Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

David Russell Williams: The Kinky Killer Colonel

From Panty Raids to Assault

Col. David Russell Williams returned to Tweed from a routine trip to a Canadian Forces Base in Nunavut on September 16, 2009. Just after midnight he broke into a cottage on Charles Road, a few blocks from the lakefront place he shared with his wife.

Masked, he entered the house. A woman was alone there, watching a Law & Order rerun.

Williams' self portrait
Williams' self portrait

He tried to knock her out with his flashlight but she remained conscious. He then blindfolded her and tied her hands with wire. Williams sexually assaulted her, but he told her that he wouldn't rape her, that he just wanted some photos of her naked body. He photographed himself too: He wore a black ski cap and draped her underwear over his face.

The woman had moved to Tweed just a few months before. She had wanted to raise her child in the safety of a small town. The baby was in the next room throughout the attack.

Hours later, Williams attended a Criminal Intelligence Service Ontario conference at the Ramada Inn in Belleville, south of Tweed. On behalf of his base, Williams accepted the criminal investigators' donation to Soldier On, a charity for wounded veterans. A few days later he would drop the puck at the season-opener for the Belleville Bulls, a local junior-tier ice hockey team, and then attend his base's Battle of Britain memorial parade.

David Russell Williams
David Russell Williams

Just two weeks later he struck again. His victim lived just a few doors down. On September 30, she was awakened by a masked intruder who stripped off her clothes, tied her to a chair, sexually assaulted her—and began taking pictures.

The victim thought her attacker was another neighbor, Larry Jones.

Two days later, the colonel attended a ceremony to present a check to his wife's charity. And police meanwhile searched Larry Jones's house, looking for items stolen from the two attacked women: assorted panties, bras, and a baby blanket.

Police met Larry Jones in his driveway when he returned home from a trip. They confiscated his hunting equipment, camera and computers, but nothing incriminated him. Jones offered DNA evidence and a polygraph, and he was cleared.

But Williams was still on the loose, and increasingly out of control.