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Colonel Russell Williams, Wing Commander of Canadian Forces Base Trenton, is pictured in this September 20, 2009 handout photo.

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Russell Williams, the former commander of CFB Trenton now charged with killing two women, made an elaborate and desperate bid to kill himself over the Easter weekend.

Sources at the Quinte Detention Centre in Napanee, Ont., tell the Kingston Whig-Standard that at roughly 5 a.m. Saturday the accused serial sex killer wrote a suicide note in mustard on the wall of his segregation cell.

The note was a farewell message saying his affairs are now in order and his feelings are too much to bear.

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Aware that he was being closely watched, Col. Williams, 47, jammed the lock in his cell door with cardboard and foil in an attempt to prevent staff from getting into his cell quickly and stopping him, sources said.

Using a cardboard toilet roll stuffed with more foil and cardboard, Col. Williams stuffed it down his throat in an apparent bid to suffocate himself, sources said.

Staff were able to bust into the cell and rescue Col. Williams.

The incident has raised staff fears that Col. Williams won't survive until his next court appearance, on April 29.

He is now on 24-hour, one-on-one suicide watch inside the jail, sources said. It appears Col. Williams had rehearsed his attempt the day before.

Sources said Williams jammed a pencil into the lock of his cell door on Friday to test how long it would take staff to unjam it. Maintenance staff arrived and opened the door within 15 minutes.

Col. Williams's bizarre jailhouse behaviour has been noted before.

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When he first entered the provincial facility immediately after his arrest, Williams acted as though he was a prisoner of war, only giving authorities his name, rank and serial number.

At that time, Col. Williams was assessed by a psychiatrist and deemed a possible suicide risk. His demeanour has been described as "cocky," but "vacant."

Col. Williams is accused of killing Jessica Lloyd, 27, of Belleville and Cpl. Marie-France Comeau, 37, of Brighton. Ms. Comeau worked at CFB Trenton.

Col. Williams is also accused of two home-invasion sex assaults on two women in the Tweed, Ont., area in September, 2009.

Reached by phone Sunday, Col. Williams's lawyer, Michael Edelson, said he had "no comment" on reports his client had attempted suicide.

Laura Blondeau, a spokeswoman for Community Safety and Correction Services Minister Rick Bartolucci, said she couldn't comment on the status of any individuals inside a provincial facility.

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Ms. Blondeau added that she couldn't say, for security reasons, where any particular inmate was being housed.

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