Sad and horrific story.
I think that it's worth noting that the convicted murderer didn't initiate the discussion
about these five things that might have made it more difficult for her to commit the murders. As far as I can tell, she didn't try to argue them at trial. She was convicted because she confessed to murder and attempted murder to staff at a drug rehab facility, where she was an inpatient in 2016.
The staff in turn notified the College of Nurses and the local police regarding her confession. She herself wrote an email to the College of Nurses and resigned as a nurse, citing the fact that she had deliberately harmed patients under her care and was now being investigated by the police for those crimes. From what I understand, after confessing to the staff at the rehab facility, she cooperated fully with the police's investigation.
If her account is to believed, she also confessed several times prior to the time she confessed in rehab, but no one seemed to take her seriously.
Elizabeth Wettlaufer - Wikipedia
She was later contacted and asked by three lawyers as part of an inquiry, who visited her in prison, where she had already started to serve her eight concurrent llfe sentences. One of the questions these lawyers asked was according the article that OP linked; what she thinks "could have stopped, or reduced, her killing spree?
It is possible that she gave the anwers to the inquiry lawyers because she is trying to displace and allocate at least some of the blame of her crimes, to external circumstances such as facility protocol.
But another possibility exists. She could be trying to be a "model prisoner" by trying to be helpful and come up with answers to help with this inquiry. Many times prisoners who serve a long sentence, know that their probably only chance of possibly getting parole sometime in the future, is to keep their nose clean and cooperate with the authorities.
I think we should be mindful that we don't know about everything on this woman's mind and in her heart from reading one or two newspaper articles.
I don't know how many of you have actually talked to real-life murderers about their crimes? I have. I find it entirely plausible that she is now experiencing remorse in a way that she didn't previously. If that's the Seroquel or not, is not for me to speculate about. But what I do know is that people with drug abuse problems and/or psychiatric problems who commit violent crimes, often experience a major crisis when the full extent of what they've actually done, dawns on them.
It is my opinion, anecdotal since it's based on my personal experience, that they often report credibly that they felt detached when the crime occurred and the realization of their own culpability can be painful for those criminals who have even a shred of normal empathy. To me, they are all
still wholly responsible for their crimes. I'm just noting that there are two groups of offenders. Those who completely lack a conscience and never feel any remorse, and those who actually are affected by what they've done.
I'm not saying this as an excuse for this convicted murderer. In my opinion she deserves every single one of those eight life sentences. What I'm saying though, is that life is seldom black and white. There are many shades of grey.
One part of the article that Emergent linked, was in my opinion particularly chilling. According to the article, the convicted murderer said that she picked patients with dementia because "they couldn't report or if they reported, they wouldn't have been believed"
. That clearly
shows calculation and awareness of the risk of getting caught. That's in my opinion cold.
She also, according to the article, said that "anybody I ever did had dementia"
. Please note the use of "did". What she did
was murder or try to murder defenseless patients entrusted to her care.
Why is she using the word "did"? It could be that she's not accepting responsibility for her acts and using such a dehumanizing verb to describe the act of murder, could point to a lack of empathy and disregard/indifference for the life of others. But it could also
be, and I've seen this is real life, that it's a way to attempt to protect herself from painful thoughts. Saying "I murdered" might actually be too painful, so she tries to distance herself by using a neutral word. I don't know enough about this case to guess which of the two possible explanations apply to her.
Personally I doubt that more stringent controls regarding insulin storage and administration, would have stopped her from killing her patients. It seems from the article that she avoided opioids because they are better accounted for.
If the same had been true for insulin, I suspect that any sufficiently motivated person would just have found another method. Or accepted the larger risk, if the urge to kill was strong enough. This is just me guessing, I have no possible way of knowing for sure.
Of course drugs and medications don't turn a person into a murderer. But I don't think that there is anyone here who will argue that medications can't have effects and side effects. Alcohol is famous for lowering inhibitions and there's a reason why some violent offenders like to take, or drug others with, for example flunitrazepam.
We can all speculate about this specific case. However, one thing I think we can all agree on, is that it's painful to see a healthcare professional so completely betray her duties to her patients.