Wettlaufer first tried to kill a nursing-home resident in 2007 while working at the Caressant Care home in Woodstock, Ont. She confessed, unprompted, to her crimes in September 2016, ending a two-decade-long career as a registered nurse marked by numerous medication errors, suspensions for incompetence, and murder.
Wilmot-Smith said she had no idea Wettlaufer had been fired from two workplaces when she hired her in 2015. The College of Nurses of Ontario, responsible for protecting the public from bad nurses, was informed of both firings. But when Wilmot-Smith checked Wettlaufer’s standing with the college, she found a spotless public record.
Wilmot-Smith said she called Wettlaufer’s former supervisor at Caressant Care, registered nurse Sandra Flutter, and was told that Wettlaufer was a “very caring” nurse and a “good team player.”
By the time she began working for Wilmot-Smith, Wettlaufer had already killed eight people and assaulted or tried to kill four others. The first sign of trouble in her new job occurred a month after she was hired, when Wettlaufer didn’t show up for a shift at the Telfer Place nursing home in Paris, Ont. When reached by phone that day, Wettlaufer said she couldn’t attend because she had been drinking.
Months later, Wettlaufer revealed to Wilmot-Smith that she was an alcoholic who had started drinking again.
By April 2016, the director of care at Telfer emailed Wilmot-Smith to say she no longer wanted Wettlaufer to work at the nursing home. The email noted that a doctor at the home “did not feel confident in (Wettlaufer’s) abilities to assess our residents and carry out basic nursing duties.”