Alberta health worker's strangulation scene described
Judge unseals Saddleback medical report after CBC applies for its release
An Alberta judge has unsealed a medical report that provides details of the crime scene where a mental health worker was killed on the job earlier this year, allegedly by the severely disabled young man she was caring for.
Valerie Wolski, 41, was alone with Terrence Saddleback on Feb. 12 in Camrose when she was strangled.
Saddleback, 26, was charged with manslaughter, but because of his mental disability he was found unfit to stand trial.
CBC News fought for five months to obtain the report that convinced a judge to find Saddleback unfit. Judge William Andreassen has now unsealed that document.
The fight for the file
The expert psychiatrist's report was written in March and filed at provincial court in Camrose, Alta., but CBC News had to fight for five months to have it released.
Judge William Andreassen needed to weigh Terrence Saddleback's right to privacy against the public's right to know what happened and debate how to prevent such future tragedies in the future. Ultimately, Andreassen agreed with CBC's lawyer that it was in the public's interest to unseal the file.
Lawyer Matt Woodley said it's an important victory for judicial transparency, because it lets the public understand why Saddleback was found unfit to stand trial.
"It also gives the public a good opportunity to ask questions about how things were done in this particular case and get answers as to why Ms. Wolski was put into the situation that she was," Woodley said.
It reveals that Terrence Saddleback has a long history of violence against female care workers.
The report also includes details about the crime scene that have until now been under wraps.
A female worker arrived at Saddleback's house just before 9 a.m. on the morning of Feb. 13 to relieve Wolski.
"Upon entering the residence she noticed Mr. Saddleback lying on the living room couch. He said hello to her," the court report states.
The caregiver then noticed her colleague lying on the floor in front of the couch, the document states. She called 911.
"Our officers noted hair on and around Mrs. Wolski in a variety of different locations within the house," Camrose police Insp. Lee Foreman said.
CBC News has learned that Saddleback had a history of pulling women's hair.
The medical examiner believes Wolski was choked during a struggle and died from manual strangulation.
Saddleback remains in secure custody at Alberta Hospital Edmonton.
Psychiatrist Christopher Green's court-ordered assessment of Terrence Saddleback: