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Canadian colonel gets life for sex attacks, murders

In Uncategorized on October 22, 2010 at 7:54 am

A Canadian judge imposed two life jail sentences on a top air force colonel, branding him a “sick and dangerous man” for a spree of murders, sexual assaults and burglaries.

Colonel Russell Williams, who once piloted a plane for the British royal family, broke down and sobbed as the two consecutive life terms were announced after he admitted killing two young women and coldly videotaping their murders.

Police arrested Williams in February for the disappearance and death of 27-year-old Jessica Lloyd, who was last heard from in January.

He was later charged with the November 2009 murder of Marie-France Comeau, a female corporal under his command at the Trenton military base.

A Canadian fighter jet inside a hangar.

Williams was also charged with two home invasions in which women were confined and sexually assaulted, and 82 counts of burglary and attempted breaking-and-entering in the Ontario cities of Ottawa, Belleville and Tweed.

A stash of women’s undergarments taken by police from his Ottawa residence was linked to the burglaries near his home and job.

Hundreds of photographs and videos of the sexual assaults and murders were also found on his home computer.

Throughout the week, the court heard horrific evidence and Williams’s chilling confession to police of how he repeatedly raped Lloyd and Comeau over several hours before strangling one and taping the other’s mouth and nostrils closed to watch her suffocate.

Williams, 47, had commanded Canada’s busiest air force base, the 437 Squadron in Trenton, east of Toronto, for more than a year prior to his arrest.

He had only met Comeau once prior to her death. She was working as a flight attendant on a military flight. But as her boss, he knew her schedule and that she lived alone.

On the night of November 23, 2009, he left his office at the military base, broke into her home through a basement window and attacked her. They struggled. He beat her nearly unconscious with a flashlight, tied her up and covered all of the windows in the house.

She pleaded with him: “I don’t want to die. Leave me alone. I don’t want to die.”

Afterwards, Williams washed her bed sheets and drove directly to Ottawa for a meeting with military brass.

He would later send a signed letter of condolence on behalf of the Canadian Forces to Comeau’s father, a 45-year veteran of the military.

Williams took an interest in his second victim, Lloyd, after spotting her once on a treadmill through a window as he was driving by her house.

Over a 24-hour period, he kept her confined and took more than 900 lurid photographs of her while raping her.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Scott described Williams as a “sick and dangerous man” as he handed down the most severe sentence available under Canadian law.

Williams will not be eligible for parole for 25 years.

“Russell Williams will forever be remembered as a sadosexual serial killer, (and)… Canada’s bright shining lie,” he said. “The depths of the depravity shown by Russell Williams have no equal.”

The disgraced colonel apologized for the pain and suffering he caused, for “violating people’s intimate privacy” and betraying his family, friends and military colleagues.

Most of the break-ins occurred at night, and at least once while he wore his military uniform.

“Your Honour, I stand before you ashamed of the crimes I’ve committed,” he said. “I deeply regret what I’ve done, and the harm I’ve caused with these despicable crimes.”

Outside the courtroom, prosecutor Lee Burgess described Williams as “one of the worst offenders in Canadian history.”

“As long as he dies in jail, I’m happy,” said Andy Lloyd, the brother of one of Williams’ victims.

Before overseeing the repatriation of dead soldiers from Afghanistan, Haiti relief flights and Arctic search and rescue from the Trenton military base, Williams was in charge of Canada’s secretive Camp Mirage in Dubai.

The married pilot also flew the jet used to ferry Canada’s prime minister as well as the British royal family on a visit.

“I guess we still don’t understand the why, and this is something that troubles Canadians at large as it troubles those who have known this individual,” said Chief of the Air Staff Lieutenant-General Andre Deschamps.

“How could we have known? What could we have done differently? I’m not sure we’ll ever get answers to that,” he said.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Canada’s military has been “very badly wounded and betrayed” by this “horrific series of events.”

Source: SGGP

French mother confesses to eight infant murders

In Uncategorized on July 30, 2010 at 3:19 am

A French nursing assistant Thursday admitted suffocating eight newborn babies because she did not want more children and wished to avoid seeing a doctor for contraception, a prosecutor said.

Dominique Cottrez, 45, was charged with murder Thursday after the new owners of her parents’ former home at the weekend found the remains of two newborns buried in plastic bags in the garden as they planted a tree.

The skeletal remains of the other six infants were later found dumped, also in plastic sacks, in the garage of the mother’s current home.

French forsenic policemen arrive in front of the house in Villers-au-Tertre, northern France, where the bodies of eight new-born babies were found, on July 28.

Prosecutor Eric Vaillant told reporters Cottrez admitted suffocating the infants because after having two daughters “she did not want any more children” and did not want “to see a doctor to get contraception.”

Cottrez’s husband Pierre-Marie Cottrez was freed after denying any knowledge of the killings.

His wife, whose heavy build appears to have concealed the pregnancies from acquaintances, now faces trial and life imprisonment.

Investigators said she had confessed to suffocating the babies shortly after their births between 1989 and 2006 or 2007, and to concealing the bodies from her husband under household clutter in the garage.

The father told officers he had never suspected his wife was pregnant.

In past cases some defendants have said they were in denial about their pregnancies and not fully responsible for their actions, but Vaillant said Cottrez had admitted to being “perfectly aware” of her condition.

Stunned residents of the quiet village of Villers-au-Tertre in northern France put flowers outside the two houses where police had found the infants’ bodies over the past few days.

Local priest Robert Meignotte placed eight candles outside the couple’s current home where most of the remains were found.

“I’m very upset,” he said. “I baptise five children every Sunday in the 17 villages of the parish. You don’t just throw children out like that in a big bag. It’s incomprehensible.”

Prosecutors described it as the worst case of infanticide in recent French history, following a string of similar cases in which isolated and troubled mothers disposed of their newborns.

The suspects were brought before a magistrate in the nearby town of Douai to hear the charges.

Pierre-Marie Cottrez worked as a carpenter and was a respected member of the village council in Villers-au-Tertre, a 620-strong community.

“He’s on his third term in office. He used to volunteer in the community. He’s a respectable man,” local mayor Patrick Mercier told reporters.

Mercier said the councillor’s wife was a more withdrawn person who rarely took part in village life. He said she had a weight problem which might be the reason why any pregnancies had passed unnoticed.

“No-one was aware of anything at all,” said the shocked mayor, adding that Villers-au-Tertre was a village “where nothing ever happens.”

The pair were arrested on Tuesday and questioned while police used sniffer dogs to search the two addresses.

According to Vaillant, the mother quickly confessed and told officers to search the couple’s home in another part of the village.

Teams went there and six more sets of remains were found in the garage, tied up in four plastic bin bags and concealed under plant pots and junk.

Gendarmes were deployed outside one of the houses where the bodies were found, and sealed off the entrance to the macabre scene with plastic sheeting.

“I’m still in shock,” said a former mayor of Villers-au-Tertre, Daniel Collignon, echoing the sentiments of many local people.

The couple had lived in the village for 15 years and their grown-up daughters have children themselves. Neither showed any sign of unusual behaviour, local residents said.

The incident follows a string of similar cases in France.

Earlier this year a mother was convicted of killing six of her newborn children and hiding them in the cellar of her house in northwestern France.

Another notorious recent case was of a mother who was jailed in June last year for smothering two boys born in secret at her expatriate home in South Korea, and a third child born in France, and hiding them in a freezer.

Source: SGGP

Philippines charges clan heir with 25 murders

In World on December 2, 2009 at 5:09 am

Philippine prosecutors on Tuesday filed 25 counts of murder against a clan leader’s son whom they say led the election-related massacre of 57 people last week, officials said.

Ampatuan Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. (C) is escorted by National Bureau of Investigation agents after arriving at the Villamor Airbase in Manila

The charges against Andal Ampatuan Jnr were filed in a court in the southern city of Cotabato, which has jurisdiction over the site of the November 23 massacre, said prosecutor Edilberto Jamora.

Other members of the influential Ampatuan clan, including the family patriarch, provincial governor Andal Ampatuan Snr, were also summoned to submit affidavits in the investigation into the massacre in Maguindanao province.

Ampatuan Jnr had previously faced seven counts of murder for the massacre. Jamora said he was only being charged with 25 murders so far because authorities had only processed 25 death certificates.

Alleged armed followers of the Ampatuans murdered 57 people including the wife and two sisters of his bitter rival, Esmael Mangudadatu. Also among those killed were journalists, lawyers and other civilians.

Prosecutors said Ampatuan Jnr led the killings to prevent Mangudadatu from challenging him in the May 2010 race for governor of the province.

The killing has outraged the nation and embarrassed Philippine President Gloria Arroyo, who has longstanding ties with the Ampatuans.

The Ampatuans control many local positions in the southern province of Maguindanao and have hundreds of armed followers there.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share