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A mother drowned her two little girls in the bathtub, dressed them, primped and curled their hair and then posed them holding hands in her bed, waiting almost two days before calling police, a jury heard yesterday.
Elaine Campione, 35, is charged with two counts of the first-degree murder of her children, Serena, 3, and Sophia, 19 months, whose bodies were found in their Coulter St. apartment Oct. 4, 2006.
While the defence insists the mother was not sane when she killed her children, Crown Enno Meijers insists it was a cold, calculated and planned killing in a desperate bid to prevent her ex-husband from getting custody of the girls.
“She’s not insane,” Meijers said, “she did this to keep those children from her husband.”
In a chilling account, the prosecutor told how police found a videotape near the girls’ bodies in the Barrie apartment that was taken on the evening of Oct. 2 — the same day she met with a lawyer who told her that her ex-husband’s custody application might succeed.
The video shows happy girls playing, and just before the video shuts off, it shows one of them in the bathtub.
When the video is turned on again, Campione is in front of the camera alone.
“There, are you happy?” she says in an angry voice. “There is no way I could ever let them go with you.”
“She expresses hatred,” said the Crown, describing the video.
The next day, Campione again turns on the video camera and records herself saying, “Our babies are in heaven … I tried to overdose and it didn’t work.”
At around 6 a.m. on Oct. 4, Barrie Police received a call from Campione saying, “my children are dead.”
Within minutes, police arrived at her door.
In court Const. Greg Brickell was somber as he described how Campione calmly let him into her apartment and he viewed the two little girls laying together in bed, already beginning to decompose.
“The older one wore a shiny pinkish dress and a necklace and earrings,” said Brickell, his voice sometimes breaking. The younger child was dressed in Tinkerbell pajamas and also had a necklace and earrings.
Brickell described their blue-gray skin and a white dried substance around their mouths.
“They were laying together holding hands,” he said.
He said Campione appeared calm, but was taken to the hospital because he noticed an empty pill bottle, but later that night she was released to police.
Defence lawyer Mary Cremer asked the jury to keep an open mind during the evidence.
“In our law a person who is convicted of a criminal act must have the intent to commit that criminal act.”
The Crown warned the jury that much of the evidence will be disturbing.
The trial continues today.