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How a Colonel Became a Killer – details in new book

Unanswered questions in bizarre homicides by a high-ranking member of Canada’s military are answered in a new book by journalists Cal Millar and Ian S. Robertson, formerly of Prince Edward County.

Their book, ‘How a Colonel Became a Killer’, details the disgraced colonel’s 873-day crime spree while serving at 8 Wing, CFB Trenton, Canada’s largest military base.

“My writing partner, Cal Millar, and I spent a year-and-a-half painstakingly pursuing this traumatic subject due to many unanswered questions, curiosity about the case,” said Robertson, also well-known for his writing with County Magazine. “In a world deluged with instant information, truths, half-truths, assumptions and conspiracy theories abound.”

Robertson, a Toronto Sun crime reporter, has also worked at The Belleville Intelligencer and The Kingston Whig-Standard. Millar, author of Find My Killer – Crime Stoppers: Unsolved Homicides and I’m Missing – Please Find Me, is a retired Toronto Star crime reporter and also worked at the Telegram.

“As journalists, we try to deal in facts,” said Robertson. “We believed more needed to be revealed and set out to re-examine the minute details that added to the Williams story and the aftermath of his crimes.”

In the words of people who bought the book and felt compelled to write reviews on the website, ‘How a Colonel Became a Killer’ has answered some key outstanding questions.”

Ian Robertson

Cal Millar

“Cal Millar and Ian Robertson’s excellent new book, How a Colonel Became a Killer is a riveting, meticulously researched book about former Canadian Air Force Colonel, Russell Williams. It’s the story of how a decorated former colonel and head of one of Canada’s largest military bases descended into a secret life of voyeurism, home break-ins to steal lingerie and eventually progressed to rape and murder.” – By northern shadow, in review on

Another reviewer — who lives near Williams’ home in Tweed, which he broke into — also lauded the authors.

The resident of Cozy Cove, to the east of Tweed, whose pseudonym is ‘CosyDweller’, said the recently-published book provided answers to many unanswered questions about the dark after-hours pursuits of the former CFB Trenton commander, who broke into numerous houses there, in Ottawa, in Brighton where he murdered Cpl. Marie-France Comeau, and finally near Belleville, where he abducted Jessica Lloyd, his last of two murder victims.

In How a Colonel Became a Killer, Millar and Robertson – whose father was an RCAF officer in Trenton during the Second World War, and later in Mountain View — explore the background of Williams and outline the mind-numbing and almost unbelievable evidence that made Queen Elizabeth’s one-time Canadian tour pilot the first killer to film and audio-record his slayings.

Until his arrest by the OPP in 2010, investigators had never encountered a killer who documented crimes so completely — video and audio-taping two non-rape sexual assaults, including of two women in Tweed — then the rape and murder of Marie-France Comeau, one of his flight attendants, then Jessica Lloyd.

It was her abduction and subsequent bludgeoning murder in Williams’ home that gave police the clues that led to a determined and clever detective confronting him into confessing to his after-hours stalking of women, including break-ins during which he stole hundreds of young women’s undergarments and donned them for trophy photos.

The authors outline how Project Hatfield, a combined OPP-Belleville Police investigation, gave the law enforcement community, police psychiatrists and researchers sufficient information about the 29-month Williams crime spree that he pleaded guilty to and was sentenced to a life term.

Chilling details from his conversions with victims also provided unique insight into the serial sexual sadist, whose crimes police experts predict will be studied as an aid to specialists for decades. Experts convinced the authors that Williams was the first of a new generation of techno-savvy criminals, who is compared in the book to a slew of sometimes worse serial offenders — but whose seized or uncovered possessions left little or no first-hand evidence for investigators to use against them.

Much has been written about Williams and his murder of two Quinte area women remains fresh in the minds of relatives, friends, associates and residents. But many questions remained unanswered. Until now.

“Five stars just isn’t enough,” CosyDweller proclaimed. “Having my family be directly involved in this case it is so refreshing to see someone has decided to go with the evidence and real facts in this book. There has been too much emphasis on press stories involving absolutely no evidence whatsoever being found noted by Williams who kept records of everything he did!
“There was not a lot of fact checking by the press. This book tells it like it was, as hard as it is to comprehend and anyone not moved to tears for the victims would have to be heartless. Hopefully this book sets a very high standard and will bring others to follow the evidence. Mr Millar and Mr Robertson prove facts to be even more interesting!
“There has always been things reported in this case that just did not make sense until now. There will always be people that cannot help but dream up conspiracy theories about anything, however they will have a hard time after this read! For me it answered questions about press stories that did not make any kind of sense at all.”

How a colonel became a killer is available online from

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