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Canadian Col. Pleads Guilty to Murdering 2 Women

Oct 18, 2010 – 1:00 PM
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Deborah Hastings

Deborah Hastings Contributor

(Oct. 18) -- A Canadian military commander has pleaded guilty to raping and murdering two women, a disturbing case that has gripped the country.

Staring at the floor, Col. Russell Williams also pleaded guilty today to assaulting and raping two other women and to more than 80 home burglaries and stealing female underwear, lingerie and shoes, some of which he hid in the home he shared with his wife.

He commanded Canada's most famous Air Force base until he was charged earlier this year and relieved of duty. The 47-year-old officer received an automatic sentence of life imprisonment, with a possibility for parole after 25 years.

It took more than 30 minutes for a clerk to read all of the charges against Williams, who silently bowed his head in a packed courtroom in Belleville, Ontario, The Globe and Mail reported.
Col. Russell Williams salutes as he arrives at the Battle of Britain parade in Trenton, Ontario in 2009.
Dept. of National Defense, CP / AP
Col. Russell Williams, seen here in September 2009, has pleaded guilty to the murders of two women, the sexual assaults of two others and dozens of breaking and entering charges.

The shocking case has damaged military morale and fueled speculation that Williams could be a serial killer, The Associated Press reported.

The elite pilot with a distinguished military career had flown Canadian politicians and Britain's Queen Elizabeth II across the country and overseas.

After being arrested in February, the 23-year veteran ultimately admitted to raping and strangling to death Jessica Lloyd, 27, and Cpl. Marie-France Comeau, 38. He also told investigators details from 82 break-ins across surrounding residential areas.

Comeau, a military flight attendant who had flown with Williams, was murdered Nov. 25, 2009. Lloyd, a 27-year-old Ontario bus company worker, disappeared Jan. 28 and was found weeks later after Williams led police to where he'd dumped her body near a rural road, the Toronto Sun reported.

Today, prosecutors showed photographs Williams had taken of himself after breaking into homes, including images of the commander wearing women's lingerie and, in one case, of him lying on a 12-year-old girl's bed, using her underwear to masturbate.

He kept a log of his break-ins and stored "trophies" from the two murders in the basement ceiling of his Ottawa home, the Sun reported.
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