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How a Colonel Became a Killer Paperback – August 25, 2012
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If you're looking for a GREAT book about this subject (and you can handle some pretty graphic details), I'd recommend "CAMOUFLAGED KILLER" by DAVID A. GIBB; not this book!
There is nothing voyeuristic about this account. They simply lay the sordid tale out as it is.
By keeping the victims front and centre, they make the book more about them than about their killer.
A book well worth reading.
God bless the victims and pray this history never repeats itself.
This shocking story made global headlines and has also been featured on major US television news magazines like 48 Hours Mystery and Dateline. But it wasn't until I read Millar and Robertson's book that I grasped the full magnitude of Williams' evil nature. The book's suspense builds in intensity, paralleling Williams' disintegration over time, culminating in two of his most horrific crimes, which are stunning in their callousness and cruelty.
In chilling detail, Millar and Robertson chronologically report on Williams' psychological unraveling over a period of three years beginning in 2007. Even more shocking than the crimes themselves are the disturbing ways in which Williams documented his heinous acts in photographs, video and notes, so he could continually relive his crimes.
Due to its graphic subject matter, this book is not easy reading. But the authors use sensitivity in the particularly disturbing sections, when they outline the graphic contents of the videotapes that captured Williams' rape and murder of two young professional women, Marie-France Comeau and Jessica Lloyd. The reader gets a real sense of what the world has lost as a result of the deaths of two wonderful young women who had the misfortune of catching the eye of Williams.
One interesting aspect of the book is how past errors that occurred during another infamous Canadian case involving the serial killer couple, Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka, influenced this one. A lack of sharing of information across police departments in the Bernardo-Homolka case led to mistakes. This led to the development of a major crime case management system that now enables police to make links between crimes that cross geographic borders. That system helped close the net on Williams.
Undoubtedly, some mistakes were made in this case. One of Williams' rape victims, Laurie, is currently suing because she was not informed about another of the former colonel's rapes that occurred prior to hers. But aside from the issues surrounding the rapes, linking the dozens of home break ins by Williams was a major challenge because almost all of them went undetected by homeowners and therefore, unreported to police. Most of them only discovered Williams had been in their home after police arrested Williams and he provided a long list of homes he'd been in.
Despite the early misstep of not informing residents, the book details the back story of how excellent forensic work and co-operation between several Ontario police departments and the provincial police stopped the former colonel in his tracks--literally. It also provides some interesting insights about how Ontario Provincial Police Detective Staff Sgt. Jim Smyth--a behavioral specialist--managed to outsmart Williams, a man who clearly believed he could fool law enforcement. Smyth's videotaped interrogation of Williams--posted by Canadian media outlets on Youtube--has been lauded by US law enforcement professionals as some of the best police interviewing they've ever seen. And Millar and Robertson's vivid storytelling put you right in the police interrogation room with Smyth and Williams. The reader experiences how, through patient, methodical questioning and over a period of many hours, the mild mannered cop defeated the overconfident colonel.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to delve deeper into the case of the killer colonel. There are few if any bright spots in a story this tragic. But the excellent work by the local police services and the Ontario Provincial Police in connecting the dots on Williams is one of them.
Millar and Robertson rightly give credit to the cops who beat the colonel and in the process, undoubtedly saved more women from becoming victims of Russell Williams.