The dilemma of Kayla Bourque

Kayla Bourque

Kayla Bourque

Kayla Bourque is a 22-year-old woman from Prince George. She was born in Romania and spent the first 8 months of her life in an orphanage there. A Canadian couple then adopted and raised her. Kayla Bourque is also a sociopath on her way to becoming a serial killer. She has been serving time in jail for torturing and killing a dog and a cat and for having a ‘murder kit’[1] in her possession. Bourque has fantasized about killing people. Her mother is significantly scared enough that she does not want Bourque back in the family home.

Bourque is being kept in jail for an additional 2 months as the judge and probation officials work on a release plan for her. The conditions will be stringent and any breaches will see Bourque back in jail. Her prognosis very poor; she lacks insight or remorse into her crimes. Apparently she also had child pornography in her possession.

Bourque poses a clear and present danger to society. She has been diagnosed with anti-social personality disorder with sociopathic tendencies. Clearly Bourque is broken likely as a result of not bonding with a parent or caregiver in the first critical months of life. While not all children coming out of these environments will pose a risk to society, we know that not attaching properly is a risk factor for these kinds of behaviours. Unlike a mental illness there is no pill one can take for these kinds of personality disorders.

The question is how do we protect society while at the same time respect Bourque’s freedom? All of the professionals involved can pretty much predict that, left to her own devices, Bourque will kill someone. Our legal system is not predicated on prevention; rather it focuses on punishment after someone has been convicted of a crime. How can we justify locking her up for a crime she may commit?

I am quite torn about what to do with Kayla Bourque. After her 3 years of parole and restrictions on her freedom what will happen? Do the police watch her for the rest of her life? There has been some discussion about doing something through the mental health act however that is problematic given that personality disorders are not mental illnesses. Sadly there is no easy answer that protects society while balancing her rights to liberty.


[1] Including a razor blade, garbage bags and a hypodermic needle.

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Published in: on November 30, 2012 at 4:35 pm  Comments (21)  
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21 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. “…personality disorders are not mental illnesses.” Say what?

  2. “Unlike a mental illness there is no pill one can take for these kinds of personality disorders”

    Disqualifying comment right there. I assure you they are. There’s this thing called the dsmv – I suggest you look at it before you spread more misinformation. Also – what the magic mental illness pill? It sounds awesome. You should tell Pfizer! You’ll be rich!

    • Personality disorders are not chemical imbalances. While there can be secondary mental illnesses to PDs that can be treated with medication, PDs require intensive counselling.

      • As a social worker who works with mental health folks, my experience over the past 30 years is that medication and counselling is of limited benefit. Furthermore, the person actually has to show up and take their medication, which rarely happens in the community.

  3. Really?? Protect HER liberty? Why? She is a self-professed killer??!!!!

    • Our criminal justice system is based on habeus corpus which literally means ‘bring forth the body.’ Bourque has been convicted of killing animals which, in and of itself, is reprehensible. However we cannot lock her up for what she might do even though we know most animal killers graduate to killing people.

      • Don’t be silly. Your last statement is patently false. Most serial killers have a history of killing animals, not the other way around. If “most” people who ever killed an animal “graduated” to killing people, odds are someone would have snuffed your misinformation-spreading ass a long time ago. Get your facts straight.

  4. Correct. Personality disorders stem from contravening societal norms. Quite often they are also seen as maladaptive coping mechanisms. Overwhelmingly the treatment for PDs is counselling and group therapy. There can be secondary mental illnesses like depression or anxiety that can be treated with medication. PDs are not caused by imbalances in brain chemistry.

  5. Personality disorders are classified by the DSM-IV as mental disorders. It is of my opinion that habeus corpus should NOT apply in the matter of Kayla Bourque

  6. Respect her freedom?? Are you kidding me? Who gives a rat’s ass about HER freedom. She needs to be locked up forever. She will contribute nothing to society and instead will eventually kill someone after killing many more animals. Freedom my ass, lock her up.

  7. good blog, I agree that with our legal system in place, this is a very hard issue to deal with. To do what most people here say and lock her up would violate freedoms that all people not having been convicted, are entitled to. Yet she has admitted these urges. I wonder if we should lock up everyone who obsesses over killing; the video game industry would be headed for a serious drop in revenue.

    • I think there’s a big difference between relatively well-adjusted people who like kill video games and this woman who, quite obviously, has serious mental health issues and personality disorders. She needs to be locked up, for the safety of the community. Why do we have to wait until someone else dies? The legal system needs to work with the mental health authorities and be proactive, not reactive, in situations like this.

      • Except we have rules in place to protect our rights. What you are talking about is a police state on steroids – being locked up because of what you might do would be a gross violation of civil rights. Put it in another situation. How many times do we utter the words ‘I am going to kill somebody’? Basically that is all Bourque has done with regard to people. Why should she be locked up for that?

      • You must also remember this woman has already killed animals for the joy of it. So, no, her rights would not be violated if we were to have her locked up…..for life!

        She is the the clasic example of a serial killer, but not only that, she resides in an area that is Canada’s dumping grounds for serial killers that have yet to be caught.

        Would you rather protect her rights and wait until her first human victim, or would you rather take a preemptive move and lock her up so that her potential human victims will live to see their dreams of living come true.

        I am getting so sick of those who prefer to protect the so-called rights of violent criminals!! It is time to step up and protect society from the evils of those who are hell bent on destroying the innocent!!

      • Agreed, Lee Hanlon. This woman has already been diagnosed as having mental health issues, so it’s not a stretch to ensure she stays in a facility where she is safe from herself and the public is safe from her. Shitzsustaff’s ‘police state on steroids’ is my ‘responsible government for the people’. To allow her freedom to kill again is not only irresponsible to society but it’s shirking our responsibilities to protect her. She needs to be protected from herself. But if she’s going to be released, I suggest we move her next door to Shitzsustaff.

    • I am so glad to have finally met some people with common sense discussing this case. It seems everyone is reacting with a kneejerk, poorly thought out emotional response.

      This case sucks because legally, more cannot reasonably be done and we have to live with this dangerous human being in our midst. That being said, I think that monitoring her and spreading the news that she is a severe danger is the correct approach, given the circumstances.

  8. traces of the movie minority report here.

  9. I am not making the decisions about what is going to happen Bourque. I am simply pointing out that our legal system does not lock people up for what they might do.

    • But our mental health system can lock people up if they think they are a threat to themselves because of severe mental health issues, which is why I said the justice system needs to work closely with the mental health system so that everyone, including Bourque, is protected.

  10. We really do need a secretive vigilante group that eliminates people like this.
    They would be called upon infrequently at best, but it would serve society well to have this in place.

  11. It’s possible that her telling another student about her fantasies and criminal plans was at least in part an unconscious cry for help. If one thinks about it, there really is no other reason that she Would tell someone. Also, in his book ‘The People of the Lie,’ M.Scott Peck proposed that evil Should be considered a mental illness. I agree. If it’s not something crying to be treated, then we are giving up hope on at least 2% of the human population, writing them off as being completely irredeemable. Unlike Robert Hare, I am not satisfied with doing that, myself.


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