Calliope killer involved in escape bid
By KRYSTEN BOOTHbooth@gladstoneobserver.com.au
MEMORIES of one of the region's most callous crimes were revived yesterday with news that convicted murderer Russell Williams had been linked with a jail breakout plan.
Williams was sentenced to life imprisonment after murdering his former de facto nine years ago.
On Thursday, April 4, 1996 Williams walked into the public bar of Calliope's Railway Hotel about 10.40pm and shot Joanne Brown at close range with a shotgun.
A state-wide manhunt ensued before he handed himself into police in Brisbane the following Tuesday.
Earlier this month it was alleged Williams had paid another man to hijack a helicopter at gunpoint to airlift him out of the Lotus Glen Correctional Centre near Cairns.
Yesterday his mother, Margaret Williams, hoped the allegations were false.
'If it is true he'd be a bloody idiot,' Mrs Williams said yesterday.
'He'd be coming up for parole in a few years
'If it is him he'd probably get another seven years on top of that.'
Murderers given a life sentence in Queensland are eligible for parole after serving a minimum of 15 years in prison.
Mrs Williams said while she hadn't spoken to her son in about two years, she still hoped to rebuild their relationship. "I love him dearly,'' she said.
'I don't condone what he did and I'm still angry with what he did because we loved Jo too.
'But I still love him.'
Ms Brown's family refused to comment on the latest development when contacted by The Observer yesterday.