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Episode 3: Russell Williams Interrogation, Part 1

Russell Williams was a 47-year -old married Colonel in the Royal Canadian Air Force whose sex crimes has increased in severity from peeping through windows, to stealing underwear, to forcible restraint, to sexual assault and murder. By February 7, 2010, when this interrogation took place, the Ontario police had enough evidence to place him at the scene of the home of Jessica Lloyd, a 22-year-old woman who had recently gone missing. The interrogation took place over 10 hours. In the interrogation, Detective Sergeant Jim Smyth uses what’s known as  “the Reid technique,” which involves bonding and forming a relationship with the person being interrogated, finding their weak points and pressing on them very subtly.  In this first hour, Smyth treats Williams with respect and deference, but slowly begins to present a series of increasingly damning connections between Williams and the death of Jessica Lloyd.

Williams, too, remains relaxed at first. He begins the interview by blithely noting that the previous officer who came to interview him was also named Russ, and appears eager to co-operate, but his nervous quick responses make him sound very much like Norman Bates being interrogated by Arbogast in Hitchcock’s Psycho. He clearly grows increasingly agitated, his answers getting shorter and shorter, until at last he clams up entirely,  giving nothing away (at times, he is silent for almost five minutes).

Finally, Smyth hits the right button. He says that even as they speak, officers are tearing apart Williams’s wife’s new “dream home.” This is Williams’s fatal weakness. He agrees to co-operate to “minimize” the effects of his crimes upon his wife.

Listen to Part 1 of the interrogation here

Transcript of the first hour of the interrogation

Watch the interrogation on Youtube

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