Police kept details of fifteenth victim from the public

Wettlaufer Worse Than Anybody Thought

By —— Bio and Archives--February 3, 2019

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Wettlaufer Worse Than Anybody ThoughtSerial killer Elizabeth Wettlaufer has admitted attacking Florence Beedall, 77, at the Meadow Park facility in London, Ontario, where she worked as a registered nurse. The August, 2014, attack is significant for several reasons.

As CBC News reports, at least three Ontario police services were aware that Wettlaufer confessed to attacking a fifteenth patient, “yet the crime was withheld from the public and was never disclosed during a multi-million-dollar public inquiry looking into Wettlaufer’s crimes and why they went undetected for so long.”


In her lengthy October, 2016, interview with detective Nathan Hergott, Wettlaufer admitted applying lethal insulin injections to James Silcox, 84, Maurice Granat, 84, Gladys Millard, 87, Helen Matheson, 95, Mary Zurawinski, 96, Helen Young, 90, Maureen Pickering, 79 and Arpad Horvath, 76. She also admitted to trying to kill or harm six other patients in her care with insulin injections.

Toward the end of the interview, Hergott asked if she had forgotten any victims. The former nurse said there were “no other” cases beyond the ones she had described, and any others, “wasn’t me.”

Like some other Wettlaufer victims, palliative-care patient Florence Beedal was not a diabetic. She was in the final stages of her life when the nurse injected her with insulin to “let her go quicker.” Beedall died an hour later but the coroner ruled the death was caused by complications from dementia and hypertension.

After the death of James Silcox, a World War II veteran, family members thought something wasn’t right and requested an autopsy. The Oxford County coroner talked them out of it, noting that Mr. Silcox was 85. The insulin overdose remained undiscovered, and so did the administering nurse, Elizabeth Wettlaufer.

She is on record that insulin “wasn’t counted and I knew that was something that could kill people.” 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.

“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.”

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.

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

After her confession, police released Wettlaufer on a peace bond. Note it emerges that police withheld information about her attack on Florence Beedall. Similar stonewalling is going on in another Ontario case.

Anne Widholm, 76, of Windsor, passed away last December, more than a year after a vicious unprovoked attack by “Windsor man,” Habibullah Ahmadi. The attacker was 21 but police never released his booking photo. News reports contained no quotes from family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, or fellow students in Windsor.

After Widholm’s death, Habibullah Ahmadi was charged with second-degree murder. According to CTV News, his next trial date is March 19, so justice delayed is not yet justice denied. 

Meanwhile, serial killer Elizabeth Wettlaufer gets the possibility of parole after 25 years in a soft “residential” style prison. Stronger penalties for murder, and more transparency from the police, might help avoid a repetition of her killing spree.


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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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