Liveblog: Col. Russell Williams hearing, day 2

WARNING: Contains graphic testimony that readers may find disturbing.

WARNING: The following contains graphic testimony that readers may find disturbing.

For more on the first day of Russell Williams’s hearing go to: The dark, depraved side of Russell Williams revealed in court

[3:40 PM]

Crown prosecutor: The crimes that, Your Honour, has heard about were the subject of intense investigation by police. But without having anyone to identify as a suspect there is nothing to work with. … It wasn’t until the assaults that police has any knowledge of incidents going on in the area. … No clues were left to identify Williams. … The first break came when Lloyd disappeared. They observed the tire tracks and footprints. And they took those meagre clues and they managed to identify the perpetrator in all these cases, and they built an overwhelming case against him for the 88 offenses. They did an outstanding job.

Judge: Guilty on each and every count.

[3:38 PM]

People who know Williams said that he liked to go for walks late at night.

[3:34 PM]

Police asked Williams if he would have continued his criminal activity if he had not been caught. He said it was a difficult question but that he hoped not. But that he would have likely continued breaking into homes.

Williams said he would plead guilty to reduce the impact on his wife and so as not to have big legal bills.

Police said it was odd for an individual to begin these crimes at age 44. Williams repeatedly denied previous offences.

Williams said it was odd, but that he wasn’t sure what triggered this behaviour. He said it began with interest in stealing undergarments, and although his interest began in his 20 and 30s, he had never acted on it until the incident in 2007.

So far there is no evidence that Williams has been involved in other crimes.

[3:31 PM]

Police interviewed Williams again on Feb. 11, at which time he confessed to the break and enters. He also told them about the hard drives that he had hidden in the basement ceiling.

[2:55 PM]


[2:50 PM]

Police found red stains at the home of Williams in Tweed. They also found the videotapes of the murder wrapped in black electrical tape, along with a green duffel bag containing eight garbage bags of women’s lingerie and sex toys. They also found a guide to lock-picking, several external computer hard drives concealed in the basement ceiling, and black multipurpose zipties. He kept the underwear from all four sex assault victims together in a printer box.

[2:47 PM]

Police found the photos and video downloaded to his computer. It also contained screenshots of websites discussing the attack and search for Lloyd.

While people were out looking for Lloyd, Williams was watching footage of his attack on and murder of her.

[2:42 PM]

The cause of death was strangulation. Photos of cuts to her head, and bruised and cut arms. There were abrasions on her legs and back.

[2:41 PM]

Williams led police to Lloyd’s body. It was wrapped in a blanket behind rocks. She was clothed, and in a fetal position.

Photo shows her body on the snowy ground surrounded by trees.

[2:34 PM]

Search warrants were granted. Police invited Williams to come in and talk with them.

Williams entered an interview room starting at 3:03 PM. He was informed by Sgt. Smythe that he was being questioned about the assaults and murders.

Williams declined to have counsel present.

A DNA sample was taken, an impression of his bootprint was taken. This was done by 5:30 PM that day. Williams obliged.

Police concluded the impressions of his boots and the snowprint found near Lloyd were similar.

Police concluded that Williams was the suspect. They told him that they were going to search his homes and vehicle.

Williams said he wanted to minimize the impact on his wife.

He disclosed information to the police, and was formally arrested. He confessed to all of the offences.

He was interviewed until 1:30 AM.

Williams led the police to Lloyd’s body at 1:33 AM.

[2:33 PM]

Williams was seen vacuuming and cleaning his vehicle by police. The contents of the vacuum were seized by police.

[2:31 PM]

When Williams was stopped he admitted to traveling the road often, but that he had not seen anything unusual. He said he did not know Jessica Lloyd.

[2:29 PM]

By Feb. 4, police connected the murders to Williams and set up a vehicle canvas on the highway.

[2:23 PM]

Williams struck Lloyd with a flashlight. There is a large expanding pool of blood around her head. Williams then strangled Lloyd with rope.

He then drove back to CFB Trenton and stayed at the based on the night of Fri. Jan. 9th. He slept there. He had a flight to California. He returned, worked in his office, then went to Ottawa until Tuesday. Then Williams returned to Tweed, dumped Lloyd’s body off in a field. Williams then cleaned his house and truck.

He said he killed Lloyd because he thought if she lived police would trace the crimes back to him given his previous attacks.

[2:22 PM]

Williams gets Lloyd fruit, and leads her to believe he will free her. She is clothed with a plate on her lap.

There are photos in which the duct tape has been removed from her eyes, but her eyes are closed.

In subsequent photos the duct tape is back on her eyes, and her arms are tied again.

[2:17 PM]

When Lloyd awakens Williams tells her that before he lets her go he wants to have sex with her again. He photographs her again, and orders her to wear lingerie and pose in various ways. The duct tape is still on her eyes, the ziptie is around her neck. There is noticeable bruising on her arms.

The next 154 photos are taken that afternoon. They show Lloyd forced to pose in undergarments taken from her home.

Lloyd has trouble breathing, and holds her chest. She apologizes. Williams is calm.

[2:16 PM]

Police arrived at 12:18 PM. They located footprints around Lloyd’s house.

[2:15 PM]

Lloyd’s mother gets a call in the morning that Lloyd did not go to work. That was unusual. Lloyd’s mother went to Lloyd’s house. The door was locked, but Mrs. Lloyd had a key. She noticed her daughter’s keys, purse and Blackberry were still there. She called family members, who came to the house. They decided to call the police.

[2:05 PM]

Seeing police photos of a field near Lloyd’s house showing footprints of Williams and Lloyd in the snow, and tire tracks.

Lloyd sat in the front seat, still duct taped.

He made her take a shower, and got in the shower with her. He took photos of her in there, her eyes still covered, her arms still bound, and the ziptie still around her neck.

She says the water is hot on her arms, which had turned purple.

He washes her body with soap.

Williams says he let her sleep for a few hours. She had a seizure, which she said was due to stress.

She says she doesn’t feel good, and asks to go to the hospital. Williams rubs her and tells her take deep breaths. She asks him to take her to the hospital or bring her home if he can’t. She slurs and convulses. Her eyes are still duct taped. He tells her to relax and not bite her tongue. She continues to convulse, and says he has to take her somewhere or she’s going to die. He cradles her face and whispers, “What can I do?” She says “Don’t let me bite my tongue,” and that she only has 20 minutes.

He turns the videocamera onto her as she gags and convulses.

Williams tells her to stand. She vomits. She says she doesn’t want to die. She says she should have told him this last night. “I never even thought. I’m sorry.”

He brushes her hair out of her eyes. Williams is conscious of the position of the camera. Lloyd begs him, “Can you drop me off?” She falls to the floor, and asks again and again.

Williams crouches behind her. Lloyd says she’s not making this up. She repeats she’s going to die if he doesn’t take her.

Lloyd stands and says she won’t look at him. Williams says he’s going to get her jeans. She asks to have the rope off of her. She garbles, “I think I bit my tongue.”

She cries, and asks him to promise to take her to the hospital. He puts her jeans on and belt. “Hang in there, baby, hang in there,” he says.

He gets her sweater. He starts to take off the rope. Lloyd says, “I don’t want to die, please.” She cries, and says, “If I die will you make sure that my mom knows that I love her?”

In the courtroom, cries are heard. There is a pause by the Crown.

In the footage, Lloyd is crying as she is led out of the room. Williams shuts off the camera.

He says he let her sleep after that.

Next photos are of her apparently sleeping. The rope is gone, but the duct tape is still there on her eyes. Unclear if ziptie is still around her neck.

[2:01 PM]

Three people saw a vehicle at the location near Lloyd’s house and said to police it was weird to see that.

After three hours in her house, Williams drove Lloyd to his house in Tweed.

In the video, there are sounds of zipping and clicking tools. Williams has a black balaclava on and black sweatshirt.

Lloyd was cooperative in leaving the house. This is in light of repeated statements by Williams that he’d let her go if she did what he wanted.

[1:56 PM]

Williams orders her back on the bed. Then he has her try on underwear while standing up, arms still bound, eyes still covered in duct tape. He puts the underwear on her. He takes photos.

He orders her back on the bed. She stumbles and apologizes. Williams rapes her again. She is wearing pink lingerie. The zipties are still on her neck.

[1:53 PM]

Her arms start to turn purple. He continues to take more photos of her in various positions.

Williams then gets a black ziptie and places it around her neck from front to back. He takes another and does the same. He takes photos. He asks her, “What do you think is happening now?” She says, “I don’t know.” He asks if she wants to die. She says no.

[1:47 PM]

Williams videotapes her lower body, then her face, and he tells her to open and close her mouth. He says to her, “You want to survive this, don’t you?” in a quiet, calm voice. She says “Yes.” He tells her she’s doing good. And she says, “Okay.” She asks for permission to move or change position. She was compliant throughout. He directed her in crude language so he could get better angles and light for his photographs, but she would ask for further direction. He breaths heavily.

He then rapes her. He takes several still images of this as well. He rapes her repeatedly.

[1:46 PM]

He took photos of her lingerie. The video images reveal that Lloyd goes along with Williams’s requests. Open mouth. Close mouth. He took off her clothes by cutting them. Lloyd is cooperating so as not to upset Williams.

[1:44 PM]

The room is lit by nightlights from other rooms, and a flashlight.

[1:43 PM]

He photographed the confinement and assault. She is still, but breathing heavily. Her arms are tied together, and tied to the headboard.

Crown points out that Williams has more control in this situation than in previous attacks.

[1:42 PM]

He went in while she was sleeping her. She woke up, and he tied her up with rope and put duct tape over her eyes. He took photos of her in the hallway wearing a tank top and track pants.

[1:40 PM]

Williams went back to her house and parked his Nissan Pathfinder nearby. He watched her house from the back of the house. He could see her bedroom window, and waited until her light went out.

[1:38 PM]

Williams didn’t know her. He saw her on her treadmill, he said.

Lloyd went to a friend’s house. Williams broke into her house through the kitchen window. Looked around to make sure she lived alone. He left.

She returned home from friend’s house, and texted that she was safe at home. That was the last time anyone heard from her.

[1:36 PM]

Williams is in the courtroom. Judge has arrived.

Crown begins with bio of Lloyd. She was hardworking and close with her large extended family and close circle of friends. Many are here today.

She lived alone in Belleville in the Lloyd family home, which she bought from her mother after her father died.

[1:34 PM]

Back in the courtroom. Jessica Lloyd’s photo is on the TV screen. She is smiling.

[12:15 PM]


[12:12 PM]

Williams composed a letter to Comeau’s father signed in his capacity as base commander offering condolences to the family.

[12:06 PM]

During interviews with police on Feb. 7, 2010, Williams admitted to Comeau’s murder. He said he killed her because he was worried that if he let her live she would go to the police, and they would connect that to the other crimes he’d committed.

Williams downloaded the photos and video he took onto his computer. He also recorded the murder of Jessica Lloyd. He used the same high 8 tapes, recording over the footage of his attack on Comeau.

[12:04 PM]

Comeau’s boyfriend had plans to have dinner with her that night. He had spoken to her the night before—when Williams heard her on the phone from outside. Her boyfriend tried to reach her, but couldn’t. The next day he went to her house, worried. Her car was in the driveway, which suggested to him something was wrong. He tried to get in from the front, but couldn’t. He found the back patio door unlocked. He shouted into the house, but got no answer. He went into her bedroom. There he found her naked body, wrapped in a duvet on her bed. He called 911.

Police arrived. Found Comeau’s boyfriend crying. Her house was sealed off.

Despite a thorough investigation over the next few months, the police couldn’t identify her murderer until Williams was apprehended on Feb. 7, 2010.

[12:03 PM]

Williams drove directly to Ottawa for a meeting. He discarded the shoes later and burnt the rope he used to bind her.

[12:01 PM]

Williams puts Comeau back on the bed, and covers her. He took lingerie. Left through the back door.

[12:00 PM]

Williams removes the sheets from her bed and washes them with bleach.

[11: 55 AM]

Even though she was bound with rope and nearly suffocated Comeau managed to fight him off.

Williams removes duct tape. Comeau resumes struggle, and winds up on the floor. He tells her to be quiet and he’ll let her breath.

He directs her to stand, and she promises she “won’t do nothing.”

Comeau says, “You’re going to kill me, aren’t you?”

Williams gets dressed and places the blanket over the window. He tells her to get up. She backs away, saying repeatedly she doesn’t want to die. She tells him she knows he’s going to kill her. She asks him to go away. He says he’s not going to kill her. She says, “I don’t deserve to die,” and that she’s been good all her life. She promises not to tell anyone about this or that he came here. She says, “Have a heart, please, I’ve been really good. I want to live.”

The video stops. It is 3:30 AM.

[11:50 AM]

Video resumes showing Comeau sitting on the edge of the bed. Williams is still naked, but his face is concealed again (he took it off earlier). He is angry and ordering her to stand up. She whimpers, gasps and breathes convulsively. She flops to her right side, hysterical.

Williams places lingerie items from her drawers on top of her. He takes photos.

He removes them from her. He rapes her again, holding the video camera in his hand. She moans and wriggles in the ropes. Comeau is trying to say, “No, no, please. I don’t want to die. I don’t want to die.” Her body is shaking and she is sobbing and whimpering. He tries to suffocate her by covering her nose. He puts a pillow on her face. She screams and kicks her legs, and manages to free herself. She screams, “No, I don’t want to die.”

She gets the pillow of her face. The blanket falls from the window. He tells her to shut up. That if she stops screaming he’ll let her breath. She says, “okay.

[11:48 AM]

Photos of Comea’s head injuries. They are consistent with those that would occur from impact from the red flashlight.

[11:47 AM]

Williams checked the window. Comeau fled to the bathroom. He subdued her with more blows the head. A photo on the wall is smashed.

[11:35 AM]

For the next hour and a half Wiliams sexually assaulted Comeau. He took still photos and video. They show her on the bed in the fetal position. There is a towel wrapped around her head and face, except for a space around her nose to breath.

The camera is focused on the bed. Someone can be heard moving around out of view of the camera. The screen goes blank. Then the image returns.

Eventually he is seen completely naked standing beside the bed. He is wearing a black balaclava.

He eventually gets on the bed too, and assaults and rapes her.

Comeau is heard groaning. She is seen floundering, trying to sit up. She is weak and struggles. She flops back down into the fetal position. She is trying to speak and free herself.

Williams gets back on the bed, and he rapes her again.

Comeau manages to yell out, “Get out, get out, I want you to leave.” He doesn’t reply and continues to rape her and take photos.

She says, “Please,” through the duct tape. She groans, pleads him to free her hands, and promises she won’t go anywhere. He continues raping her.

[11:31 AM]

Williams then carried Comeau to her bedroom. He reapplied the duct tape to her face and mouth because she had been aggressive and he believed she would scream.

There are more photos of blood stains on the carpet in her bedroom.

[11:30 AM]

Comeau wound up unconscious halfway up the stairs. Williams then took photos of her on the stairs. She is completely naked. Her arms are behind her back. The rope is visible.

[11:28 AM]

Williams returned to the basement. More photos of the blood trail, and smudged on the wall near base of the stairs in basement. Signs of a struggle. There is an obvious dent in the drywall. There is blood on the landing, on the light switch, and on the hand rail.

[11:25 AM]

Williams used a blanket to cover window in the master bedroom. He hung the blanket using knives.

He also removed the night lights from the living room. He did the same in the spare bedroom.

[11:23 AM]

Williams found a key to the house and put it in the front door and broke it off so that no one could get in through that door. A piece of the key seen in the kitchen.

[11:20 AM]

Williams went outside and put the screen back on the window. He then went upstairs. Bloody footprints were found there.

Photos show a bed near the post where Comeau was bound.

[11:15 AM]

Williams bound her to a metal support post in the basement. Restraints are seen around the post. One green, one brown, made of fabric.

There were pins or bolts protruding from the post. The autopsy showed an injury to Comeau’s back consistent with being caused by these pins. Photo of the injury on Comeau.

[11:13 AM]

Photos of green duffel bag, with blood stains splattered nearby.

Comeau fell backwards as she struggled. Cops took photos of bloody footprints and residue consistent with blood-soaked hair on the basement floor.

DNA analysis revealed this blood was Comeau’s.

Once she was subdued, he tied rope around her arms and wrist. Photos of those injuries.

[11:11 AM]

Instead of going to bed, Comeau went to the basement to look for her cat. She was wearing only a shawl. The cat was staring at Williams.

She did not know who he was. His face was covered. She screamed and called him a bastard. He subdued her with blunt impact to her head using a red flashlight.

Drops of blood and a plastic zip tie was found near the furnace on the basement floor.

[11:09 AM]

Seeing a floor plan of the house. He concealed himself near the furnace in the basement for about 30 minutes waiting for Comeau to go to bed. Seeing photos of her unfinished basement.

[11:05 AM]

Count 1, murder of Comeau. Williams returned to her home several days later. He turned off his Blackberry after leaving the base. He parked his vehicle in the same wooded area, and walked to her house.

Williams brought with him a kit. From outside, he could hear her on the phone in her bedroom. We see a photograph of her phone under her bed.

He entered through the same window.

[10:59 AM]

We’re back. Hearing a biography of Comeau, 37. She joined the reserves in 1995. By Nov. 2009, held rank of corporal, and worked as a flight attendant at CFB Trenton. She was well liked and popular.

She lived alone with two cats in a two bedroom detached home in Brighton, Ont.

Count 86, break and enter to her residence. Williams admitted to police that he once met Comeau on a military flight and learned that she lived alone. As commanding officer he had access to her schedule and address. He learned she was away in mid-November on a work trip.

Williams broke in then. He parked his vehicle 700 metres down the street near woods. He walked to her empty house.

We’re seeing images of the area and trail he would have walked, and an aerial view of Comeau’s neighbourhood.

Williams broke in through a basement window. Seeing images of the exterior of her house.

While inside he confirmed she was still living alone. He located her lingerie in her bedroom. He played with and wore some, left with seven. Downloaded the photos he took onto his computer. Was in her home for around an hour and a half.

When Comeau came home she realized someone had been through her items, and she accused her boyfriend. He denied.

[10:38 AM]

Break. Next the break and enter of Marie France Comeau’s house and her murder.

Burgess says that there will be a photograph presentation of photos taken by police, but none of the photos that Williams took.

“We appreciate what has been read has been very disturbing,” Burgess says. What’s next is going to be “extremely disturbing. … We will tell the court in some detail what is contained in those photographs. Those details are in and of themselves very disturbing without any visual representation being required.”

[10:33 AM]

Next counts. During the break and enter Williams took lingerie and a sex toy. The occupant noticed items missing, was fearful enough to sleep at friend’s house. When she returned the next day she noticed more had been stolen. There was a note encouraging her to call the police because, Williams wrote, he wanted to show the judge her sex toys.

We’re learning that this break and enter was the second of the night. Earlier he had gone to Marie France Comeau’s, his first murder victim.

[10:32 AM]

Burgess notes the Sunday morning after the break and enter Williams laid out the stolen items for photographing.

[10:29 AM]

Next count. Broke in through open door and stole 22 items: panties, bras, skirt and slip. Williams said he knew whose home this was because he saw teen daughter’s skating trophy with her name on it. Took photos, downloaded onto his computer.

This is the last presentation to the court of photos that Williams took.

[10:26 AM]

Count 82. Broke in through open window. Stole nine items. Took photos. Downloaded them onto his computer. Photos show underwear drawer of daughter, closet.

Burgess is noting the computer filing system of Williams in relation to break and enters. First number represents the unique house and the second number is the break and enter number, by his count.

Williams wrote in one of these files that he made no attempt to conceal that he was there. Left window wide open. Left the door unlocked.

[10:23 AM]

Next count, break and enter. Photos of bedrooms.

[10:22 AM]

Lurid details of the photographs he took, and his compulsion for organizing the stolen items on a flat surface and documenting them.

He kept on his computer news and police reports of the assault.

[10:18 AM]

Williams told cops on Feb. 7, 2010 that he did not know Massicotte. He broke in through a window at the back of the house. He had a cap covering his face. Wearing dark sweatshirt and pants. Woke her by hitting her face with a flashlight. He took clothes off her and photographed her. He took a pair of her underwear. He lived only a few hundred feet away, so went home, and went to bed. Downloaded the photos onto his computer. He chose Massicotte, he said, because he knew she lived alone.

[10:14 AM]

Massicotte told cops that she believed the man was between 30 and 40 years. He did not seem big or tall. He did not have gloves on. He did not smell of alcohol. She thought she’d heard his voice before.

Burgess is noting the progression of Williams’s crimes. During the first assault Williams had difficulty controlling the victim. With Massicotte he had used plastic ties.

[10:10 AM]

The details of the sexual assault echo what Massicotte told Maclean’s a few weeks ago.

[10:08 AM]

Hearing that Williams discarded items that he took from Massicotte’s house on Feb. 7, 2010—the day that police called him for questioning regarding the murder of Jesscia Lloyd.

[10:05 AM]

Exhibit 5 is filed: more photos.

Crown lawyer Lee Burgess is up, discussing counts 77, 78 against Laurie Massicotte, the second sexual assault victim.

[10:03 AM]

All rise. The judge is here. Seated now. Housekeeping announcements about not releasing information that should not be public.

[10:02 AM]

Williams is in the courtroom. Came in handcuffed, were removed. He is standing, looking at the ground, while his lawyer talks to him. He nods, sits down. Looks around the courtroom. Resumes the same position as yesterday: hunched forward, head down.

[9:59 AM]

Warning by an officer that no photo or video is allowed of the proceedings.

[9:53 AM]

Second day of the sentencing hearing for Russ Williams in Belleville. In the courtroom, the lawyers are assembling, reporters readying with computers and notepads, members of the public whispering to each other. Wonder why they’re here—if they know someone affected by these crimes, or were themselves. No sign of Williams yet.