BELLEVILLE, Ont. – Col. Russell Williams was consistent with his use of photography through every crime he committed, but the most graphic images of his two murder victims were kept under wraps during day two of his hearing on Tuesday.
Cpl. Marie-France Comeau, 38, a flight attendant who was under Williams’ command, had caught his eye during a military flight. He used his authority as commander of Canada’s busiest air base to learn the schedule and address of one of his murder victims, court heard Tuesday.
After learning that she lived alone, he broke into her home, returning a week later to hide in the basement until she fell asleep.
Comeau went down to the basement to look for one of her cats, which was staring at Williams from his hiding place behind the furnace.
His face was covered and she screamed at him and called him a bastard, prompting him to strike her several times on the head with a flashlight.
When she fell, he restrained her as she bled badly from head injuries, court heard.
He bound her naked body to a post and took two photos, which show her face and mouth covered with the duct tape he brought, and her body bound in rope.
Williams took her to the bedroom and repeatedly raped her, videotaping and photographing it all, while she pleaded for her life over and over again. He took a total of 57 still photos of the attack.
“It’s stunning to hear these details of the brutality of somebody begging for their lives,” CityNews reporter Pam Seatle told 680News, “we heard the Crown say on many occasions, Marie-France Comeau said ‘I don’t want to die. I don’t want to die. Please, I’ve been a good person my whole life’.”
Seatle said one particular piece of evidence had the Crown Attorney shaking his head.
“One of the pieces of evidence is a letter to the Comeau family, signed by Russ Williams, expressing his condolences for the death of Marie-France Comeau, and the Crown Attorney cannot hide his disgust that he could have the gall to write a letter of condolence under those circumstances.”
He took his second murder victim, Jessica Lloyd, 27, to his cottage in Tweed, where he held her captive for several hours and repeatedly ignored her cries for help.
At one point, she asked “if I die, will you tell my mom that I love her?”
She complied with every one of his commands while he raped her.
He then knocked her out by hitting her over the head with a flashlight, before strangling her with a rope and putting her body in the garage. He dumped her body in the countryside three days later.
No photos or video taken by the confessed sex predator and murderer of his two murder victims were shown in court.
Seatle told 680News that all of his brutality was recorded.
“Some of it was still photography which he got right up close, in various positions – the most degrading possible experience anybody could ever go through.”
The Crown has instead chosen to outline for the public what is contained in the photographs and videos, while keeping the images under wrap.
Prosecutors said a description of those details is “disturbing enough” without people having to see the images.
The decision comes a day after the once decorated military commander was publicly shamed with the release of photos he took of himself in girls’ and women’s underwear, often masturbating.
Williams pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of first-degree murder, two sexual assaults and 82 break and enters in which he fed his fetish for women’s underwear.
The court also heard details of one of the sex assaults Williams has confessed to.
The agreed statement of facts says the woman begged Williams not to post the pornographic photos he took of her on the Internet.
Court heard Williams broke into the woman’s home and struck her on the head with a flashlight, hoping it would knock her out.
When it didn’t, he tied her up, blindfolded her, cut off her top and bra with a knife and took pictures of her.
Before he left, he forced her to pose kneeling, with her head down, taking graphic photographs of both of them.
The woman called the police after he left, so terrified that she wet herself.
Williams was brought to the courthouse Tuesday through an entrance covered by a large tarp, dressed in a black suit and a light coloured striped shirt.
The eastern Ontario courtroom is being guarded by more than a dozen police officers.
Roxanne Lloyd, Jessica’s mother, arrived at the courtroom clutching a framed photograph of her daughter. She later ran out in tears.
A photographic record the Crown said shows an escalation from fetish break and enters to sexual assaults and murder was flashed Monday on two courtroom TVs after the former commander of Canada’s busiest military base pleaded guilty to all charges against him.
Williams, 47, was a rising star in the military before being charged in February with first-degree murder in the deaths of Lloyd and Comeau.