When it comes to serial killers in Canada, there might not be a more disturbing example than our newest entry Elizabeth Wettlaufer.
A former registered nurse, Wettlaufer pleaded guilty in June to the first-degree murder of 8 different senior citizens; as well as attempting to kill 4 others and 2 counts of aggravated assault. All of her victims were relying on her for care and spanned years and several hospitals.
While Wettlaufer is not the first nurse to commit these atrocities, she is the first health-care resident in Canada to be charged with multiple murders.
Below you're going to read all the horrifying details as we take you inside the head of one of the most horrifying killers that you'll ever read about.
With quotes from Wettlaufer as well as the people close to her, including former co-workers, there isn't a more comprehensive guide out there to perhaps the worst serial killer to ever exist in Canada.
I guess they're not all so nice eh?
15 She Said God Wanted Her To Do It
When it comes to reasons that serial killers have given, Wettlaufer would not be the first to say that she was told by a higher power to commit her actions.
"I honestly thought God wanted to use me...I knew the difference between right and wrong, but I thought this was something God, or whoever, wanted me to do it. But I was starting at that point to doubt that it was God," said Wettlaufer when talking to authorities.
Wettlaufer also admitted to feeling a "red surge" coursing over her body that she would feel prior to committing her murders.
14 She Laughed After Killing Them
When it comes to the feeling of murdering someone, Wettlaufer described it as a "red surge", but that wasn't the most disturbing thing that she admitted.
"Then the laughter afterward, which was really, it was like a cackling from the pit of hell," said Wettlaufer.
It was not clear if Wettlaufer was referring to each patient or one in particular who was identified as Maureen Pickering (pictured above).
Wettlaufer admitted about this particular murder,
"She just got harder and harder to look after and, one night, when I had to look after her … I was starting to get the feeling, that surge again. I thought, I don't want her to die, but if I could somehow give her enough … to give her a coma or change her brainwaves," but gave too much and killed her.
13 She Tried To Kill More Before Her First + How She Felt
You might be thinking that 8 murders is horrific. Now just imagine how many more there would be if Wettlaufer had gotten her way? When talking to police about her first murder, that of James Silcox who struggled with diabetes; Wettlaufer admitted that "There were others before him." that she had tried to kill.
Two of her previous patients Clotilde Adriano and Albino Demedeiros were among them. Both suffering from diabetes, it is reported that it was they who gave Wettlaufer the idea of using insulin.
Wettlaufer also admitted to feeling bad about murdering James, but after the act "Just went home to bed."
The prosecutor in the courtroom, however, made sure to paint Wettlaufer as a woman who was furious at James and had decided "It was his time to go", a sentiment that Wettlaufer had towards most of her victims.
12 Her Divorce May Have Played A Role
Elizabeth Wettlaufer was already a registered nurse when she fell in love with Daniel Wettlaufer. The two were married in 1997 and after a decade of marriage - with no children - the two started to live apart.
It was seven months after they started their separation that Wettlaufer first committed a murder. Following their divorce, Wettlaufer experimented with her sexuality; including meeting Sheila Andrews.
Andrews, however, has been open about how overwhelming Wettlaufer was in person,
"When she got off the plane she almost body-slammed me. She's just like I’ve been telling everybody how much in love I am with you and we were going to get together and everything.’ And I’m just, like, ‘Whoa, slow down, sweetheart. We’re just meeting.’ That’s what kind of scared me off.”
Andrews also admitted that Wettlaufer said she ended her marriage in part due to her being into women.
11 She Had Known Substance Issues
It is not all too uncommon for serial killers to also struggle with substance abuse. Prior to being arrested Wettlaufer had spent time in rehab after struggling with alcohol addiction.
According to a friend, it was not the first time that she had been in rehab; including her former friend saying she was also a drug addict.
She did, however, have a period of sobriety, writing in October 2015
"My own voice called to me in the darkness. Others hands lifted me when I chose the light. One year ago today I woke up not dead. 365 days clean and sober."
While darkness at the time indicated substances to her friends, it was also clear that part of her darkness included murdering people.
10 Her Coworkers Loved Her
One of the biggest questions surrounding Elizabeth Wettlaufer is how did she seem at work. And while she was fired from her long-term job at Caressant Care following an incident where she was on drugs; in general her coworkers seemed to be big fans of Wettlaufer.
“She was a good nurse and great to work with. I never heard anyone complain about her performance," said one of her former coworkers.
When asked about how she was with patients, the coworker said
“She was great with the residents. I’ve never seen her not be nice to anybody.”
Wettlaufer also shared the above photo of her in a Minion scrub with the caption "One of the perks of working in health care", proving that along with the murdering she was a fan of the wardrobe!
9 What Her Friends Thought Of Her
It can be incredibly shocking to read about the exploits of a serial killer. Now imagine how stunned you would be if it turns out that someone you know was a serial killer! Nancy Gilbert was a neighbor of Wettlaufer and was open about her perspective on her when interviewed,
"She was an every day, happy-go-lucky person. She was a normal person who loved her job, loved her dog, and loved her cats. She was never a monster in front of us, and I want people to know that."
Her friend also said that she kept to herself, but was also very close with her parents.
It's the startling contrast from how she was perceived by those closest to her that made the murders all the more alarming.
8 She Lost Her Job Because Of Drugs
Wettlaufer spent June 2007 until March 2014 working at Caressant Care nursing home. It was here where she murdered 7 of the 8 people, and also here where Wettlaufer allegedly started getting addicted to prescription drugs that she would steal at work.
One of Wettlaufer's neighbors who allegedly was a confident of Wettlaufer opened up in a past interview about why she was fired
“She said she lost her job because she accidentally gave someone the wrong medication because she was fried. She wasn’t fired. They said if she left quietly they would just let it go.”
Following this job, Wettlaufer was employed at Meadow Park Nursing home who said they knew of her past misconduct, but wanted to give her a 2nd chance.
7 Why She Got Caught
Elizabeth Wettlaufer was clearly struggling with some issues in her life when she went and saw staff at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health which was located in Toronto. But she was obviously feeling a little bit too comfortable because upon leaving staff went to police after she said: "things that were concerning".
While the staff did not elaborate on what it was that tipped them off due to confidentiality, you can imagine that would have been a terrifying meeting with Wettlaufer!
Wettlaufer visited the center on September 29th and relinquished her nursing license the following day.
Prior to this, it was also reported that Wettlaufer confided in several other people, including a priest and lawyer but everyone either told her to keep her secret or did not believe her.
6 She Nearly Got Caught Years Ago
Elizabeth ended up taking the life of 8 different people, but her 2nd victim Maurice Granat who passed away on December 23rd, 2007 very nearly got her caught.
Two of Granat's friends actually showed up at the hospital to see Wettlaufer engaged in a physical altercation with Granat who was flailing around until Wettlaufer went and retrieved a needle.
Granat died 20 minutes following the injection. His friends were not informed as to what the medication in the needle was or the effect.
“It’s spinning in my mind. I never heard (before) what he sounded like that day. He was struggling with her. Was he fighting her? What was going on before we’d been there?," said his friend.
5 Why She Got Away With It For So Long
In order to get a picture of who Elizabeth Wettlaufer is, it may be helpful to get a perspective of what her working situation looked like.
A registered nurse, Wettlaufer did most of her murdering at Caressant Care where she worked from 11pm until 7am.
Because it was the overnight shift, Wettlaufer had no supervisors present and was also the only RN designated on the floor; thus making her the "boss" of the unit.
Wettlaufer was also in charge of administering drugs, as well as being responsible for the other 9 staff workers. This also gave her the sole responsibility for the medications
4 She Was Given A Curfew With Strict Stipulations
When Wettlaufer was first being investigated for the crimes she was issued a Peace Bond.
With the bond came several stipulations including that she had a curfew that only allowed her to be out from 6am-7am. - except for AA meetings - and to continue treatment for potential mental health issues.
There were conditions that were put in, including her being allowed to attend AA meetings and to continue treatment for potential mental health issues. Along with being prohibited alcohol, Wettlaufer was also required to stop providing health care (thank god!) and unable to possess insulin.
Wettlaufer kept the peace bond a secret from most people close in her life.
3 She Didn't Trust Herself To Work With Kids
Wettlaufer spent part of her nursing career at St. Elizabeth Home Health Care where she worked for 6 weeks. However, you're going to be very relieved that she decided to quit that job.
Especially when you learn from one of her friends that the reason Wettlaufer left the job was that she was going to start working with children who had diabetes.
Clearly, despite being a murderer, Wettlaufer still had a strong enough moral compass to realize children are not the ones she wanted to murder and not trusting herself enough, she left. I mean, that doesn't resolve her from being an absolutely terrible person but at least she realized her breaking point.
Still scary to think that her urge was so strong that she had to quit.
2 She Was Ashamed Of Her Actions
While Wettlaufer has opened up about some of her motivations, a friend close to her has confided that Wettlaufer gave some insight on her perspective in the months leading up to her arrest.
While the friend was unable to be named for confidentiality reasons, she admitted that Wettlaufer had told her that she had committed actions that she was deeply ashamed of.
Wettlaufer also made the friend aware that the actions could lead her to land in jail, but the friend could never have expected all of this.
"It took me that long to process it and sort it out for myself. It is time for me to say something," said her friend.
1 She Wrote Disturbing Poetry
When it comes to choices of victims, Elizabeth Wettlaufer took aim at senior citizens. Which perhaps makes it all the more horrifying that she wrote a poem centered around how much she loves elderly people
"I love their wrinkles, their frailties, even their smell....I love the finality, the resignation, the knowing this is their last home."
We're sure that last line about knowing it was the last place they'd be before dying, uttered by a serial killer sends chills down your spine.
She also wrote a poem under the pseudonym Betty Weston that opened with,
“She watches some life drain/ from the notch in his neck vein. As it soothingly pools/it smothers her pain.”