Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Russell Williams: Why releasing serial killer Russell Williams DNA testing dates is not an unjustified invasion of privacy; Toronto Star.

STORY: "Releasing serial killer Russell Williams DNA testing dates unjustified invasion of privacy," by Jim Rankin and Sandro Contenta, published in the Toronto Star on September 15, 2012.

GIST: "Could serial killer Russell Williams have been caught sooner, preventing the loss of a second woman’s life? That was the question the Star had in mind when it asked the ministry that oversees police in Ontario to make public the dates when Williams’ DNA was submitted for testing. But the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services refused, citing an “unjustified invasion of personal privacy.” Apparently, Williams’ own. The ministry is also refusing to release dates when the samples were uploaded to a national DNA data bank. All the Star is asking for is dates......... Ann Rees, a former journalist who studied Canada’s FOI and access to information systems as a 2002 Atkinson Fellowship recipient, reviewed the correspondence provided to her by the Star and says the ministry should release the information because there is obvious public interest at stake. “It is clearly in the public’s interest for (the ministry) to show that proper procedures are both in place, and were followed in the Williams case, to ensure that killers can be tracked through DNA analysis,” Rees, now a journalism teacher and completing a PhD in communication at Simon Fraser University, wrote in an email. “As to Williams’ privacy rights, in my view he forfeited them when he became a risk to the public by attacking and killing women,” wrote Rees. “What more evidence than murder is needed to show he posed a risk to public health and safety? It is ridiculous to suggest that his privacy rights, particularly concerning the investigation of those crimes, should be protected over and above the public’s right to access the records”"

The entire story can be found at:



I am monitoring this case. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:


Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:


Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.