Col. Russell Williams headed to Kingston Pen to serve life sentence

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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Col. Russell Williams is shown in a sketch as he addresses the court in Belleville, Ont., today. — Canadian Press

BELLEVILLE, Ont. — Col. Russell Williams is headed to Kingston Penitentiary to serve two concurrent life sentences for sadosexual crimes a judge says have no equal.

Williams says he will spend the rest of his life regretting his crimes, including the two murders he has committed, and adds he is “indescribably ashamed.”

The decorated commander of Canada’s largest air base cried as he addressed the court before sentencing on two counts of first-degree murder, two counts each of sexual assault and forcible confinement, and 82 fetish break and enters.

It was the first show of emotion from the colonel who has otherwise kept his head down in stoic silence despite a gruelling four days of vivid evidence of his gruesome sex crimes.

“I will spend the rest of my life regretting most of all that I have ended two vibrant, innocent and cherished lives,” Williams, 47, told the court.

Williams tortured, raped and murdered Marie-France Comeau, a 37-year-old military flight attendant under his command, and Jessica Lloyd, 27, who worked for a school bus company.

Justice Robert Scott said he believes Williams is sincere in his regrets, but nonetheless declared him a “sick and dangerous” man.

“Russell Williams will forever be remembered as a sadosexual serial killer,” Scott told the court.

“The depths of the depravity shown by Russell Williams have no equal.”

Crown prosecutor Lee Burgess called Williams “one of the worst offenders in Canadian history.”

“We can all think of a handful of names and everybody knows those names, and he’s now on that list,” he said outside court.

As Williams was en route to the penitentiary that houses notorious sex killer Paul Bernardo, the military wasted no time in declaring he’ll be removed from the Canadian Forces.

Williams will also be stripped of his medals.

Lt.-Gen. Andre Deschamps, chief of the air staff, said like all Canadians the military is stunned by Williams’ crimes.

Standing on the tarmac of CFB Trenton, the military base Williams commanded until his arrest just eight months ago, Deschamps says the military has no power to revoke his pension.

“Russell Williams will forever be remembered as a sadosexual serial killert. The depths of the depravity shown by Russell Williams have no equal.” Justice Robert Scott

The case rocked the military to its core, and Deschamps said “we still don’t understand the why, and this is something that troubles Canadians at large.”

“We certainly would like to understand if possible. We’d like to learn from this tragedy.”

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the Canadian Forces will do what it can to strip benefits from Williams.

“I know Defence Minister (Peter) MacKay has made clear the Forces will undertake all necessary actions to ensure that all sanctions possible and all benefits possible that can be withdrawn will be withdrawn from the former commander,” Harper said after a military funding announcement in St. John’s.

Deschamps said while it is powerless to remove his pension, it will act on its power to ensure Williams does not collect a salary for the time he has spent in jail.

The military will claw back the reported $12,000-a-month salary Williams has collected since February.

Harper said all members of the Canadian Forces have been “very badly wounded and betrayed by all of this.”

And Deschamps said no one saw it coming. He said there was no way for the military to have known they had a killer in their midst.

The judge said Williams lived a charmed life before turning to crime in his 40s and noted that his “fall from grace has been swift and sure.”

The Crown won’t be seeking dangerous offender status because it is “superfluous” and would only prolong the suffering of families, Burgess said.

Dangerous offender status would mean he’d be jailed indefinitely.

Williams will still have to demonstrate he is not a danger to the public to get parole.

The Crown wants to seize the sex killer’s Nissan Pathfinder and crush it. Police traced the killer through tire marks left by his Pathfinder found in a field near a house belonging to one of his murder victims.

Organizations: Canadian Forces, Canadian Forces.Williams

Geographic location: Kingston, BELLEVILLE, Canada

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Recent comments

    November 12, 2010 - 20:56

    this is the issue not his medals , but why he did this act when he started years ago and years into service . he will be studied and the egg on the face of many top dogs who passed him saw his mental fitness sane , per the guidelines set forth by the canadain miltary process. a crack is here . how deep and big not sure and likely wont be mentioned in a public forum for awhile . did his action become or was it there .and why .alot of questions are needed to be figured out and processed, for future generations of miltary folk to learn know and deal onward with this story is not over by a long shot . joshua

  • ulsterorod1
    October 24, 2010 - 00:03

    It is fitting and proper that Williams be stripped of his rank and dishonourably discharged from the Air Force; he disgraced the uniform. Having said that, it is not right that his medals be taken away. Despite the despicable crimes he committed, he did serve for 23 years and the medals were earned not simply handed out as a gift. It is time the people of Canada forced the government to restore the death penalty then Williams could wear his medals to the gallows.

  • Aubrey
    October 21, 2010 - 16:44

    The judge said he believes Russell Williams is sincere in his regret ? Does he actually think that sadistic killers like Russell Williams, Ted Bundy, Paul Bernardo, Clifford Olsen, Jeffrey Dahmer and John Gacy, are capable of feelings of remorse for their crimes ? They couldn't care squat about the people they murdered. Williams beat, raped, tortured and suffocated two women who pleaded for their lives and he's concerned about his cat and his house ? . Hearing a judge say he believes that Williams is sincere in his regret, well, it just gives me the dry heaves. Hopefully, Williams will get a good $hit knockin' on a regular basis at Kingston and will not be successful with any suicide attempts. That piece of scum should slowly rot away the rest of his miserable existence.

  • VAN
    October 21, 2010 - 15:58

    What a sick sick man!!!....I hope he got what he deserves in Jail which most likely he will. and yes Please stop calling him Col. thats just a disgrace to the canadian armed forces

  • Agreed
    October 21, 2010 - 14:43

    He is nothing but a scumbag!

  • Get Your Facts Straight
    October 21, 2010 - 13:56

    They didn't strip him of his medals yet. Harper said the military are going to do everything in their power to do so though. So as of right now he is still, by definition a Colonel.

  • Banjaxed
    October 21, 2010 - 13:39

    I had an appointmnent yesterday with my psychiatrist and she said that this guy had the potential to go for years , very dangerous individual , I seen the pics of him dressed in a womens negligee the other night and the pics mae me sick to my stomach let alone those "Killers eyes" he had , and I agree with MOUNT PEARL , he's no Col. anymore , just a cumbag who I hope gets whats coming to him when he arrives at Kingston

  • Jim
    October 21, 2010 - 13:35

    But leave his pension alone. His wife has had to deal with enough.

  • Mount Pearl
    October 21, 2010 - 12:50

    Didn't he get stripped of all hs medals. Please stop calling him Col.

    • bay lady
      October 21, 2010 - 13:53

      Mount Pearl, a medal and a rank are 2 different things. Colonel refers to the rank he held in the Canadian Military, not to a medal he was awarded. There was no mention of him being removed from his rank, though I have read in other news articles that the military are in the process of expelling him.