Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Editing a monster

The story of Colonel Russell Williams has exploded in the media: Sexual predator who photographed and filmed himself raping and killing two women. A guy who broke into a number of houses (many houses a number of times as well) stealing panties, bras and other women's and girls lingerie and clothing, and taking pictures of himself (often masturbating) while wearing the items.

Yes, the story almost seems like something out of a movie, but it's not. It's real life.

This week, images of shamed former colonel wearing women's under garments have been front page news on a national level. Both Winnipeg dailies have used these images of Williams, posing in the stolen lingerie, on their covers. The pictures of the stern-faced colonel standing in front of the camera, wearing both panties and bra seem bizarre. He doesn't seem to be posing, and his expression is still frigid and cold, like an army colonel would be while he is standing at attention.

The pictures certainly add to the story.

However, I wonder what the editors of both Winnipeg dailies, as well as the other papers who published these pictures were thinking?-- Did they question whether they should have published these pictures? Did they think they landed on a gold mine? (Hey, it's not every day you get a picture of a once well respected army colonel turned killer, wearing women's stolen lingerie...) Did they wonder if these pictures, mixed with their headlines would have negative connotations towards other people, not involved in this case?!

I raise the last point because, although it is evident Russell Williams in a pervert based on the the facts that are coming out about him, there is a thin line of behaviour that he may share with many non-perverted people, and that is wearing women's underwear. -- A man wearing women's underwear might seem strange to a lot of us, but there are a lot of well to do cross dressers out there, who are not perverts, that enjoy wearing women's underwear (among other things.)

Don't get me wrong; I think that Williams is a pervert for stealing underwear (especially from young girls) and then wearing it. However, that's a whole different ball game.

I just wonder if the editors of the newspapers that are running these stories have considered the fine line of telling the story (in both words and pictures) and making sure that they don't offend or pervert the cross dressing community while they do it.


Pictures: Courtesy of the Associated Press


  1. there is nothing wrong with men wearing womens clothing or vice versa.That being said, this particular case is being magnified through the media to convey the depth of this man's second hidden life.This situation in a different ball park completely.It's one thing to dress up for personal satisfaction.It's entirely different to dress up in articles of clothing that were obtained by theft,often associated with leering predatory behavior.that's my opinion

  2. I can 110% see how including the picture can be argued as a point that is so easily sensationalized and could perpetuate the norm that wearing the undergarments of the opposite gender is a sign of perverseness.

    Hopefully the majority of people will judge this man on his predatory + murderous acts. It just makes it that much more difficult when sensational points like this are plugged into the public's perception of this crime + the photos become damaging to innocent crossdressing people.