Published On Thu Oct 21 2010
The corporate-style “apology” Col. Russell Williams fabricated and offered to his victims’ families in open court yesterday was his final insult, the last chunk of evidence of his pure psychosis, as if we needed more.
Here’s a sample. “I know that the crimes I committed have traumatized many people. The family and friends of Marie-France Comeau and Jessica Lloyd in particular have suffered and continue to suffer profound desperate pain and sorrow as a result of what I’ve done.”
Let’s analyze his corporate-style phrasing. “Traumatize”? Williams’ crimes didn’t traumatize the families. He killed their daughters. The families are finished off. They said so to his face in their victim impact statements. As for “family and friends,” that’s a phrase you use in a Christmas newsletter. “As a result of what I’ve done” is what you say when the barbecue explodes at the lake because you bought a discount propane tank.
In his version, his “assaults” caused his rape victims to “suffer terribly” and the families whose little daughters’ panties were draped over his face were “seriously distressed.”
No. They were scared out of their wits and sickened to the depths of their souls.
It isn’t the declaration of a murderer who’s sorry, it’s more like the airless press release of a CEO when a mouse is found in a beer bottle. A small business fire needs putting out or people might turn to Heineken for the summer season.
But Williams figured this was what was called for. See? I’m doing it too. I’m talking about appropriateness instead of the real subject which is “Why I’m aroused by little girls and want to torture and kill anyone who wears panties, which is what I did.”
Williams’ speech was bureaucratic and odd in all its aspects. He was describing his crimes in the abstract, in the third person, which is the hallmark of all fakers. They don’t say “I strangled her and I’m sorry.” They use phrases like “have caused them to” and “as a result of,” both of which dotted Williams’ speech.
When Williams was left alone to write letters to his victims, he wrote three brief sentences to his wife, the last of which was “I know you’ll take care of sweet Rosie.”
He was talking about his cat.
I was watching Williams’ hands as he talked. They were spread like spiders on the railing of his box in the courtroom, his left palm pinching a Kleenex he used to wipe his sniffles.
“Your Honour,” he began, and then came a long pause. Such extended pauses were a big feature of his 10-1/2 hour initial talk with his artfully helpful police interrogator Jim Smyth, and they were just as effective this time before a real judge and some informal citizen judges, i.e., not very.
But I’d say that a statement about the “stark horror” of yourself, as the judge later referred to it, is a social situation that is actually less awkward than making a speech at a family wedding. It’s perfectly apparent what you’re supposed to say.
You’re supposed to explain why you did what you did.
Williams has always been taciturn. It isn’t in his nature to expound or analyze, and it’s one reason he was an odd choice as colonel at the Trenton base. Maybe the military doesn’t do affable, and thus this awkward man with no chat or grasp of the appropriate thing to say to other humans was considered promotion material.
But if you were able to say it, you wouldn’t be a pedophilic, emotionless serial killer, which he is, which is why his tears were not for his victims but for himself. Williams was indeed terribly sorry, but only that he got caught.
I regret having to write this when the Lloyd family said they took comfort in the fact that he cried. But I thought it was standard-issue “Russ” (as he told his interrogator to address him) as he sat in the very boots he wore in the snow outside Jessica Lloyd’s isolated home, the prints of which would trap him.
Williams’ pedophilia has been largely ignored in this case. I suspect that his job left him little opportunity to indulge in it, or he would have. Priests, teachers, babysitters all have a better shot at private time with children than does a colonel (which he still is).
The endless photos of the beds and underwear drawers of little girls were chilling. This is what Williams would have moved on to, the escalation that the police mapped so well. I suspect that only mothers understand the eeriness of this lechery because only they know how little girls love pretty underwear and cozy stuffed polar bears posed on the comforters so carefully and lovingly purchased. “Happy clap clap” is the basic tween attitude toward pretty things, and they aroused Williams. The man was after smaller necks to strangle, and he didn’t admit that to the court, to interrogators or even to himself.
I have no problem explaining it. He thought it was fun to do. When he described Comeau and Lloyd as “vibrant, innocent and cherished,” he knew these were the stock words used for loved children. How would he describe his cat?
“I can’t answer that,” is what he told Smyth when he was asked if he would have stopped.
Williams is a psychopath. Humans are mere digits to him. He’s told what he’s supposed to feel about them so he does a passable rendering, a sketch. It puzzles me that he bothered to keep sketching for the judge’s benefit. “What's one less person on the face of the earth, anyway,” sighed serial killer Ted Bundy, unable to grasp that his victims would actually be missed.
Bundy was never honest about the roots of his murderousness — his illegitimacy, his childhood torture at the hands of his grandfather — but he didn’t conceal that he liked it.
Williams liked lingerie as much as serial killer Fred West had a passion for tools — spanners, cutters and jump leads — and holes, including the holes he dug in order to bury his victims vertically, the final indignity. Williams has much in common with other killers, but you wouldn’t have known it from his speech in court.
“I found it to be sincere,” the judge said of Williams’ statement which is an odd remark to make about a man he described as a “pedophilic emotionless serial killer.” Humans like Williams don’t do sincere. I only noticed one sincere thing about Williams all week. He didn’t willingly look up except when his photos of displayed lingerie or himself in a camisole with his penis protruding were shown on the big courtroom screens.
His head would pop up like a Jack-in-the-Box. I believe Williams is all-encompassingly sincere about what sexually arouses him, and he may indeed miss his cat, but that’s about it.