A former nurse who confessed to murdering eight elderly residents who were under her care at retirement homes in eastern Canada was sentenced Monday to life in prison.
Elizabeth Wettlaufer faced a possible 200 years in jail, but the judge in Canada's Ontario province opted for eight concurrent sentences with no parole for at least 25 years.
The stout, bespectacled 50-year-old came forward and admitted having fatally injected her victims with insulin at two Ontario care facilities where she worked, often in charge of night shifts, between 2007 and 2014.
She also confessed to four other attempted murders and two assaults, including at a third facility.
The court in the town of Woodstock, south of Toronto, heard that Wettlaufer had been suffering from extreme anger over her job and life.
"She was far from an angel of mercy," Superior Court justice Bruce Thomas said. "Instead, she was a shadow of death that passed over (her victims)."
At her sentencing hearing, Wettlaufer apologized for her actions.
But outside the courthouse, friends and families of the victims expressed anger and grief, saying they felt betrayed by a woman entrusted with the care of their parent or grandparent.
"We'll never get over the fact that our trust was destroyed by this woman," one person told reporters.
"In how many nursing homes has something like this occurred?" she asked. "How do we know that our loved ones are safe."
The judge and prosecutors noted that Wettlaufer's crimes may never have been revealed if she had not come forward.
Her case has led to calls for greater oversight of elderly care facilities in Canada and monitoring of drugs dispensed by health workers.
The victims were men and women aged 75 to 96 years.
Describing one of the killings to police, Wettlaufer said she went out during a work break to buy the victim her favorite food -- blueberry pie and ice cream.
"She had three or four bites," Wettlaufer said in an interrogation video played in court. "And then that night I overdosed her."
Arpad Horvath, an immigrant who dodged death in Communist Hungary, was Wettlaufer's youngest and last victim. He did not live to see his 78th birthday.
His son, Arpad Jr., said he would never forgive Wettlaufer.
"These people matter," he said of the victims.