Book Review: “Camouflaged Killer” by David A. Gibbon August 13, 2012 in Book Reviews, Serial Killers by Judi Roth Crippen
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.
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