David Russell Williams’ Divorce Proceedings to be Made Public

on January 25, 2012 in Serial Killers by

The highest court of Ontario, Canada rejected an appeal Tuesday by the wife of David Russell Williams. She wanted to prevent media coverage of their upcoming divorce.

Williams, a former colonel in the Royal Canadian Air Force, was found guilty in 2010 of murdering two women, plus multiple counts of sexual assault, forcible confinement, breaking and entering, and torture.

In April 2011, Ontario Superior Court Justice Jennifer Mackinnon granted a request to Williams’ wife to seal all records and place a publication ban on the divorce application she planned to file. Such proceedings are normally a matter of public record in Canada.

But the Ontario Court of Appeals set aside that ruling. In a written judgment, Justice David Doherty said:

Purely personal interests cannot justify non-publication or sealing orders. The personal concern of a litigant, including concerns about the very real emotional distress and embarrassment that can be occasioned to litigants when justice is done in public, will not, standing alone, satisfy the necessity branch of the test.

Of particular interest in this case is an agreement that Williams made with his wife soon after he was arrested. It transferred their house and other assets into her name, potentially shielding them from litigation.

The ruling made yesterday does not go into effect for fourteen days, so that Williams’ wife has time to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada, should she wish.

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