Online posts by the nurse accused of murdering eight seniors under her care paint a portrait of a family- and faith-focused woman who battled alcoholism, and wrote seemingly dark poetry.
Elizabeth Wettlaufer, 49, was charged by Woodstock police with eight counts of first degree murder spanning 2007 to 2014, taking place at two long-term care homes at which she worked as a registered nurse. The victims ranged in age from 75 to 96, both male and female.
A multi-jurisdictional investigation was launched by police on Sept. 29, following a tip on which police have not extrapolated.
According to an online portal for the College of Nurses of Ontario, Wettlaufer resigned from the college Sept. 30.
“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,” it read.
Online, Wettlaufer, who went by the name Bethe Wettlaufer, frequently posted photos of and exchanged public messages with her elderly parents. She also posted often about Christianity–even calling on other Christians “to search their Bibles and their hearts under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and start being TRULY Christ like” in a Feb. 2015 Facebook post.
Earlier this year, she posted a photo of a man she identified as her father, captioning it, “Fathers day is a great reminder of how blessed I am to still have my Dad alive and able to spend time with me.”
A Twitter account called ‘sillynursey,’ registered to a ‘bethe wettlaufer,’ has just one tweet–posted in April of this year–reading “Listening to discussion about Bill Cosby. Does heinous behavior negate true talent?”
Wettlaufer also maintained a profile on the poetry platform AllPoetry.com, under the username “bettyweston” (though her poems were copyrighted under “Bethe Wettlaufer”).
Some of her poems specifically dealt with patient care.
“I love the finality, the resignation / the knowing this is their last home. / Yes, sometimes I feel angry / but mostly at the staff / the people exected (sic) to meet the aging needs,” she wrote in the Oct., 2010 poem entitled Working happy. “I want to see everyone happy, / everyone content / and when others who are paid to do so don’t, / well I boil over.”
In 2011, Wettlaufer also published a piece about murder, written for a contest by another user. In the comment section of the poem, she described writing about a female serial killer as making her feel “powerful.”
“Blade traces a line / from navel to spine / grating on rib bones / slicing intestine. / Her knife sings a love song / to the splattering gore / slicing through breast bone / romancing some more,” read Inevitable.
One poem, entitled Serenity Now, was published just five days after one of the patients died.
“my body is still, my mind does not roam / for a change I am tranquil, peaceful, at rest / my heart is not beating out of its chest / and even though I could not truly believe / serenity now I have shortly achieved,” a section of it reads.
According to Wettlaufer’s LinkedIn and Facebook profiles, she studied nursing at Conestoga College after getting a degree in counselling at the London Baptist Bible College, which is now part of Heritage Baptist College in Cambridge, Ont.
Her LinkedIn profile says she worked at Woodstock’s Caressant Care from 2007 until 2014, as well as Meadow Park in London for less than a year in 2014. These dates correspond with the death dates and locations provided by police of the alleged murder victims.