An Officer and a Murderer

Last updated
An Officer and a Murderer
GenreDrama
Written byKeith Ross Leckie
Directed by Norma Bailey
Starring Gary Cole
Laura Harris
Rossif Sutherland
Music by Jono Grant
Robert Carli
Country of originCanada
Original languageEnglish
Production
Executive producersTom Patricia
Mary Young Leckie
ProducerLena Cordina
CinematographyBoris Mojsovski
Running time85 minutes
Production company Solo Films
Distributor Lifetime
Release
Original release
  • July 21, 2012 (2012-07-21)

An Officer and a Murderer is a Lifetime television film about the crimes committed by Russell Williams, a former Colonel in the Royal Canadian Air Force. [1] The movie aired in the United States of America on July 21, 2012 at 8pm. An Officer and a Murderer has received six award nominations, winning two of these awards.

Contents

Plot

Russell Williams (Gary Cole), known to friends and family as 'Russ', is a Colonel in the Royal Canadian Air Force. He is promoted to base commander at Canadian Forces Base Trenton, and celebrates the promotion with his wife, Mary Elizabeth Harriman (Nahanni Johnstone), at her charity fundraiser. Both Russ and Mary are well-respected members of their small community of Tweed, Ontario. The night after the charity event, a hooded man breaks into a young girls room while she is away with family, stealing underwear, bras, and a picture of the girl at the beach. This intruder is given a face in the next break-in. It is revealed that Russell is the perpetrator after he steals underwear and sex toys, and hides in a woman's closet while she returns to her house at night. Russ leaves her a message on her computer screen before he exits the house, using poor grammar in an attempt to throw any potential investigators off his trail.

Throughout the movie, Russ becomes increasingly daring and his crimes escalate from breaking and entering, to sexual assault, to rape, and eventually murder. With the town having labelled the responsible party as the "Tweed Creeper", Russ takes every opportunity to express how disgusting he thinks this man's actions are. Nobody is suspicious of the Trenton base commander.

Detective Jennifer Dobson, a local police officer, teams up with Toronto Detective Nick Gallagher - who is on exchange in Tweed - to investigate the series of breaking and entering cases. They follow Russ's trail through many assaults, as well as the murder of Corporal Marie-France Comeau, a non-commissioned officer under the Colonel's command. The detectives' big break comes when Dobson is driving around on patrol and spots a vehicle parked in a field next to a house. She does a quick investigation, and when she finds nobody home, she moves on. When the woman who lived in that house, Jessica Lloyd, is reported missing and the SUV is gone, the police launch an investigation into the vehicle. Through the use of traffic checkpoints, the police match the treads of the tires to the vehicle of Colonel Williams. The detectives devise a plan to call Russ in with the story of needing his help in the cold case. He willingly complies and agrees to answer some routine questions. Russell removes his boots in the hallway, and while he is in the interrogation room with Detective Gallagher, Detective Dobson runs his boot prints. When they match those found on the scenes of the crimes, two teams are deployed to search Russell's Tweed home and his office at the Trenton Base. The panties and bras are found, alongside a staggering amount of photo and video evidence, and a record of all the undergarments he had stolen.

In the interrogation room, Gallagher switches from small talk and easy questions to a more serious and invasive line of questioning. Eventually, Dobson joins Gallagher and they inform Russell Williams of all the evidence they found against him. The detectives coax a confession out of the Colonel and he is stripped of his title and his medals. His wife, his friends, his remaining victims, and his community are left to deal with the repercussions, as well as the 3000 military personnel who were under his command.

Cast

Reception

Awards

An Officer and a Murderer was nominated for:

An Officer and a Murderer won:

Reviews

There are mixed reviews regarding An Officer and a Murderer. The film's writer, Keith Ross Leckie, defended the movie against critics claiming it was insensitive and ignored the facts in favour of sensationalizing the story. [3] Leckie told The Star that they were very careful in how they went about the making of An Officer and a Murderer, recognizing the sensitive material. The release of the movie was delayed for a year in an attempt to distance the recreation from the actual events. Police, victims, and families of victims were all contacted before writing began, and Leckie went to the houses where the attacks occurred so he could tell the story with as much accuracy and empathy as possible. [4]

The Huffington Post published an article boldly titled Why Canadians Should Reject The Russell Williams Crime Movie, in which they proclaim that it is a sensationalistic movie created solely for profit, and that it "stains the good honour of Canadian women and men in uniform." [5] While citing all the inaccuracies and dramatizations throughout the film, Huffington Post professes that the only parts recreated with precision accuracy are the assaults, rapes, and murders of his victims, forcing them to relive the horrors they are trying to leave behind.

Related Research Articles

<i>Law & Order</i> American police procedural/legal drama television series

Law & Order is an American police procedural and legal drama television series created by Dick Wolf, launching the Law & Order franchise. Airing its entire run on NBC, Law & Order premiered on September 13, 1990 and completed its twentieth and final season on May 24, 2010.

<i>Columbo</i> U.S. television film series

Columbo is an American crime drama television series starring Peter Falk as Columbo, a homicide detective with the Los Angeles Police Department. After two pilot episodes in 1968 and 1971, the show originally aired on NBC from 1971 to 1978 as one of the rotating programs of The NBC Mystery Movie. Columbo then aired less frequently on ABC from 1989 to 2003.

<i>Citizen X</i> 1995 American crime drama television film directed by Chris Gerolmo

Citizen X is a 1995 American television film which covers the efforts of detectives in the Soviet Union to capture an unknown serial killer of women and children in the 1980s, and the successive bureaucratic obstacles they consistently encounter. The film is based upon the true story of Soviet serial killer Andrei Chikatilo, who was convicted in 1992 of the murder of 52 women and children committed between 1978 and 1990. It stars Stephen Rea, Donald Sutherland, and Max Von Sydow.

<i>Kojak</i> American action crime drama television series starring Telly Savalas

Kojak is an American action crime drama television series starring Telly Savalas as the title character, New York City Police Department Detective Lieutenant Theo Kojak. Taking the time slot of the popular Cannon series, it aired on CBS from 1973 to 1978.

<i>Da Vincis Inquest</i>

Da Vinci's Inquest is a Canadian dramatic television series which originally aired on CBC Television from 1998 to 2005. While never a ratings blockbuster, the critically acclaimed show did attract a loyal following, and ultimately seven seasons of thirteen episodes each were filmed for a total of ninety-one episodes.

Tweed, Ontario (village)

Tweed, Ontario is a community on Stoco Lake and the only urban centre in the Municipality of Tweed in Hastings County, central-eastern Ontario, Canada. Tweed has a population of 1,701 according to the 2016 Canada Census. The principal thoroughfare through Tweed is Highway 37.

<i>Exiled: A Law & Order Movie</i>

Exiled: A Law & Order Movie is a 1998 television film based on the Law & Order police procedural and legal drama television series; it originally aired on NBC. Written by Charles Kipps, the film revolves around Noth's character, Detective Mike Logan. Kipps received a 1999 Edgar Award for his screenplay.

William Boyett American actor

William Boyett was an American actor best known for his work as the low-key but authoritative Sergeant William 'Mac' MacDonald on the police drama Adam-12.

Donald Cragen Fictional character on Law & Order franchise

Donald Cragen is a fictional character played by Dann Florek in the American crime drama television series Law & Order and its spinoff, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, on NBC. Cragen is a homicide captain with the New York Police Department who later becomes captain of the department's Special Victims Unit. A recovering alcoholic, Cragen is a tough police veteran who is loyal to his officers. He appeared in the first three seasons of Law & Order and in the first 15 seasons of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Having credited appearances in 400 episodes in the Law & Order franchise, Cragen has appeared in the third-most episodes of any character in the franchise; this mark is surpassed only by Olivia Benson and Fin Tutuola, main characters on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Stephen Gallagher is an English screenwriter and novelist. Gallagher was born in Salford, Greater Manchester.

Olivia Benson Fictional character on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Olivia Margaret Benson is a fictional character on the NBC police procedural drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, portrayed by Mariska Hargitay. Benson holds the rank and pay-grade of Captain and is the Commanding Officer of the Manhattan Special Victims Unit of the New York City Police Department, which operates out of the 16th Precinct. She investigates sexual offenses such as rape and child sexual abuse.

<i>Memories of Murder</i> 2003 South Korean film by Bong Joon-ho

Memories of Murder is a 2003 South Korean crime thriller film co-written and directed by Bong Joon-ho. It is loosely based on the true story of Korea's first confirmed serial murders, which took place between 1986 and 1991 in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province. Song Kang-ho and Kim Sang-kyung star as Detective Park and Detective Seo, respectively, two of the detectives trying to solve the crimes.

<i>Resurrection</i> (1999 film) 1999 American film directed by Russell Mulcahy

Resurrection is a 1999 American-Canadian horror thriller film directed by Russell Mulcahy and starring Christopher Lambert, Leland Orser and Robert Joy. David Cronenberg appears in a cameo as a priest. Lambert co-wrote the story for the film with Brad Mirman, who also wrote the screenplay.

Louis Ferreira Portuguese-Canadian actor

Louis Ferreira is a Canadian actor. Ferreira is best known for his roles in Stargate Universe as Colonel Everett Young, serial killer Ray Prager in the first season of Durham County, FBI Assistant Director John Pollock in Missing, and Art Blank in Saw IV, Saw V, and Saw 3D. He starred in the CTV series Motive as homicide detective Oscar Vega. Before 2008, he was credited under the stage name Justin Louis.

<i>The Detective</i> (1968 film) 1968 crime film starring Frank Sinatra

The Detective is a 1968 neo-noir crime film directed by Gordon Douglas, produced by Aaron Rosenberg and starring Frank Sinatra, based on the 1966 novel of the same name by Roderick Thorp.

Midnight Movie is a 2008 American slasher film directed by Jack Messitt, who also co-wrote the film, and produced by Kacy Andrews.

David Russell Williams is a British-born Canadian convicted murderer and former colonel of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Brigadier-General David Bruce Cochrane, MSM, CD is a Royal Canadian Air Force officer.

<i>Blood Eagle</i> (novel)

Blood Eagle is a novel by Craig Russell. First published in 2005, it is the first in a series of crime novels set in Hamburg, Germany, and featuring Kriminalhauptkommissar Jan Fabel. Blood Eagle, as well the follow-up novels in the series, are characterized by their use of history, mythology and legend. In Blood Eagle, Fabel hunts a serial-killer who uses an ancient Viking ritual of human sacrifice, the blood eagle, to kill his victims.

Gary Waddell is an Australian actor. He was nominated for the 2012 AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his role in The King is Dead! and for an AFI award for his role in 1975 film Pure Shit.

References

  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-23. Retrieved 2012-07-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. http://www.mylifetime.com/movies/an-officer-and-a-murderer/cast
  3. "Russell Williams drama An Officer and a Murderer makes delayed Canadian debut". thestar.com. Retrieved 2018-04-02.
  4. "Russell Williams drama An Officer and a Murderer makes delayed Canadian debut". thestar.com. Retrieved 2018-04-02.
  5. "Why Canadians Should Reject The Russell Williams Crime Movie". huffingtonpost.ca. Retrieved 2018-04-02.