On Oct. 5, last year Elizabeth Wettlaufer was interviewed by Det. Const. Nathan Hergott. These are some of the transcripts from that confession. They have been edited for length and clarity.
At the beginning of the interview Wettlaufer said she graduated from Grade 13 and went to journalism school for a year. Afterwards she went to the London Baptist Bible College in London, Ont., and graduated with a degree in counselling. But she decided that was not the career for her and went back to college to study math and science.
She then moved to Geraldton in northern Ontario but it was “way” up north.
“(I) worked there (but) couldn’t stand the isolation. Moved back, worked for an organization called Christian Horizons here in town in one of their group homes till 2007 at which time my marriage fell apart in February 2007 and I met a woman online.”
The two moved in together, but, “I ended up quitting the job I was at and going to Caressant Care to make a little bit more money cuz I was the only breadwinner.”
She said she was fired as a registered nurse at Caressant and then went to Meadow Park nursing home. She left there after becoming addicted to “hydromorph,” a pain killer which she often took from patients.
“Some of them had confusion so they couldn’t tell the difference between what pills you were giving them. I could give them a laxative instead of their hydromorph.”
Asked why she slipped into addiction in 2008, she said it was the stress of the job.
“Always feeling like I had to be the best possible person and very, very stressful job giving medications to 32 people and making sure treatments were done on 32 people.
“I always was putting this pressure on myself to be a really good nurse and to do everything perfectly.
“And every once in a while when I could get a hold of a hydromorph or two and take it then that pressure was gone.”
As she started talking about the killings she told of being angry and “it was like a voice said inside me, ‘I’ll use you don’t worry about it’.” Afterwards, she said, “I would hear like a laughter in my tummy.”
In September 2007, she overdosed Clotilda Adriano but said she didn’t mean to kill her.
“I didn’t really want her to die. I just, I don’t know, I was just angry and had this sense inside me that she might be a person that God wanted back with him.”
Hergott: “Is that feeling you’re referring to that you had in your stomach at times?”
Then Wettlaufer added, “I just had a sense after my marriage broke up that God was gonna reuse me for something and then after a while I started to really wonder after some of the murders.”
But she was concerned, “If it was God or if it was the devil fooling me.”
Was she doing right by the people, asked the detective.
“I felt like I was doing what I was supposed to do but it wasn’t what was right for them.”
She talks about the murder of James Silcox.
“He’s the first one that died as a result of what I did.
“I gave him a dose of 50 milligrams of insulin. He’s not diabetic. I used a borrowed insulin pen…and gave him an insulin shot… well throughout the night he was yelling out, ‘I love you’ and ‘I’m sorry,’ — not to me, but just you could hear him calling out in his room and that’s what he was calling out.
“At three thirty the PSW (personal support worker) came to me and said that he was gone…so I did what we’re supposed to do. I went and listened to his heart and chest, called the doctor, called the family cuz that’s what they wanted. Family came in to sit with him for a while.”
The doctor later ruled that he had died from an embolism associated with surgery, she said.
The family commended her for her work, the detective pointed out. How did that make her feel. “Absolutely awful,” she said.
Hergott asked, “Okay did you have a problem sleeping that night at all or anything like that?”
“I would say I tossed and turned a bit, yeah,” she said.
Of Helen Matheson she said, “I don’t remember a lot about her, she was very quiet, very determined, just seemed to be waiting to die.”
On the night she killed Matheson, she said she made a “bit of a fuss” of her.
“We talked about how much she liked blueberry pie and ice cream. So on my break I went to Wal-mart and I got a small blueberry pie and some ice cream and brought it to her and she had three or four bites.”
“And then that night I overdosed her.
“Cuz like I said I had that feeling that it was her time to go,” she said.
Afterwards she got a feeling in her stomach, she said.
“After I did it I got that laughter.”
In November 2011, Gladys Millard died. She described her as someone with dementia, who wouldn’t take her pills and was stubborn.
“As always, one evening I just got that red surging feeling that she was gonna be the one.”
Was it spur of the moment, asked the detective?
“Spur of the moment, but it would usually start happening, you know, focused on one patient and then I would feel that red surge, which is what made me think it was God.”
After injecting her with insulin, “I actually helped (a nurse) move Gladys to the palliative care room … scared outta my gourd the whole time that she was going to say that it was something I did.”
Of another victim, Helen Young, Wettlaufer accused her of being a difficult patient who would say, “I want to die. Why can’t you help me die?”
“Something snapped inside,” said Wettlaufer. “And that red surge came back and I thought, ‘OK you will die.’
“I came up to her and said this is for your pain. I gave her a shot of long acting or short acting and she started to settle down and then later on we put her into bed and I gave her more of the insulin.”
Of the murders, she told the detective, “I felt horrible. I felt angry at myself. I felt like I had failed myself. I felt like God had failed me.”
She continued going to church and eventually told a pastor she was killing people by giving them overdoses.
The pastor and his wife prayed over her and said, “This is God’s grace.”
“But if you ever do this again we will have to turn you into the police,” she said.
She said the killings were not the result of medical errors or done while she was addicted to the pain killers.