Now, we admit that we've never heard of her, but what we've read thus far really has been a bit of an eye opener:
(Jan 7, 2010)
She wants to be declared a dangerous offender. Just like the man she worships.
Years ago, at the peak of the Paul Bernardo case, she used to phone me. Sometimes several times a day.
She would call to say she loved the serial sex killer and he loved her. That we were all wrong about her Paul. He was innocent. Misunderstood.
She would go on to be a diagnosed off-the-dial psychopath. She would tell psychiatrists she wanted to become a famous killer.
Her name was Michelle Erstikaitis. Still a teenager back when she used to dial me. Obsessed with a man she had never met.
I had lost track of Michelle. Until this week.
On Tuesday she appeared -- sans lawyer -- in a Toronto courtroom to tell a judge she wants to be declared a dangerous offender. If the court bestows that designation on her, the now 30-year-old says, "I'll write a book about it."
The Toronto Star's Peter Small quotes her saying: "I'll be the only female dangerous offender. ... I'll write a lot of nasty s--- about everybody who's done this."
The judge has put the matter over until a later date with plans to appoint a legal professional to assist Michelle, who fired her lawyer a month ago.
Meanwhile, let me tell you about the train wreck of a person who is Michelle Lyne Erstikaitis.
She is a Hamilton girl. The eldest of three sisters.
"First born, first forgotten," she once said.
Her mother was a sex worker and drug addict. Michelle was raised by her for the first five years. At 8, she was adopted by a local family. They had their hands full.
During the next few years, she was hospitalized with mental health problems -- depression, hysteria, psychosis and borderline and antisocial personality disorders -- at least five times. She used drugs and cut herself.
At 13 she became obsessed with Bernardo, writing to him in jail and claiming he was the only one who understood her.
In 1995, when Bernardo was on trial for the first-degree murders of teenagers Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French, Michelle's obsession flourished. (She was also becoming infatuated with Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.) She began leaving sadistic, threatening messages on Debbie Mahaffy's answering machine about her dead daughter. A girl her own age.
Sometimes Michelle pretended to be Leslie. Other times, she threatened to kill the grieving mother and her son.
"I love him, you know," she said in a message after Bernardo was given a life sentence. "But you put him in jail. ... I'm afraid I'll just have to go to your son's school and -- you know -- get him, a la Kristen French."
Michelle also called 911 and said she was going to kill Debbie Mahaffy. Michelle gave her name. She was convicted of making death threats in early 1999.
That fall, she poured gasoline around her Hamilton apartment and ignited it. Emergency workers broke down her door to rescue her. Tenants were home in six other apartments in the building. She was taken to Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital first, then charged with arson, endangering life and breaching her probation.
After a guilty plea and a two-year sentence, the Hamilton Crown attorney's office ordered a psychiatric evaluation as part of a dangerous offender application.
Out of a possible 40 points on the psychopathy checklist, Michelle scored a 37.8. Anything over 30 indicates a substantial risk that the offender will commit a violent crime.
Michelle was just 22. A young woman to be facing a possible lifetime locked up as a dangerous offender. In the end, the Attorney General of Ontario sought -- and got -- a six-year long-term offender designation instead, meaning she was supervised for six years after her release from prison.
She was still on that supervision when she allegedly slashed her boyfriend with scissors a year ago. And that's why she was in court this week. She wanted to plead guilty to armed assault, mischief and threatening and consent to being declared a D.O., which means an indefinite sentence.
Michelle, who has been in custody since last January, wants to represent herself. She told the judge she was capable: "I have more intelligence than the average inmate." The judge, however, wants her to have a lawyer by her side if the long process of declaring her a D.O. -- a designation Bernardo already has -- is to begin.
Now, we suppose you're wondering why we would take the time on this blog to write about this particular individual who is clearly mentally ill and who, perhaps for her own safety and certainly for the safety of people she might come into contact with, should be designated as a dangerous offender and put away for an indefinite period of time?
Well, it seems that, according to Paul Fromm, Ms. Erstikaitis is the victim here. You see, she's being persecuted for her "White Nationalist" beliefs:
We've taken the time to transcribe Paulie's text. See if you can notice what he omits and glosses over in his description of Ms.
We really aren't sure why Paulie is willing to fall on his sword for this woman, though it's not exactly the first time he's voiced his support for questionable individuals (
We think Paulie has lost his mojo. Or jumped the shark. Or whatever pithy pop culture reference for loosing his shit you, our dear readers, can come up with yourselves. Feel free to share.
But hey, if Paulie is so confident that she's being railroaded, perhaps he'd be willing to take Ms. Erstikaitis in to his own home to prove she's not a threat?