Windsor Star

Williams’ uniforms burned by military personnel

CANADA

- DOUGLAS QUAN

Military personnel from Canadian Forces Base Trenton in Ontario went to the cottage of convicted sexual predator and murderer Russell Williams this week, retrieved all of his uniforms, brought them back to base and burned them, a Canadian Forces spokesman said Friday.

Even though the military generally recycles uniforms that are in good condition, officials decided to keep Williams’ uniforms out of circulatio­n because he had printed his name inside each article of clothing.

“It was not appropriat­e to return this equipment in the supply system for obvious reasons,” said Cmdr. Hubert Genest. “The name (Russell Williams) and the uniforms are now attached to murders. We didn’t want these uniforms to be worn by others.”

The military is also in the process of retrieving Williams’ medals — a Canadian Forces decoration and Southwest Asia service medal — and those will be destroyed by a machine that “squashes” metal into bits, Genest said.

Williams, a rising military star and former commander at CFB Trenton, is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty last month to two murders, two sexual assaults and dozens of fetish break-ins and lingerie thefts, in a case that stunned the nation.

On Wednesday, four Trenton base members, including two military police officers, went to Williams’ Tweed, Ont., cottage and spent 90 minutes loading up a minivan with all of his uniforms and military gear, Genest said.

When members leave the Forces, they are required to return their uniforms and gear, since they are Crown-owned, Genest said.

Only a few items were missing from Williams’ kit, “nothing expensive,” Genest said.

On Thursday morning, all those items that had Williams’ name printed on them were burned in a facility on the base.

“It wasn’t a ceremony, but it was a formal process where each piece was accounted for and disposed of,” Genest said.

Last month, Williams was stripped of his rank as a member of the Canadian Forces and ordered to return the pay that he had earned from the date of his arrest.

“ His actions have constitute­d a fundamenta­l breach of trust, duty and valour,” Gen. Walt Natynczyk, chief of the defence staff, said at the time.

 ?? Courtesy Alex Tavshunsky ?? An artist’s drawing of Russell Williams during court proceeding­s in
Belleville in October.
Courtesy Alex Tavshunsky An artist’s drawing of Russell Williams during court proceeding­s in Belleville in October.

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