Military burns Russell Williams' uniforms
Published Friday, November 19, 2010 6:00PM EST
The Canadian Forces have retrieved and burned the uniforms that belonged to Russell Williams, the former colonel who was unmasked as a sexual predator and murderer, the military confirmed Friday.
Cmdr. Hubert Genest told CTV.ca that Williams had several uniforms stored in his possession at the time of his arrest last February.
The military retrieved those uniforms from his former cottage in Tweed, Ont., on Wednesday and burned them Thursday morning at a military facility in Trenton, Ont.
"Yes the uniforms were burned," Genest confirmed in a telephone interview from Ottawa on Friday morning.
Genest said collecting the uniforms and other military-owned property of departing soldiers is part of the normal release procedures.
Generally speaking, if a uniform is in good condition when it is returned to the military, it may be used by other soldiers in future.
But because Williams wrote his names on all of his uniforms, the military made a decision that it was not appropriate to put them back into circulation "for obvious reasons," Genest said.
Genest said it was the only case he could recall in his 25-year career with the Canadian Forces where the military burned the returning uniforms.
Williams is currently serving a life sentence for the sexual assaults and murders of Cpl. Marie-France Comeau and Jessica Lloyd, both of Eastern Ontario.
He is also serving time in Kingston Penitentiary for the sexual assault of two other women from Eastern Ontario and for dozens of fetish break-ins he committed in the same region while serving in the Canadian Forces.
Two military police officers and two Canadian Forces members spent about 90 minutes at the house retrieving the military property on Wednesday, Genest said.
They also retrieved various manuals and documents that were at the former colonel's house. Genest said none of these materials were classified.
While the military has already revoked William's military commission, Genest said the Canadian Forces is "still in the process of finalizing his release."
The military intends to take back two medals that Williams had been awarded, as well as a commissioning scroll that marked his status as a commissioned officer. That is expected to happen in the near future, Genest said.
Genest said Williams must still undergo a medical exam that is required when a person leaves the military.
Arrangements will be made so that Williams can have the exam in prison.