Killer colonel's victim pleaded for mercy
Col. Russell Williams, former head of CFB Trenton, pleaded guilty to the brutal murders of Marie-France Comeau, right, and Jessica Lloyd.
WARNING: EXPLICIT CONTENT
BELLEVILLE, Ont. - He created his own snuff films, a sick, meticulous director who, for hours, raped and tortured two terrified women, capturing all their degradation on his video camera as he snapped commands.
You are a bastard Col. Russell Williams.
Bound with rope and duct tape, his victims pleaded for their lives. Jessica Lloyd was 27 and compliant, trying desperately to survive by obeying all his disgusting instructions, even apologizing when she got it wrong.
Cpl. Marie-France Comeau, Lloyd's senior by ten years, had tried a different approach. Fighting her commanding officer at every turn, she struggled with all the military strength in her power as she fought his attempts to turn her into a sex toy.
But neither stood a chance with this monster.
"Have a heart please, I've been really good, I want to live," Comeau pleaded.
"If I die, will you make sure my mom knows that I love her?" Lloyd begged.
There was no reaching this aspiring serial killer. Instead, the heartless director coolly ended his celluloid porn fantasies by snuffing them both in cold blood.
The former commander of CFB Trenton taunted authorities, paraded about in his crisp military uniform as if he could never be touched, grew bolder and more daring with each assault. But late Tuesday afternoon, the empty shell of a once arrogant man was formally convicted of two murders, two sexual assaults and 82 fetish break-ins after two days of graphic and grisly facts were read into the record.
Those poor women's final hours were worse than anyone could have imagined. The photos and videos that Williams had taken and kept hidden as part of his trophy collection would not be shown in the courtroom, but the crown attorneys warned that they would be presenting a "very disturbing" and meticulous description of what they contained.
But there was no possible way to prepare for the horror of what we were about to hear.
You bastard, Col. Williams.
That's what Comeau screamed as he jumped out from behind her basement furnace on Nov. 24, 2009 and tried to beat her into submission with his flashlight.
She'd gone looking for her cat and found a masked man poised to attack.
"Bastard," she cried.
She would not go easily, that brave soul. She fought back with all her military might, their struggle leaving a dent in her hall drywall and her bathroom in disarray. He was her commanding officer, she'd even flown with him as his flight attendant, and so he had learned her town of Brighton address, her schedule and the fact that she lived alone with her two cats. Williams had already done a surveillance break-in a week before, where he'd posed in her underwear and stolen her lingerie.
Now she was to be the star of his first porn film, a graduation from his two years of fetish burglaries, and he'd brought a rape kit to bring his disgusting fantasy to the next level.
The video begins with Comeau lying in the fetal position on her antique wood bed, duct tape wound around her head and covering her face in a T-shape so that only her nose is exposed. Her hands are bound behind her back with industrial green rope, with the excess coiled neatly in a militarily precise figure eight.
As she groans "no", a naked Williams begins to rape her but stops repeatedly so he can adjust his camera and take photos of himself from all different angles. "Get out, get out, I want you to leave," Comeau can be heard trying to say from behind the tape covering her mouth.
Instead, Williams continues to reposition her into the various sexual positions he wants to capture for his movie.
At one point, he removes the balaclava that had been covering his face and smiles smugly for the camera as he continues to rape her.
Time and time again, he assaults her, yanking her into different positions. "Stand up, stand up," he orders angrily at one point. "Stay there," he demands as he poses her at another.
"Please," Comeau asks him, as if she could somehow reach this cruel creature, "Can you please undo my hands? I won't go anywhere, you know that, please."
Autopsy photos presented in court showed rope burns so deep that her skin was raw and red.
Oblivious to her request, he continues to violate her in every horrible way, fascinated by his penis and the photos that he's taking of his violence.
Comeau refuses to surrender.
She tries to scream from behind the duct tape. When he grabs for a pillow and holds it over her face, Comeau manages to twist away, kicking and screaming, "No, I don't want to die" at the top of her lungs. She pushes him off the bed as he orders her to shut up.
"Be quiet, or I'll suffocate you, do you understand?" Williams commands.
"You're going to kill me, aren't you?" Comeau asks. "I want to live so badly."
The video shows him walking up to her and placing duct tape over her nose.
"Have a heart please," she begs.
But Williams has no heart and lets the camera roll as she suffocates to death. He then left her house and went to Ottawa for a "C-17 acquisition meeting". While he was at his home there, he downloaded his snuff video to an external hard drive that he hid in his basement ceiling.
Also downloaded there was a letter he'd sent to Comeau's father, offering his condolences for the death of his daughter.
Just over two months would pass. He had a defence minister to meet, an Olympic torch relay to run. And then Williams was on the hunt again.
Lloyd was just 27, a loved and respected employee of a Napanee school bus company who lived alone in her house on the main road between Belleville and Tweed.
Her mother and brother, who have attended these proceedings until now, wisely were not in the courtroom as the details of her murder were spelled out in all their monstrosity.
Williams first noticed Lloyd, he later told police, when he spotted her working out on her basement treadmill as she prepared for a Cuban vacation. On the night of Jan. 28, 2010, he broke into her house through a kitchen window to scout out that she indeed lived alone.
He then returned later that night.
Lloyd had been out and texted her friend when she got back in.
"That was the last time anyone heard from Jessica Lloyd," Crown prosecutor Lee Burgess told the court.
When she startled awake, Williams was standing over her bed, ready to strike her.
He bound her hands behind her back with the same green rope he'd used on Comeau and tied her to the headboard. He placed duct tape over her eyes.
And Williams turned on his video camera.
He takes off her clothes and issues his orders. "You want to survive this, don't you?" he asks.
When she nods, he lets her believe that she has a chance. "Okay, good. You are doing good," Williams tells her.
He directs Lloyd through various sex acts, all the while taking still images and video as he repeatedly rapes her over 19 hours both at her home, and later, at his cottage in Tweed.
But his need for control has taken a new, macabre spin.
Williams places two black zip ties around her neck. "Okay, now is the test," he says.
"You feel that," he continues, pulling on the tie. "You do something I don't like, I pull on that and you die, got it?"
And she nods, her body quivering in fear.
He proceeds to force her to give him oral sex, his hand always at the end of the zip tie.
As the crown attorney described these torturous hours, her friends in the courtroom could be heard choking on their tears. But they were not alone. There was not a person in the tense courtroom not battling to keep their emotions in check.
That poor girl. That horrible monster.
After three hours of sexually assaulting her in her home, Williams forced her into his Nissan Pathfinder and drove her to his cottage on Cozy Cove Lane. He told police that he let her sleep for a few hours until Lloyd suddenly went into convulsions.
She begged him to take her to the hospital.
On the video, he appears to be all concerned and caring, urging her to relax as she lies curled up in the fetal position, crying for help.
Even as she's desperately weeping and he's whispering, "Hang in there baby, hang in there," he's ever conscious of his camera angle, a character in his film to the end.
In her goodness, Lloyd still believes that she can reach him, that somewhere in there, is a man who can be touched by empathy.
She couldn't be more wrong.
"If I die, will you make sure my mom knows that I love her," she cries.
Her heart rending plea reverberates through the courtroom, our own sobs now mixed with imagining hers.
Eight hours later, after reassuring her that he was finally going to release her, Williams struck Lloyd off camera with a flashlight and then strangled her with rope.
One of his last trophy photos is of that bubbly girl, so loved and so trusting, lying in a spreading pool of her crimson blood.
The former commander then drove back to Canada's largest airbase and flew some troops to California the next day, all while a young woman's body lay in his garage, the second of no doubt more victims to come.
It is all too horrible to believe; all too horrific to impart. And yet as hard as it is to write, as difficult as it is to read, I think we must.
May every one of these unimaginable details be a nail that keeps him locked in his prison cell for the rest of his life.
For you are a bastard, Col. Williams. And 25 years from now, you will be a bastard still.