My husband at times becomes amused at my suspicion of people. This morning I told him I keep the curtains closed when I am home alone because I noticed some construction workers walking by our first floor apartment, about 5 feet from my sliding door terrace. He laughed and said I was being ridiculous. I told him I did not want to become the victim of a crime of opportunity.
I don’t live in fear because I read and write about crime stories, I just know that evil is present all around me and I try to take steps to keep myself safe.
A murderer can be invisible. He or she could be a normal everyday blue collar worker, or white collar businessman, a doctor, a husband, a police officer or Colonel in the Canadian forces, highly recognized and respected.
For instance someone like Col. Russell Williams a 46 years old husband, neighbor and a commander in charge of logistic relief efforts in Haiti and Afghanistan for Canada. A man who met the queen and prime minister and maybe was on his way to meet our President Obama, this man is accused of leaving his sleeping wife at night and preying on women in his own neighborhood and neighboring towns, two of which he is accused of sexually assaulting and another two he is accused of murdering. All of these women lived alone and it seems the Col. new for a fact they were home alone when he entered their dark bedrooms.
Were these his only crimes? Is he a serial killer or is he one that began with petty peeping tom crimes and graduated to murder?
On the night of September 17th allegedly Col. Russell Williams broke into a young woman’s house, bound her with duct tape, covering her head with a pillow case and took pictures of her, then sexually assaulted her, however he did not kill her, instead he went home to his wife and reported for work the next morning. Soon after this sexual assault, a string of home invasions and women's underwear burglaries began to occur in the small town of Tweed, 48 of these were eventually linked back to Col. Williams. It is very difficult to believe that a man who was responsible for managing 3500 people on a military base was secretly breaking into the homes of women and stealing their underwear since 2006.
On September 30th another woman in a neighboring town was sexually assaulted. Still police had no clue to the Colonel’s involvement or the connections between the petty underwear thefts and the two assaults. This is because although the Colonel held a powerful position at the military base, he was invisible to his neighbors and the town. No one gave him much thought; he had no friends and spent most of his time alone or with his wife. He left his home before dawn and arrived home at night after most people were already asleep, at times not returning home at all.
In November of 2009 Corporal Marie-France Comeau, a 37-year-old military flight attendant based at CFB Trenton was found dead inside her home. She was once stationed at Camp Mirage in the Middle East where Colonel Williams was also stationed and was her commanding officer. Marie then moved on to be a flight attendant for the Prime Minister for the last 6 months of her life. Many describe Marie as friendly and caring with many friends and highly respected. It is alleged that Col. Russell Williams broke into Marie’s home in the middle of the night and sexually assaulted her and then ultimately killed her. It is believed by investigators that Russell did not mean to kill Marie, but somehow asphyxiated her while assaulting her, resulting in her death and a new found thrill of killing.
The theory being thrown around is that the Colonel’s crime of favor was breaking into homes and stealing women’s underwear and that this crime escalated into the assaults and then finally to murder.
Jessica Lloyd 27 years old disappeared on January 29th from her home in the town of Belleville. Jessica had just sent a text message to a friend letting them know she had arrived safely and was inside of her home. It is believed that Colonel Williams was watching Jessica and invaded her home, assaulting her and removing her from the home.
The Tire Track
The crack in the case and the path that brought investigators to the Colonel’s door step was a simple decision to canvass residents who lived along Highway 37, which connects Tweed and Belleville. The murderer had left distinctive tire tracks in the snow outside of Jessica’s home. Investigators set up a road block along Highway 37 and the Colonel drove right into their net, the officer with a keen eye immediately noticed the tires on the car driven by the Colonel and began asking him questions. Col. Russell Williams became evasive and gave vague answers to simple questions. The investigator followed his gut and requested Col Williams come in for further questioning.
After some serious interrogations, it is believed that Col. Russell Williams guided authorities to Jessica’s body on a secluded road near his home.
Reading Col. Russell Williams' biography, he lists one of his hobbies as taking pictures. In the two earlier assaults the women were bound with duct tape, their heads covered with a pillow case, stripped of their clothing and tied to a chair and their picture was taken.
Seems Russell was a sentimental predator and kept keepsakes of his victims cataloged at home in a secret place. I am pretty sure this includes some items associated with his favorite hobby, photography. Investigators have also managed to match a footprint from a crime scene back to the Colonel.
I have counted at least 10 different living locations for Col. Williams during the 90’s and up until now. He could have victims in all of these locations including a stint in the Middle East. I am hoping investigators do not allow him to convince them that this was merely a bizarre escalation to murder. He could very well be a serial killer with victims dating back to the 90’s.
Rest in Peace Jessica Llyod and Corporal Marie- France Comeau.
Let this be a lesson that evil can be invisible.