The Confession: Col. Russell Williams

In this special edition of The Fifth Estate, reporter Bob McKeown, with the help of professionals sets out to deconstruct the interrogation and shocking confession of Col. Russell Williams. Williams is an English born Canadian who was a well decorated Colonel in the Canadian Forces until his arrest in February of 2010.

Williams was formally charged by the Ontario Provincial Police with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of forcible confinement, two counts of breaking and entering, and sexual assault; another 82 charges relating to breaking and entering were later added.

This film takes a close look at the case from the moment of his first denial right up until Williams admitted he was guilty. This confession is now considered to be one of the most most compelling and distressing confessions in Canadian criminal history.


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  1. Sergeant Jim Smyth says the investigation team really didn’t know if Russell Williams was guilty when they called him in. They thought it was a 50/50 chance. Yes his tire tracks matched the tires of the vehicle in the field, but so would have 1000 other vehicles. The shoes matched but wouldn’t have been enough either, though definitely pointed to a higher possibility. The police had very little info on Russell when he came in, they didn’t even have all his background check info yet. The tire tracks matched, but when they stopped him he stated he needed to go because he had a sick child at home. It was when they found he had no children, they decided to bring him in for questioning.

    Jim Smyth says that at the point in the interview that he stated, “Your vehicle was at Jessica Lynn’s home and your boots walked to the back of Jessica Lynne’s house on the evenings of Jan. 28 & 29. What I need to know from you is why.” This followed him stating the day of the murder Williams said he was out with the stomach flu, which did make him more and more suspect cause he had no excuse for where he might have been when the murder occurred. Jim Smyth states that, at this point with Williams being a high ranking military colonel would have protested highly and been outraged at being accused of that and would have even stood up and vehemently. Then Williams body language really were screaming “guilty.” His chewing of gum speeds up, he gulps a lot, he crosses his arms and uses protective body language. Lots of sighing, gulping etc. So increasingly Russell Williams looked guilty so Jim went in for the jugular.

    • Glad he did! He got a MONSTER (that was escalating) OFF THE STREETS!
      No-One else died and whether you’re a Canadian or not, if your cops make an outstanding effort as this police officer put in there…….then sleep well tonight!
      He was free to leave it any time.

      He got the bad guy – He did his job!🙄

  2. wouldn’t the mud in that field have been frozen solid @ that time of the morning? C Stewart

  3. the police are worse than the man, they seem to love the killer more than those he harmed. it is sad to see when things like this are not even alarming anymore. it is on our tv’s and movies so much that it has become the norm. the end is here, there is nothing left to save…

    • The police play nice in attempts to get past Russell Williams to confess and admit and their approach actually worked.

  4. am I dense or what? how do I access any of these documentaries?

    • You see the little red square with the white ‘arrow’ inside it in the middle of the screen above?
      Just put your mouse cursor arrow on it and click on it – that is to say push the left hand button on your mouse. The documentary will then start playing.