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An Officer and a Murderer (2012)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama | TV Movie 21 July 2012
The riveting film is based on the true story of a powerful and respected military officer who committed numerous brutal crimes and was eventually brought down by a tenacious small town police detective.


Norma Bailey

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2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gary Cole ... Colonel Russell Williams
Laura Harris ... Detective Jennifer Dobson
Rossif Sutherland ... Detective Nick Gallagher
Nahanni Johnstone ... Mary Elizabeth Harriman
Catherine Disher ... Captain Catherine Novak
Zoé De Grand Maison ... Beth Pelway (as Zoe De Grand'Maison)
Tom Barnett ... John Pelway
Shannon Doyle Shannon Doyle ... Trudy Pelway
David Ferry ... Charlie Straw (as Dave Ferry)
Lisa Ciara ... Jessica Lloyd
Peyton Kennedy ... Gwen Pelway
Thomas Mitchell ... Major Ken Lee
Micheline Marchildon ... Corporal Marie-France Comeau
Tim Beresford ... Robert Lloyd
Ted Atherton ... Minister Shaw


Canadian RAF colonel Russell Williams's career reaches a pinnacle when he's appointed commander of his base shortly before a royal visit is announced. Yet he refuses to move into it, remaining in his quiet nearby home town. People rarely even close their doors there, even with the recent wave of intrusions, mostly to steal female underwear. As it escalates to violence and a kidnapping, Toronto sends crack detective Nick Gallagher, who teams up with the ambitious local case officer Jennifer Dobson. Although the base's cooperation proves crucial and several victims and witnesses are military, the colonel ultimately becomes the prime suspect, yet too well-respected to be formally charged without an elaborate ploy devised by Gallagher. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

21 July 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Assassino Oficial See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Solo Films See more »
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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


Gary Cole plays Col. Russell Williams, a military man convicted of murder in 2010. Cole played Captain/Doctor Jeffrey MacDonald in the 1984 TV movie 'Fatal Vision' based on the book of the same name by Joe McGinniss. MacDonald was also a (former) military man convicted of murder. MacDonald killed his wife and two daughters in February of 1970. See more »


34 minutes in the officer cuts the front of the victims dress revealing polka dot panties, in the next two to three minutes the panties change color several times as well as her bra at the 36 minute mark. See more »


Remade as Fatum: Room 216 (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

Straight forward crime story of creepy Canadian Commander
22 July 2012 | by djderkaSee all my reviews

This is a the story of the Canadian Base Commander, Colonel Russel William in Southern Ontario, who first started collecting panties and bras in home break-ins, then advancing to holding woman hostage for his amusement, and then graduating to rape and finally murder. And yes, Lifetime presents us with yet another white male gone bad movie of the week.

The main point of the story is that Commander Williams, is beyond reproach or even consideration as an unsub. He is even enlisted to help in the search and of course blames the crimes on some wood chucker (tree trimmer) who is a blue collar guy and the cops love him as a suspect because he looks like a suspect. They do not even consider the ramrod "correct" military commander as he is beyond suspicion. Ah, but those blue collar guys...they must have done it.

Frankly, the movie showed how cops usually pick the wrong suspect but in this case luck out by finding tire tracks. One of the lady cops,from Toronto, checks on a possible victim, Jessica, only to miss the SUV parked nearby and is remorse she didn't get the plate number. Why should she? The tree trimmer is safely locked up. Lucky tho the Commander screws up and leaves some tire tracks, which almost did not get reported because he is the Canadian Base "commander". Respect his au THOR EH Tee.

The base commander, played by Gary Cole and the cop played by Rossif Sutherland really have great nuanced performances. And the interrogation is more realistic than the "badgering cop" style so often depicted on TV.

Where is the psychologist talking about fetish clothing and personification of the victim through clothing while acting out erotic fantasies? Guess he/she was on vacation.

The pacing was good and the story told in a straight forward manner, and hard to believe it is an American film as it has "Made in Canada" stamped all over it as there is little action. Where are the police waving guns around, guns pointed at people, guns being fired, CSI special effects, more gun totting, cops yelling "get down on the ground" at the top of their lungs after they have consumed a dozen cans of Red Bull. Where is David Caruso pointing a gun at the suspect? Not here.

This movie does take an analytic how-it-happened approach which simply tells the story. It reminds me more of Columbo or Monk episodes than police "action" dramas.

Lifetime follows the movie up with a documentary, which is pretty much the movie without actors. An easy 3 hrs for Lifetime programming, but worth a view. When the ads say 'based on a true story' there will be little action, but a re-telling of events, hopefully as interesting as this movie. Thumbs up. It kept me home on a Saturdy night.

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