Murder: Former Colonel Russell Williams Interrogation

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This interrogation of 47 year old former Royal Canadian Air Force Colonel – Russell Williams -by Detective Sergeant Jim Smyth of the Ontario Provincial Police’s Behavioural Sciences Unit.This interview took place on February 7th, 2010, between 1500hrs – 1945hrs. During that time, the police officer in-charge treated Colonel Williams with respect and deference, but slowly and surely presented the evidence the police already had, of his murderous and perverted sexual activities (in and around the Canadian military base he commanded). Of course, this is a dramatic piece of police theatre, carefully planned from beginning to end, but made to look casual and relaxed. Colonel Williams was highly experienced, and had been combat-trained to ‘resist’ interrogation if captured by the enemy. He shows this here in his relaxed manner and when confronted with apparent evidence, he remains quiet and expressionless (although he keeps his arms crossed for much of the time – usually taken to be a ‘defensive’ position). In other words, he gives nothing away at that point that the interrogator can use – but when he does re-engage – he keeps his replies factual.  However, he obviously decides that the evidence is so great against him that he decides to co-operate with the police. Although the police officer hides it well, he is unsettled by the stony silence of Colonel Williams (as ordinary civilisation do not generally behave in this manner when under such stress), because like all police interrogators, this officer is looking for a full and easy confession. Colonel Williams decides to co-operate to ‘minimise’ the effects of his crimes upon his wife. He murdered at least two women after sexually assaulting them, and committed numerous other similar sexually-related offences (some of which involved children). If the police had all the evidence prior to this ‘voluntary’ interrogation, then surely they would have just arrested Colonel Williams instead of giving him a chance to ‘voluntarily’ come forward? Why waste time with a charade of an interview that could have gone wrong if the suspect refused to admit anything? Police do not generally show such deference to their suspects if they possess all the evidence. Suspects are generally arrested and charged with as little fuss as possible.  One issue is that Colonel Russell Williams was in fact born in Britain, before his English parents emigrated to Canada when he was a young child. His rank was revoked and he was immediately dishonourably discharged from the Canadian military with his uniform ‘burned’ and his medals revoked and destroyed, when his crimes were revealed.  In the subsequent court-case it was revealed that Williams took extensive photographs of himself at the crime scenes – often wearing the underwear of his victims.

Reference:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/oct/22/canadian-colonel-jailed-for-life

 

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