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Serial killer nurse skips some key precautions

Wettlaufer on How to Prevent Wettlaufer


By —— Bio and Archives--August 14, 2018

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Wettlaufer on How to Prevent Wettlaufer
What changes could be made that might prevent a nurse from killing people under her care?

Serial killer Elizabeth Wettlaufer, the Ontario nurse who murdered James Silcox, Maurice Granat, Gladys Millard, Helen Matheson, Helen Young, Mary Zurawinski, and Maureen Pickering, and attempted to kill four others, has some thoughts on the subject.

Insulin “wasn’t counted and I knew that was something that could kill people”

Insulin “wasn’t counted and I knew that was something that could kill people,” she told lawyers before the launch of a nursing home inquiry earlier this year. As the convicted murderer explained, “If there was a way that the insulin was counted I would not have been able to do what I did without getting caught.” And medication room security should be improved.

According to Wettlaufer, “if the med room was completely made of glass, there’s no way I could have done what I did without somebody seeing me.” On the other hand, even with glass she could have procured more insulin in other ways. The serial killer also wants to step up mental health check-ins.

She told the lawyers she had thoughts of killing her psychiatrist along with her nursing colleagues. Instead she killed eight patients and now explains, “my head is so much clearer. My emotions are so much clearer. I have so much more remorse for my crime now than I did when I was on Seroquel.” So the lack of remorse was due to the meds and the murderer would like to see more advocacy for the demented.

“Every patient I ever picked had some dementia and that was part of what became my criteria,” Wettlaufer explained. “If they had dementia, they couldn’t report or if they reported, they wouldn’t have been believed.” The selection of patients with dementia was “part of the not getting caught.”

So her meds were no impediment to the killing spree, and most victims were old and expected to die. So doctors seemed unconcerned about sudden and unexpected deaths. Mandatory autopsies might help catch killers but Wettlaufer didn’t call for that. On the other hand, she thought those to whom she confessed should have taken action.

 

Wettlaufer’s preventative measures did not include tougher penalties for mass murder

At various stages in the killing spree, the nurse told a girlfriend, lawyer, ex-boyfriend, and her pastor, among others. Not a single one took the trouble to turn her in to the police. So the eight murders and four attempted murders went unreported and undetected until Wettlaufer finally fessed up. Incredibly enough even after the full, detailed confession police did not arrest the nurse but released her on a peace bond.

Wettlaufer told the lawyers “I’ve given a lot of thought to changes that could have been made where I would not have been able to do this.” The convicted murderer seems to have forgotten the most important rule of all.

Wettlaufer knew that murder is wrong but she chose to kill the very patients she was paid to serve.  Her murder weapon was insulin, created by the great Canadian Frederick Banting to save lives, not destroy them.

Wettlaufer’s preventative measures did not include tougher penalties for mass murder. The nurse took eight lives but gets possibility of parole after 25 years in a soft “residential” style prison.

With such leniency, and in a system that looks the other way, there will surely be other victims. As their loved ones might say, no justice no peace.


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Lloyd Billingsley -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Lethal Injections: Elizabeth Tracy Mae Wettlaufer, Canada’s Serial Killer Nurse, and Our Time After a While: Reflections of a Borderline Baby Boomer, a memoir about growing up in Windsor, Ontario.


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