Elaine Campione

Elaine Campione

Crime: Murder

Elaine Campione of Ontario, Canada, is sick in the head, but she knew full well that what she did was wrong. She knew full well that she was a monster, and she admitted as much to police officers. Thankfully Canadian justice has reached the same conclusion and now Elaine Campione will spend the next few decades in prison, which is exactly where she belongs.

Elaine Campione was quite distraught in 2006 at the prospect of losing custody of her two precious daughters, Serena and Sophia, to her hated ex-husband, Leo Campione. She’d done her level best to convince the courts and the Children’s Aid Society that Leo Campione was the monster, that he had horribly abused her and the girls.

In Family Court in July, 2006, she filed a victim impact statement that read, “I’m asking the Crown to ask for parenting classes, no alcohol, personal counselling for two years. I believe it’s up to the judge if there is to be jail time. I ask the judge to help my daughters’ father become a good man again. Because of him, I trust in no one, isolate myself even more from when I was with him, scared of falling down the same path. Please do what’s best for these two girls. They are going to grow up to be women and I want the cycle broken. Please God help us.’’

Elaine Campione also made accusations against Leo Campione to police, counselors, psychiatrists and fellow residents at a Barrie, Ontario women’s shelter. She told anyone and everyone how evil the man was, and how much she feared having him in her children’s lives.

There was an investigation, but Leo Campione was never tried for any abuse charges. Still, the man was deprived of his children after Elaine Campione left him in 2005. After almost a year apart, he finally was granted supervised visitation twice a month. Elaine Campione refused to let him have weekly visits. She even freaked out when he took photos of Serena and Sophia.

During the supervised visits, Leo Campione hugged and kissed the girls, changed little Sophia’s diaper, made them lunch, and gave no sign of being the monster parent he’d been accused of being. The girls were happy to be with him.

Elaine, Serena and Sophia Campione

(Canadian Press)

Elaine Campione’s extreme ranting and raving, and her bizarre behavior raised alarm bells with doctors and counselors who’d been dealing with her.

The woman, undoubtedly sick in her head, insisted she’d seen aliens, and wouldn’t allow one of the girls to touch anything red. She maintained that people were out to kill her and steal her daughters. Elaine Campione was paranoid, delusional and suicidal.

The doctors and counselors, along with her own parents and Leo Campione, contacted the Children’s Aid Society (CAS) to express their concerns that she was not capable of caring for the children. Tragically, and inexplicably, CAS did not listen.

When Elaine Campione was released from a brief stint in a psychiatric hospital after a suicide attempt, CAS returned Serena and Sophia to her custody. The girls had been happy and safe with their grandparents, but CAS discounted that. CAS, as far as I can determine, has never been held accountable for their gross mishandling of this case.

It turned out, tragically, that Serena and Sophia had more to fear from their mother than anyone else on this planet. Elaine Campione was determined that Leo Campione would never, ever get her girls. As she said, “my babies don’t belong to him, they belong to me.”

And so we come to October 2, 2006, and Elaine Campione was panicking that her attempts to keep the girls away from her ex weren’t panning out. A custody hearing was set for the next day. In her sick mind, the monstrous mother decided to take the ultimate step to not only prevent Leo Campione from gaining custody, but also to inflict the worst pain upon him that was possible.

Elaine Campione, 35, recorded that fateful day. This is an edited “before” video.

If you watch it, you’ll see that Elaine Campione and her daughters celebrated Serena’s birthday. Serena was 3 years old and Sophia was 19 months old. Serena was treated to birthday presents and dressed up in a pretty dress, but the video is interspersed with her mother’s obsessive questioning, “How much do you love your mommy?” and “Who loves you most?”

There is also a disturbing diatribe Elaine Campione made against her ex. You can see Serena was trying to block it out as she concentrated on the TV, and Sophia was whining, trying to get her mother’s attention.

What this edited video doesn’t show is Serena and Sophia dancing and twirling, having fun. It doesn’t show little Sophia playing and splashing in a bubble bath as her mother starts to sing, “Twinkle, twinkle, little star … can you sing it with me, Sophia?” before she shut off the camera.

After a period of time the camera was turned on again, this time showing Serena alone, colouring in a book. Elaine Campione once again asked her girl, “How much do you love me?” And once again she turned off the camera.

What Elaine Campione did not record was what happened to her little girls in the bathtub. The monstrous mother had told Serena and Sophie to blow bubbles in the bath water, then pushed their heads under the water until they were dead.

That’s right, Elaine Campione drowned her beautiful little girls because she could not bear to let her ex-husband have custody. She wanted him to suffer.

There is another video, the “after” video. I’m not embedding it here. It’s full of hate and vitriol against Leo Campione.

“There, are you happy now?” she demanded. “You deal with this for the rest of your life. I hope this makes you happy. You’ve wiped out your entire family. Now you can look at their caskets and talk to them that way.”

“The children are gone. How does that make you feel?” Elaine Campione asked on the videotape.

Elaine Campione continued on ranting against her ex, expressing her hatred over and over, calling him a psychotic devil and blaming him for everything.

“I want you to know how much I hate you,” she said. “You wanted to win and you won. … Are you happy?”

Elaine Campione expressed her fury that she was not allowed to leave the province with the children to go and live with her family. She was also raging that the Children’s Aid Society got involved.

“It was harassment,” she said. “I was a great mother. I did everything with them.” Except die.

“I was the perfect wife,” Elaine Campione claimed on the video. Really? And then she very maturely said, “You can take your engagement ring and stick it where the sun don’t shine.”

Serena and Sophia CampioneElaine Campione had later videotaped herself dressing Serena’s body in a lavender nightgown and Sophia’s body in Tinkerbell pyjamas. She videotaped herself curling the dead girls’ hair. She placed them side by side on her bed, holding hands. She placed a rosary and a photo album between them, then pulled the covers over them. Such loving care from a killer.

After Elaine Campione got the girls’ bodies posed to her liking, she turned the camera off at 9:27 pm. She turned it on again at 8:19 am, and told the camera that she’d tried to kill herself with an overdose of clonazepam but it didn’t work.

“It’s morning and our babies are in heaven,” the killer said. She continued her endless rant against Leo Campione, blaming him for ruining her life. “Why did you have to do this to us Leo. Why?” she asked.

Elaine Campione waited until 6:15 am, October 4, 2006 to call the police to inform them that her children were dead.

Barrie police Constable Greg Brickell was one of the first police officers on the scene. Elaine Campione calmly let him in and told him where to find the girls. He found them just as the murderer had left them. There was a smell in the room, and a fan was aimed at the bed.

Little Serena had a bruised forehead. Maybe she put up a struggle, but obviously there was some violence to her death.

Elaine Campione was arrested and hauled in for questioning. Once again she was on videotape. She shared with Detective Mike Winn her opinion that she will “burn in sin”, and that people will think of her as “a monster”.

The murderer would come to rue the day she gave those answers.

Elaine Campione, naturally, was made to undergo psychological assessments. Dr. Jeff McMaster examined her for the defense, and Dr. Stephen Hucker examined her for the Crown. Both testified at her October 2010 trial.

Dr. McMaster told the court that he couldn’t question the murdering mother about why she killed her children because she claimed to have no memory of the events.

“It can be difficult to form memories when you are psychotic,” the psychiatrist testified.

I guess Dr. McMaster hadn’t been told that Elaine Campione had had a phone conversation a month after the murders and told her friend all about the blowing bubbles game and holding the girls’ heads under water. Ooops.

The prosecutor Enno Meijers knew about that phone call, and pretty much skewered the psychiatrist’s testimony.

“Ms. Campione remembers an awful lot more than what she’s telling you,” said Enno Meijers. “She’s trying to snow you and everybody else.”

Dr. McMaster postulated that the killer might have believed she was protecting her children by sending them to heaven.

The prosecutor played the part of the police interrogation where the killer said, “Now I have God to answer … I will burn in sin,” arguing that that was proof Elaine Campione knew that her actions were morally wrong.

Dr. Stephen Hucker testified that the child killer had multiple signs of mental illness, including psychosis, paranoia, depression and borderline personality disorder, but none of that added up to 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,” the psychiatrist said.

Dr. Hucker also testified that he had studied the videotape created right after the murders. “What I saw was intense anger toward her estranged husband. It was a rant against Mr. Campione … more about how he abused her as opposed to protecting the children.”

When Detective Mike Winn asked Elaine Campione, “What kind of mother do you think people will think you are?” she had answered, “A monster.”

“Obviously this implies she knows she has done something terribly wrong,” said Dr. Hucker. “It suggests she well understood how people would feel about her actions.”

The jury agreed and found Elaine Campione guilty of 2 counts of 1st-degree murder. She was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years. Yay!

The defense team immediately appealed the verdict. It was their view she was not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder.

“She believed they were unsafe on earth and that by sending them to heaven, she was providing them with a safe haven where they could have a happy life together,” said her appeal lawyers.

If Elaine Campione had won her appeal, she could possibly have served a short period of time in a psychiatric hospital.

Mercifully, on February 3, 2015, Elaine Campione lost her bid to appeal her convictions.

“While the focus of the test is on the appellant’s state of mind and her capacity for rational choice, the question is not whether the appellant considered the acts justified according to her own moral code, but whether she was incapable of knowing that her actions were contrary to society’s morality,” ruled the appeal court.

And with that decision, Elaine Campione will now assuredly spend a long, long time in prison. Sadly, that will not bring back little Serena and Sophia. I doubt it will ease the pain and loss felt by Leo Campione and family and friends who loved those bright little bundles of delight.

“Some people may see this verdict as a victory for justice and maybe others will not,’’ Leo Campione had written in a victim impact statement. “But either way, my family and I will still live our loss every day. The images of their last moments, innocent and helpless as they were, will haunt me forever, in ways I can’t begin to describe.’’

Justice is still lacking in that the Children’s Aid Society hasn’t been made accountable. They chose, in their “infinite wisdom” to turn 2 little girls over to the custody of a suicidal, depressed, delusional woman. They chose to ignore the concerns of trained doctors and counselors and even the woman’s own parents. Heads should roll, IMO, for such an appalling decision.

RIP, Serena and Sophia. I extend my heartfelt sympathies to those who mourn their loss.

City News Toronto article – trial
The Star News article – father
CBC News article – father
Daily Mail article – appeal
CBC News article – appeal dismissed

9 Responses to Elaine Campione

  1. moodymagic says:

    Yes Cleo heads should roll. These 2 beautiful little girls should have had their whole lives ahead of them. I can’t image the last breath you took was while the mother who you loved and was suppose to love you was holding your head under water drowning you.

  2. dee says:

    This makes my heart ache, those poor angels. I hope the children’s services learn from their mistakes. I don’t believe they will take any responsibility.

  3. bulldoggy says:

    I watched the movie and the way Serena ignored her mother’s rant tells me that she heard that same rant day in and day out. Pure hate coming out of that woman. She didn’t kill those poor kiddies to “save them” from a fate worse than death. She did it to get retribution, to make her ex suffer. The jury got it right.

    • Bengalpuss says:

      Bulldoggy is right, this bitch killed those babies just to spite leo, she knew that by murdering those little girls that leo would be left in pain knowing his daughters had been killed and he wouldn’t see them again. This bitch is like rita kumari baker, she murdered her two daughters to spite her x husband for leaving her. The social services should be held accountable for sending those babies to their deaths after being informed that the mother was a few cards short of a full deck. The way she keeps nagging the little one by saying “who do you love the most” and “i love you” i’d dread to think what she’d do to someone she hates. I hope her time in jail is made an absolute misery. I had to laugh when after she murdered those babies she said on video “now look what you’ve done, i hope your pleased with yourself” fucking lights are on but no one is home.

      • Jeni C says:

        BP, I have watched her interrogation videos, and isn’t it convenient that she seems to remember EVERYTHING leading up to and after the murders, remembers exact details like what color uniforms the police were wearing, what was on them…how many people were in her apartment, how many of them were in specific rooms of her apartment…she rememembers every little detail, but doesn’t remember committing the actual murder? Who did she think she was fooling? She shouldn’t have taped herself pretty much confessing her crime. The video she taped right after the murders, she comes right out and tells her ex husband that their children “are with God now..and they are being protected by God.” And “Look at what you have done, I hope you’re happy that you’ve taken away everything.” Really? She sealed her fate with those videotapes. That, and the fact that she squashed her claim of not remembering killing her kids, because she sat there and ran her mouth about everything before and afer the murders. She sat there and kept talking and talking, even though SHE was the one that kept telling the investigators that she was told to say no to everything until her duty council was present. She knew she didn’t have to say a word, but still kept on talking and digging the hole she was in even deeper. She soooo deserves to be where she is. If there was any kind of real justice, these piece of shit parents that kill and abuse their kids would be served up the same punishment and abuse they put their child through. There’s not a week that goes by where I’m not reading about some piece of shit parent killing their kid. It is becoming too commonplace, and that is sad and scary.

  4. Awesomeblossom says:

    My heart bleeds for those babies. They deserved a long happy life.

  5. Mia says:

    I cannot even imagine the amount of pain that their father is in. It breaks my heart that he did everything he could to save his beautiful, innocent daughters and the system just completely failed them all.

  6. Leasha says:

    Most other websites are saying she was “sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years”. Which one is it, 25 years to life or life in prison with no parole for 25 years? Just trying to clarify

    • cleo says:

      Elaine Campione was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years. I shall fix that. Thanks for making me double-check.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *