Russell Williams's neighbour sues after suspected in crimes
A man who lived next door to Russell Williams in eastern Ontario is suing the serial sex killer, a neighbour and local police for wrongfully implicating him in the former military commander's crimes.
Larry Jones and his wife, Bonnie, filed their $1,575,000 suit late Friday in Peterborough, Ont.
Jones is suing Williams for the emotional and mental distress suffered as the subject of an intense police investigation, while Williams did nothing to alert police that they had the wrong man.
Williams — the disgraced former base commander of Canadian Forces Base Trenton in eastern Ontario — pleaded guilty to 88 charges and was sentenced in October 2010 to two terms of life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years for the first-degree murders of Cpl. Marie-France Comeau and Jessica Lloyd. He was also sentenced to 10 years for each of his two charges of sexual assault and two charges of forcible confinement, as well as one year for each of the other 82 charges.
Russell Williams was a high-ranking Canadian military commander who met with senior politicians and was quoted extensively about the war in Afghanistan before he was sentenced in 2010 after being found guilty on 88 charges. Here's a look at key points in Williams's background and military career.
Also named in the suit are neighbour Laurie Massicotte, Jones's former in-law, Jonas Kelly, the Ontario Provincial Police and police overseers in connection with the search of the Jones family home and the tarnishing of Larry Jones's reputation in the Ontario community of Tweed.
"Why haven't I got an apology for what they did? It was totally wrong what they did," Larry Jones told CBC News in an exclusive interview at his home Sunday.
"It's pretty upsetting — still to this day — and it will be until the day I die. I want to let everybody in the country know … we had nothing to do with this. It's probably the worst day of my life the day police came to my house."
The statement of claim contains allegations that have not been proven in court.
Beginning of a nightmare
Jones's nightmare began when he returned home from partridge hunting in late October 2009 and found dozens of police officers scouring his home. He was taken in for questioning and, according to his statement of claim, officers also interrogated his wife of 40 years, asking whether Larry "participated in bondage."
He was told the investigation was related to a string of break-ins and two late-night home invasions and sexual assaults around the community on Cozy Cove Lane in Tweed. Word quickly spread through the the tightly knit community that Jones was a suspect in the investigation.
Williams, who lived next door to Jones and just three doors away from one of the assault victims, was a respected base commander at CFB Trenton and had not yet been interviewed or questioned by police when Jones was interrogated.
In his lawsuit, Jones alleges Williams attacked Massicotte on Cozy Cove Lane a month earlier and told no one.
Massicotte told police she couldn't identify her attacker because she was bound and blindfolded for hours, but indicated the attacker had disguised his voice and she believed she might have heard his voice before.
In his lawsuit, Jones alleges Massicotte and Jonas Kelly fed police false information that implicated him in Williams's crimes.
Jones and Kelly used to be related through the marriage of their children, but Jones's son and Kelly's daughter had recently separated — and according to Jones's suit, the split was not "amicable."
Jones alleges that Kelly approached Massicotte and suggested the attacker might have been his ex-son-in-law, Greg Jones, or his father, Larry Jones. Jones claims Kelly encouraged Massicotte to call police.
The OPP raided Jones's home shortly thereafter.
"I didn't give her any information about anything. All I said was — maybe it was him," Jonas Kelly told CBC News in a telephone interview Sunday.
"Larry … nobody likes him. But I never told her to call police. No way. Never," Kelly said, indicating he had no idea he was being sued. He denied encouraging anyone to falsely identify Jones as a suspect.
Calls investigation 'negligent'
Jones's statement of claim alleges local OPP investigators were negligent and acted on spurious information that contradicted Massicotte's statements to police.
According to the suit, Massicotte told police the attacker was "not a tall or big person … between 30 to 40 years of age." Jones was 65 at the time, stood 5-feet-9 inches tall, and weighed approximately 215 lbs.
The suit suggests some OPP members continued to suspect Jones months after he passed both polygraph and DNA testing.
Jones claims an officer even said, "Sorry about all this, you have been cleared 100 per cent. Go home, put your feet up and have a cold beer."
But when Jones's wife Bonnie tried to retrieve seized items at the local OPP detachment three months later, she was "advised by OPP officer Russ Alexander that the police were continuing to investigate Larry for the attack," according to the lawsuit documents.
On Jan. 27, 2010, while police were searching for missing Belleville woman Jessica Lloyd, Jones reported a break-in at his shed on Cozy Cove — the scene of earlier attacks.
His suit claims Alexander was dismissive and asked, "What do you want me to do about it?"
Jones claims an OPP investigator was busy interviewing people about him the same day in February 2010 that Williams was taken into custody and confessed to the string of assaults and sado-sexual killings of Jessica Lloyd and Marie France Comeau.
Jones is also suing the Quinte West Police Services Board for negligence, alleging they knowingly allowed an OPP officer, Ben Beatty, to continue in his duties as a central investigator dealing with the Tweed crimes while, according to the suit, the officer was the subject of an unrelated criminal investigation begun by the OPP's professional standards bureau.
Beatty, alongside many others, recently received a special OPP award in recognition of his work on "Project Hatfield," the investigative team that successfully brought Williams to justice. He could not be reached for comment and has not had a chance to respond to the suit filed on Friday.
The OPP has repeatedly refused to grant interviews about their investigation to answer whether Williams was initially ignored as a potential suspect due to his status as CFB Trenton commander, or to explain how Larry Jones became a suspect.
The police officers named, as well as the Quinte West Police Board and Massicotte could not be reached for comment.