Public Nut Cases

Some of you know Mary Diwell as the opinionated voice on the Russell Williams’ posts. While others were inclined to play super-sleuths, Mary has been quite critical of the “looky loo” mentality; expressing that we should all wake up and get a life.

I struck up a friendship with Mary because I saw the merit in her argument. While biding my time here at WKT? I often post about other cases, and I often get caught up in them. But like Mary, I really believe that this is a warped obsession. In passing a car crush it is oftentimes hard to avert our eyes, but lest we gaze too long it is always good to heed the words of the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche:

“He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster.
And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”

I do not wish to be a hypocrite. I have many times watched “Unsolved Mysteries”, CSI. and any number of Discovery Channel forensic dissections that are lurid and fascinating. But I would emphasize that all my car-crash gawking came LONG BEFORE I had an inkling that my sister was a victim of murder. When that horrific reality took hold I abandoned television altogether, and became addicted to facts. To anyone who derives pleasure from unsolved crimes, a word of caution: unless you have been touched with such tragedy, go back to enjoying your lives… you have no business here.

As you might have now guessed, I have invited Mary Diwell to post some comments here about our public obsession with horror, tragedy and violence. Here is her piece. Thank you Mary:

“The recent arrest of Colonel Russell Williams on sexually motivated murder charges brings to mind the notion of those who derive pleasure from the misfortunes of others. In this case, a voracious media and ignorant on-line commentators have had a field day.

Surely this is a human tragedy for all concerned – firstly for the victims and their families but also for the colonel and his family particularly his wife. However, what do we see? A media attributing every rape and murder in Canada to the colonel and a public baying for the blood of both them. Particularly disturbing to me is the fury over the defence of property transfers in order to financially protect Ms. Harriman. Woman who probably call themselves feminists are baying for this woman’s blood – supposedly in support of the women who were the colonel’s victims.

We all should be silent in pity for those who are victims of violent crime. The pain of their families can only be imagined by those of us who have no experience of such horror and special concern should be for the families for whom there is no closure because the killer has never been found. The anguish is there forever.

And then there is the hypocrisy in the case of Colonel Williams. The media was ever so quiet and respectful when the bodies of three teenage girls and an older woman were pulled from the Rideau Canal last summer – murdered by their own family. Political correctness demanded a muted response to such barbarism because it was a “cultural” matter. The colonel and his wife have no such excuse. Its been open season on them.

The sometimes tragedy of the human condition should be considered by all those who pass judgement on others and a humble respect given in its place.”

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Russ Williams: Je vais mettre ce que je veux, câlice.

Désolé je n’ai pas posté beaucoup ces derniers temps. Il a été occupé de 48, et je suis juste revenir.

1. Vendredi dernier, j’ai eu tout ce travail à faire sur le budget de la Ville.

2. Ensuite, nous avons pris le temps de l’après-midi à faire du bénévolat à la mission de sauvetage de Durham.

3. A dû prendre les enfants et passer vendredi soir à Hillsborough (avec la grande musique et de la limonade).

4. Répétition à 7:30 pm pour Eurydice.

5. Puis samedi, bien sûr, était l’anniversaire de ma fille. Donc, faites cuire le gâteau, enveloppez la présente, etc…

6 Guitar hero et des expériences scientifiques avec les filles.

7. Dîner d’anniversaire à Akai Hana avec les enfants et mon Ex.

8. Ensuite, un film de famille ainsi regarder The White Stripes, Under Great White Northern Lights.

9. Oh, et mon Ex et j’ai même entassés pour les enfants … nous avons fait The Denial Twist: qui savait qu’elle jouait de la batterie, mais là encore, c’est Meg White.

En bref, j’ai été très occupé avec ma vie. Je suis un peu chaude avec des commentaires de gens comme Mary Diwell suggérant j’ai besoin d’obtenir sur la mienne, et cesser de harceler pauvres Russ Williams avec my armchair-détection.

Mon ami Marjean Fichtenberg et moi avons partagé un bon rire plus de cela lorsque nous étions à Vancouver. Pensez-vous sérieusement que nous sommes comme ça tout le temps? Pensez-vous que nous parlons de cette merde 24-7? Marjean a une famille, enfants, amis … le temps, elle travaille dans la défense au nom du défunt fils lui causer sont l’exception. Et pensez-vous qu’elle ferait si elle ne présente pas les stigmates de la victime / survivante si violemment poussée sur elle?

Sauf pour une des intersections de vie peu (je suis né à Trenton, mon grand-père a travaillé à la base aérienne de Trenton) Je pourrais vous donner un “rats ass” de colonel Williams. J’ai écrit une pièce en Février qui continue d’attirer des commentaires et de la circulation … alors être elle. Les gens veulent parler, laissons-les faire, je ne suis certainement pas se joindre à la fête, ce n’est pas ma scène. Je ne vais certainement pas de réduire le mou Williams. Je trouve intéressant le cas légèrement, en partie parce que je sais l’endroit où les meurtres nous nous sommes engagés assez bien. C’est tout. Oh, et aussi, je n’ai absolument aucune sympathie pour les gars, je ne pense que le moment est venu de quitter la seule communauté à guérir – bien que ce temps viendra.

Je vous écris au sujet d’un petit nombre de cas qui m’intéressent si je bide mon temps à attendre pour trouver des indices qui permettra de résoudre de Cold Case-Thérèsa Allore. Parce que si je n’ai pas – si je l’ai arrêté, et a complètement nouveau à ma vie – c’est ce qui se passerait: les personnes atteintes d’information pourrait aller, “hey, je dois contacter la famille! Non, attendez, peut-être je ne devrais pas … ne l’ont pas entendu parler de cette affaire depuis un certain temps. Peut-être qu’ils sont retournés à leur vie, peut-être ils veulent juste passer et ne pas être rappelé, je les laisser seuls “.

Et puis, je n’aurais jamais reçu le message que j’ai envoyé le vendredi soufflant essentiellement de cas Theresa grande ouverte.

Pour les Mary Diwells du monde … votre avis est le bienvenu, je vais examiner vos commentaires pensif, je vais même les publier. Mais gardez vos armchair-counseling pour vous. Vous n’avez pas vécu 31 ans d’une assassiner non résolus. Vous n’avez pas d’expérience dans cette affaire, je suis un expert.

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Russ Williams: I’ll post what I damn well please

Sorry I haven’t posted much lately. It’s been a busy 48, and I’m just coming up for air.

1.   Friday I had all that work to do on the City budget.

2.   Then we took time in the afternoon to volunteer at the Durham Rescue Mission.

3.   Had to pick up the kids and spend Friday evening at the last Friday event in Hillsborough (with the great music and lemonade).

4.   Rehearsal at 7:30 pm for Eurydice.

5.   Then Saturday, of course, was my eldest daughter’s birthday. So, bake the cake, wrap the presents, goofing off.

6   Guitar hero and science experiments with the girls.

7.   Birthday dinner at Akai Hana with the kids and my ex-wife.

8.   Then a family movie together watching The White Stripes, Under Great White Northern Lights.

9.   Oh, and my Ex and I even jammed together for the kids… we did The Denial Twist: who knew she played drums, but then again, it’s Meg White.

In short, I’ve been busy with my life. I get a little hot with comments from the likes of Mary Diwell suggesting I need to get on with mine, and stop pestering poor Russ Williams with my armchair detecting.

My friend Marjean Fichtenberg and I shared a good laugh over this when we were in Vancouver. Do you seriously think we’re like this all the time? Do you think we talk this shit 24-7?  Marjean’s got a family, children, friends… the times she works in advocating in the name of her dead son’s cause are the exception. And do you think she would be doing this if she didn’t have the stigma of victim / survivor so violently thrust upon her?

Except for a few life intersections (I was born in Trenton, my grandfather worked at the Trenton Air Force base ) I could give a rats ass about Colonel Williams. I wrote a piece back in February that continues to draw comments and traffic… so be it. People want to talk about it, let them do it; I’m certainly not joining in the party, that’s not my scene. I’m certainly not going to cut Williams any slack. I find the case mildly interesting, in part because I know the area where the murders we committed fairly well. That’s it.  Oh, and also, I’ve got absolutely no sympathy for the guy, nor do I feel that now is the time to leave the community alone to heal – though that time will come.

I write about a few cases that interest me while I bide my time waiting for clues that will solve Theresa’s cold case. Because if I didn’t – if I shut it down, and went completely back to my life – this is what would happen: People with information might go, “hey, I should contact the family! No wait, maybe I shouldn’t… haven’t heard about that case in some time. Maybe they went back to their lives, maybe they just want to move on and not be reminded, I should leave them alone”.

And then I never would have received the message I was sent on Friday basically blowing Theresa’s case wide open.

To the Mary Diwell’s of the world… your opinion is welcome, I will consider your comments thoughtfully, I will even publish them. But keep your armchair advice to yourself. You haven’t lived through 31 years of an unsolved murder. You have no experience in this affair; I am an expert.

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Russ Williams: He had me at 2

Williams faces 82 new charges over break-ins
Thefts reportedly targeted women’s lingerie

Linda Nguyen, Canwest News Service
Published: Friday, April 30, 2010

Colonel Russell Williams, the former top commander at CFB Trenton, faces a number of new break-and-enter charges. He also faces two charges of first-degree murder.
The former commander of Canadian Forces Base Trenton, who is facing two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of sexual assault, was hit with 82 additional charges yesterday by the Ontario Provincial Police.

The new charges — for break-and-enter, theft and attempted break-and-enter — came amid media reports that Colonel Russell Williams has reached an agreement in principle with the prosecution that would see him plead guilty to all the charges against him.

Col. Williams is accused of killing Corporal Marie-France Comeau, 37, a military flight attendant from Brighton and Jessica Lloyd, 27, of Belleville.

He also faces sexual assault charges linked to two home invasions in Tweed. In those cases, he is accused of blindfolding the women, tying them naked to their chairs, photographing and sexually assaulting them.

Yesterday, the OPP alleged the 47-year-old air force colonel broke into multiple homes in Eastern Ontario, including that of one of the women he is accused of later killing and the residence of another women he allegedly sexually assaulted.

Some of the homes were broken into repeatedly over a number of days, others over a period of a few months, with all the break-ins happening over a three-year period.

They occurred in Ottawa, Belleville, Brighton and Tweed — places located within a few kilometres of where Col. Williams had lived or worked.

In all, there are 46 counts in Tweed, 34 counts in Ottawa and two counts in Belleville.

Police would not confirm what was taken during these burglaries, but earlier reports indicated the break-ins targeted women’s lingerie. One woman in Ottawa told Global News that her lingerie was stolen during a break-in last November, when her daughter was house-sitting. By the time police arrived, they found a smashed side door but no sign of a suspect. Another woman in Tweed, a heavily wooded town where Col. Williams owned a cottage, said her house had been burglarized a number of times in the past few years. And even though she never figured out what was stolen, the experiences shook her up enough to buy a large guard dog.

Yesterday, Col. Williams made his third court appearance in Belleville. A packed courtroom, with some observers forced to stand, watched as the colonel, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, appeared on a TV screen from the Quinte Detention Centre, where he has been in custody since his arrest on Feb. 7. Through his legal counsel, he requested that the new charges against him not be read aloud in court, but did not give a reason why. The judge complied with the request.

Col. Williams has not entered a plea on any of the charges and the case has been adjourned until June 24.

Lieutenant-Colonel Tony O’Keeffe attended the proceedings yesterday, representing the Canadian Forces.

Lt.-Col. O’Keeffe, who has known Col. Williams for years, said he had visited him in jail 10 days ago but did not ask him about the hunger strike or reported suicide attempt he made during the Easter weekend.

“I think he’s getting better,” he told the crowd of media outside the courtroom. “I think time, I guess, cures all. He looks better to me.”

A local newspaper reported earlier this month that the colonel had been placed under 24-hour suicide watch following a failed attempt to take his life.

TheKingstonWhig-Standard reported that Col. Williams tried to kill himself by jamming a toilet paper roll stuffed with cardboard down his throat. Cardboard and foil were found jammed in the cell door in an effort to stop staff from entering during the attempt. He had also reportedly written a suicide note in mustard on the wall.

Col. Williams had reportedly gone on a hunger strike and was acting like a prisoner of war, responding only to questions by authorities with his name, rank and serial number.

It was recently discovered he is still collecting his military salary, pending a possible plea or outcome of the trial. The money will have to be paid back if he is found guilty of the alleged crimes.

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Russ Williams case: now it’s all coming out

Victim slams police over Col. Williams case

Last Updated: Thursday, April 29, 2010 | 8:54 PM ET
CBC News

On Thursday, Col. Russell Williams was charged with 82 more offences, including 46 counts related to break-ins in Tweed. (Department of National Defence/Canadian Press)A sexual assault victim from Tweed, Ont., said she felt “totally betrayed” by police when she learned Col. Russell Williams had been charged with dozens of other crimes dating back to 2007.

“I’m just sick about it,” the woman told CBC News on Thursday. “They kept telling me this [assault] was a one-time occurrence — this was just a sex pervert that wanted pictures and it’s their experience that this person would never return.”

The woman was sexually assaulted and photographed during a home invasion on Sept. 30, 2009. In February, 47-year-old Williams, then commander of Canadian Forces Base Trenton, was charged in that attack, along with an earlier home invasion and sexual assault.

He was also charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Jessica Lloyd, 27, and Cpl. Marie-France Comeau, 37.

On Thursday, he was charged with 82 more offences, including 46 counts related to break-and-enters in Tweed, where Williams had a cottage. The other counts related to similar incidents in Ottawa’s Fallingbrook neighbourhood, where Williams lived until recently.

The victim of the Sept. 30 attack now believes her assailant may have visited her house a year earlier, when an article of her clothing went missing.

Williams was earlier charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Jessica Lloyd, 27, and Cpl. Marie-France Comeau, 37, as well as sexual assaults during two home invasions. (Alex Tavshunsky/CBC)She thinks police should have warned the public about the crime wave in the community.

“They were trying to solve this investigation without scaring people,” she said. “They weren’t getting it [the information] out. This was a serious thing … I feel that they’ve let a lot of people down. I feel a lot of things could have been prevented.”

She isn’t the only Tweed resident shocked by the latest charges and left questioning why police were so quiet about the crimes taking place.

Roseann Trudeau, advertising and circulation manager of the Tweed News, said she had no idea until Thursday that there had been so many break-ins in the community.

“This accused killer was [allegedly] in these homes — all these homes! That’s just unbelievable,” she said, adding that she doesn’t know how police failed to connect the cases.

Trudeau said little attention was paid after the first sex assault that Williams was later charged with. Police did issue a warning after the second assault and reported some break-and-enters, but only on an individual basis.

“How come the public wasn’t alerted of someone like this in the area so that we could be on the lookout?” she asked. “And then just maybe Jessica [Lloyd] would be alive today.”

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Parents of another slain woman relive their pain

Margaret McWilliam, of Deep River, Ont., was 21 years old in 1987 when she was raped and killed while out for a jog in a Scarborough, Ont., park about a half kilometre from her new Toronto home.

Her case has not been solved. Her parents, Ivan and Charlotte, have been through the worst of that pain. But something of it struck them again when police looked for connections between her death and the rapes and killings of serial killer Paul Bernardo.

Now they’re experiencing it a third time with the arrest of Col. Russell Williams on sexual-assault and murder charges, and the news that he spent some of his childhood in Deep River.

As it turns out, he graduated from the University of Toronto’s Scarborough campus that same year, according to reports. He also lived with his parents in Scarborough, while attending high school at Birchmount Park Collegiate Institute.

She moved to the city in fall 1986 after graduating from Kemptville College. Bernardo, like Russell Williams, graduated in 1987 from the U of T’s Scarborough campus. Bernardo was once a suspect in Margaret’s case.

McWilliam’s case is one of a slew of unsolved sex and murder cases that may be reopened if an Ontario Provincial Police behavioural profile turns up links from any of the cases to the two murder cases already laid against Williams.

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Col. Russell Russ Williams: the bad news just keeps coming

A flurry of activity in the media this morning over Russell Williams:

  1. Never shy of  staying in the gutter, The Toronto Sun is reporting that Williams and Paul Bernardo were college “Pals”.
  2. Also in the Sun;  the accused murderer is on suicide watch at the Quinte Detention Center just outside of Trenton, Ontario.
  3. The Ottawa Citizen is reporting that Williams cut ties with his family in 2001 and hasn’t spoken to his mother or brother in nearly 10 years.
  4. While the Edmonton Journal gives us the astounding revelation that “serial killers lead double lives”. Don’t know what tenured professor dabbling in behavioral science is responsible for that chestnut… Woops, it’s Elliot Layton, apparently an expert. Well, he dropped a turd this time.
  5. Macleans, Canada’s national weekly magazine offers, Russell Williams: The Man No One New. Rather short, bland and boring for a blog post. (don’t they have the resources to do something splashy, or at least insightful?)
  6. In between the soft rock and  oldies, Mix 97 is weighing in that Williams may be looked at for an unsolved London, Ontario murder. (Maaaa… it’s always like this. They get a good suspect and every force tries to pin every major unsolved crime from the last twenty years on them (see Claude Larouche). Hey law enforcement! Here’s a tip, try solving your crimes with good old fashion police work)

That’s it, I’m out a here, gotta go to work folks!

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Russell Russ Williams: More News

Quite a good article in the Gazette on the latest in the Russell Williams affair:

A summary:

  • There are reports of Trenton locals harrassing and spitting at AFB personnel.
  • Williams requested the services of a prison chaplain at the  Quinte Detention Centre where he is being held.
  • At this point Halifax police are denying any link between Williams and their cold cases, but only because there hasn’t been time to test any evidence.
  • Williams is still being considered in the murder case of Trenton native Kathleen MacVicar, 19.
  • Toronto police are probing Williams in the cases of  Erin Gilmour and Susan Tice who were sexually assaulted and murdered within four months of each another in downtown Toronto. DNA evidence revealed that both women had been killed by the same man.
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Col. Russell Russ Williams: Whoomp, There it Is!

From today’s Globe and Mail:

In the mid-1980s, (Russell Williams) studied politics and economics at the University of Toronto’s Scarborough satellite – a campus that was haunted by a series of unsolved rapes at that time.

A January, 1983, editorial in the campus newspaper, The Underground, stated: “Last Tuesday, a student was attacked in the parking lot, dragged into the valley and raped. This is the first reported attack … Something will have to be done to alleviate fears, even if it does cost the College a lot of money.”

There have been no suggestions from the Ontario Provincial Police that Col. Williams has been linked in any way to those attacks, but they have said that, given the allegations, they will be tracing his steps over the years.

(Serial killer Paul Bernardo, who was later convicted of killing three schoolgirls in the early 1990s, has admitted to raping at least a dozen women in Scarborough at that time.)

On Tuesday I suggested that Russell Williams may, in fact, have been the Scarborough Rapist. This becomes more compelling now learning that he attended U of T’s Scarborough campus, not the school’s downtown campus as originally considered.

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