Troubling video shown during child murder trial
Sept 21 2010
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Crime/20.../15417346.htmlBARRIE, Ont. — Moments before her mother drowns her, baby Sophia splashes and plays with the bubbles in the bathtub, while her mother holds the video camera and sings Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
The troubling video was played in vivid clarity to a jury yesterday during the trial of Elaine Campione, who wept as she watched from the prisoner’s box.
Campione, 35, is charged with the first-degree murder of her one-year-old daughter, Sophia, and her big sister, Serena, 3, who was also drowned, on Oct. 2, 2006 in their Barrie apartment.
With her squeaky-clean face and big, trusting eyes, the one-year-old looks up at the camera, then slaps at the water with chubby little hands, gleefully unaware of the danger that lurks.
“Twinkle, twinkle, little star ... can you sing it with me Sophia?” asks the mother.
The video abruptly shuts off. It is turned on again; this time to videotape the older sister Serena.
“Serena, who loves you the most?” asks the mother, as Serena colors in a book.
Again, the video tape shuts off.
When it turns on again, the mother sits in front of the video camera all alone.
There, are you happy now?” she asks, in a whiney voice. “Now you can look at their caskets ... God’s taking care of them now — there is no way I could let them go with you.”
She wept and ranted as she addresses her ex-husband, Leo Campione, who was trying to get custody of his children at that time.
The rant continues as she repeatedly tells Leo “I hate you,” and makes allegation of how he beat her, although she gives no specifics and her allegations have not been backed up in court so far.
“You physically and emotionally abused me,” she says. “You can take your engagement ring and stick it where the sun don’t shine.” Again the camera shuts off. Hours later the video starts with Campione again in front of the camera.
“I tried to overdose but it didn’t work,” she says. She yawns, then continues a similar, rant against her husband.
“It was harassment,” she says. “I was a perfect wife ... I was a great mother.” She blames her ex-husband’s family as well.
“You are the devil ... you are a psychotic devil ... you and your entire family,” she says repeatedly. “This is your fault ... you deal with it. Deal with it for the rest of your life.” The jury also watched an earlier video that appears to have been taken early in the day. In it, the two little girls play with toys and dance in princess dresses.
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Mom told girls to 'blow bubbles' as she drowned them
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A Crown witness told a Barrie, Ont. court Monday that Elaine Campione, told her girls Serena, 3 and Sophia, 1, to play a game of blowing bubbles before she drowned them in a bathtub.
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Mom trying to fool shrinks, court told
Oct 30 2010
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Crime/20.../15888216.htmlBARRIE, Ont. - Elaine Campione tried to "snow" psychiatrists by saying she doesn't remember killing her children to try to get out of a murder rap, a Crown attorney charged yesterday.
On the witness stand since Wednesday, a psychiatrist for the defence stuck to his story that Campione was paranoid and psychotic when she drowned her children in the bathtub to protect them from her alleged abusive ex-husband.
Dr. Jeff McMaster testified he couldn't question the mother about why she drowned Serena, 3, and Sophia, 1, in the bathtub because she has no memory of it, which he attributed to her mental illness.
"It can be difficult to form memories when you are psychotic," McMaster testified.
But prosecutor Enno Meijers scoffed at that account.
He pointed out a telephone call Campione made to a friend while in jail a month after she was arrested when she told her friend: "I told them to blow bubbles and then I held their heads under the water."
Meijers said the call proves Campione was trying to fool people into thinking she was psychotic at the time of the killings.
"Ms. Campione remembers an awful lot more than what she's telling you," said Meijers. "She's trying to snow you and everybody else."
In ourt, Meijers also replayed a home-video Campione created that shows her sitting on her couch in front of the camera in an angry rant as she informs her ex-husband their children are dead.
"Are you happy?" she says on the video. "You can take your engagement ring and stick it where the sun don't shine."
The video was done within minutes of Ms. Campione having killed both of her children, Meijers told the court.
"There is nothing to indicate any kind of hopeless desperation ... this is a spouse-revenge killing," he said.
But McMaster disagreed with the Crowns argument.
"I don't read it that way," McMaster said. "I think she thinks she is doing the right thing by trying to protect her kids."
But Meijers pointed out another statement made by Campione when she told police: "Now I have God to answer ... I will burn in sin."
That statement clearly indicated that Campione knew what she did was morally wrong, the prosecutor insisted.
Killer mom knew she did 'something terribly wrong' Nov 2 2010
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Crime/20.../15913471.htmlBARRIE, Ont. - By her own admission, Elaine Campione knew people would think of her as a "monster" - which shows she knew that killing her children was a horrible act, a psychiatrist told a jury Monday.
Campione, 35, is on trial for the first-degree murder of Serena, 3 and Sophia, 1, who were drowned in a bathtub Oct. 2, 2006.
While she admits she drowned her children, her lawyer argues Campione was not criminally responsible.
The jury must determine whether she was suffering from a mental illness that could have prevented her from knowing the difference right and wrong.
Psychiatrist for the Crown, Dr. Stephen Hucker, testified Campione showed several signs of mental illness, including depression, some symptoms of psychosis, paranoia and borderline personality disorder - but no major mental disorders.
"I see no reason why she couldn't appreciate the nature of the physical act of holding the children's faces under the water," he said.
While the defence psychiatrist testified Campione may have believed she was protecting her children by killing them and sending them to heaven, Hucker disputed that view.
He told the jury he studied the videotape Campione created shortly after she killed her children.
"What I saw was intense anger toward her estranged husband," Hucker said. "It was a rant against Mr. Campione ... more about how he abused her as opposed to protecting the children."
In another video taken by police shortly after she was arrested, Campione makes several comments about her religious faith and states that on judgment day, "I will burn in sin."
Ad when Det. Mike Winn asks her, "What kind of mother do you think people will think you are?" she whispers back, "a monster."
"Obviously this implies she knows she has done something terribly wrong," the doctor said.
"It suggests she well understood how people would feel about her actions."
Hucker also said he doesn't believe Campione's claim that she can't remember drowning her kids.
Elaine Campione, charged with first-degree murder of her two children who were drowned in a bathtub Oct. 2, 2006.