It began in 2007, with break-ins where the main thing stolen was women's lingerie. Few people reported the thefts, and by 2009, local police had more pressing concerns - two women had been sexually assaulted. Speaking for the first time on television, one of them, Laurie Massicotte, says she was fast asleep when the intruder struck.
"He just said, 'Trust me, you don't want to see me,'" Massicotte tells "48 Hours."
The intruder blindfolded Massicotte and beat her. Her ordeal went on for three-and-a-half hours.
"I could hear him. And he - he's putting the blinds down," she continues. "And I kept thinking, 'before he leaves here, this guy is going to kill me.'"
Two months later, 38-year-old Corporal Marie-France Comeau was killed in the nearby town of Brighton. Two months after that, another local woman, 27-year-old Jessica Lloyd, went missing.
On Feb. 7, 2010, at 3 p.m., Canadian Air Force Colonel Russell Williams has agreed to come in for a chat with police after being stopped at a roadblock.
Talking with the cops may turn out to be the most fateful decision of the respected colonel's entire life, but you'd never know it.
Cop: Do you have your own lawyer?
Colonel: A realty lawyer but no, I don't have a lawyer! (laughs)
The police aren't interested in real estate. They're focused on an ongoing crime spree near the sleepy little town of Tweed, Ontario, several hours from Toronto.
Cop: We're looking at first-degree murder, kidnapping, sexual assault, forcible confinement.
Colonel: Uh huh...