In this undated photo released by the Ontario Superior
Court of Justice Colonel Russell Williams poses for a photo
wearing women's lingerie. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press,
Ontario Superior Court of Justice)
He was a square-jawed Canadian Air Force officer with a
brilliant future, a man entrusted with flying prime ministers
and Queen Elizabeth II. Now he has been exposed as a serial
killer with a shocking fetish for girls' panties that he
documented in a trove of twisted photos of himself.
At a hearing that reduced victims' relatives to tears, the
lurid photos were shown one by one in court as Col Russell
Williams, 47, pleaded guilty to murdering two women, sexually
assaulting two others and committing dozens of break-ins in
which he stole underwear from the bedrooms of girls as young
He faces an automatic sentence of life in prison with no
possibility for parole for at least 25 years.
Williams was expressionless and dressed in a sombre dark
suit. He kept his head down during the 40 minutes it took to
read all the charges.
Until his double life came to light with his arrest earlier
this year, Williams was the commander of Canada's largest Air
Force base and served as a pilot for some of the country's
top leaders and for the queen during a 2005 visit.
The charges against the elite pilot - a tall, fit figure who
did his job with quiet diligence and appeared to be in a
stable marriage - shocked the country and its military with
the possibility of a serial killer in its officer corps.
"The tragic events surrounding Col Russell Williams stunned
all Canadians and none more so than the members of the
Canadian Forces. Today's guilty plea is the first step in a
healing process that will no doubt take many years," said
Gen. Walt Natynczyk, chief of the defence staff and a
Canadian Forces spokesman.
Among other things, Williams pleaded guilty to murdering
Jessica Lloyd, 27, whose body was found in February, and
Marie Comeau, a 38-year-old corporal under his command who
was found dead in her home last November. Both women were
Williams also pleaded guilty to attacking two other women
during separate home invasions in the Tweed, Ontario, area in
2009. One of the women, a 21-year-old single mother, said she
was tied up, blindfolded, stripped and held captive for more
than two hours while he forced her into sexual acts and
Prosecutors said Williams targeted girls and women in their
teens and 20s and often photographed himself in their
underwear, which he then stole and catalogued at home.
At the sentencing hearing following his guilty plea,
prosecutors warned the court they would be presenting
evidence that was "extremely disturbing." Prosecutor Lee
Burgess said many of the facts would be difficult for his
victims to hear, but it was "important to have a full account
of the crimes."
Burgess began by presenting photos of Williams wearing a
12-year-old girl's cartoon-decorated underwear.
Many of the pictures showed a serious-looking Williams
masturbating in or with the stolen lingerie. In one picture,
he appears to be wearing his military uniform with his
trousers dropped to expose pink panties.
Stunned onlookers in the courtroom wept. Jessica Lloyd's
mother, Roxanne Lloyd, clutched a framed photo of her
daughter and wiped away tears.