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Showing posts with label Murder. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Murder. Show all posts

October 19, 2010

Canadian colonel pleads guilty to murders, sex crimes

The disgraced commander of Canada's largest air force base pleaded guilty Monday to 86 lurid crimes, including two murders, two sexual assaults and dozens of burglaries at women's homes.

Colonel Russell Williams, 47, a married pilot who once flew the jet used to ferry Canada's prime minister as well as the British royal family on a visit, displayed no emotion as he admitted to his crimes in a Belleville, Ontario courtroom.

He faces life in prison, with no possibility of parole for at least 25 years.

Police arrested Williams in February for the disappearance and death of a 27-year-old woman last heard from the previous month. He was caught when the tire treads of his vehicle were matched at a police roadside checkpoint to tracks at the crime scene.

Williams was later charged with the murder of a female corporal under his command at the Trenton military base in November, as well as in two home invasions in which two women were confined and sexually assaulted.

He was also charged with an additional 82 counts of break-and-enter and attempted break-and-enter in Ottawa, Belleville, and a third locality, Tweed.

A stash of women's undergarments taken by police from Williams' Ottawa residence were linked to burglaries near his home and job.

An agreed statement of facts read out in court traced the escalation of his offences that culminated in two sexual assaults and two murders.
 
"Given the seriousness of charges, it's important for the court to have a full account of the facts," said prosecutor Lee Burgess. "These facts will be extremely disturbing."

The court was shown photographs -- recovered from Williams' computer -- of him wearing the stolen undergarments in his victims' bedrooms and masturbating. Some of the undergarments belonged to young girls.

The stolen lingerie was meticulously categorized and stored in bags and boxes discovered at his Ottawa home, which he shared with is wife of 19 years. The court heard that he periodically disposed of his loot when he had accumulated too much.

Dressed in a dark suit and grey button-down shirt, Williams responded to each charge: "Guilty, your honour."
The court heard that only 17 homeowners had reported their homes had been broken into, while 61 others went undetected prior to Williams' arrest and confession to police.

Most of the break-ins occurred at night, and at least once while he appeared to be in his military uniform.
Williams had commanded Canada's busiest air force base, the 437 Squadron in Trenton, east of Toronto, for more than a year prior to his arrest. Previously he was in charge of Canada's secretive Camp Mirage in Dubai.

While in prison, he attempted suicide and held a hunger strike, but cooperated fully with investigators.