have no idea what you are talking about – this is hardly funny stuff – you are obviously on the wrong page!

    • You make no sense whatsoever. If you are talking about our military it is one of the best.

  20. I agree with the victim in this story. His wife was terribly hurt by her husband's actions. So were the women he attacked and violated.
    For this Mary Elizabeth woman to broker deals to keep all their properties is just plain wrong.
    The property would mean nothing to her and her six figure salary. It would be filled with horrible memories of living a lie with a monster. It's greed on her part plain and simple.

    • I so agree!! She is more worried about the scraches on her hard wood floor that the police put there searching their house for evidance. I would call that materialistic and so full of herself. I personally think she knew some..not all his perverse ways and just letting it slide……She is a victim somewhat, but really she is out for her own gain too. He should be shot by military firing squad. He is a sick, discusting pig of a man(animal!). My heart and prayers go out to the families and victims of his crimes!!!And to the military, they are both shocked and discusted too.

      • How would he feel if someone did that to his wife I wonder? He claims to love his wife, how would he feel, that is if he's even capable of human emotion.

      • How do you know she'll continue to live in that house? She may sell later, after the lawsuit is over. She shouldn't have to tell anyone of her plans.

  21. Personally I would have sold both houses and moved somewhere else. Why keep a house that has such bad memories of someone that betrayed you? As for the person sueing; give me a break – what does the wife have to do with that? It wasn't her that committed the crimes so why should she pay for it? As for making a six figure salary – if it was a guy no one would say anything – because it is a woman, everyone is badmouthing her? Would that I could make such a salary.

    • Ruth, I'm not sure what is so hard to understand. The women is sueing to get damages and the man who committed the crimes is sheilding his assets by transferring them to someone else. This isn't allowed,period.

      People would say the same thing about a man making a six(6) figure salery if he was being a greedy SOB too.

  22. Put his picture on the cover one more time and I'll cancel my subscription!

    • Again RIGHT ON. Some of the perversions are right on this thread.

  23. According to other news sources – Williams snuck out of bed/house to do his dirty deeds – leaving Harriman fast asleep. Now – I sleep deeply but…. I know when my spouse gets up – one just knows!! Am getting a bad feeling here!!

    • no so hard to do. I'm a couch sleeper and my wife wouldn't miss me either. My wife has a bad feeling either way.

    • I guess your spouse keeps pretty regular hours?____My own used to work road construction and left at the crack of dawn some mornings but not always. Likewise he was often on the road and could be away from home all together for most of the week. One adjusts and where once you always woke when he left, after a while you don't.____ No doubt a military wife has had to do the same over the years.

  24. Dear Macleans website chiefs: For some reason the "Report" mini-window is not getting my message through. So:

    "she knew all along" and "she's just as guilty" (without evidence, charges, a trial or a conviction) are statements likely worthy of a legal claim against the commenter, and maybe against the website that keeps it available for viewing. You probably do not want to keep that comment up.
    –MYL

  25. Overall, a fair report. Until this:

    Is Harriman still visiting her husband in prison? Does Williams phone the house? Does a part of her still cling to the hope that he might actually be innocent, and that the police have made a terrible mistake? Has he apologized to her?

    For now—and perhaps forever—Harriman is not saying.

    Why is any of that spousal confidence or her personal struggle with this relationship ANY of our (or your) business?

    • Didnt you read his handwritten apology. all three sentences…. "I love you, im sorry to ahve hurt you, i know you will take care of sweet rosie (thier cat) love russ…
      He is a loser.
      He is not sorry, and she couldnt care less…

    • Because marriage is a contract, but there are other social contracts out there – like following a code of human ethics.

      Frankly, I think Harriman is under moral obligation to publicly distance herself from her husband and cooperate with authorities.

      The Toronto Sun is suggesting she'll be applying for conjugal visits to see her husband in Kingston.

  26. Talk about inventing news. The real story is about the Colonel and his crimes — his spouse or relatives should not be reported on. This is shabby journalism.

    • I can't say that the story itself is well written. But I fail to see why an attempt by an alleged double murderer in collusion with his wife to shelter assets shouldn't be reported on. Nor why it shouldn't reflect negatively on his wife, no matter how "nice" she is.

      And as for reporting on the family being off limits, I disagree. Perhaps if we did a better job at that there there would be more genuine understanding of the roots and patterns of criminal behaviour, and a genuine possibility of crime prevention. For instance (I'm not saying that's the case here) I wonder how many readers are aware that there is a very strong incidence of sexual assaults by females in the backgrounds of male rapists? And that most female sexual abusers assault their own children (frequently with extreme violence)? The fact that we don't know this because it isn't reported is a problem. That prevents us from understanding how society is endangered by this cycle of violence that no-one seems to be aware of,

      • Doesn't mean that it should be splattered allover the press and internet. Homolka was talked about because she was proved to be complicit at almost every step. We don't know much if ANYTHING about the wife's role IF any in this. I think we should let it rest until there is substantive information available. Why does the real estate transaction mean anything but what any husband would do approaching his trial and probable banishment. And I often wonder why a money settlement to a third party is anything but money grabbing. Money does not heal sentiment, the last time heard, only greed.We have courts and juries to decide these things, not this kind of tripe. Below MacLean's standard =- or is this the new standard. By the looks of covers and headlines recently it is a cheap attempt to sell magazines. The wife's job is also irrevelant in this case.

      • " I wonder how many readers are aware that there is a very strong incidence of sexual assaults by females in the backgrounds of male rapists?"

        I wonder how you are going to back up that assertion. Sexual assaults by females on males are relatively rare whereas rape is an extremely common event almost always perpetrated by males.

  27. This damaged and deceived woman doesn't deserve to have her life spread across your pages. Sensationalism at its worst. He's the demented killer and pervert not her. Stick with his background and attempt to find where he fell of the rails to become this murderer/pervert//double life creep.

    She will never be the same….she will forever be the wife of this pervert. She'll survive as it appears she has a wonderfull and supportive group of friends.

  28. Why is someone being canonized for doing their job? People who volunteer and who denote time to charities do wonderful things — and don't make 6-figure salaries. Mary Elizabeth's job is simply that — her job. She was paid. She did not do anything that was not within her job description. Take that out of the equation, and you end up with someone who made very good money for years, who enjoyed all the perks of a husband with a "prestigious" job but did not truly live with him, and who is now busy protecting her financial welfare. As many commentators have pointed out, she has made no statements reflecting empathy for the true victims or remorse for not having intervened, seen something, reported something, etc. It reads like an article in which there was nothing new to say but the reporters wanted to be "nice."

  29. tosickofthelies:

    You sweetheart are the sick one – none of your actionable statements have any basis in fact. I hope that Ms. Harriman sues you but good. You obviously have no idea what defamation is or its possible consequences.

  30. I don't get it! How can someone supposedly as nice as everyone claims she is, move back in that townhouse where so much evil occurred. He hid is double life there and the property of other women that he hurt and even killed in that house, but yet she can move into the house. It's irrelevant how the real estate deal went down, they are married for better and for worse. And this certainly is worse. She makes a six figure salary, everyone thinks she is kind. Maybe she is, but something really is fishy here. Doesn't make sense. How can you go back to that house after everything was found out with a person you shared your life with. The woman's lawsuit, she deserves what she is asking for and then some. These victims did not deserve what this Col. did, and remember everyone thought he was kind at one time too. Very odd. Very odd indeed!

    • Why don't you try minding your own business. Or does judging her make you feel better about yourself. And what is the hang up with some of you that she makes 'six figures'? When did being successful become a crime?

      • It is all painful for many, including the fact that the salary for heart and stroke workers, as well as that of so many workers of other charities is often out of line at six figures, compared with the contributers to the causes who eek out of very limited incomes to "give to the cause" and feel guilty that they cannot possibly give more for so many in need, This comment is not meant to diminish the gravity of the situation in which Mrs. Williams now finds herself. .

  31. I really do not like the supportive comments re: the position Harriman held and what a hero she was in doing her job. She got paid good money to do a job and that is simply what she did!
    I find it hard to believe that he could deceive her all this time…
    My guess would be that she is still supporting her husband, talking to him on the phone, etc. etc.

    • i agree – also – since when did non-profits pay folks so well? Hmmm 6 figures and she isnt even the top dog there – wow – and here I have been happily donating to the Heart and Stroke thinking that they put the majority of funds towards the work – not the administration but…. I am going to rethink my stance now! And I decided early in my career to not work for non-profits as their very mandate was not about big salaries for the staff – well clearly I have been quite wrong… who knew???!!

      • I just finished a seminar on charitable organizations and you would be surprised at how many top dogs get six figure salaries and more – World Vision, Red Cross, Unicef to name just a few. I have been completely turned off giving to charity when only two cents of every dollar I give goes to the work of the charity. The only one I will support now is The Salvation Army whose top guy doesn't make such big dollars.
        And to think I supported Heart and Stroke for years.

    • I agree with you 100% – something is not passing the smell test here for me. Oh on another note – having learned that one who works for nonprofits aka charities can make 6 figures – man have I been barking up the wrong tree… employer wise that is. And Harriman isn't even the top dog there – wow – what do other staffers make I wonder? Am rethinking my donations this year – thought the majority of money went for the good works and not the administration pay packets – fooled again!!

  32. My heart goes out to Mary Elizabeth. Often a spouse or other family members has no idea their spouse/family member is a psychopath and may be leading double life.

  33. Idiot!!!!!!!!!

  34. Earning six figures working for a semi-charitable foundation??? How honest is that?

  35. When is the second reading of bill C148 or has it passed? I would hope that it wasn't passed or won't be!

  36. If Williams is guilty – he destroyed lives, his partner worked to save lives. What a twisted irony.

  37. The only thing about this article that cast any light is the fact that this lady is making a SIX figure salary working for a 'charitable' organization. She's NOT doing what she's doing for nothing. She's being paid….and well paid for her time! It's about time every single one of these organizations went under scrutiny so we can know where are donations are going. I'll not give or help this organization again, now knowing what the "administrative" costs are.

  38. It's stupid for people to attack the colonel's wife. Sure, she should have had suspicions, but the colonel was the kind of man who wore the pants and had his say. (My somewhat limited information comes from the last few articles regarding the colonel on this website and CBC news)

    I know of a few guys who come and go from their home as they please and don't feel the need to let their partners know where or what they will be up to, (the guys I speak of aren't murderers or rapists, just philanderers) and although their wives don't like it, they don't question it. That sort of relationship exists in all classes and backgrounds. They give their spouse some brief explanation and the matter is over and dealt with as far as both parties are concerned. (just to be clear I do not endorse this sort of behavior towards women)

    • Maybe he was the kind of man who "wore the pants" until 2007 when his wifes salary eclipsed his?
      BTW Why is this kind of financial information going to be closed in January?

      I don't think she would have had any suspicions. The base was over two hour drive to Ottawa. He spent most of his time in Tweed and hardly ever in the new house. She also hasn't been a depository for his assets since she hasn't put everything put into her name. That whole thing is for lawyers to sort out since the situation is pretty unusual(whether or not you can split the assets created in a two career partnership).

  39. So, while Mrs. Harriman should have been suspicious, she should in no way be attacked or blamed for something she had no way of knowing. The colonel was a very intelligent and extremely thorough man, he probably always had his bases covered when it came to explaining things to his wife, who probably wasn't in much of a position to glean much in the way of answers from the colonel anyway.

    The colonel strikes me as the kind of guy who did what he wanted and did not feel the need to seek permission from anyone in order to do so. My heart is with Mrs. Harriman, a darn good woman.

  40. Here are some for you-
    Martha J. Evans, CEO, American Red Cross – $651,957/annum. that is $74.42/hr 24/7
    Brian Gallagher, United Way, 375,000 – 42.80/hr 24/7
    UNICEF CEO $1,200,000. /year (over 1 Million)+expenses+a Rolls-Royce.- 1369.86/hr.24/7
    Commissioner Todd Bassett – The Salvation Army $13,000/yr.+housing.
    Richard Stearns – American President – World Visionover $600,00/yr

    • Others I know SFA

    • Thanks for posting that. I'd always wondered about this, even though I usually "went with the flow" at work and donated to the United Way.

      Even then, I've always contributed to the Salvation Army at Christmas. I feel much better about that now – this is where the bulk of my contributions will go from here on in until I find other organizations where the bulk of funds goes to the clients instead of the administration.

  41. It took 6 pages to inform us, repeatedly, of Williams wife's pain and charity work? There has been no new information presented within this article. Is it an attempt to drum up support and sympathy for the wife, to justify the exchange of assets so that victims could not recovery anything from Williams' estate? The wife has a 6 figure income; my guess is that the income level of the victims combined cannot compare. Yet the wife is justifying her greed by stating she has to "secure her future?" Let's face it, would someone live in the property that has been violated in spirit by her husband and then violated by the legal system with searches and warrants? Or, more realistically, is she going to sell it and use the proceeds to buy another home?

    William's assets should be frozen until he is sentenced, at which time the wife and the victims should have equal dibs on any assets. Of course the wife wants her financial situation to remain hidden because she really can't justify the deal, as she is extremely secure, financially. It is disappointing to see someone who is supposedly so charitable jump in there like a dirty shift, and have no regard for the victims of the crimes.

    And yes, she does visit the jail regularly.

    • The ugly truth is that she will never be able to sell that house – who else would want it?? Bernardos home in St. Catherines had to be bulldozed. The cottage in Tweed will likely suffer the same fate too – so much for the assets!

    • How would you know that she visits the jail regularly?

  42. Cue the lynch mob. Sheesh. Why attack a woman on her salary? She's not the rapist or murderer. He's in jail, right?

  43. Sooo the wife is "securing her future" AND visiting RW in jail regularly – looks like she has all the bases covered. I think she can stay in that lovely new home ( despite the heinous activities of her husband) because she did know something ….. she may be a bigger part of this story than anyone knows and shes NOT talking!

    • Agree with you. Innocent victim (wife) would be talking and trying to guess what and when went wrong…
      Innocent women were murdered by Harriman's "perfect" husband.. If she is so perfect, she would be offering help and assistance to those families who suffered the deaths of their dear family members.
      She is described as a perfect worker for Heart and stroke foundation… Well… for her good salary she does her job.
      Nothing for free comes from this perfect Harriman lady….

    • Like someone else said, why is she not being interrogated for hours as well? Could be that someone held that camera and directed the "scenes."

  44. Before Colonel R.Williams' arrest his life was also picture perfect.
    So, we do not know for sure what really was going on in this family.
    I can't imagine a "perfect" wife whose husband kept loads of women's underwear in the family home. Was she ever interested in the life of her husband? Or peck on the cheek and gardening together was enough for this perfect couple?

    • To be fair – according to the media reports – the underwear was in boxes in the garage – altho in my life there is always lots of yelling to get the GD boxes unpacked tout suite!! Yes – doesn't pass my smell test but looks like you and me are the only two who are thinking these not so nice thoughts about the perfect couple…hmmmm why is that??

    • Amen to that! I really think this sort of "oh the poor wife" story is harmful. I also think these two were somehow elevated due only to their career status. Had he not been a base commander — these horrible crimes probably would have been solved sooner. Jessica Lloyd could still be alive. Shameful all around. How on earth did she not notice the hoarded underwear. Sick beyond belief.

  45. She should also be apologizing to the poor neighbour in Tweed — the one her psychopathic husband tried to frame — the neighbour whose reputation was temporarily ruined. I cannot believe for one instant that this woman did not know anything about what her husband was up to. I hope the police investigate them both thoroughly. They both sound/sounded too good to be true. I only feel sorry for the real victims.

  46. .
    His wife could not possibly be as innocent as she has laid claim. Her actions speak volumes. How could she miss all the lingerie, collectibles he stole, all the things he kept of his victims? His late night escapades?. Come on. She has not even filed for divorce – most women would have done this by now.. And yet she visits this (alleged) rapist & murderer.

    Does that seem at all odd to anyone but me? Why would she continue visits with this monster? I think that police should question her more. Do some digging,.

    It is disgusting how he hurt, raped & killed these 2 women

  47. I doubt the wife had any clue about the horrific crimes her husband was committing. The Col would have any number of ready made excuses to explain his absences with the position he held in the military. The two were living in seperate residences when the murders occured, for one thing. From what I have read, people like the Col are very careful when selecting a spouse to begin with. They pick someone who won't challenge them or ask too many questions. There is no way to know what really happened from this article. This investigation is only beginning. Many details yet to be exposed.

  48. I am finding it very hard to believe that Harriman knew nothing about the goings-on of her husband. If a substantial amount of women's lingerie started to show up around my house I'd certainly know about it!

  49. It isn't hard to believe that he managed to keep things from his wife. Being military means he's probably got boxes upon boxes of military crap packed away in boxes somewhere. My husband does. It's all marked "Combats" etc and I never look in them because I don't care. So THAT's maybe how she didn't know. I don't know the exact contents of everything in my basement but that doesn't make me stupid or suspicious! Also, with him being military and in the rank he was, she was probably used to him leaving to do things and used to not asking much. They just can't tell you things sometimes, and us spouses accept it and get used to it.

  50. No more, Maclean's. Enough is enough. Belleville is suffering. I live there. Families are suffering. Pictures and stories keep coming. I spoke to a family member of dear Jessica when the magazine was on shelves. She was devastated. Please stop reporting junk. The community and the general public need to care about the victims' families; not read/hear on the news about the wife of Williams or poor Williams looking tired. We don't care how Williams feels. He fooled a lot of people and he fooled his wife and friends. I do feel bad for her.

  51. So one person named Belleville says that yes, she visits him in jail regularly and that makes it fact? Apparently, or as reported in the media, she WAS visiting him jail. This could have been to work out the details of the property transfer. He didn't just GIVE her the townhouse, she transferred her share of the "cottage" in Tweed to him and she paid him a cash amount (maybe what is equal to half the equity?). So he owns the "cottage" in Tweed. This tells me that Ms. Harriman has not taken possession of all of the assets. It does sound like they have completed what appears to be a transfer of property on a breakdown of their marriage.

    For the people who state, how could she continue to live in that townhouse? They had only recently moved there. While he may have had items stored there, we haven't heard any evidence that he actually committed crimes in the area since moving there. It sounds like the B&Es were all committed in Orleans, not while living in the current house. It wasn't like Bernardo/Holmoka's house where women were murdered. And she can't sell it now, as this is a stipulation of the court action against her by Jane Doe.

    • I am not sure what this poor woman has done to the people who are blaming her for her husband's terrible crimes. Working for a six-figure salary for a charitable organization? Not moving with him when he was posted a three hour drive away? (How many married couples are living apart due to work opportunities – lots!) Not having children? (By the way, that answer is a good one back to someone being nosy and rude. But this is another "quote" from an unnamed source. Maybe they couldn't have children for some reason!)

      • It is terrible what happened to the victims of this awful man. Those who didn't die at his hands deserve to be compensated in order to assist them with coming to terms with what happened and get on with their lives. Family members of the deceased may need help to accept this terrible loss. But Mary Elizabeth Harriman is also a victim, one whose name has been splashed throughout every newspaper in Canada and around the world! She doesn't even have the opportunity of anonimity. She shouldn't be labelled as an accomplice or an idiot. Her silence could be she is not permitted to speak when there is a court case pending. And why should she have to speak publicly anyhow? So that people can criticize or twist every word she says? Because you know they would. Would you make a public statement if it was your spouse?? Who are we to judge her when we have never walked in her shoes?

    • Right, he probably just had, and regularly viewed, all the images on his camera or computer. It's as good as having the crimes committed in your home.

  52. so these 2 properties (do they own more valuables? most likely) are worth about $880,000 less any mortgages. if my calculations are close, she would be entitled to half – $440,000. if she pd him an additional $62,000 and got the townhouse and the mortgage where does that put her? Ok..let's put my little spidey mind to work. if she gave him 62,000, he has the cottage 180,000 plus 62,000 = $242,000 (plus half of any other assets). She would have 700,000 less the 62,000 which is a lot (don't forget the other assets). if we assume the difference lies in the mortgage, in order for her to be getting a fair SHARE, the mortgage that she is assuming should be $396,000 or thereabouts to give her equity of $242,000 to equal his portion. 6 figure income – she should be able to handle that. Sell the jewels. Cash in the mutual funds. Life is cheap without kids isn't it? it will be interesting to see a judge look at this as simply 2 properties being split…he has got to look at further assets I would hope.

    • i suspect with both of their incomes, and given their ages, there is not much of a mortgage on the property.

  53. My guess.. the colonel, who is still getting his $16,000 cheques each month from the military, will not live to see the resolution of a trial.. which means the wife will continue to receive all of his income til that date, and because he was never dishonourably discharged from the military will also be receiving his pension income and any other investments.

    She doen't need to go to a jail to work out financial matters for a marital breakdown. She continues to see him, probably because there is hope that he is innocent.

  54. This woman knew all along there was something wrong…unless she is damn stupid, and we know this is not so.
    It will all come out eventually, and then we voyeurs will all know.

  55. IT IS QUITE RIGHT TO ASSUME HARRIMAN HAD SOME KNOWLEDGE OF HIS OBSESSIONS AND ODD BEHAVIOUR. DID SHE CHOOSE TO IGNORE IT? PERHAPS…ONLY SHE CAN ANSWER WHY SHE HAS NOT MADE ANY STATEMENT ABOUT THE MURDERS OR SHOWED ANY PUBLIC EMPATHY FOR HER HUSBANDS' VICTIMS.

    A SAINT SHE IS NOT…NOR IS SHE A VICTIM. SHE JUST HAS A WELL PAID FOR A SEMI-CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION.

  56. Yes it is unfortunate that she has to suffer but everything that they had together must be subject to the lawsuits. Everything should get taken from them to pay those that sue him because they were a couple, not two separate people living together as a matter of convenience. His wife should sue too and the assets divided amongst all victims. How the division of the assets to all victims are allocated will be a complex topic because his wife is a victim too.

  57. there has been so much speculation as to what his wife MUST have suspected or "maybe covered up" but we fail to see that our Canadian Military secured a promotion of great honour to a man that they also believed to be worthy and qualified. It is not impossible to believe that his wife may not have had a clue as to what he was up to-she must have suspected something out of order_likely an affair was her suspicion-this is a tragically shocking story and a lesson for us all to "not judge a book by its cover"

  58. It's terrible that an innocent person is adversely affected as a result of being associated with a criminal for whose crimes she bears no responsibility. But in some ways this is unavoidable; for example, presumably everything he owns, including the house she lives in, will be sold to help compensate his victims. It's not as if our society does as much as it should for the wives of men who are killed or disabled by workplace accidents, for example.

  59. I feel sorry for her. I was married for 16 years to a man who had a dirty-secret life, conducted while he was away on business. I had no clue, and was devastated when I found out, as was his family, and all of our friends. Sometimes, you really don't know the people you are living with, because they are so deviously deceptive and charming.

    • Agreed. Thank you for your honesty…I feel for your pain.

  60. "In January, just days before police caught up with Russ Williams, the Heart and Stroke Foundation celebrated the 11th anniversary of its “Health Check” program, the little red and white label that appears on everything from cereal boxes to frozen food, confirming that the product meets the nutrient recommendations in Canada's Food Guide. The initiative has been a monumental success, and is now a staple on grocery store shelves across the country. Among those who helped transform that idea into reality was Mary-Elizabeth Harriman."

    If I was Mary-Elizabeth Harriman, I wouldn't be bragging about being a part of the scam that is the Canadian Health Check program. It's no secret that companies PAY to have these labels/red check marks added to the products. There's no "health" in a lot of these products; things such as granola bars loaded with high fructose corn syrup or high fibre cereals with gut and immune-system destroying grains creating the very problems (heart disease and hypertension) that the Heart and Stroke Foundation are supposedly fighting to eradicate. http://www.cbc.ca/marketplace/2008/01/23/hyping_h

    • Scam is right. I own a Natural Food Store and I would not eat 99% of what these labels signify as healthy as they are all put on processed food crap!

      • Are you people experts ? Where did you learn all this "info"?

  61. anon. anon. your are a complette ass .your are sick . your mind is bent .here is a wowman who does good for sick people .she only see the good in people. she dont look for bad .she dont have to . god is even a forgiving .people like you got to drag her down . i pray to god that someday you feel like she doies right now what shr must be going throught . poor anon .you dont have a clue your just a clown

  62. I think everyone can agree that Harriman is a victim here, but ket's not act like she's naive or doesn't have a number of her 'loyal friends' looking out for her interests. It is an unfortunate fact of life that all marrital estates are jointly subject to any law suit against one or both partners in a civil suit. I think everyone can also agree that the majority of this ladies friends would be well educate and accomplished people in their own right, so we can presume that at least one of her 'protectors' would have known this. Don't you just hate it when intelligent people become conveniently dumbfounded overnight?

  63. If there ever was a reason to reinstate the death penalty in Canada both Williams and Bernardo make the point.

    • Leslie I agree with you, this is a perfect case for the death penalty, Bernardo should have been long gone long ago

      • Thanking God that the death penalty has been abolished in Canada !

  64. i dont know if i can ever for give what he did . to me or those people and the livess he took . it may sound harch but he must pay for his sins and lies, his vicitims did in a big way and how can you not know yr husbans is missing from yr bed wouldn,t you want to know where he went . or wher he was .

  65. I really think that his wife must have suspected something about him. Probably too scared to do anything about it. She must have known something was going on with him.

  66. When I first started reading this article, I thought that poor woman.
    I sure as heck don't now. The first thing this woman should have done was have her lawyer contact the victims and had all expenses covered to date. What I see is him covering her a** and then he is going to commit suicide before they have a chance to discharge him on a dishonourable discharge. Once he is gone there will be no one to sew, can they go after his estate if he has named her sole beneficiary?? I don't think they can bring a law suit if he is dead. Any lawyers out there to answer this question?
    And as far as the charities go. I'm shocked, never ever again will I donate. I am a single mom with three kids. I can barely afford to keep a roof over our heads and feed them. But because I had a family member die of a heart attack I always made a point to find the money somewhere to donate. And to find out that I am donating to someone's six figure wage while my kids go without. I am rip roaring mad. May God dam all your soles who knowingly take from people in the pretence for the better good.

  67. here's a thought to everyone bashing this woman – mind your own damn business. what crime has SHE committed?? None but being married to a man with a double life. If that's a crime then there are alot of guilty people out there.

  68. I do declare there seems to be a horrendous amount of judging going on. It is not surprising to me and I'm sure many others that there are to many people without lives of their own. How sad that they have nothing better to do. Maybe they should all go back to school and university and become real lawyers and judges. Education broadens the mind and you won't have time to read McLeans Magazine. WOW!!!

    • What's your excuse, your here, your reading our comments, no life yourself??????

  69. I FIND IT STRANGE THAT DURING A MOVE FROM ONE HOME TO ANOTHER THE STOLEN ITEMS WERE NOT DISCOVERED.

    MAYBE HE COULD HAVE GOTTEN THE STOLEN ITEMS INTO THE ORLEANS HOME WITHOUT HER NOTICING AS HE COULD HAVE HIDDEN THEM IN THE ATTIC OR MAYBE HE HAD HIS OWN OFFICE AREA SHE DID NOT ENTER.

    BUT WHEN SOMEONE MOVES FROM ONE HOME TO ANOTHER THEY USUALLY CULL ITEMS, I FIND IT STRANGE THAT THE BOXES WERE NOT NOTICED AT THAT POINT IN TIME,

    I CAN'T UNDERSTAND IF THIS WAS A NORMAL SPOUSAL RELATIONSHIP THAT SO MANY RED FLAGS COULD BE MISSED.

    AT THE POINT IN TIME WHEN THEY MANOUVERED A TITLE TRANSFER, I THINK MOST PEOPLE WOULD BE FEELING GUILTY ABOUT THE LOSS OF LIFE AND HARM TO MANY LIVES THAT THE DISCONNECT IN THE RELATIONSHIP ALLOWED TO OCCUR.

    SHE IS NOT TOO OLD TO REBUILD HER WEALTH SHE HAS A 3 FIGURE INCOME AND 15 YEARS PLUS OF EMPLOYABLE YEARS … ALTHOUGH IT SOUNDS LIKE SHE BOUGHT HIS EQUITY OUT OF THE HOME I FEEL THAT IT WAS IN POOR TASTE AND HAS CREATED MORE HARM TO HER THAN ANTICIPATED..

    • When some one dies in the family, first you greive and then you do go on to plan their funeral and take care of other business. In this case the same thing happened………………when she discovered that her marriage died, her basic survival instinct kicked in. Anybody in that situation would have done that. The other victims should have given her time to recover from the shock of it all before jumping at her. I am sure all her friends and co-workers must have suggested to her to protect herself and her own interests before something else goes wrong! Why should you all resent her capacity to earn a good living for herself? all humans have that right. Please stop bashing her………….she is as much of a victim as any of the other women. Only if you to think, you will realize that she is being defensive and therefore cannot express sympathy with other victims. Give her a break, people.

      • Her basic survival instinct is the scratch to the foor LOL

  70. Before we go saying how wonderful Mary "Liz" is, why not contemplate what would have been said about the Colonel. Maybe she did know something was weird and maybe she was part of it.

  71. It is a horrible event that she had endured.
    But now knowing that I personally have contributed to the Heart and Stroke foundation for research, etc. – I am never going to give to this foundation – ever again. She commands a 6 figure salary to do what?? Research!? That money should be going to actual Research.

  72. Wonder how many people actually work at Heart&Stroke for six figure salaries?
    They are off my list for certain.
    There are just too many unanswered questions here and this article does no justice to any search for truth.

    • I wonder how many of you read the front page of the Ottawa Citizen on Friday, October 8, 2010, I believe it was, where every item was about Col. Williams and his wife – how he is still receiving his 6 figure salary although he has been incarcerated, – how his loving spouse will receive half of his mighty big DND pension, how his wife made the OPP pay $3000. for a little scratch on her hardwood floor made during the investigation – a scratch that could have been repaired for less than $50. Waken up, Canada and our government. In this country we make the poor pay all the expenses for the rich. I will never contribute to the Heart & Stroke Society again.

  73. Would some one PLEASE get him to get his mental state diagnosed and his personality. He seems so much like so many people we may come across, respect and aspire to while they are suffering from one specific mental illness and personality disorder that has now become a "politically correct" watered down condition that we are forced to accept as nothing but a chemical imbalance like diabetes!! GOD help me because no one else will. They are all impressed by his glorious achievements while I know he is up to good but cannot prove anything hence he will go un-noticed.

  74. I have to say that I think the focus and enmity directed towards Colonel Williams' wife is misplaced, and doesn't help us achieve either broader justice or greater knowledge.

    I find it sad and disturbing that there has been so very little effort by either the news media or, it would seem, the justice system to get behind exactly what it is that creates a 'Colonel Williams'. As I've posted previously, it is well known by a small group of researchers that many male rapists have been sexually assaulted by females in their childhood or adolescence. There had been earlier reports in the media of CW' use of violent online pornography. There had also been questions about the influence of any 'training' or exposure during his time at Camp Mirage (given the allegations of knowledge of torture of Afghan prisoners). There has been some speculation that something 'triggered' CW to start his crime spree; CW's brother stated that he and his mother attempted to 'repair' their estranged relationship with CW at about that time.

    Why no examination of any of these factors, any of which is far more likely to be relevant than any influence his wife may have had?

  75. Russel William after spending 25 years in jail will get out with a big smile ,since his pension plan during the 25 years will still be active ,his was earning $ 180'000 year lets 'say $100'000 year pension time 25 plus running interests , that is close to $ 300'000 plus the value of his houses wich will be sold pretty soon,no too bad for a psychotic murderer (scuse my english )

  76. I wonder if all those who think Mrs. Williams deserves to keep the assets — just because she knew nothing about her husband's depravity — would feel the same way if the murder victims had not been single childless women. What if they had been (married or single) women with children? Men with children? Single men or women caring for elderly parents? I.e. breadwinners with the same limited means as those he killed and terrorized. What if his crime had been an economic one such as fraud or embezzlement? In none of those scenarios would anyone think her concern about her financial future should supersede the right of the living victims of her husband's crimes to have a financial future. But those 2 poor women left only siblings, parents, boyfriends, and friends. Were their lives less valuable?

  77. She was very concerned about the scratches on her hardwood floors, as a result of the searches, according to a recent news report, that the OPP (taxpayers) are going to pay $3,000 to replace them. Sounds like someone who has her priorities a bit skewed.

  78. Ms Harriman must have had a sexual relationship with her husband that gave some indication of his fetishes. If he liked his women helpless, as evidenced by his escalating behaviour, what does this say about his relationship with her? It is also interesting to me that your article bestows virtual sainthood on a woman who makes 6 figures working for a non-profit organization and whose most important work is telling the public, especially women, to watch their fat intake.

  79. I was watching the news and a picture displaying several boxes of Williams stolen lingerie was shown.
    If this was taken from his Ottawa home, how would his wife, Mary Elizabeth Harriman, not be aware of it being stored.
    Seems to have some chilling comparisons to the Bernardo/Homoloka tragedy.

    • Are you saying you routinely rifle through everything your husband brings into the house?!!!!

      • Interesting that you are assuming that I am a woman. "Hi honey, I'm home. I picked up a pizza and another box that you don't need to be suspicious of. I'll be on my computer photographing and itemizing the contents…be down in 2 hours."

  80. feel sorry for this woman are u kidding. She wants $3000 for her floor and we taxpayers have to pay for that? do you think this woman cares that these girls were killed no she is worried about her floors lol , god this country is such a joke. We always make of fun of the U.S but Canada is the biggest joke of country.

    • Thats horrible,please she is a victim to..Of course she wants her floors fixed..She damn well deserves it..Her monster husband performed these murders not her..She is just as much a victim here and her floors should be repaired.. Why is everyone putting this poor woman down..What is wrong with people and their rude comments..

      • She's a victim? She deserves it? How so?
        If my husband were charged with such a heinous crime and my house searched for evidence, I don't think having my floors and lamp replaced to the tune of at least $3000 would be that much of a priority, given the circumstances.

        • Natalie think about it really…If your husband commited such a crime as this why should you suffer for what he chose to do..Don't you think she has suffered enough,Could you imagine what she is going through? She is asking to get her floors fixed,why not??? She didn't do anything wrong…She was betrayed by an asshole…

          • You know, Kathy, you make it sound like Williams and Harriman were two completely separate individuals. They're not in the eyes of the law. That's one of the reasons that Harriman is entitled to Williams' pension. And that's one of the reasons she should have taken it on the chin when it came to the investigation.

          • Perhaps my hypothetical response is misplaced, as I truly don't know how I would respond. And no, I can't imagine what she is going through,can anyone? She chose not to make a public statement, which is, of course her prerogative. I also think it's people's prerogative to express the same sympathy towards her as a victim of her husband's actions, as she has expressed towards the victims and victims' familiesof her husband's actions. She is not just as much a victim….her life continues, not so for Corporal Marie-France Comeau and Ms. Jessica Lloyd.

          • In response to that comment.Yes Ms Harriman Life continues but she now has to live under the scrutiny of society looking at her as if she has caused these awful crimes.. And no I'm not dismissing the real victims here..It is a total shame that an evil man as Williams could take such innocent and great girls.My heart truly goes out to their families and friends. But there is only 1 to blame for this horrific sick crime and that is Williams..

          • "But now she has to live under the scrutiny of society looking at her as if she has caused these awful crimes", nowhere have I seen her been accused of committing any crime. And yes, the 'real victims here' are the women who were violently raped,murdered, and violated by Russell Williams. For whatever reason, she decided to remain publicly silent throughout the ordeal, and I think understandably there is ,and will be speculation regarding Ms. Harriman.

          • She isn't being accused of any crime,I know…But by some of the comments on here,People are making comments like "What a pair" and she must of known about all the underware in her basement..Lots of negativity!!! She probably so embarrased and not knowing what to say to the public and families of the victims.. She is probably questioning herself to how she didn't know what he was all about..I know myself i would just want to hide away from the world…

          • You're making an awful leap in logic when you're stating that "She is probably questioning herself to how she didn't know what he was all about." Really, how do you know this? Where is the evidence that supports your supposition?

            You would be correct if you said "Most people" instead of "She". But at this point in time there is no evidence whatsoever to substantiate any thought that SHE feels any compassion toward the victims. In fact the evidence in the public record thus far would seem to support the opposite view.

  81. Ms Harriman stood proudly by her husband while he was being decorated, now she must hid in shame for having chosen a pyschopath for a husband. Society has a right to demand scrutiny, she MARRIED him, and all I gather from this artice is that her priority now is to go about her business as usual, not suffer any financial setback from this whole mess and be left alone. Reminds me of the Columbine shooter's mom who went to the hairdresser after the events and demanded some privacy…

    • But Ms Harriman didn't commit the crime..The person who should be hated right now is Mr. Williams…

  82. People are so quick to pass judgement about Williams' wife. She is a victim too. Perhaps even more than the women that Williams' abused and stole from because she has to remain silent and doesn't have the public's sympathy and has had her life completely ripped apart. Its awful.

    • You must be kidding right??????????

    • I so agree with you Christine..Its awful how people are ripping her apart..This woman was truly a victim as well. Her whole life is destroyed from what her husband did..As a woman we all know how some men in this world can be cruel and truly destroy a woman..ALL US WOMEN SHOULD BE STICKING TOGETHER AND SUPPORTING THIS WOMAN..I'm sure its pure HELL for her right now!!!!

  83. it's all bull!!!! She knew. Most wives are aware of heir husband's perversions…they just prefer to turn a blind eye.

    He has control in is professional life, my guess is that he likes to be a wimp in the bedroom and she the master.

    She knew her husband was up to no good.

    • Totally plausible…older by 5 1/2 years, played the "master" as you say, didn't need kids as she had "a naughty little boy" to boss around who dressed in little girly outfits but something could have happened that she quit playing her role…death of her mother in 2000, death of her father in 2004, approaching menopausal years, and living in two separate places. Could be he started looking elsewhere to "get off." Could even be she helped him find his other outlets. NO ONE knows what goes on behind couple's doors UNLESS they chose to share that info, and she asked a judge to SEAL disclosures.

  84. I don't think you can be married to a man like that for two decades without realizing what lurks beneath the surface. Whether she realized the magnitude of his actions, who knows. She was a good cover for him, and he was a good provider for her.
    Heart and stroke foundation – health checks: anyone can buy a health check (CBC documentary). Suing the OPP for scratches on the floor after they carted out boxes of underwear – shame. Putting his assets in her name – shame.

  85. Is it true, as Jessica Lloyd's brother said, that Mary Elizabeth Harriman is suing the police for damage caused to her hardwood floor and a lamp during the search? Seriously? That is no victim, that is lower than low – she is said to make six figures working @ the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.

  86. I feel that investigators and press should have let the public know more regarding what was done to ensure that any/all persons, who are responsible for these crimes, were brought to justice. In fact, Mary Elizabeth Harriman should want information to be shared about her being thoroughly investigated, in order to fully clear her of any wrongdoing.

  87. Please bring back the DEATH PENEALTY for such crimes as this.

  88. I did feel sympathy for her until I read about the scratched floors she wants the taxpayers of Ontario to replace. She has some nerve. Perhaps she should have taken $3000 off the $60,000+ payment she made to her low-life husband when they made their property settlement after his arrest. He's responsible so he should pay for it.

    • I don't know. Cops can be pretty vicious when they get someone by the shorties. Note the heads smacked into the cruiser doorways when they think cameras aren't running. I could see them relish the opportunity to trash a perps new house.

  89. There are thoughts out there now that Harriman is another Karla Homolka and had full knowledge of Williams' sick life and may have encouraged it. It is sick to think that she is a head of the Heart and Stroke Foundation. It gives a person the creeps.

    • Wow!!! What is wrong with you people??? Comparing her to Karla Homalka,give your head a shake.. She has worked hard for her money and her belongings so why should she pay for something that her husband commited. I think she is being tortured enough,Don't you think?? How would you feel if someone you thought you loved committed such a horrible crime??

      • One word – NAIVE!

        • Its not being Naive…She is a very intelligent woman by the sounds of it.. He fooled alot of people not only his wife..For his wife and the poor victims and their families they are suffering.He destroyed them..Why is there so much hate towards his wife? She didn't commit the crimes..Her husband is the evil one and thats the only one the society should be hating.. Poor woman..

  90. At first it seemed simple: Col. Williams kept his 'trophies' at the cottage, while his wife was living at the family home. But, now it seems Mary-Elizabeth Harriman sought – and recieved – payment from the police for scratching her beloved hardwood floors when they dragged out boxes of stolen underwear and other items taken from women her husband terrorized. (One he took 18 hours to murder.)

    Now, if I go Downtown and buy a shirt or jacket, my wife finds out. . . I find it hard to believe his wife was totally unaware of what was going on. Yes, the one who seems more concerned about her precious house than the welfare of that 21-year-old new mom her husband attacked, who will probably never work again.

    I find myself blaming Mary-Elizabeth, and then hating myself for doing that. Williams makes monsters of all of us. . .

    She would be advised to settle the civil case out of court, right now, pay up and go do chartiy work with the poor in India or Africa. I'm thinking Mother Teresa rather than six-fgure salary, however.

  91. This is such a horrible sick tragedy that only monsters perform..He isn't human,no human being would cause so much agony and pain to another human being.My heart truly goes out to his wife,the 2 beautiful girls he tortured and to all the other victims. I noticed the last few messages someone said Karla Homalka was a victim,How could she have been? She watched while her sister was killed by her husband. By the sounds of it Williams wife was totally blindsided by his double life,How could he betray his wife of almost 20 yrs like that..That is pure evil!! I hope society goes easy on that woman as she was just as much a victim as the others.. He will pay for this dispicable crime he committed..God bless the people affected..

  92. I really want to believe that SHE didn't know…However, being married for 16 years, I know what my husband does, and what is he is capable of doing, and I also know that there are many things I'd rather forget or ignore. That doesn't mean I don't know; that just means "ignorance is bliss!"– It feels horrific to say that, but she knew, maybe not about the murders, but she definitely knew about her husband's perversions.

    Another sad fact is that Canadian taxpayers are paying for her damaged floor and lamp….what a shame. And, let's just remember that a person who is making 6 figure salary is not doing charitable work. Proof is in that if you cut her salary by even a $1000, she will find something else to do. It is just a job for her and people like her. I never donate to charities, because I know first hand WHO these people really are: waste of tax-payers' money!

  93. Initially when this story hit the news, I felt terribly for Williams' "poor wife". Not anymore, As many have already mentioned, she has never expressed regret for the many victims, something that most normal people would do, nevermind 'the most considerate person' such as she. Secondly, this is just too weird!! – Williams' last straw was the possibility of police searching her beloved home. Her dream, he said. Then I read that the OPP is paying her $3,000.00 for scratching her floors during the search!! She must have requested compensation. It seems to me that given the circumstances the floor of her dream home should not have been an issue at all. This behavior makes me believe that Russ was not the only twisted individual in the family.

  94. Hmmmm…he was a model citizen too, remember? I find it difficult to summon up empathy for Ms. Harriman based on her professional success! She deserves her privacy, certainly, but our heartfelt sympathy? Really? We, the public, merely speculating, will never know whether she knew or not, but whose to say she didn't have any inkling??? I'm going to reserve the right to not feel sorry for her merely because, gasp, she married a monster, wow, think I'm too full of shocked sorrow for the victims, and for their friends and families whose wounds will never heal!! I would much rather direct my energies there!

  95. Jessica Lloyds brother said to the reporters on the television that the wife is suing the police for scratches to her floor they caused while in the house. Can you imagine? Are the scratches really important right now?

  96. Like many others, I have less sympathy for Ms. Harriman than I had had previously. I am sure it has been 'devastating' for her, to find out that her husband is a sick and twisted sociopath. I don't think she is guilty of anything, other than not expressing one word of sympathy to the families and victims.
    The $3000 floor and $1400 lamp replacement, charged to Ottawa tax payers appears petty, then again look how much of our taxes will be used to pay for Russell Williams 25 year incarceration.
    It's unfortunate to read how people will no longer contribute to the Heart and Stroke Foundation…perhaps if she working under a contract it will not be renewed, allowing people to once again support the research it conducts.

  97. Thank you for sharing this difficult story. It's a good reminder of what a seemingly well-balanced and genuinely highly-functioning and intelligent person can get away with. We all want to believe that these men (and it IS almost always men, though not exclusively) look like monsters and that their abuse or violence is easy to spot. It's so often not.

    One reporter (Heather Mallick of the Toronto Star, I think) is suggesting that in fact Williams is a pedophile who would have moved on to children if he'd remained at large, based on what she saw in the court proceedings.

    • It is best to just report the wife's husband rather than not saying anything out of sympathy for her life and privacy (those kind of reasons).

      So true Judith, and I'm sorry you had found out that your husband was a pedophile all those years ago.

  98. I truly feel sorry for what this women has endured. As his victims & families, may she find some peace in her life, and continue to be the strong person she ought to be.

  99. re: the floors. Has this woman no shame? Well, I hope Harriman recognizes that ALL victims should be compensated for transgressions made against them.

    I agree with the others. When the police started taking boxes and boxes from her home of -not brand new and not always adult – women's underwear, it's hard to believe this woman didn't know anything, especially given that they had just moved in. Moving is the best time to assess what's being stored where.

    I'm still waiting to hear how she plans to split his pension with his victims. Heck, I'm still waiting to hear some kind of condolence from her. If my husband had done what this monster did, I'd be on the doorstep of his victims' house begging to help them any way I could.

    • Just to add to this, it was known that there was a person, near to where they lived, entering homes and stealing women's underwear. I'd like to know if Harriman knew of this. I'd also like to know how she explained all the women's underwear in her new townhouse in light of these burglaries.

      Again, news reports suggest that much of the underwear simply lay in boxes and bags in the basement – not hidden away by any means.

  100. and is Williams wife's – ( Ms. Harriman ) charity work ?
    not realy.. I'll keep my money from Heart and Stroke Foundation and find way to donate directly to university research

  101. The wife talks in the same emotionally-detached distancing way that her husband, the horrible former Colonel does All Ms. Harriman could say about learning about these tragic murders of young women was: "As a result of the charges, my previously anticipated future and financial security had become jeopardized." Isn't that hideous? Good God, what a pair.

    • You are taking that quote out of context !!! That was a reply made to accusations against Mary Elizabeth that her property
      dealings with her husband were fraudulent. Come on ! Be fair in what you say !

  102. In fact, because of her selfish & inappropriate concern about her future financial security in the face of these horrendous crimes, it appears as a motivation for her to have kept silent all that time about what she actually knew or at least suspected was going on. She wished only to preserve her future financial security, so just ignore it all and pretend everything's normal, because that's the tiny little comfort-zone world she was clinging to for her sense of "security." But it probably would be very hard too, it would have been like murdering her own life, to take the initiative to stop what was happening would have ended her secure world… .Or, it would have been like "letting" her husband rape and murder her life, so she had to resist.

  103. Thank you for writing about another victim in this whole fiasco – his wife. My thoughts have been with her so often. I know many have questioned how she couldn't have known anything – but then again, everyone else was fooled as well. I don't think she should be punished for her husband.

  104. Financial security, and retirement security, I don't feel sorry for. Mary-Elizabeth Harriman doesn't have my sympathy because she wasn't one of the women who were raped and then murdered. Those women that are now dead were truly robbed of their lives because they were murdered. Mary-Elizabeth, come on, and make a public statement now instead of trying to avoid scandal or keep quiet so as to keep your "exemplary" professional reputation with The Heart and Stroke Foundation and in the public's eyes.

  105. I am concerned at the wife's apparent insensitivity to the victims. I am concerned at the transfer of title once he was in prison. I am concerned at the demand for compensation over a scratch to a wood floor. I am further concerned that a person can be paid so highly for working with an organization that "begs" for money from the community. It is no wonder that the administrative costs of this particular organization are so high. I, for one, will no longer be contributing. And, it would be nice to have some of the questions answered with regard to MEH.

  106. I say people who say things like this about this lady are very full of sin and should wash their mouths out with soap.This lady does not deserve this kind of treatment from the likes of you.

    • I agree 100% with you MDavis.. If everyone else could be in Ms.Harriman's shoes right now..Wow!! No one really knows or cares what she is feeling..Come on we are all humans here..Sure she didn't talk to the public..Maybe she should have? But everyone is still going to have their own opinion of her anyway..What can she say that would make all of you to feel better?Her husband is the creep..She is not guilty of anything..She married an unstable man..We all make mistakes in life..I feel such sorrow for the victims and his wife..

  107. I have a very difficult time believing that Mary Elizabeth Harriman did not know that her husband was a deviant. When you share a home with someone, and a bed, you tend to know that person like no other. Also, what type of boundaries could have been agreed upon for Mary Elizabeth Harriman to 'Not discover' the panties, bra's and the pictures taken from victims. Perhaps Mary Elizabeth Harriman was guilty as well…perhaps she was subjected to sexual acts that she couldn't keep up with and when her husband was out, she knew someone else was fufiling his fantasies. i THINK THEY BOTH SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE and she had to have known that SOMETHING was happening..after all she had a degree in the Sciences..????

    • Read some of the postings…two at least…of other wives who lived with monsters for extended periods of time. You know nothing about the sociopathic personality….none of the military seem to have known either, and they spent at last as much time, if not more with him. He would never have become Commander in Chief at CFB Trenton if anyone had heard something like this.

      People with no conscience can keep lives very very separate — they are adept at lying and at covering their tracks.

      And intelligence has nothing to do with knowing or not knowing. She trusted her husband — everyone trusted her husband. I only hope you never face this truth — and evil — first hand.

      • Sorry, but your logic doesn't hold here. Generally psychopaths/sociopaths "leak" their true nature, and they can't keep up appearances in all areas of their lives. SOMEONE KNEW!!! It's often true that many "pillars of the community" look wonderful on the outside, but almost invariably their families will attest to their true behaviour at home. Less commonly people will be "OK-ish" at home, but take their anger/deviancy/power needs out on workplace subordinates. It's very rare (I would say probably impossible) that someone is able to keep that side of themselves hidden from everyone. Sorry, but that just doesn't happen.

        I've personally met people (and their unfortunate children) who decry how they "didn't know" but who were laughing all the way to the sympathy-bank. Their children often tell a far different tale. Not everyone, of course – there are SOME innocent victims. But enough that we should question the innocent looking "I didn't know" crowd.

  108. "That same night, Feb. 7, Harriman was alone at the couple's swank new townhouse in the trendy Westboro district of Ottawa. After months of delays (and after selling their long-time home in Orléans), the construction was finally finished. They moved in just a few days before Christmas—a month after Comeau was killed, and a month before Lloyd went missing. They had been there barely a month (and Williams mostly on weekends) when cops came looking for the stolen lingerie."

    I am totally amazed by the fact people keep asking why she would want to keep the townhouse "after all the things that had happened there". Um??? Barely a month and he had only been there on weekends……

    She does not deserve this…she has a right to keep a roof over her head. I can't imagine what h*ll she is going through.

  109. Thank you for sharing this. It is a pain close to home. People who post "she should have known" have never lived in a situation like that. I am glad you and your children found your way through the pain to a better place.

  110. A brilliant comment. I too would like to know the answers to those questions.

  111. A man who has two faces with a woman is often described as a mysogynist. Such a man treats a woman admirably, but will ultimately turn against her and treat her with disdain. Williams, according to the press, has always treated his wife admirably, but what about behind closed doors? Were there mood swings that his wife learned to accommodate to or bullying tactics that she once again simply accepted? Mysogynists are woman haters, who are usually the products of a scarred realtionship with their mothers. Judging by the terror that he put his poor victims through, Williams is most definitely a woman hater. Also his relationship with his mother has had its problems due to the second divorce. Yet I have not seen the mysogynistic angle addressed. I still think that there is a LOT more to this story and the material is familiar to the mother and Mary-Liz. Janet.

    • Agree with everything you said here.

  112. how can you as a wife and woman continue to live in one of those ill famed homes?
    Does this woman have any demnity?

  113. You people feel you can comment on this woman when you don't know her and many of you have obviously not read every word that the reporters tweeted and blogged from court, or watched his confession video.

    1) The cops know she was not involved because he kept a detailed diary of every moment of all of those crimes. They read lots of it in court. If she wasn't in that diary, she wasn't involved.

    2) Finding out that the cops were descending on her house with search warrants while he was being interviewed was the major thing that broke him into confessing. First of all, because of her finding out that he was this monster. Second of all, because of them tearing her house apart. That's why he told them where to find everything. And probably to avoid a long protracted trial for her sake. I think if it wasn't for her, he might have gambled on it. (Or not — a lot more photos etc would have been displayed). She wasn't involved.

  114. 3) We don't know how the cops messed her floor and broke her lamp or what their attitude was. They're paying up aren't they? That must mean something. She has every right. If the cops were in your house regarding a crime that had nothing to do with you and they broke stuff wouldn't you want to get paid back? Why is it different for her because her husband was the one being investigated?

    4) Her “tone” in her court documents sounding cold and heartless. I would assume that her lawyer wrote that stuff and stuff written for court is in legalese. Not intended to convey emotions one way or the other. The stuff we have heard wasn't intended for public consumption. We haven't heard anything from her that is in her own words.

  115. 5) I have every right to be concerned about my future security. If my husband commits a monstrous crime tomorrow, do I no longer have that right? Plus I don't blame her for not wanting to own the home where the rape/murder took place and wanting to own the one that was her “dream house” (so described by Russ himself). He'd hardly spent any time in it anyway and committed none of the crimes in or from it (other than storage).

    6) Why didn't she wonder about all the lingerie piled all over the place? It wasn't. It was hidden in the ceiling of the basement. They may well have had their own home offices and he could have had a shop in the basement or whatever. Spouses don't necessarily snoop each other's home spaces. As for the notion that moving would have disclosed it? An obsessive compulsive organized man like that would have no trouble disguising a collection among all the other stuff.

  116. I mean, why she visits him is none of our business. Not why he snapped.

    Glad she has a loving and effective support system.

    However, I'm not going to donate to any charities through those kind of foundations anymore either!

  117. Oh the POOR WIFEY, antoher victim. WHAT BS. Are we supposed to believe that this woman, a senior executive, an intelligent woman KNEW NOTHING? Laughable.

    This man goes out how many nights by "himself" to reconnituer his victims, plan, he keeps trophies IN THIER HOUSE and she does not become aware, suspicious???? She never found these things.

    They lived in a Military Cocoon, a rumour mill extrodinaire and this man simply does all of these things and no one knows???? She was unable to get information from people on the BASE. There were no whisperings, no girl talk, no suspicions no wonderings, no WTF are you doing dear or Honey we need to talk?

    GOD I am tired of this typecasting. The man is a horrible deviant that should be killed for his crimes BUT I will bet the remainder of my pathetic net worth that this woman was a part of this.

    PEOPLE knew about this guy. I hope she get caught. I hope he confesses, you know why he was smiling during his confession? Because he has many many more secrets to tell!

  118. He wasn't smiling once he got to the confession part. She didn't hang out at the base. And those cops would definitely have nailed her if she were involved.

    I can't believe the stuff people are saying about this poor woman.

  119. Oh, and why do people who obviously have not read what's out there from court, and obviously not watched the confession video, think they know anything about this case? Ridiculous!

  120. Well, pheobe, I think you're letting the wife off too lightly. There's a reason why Harriman is entitled to half this guy's pension. And that's because, in the eyes of the law, they formed a unit. As part of that unit, I think the woman has a moral obligation to
    1) condemn her husband publicly
    2) side with society in condemning him and thereby get a divorce and distance herself as far away from him as possible
    3) offer her condolences to the victims at the very least. Be up front about using his money for compensation would also be appropriate
    4) not complain when she has to take it on the chin (her floors) when it comes to society's need to find the truth about this man

    I'm amazed by how naive people can get when it comes to marriage. Marriage is not simply a partnership in the good times, it's also a partnership in the bad times. You're suggesting this woman has every right to the benefits of lviing with this man but has none of the responsiblity?

  121. regarding her still loving him…..

    Just a total yuck. If a woman can still love a man and visit him in prison after it is obvious he was raping and killing other women……….she is clearly pathetic and deserves our scorn.

    • Rae….you are showing us you don't know too much about love in a relation of 20 years !

  122. Last time I checked, it was Russell Williams who committed the crimes, not his wife. There is no evidence to date to prove that his wife had anything to do with it. And to the horrid person who said she should be at home like an archaic 1950s housewife rather than doing right for the world with her career, shame on you for your cold and ignorant words. You don`t know anything about what is or isn`t true — none of us do apparently. Hang in there, Mary-Elizabeth.

    • Robyn,

      What do you think of a woman who remains married to a man like Williams and visits with him regularly while in prison?
      I'm curious what you would say of her actions.

  123. harriman is williams' biggest supporter and is no victim. she still sees herself as the "colonel's wife." she lives in a world of lies and delusion by her own choosing.

  124. The parallel between Williams and his wife are creepy. Both successful, public figures, over achievers. Both private to the extreme and both very self centered. And plz don't repeat the word "charity" : When are we going to learn that even people that appear above average can be bad behind closed doors. Common courtesy would be for Mary to publicly make even a small statement to the victims. Or to privately do this. But she has not. Instead, she demands her hardwood floors get replaced (instead of fixed) at a cost of $3000.00 to the taxpayers. She files a statement of defense regarding her financial future with not one word about how sorry she is. She wants her finances and testimony of defense kept private while what happened to the victims is basically an open book. She is not above reproach. She is not a compassionate self-sacrificing person. She would not be working for this charity if she was not getting paid a huge salary. Lets remember, Williams did not hide everything. As quoted…"Yet nearly all the stolen undergarments and sex toys Williams kept were simply stuffed into bags and boxes found in the basement and garage of the Ottawa house, in plain sight." http://www.thestar.com/news/article/880090

  125. The damage to the custom built "dream home" was caused by the police in the process of a lawful search of the "marital assets" jointly owned by Russell. The cost of paying for the damage directly attributable to his crimes should more properly have been deducted by Ms. Harriman from the amount of money she paid to Russell as his share of the proceeds from their home in Ottawa, not borne by the taxpayers, whether she was legally entitled to it or not. We're not talking about a low income innocent family whose patriarch turned out to be a criminal and now the wife is on the hook to the landlord for property damage. These were 2 childless professional people earning in the range of a $250K per year between them and sitting on almost $1 million dollars worth of real estate. Unlike most working people,Russell and Mary-Liz could well afford to absorb the tab for scratched floors and a very expensive lamp. I have to question her scruples and judgment, which begs other questions about her sense of right, wrong and morality, particularly in light of the company she so closely kept.

  126. how much is a six figure sum/dollars 100000 or 999999 = the murdered victims will never earn a five figure amount.fairs fair. All the relatives of the mudered victims to take a civil action against her for loss of the victims love. May the survivors of his bestiality be compensated by her/
    May the owners of the houses broken into take a class action against her for invasion of privacy.

  127. My, my all your judgements about a woman who was simply related to the man, not complicit in his crimes! It is not Colonel Williams wife who was under trial!
    She is not the criminal. If the police thought she was complicit in something, she would have been charged with something.

  128. So sad to read most of the comments here. And we call ourselves Christian ??????

  129. You are sick. Mary Elizabeth involved in that? Got proof? The police already interviewed her. Read about John Wayne Gacy? Did his wife know?

  130. This article is mis-named. Harriman does not seem to be under any kind of "attack". Unless the story is referring to the 21 year old actual victim who is suing Harriman for removing Williams' name from the deed of Harriman's house. Harriman isn't under attack at all. Seems that Macleans is sucking up to Harriman with this mis-named article hoping that she will grant them the first exclusive story. I do feel bad for Harriman, but she isn't a victim. The victims are the women who Williams attacked and/or murdered and their families. Harriman should have issued some sort of starement of support to and of the victims. Also, she shouldn't be making the Ottawa Police department and Canadian tax payers pay to replace her hardwood floor which apparently got scratched while the police were searching her beloved Ottawa home for evidence against Willliams.

  131. So many of you who comment know NOT of what you speak. Firstly, it seems to me that some poster here doesn't know his English too well when he can't recognize 'adjectives! Secondly, my hubby served with the Airforce for over 30 years and we've been in Trenton and yes I've met the ex Colonel very briefly and you would never know he was a monster but he is!! He and his wife almost lived separate lives; she lived in Ottawa and he lived in Trenton, occupying a 'married quarter' (on base, as is regulated) plus he fluctuated between there and his cottage in Tweed. Occasionally his wife came to Trenton for a visit while other times he visited Ottawa on a weekend (when he wasn't elsewhere on duty). I can truly say (am willing to swear on a stack of bibles) that in no way did Ms. Harriman know anything of 'his' double life. So bottom line here is please 'think' and do your research before speculating as you have done. So now that the case is 'almost' all over (he will rot in jail, thank God)… I say 'almost' simply because there remains ongoing investigations throughout other bases on which the ex Colonel served during his military career. His 'activities' didn't just begin in 2006!!! He's a monster and a real sicko!!

  132. Hey TIRED, there you go again…. please get your facts right …. Ms. Harriman and the ex Colonel lived apart most of the week except on her occasional visits to Trenton or his odd weekend to Ottawa. She knew nothing of his monstrous activities. My hubby was in the military for many years and a lot of time we were apart due to his military temporary duties away. It amazes me to see so much speculation here rather than facts. It only takes a bit of research to learn those facts!!!

  133. I feel obligated to defend the writers of this article. I thought it was well researched and within the bounds of good journalism. I did not think there was over emphasis on Ms. Harriman's profession in the charity. It was well balanced. I enjoyed knowing she was mentioned in the House of Commons. In every way before and after this tragedy came to light Ms, Harriman has tried to be a decent human being. No wonder her friends and co workers are protective of her. She deserves such loyalty.

    • Good for you Grace ! Ms. Harriman has been through so much the passed year. I hope she never reads many of the uncharitable comments made about her !

  134. There has been over the last few years many instances relating to current/no longer in service personnel from the Canadian Forces,namely MichealWhite in Edmonton,and now this in Trenton ,Ontario.Ive herd of ex miltary personnel,threatoning people in the work place([ll rip your arm off,and beat you over the head with it.)I think there are a lot more disturbed C.F.personnel than we know of.

  135. I found it difficult to believe that the wife did not know something was wrong. He kept all that stolen lingerie in their homes. How did she not see it? Also, it is a bizarre decisionon her part to keep the 2 homes. How can you live in the homes you shared with a monster? How do the families of the victims feel- remember, many of the victims lived in the neighborhood. And how can she speak out about her concern for her financial well-being but not the victims? Seems shallow, materialistic and self-centered to me. Wish they'd both disappear from the face of th earth.

  136. So she knew nothing, is a kind hearted soul, yet continues to visit her husband, this serial rapist and killer in jail? And she wants to keep the homes where the horrific deeds were committed? Any reasonable person would be too disturbed and horrified to live in those homes. And what about the impact to the victims that still live in the neighborhood? This woman is beyond sick!!!

  137. We should start our own fund for victims of these horrible crimes.
    We should ask the miliary and Mary Liz for a donation.

  138. This article is embarrassingly skewed in sympathetic favour of the wife. I agree 100% that she should receive NONE of his assets – they should go to a victim's services fund. People are getting their priorities messed up in my humble opinion. I have sympathy for the women her husband murdered, not for the murder's wife – she's still breathing the air and financially secure. Those dead women are secure in the ground. And maybe I have it backward, but I find it kind of cold that she has not spoken publically to express her pain for the victims or their families. Strikes me as self concerned.

  139. I think we should sue her to get back the money the police paid her for the floors they scratched and the lamp they damaged. Why didn't she get the money from her killer husband, like she got the property and the pension? Oh, yeah, because she would have had to stand in line behind REAL victims.

    Piece of work, the both of them.