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