It isn’t just the Woodstock community that is struggling to process the shocking news that a nurse has been charged with killing eight residents of long term care facilities — so are friends of the accused.
Forty-nine year old Elizabeth Wettlaufer made her first court appearance Monday night after she was charged with eight counts of first-degree murder.
Friend Nancy Gilbert describes Wettlaufer as happy-go-lucky.
“She was very friendly, very happy lately, she owned two cats and a dog,” she said. “She met all kinds of great people, she just really, really enjoyed what she did.”
Wettlaufer’s online persona also shows stark contrast.
According to her LinkedIn profile, she studied nursing at Conestoga College in Kitchener from 1992 to 1995, after receiving a bachelor’s degree in counselling from the London Baptist Bible College.
Wettlaufer appeared to be deeply religious and worked as a support worker with Christian Horizons, a religious organization in Woodstock that helps people with “exceptional needs” in countries around the world, from June 1996 to June 2007.
In a Facebook post in January of 2015 she wrote — “I did not ask to be born but I did ask to be born again.”
But in September of 2015 Wettlaufer said in a post that she had been battling substance abuse and had been “clean and sober” for a year.
And in 2011, she published a piece about murder, in which she described writing about a female serial killer as making her feel “powerful.”
One poem, entitled Serenity Now, was published just five days after one of the patients died.
A section of it read -“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.”
Wettlaufer is due back in court next week.