Ottawa Citizen
Saturday 9 December 2000

Please consider this an apology

Verbatim: Teresa Bonacci's letter to the judge

Teresa Bonacci
Citizen Special
Ottawa Citizen


An artist's sketch of Teresa Bonacci who addressed the court publicly yesterday for the first time since her arrest in February 1999 for contracting the killings of her family.

Thank you for taking this time out of your busy schedule to take this letter into consideration.

The past 21 months I have sat in the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre going to programs such as: anger management, Elizabeth Fry Society meetings, psychology groups, religious groups and other groups that have, and still do, help me adjust and cope with the stress of my change in lifestyle as well as helping me accept that guilt I carry of a mistake that I regret doing in February 1999. Please bear with me, I find writing this letter difficult at the moment due to the 26 females in this dormitory that only beds 20.

Please consider this letter as an apology -- to the courts for the length of time it has taken to reach this point we are at today; to the Ottawa-Carleton community whom have spent its taxes housing me; to the Italian community whom have and still are supporting me and my family, for letting them down; to the Holy Cross Parish community for taking its friendships and kinships for granted; to my father whom is ill, and the added stress of my sins have made him weaker; to my mother who has endured several bouts of suicide, whom has always gracefully been my strength throughout this ordeal; and I especially apologize to my brother, whom is not only my biggest source of strength, but also is my pride, my rock, and my source of sibling love -- I'm sorry Lou, for everything.

Your Honour, for 92 weeks I have endured 92 humiliating, degrading strip searchs; for 92 weeks I have had to show my most intimate parts of my body to female guards, that my mother has not seen since I was a child; for 92 weeks I have felt shame, humiliation and degradation.

During the past 646 days of incarceration, I have prayed for forgiveness, I have repented my sins, I have asked for forgiveness from my family and have received it. I have worked hard in correcting my behavioural ways with the help of psychiatrists, psychologists, counsellors, spiritual leaders and God.

I have no intention, nor will I be swayed again to commit such a crime or any crime at all.

I will and am willing to seek and continue with psychiatric and counselling help to deal with certain issues that were unable to be dealt with during a short assessment at the Royal Ottawa Hospital. I am currently helping with a local restorative justice program that reconciles offenders and victims. My family and I have begun participating in this program with the help of a local Christian community.

I beg the courts and your Honourable Justice Desmarais, to give me a chance to re-integrate into the community to repair the emotional damage I have caused my family, to earn back the trust I have destroyed, to regain the things I value most that I took for granted -- my family's love, their generosity, their resilience, our heritage and our Christian beliefs and traditions.

Once again, I thank the courts and your Honourable Justice Desmarais for allowing me the chance to express what I have kept bottled for the past 21 months.

Sincerely,

Teresa Bonacci

Copyright 2001 Ottawa Citizen Group Inc.