An in-depth look at the alleged victims of an Ontario nurse
Published Tuesday, October 25, 2016 1:10PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, January 13, 2017 1:09PM EST
An Ontario nurse previously charged with eight counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of eight seniors in her care between 2007 and 2014, is now facing four new counts of attempted murder and two new counts of aggravated assault. Police said, on January 13, 2017, that the new charges are related to incidents with six patients that allegedly occurred between June 2007 and August 2016. The police have previously said “a drug was administered” to the victims.
The patients, who ranged in age from 75 to 96, received care under Elizabeth Wettlaufer at nursing homes in Woodstock, Ont., London, Ont., Paris, Ont. and a private home.
Here’s what we know about the six victims police identified in January, 2017:
The 87-year-old widow, mother of two, grandmother of five and great-grandmother of three died at the Caressant Care home in Woodstock on July 30, 2008, according to her obituary. Police have laid a charge of aggravated assault related to Adriano’s care between June and December 2007, though they say her cause of death is not attributed to the accused.
She died on her 91st birthday at Woodstock General Hospital on Feb. 25, 2010. She had lived at Caressant Care. She was survived at the time by her husband and one brother and predeceased by nine brothers and sisters, according to her obituary. Police have laid a charge of aggravated assault related to deMedeiros’ care between June and December 2007, though they say her cause of death is not attributed to the accused.
The 57-year-old died at Caressant Care. He was survived at the time by his parents, two sisters and nieces and nephews. According to his obituary, he was predeceased by a brother. Police have laid a charge of attempted murder related to Hedges’ care between September and December 2008, though they say his cause of death is not attributed to the accused.
He was 63 when he died at Caressant Care in Woodstock in December 2012 after living in Ingersoll. He was a husband, father of two, son and brother. His obituary described him as a “true blue” Toronto Maple Leafs fan and his mourners were encouraged to wear team clothing to his funeral. Donations were given to the Huntington Society of Canada. Police have laid a charge of attempted murder related to Priddle’s care from January 2008 to December 2009, though they say his cause of death is not attributed to the accused.
Police have laid an attempted murder charge related to the 77-year-old’s care in September 2015 at Telfer Place in Paris, Ont. Towler is still alive. John Beaney, vice-president of operations at Revera, the company that operates Telfer Place in Paris, Ont., said in a statement that the company is “shocked and saddened to learn of the new charges, and grateful to report that the resident involved at Telfer Place is doing well.”
Police have laid an attempted murder charge related to the 68-year-old’s care in August at a private residence in Oxford County. Bertram is still alive.
Police laid eight first-degree murder charges against Wettlaufer in October. Here’s what we know about those victims:
James (Jim) Silcox:
The husband and father of six died at Caressant Care in Woodstock, Ont. at the age of 84 on Aug. 12, 2007. James Silcox’s son, Daniel Silcox, told The Canadian Press that his father didn’t like living at the long-term care home and had broken his hip while living there. He said the family didn’t suspect anything sinister about his death.
“We don't want him to become the poster boy of this tragedy but we would like the story out there: (He was) a wonderful man, a Second World War vet, just the best father in the world,” Daniel said.
Susan Robinson, the warden of St. Paul’s Anglican Church, told CTV Kitchener that the family was shocked and upset by the murder allegations. Silcox regularly attended church on Sundays and never missed a service, even if he was a little bit sick.
“Jim Silcox was one of the nicest men you could ever meet,” Robinson said. “He was caring and kind.”
According to an obituary, Silcox fought in Italy, Holland and Belgium during the Second World War. He was a longtime member of the Royal Canadian Legion, the Moose Lodge and Old St. Paul’s Anglican Church. Silcox worked for London’s Standard Tube for more than 30 years. The obituary also said Silcox had a “deep affection” for dogs and requested memorial donations be given to the SPCA.
Arpad (Art) Horvath:
The married father of two died on Aug. 31, 2014 at the age of 75 at Victoria Hospital in London, Ont. Arpad Horvath had been receiving care at London’s Meadow Park facility. Horvath’s daughter, Susan Horvath, told CTV News Channel that she felt something wasn’t right when she visited him at the nursing home.
“He had bruises on his arms, feces under his nails, he smelled of that,” Susan said. “He looked very scared and full of fear.”
Susan said her father was a hardworking man who loved and cared for his entire family. She also said he was proud of her for starting her own business like he had.
“I was extremely happy that while he was alive he saw that from me. I worked so hard for that,” Susan said, as she fought back tears. “He was proud of me and I’m glad he was before he left.”
Marika Hayek was a close family friend of Horvath for more than 50 years. She told CTV London that she would see him nearly every week at her restaurant in downtown London. Hayek said she visited him at nursing home just days before he died in 2014. During their half hour conversation, she said she didn’t notice anything gravely wrong with him. Hayek said he talked normally and they joked around as they usually did. She believed Horvath had died from a stroke.
Another friend, Tony Cuzzocrea, told CTV’s Peter Akman that he was suspicious about Horvath’s sudden death.
“We saw that his health was going downhill but it was shocking to hear that it was that quick,” Cuzzocrea said.
Dr. Johan Gall, a close friend of the Horvath family, wrote in an email statement sent to CTV News that Horvath owned two farms, loved to hunt and travel the world.
“He travelled across Europe, Canada, Africa and many other places pursuing his passion for the outdoors,” Gall said.
Gall also wrote that his friend was a community leader who employed immigrant workers of all nationalities to “allow them to get a foothold in Canada.”
According to Horvath’s obituary, he was an international big game hunter and the president of the Hungarian Club of London for 29 years. Horvath was also the owner and chief engineer of Central Tool & Die Ltd. for 50 years.
Maurice (Moe) Granat:
The father of two girls died on Dec. 23, 2007 at Caressant Care at the age of 84. According to his obituary, Maurice Granat’s son, Patrick Dreyer, died before him. He also had five grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. Described as a “special friend” of Granat’s in the obituary, Sam Long expressed his shock to The Canadian Press about the murder charges involving his friend.
““Wow,” Lamb said. “But I really don't know what he died of.”
Granat was a longtime auto mechanic from Tillsonburg, Ont.
The 95-year-old widow died on Oct. 27, 2011 at Caressant Care. According to her obituary, Helen Matheson was survived by her son, Jon, three grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Her husband, Carl Matheson, died in 1998 and her son Neil died in 2001.
Matheson’s friend, Bob Hilderley, told CTV Kitchener that he was in disbelief that the nurse who was supposed to be caring for her has been charged in her death. He said he was shocked by the news and that it hit close to home because he knew Matheson all of his life.
“She was a very kind, quiet lady who kept to herself a lot,” Hilderley said.
Hilderley said his friend went to church every Sunday, and served on the Ladies’ Aid Society.
“Helen would never ever say a bad word about anybody,” Hilderley said. “If you needed any help or anything, she was always right there to help.”
Matheson’s obituary said she spent of her life in Innerkip, Ont. where she was an active member of the Innerkip United Church.
The former native of Tillsonburg, Ont. died on March 28, 2014 at the age of 79 at Caressant Care in Woodstock, Ont. According to Maureen Pickering’s obituary, her husband, Hubert Pickering, died in 2009. The obituary also said that Pickering will be sadly missed by her four cousins.
Mary Zurawinski died at the age of 96 on Nov. 7, 2011 at Caressant Care in Woodstock, Ont.
The 87-year-old widow and mother of two died at Caressant Care in Woodstock, Ont. on Oct. 14, 2011. According to her obituary, Millard was born in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia in 1924. She was a longtime member of Knox Presbyterian Church and the Rose Rebekah Lodge in Woodstock, Ont.
Helen Young died at Caressant Care in Woodstock, Ont. on July 14, 2013 at the age of 90. Her obituary said that she was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. Young served in the RAF in several places in the Second World War, according to the obituary. She met her husband, Peter “Sandy” Young in London, England in 1948 and came to Canada as a war bride in 1949. The couple originally moved to Calgary before settling in Woodstock, Ont. in 1971. The obituary said Young was active in both the local Lions Club and the Humane Society. The pair was fond of travelling and enjoyed camping in Golden Lake, Ont. during the summers. Young continued to travel on her own after her husband died in 1988.
“She was a unique personality, a true sturdy Scottish lass, who did not hesitate to speak her mind on any and all subjects,” the obituary said.
With files from CTV Kitchener, CTV London, CTV Toronto and The Canadian Press