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"An Officer and a Murderer" review by Suzanne
Premieres Saturday July 21 on Lifetime

This is an entertaining but very creepy movie. I love Gary Cole, and he does a wonderful job starring in it as Colonel Russell Williams. Williams was an army colonel in Canada who started out as a peeping tom and then escalated to murder, eventually.  The movie is more or less true. You can look it up on Wikipedia or other places.  Most of the movie takes place in the small town of Tweed (what a great name).

Cole is great as the colonel that everyone loves and respects. He gets promoted to be in charge of the army base, and he is one of Canada's most high-ranking officers. His wife is pretty and they seem to have a pretty good marriage. However, he starts creeping around women's houses, stealing their underwear. Eventually he starts grabbing them and tying them up, then he takes photos and films of them. He keeps their underwear as trophies and even wears them, and takes films of himself wearing them. Later, he murders two female officers that he works with.

The only flaw in the movie is that they never really make it clear as to how he got started doing this or why.  Otherwise, though, it's very entertaining. Besides Cole, the movie stars Laura Harris as the local police detective that wants to catch him. She is joined by Rossif Sutherland (a real cutie!), a visiting detective from the big city of Toronto.  They work hard to catch the bad guy, and they do give us a few theories about his behavior, but it's not really enough to explain why, which would make it a better movie.

What makes this movie most bizarre is how organized Williams is. He doesn't just keep a box of trophies. He enters each underwear into Excel with the name and address of the owner. He takes many pictures and videos. All of the evidence is right there on his computer, aside from the boxes and boxes of neatly-folded underwear.  Of course he gets caught! To me, that part is just hilarious.  Of course, the violation of these women, and their murders, are not funny, but the rest of it is just so silly that I had to laugh. Still, it's a very good movie in most ways.

An Officer a Murderer

More info:

LOS ANGELES, CA (June 20, 2012) – Lifetime will premiere the Original Movie An Officer and a Murderer, starring Gary Cole (The Good Wife, Office Space), Laura Harris (Defying Gravity, A Borrowed Life, 24) and Rossif Sutherland (King, The Con Artist, High Life), on Saturday, July 21, at 8:00pm ET/PT. The riveting film is based on the true story of a powerful and respected military officer who committed numerous brutal crimes and was eventually brought down by a tenacious small town police detective.

Based on the true story of one of Canada’s highest ranking Air Force Officers, Colonel Russell Williams (Cole), An Officer and a Murderer follows the downward spiral of this public figure and the determined police work that brought him in. Colonel Williams and his high-society wife (Nahanni Johnstone, The Kennedys) were considered one of Canada’s most respected “power couples,” with two beautiful homes and high-profile careers. But on February 7, 2010, the entire nation watched in disbelief as he was arrested and eventually convicted of his crimes. Starting with a string of home invasions, Colonel Williams would take women’s lingerie and photos, later carefully categorizing and labeling them for his home collection. As he rose up in the ranks of the military, his lust and power grew and he eventually put aside all barriers to his deviant impulses, becoming more and more violent. Ultimately, he received two life sentences for first-degree murder, as well as concurrent sentences for sexual assault, forcible confinement and 82 counts of burglary. Brilliant at being stealth and obsessive in covering all traces, Colonel Williams was able to deceive his wife, friends, neighbors and even his military comrades until he was finally outwitted by a small town police detective (Harris), along with an FBI trained interrogation specialist (Sutherland), who together worked on the investigation that put an end to Colonel Williams’ string of disturbing crimes.

An Officer and a Murderer is produced by Solo Productions. Mary Young Leckie (LMN’s Committed, Shades of Black) and Tom Patricia (Lifetime’s Homeless to Harvard, LMN’s The Devil's Teardrop) serve as executive producers and Norma Bailey (Lifetime’s The Pastor’s Wife) directs from a script written by Keith Ross Leckie (LMN’s Committed, Everest).


Lifetime Television is committed to offering the highest quality entertainment and information programming, and advocating a wide range of issues affecting women and their families. The network posted major growth in viewership among the key demographics in First Quarter 2012 versus First Quarter 2011, including a 9% jump in Adults 25-54, +12% with Women 25-54, +14% with Adults 18-49 and +18% with Women 18-49. In addition, the quarter marks the first time Lifetime has posted First Quarter year-on-year growth for Adults 25-54, Women 25-54 and Women 18-49 in seven years. Lifetime Television®, LMN®, Lifetime Real Women® and Lifetime DigitalTM are part of Lifetime Entertainment Services, LLC, a subsidiary of A+E Networks. A+E Networks is a joint venture of the Disney-ABC Television Group, Hearst Corporation and NBC Universal.

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Page updated 6/29/12

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