Eight Deaths Later, Se­rial Killer’s Pleas to Stop Her Fi­nally Heeded

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If you re­ally want to be a se­rial killer and get away with it, be­come a nurse in Canada, then con­fess to ev­ery­one you know. You can just keep on killing. Even af­ter her first kills and con­fes­sions to oth­ers, no­body stopped nurse El­iz­a­beth Wet­t­laufer un­til the body count was at least eight. It took nine years for Wood­stock, On­tario nurse El­iz­a­beth Wet­t­laufer fi­nally to get what she de­served. It came in the form of fi­nally be­ing ar­rested, in Oc­to­ber 2016, for hav­ing killed at least eight nurs­ing home pa­tients. Be­ing ar­rested mat­tered, of course, be­cause it meant she would be ‘brought to jus­tice’, what­ever that may mean in her case. More im­por­tant still, how­ever, was that some­one fi­nally did some­thing about what she had al­ready told sev­eral peo­ple be­fore. That she had killed and would kill again un­less some­body stopped her. Her's is a bizarre story of how we as a hu­man species are so wrapped in our pro­cesses, rules, and pro­ce­dures that what should hap­pen just doesn’t – prob­a­bly far more than any of us re­al­ize. Wet­t­laufer knew some­thing was go­ing wrong with her in­side, long be­fore she ran into trou­ble. Her mar­riage had crum­bled in Fe­bru­ary 2007 when her hus­band sus­pected her of hav­ing an af­fair, with another woman. Soon af­ter, ac­cord­ing to police con­fes­sions she gave, she be­gan hear­ing a voice in­side her, maybe one which had been around a long time, say­ing to her, “I’ll use you, don’t worry about it”. When that hap­pened, un­der the in­flu­ence of that voice, at least to her, she gave her first in­ten­tional over­dose in­jec­tions, to 87-year old Clotilde Adri­ano, a de­men­tia pa­tient, and her sis­ter, Al­bina Demedeiros. Wet­t­laufer failed to kill in those at­tempts, not hav­ing quite fig­ured out ex­actly how to pull it off, and both sur­vived. They were for­tu­nate. Her first suc­cess­ful kill came a few months later. The vic­tim was 84-year old James Sil­cox, a hip surgery pa- tient in her care. Again, the voices were be­hind it, with Wet­t­laufer say­ing that af­ter the killings, “I would hear like a laugh­ter in my tummy.” Disas­so­ci­ated from the voice, Wet­t­laufer felt sorry for what she had done but did not know how to fight it. Her next kill was Mau­rice Grant. She tried again soon af­ter­wards with two oth­ers, Michael Prid­dle and Wayne Hedges, but they some­how sur­vived. Re­morse clearly filled up again in Wet­t­laufer af­ter the sec­ond killing and even the two at­tempts. The sad­ness was so strong that Wet­t­laufer be­gan reach­ing out­side for help for the first time. She talked to a for­mer girl­friend and con­fessed to her two killings. Ap­par­ently, that ex-girl­friend did be­lieve her, but in­stead of turn­ing Wet­t­laufer into the au­thor­i­ties, the ex told her that if it hap­pened again she would re­port her. One could write that off to the twisted logic of just one per­son, the ex-girl­friend who, in that mo­ment of de­ci­sion about what to do, could have pre­vented the deaths of the next 6 peo­ple Wet­t­laufer con­fessed to. But that ex-girl­friend was not alone. In the next three years, in a sense ‘let loose’ by her ex-girl­friend, Wet­t­laufer killed four more women: He­len Young, Mary Zu­raw­in­ski, Gla­dys Millard, and He­len Mathe­son. She once again felt hor­ri­ble for what had hap­pened, af­fected es­pe­cially strongly by Young’s last mo­ments, which in­cluded vi­o­lent seizures af­ter the in­sulin over­dose Wet­t­laufer had given her. This time the nurse looked to re­li­gion for help. Once again, she con­fessed what she had done both to the Pas­tor and his wife. Af­ter be­ing shocked at first, they fi­nally be­lieved her. But in­stead of do­ing some­thing about it, they kept the con­fes­sion quiet say­ing "this is God’s grace… but if you ever do this again we will have to turn you into the police.” Once again, all that was done was a warn­ing, un­der the strange shield that keeps the con­fes­sions, even

of the most aw­ful of crimes, silent un­der a re­li­gious pro­tec­tive cover. Once again, Wet­taufer asked for help to stop her and she was let back on the street to keep killing. A few months later Wet­t­laufer killed her sev­enth vic­tim, Mau­reen Pick­er­ing, 79. She was fired from that hos­pi­tal for a med­i­ca­tion mixup at the Ca­res­sant Care home days af­ter, but soon found work in another nurs­ing home and there killed her last vic­tim, Ar­pad Hor­vath, 75. Af­ter each killing Wet­t­laufer suf­fered from the col­lec­tive guilt of the lat­est mur­der and all the past deaths as well. This time she sought a crim­i­nal lawyer, who once again ap­par­ently be­lieved her story but did noth­ing more than tell her to not say any­thing – and to get help for her men­tal ill­ness. At that time, she also con­fessed to a Nar­cotics Anony­mous spon­sor and a for­mer boyfriend. It once again seems both be­lieved her story but did not bring her to the police or to men­tal health pro­fes­sion­als to do some­thing. In­stead, Wet­t­laufer was able to move on and tried to kill two more peo­ple. For­tu­nately, those two sur­vived. What fi­nally stopped Wet­t­laufer was her learn­ing she would soon be shifted from treat­ing el­derly pa­tients to tak­ing care of di­a­betic chil­dren. Real­iz­ing the next deaths by her hands would be kids, not el­derly pa­tients, Wet­t­laufer fi­nally put an end to her killings. She first tried to es­cape the area, but re­turned to sign her­self into CAMH, the Cen­tre for Ad­dic­tion and Men­tal Health. There she told all and was even­tu­ally dis­charged, then turned into the police. Along the way she had killed eight and tried to kill at least four oth­ers. She had sought help from an ex-girl­friend, an ex-boyfriend, a priest, a Nar­cotics Anony­mous spon­sor, and a crim­i­nal lawyer. Each one had aided and abet­ted her crimes by not re­port­ing her. Wet­t­laufer needed help and asked for it about as clearly as she could, short of dump­ing her lat­est dead body in front of the peo­ple she had con­fessed to. Yet, per­son af­ter per­son failed to do their moral duty and re­port her to au­thor­i­ties and even af­ter she was ar­rested she was re­leased on bond and put back on the streets. What kind of court re­leases a con­fessed se­rial killer? This bizarre case raises many ques­tions about Cana­di­ans and hu­man na­ture. Was she al­lowed to keep killing be­cause she was an obese white les­bian drug ad­dict or be­cause she was a nurse? Would peo­ple have al­lowed a het­ero­sex­ual male to keep on killing? Would a black man who con­fessed to be­ing a se­rial killer be re­leased on bond? Was she pos­sessed by an evil spirit or was some benev­o­lent force help­ing her re­lease her el­derly pa­tients from fur­ther suf­fer­ing? Was the whole thing some gov­ern­ment mind con­trol ex­per­i­ment?

Cana­di­ans are in­deed no­to­ri­ously tol­er­ant and for­giv­ing. They are also ex­tremely li­t­igu­ous and quick to sue and ea­ger to avoid be­ing in­volved in a law suit.

Cana­di­ans also suf­fer from a pro­found in­sti­tu­tion­al­ized lack of re­spon­si­bil­ity. Ev­ery­thing is some­one else's fault. If some­one gets drunk and crashes their car they sue the bar­tender and bar owner and usu­ally win. If a woman passes out drunk in the back of a cab and gets mo­lested by the Mus­lim cab driver the woman has zero re­spon­si­bil­ity and can sue the bar, bar owner and the cab driver, and win.

In On­tario, be­ing a drug ad­dict, like In the case of Wet­t­laufer, is con­sid­ered a disability and a nurse or doc­tor can't be fired for be­ing an ad­dict and wasted on the job, even if they en­dan­ger pa­tients. Fir­ing a bad nurse can re­sult in a hu­man rights civil suit and huge judge­ments against the com­pany fir­ing the ad­dict. So, em­ploy­ers tend to al­low gross in­com­pe­tence and mal­prac­tice be­cause it is too risky to let an ad­dict, in­com­pe­tent or se­rial killer go.

The other big is­sue in Canada is that there is lit­tle rule of law. Those in the le­gal pro­fes­sion con­fess that the court sys­tem in most prov­inces is based more on an 'equity' sys­tem of who owes who fa­vors or has the most in­flu­ence due to per­sonal re­la­tion­ship, se­nior­ity and po­ten­tial an­cil­lary ben­e­fits. In other words, Canada's court sys­tem is ex­tremely cor­rupt, un­pre­dictable and the law is of­ten con­sid­ered ir­rel­e­vant.

So, per­haps those Wet­t­laur con­fessed to weren't sure that she was in­deed guilty and were afraid they would be sued for re­port­ing her if she was found men­tally ill.

Un­for­tu­nately, this case is not be­ing taken as the so­cial and cul­tural wake-the-hell-up call that it is. Those who con­cealed her crimes are not be­ing charged and the court is not be­ing chas­tized for al­lowed a con­fessed se­rial killer back onto the streets.

The so-called ju­di­cial sys­tem in On­tario is se­ri­ously bro­ken as is Canada's so­cial or­der. It is time for Cana­di­ans to take a deep look at their cul­ture and so­cial norms and start stand­ing up for what is right.

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