The department of corrections in British Columbia made an uncharacteristic move this week when it warned the public about Kayla Bourque, a 23-year old violent offender with an “escalating criminal history” who’s been released and is planning on relocating to Vancouver. The Prince George native, and former Simon Fraser University criminology and psychology student, was incarcerated this past spring for “causing unnecessary pain and suffering to an animal, killing or injuring an animal, and possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose,” according to the notification.
If Law & Order reruns and first-year psychology courses have taught us anything, it’s that hurting animals is the gateway drug to going Jeffrey Dahmer on everyone’s ass, preserving severed heads in the freezer, and leaving contorted bodies to dissolve in sulfuric acid-filled biochemical waste bins.
The scariest part about this Kayla Bourque character is that she is clearly quite intelligent, articulate, and a reasonably good-looking babe.You might be asking yourself, “Hey guy, why should that be the scariest part?” Well, that’s because it’s comforting to think that violent offenders are as ugly and repulsive as the acts they commit. A toothless, meth-scarred redneck driving his truck slowly down country back roadslooks exactlylike the type of psycho to kill hitchhikers with a shovel. A cutesy twentysomething with Pocahontas vibes, on the other hand, does not. Kayla Bourque certainly doesn’t seem like the type to videotape herself disemboweling a dog and torturing a cat, either. But that’s what she did, along with regaling her peers with her graphic fantasies about killing homeless people.
After a Teacher’s Assistant informed campus security about Kayla’s gruesome stories and violent fantasies, a veritable serial killer’s starter kit was discovered in her room: a bag containing a mask, knife, razor blade, syringe, garbage bags, and a video of her killing and torturing her family’s dog and cat.
In the same way that the character Dr. Hannibal Lecter was a brilliant psychiatrist who studied violent pathologies while simultaneously acting them out, Kayla too was studying both psychology and criminology while committing deviant acts that converged with her studies. It’s often said that psychology majors are the craziest because, consciously or not, they’re trying to learn more about their own pathologies or eccentricities, and this might be perfect proof of that.
According to her profile on VampireFreaks.com, a social media hub for morbid goth kids, she lists her “idiosyncrasies” as necrophilia and erotophonophilia: the official term for getting off on the death of a human being. She also cites being diagnosed with major depression and sexual sadism, as well as the ability to “enter a trance state at will.”
From a nature vs. nurture perspective, it’s difficult to speculate on the root of her pathology based on her biological family history, because she was adopted very young, and no records have been released publicly as of yet (if they even exist). Her first eight months were spent in the notorious orphanages of 90s Romania, where neglect during infancy is believed to have churned out several orphans with sociopathic tendencies.
At eight months old, she then immigrated to the most dangerous city in Canada, Prince George, BC. Prince George’s recent history is saturated with violence, gangs, and serial killing. Most notably, the four murders of young women perpetrated the then 21-year old Cody Alan Legebokoff and the series of unsolved murders and disappearances of women along Highway 16 (aka the Highway of Tears) which runs through the town have greatly tarnished the reputation of Prince George.
For the time being, authorities are attempting to mitigate the risks of Kayla Bourque re-entering society through an extremely comprehensive list of probationary restrictions, including a nightly curfew where she has to stay indoors between 6 PM and 6 AM, avoiding contact with minors and animals or places they’d likely be, and staying off the internet and all social media.
What’s more, we’re left with difficult legal questions. While the public would certainly feel safer imposing indefinite restrictions on an individual with such a high risk of recidivism, nothing can be done legally unless she expresses intent to (or actually) commits illegal acts. Further, given her purported level of high intelligence and the minimum of three years of probationary restrictions imposed on her, who’s to say that she won’t become more adept at finding better ways to fulfill her morbid fantasies without getting caught?
Given the ordinary and vaguely attractive appearance of Kayla Bourque, it’s alarming that someone with no perceivable warning signs can become such a potentially huge threat to society. As a result, it’s almost reasonable to suspect virtually everyone of being capable of committing acts of terrible violence. After all, some things are best hidden right in the open. And that’s scary as shit.
Greg loves animals even more than Twitter and he is not a serial killer: @GGRPike