Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Serial killers, child murderers, the Canadian Armed Forces and book deals

If you haven't heard recent news, let me say that it's one of the most shocking murder cases in Canadian history--especially in military history. Colonel Russell Williams, a Canadian military man who has commanded thousands and piloted presidents, has been accused in the brutal murders of two Ontario women. Charges of forcible confinement, sexual assault and break and enter of two other Ontario women have also been filed against Williams.

Random House Canada announced that they've signed a book deal with Timothy Appleby, a reporter for the Globe and Mail, just days after charges were laid. The book will detail the court case and presumably the accused will be interviewed, as in most true crime books. Will it give readers insights into the mind of a killer? Or sensationalize what is a terrible and horrifying tragedy for the victims and their families?

The book will be titled: Betrayal in Uniform: The Secret Life of Colonel Russell Williams

On a personal note:
I was recently contacted by the survivor of 2 murder victims, someone I've come to care for as a friend and admire for her strength. She asked me if I'd consider writing a book based on the trial, conviction and horror that was done to her loved ones. As her friend, it was very hard to say no. As someone wanting to see justice, that decision was even more difficult. As an author, I'll admit that too made it difficult. It's a horrific but compelling story.

Why did I decide not to write a book about a murderer and his victims? I don't believe I'm the kind of writer who could report only the facts, although I once was a reporter for a small BC newspaper. Facts don't appeal to me as much as emotion. And I cannot imagine being the one to rip the proverbial bandage off my friend's heart and expose her to more torture.

Did I make the right decision? I honestly don't know.

I don't judge any writer for jumping on an opportunity, but being that the Colonel Williams case is so fresh, I have a hard time wrapping my mind around this book deal. I only hope that the truth comes out in court and that the victims' families find a sense of justice and peace afterwards. But I know from personal experience that being a survivor of a murder victim can be a grueling journey.

Colonel Russell Williams will be joining Steve and Lorelei Turner, formerly stationed at Canadian Forces Base in Chatham, NB. The Turners were convicted of torturing, starving and murdering their three-year-old son John. They were both sentenced to 16 years but have been paroled--early. According to the Canadian Press, "The boy had not eaten for weeks and may have refused food. In the final days of his life at Canadian Forces Base Chatham, N.B., John was restrained by a harness and gagged with a sock to muffle his cries. He died on May 29, 1994."

I had the misfortune of knowing Lorelei and Steve Turner. My husband and I were stationed at the same base. My baby and baby John played on a blanket in their living room. I can't even begin to tell you how it makes me feel to know I was in the home of brutal murderers. I wish I'd known and stopped them.

Links of interest:

Book deal signed for story of Colonel Russ Williams

Random House Canada signs Globe and Mail crime reporter Timothy Appleby to write a book on Colonel Russell Williams

Colonel Russ Williams's biography

Profile: Colonel Russ Williams charged with murders of Jessica Lloyd, Marie Comeau

"Ontario woman convicted of son's starvation death granted full parole"

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
bestselling suspense author

1 comment:

Arnold Wolf said...

wow, only you Cheryl. This is truly scary and even mind-boggling. I have to tell you though that I believe that you are one of the few people that can totally carry it off. I can only imagine the range of emotions you must have experienced (and perhaps atill are experiencing) as all this came out into the open. Like they say, "Truth is stranger than fiction." Wow!