Colonel’s sex-crime spree: The commander of Canada’s largest air force base pleaded guilty this week to murder, rape, and hundreds of burglaries driven by his sexual fetish. Col. Russell Williams began his crime spree by breaking into neighbors’ homes and stealing bras, thongs, underpants, and negligees from women and girls. He kept detailed records of hundreds of thefts, filed on his computer along with photos of himself wearing the garments and masturbating. Eventually, his compulsion turned violent. He broke into two women’s homes and forced them to strip while he photographed them. Then he moved onto murder, raping and killing two women, including one of his subordinates. Williams, 47, faces an automatic sentence of life in prison with no parole for at least 25 years.
Huge pot haul: Mexican police seized 105 tons of marijuana from a Tijuana warehouse this week in what may be the country’s biggest pot bust. The marijuana, which filled six cargo containers and had been destined for U.S. markets, was wrapped in 10,000 packages featuring colored labels, some sporting a Homer Simpson image. The drugs were found after police on a routine patrol came under fire from a heavily armed convoy escorting a tractor-trailer from the warehouse. Cultivation of marijuana jumped by more than one-third in Mexico last year, as local drug cartels sought to reduce their reliance on foreign suppliers.
Mining political gold: The rescue last week of 33 trapped miners has made a star of Mining Minister Laurence Golborne. The former retail CEO had been known to fewer than one in five Chileans before the mine collapse. But after daily television appearances during the two-month-long ordeal, Golborne’s popularity soared. He is now touted as a front-runner to succeed President Sebastián Piñera, who is constitutionally prohibited from running for re-election when his term ends in 2013.
Correction: In last week’s issue of The Week, Colombia’s location on the map was misidentified. The Week regrets the error.