Wettlaufer moved from prison to psych hospital, victim's son says
A southern Ontario nurse who was convicted of eight murders was transferred from prison to a psychiatric hospital a little more than one year after she received a life sentence, according to the son of one of her victims.
Elizabeth Wettlaufer is being housed at the Institut Philippe-Pinel de Montreal, Daniel Silcox said Thursday.
“There are no bars. There are some recreational facilities. There’s gardening. There’s heavy, heavy counselling,” Silcox told CTV Kitchener.
“It’s not a healing lodge; on the other hand it is not maximum-security either. It’s somewhere in-between.”
Wettlaufer, 51, was transferred to the Quebec facility in March. She pleaded guilty in June 2017 to eight counts of first-degree murder, four counts of attempted murder and two counts of aggravated assault.
All of the charges related to attacks on patients in her care at long-term care facilities and a private home in London, Ont., Woodstock, Ont. and the surrounding area.
The first person she killed was James Silcox, Daniel Silcox’s father.
Wettlaufer injected her victims with insulin. She was handed Canada’s automatic penalty for first-degree murder – life in prison with no opportunity to apply for parole for 25 years.
Silcox said he was “conflicted” to learn of Wettlaufer’s transfer, noting that he understands Wettlaufer is dealing with significant mental health obstacles.
“If she clearly knew, in her head, that she was incarcerated for the rest of her life, I would be happy – and I don’t care where that would be,” he said.
Criminal defence lawyer Ari Goldkind said Wettlaufer’s “temporary stop” in a psychiatric hospital is different from the situation of Terri-Lynne McClintic, who was recently moved to an Indigenous healing lodge.
“Nobody should think … that she’s going to be there for years and years and years,” Goldkind told CTV News Channel.
Goldkind said the decision to move Wettlaufer out of prison would have been made by correctional officials based on a number of factors, including her guilty pleas suggesting that she is “open to being helped.”
The Ontario government has launched a public inquiry aimed at finding ways to prevent patients in the province’s long-term care homes from being killed by their nurses in the future. The inquiry heard its final submissions last week. Its final report is due next summer.
With a report from CTV Kitchener’s Nicole Lampa