Book Review: “Camouflaged Killer” by David A. Gibb

on August 13, 2012 in Book Reviews, Serial Killers by

On the outside, Russell Williams was a “normal” man. There was nothing particularly unusual about him. He was a colonel in the Canadian Forces, having held high level positions throughout his military career. He had a wife, a cat, a few houses and a secret so dark it was nearly unbelievable. The man who had everything was one of the worst sexual offenders in Canadian history.

From 2007-2009 Russell Williams broke into over eighty houses and stole hundreds of articles of clothing from the bedrooms of young girls. Many of them were neighbors in his community in the city of Tweed; some were the daughters of friends. He documented each break in pictorially, taking photos of himself posing in lewdly in their panties, on their beds and far worse.

By September 2009 Williams would go from “just” breaking in to sexual assault to sexual assault. He would torture his victims for hours, taking pictures and videos of himself brutally assaulting these women in ways unimaginable. But this still wasn’t enough. In November 2009, he would “step up his game” one more time. This time he would kill. And in January 2010 he would kill again. And he would finally be caught just a few weeks later.
On October 22, 2010, Williams was sentenced to two life sentences to be served concurrently of which he must serve twenty-five years before having any opportunity for parole. Additionally, he was charged with ten years for each sexual assault and one year for each of the other eighty-two charges (a total of life plus 102 years).

I am not sure that I can accurately portray how profoundly disturbing the content of “Camouflaged Killer” is. Of all the true crime novels I have read (and it’s fair to say the number is into the hundreds), this is the only one that has taken me months to read. It is certainly well written; however, it’s beyond graphic. Russell Williams documented every break in with pictures. He took video of each assault. It wasn’t a matter of a picture here or a couple of minutes of video there. There are HUNDREDS of pictures and hours of video documenting every perverse moment of every break in and/or assault.

I’m not sure I can recommend “Camouflaged Killer” mostly due to the graphic nature, but if you can handle the content it is certainly worth the read. David A. Gibb is absolutely a brilliant writer. Given all of the material with which he had to work he absolutely gives an equal weight (in terms of historic detail) to both sides of Williams. The background information is meticulously researched. He flips from the good to the evil seamlessly and with equal detail.

David A Gibb currently lives in Belleville, Ontario. You can find more information about him and “Camouflaged Killer” on his website.

Note: If you purchase “Camouflaged Killer” from Amazon.com using this link, The Serial Killers Podcast receives a small percentage of the sale, which helps cover our hosting costs.

6 Comments

  • mapoule says:

    Hello,
    I am pretty sure the guy is gonna have women writing him and wanting to marry him.
    This should not even be allowed.
    I wonder what was his life as a child….
    By the way, by saying that the book is hard to read, you will make people buy the book. lol yes, Russel is not alone in his range.
    Thanks ;-)

    • His life, from the accounts in ‘Camoflauged Killer’ was unremarkable.

      The intentions of my reviews are never to dissuade someone from reading. It’s quite the opposite – I encourage people to read the books I’ve reviewed. The second half of my reviews are always my absolutely biased opinion and I make no effort to hide it. This simply wasn’t the book for me. I have reviewed another book on the same subject, which should be up soon.

      Thanks, and I hope you continue to read and enjoy.

      –judi

    • Brian Combs says:

      Just seconding Judi’s statement. Our goal with reviews isn’t to make people purchase the book. It’s to give an honest appraisal. Some true crime books are good; others aren’t.

      Many, like this book, have some good and some bad.

  • mapoule says:

    Hello again !

    Don’t get me wrong, I am french and my english sucks so I am going to say what was on my mind right this Time :)
    Well at least I try. When you’re interested in awful crimes, I would assume “a book hard to read because of to many details” would be a good argument for sale because people like to read about creepy details, right ?
    I understand that a good crime book is not necessaraly full of those creepy details, I am not used to reading them that’s why I say that. It is not all about “voyeurisme”, a bit though.
    I would like to find out what this Russell (call me Russ please * lol) is going to make of his prison time.
    After watching what’s on youtube about it, what more is there if I read the book ?
    Thank you for answering me guys, hoping I make myself clear enough.

    Mélanie

    * why on earth did he say that ?

  • mapoule says:

    Hi,

    I just bought the book, I Will let you know.

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