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Court records have been unsealed in the case of Leo and Frances Elaine Campione. The unhappy husband and wife were thrust into the spotlight two weeks ago, when the mother of one-year-old Sophia and three-year-old Serena was arrested and accused of killing the children.
A judge ordered their records sealed for several weeks after revelations that the distraught wife had accused her husband of abusing her.
Those documents were opened Tuesday and they show Frances Campione alleging her spouse began attacking her when she was pregnant with Serena. She tried to hide out at a woman’s shelter and papers indicate she had various injuries on her head and legs consistent with a beating.
Pictures taken when she checked in show the young mom with bruises on her face, arms and legs. “I have been sick to my stomach for two months now, but since I got to the shelter I can eat now,” she told a nurse at the centre.
She contends her husband beat her for years and charges he pummeled her “bloody” in front of her children, once slapping Serena so hard he also drew blood.
But even though she apparently applied for court permission to relocate her young brood to New Brunswick, where her family was located, and despite the allegations she’d made against Leo, she later showed up at the Woodbridge home of her husband’s parents, seeking sanctuary.
She then underwent at least a week of psychiatric care. That was in October 2005. The murders took place a year later.
In the interval, Campione charged her husband with assault, a case that was supposed to go to court the day after police were called to her Barrie apartment and discovered her children’s murders.
Francis Elaine Campione was hospitalized twice for psychiatric problems and each time the Children’s Aid Society took charge of the children, then released them back to her.
Leo Campione denies the assault charges and insists his wife’s fragile mental health and the accusations currently against her are signs she’s not credible.
Friends who knew the couple in Bradford indicate they never saw anything wrong and recall the husband as a man who doted on his children.
Police have yet to reveal how the two little girls were killed and their mother remains in custody facing two counts of first degree murder. She’s back in court at the end of November.
*Comment posted by Galaxy on Sept. 14th, 2010 says the following:
“Such A Tragedy
The knowledge I have of Leo..is that he clearly abused Elaine in every way possible!! It makes me angry and disappointed in the system that he got away with it!! It makes me angry, saddened and disappointed that the system failed Elaine too!!! It makes me angry, saddened and disappointed that Elaine took the lives of those innocent little girls!!!”
*another comment from Anonymous on Sept. 11,2010 follows:
“I spent one month with Elaine in a womens shelter in Barrie, we spent much time together, our girls played together, I saw the bruises, and I also saw how much she loved her kids…after the abuse she endured, and being alienated from her family and having no friends, who wouldn’t be having trouble coping. She feared for her children, and who wouldn’t. I think she just hit her limit. I think about her and her girls often. It is very tragic.”
Was Elaine a woman driven to this end or was she indeed a “mentally fragile” woman or was she a woman beaten down so far that she failed to realize the scope of her actions? Perhaps we will never know. If abused, how far would she go to ensure her daughters did not suffer the same fate at her ex husband’s hands. Or was her ex husband the victim of a woman who took away his rights as a father? It’s now falls into the hands of the court of law to decide and weigh-in the evidence.