"No Easy Answers" Regarding BC Woman Convicted for Killing Animals

After pleading guilty in 2012 to killing and disemboweling the family dog and cat, 23-year-old Kayla Bourque was placed on stringent conditions due to public safety fears.   A former psychology and criminology student at Vancouver's Simon Fraser University, Bourque was arrested after a teaching assistant informed campus security about her violent fantasies.   These included her reportedly tellling a fellow student that she wished to learn to "get away with murder."   A search of her room turned up a mask, a knife, a syringe, and a video of her torturing and killing the dog and cat belonging to her family in Prince George, British Columbia. 

A subsequent investigation found that Bourque had posted profiles on several goth sites listing her fascination with necrophilia and erotophonophilia (erotic preference for killing).     Despite public safety concerns, she only received nine months in prison and three years of probation.    Following her release in early 2013, police issued a rare public alert due to concerns over a potential escalation of her violent history.   The public notice issued by the B.C. Ministry of Justice stated that Bourque "has an escalating criminal history. She has offended violently against both people and animals and is considered high risk to reoffend."    Following her release, she was required to abide by the fortyy-six probation conditions  laid down at the time of her convictions.   The conditions include no proximity to animals or children,  staying off the Internet, and informing her probation officer of any new employment or education enrolment.  She is also banned from owning a computer or cell phone, and is even banned from owning duct tape.    She must also inform any potential new friend of her criminal history.   Though most of her probation conditions only run for three years, she is also under a lifetime ban against owning any animals.

After appealing many of her probation conditions, which she and her lawyer insisted were too restrictive, a three-judge B.C. appeal court dismissed her appeal with only minor changes to her conditions.   In announcing the unanimous appeal court decision, Judge Elizabeth Bennett stated that "Ms. Bourque has a history of killing and torturing animals.  She takes pleasure from this conduct, and has no insight into the harm and suffering she causes these creatures. Her condition is life-long, and is not situational. In my view, there is nothing to support a request for leniency on this prohibition. Ms. Bourque has lost the privilege of having the companionship of animals by betraying their trust in her."

Depicted as a "future serial killer" by the media, Bourque is now living in Vancouver.     Her parents, who adopted her out of a Romanian orphanage when she was nine months old, have essentially ostracized her stating that she is not welcome to return to her Prince George homeWhile she has indicated interest in getting psychological help, mental health professionals who have examined her report that she showed no remorse or insight into her crimes and one even went so far as to describe her as an "affectionless psychopath".  

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