Skip to content

Episode 23: Elizabeth Wettlaufer Confession, Part 3

In the final hour of her confession, Wettlaufer talks about how she felt after the murders were over. She says she would laugh afterwards, “which was really, it was like a cackling from the pit of hell.”

Wettlaufer tells the detective that she feels both guilt and shame about what she has done, which is why she has been finally driven to confess. When asked by the detective what she might say to her victims’ families, she exhales. “What can you say to them that would matter? ‘I’m sorry’ isn’t enough,” she says. “I should have gotten help sooner. I took something from you that was precious and was taken too soon.”

She makes apologies to the families of specific victims, although not to those of “mean” patients like Maureen Pickering.  Wettlaufer also tells the detective that she had confessed her crimes to others over the years, including a priest, and a close female friend, yet none of them reported her to the police. The detective asks her why she thinks that is.

“Maybe they didn’t believe me,” says Wettlaufer. “I don’t know. Maybe they just thought I was doing something that the patient wanted.” Perhaps this was a case of bystander apathy, or perhaps others felt Elizabeth was simply exaggerating. Perhaps they felt they, too, would get in trouble if they spoke up.

Were it not for her confession, Wettlaufer’s crimes would have gone undiscovered. Eight people in nine years is not a large number in a nursing home for the elderly, where no-one returns home, where patients die all the time, and where sudden deaths are not unusual.

Elizabeth Wettlaufer was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole eligibility for 25 years.

Listen to the final hour of the confession here.

Forensic Transmissions
Episode 23: Elizabeth Wettlaufer Confession, Part 3