Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Paul Bernardo & Karla Homolka

All For Love

It was all too good to be true. In 1990, Karla was engaged to a handsome, sophisticated professional accountant with money. It was going to be an incredible wedding: one that her family and friends would never forget.
She loved Paul very much. He was so unique and so very wild in bed. She would do absolutely anything to keep his love anything at all.
What made this situation a little different than most engagements is that for several years Paul made outrageous demands on Karla and Karla, just as outrageously, agreed to them.
Paul & Karla
Paul & Karla
Paul was very annoyed that Karla was not a virgin when he met her. It was, therefore, from his point of view, her responsibility to make it possible for Paul to take the virginity of Karla's pretty younger sister Tammy without her knowledge or consent. Once Karla accepted that logic, the rest was easy, even the idea of videotaping the whole thing seemed to make sense to her. After all, videotaping was a way to remember important events.
Karla worked in a veterinary clinic so she had a rudimentary knowledge of sedatives used for animals. The trick was figuring out what and how much to use to knock out Tammy so that Paul could rape her. Eventually, she decided on using halothane, an anesthetic which animals inhale before surgery.

A "Thoughtful" Rape

Book cover, Invisible Darkness
Book cover, Invisible Darkness
Stephen Williams in his book Unknown Darkness�describes Karla's idea: "She had really thought this thing with Tammy through. After all, she did not want to kill her own sister; she just wanted to knock her out and give her to Paul for Christmas. They sedated animals before they put them to sleep for surgery, so it should be all right to do it to her sister. There was some risk without the proper equipment she would have to put the halothane on a cloth and hold it over Tammy's face but she would make sure Tammy had plenty of air and check her breathing regularly." A truly organized rape, as only a thoughtful sister could plan. Maybe even the most thought out and organized rape ever.
December 23, 1990, was the big day Tammy's deflowering. Paul used his new video camcorder to take videos of Mr. and Mrs. Homolka, their daughters, Karla, Tammy and Lori and the Christmas decorations in the house.

Tammy Homolka
Tammy Homolka
Paul plied Tammy with drinks, laced with the sedative Halcion. The effects of the drugs and alcohol were swift and Tammy was out cold on the couch in no time. When the other members of the household went up to bed, Karla and Paul started to work on Tammy. Paul held the camera on Tammy while he raped her, leaving Karla to keep the halothane-laden rag over her sister's face. Then he ordered Karla to make sexual advances to her sleeping sister.
Suddenly Tammy threw up. Karla wished her sister hadn't eaten before this event, but Karla knew what to do. She did what they did in the veterinary clinic. She held her sister upside down to try to clear her throat.
The only problem was that Tammy choked to death. Their amateur attempts to revive her failed so they dressed her, hid their drugs and camera and called an ambulance. The first that Tammy and Karla's parents knew of this tragedy was when they heard the ambulance pull up to the house. Everybody was led to believe that Tammy had died from accidentally choking on her vomit.
With Tammy no good to him anymore, Paul needed a replacement.

Jane, the Wedding Gift

Karla was obsessed with Paul's happiness. Her greatest fear was that she would not be able to hold onto this wild and thrilling man who was to become her husband. When he would become bored or distracted, she would either do something to excite him or find another person for him to get excited about. Paul harped continually that Tammy was no longer available to him for his sexual pleasure and blamed Karla for causing her death. Karla searched for a replacement for Tammy — someone very young and virginal. Karla knew just the right person, a teenager we'll call Jane, who looked very much like Karla's dead sister, Tammy. Jane would be Karla's wedding gift to Paul.

House at 57 Bayview
House at 57 Bayview
Jane idolized Karla as a beautiful, sophisticated role model and gratefully accepted Karla's invitation to the Bernardos' new home they rented at 57 Bayview. The first evening, Karla took Jane to dinner and spent hours talking to her and plying her with sweet alcoholic drinks, laced with Halcion tablets. Jane passed out and slept deeply.
Once Jane was soundly asleep, Karla called Paul over for his surprise gift. How delighted he was when he saw how much Jane resembled Tammy. He was a bit concerned that Karla was using the same drug that killed Tammy to subdue Jane, but Karla convinced him that she was in control of the situation this time.
Once they undressed Jane, Paul videotaped Karla as she made sexual overtures to the sleeping girl. Then Paul took her virginity. With that accomplished and memorialized in the videotape, he moved on to his favorite fun — a brutal kind of anal sex. Fortunately for Jane, she was so drugged that she did not wake up during the whole disgusting ordeal.
Karla was left to clean the blood off the fifteen-year-old girl and put her to bed for the night. The next morning, Jane, who was very sick to her stomach and understandably sore, met Paul — she thought for the first time. She had no idea what had really happened to her.
While Paul seemed very grateful for the gift of Jane's virginity and was continually amazed at the things Karla would do for him, he was having second thoughts about marrying her. She was, after all, getting old, having already passed her twenty-first birthday and she was a far cry from being the virgin for which he lusted.

A Lavish Wedding

Karla and Paul on their wedding day in the limo
Karla and Paul on their wedding day in the limo
Despite his concerns, he went through with it and married Karla in a huge, lavish wedding. "Their wedding was going to be perfect. The historic church in Niagara-on-the-Lake with the white horses and the carriage, champagne, a sit-down dinner for one hundred and fifty guests with veal-stuffed pheasant at Queen's Landing, no expense spared." (Stephen Williams)
Paul had carefully controlled every detail of the wedding from Karla's $US 2,000 wedding dress to her hairstyle to the menu and to the inclusion of "love, honor and obey" in Karla's wedding vow. He would not allow the minister to pronounce them "husband and wife." It had to be "man and wife."

Paul and Karla on a carriage ride
Paul and Karla on a carriage ride
Scott Burnside & Alan Cairns wrote in Deadly Innocence: "If it was to be a grand wedding, then people could be expected to donate money and gifts on a similarly grand scale. Paul viewed the entire process as a great business opportunity. 'If I spend fifty dollars a plate, I expect to get a hundred dollars a person,' the junior accountant proclaimed. He told them he'd set a goal of realizing $50,000 from the wedding."

Book cover, Deadly Innocence
Book cover, Deadly Innocence
Interestingly, the Paul Bernardo that married Karla that day was a very different Paul Bernardo that was born into the world in 1964.

A Charming Little Boy

Paul Bernardo was born into an unusual family. His mother, Marilyn, had been adopted early in life by the well-to-do Toronto lawyer Gerald Eastman and his wife Elizabeth. Marilyn was raised in a happy, genteel household. Her husband, Kenneth Bernardo, was the son of an Italian immigrant and a woman of English heritage. Kenneth's father made a very successful life in the marble and tile business, but was abusive to his wife and children. Kenneth did not go into the family business but became an accountant instead.
Kenneth and Marilyn married in 1960 after her father disapproved of her other suitor who did not have the education that Eastman demanded in a son-in-law. Eventually, Kenneth and Marilyn settled in a nice middle-class neighborhood in Scarborough area of Toronto. The marriage did not go well and Kenneth, like his father, was allegedly physically abusive to his wife. After giving birth to a son and daughter, Marilyn found refuge in the arms of her previous suitor the man without the education her father had required for his daughter. Thus, was Paul Bernardo conceived illegitimately.
Kenneth was very open minded about this indiscretion and, in August of 1964, the name of Paul Bernardo was listed on the baby's birth certificate. Kenneth had his difficulties as well. He fondled a young girl and went to court for it. He started hanging around the neighborhood at night, peeping into the windows of young women. But worst of all, he started to sexually abuse his young daughter.
Marilyn put on more and more weight. She became grotesquely obese. Signs of severe depression were very noticeable. She stopped taking care of the home and the children and withdrew into her own world in the basement of the house.
The children keenly felt the effects of the mental and emotional turmoil in the household. For a while, it looked as though Paul might have escaped the unhappiness that the older two children had experienced. Nick Pron in Lethal Marriage describes Paul as a friendly little boy: "He was always happy. A young boy who smiled a lot. And he was so cute, with his dimpled good looks and sweet smile, that many of the mothers just wanted to pinch him on the cheek whenever they saw him. He was the perfect child they all wanted: polite, well mannered, doing well in school, so sweet in his Boy Scout uniform."
Later, as he grew up, he became more involved in scouting. He worked summers as a counselor and he was the most popular one with the children. The kids loved him and he seemed to enjoy being with them.
The teenage girls also adored him. He had angelic looks and a shy, pleasing demeanor. Those who dated him in high school considered him a thoughtful and considerate lover.
Paul was out to make something of himself. He was intelligent, worked hard in school and held a series of responsible after-school jobs. He had a good head for figures and the makings of a good future businessman.

The Making of a Monster

When Paul was sixteen, he got into an argument with his mother and she told him that her husband was not his real father and showed him a photo of his real father. The effect on Paul was devastating. After that, he openly mocked and taunted his mother, calling her a "slob" and a "whore." Considering his mother's infidelity and his father's sick sexual perversions, Paul began to hate his parents.
Paul's attitude in general and towards women in particular changed dramatically for the worse.

Paul Bernardo (no date)
Paul Bernardo (no date)
In the early 1980s, Paul and his friend were recruited into the Amway business. Burnside and Cairns describe how deeply Paul was influenced by the things he learned from a few of the people who recruited him. "Paul used Amway techniques in many facets of his life, not only in sales and business but also in personal relationships. He bought the books and tapes of famous motivational get-rich-and-famous experts....Although Paul didn't make much money from Amway, the philosophy he embraced from it and other motivational mavericks justified his own crude and selfish longings." Then his interests moved on to the style of television evangelist Jim Bakker, which he emulated perfectly.
As he and his friends cruised the bars every night, they spun fantastic stories about who they were to any pretty girl that was naive enough to believe their lies. It seemed to pay off and many willing girls spread their legs.
By the time Paul went to college at the University of Toronto, his sexual fantasies had developed a dark side. Forceful anal sex was his preferred means of pleasure. Submissive women were what he sought. He had a terrible temper and enjoyed humiliating women publicly. He began beating up the women he dated.
He and one of his friends started smuggling cigarettes across the US.-Canadian border while Paul was still in college. Paul's appetite for toys, clothes and money could not be supported by any normal job. Paul was always looking for the ultimate scam that would pay him enormous sums of money.
When Paul graduated from college, he got a job as a junior accountant at Price Waterhouse. His girlfriends, sick of being tied up and beaten, were ready to dump him. Then in October of 1987, he met the girl of his dreams pretty, blond Karla Homolka.

The Scarborough Rapist

Karla Homolka
Karla Homolka
They became sexually obsessed with each other almost immediately. Unlike the other girls he knew, she encouraged his sadistic sexual behavior. "Karla, handcuffed, on her knees and begging for him, was scratching an itch. Paul asked her what she would think if he was a rapist. She would think it was cool. Their love deepened. He started raping women in earnest." (Stephen Williams)
In 1987, Paul became the "Scarborough Rapist" in the Toronto suburb in which he lived. His pattern was usually the same. When his victim got off a bus, he would grab her from behind and pull her to the ground. After he forced anal sex and fellatio on her, talking to her all the time, he let her go. Two years later, the number of his sexual assaults had climbed to eleven. Then there was a several-month hiatus and several more rapes in 1988. The police were striking out, although they had collected from the women a lot of physical evidence that would help them determine if they had the right suspect. They also had what they considered a good composite drawing of the man who had assaulted the thirteen women. While the police decided to share that drawing with other policemen in the region, it was not shown to the public for a long time a decision that became controversial.
All this time, Karla knew exactly what Paul was doing and encouraged him. One victim even remembered seeing a woman with the rapist with what appeared to be a video camera in her hand. The police discounted this memory and chalked it up to hysteria on the part of the woman who was raped.


The police first became aware of the handiwork of Paul Bernardo in his incarnation as the Scarborough Rapist. Detective Constable Steve Irwin of Toronto's Metropolitan Police was deeply involved in that particular serial rape case. There were a lot of similarities in the stories the victims told and police were sure that it was one man.
As Stephen Williams points out, serial rapists are fairly rare creatures. "They are invariably acting out some kind of strange, private fantasy, so the details of their crimes are distinctive...In the earlier assaults, the women had all just left buses, they were accosted from behind, the guy had been rough but he did not really 'rape' them. He had fondled them sexually, penetrating the last one with his fingers...the descriptions of a well-groomed young man who had good teeth and did not smell bad. The rapist talked all the time he was assaulting his victims, and he wanted to hear certain, specific things. All of the attacks had occurred within a short radius of Scarborough's Guildwood Village.
Just before Christmas, 1987, one of his victim's gave a very specific description of her rapist. He was good looking, about six feet tall, clean-shaven and had no tattoos. Her description and the composite picture she helped develop resulted in the exact likeness of Paul Bernardo. But the police did not publish the photo.
One of Paul's old girlfriends, Jennifer, had gone to the police several times about Paul regarding his brutal rape, physical abuse of her, and his threats to do her bodily harm. There were coincidences which tied Bernardo to the rapes that were going on at that same time: the rapist drove a white Capri and so did Bernardo; Bernardo lived in the vicinity of where the rapes took place. A report was filed, but nothing came of it.
Finally, in May of 1990, years after the rapes began, the police decided to finally publish the composite picture, which the victims had agreed upon as the likeness of their attacker. That picture, plus the $150,000 reward, initiated a flood of tips.
By this time, Paul had quit his position with Price Waterhouse and was living entirely on his cigarette-smuggling income. But once his former colleagues at the accounting firm saw the newspaper picture, they marveled at how much it resembled Paul. An employee of Paul's bank contacted the police and reported that Bernardo looked liked the picture. However, at this point in time, the police were inundated with similar calls and did not have the manpower to follow up on all of them.
Detective Steve Irwin centralized all the physical evidence gathered from the rape victims under one individual, Kim Johnston, in the forensic laboratory. From the semen samples, she was able to determine that the rapist was a non-secretor and his blood type factors, which put him in 12.8 percent of the male population.
Eventually, a number of Paul's acquaintances contacted the police about him and Irwin paid Bernardo a visit. Paul did not strike Irwin as the kind of personality to be a serial rapist, but he took a blood, saliva and hair sample from Paul anyway. The samples, along with 230 samples from other suspects, were handed over to Kim Johnston. Only 5 of the 230 samples fit the blood factors of the attacker. Paul Bernardo was one of those five. His sample was resubmitted for additional testing in April of 1992. By that time, the Scarborough Rapist had mysteriously ended his attacks and the case did not have the urgency and priorities that it had two years earlier when the attacks were in progress.
The Scarborough Rapist samples went onto the back burner.

Moving up to Murder

After their marriage, Karla and Paul Bernardo lived in their home on Bayview in St. Catharines. Paul had begun augmenting his income by smuggling cigarettes across the border and needed the stolen license plates to disguise his frequent visits across the American-Canadian line. It was the need for a stolen license plate that brought him into contact with his first murder victim, Leslie Mahaffy.

Leslie Mahaffy
Leslie Mahaffy
Leslie Mahaffy was a troubled youngster. Her strong, independent personality seemed to be at the root of the problem, which manifested itself in ignoring her curfews, engaging in promiscuous sex, skipping school and even shoplifting. Her parents responded by getting tough on Leslie when she broke the rules.
On Friday, June 14, 1991, Leslie went out for the evening with her friends and stayed out well past her curfew. At 2 A.M., she found herself locked out of her house. She called her girlfriend to ask her if she could spend the night with her, but the girlfriend didn't think that her mother would allow it at that hour. Leslie told her girlfriend that she was going back home to wake up her parents.
Leslie had actually gone back to her home to see if there was any way to get in without waking her parents. With the worst possible luck imaginable, she encountered Paul Bernardo who was prowling around the neighborhood looking for license plates to steal.
He pulled a knife on Leslie Mahaffy and forced her to go in his car.
Paul took his catch home. While Karla slept, he began to videotape the fourteen-year-old Leslie naked and blindfolded. When Karla woke up, she was very angry that Paul had used their best champagne glasses to entertain his new toy. Finally, Karla came around and started being the obedient wife that Paul demanded.
Paul gave Karla elaborate instructions on how to make love to Leslie. It was the voice of a director in an important film. Every moment had to be just perfect for the videotape he was making. After the prelude with Karla, Paul went in for the rough stuff, while his wife held the camera. The brute force of his anal penetration caused Leslie to scream in pain. The rough stuff escalated and Leslie died.
On the evening June 29, 1991, a man and his wife were canoeing on Lake Gibson when they came across a concrete block with some pieces of animal flesh encased in it. Later, he went back to the spot and, with the help of a fisherman, pulled out the concrete block and looked at it closely. Inside the block was the calf and foot of a young woman.
Soon, the place was alive with cops, who found a total of five concrete blocks that had been dumped there in the shallow water. Police theorized that whoever dumped this body in Lake Gibson was not familiar with the area or he would have dumped the concrete blocks over the bridge where the deep water may have kept them a secret forever.
Not long afterwards, the torso of a young woman was found in the water. The body parts that had been found in the concrete block had been cut from her torso with a power saw. Leslie's distinctive braces provided the clues to her identification.

The Second Murder?

Paul deprived of his eccentric entertainment was prone to ill humor. This simply would not do. Karla, the ever-dutiful wife, called Jane back into service. But Jane was far from the ideal sex slave. First of all, the girl upset them both by refusing to let Paul have intercourse with her (Jane thought she was still a virgin). Oral sex was all she would agree to. Then she told her riding instructor about Paul and the instructor told Jane's mother. The result was that Paul and Karla had less opportunity to enjoy themselves with Jane. One night, things got out of hand again with the halothane and Jane stopped breathing for awhile. This scared the daylights out of Paul and Karla.
Not only that, Paul was becoming annoyed with his new wife. He questioned her competence with the halothane. Karla was frantic. She had to do something to put some new romance back into their relationship.
For a while, another willing girl satisfied their needs, but eventually she moved back to Youngstown, Ohio, and the Bernardos were bereft once again for entertainment. This always created tensions in their marriage tensions that were unbearable to Karla.
November 30, 1991, pretty and vivacious fourteen-year-old Terri Anderson disappeared.  Six months later she was found in the water at Port Dalhousie. The medical examiner saw no evidence of foul play, despite the difficulties of determining such factors in a body that had been in the water for six months. The coroner ruled that her death was by drowning, probably as a result of drinking beer and taking LSD.
The coroner's ruling was controversial in light of what had happened to Leslie Mahaffy. Whether or not the attractive youngster was another of Karla and Paul's victims is still not certain.

Kristen French

Kristen French
Kristen French
On April 16, 1992, a very popular and attractive teenager named Kristen French was abducted from a church parking lot. Karla had lured the pretty girl over to their car on the pretense of asking directions. When Kristen stood by the car looking at Karla's map, Paul forced the girl into the backseat with his knife.
At the outset, both Paul and Karla knew that Kristen would have to die. She had clearly seen them, knew where they lived and had seen their dog. Even so, they didn't want Kristen to figure this out, particularly since she was bigger than Karla was and fairly strong despite her youth.
Kristen, who was a smart girl, did everything she could to cooperate with this depraved couple and their outrageous and humiliating demands. She believed that cooperation was her only chance for survival. The ordeal became worse and worse. The more she cooperated, the more sadistic Paul became. The following activity, found in Williams book, was taken from the videotaped evidence.
"'I'm going to piss on you, okay? Then I'm going to shit on you.' Paul said in a whisper... Kristen did not move, even when he slapped her face with his semi-erect penis.
"'Don't make me mad. Don't make me hurt you,' he said, urging her to smile when he rubbed his groin into her face.
"'Don't worry, I won't piss in your face.'
"Finally, he stood over her and urinated. Then he moved. Turning his buttocks into her face, he squatted over her face and tried to defecate on her without success.
"'You're a f--king piece of shit. But I like you,' he told her. 'You look good covered in piss.'"
The indignities went on for a day or two, all meticulously captured on video for the future enjoyment of the newlyweds. Then came the final and worst indignity of all for Kristen French, but her death was not captured on film.
On April 30, 1992, Kristen's remains were found in a ditch. Her naked body had not been dismembered like Leslie's, leading the investigators to erroneously conclude that the murders of the two teenagers were not connected.

Green Ribbon Task Force

Now that Paul and Karla were living and murdering in St. Catharines, the police investigation was centered in the Niagara Falls area. Superintendent Vince Bevan was in charge once the body of Leslie Mahaffy was found. After the death of Kristen French, the Ontario government formed the Green Ribbon Task Force. Hotlines and a base of operations were set up just outside St. Catharines. Forensic experts of the American FBI advised the task force.
Later when Kristen French was abducted, a woman remembered seeing a struggle going on in a car at the scene. While she was not familiar with various makes of cars, she thought it was a Camaro. Vince Bevan focused on tracking the ownership of all the Camaros in the region.
Meanwhile, Bernardo's name surfaced once again from one of the many tips that police received. Two policemen called on Paul at his 57 Bayview home. Paul was very gracious and polite during the interview and admitted that he had been a suspect in the Scarborough rapes because of his facial similarities to the composite picture. The police noted that Paul was very clean-cut and good looking, that he was intelligent and cooperative and that his home was very clean and orderly. They also noted that he drove a Nissan, which looked nothing like a Camaro.

Police look for the car
Police look for the car
Nevertheless, the two policemen tried to contact Detective Steve Irwin in Toronto to ask about the results of the inquiry into the Scarborough Rapist. Eight days later, Irwin responded to the message and explained that final testing of Bernardo's blood and saliva samples had not been done. Thus, technically, Bernardo had not been cleared as a suspect. Irwin sent the task force some information, but neglected to send results of the interviews with friends of Paul who had tipped off the police about him, a woman's report that Bernardo was stalking her and the police reports filed by his former girlfriend, Jennifer. Consequently, Bernardo was not pursued as a suspect.
Incredibly enough, in February of 1993, several years after blood samples had been taken from Paul Bernardo, the forensic laboratory in Toronto finally got around to analyzing his blood. The tests proved conclusively that Bernardo had raped the three women victims from whom they had semen samples.
Had the laboratory been speedier, Paul Bernardo would have been in jail instead of raping more women and murdering several school girls!
Despite this irony, Detective Irwin excitedly put Bernardo under surveillance.
What he learned was that Bernardo had just been charged with assault in St. Catharines.
The assault charges had been filed by his wife, Karla.

Two Black Eyes

Paul getting out of paddywagon
Paul getting out of paddywagon
When Paul started using Karla as a punching bag in the summer of 1992, he really compromised his future. Regardless of the insane things that Karla put up with from Paul, physically abusing her pushed her to the limit. But even with two black eyes and serious bruises, she didn't leave him. In early January 1993, her parents intervened and persuaded Karla to take refuge in the home of one of her sister Lori's friends, whose husband was a Toronto cop. The Niagara police were brought into the situation and took Karla to the hospital. All of this was before the Toronto police had the forensic evidence to convict Paul as the Scarborough Rapist.

Karla with black eyes
Karla with black eyes
In early February, when the police investigation of Paul intensified, both the Toronto police and the Ontario Green Ribbon Task Force wanted to interview Karla. They also wanted to fingerprint her and question her about a Mickey Mouse watch that was very similar to Kristen French's watch.
Initially, several Toronto detectives interviewed Karla for almost five hours. By the kinds of questions they asked, Karla understood that the police had tied together the Scarborough rapes with the murders in St. Catharines. Karla was understandably nervous and told her uncle that Paul was the serial rapist and that he killed Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy.
Karla got herself a real good lawyer. As a veterinary assistant, Karla had taken special care with the cancer-stricken Dalmation of lawyer George Walker. Over a period of many interviews with Karla, George Walker realized that she was not necessarily the innocent victim of Paul Bernardo that she painted herself to be. Yet, he did not really understand at that point just exactly what her role had been in these crimes. Some kind of immunity would have been desirable for his client, but he really wasn't sure what could be negotiated on her behalf in exchange for complete cooperation.
In mid-February, Bernardo was arrested in conjunction with both the Scarborough rapes and the murders of Mahaffy and French. Karla was shocked and afraid. She assuaged her anxieties with large amounts of painkillers and alcohol.

Amazing Evidence

On February 19, police executed the search warrants for Paul and Karla's house and found an amazing amount of evidence. Paul had a written description of every one of the Scarborough rapes plus an extensive library of books and videos on sexual deviation, pornography and serial killers.
The police also found one brief home video that indicated that there had been more than one lascivious person in the Bernardo household. Quite explicitly, the short video showed Karla as an enthusiastic lesbian in sexual acts with two other women. A week later, George Walker and Murray Segal, a plea-bargain specialist for the attorney general, discussed the deal for Karla. Karla would get twelve years in prison for each of the two victims, but the sentences would be served concurrently. She would be eligible for parole in a little over three years with good behavior. The government even agreed to contact the parole board on Karla's behalf, pointing out to them the importance of her testimony against Paul. Segal would do what he could to arrange for Karla to serve out her sentence in a psychiatric hospital instead of prison. The trial would be very brief and she would waive her right to a preliminary hearing.
In exchange for this leniency, Karla would agree to tell the absolute truth about her involvement in the crimes and everything she knew about them. Karla agreed unconditionally.
In early March, Karla was checked into a psychiatric hospital for assessment. She was given heavy doses of drugs and insisted on being given even larger doses. Eventually, Karla got up the nerve to write an important letter to her parents:
Dear Mom, Dad and Lori,
This is the hardest letter I've ever had to write and you'll probably all hate me once you read it. I've kept this inside myself for so long and I just can't lie to you any more. Both Paul and I are responsible for Tammy's death. Paul was "in love" with her and wanted to have sex with her. He wanted me to help him. He wanted me to get sleeping pills from work to drug her with. He threatened me and physically and emotionally abused me when I refused. No words I can say can make you understand what he put me through. So stupidly I agreed to do as he said. But something maybe the combination of drugs and the food she ate that night caused her to vomit. I tried so hard to save her. I am so sorry. But no words I can say can bring her back I would gladly give my life for hers. I don't expect you to ever forgive me, for I will never forgive myself.
Karla XOXO

Setting the Stage

Karla's trial in 1993
Karla's trial in 1993
Karla's trial had a media circus atmosphere about it when it began on June 28, 1993. Burnside and Cairns described the defendant: "Karla sat impassively, wearing a green jacket over a one piece green dress that seemed oversized and somehow too broad for her slender shoulders. On her feet were black shoes with a slight heel. Unlike her court appearance a month earlier, when she wore a schoolgirl's tartan kilt and blazer, Karla now looked somewhat matronly. Yet her clothes were out of place with the false eyelashes, deep-red lipstick, and heavily caked foundation on her face. If she was matronly, then she was a matronly Lolita."
Her psychiatric report helped set the stage for the plea-bargain deal. Dr. Malcolm, the psychologist, concluded that Karla "knew what was happening but she felt totally helpless and unable to act in her own defense or in anyone else's defense. She was in my opinion paralyzed with fear and in that state became obedient and self-serving."
At the end of the trial, the media people left, allowed only to report a few of the details so that the jury pool that would be selected in the future for Paul's trial would not be tainted by information they heard or read before the trial.
Expecting a public outcry over the plea bargain, Murray Segal chose to make a statement: "Why not a greater penalty in light of the horrendous facts? Without her, the true state of affairs might never be known. A guilty plea is the traditional hallmark of remorse. Her age, her lack of criminal record, the abuse and the influence of her husband, and her somewhat secondary role were factors. She's unlikely to re-offend."
Karla left the trial after receiving the agreed sentence and prepared herself for what was sure to be an ordeal -- the trial of her husband, Paul Bernardo.

X-Rated Videos

 The trial of Paul Bernardo was delayed for two years after his arrest. One of the reasons for the delay was that Bernardo had placed his first lawyer, Ken Murray, in a very difficult ethical situation. Bernardo had given Murray the videotapes that he and Karla had made of their adventures, believing that by doing so, they would never get into the hands of prosecutors.
Paul Bernardo headshot in custody
Paul Bernardo headshot in custody
However, the prosecutors knew of the videotapes from Karla and had wiretapped Murray's conversations with Bernardo. Eventually, the pressure increased and Murray had to do something about the videotapes in his possession. The videotapes were turned over to the prosecutors and Murray withdrew from the case. Veteran defense lawyer John Rosen took his place as Bernardo's lawyer. This series of activities alone caused a delay of one year in the start of the trial.In May of 1995, Bernardo's trial began in Judge Patrick LeSage's courtroom with the videotapes as critical pieces of evidence. Bernardo faced two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of aggravated sexual assault, two counts of forcible confinement, two counts of kidnapping, and one count of performing an indignity on a human body.
For two years, information about the case had been sealed, although sordid details had leaked out in the American press. Copies of newspapers were smuggled into Canada.
Prosecutor Ray Houlahan opened the trial with a full-day story of Karla’s life as a victim of the dominating sadist, a brain-washed, frightened accomplice to the most degrading criminal acts.
Crown prosecutor Ray Houlahan began with a segment showing Karla naked, masturbating, with the camera focused on her vagina.

Book cover: Lethal Marriage
Book cover: Lethal Marriage
Nick Pron in Lethal Marriage describes the electrifying effect the video had on the courtroom: "Gasps of surprise and disgust, perhaps even shock, along with plenty of embarrassed giggles, could be heard throughout the courtroom as the camera lingered on Homolka's exposed body for several minutes as she stimulated herself... For the previous two years, ever since her arrest, Homolka's face had been almost as well known as the prime minister's. She had been seen on television in footage taken at her wedding, with her friends, and at her trial. But few people in the courtroom that day were expecting to see a triple X-rated tape, a close study of the country's most infamous woman in a variety of sexually explicit positions."

Sex Slaves

Sketch of Bernardo in court
Sketch of Bernardo in court
It seemed like an odd way for the prosecutor to treat his star witness, however Houlahan explained that the dialog in the videos had been scripted by Bernardo and was a good example of how he forced his will on Karla.
As more of these videotapes of Leslie, Kristen and Jane were shown, the jury was provided with indisputable and powerful evidence of Paul Bernardo's sexual depravity. As if that were not enough, Karla was called to the stand to elaborate on what the jurors had just seen and heard.

Karla with black eyes
Karla with black eyes
What she described in her relationship with Paul was an escalating theme of sexual degradation similar to what Paul had begun with other girlfriends before he met Karla. In Karla, the willing victim, the degradation knew no boundaries. He made her wear a dog's "choke" collar; he inserted a wine bottle into her vagina; and he almost strangled her to death with a wire cord to satisfy his sadistic fantasies. Paul told her that his choke fantasy was "important to him and it wouldn't hurt anybody." He told her that she was nothing without him and he would call her names, like slut, bitch, and cunt.
When the defense had its turn in the courtroom, John Rosen attacked Karla's credibility. His goal was to show that she was not the victim she portrayed herself to be, but a willing participant in the couple's rape and murder spree.
He was, at least, successful in showing Karla to be a morally vacuous woman with no remorse for her part in these crimes. In particular, Kristen's murder had to be committed at a particular time so that Karla and Paul could spend Easter dinner with Karla's parents. Immediately after Kristen was strangled, Karla left to blow dry her hair. If it was not immediately clear at the trial, it became clear shortly after, that Karla had cleverly manipulated the circumstances of her cooperation with the government to engineer one of the worst deals that the Canadian government had ever made with a criminal witness.
Regardless of Karla's degree of guilt or innocence and the deal she had made with the authorities, it did not save Bernardo from the outrage that he kindled in the minds of the jurors. On September 1, 1995, Bernardo was convicted on all the charges against him regarding the kidnappings, rapes and murders of Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French. He also faced trials in the death of Tammy Homolka and the serial rapes in Scarborough. Under Canadian law, Bernardo can apply for parole after twenty-five years in prison, although it is unlikely that he would be successful in any parole bid.

"Deal with the Devil"

Long after the trial, one of Canada's most controversial and notorious criminal cases continued to dominate the news. One of the main stories concerning the case, the prosecution's 1993 deal with Karla Homolka a 12-year prison sentence in exchange for cooperation for testifying against her husband Paul Bernardo, who was convicted of murder has been called a "deal with the devil," and stirred up much indignation and public anger.

Leslie Mahaffy
Leslie Mahaffy
As the years in prison dragged on, the hostile relationship between Paul and Karla intensified each accusing the other of murdering Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French.

Kristen French
Kristen French
As Paul Bernardo prepared for his appeal in 2000, Karla made plans for her pending parole in 2001. Her lawyers spent much of the intervening time trying to get approval for visits to a half-way house but their appeals were denied.
From the time Karla Homolka came under public scrutiny for her crimes, journalists have taken a very dim view of her, implying that she is no more than a clever manipulator. National Post�columnist Christie Blatchford expressed the sentiments of many Canadians about Karla when she wrote: "In the unremittingly bleak and featureless prairie that is her mind, she has always been a special little girl, and so, apparently, there does she remain. I remember her licking her lips for the camera, during one of the rapes. I remember how once this while Leslie was being attacked in another part of the house Homolka sat upstairs in her bedroom, reading and then drifted off to sleep. It was not that her conscience was clear, it was that she never had one."
As 1999 drew to a close, producers of the television show "Law and Order" made plans for an episode based on the Homolka-Bernardo case. Bernardo's lawyers expressed concerns that the television episode would jeopardize their client's appeal, even though public opinion about Bernardo was as bad as it was ever going to get.

Legal Manoeuvers

In February, 2000, as reported by The Toronto Star, Paul Bernardo launched his long-awaited appeal with his legal team accusing Justice Patrick LeSage of evidentiary and procedural mistakes during the 1995 first-degree murder trial for the sex slayings of Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy. The appeal also attacked Bernardo's then-wife Karla Homolka's "deal with the devil" plea bargain agreement, saying LeSage "failed to instruct the jury that the fact that the Crown had agreed to accept her guilty pleas to manslaughter did not in any way prevent the jury from being left in doubt as to whether it was Karla Homolka who had intentionally killed the two girls."
The defense theory during the trial, which was echoed in the appeal, proposed Homolka alone killed Mahaffy and French, so Bernardo should be guilty of nothing more than manslaughter. The Crown's appeal response states Homolka's testimony was "not essential to a conviction for murder" due to the disturbing videos.
The Crown asserted that the videotapes showed Bernardo's attitude towards his victims saying he not only brutally degraded them but also continually demanded that they thank him and ask for more. By his behavior, recorded on tape, he showed that he thought nothing of the two girls and would not have hesitated to kill them.
"Any reasonable person who had seen the videotapes would find it impossible to believe that Karla Homolka would do anything to his victims without his permission. The video footage demonstrates that Bernardo remained in 'control' at all material times and was the dominant participant in the murders. Nevertheless, the defense argued for manslaughter on the theory Bernardo twice suffered the great misfortune that the minute his back was turned, Homolka, to his surprise, killed their captive. Any suggestion that Homolka could have killed the girls on her own volition, when considered against the video footage and the relationship depicted therein, is incredible," the Crown stated.
The prosecution believed Homolka was "guilty as a party to first-degree murder when Bernardo strangled them, notwithstanding her convictions for manslaughter, which were permitted at the time when the videotapes were still hidden from the authorities. In the alternative that even in the unlikely event that Homolka killed the girls, Bernardo aided and abetted a planned and deliberate murder, or was a substantial contributing cause of murder committed in the course of sexual assault and forcible confinement." In that role, Bernardo would also be guilty of first-degree murder.
Later in February, 2000, Federal Court Justice, Daniele Tremblay-Lamer, rejected an attempt by news organizations to gain access to unpublished details of Karla Homolka's life in prison. The issue concerned a publication ban on psychiatric assessments and other documents in Homolka's file. The documents were part of a lawsuit which Homolka filed in November 1999 when she asked the courts to overturn a warden's decision denying her escorted passes from the prison in Joliette, Quebec. Homolka later withdrew her request, which had prompted an outcry from those opposed to freeing her. Councel for news organizations the Globe�and Mail, Thomson Newspapers and Southam Inc. attempted to appeal a court clerk's decision on the files' confidentiality but Justice Tremblay-Lamer refused to hear the matter, saying the matter was closed the minute Homolka withdrew her motion.
Late the following March, Ken Murray, Paul Bernardo's former lawyer, asked Justice Patrick Gravely to throw out a charge that he had illegally held the killer's sex videotapes from police, saying it took an "unreasonable" three years to get to trial. Murray had previously held on to the tapes for 17 months after he found them hidden in a washroom spotlight in May 1993. In his submission, Murray blamed the delay on a 26-month preliminary hearing in which he says his rights to a speedy-trial were unfairly impinged by the state as it sought only to protect his client's rights without showing any concern for his own.

No New Trial

On March 27, 2000, the Toronto Star�reported that an Ontario appeals court had rejected Paul Bernardo's bid for a new trial. The panel of three justices took just fifteen minutes to make their ruling after hearing four hours of arguments by Bernardo's lawyers. Funded by legal aid, Bernardo was appealing his 1995 convictions for raping and murdering Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French. The decision was so quick that the Crown wasn't even asked to rebut the points of Bernardo's appeal before the justices rejected it.
Lawyers for the French and Mahaffy families said the decision effectively blocks Bernardo from any future appeals, as he doesn't appear to have any issues that would justify further action.
The basis of Bernardo's appeal was that, in his counsel's opinion, Judge Patrick LeSage shouldn't have allowed evidence of Bernardo's use of a ligature during sex with an unnamed woman in 1986.They also argued that expert testimony on battered-wife syndrome relating to Karla Homolka should not have been allowed.
Homolka's successful plea-bargaining also became an issue as Bernardo's legal team argued that it shouldn't have been admitted as evidence in the previous trial because it prejudiced the jury. The final point of appeal was that Judge LeSage's final instructions confused the jury's understanding of reasonable doubt and the burden of proof.
Justice Michael Moldaver said it was clear Bernardo and Homolka were both participants in the murders in some way. He said if the incriminating videotapes depicting the couple's rape and torture sessions were found before Homolka's plea bargain, she too would have been found guilty of first-degree murder.
After the hearing Bernardo's lawyers said their client may consider appealing his conviction to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Lawyers Rape Tape Case

In April, 2000, according to a further report in the Toronto Star, during his trial on charges of obstructing justice, Paul Bernardo's former lawyer, Ken Murray, tabled a handwritten note he had received from Bernardo which warned him that the videos depicting the rape and torture of two teenage victims "may first appear to be irrelevant." The two-page letter, which also included a sketch of where the videos were hidden in a secret hiding place in a ceiling light in the bathroom of the home he shared with Karla Homolka also warned Murray not to view the gruesome tapes. "Although we will have to go through them in the future," the letter said, "at this time, I instruct you not to view them." According to another court document, Bernardo gave Murray the go-ahead just twelve days after the tapes were retrieved but there was no indication in the documents if Murray followed his client's orders at that time. Those instructions set off a three-year legal battle for Murray, who was charged after he withheld the tapes because Bernardo said they would be necessary for his defense.
After Bernardo was charged in May 1993 with the first-degree murder of Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy, he wrote the note leading Murray to the tapes police had missed in a three-month search of the couple's home in Port Dalhousie, a suburb of St. Catharines, Ontario. In the note, Bernardo instructed Murray to use the code words "how about those Jays" if successful in finding the tapes and "how about those Leafs" if unsuccessful. The note ends with the comments "good luck" and "God bless."
Seventeen months after Murray received the tapes, he handed them in to the authorities and resigned from the case. A judicial inquiry later found that if the Crown had been in possession of the tapes, Homolka's plea bargain, made in exchange for testimony against her ex-husband, would not have been necessary.
Murray's lawyer asked the court for permission to use his client's letters and discussions with Bernardo so he could properly defend his client. Tony Bryant, Bernardo's new lawyer, argued that making those communications public would jeopardize Bernardo's planned appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. Justice Patrick Gravely later ruled that Murray's right to defend himself far outweighed Bernardo's right to solicitor-client privilege.
On April 13, 2000, the Star�further reported that during Ken Murray's trial on charges of obstructing justice, Paul Bernardo's murder trial lawyer, John Rosen, testified that Murray hadn't told him that he had Bernardo's rape videos when he asked him to take over the case in August 1994. He also stated that Carolyn MacDonald, Murray's junior counsel, hadn't mentioned the videos during a discussion in which she criticized Murray's handling of the case. Rosen insisted that even when he was formally hired as Bernardo's new lawyer at the Niagara Detention Center in August 1994, during a three-way chat between himself, Murray and Bernardo, the tapes weren't mentioned.
The prosecution argued that Murray attempted to obstruct justice by hiding the tapes for 17 months after retrieving them from Bernardo's home
Rosen later testified that when he first saw Bernardo's rape videos he felt an "ethical obligation" to give them to police. "I was stunned by what I saw," Rosen said, recalling his first viewing of the videos in September 1994. He said it was clear in his first viewing of the videos that they showed "direct evidence" that Bernardo was guilty of the abduction, unlawful confinement and aggravated sexual assault of French and Mahaffy.
"There was no evidence of any killing, but clearly these girls were killed and he is a party to homicide," Rosen said. While he said he saw no option but to hand the tapes over to prosecutors, he first tried to use them as leverage to plea-bargain Bernardo a second-degree murder conviction and a chance of parole after 15 years. He testified that he told high-ranking government prosecutors that a first-degree murder trial would be "dreadful" and "devastating" to the victims families and "humiliating to the memory of their children." He said prosecutors had a good idea of what evidence had been passed to him by Murray and he warned them if "a picture's worth a thousand words then start multiplying it."

"Black Widow" Defense

Several days later, Murray testified that he had felt a duty to Bernardo to retrieve, keep and use Bernardo's rape videos in support of a defense theory that Karla Homolka was a "black widow" killer. Murray described how his defense team had formulated the "black widow defense" for Bernardo in the French-Mahaffy sex slayings before they had seen the videos. He told the court that once he had seen the videos, he regarded Homolka as vastly different from the portrait of a coerced, manipulated and abused victim that she painted for prosecutors in her plea-bargaining, he said. All the videos, Murray said, were consistent with Bernardo's allegations that Homolka was "a liar" and very likely a killer.
Murray later described how he quit as Paul Bernardo's lawyer when Bernardo plotted to lie on the stand and told him to suppress the rape videos. Murray testified that Bernardo told him that he would testify that he had "no contact" at all with murdered schoolgirls Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy. Bernardo reasoned it was his word against Karla Homolka's. When Murray challenged Bernardo, saying he would not allow the perjury because the rape tapes showed he had been with the murdered girls, Bernardo said he would lie anyway. "He was telling me he was going to lie on the stand and he was asking me to be complicit ... asking me to hold back evidence that showed he was lying."
"I said you're not going to do it. You're not going to get up there and lie ... I'm not supporting perjury."
As Murray's trial continued, some amazing insights into the minds of Bernardo and Homolka surfaced. At one point, Murray told the court that, soon after Kristen French's murder, Karla Homolka had sought a spiritualist's advice on how to exorcise the noises, bangs and voices that were coming from the basement where Leslie Mahaffy's body had been dismembered. The description of this and other events was contained in a thousand plus pages of transcript taken from Homolka's pre-trial interviews with Murray and his junior counsel at the Prison for Women where Homolka was being held in May 1994. The transcripts were released during Murray's trial. Unaware that the two teens had been murdered in Homolka's home, St. Catharines psychic Lori Disenthio advised her to pour ammonia down every drain and "ask the spirits to leave". She also told Homolka to keep an amethyst stone in her pocket to "absorb all the bad" around her.
Homolka states in the interview, "I didn't fully believe it, but I was ready to try anything."
She went on to describe that the spiritual advice eliminated the noises and voices for a while, but they eventually returned.
Later in April, as Murray's trial continued, a detailed transcription of the "rape videos" was read to the court. One of the most damning scenes is when the supposedly innocent Homolka is described as reaching for a dark green bottle known to contain the animal tranquillizer Halothane and, after soaking a rag with it, holds it to Jane Doe's mouth and nose. She then smiles, waves, blows kisses and licks her lips for the camera before sexually assaulting the girl and sitting naked on her.
This scene and others was detailed to the court in an attempt to strengthen Ken Murray's assertion that he kept Paul Bernardo's rape videos from prosecutors because they suggested Homolka was as likely as Bernardo to be a schoolgirl killer. Reading from a frame-by-frame and word-by-word police transcript of the chilling videos, Murray's lawyer, Austin Cooper, laid out details of the sinister rape of unconscious schoolgirl known only as Jane Doe, which had been previously shrouded in secrecy. Cooper's reading of that section of the video went far beyond the scant audio portions revealed at Bernardo's trial.
Cooper also read details of the couple's fatal drug rape of Tammy Homolka, Karla's 15-year-old sister on Christmas Eve, 1990, which she and Bernardo videotaped. Other footage, shot just two weeks after Tammy's murder, clearly shows Homolka pretending to be her dead sister while having sex with Bernardo.
The sections of the transcript depicting the rapes of French and Mahaffy was not read into the court record as they were protected by a publication ban which prohibited the reporting of any details but even without it, the details that were read cast a dark pall over court. The mothers of French and Mahaffy, who had previously been in attendance during the trial, left the courtroom as the reading began.
At one stage the gravity of what he was reading took its toll on Austin Cooper and he broke down in mid-sentence, asked for a break and was visibly choked with emotion as he left the courtroom. Superior Court Justice Patrick Gravely was also shaken by what he had heard and ordered an early lunch recess and an extended afternoon break.
Even case-hardened journalists who had previously seen or heard the tapes at Bernardo's trial five years before left the room or stopped taking notes to bury their heads in their hands.
Early in May, 2000, Karla Homolka's bid to gain prison passes to attend a halfway house in Montreal received a boost when a taxpayer-funded women's group lent its support to her campaign. The Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, which operates on a federal subsidy, not only supported her application but also wished Homolka "every success" in her Federal Court bid to overturn a warden's denial of escorted passes to a CAEFS-operated Montreal halfway house. Hearing of the groups support, Tim Danson, lawyer for the parents of Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy, suggested CAEFS was either "terribly ill-informed" about Homolka or was "not qualified" to assess her case.
Danson had previously asked that Homolka not be released on parole in July 2001 but should instead go before the National Parole Board as a dangerous inmate who should be held for the full 12-year sentence.
Homolka sought Federal Court relief in 1999 after Joliette warden Marie-Andree Cyrenne refused her bid for a series of escorted passes to the Maison Therese-Casgrain, a Montreal halfway house operated by the Elizabeth Fry Society of Quebec. Homolka's original bid was bolstered by psychiatric and psychological reports from her 1993 trial, which portray Homolka as an abused victim of Bernardo. Psychological reports filed in response by Joliette prison were deemed confidential and could not be published.
One reason for Homolka's bid to attend the safe house is that her girlfriend, Lynda Veronneau, was previously paroled from Joliette prison two years into a four-year term for leading a passive ex-girlfriend on a string of robberies. Veronneau had previously kept Homolka's true identity from her family by referring to her simply as "Jessica" telling them that she was deeply in love with her and planned to live with her when Homolka was released.
In June, 2000, the Toronto Star reported that seven years after he first became involved in the Bernardo Homolka saga, Ken Murray was acquitted of obstruction of justice.
In an interview, after the court's decision, Murray suggested that, even though he was happy with the court's ruling, he may never be able to shake the stigma of being the man who attempted to protect Canada's most reviled sex killer, and inadvertently his then-wife, Karla Homolka. "There's a saying among prosecutors that, if you can't convict them, at least you can ruin their lives," Murray said, "but, unfortunately, that's what they did to me."

--Party Girl--

Joliette Prison
Joliette Prison
While Joliette prison authorities were reviewing Karla Homolka's prison conduct to see if she should be kept in prison for another four years, a Montreal newspaper published a series of party photos of the killer. Several of the photos showed Homolka and fellow inmate, Christina Sherry, convicted for her role in a Montreal rape and torture case, modeling black cocktail dresses for other inmates at a birthday party. The former inmate who sold the pictures to the newspaper described Joliette as an "adult daycare center that pampered inmates." At the time the photos were taken, Christina Sherry was serving a five-year sentence that began in April, 1997 after pleading guilty to kidnapping, forcible confinement, sexual assault and sexual assault causing bodily harm. Also seen in the photos was Tracy Gonzales, Sherry's accomplice, who was sentenced to less than eight years.
Ironically, Sherry and Gonzales were convicted for luring girls to a Montreal apartment where they were tortured, sexually assaulted and forced to be the sex slaves of James Medley, who was convicted of the crimes, sentenced to 26 years and labeled a dangerous offender.
In the wake of the unfavorable publicity that Karla Homolka's "party girl" photos had caused, Homolka was advised that she would be moved to the Regional Psychiatric Center at maximum-security Saskatchewan Penitentiary to undergo a 45-to-60 day "psychiatric assessment." In response, Homolka was reported as having "kicked and screamed" in protest. The transfer was seen by some as a sure sign that her Joliette handlers were going to recommend she be detained in prison for another four years.
Lucie McClung, the newly appointed head of Correctional Services Canada, ordered the transfer at Joliette Prison's request after a prominent psychologist recommended it.
Unlike Joliette, the Saskatoon facility is surrounded by electronic wire fences and armed guards, and is definitely maximum-security. The concrete cells are 7.1 square meters with a stainless steel toilet and sink. Beds are bolted to the floor. There is one window with horizontal slats that act as bars.
In a November, 2000 story, the Toronto Star described how, following her transfer to Saskatoon's Regional Psychiatric Center in October, Karla Homolka refused to co-operate with doctors as an act of defiance. Although she co-operated with psychologists, she refused to participate in any psychiatric testing. Homolka's stand meant Correctional Services Canada had little choice but to recommend her detention for a further four years.

Party Girl

End of the Road
As Karla Homolka was attempting to play down her "party girl" image, her former partner-in-crime, Paul Bernardo, lost out in his second appeal for a new trial. The high court did not give reasons for refusing to hear the appeal after Bernardo's lawyers had sought leave to appeal on the grounds that Judge Patrick LeSage erred at Bernardo's 1995 trial.
Bernardo's Toronto lawyer, Tony Bryant, said the dismissal virtually ends his client's legal recourse. "I believe that it exhausts all our options," he said.
The decision means that Bernardo, who is classified as a dangerous offender, will never be released from prison. Tim Danson, lawyer for the French and Mahaffy families, said there was great relief at the Supreme Court decision. "There is significant relief on behalf of the families," said Danson. He said the families knew that it was a long shot that the Supreme Court would overturn Bernardo's conviction, but he added that after "all that has happened," they take nothing for granted.
In contrast to Homolka's former living conditions, Paul Bernardo is housed in one of Canada's toughest maximum-security environments. He is locked up for 23 hours a day leaving no time for birthday cakes or dress-up parties simply because there is no opportunity for him to mingle with the other inmates. The prison, Kingston Penitentiary, is Canada's oldest and largest maximum-security institution, a foreboding place that conjures up images of the classic turn-of-the-century insane asylum. Often, in the various segregation units, called ranges, anguished cries of prisoners desperate for human contact can be heard echoing down the hallways as prisoners peer out of their cells hoping to catch a glimpse of visitors.
Kingston, considered by many in the department to be the "bottom of the barrel," is a difficult facility to run as many inmates have special mental or physical health needs and must be segregated from the general population. Bernardo lives in a tiny cell not much larger than the average domestic bathroom, equipped with a cot, desk and toilet.
A small outdoor yard off the range allows segregated prisoners to step outside for an hour of fresh air each day, which they can spend with other specific inmates, depending on their status. It is unknown what status Paul Bernardo currently enjoys.
In November, 2000 the Law Society of Upper Canada dropped a professional misconduct charge against lawyer Ken Murray putting an end to the ongoing sex-and-torture videotape furor. In addition, the society announced that it plans to draft new rules to govern how its members should handle incriminating evidence that might be beneficial to both sides.
Also in November, crown officials abandoned efforts to prosecute author Stephen Williams for allegedly viewing sex killer Paul Bernardo's notorious sex-and-torture videotapes. Williams was previously charged with disobeying a court order after detectives concluded that 27 passages in his book, Invisible Darkness, were so detailed that Williams had to have seen the restricted tapes.

"Death Threats"

Karla Homolka's lawyers, Marc Labelle (foreground) and Martin Latour, outside of court
Karla Homolka's lawyers, Marc Labelle (foreground) and Martin Latour, outside of court
In December 2000, Karla Homolka's lawyer told the media that his client feared being killed by vigilantes�when she is freed from prison. With Corrections Canada poised to ask that Homolka be detained for her full 12-year sentence on grounds she'll kill again, lawyer Marc Labelle said Homolka was petrified that she'd be murdered. Labelle said Homolka had not only received further threats from within the prison system, but she had also been targeted for death on chat groups that his legal assistants uncovered on the Internet.
"I haven't seen these sites myself, but I'm told there are numerous sites where threats are made that 'we'll kill you if you get out.'" Labelle said the only place Homolka felt safe was in Joliette prison.
As 2000 drew to a close, Manitoba's justice minister announced that he would urge officials in Winnipeg to withhold the permits necessary for a Toronto filmmaker trying to shoot a movie about murderers Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka. "This film won't get any help from us," Gord Mackintosh said. "I think it's important that there be an early message back to the filmmakers that we don't back their plans."
Peter Simpson, chairman of Norstar Filmed Entertainment Inc., the producers of the proposed film, said that his company might have to shoot the film outside Ontario because of the province's opposition. "If they really would rather I take the movie, spend the money and go shoot the movie and fake it in Montreal, I might be talked into that," Simpson said. "I'm sure that Quebec and Winnipeg would both welcome it with open arms -- and I'd get more money out of there." Simpson made the comments after Ontario Culture Minister Helen Johns and Premier Mike Harris said they would not co-operate with the making of the film, including keeping Simpson from using government buildings or giving him provincial tax credits. Telefilm Canada has also denied Norstar's request for funding.
The film is based on the book Invisible Darkness by Stephen Williams, which contains gory details about the rapes of more than a dozen women, culminating in the torture and murder of two teenagers.
In February 2001, the Toronto Star reported that Karla Homolka's safety had became a growing concern for her lawyer after he was made aware of an Internet death pool that allegedly took bets on when Homolka would be killed.
At the time, Homolka was housed at the Pinel Institute, a psychiatric hospital in Montreal after being transferred there in early February for a treatment program after she spent more than two months under psychiatric evaluation in Saskatoon.
According to her lawyer, Homolka has discovered at least two or three Web sites that contain threats against her, including the betting pool. One site is called "Karla Homolka Death Pool: When the Game is Over, We All Win." While the site states clearly it does not condone violence against Homolka, it solicits bets on the exact day she will die. The rules state players are not allowed to fix the bet by killing her themselves or having someone else do it. Homolka, who is using the alias Karla Teale while in prison, is taking the threats seriously.
The threats came at a time when two out of three psychiatrists had recommended that Homolka is still too dangerous to be released forcing corrections officials to make recommendations to the National Parole Board to keep her in prison until her sentence expires in 2005. Homolka's lawyer said that Homolka still wants to return to Joliette prison and stay there for the rest of her term. Labelle said Homolka feels it's the only place in Canada where she won't be murdered. He said she also intends to waive opposition to her detention hearing.
Prior to Homolka's transfer to Pinel, corrections officials had told Labelle that his client would go to St. Anne-des-Plaines maximum-security prison, one of the most notorious federal institutions in Quebec. Labelle suggested that Homolka will almost certainly launch a federal court challenge if she is sent anywhere but Joliette.

Staying Put

Karla Homolka in court
Karla Homolka in court
On March 8, 2001, Karla Homolka was officially denied early statutory release. The National Parole Board released its ruling after a review of the case, ordering that Homolka remain detained past her July release eligibility date. ''The board is satisfied that, if released, you are likely to commit an offence causing the death of or serious harm to another person before the expiration of the sentence you are now serving,'' said the order. The families of her schoolgirl victims are delighted with the result, according to Tim Danson, their lawyer.
According to the board report, the gravity of her crimes is part of the reason she was detained. ''The judge described those acts as monstrous and depraved,'' said the report. ''All these crimes are extremely grave the fact that you continued your crimes after the death of your sister, which occurred during your sexual abuse of her, demonstrates clearly your difficulty in controlling your violent sexual impulses to the point of putting in danger the safety of others. Your modus operandi demonstrates a high degree of indifference to the consequences of your acts.''
The report added that Corrections didn't know of any surveillance program Homolka could participate in outside prison that would sufficiently protect the public. It also noted that Homolka had expressed worry about her own safety in the community.
Canadian law requires that when the Correctional Service of Canada feels a case requires detention beyond the two-thirds point, it be referred to the board at least six months before the statutory release date. The law also requires that the board review the case every year after the statutory release date until the expiry of her sentence, which is in July, 2005.
At the time of the board's announcement, Homolka said that she wouldn't contest the ruling and indicated that she may leave Canada after she has served her full sentence assuming that any other country would accept her.
In January, 2003 the Toronto Star reported that the National Parole Board had ruled that Karla Homolka must stay in prison until her sentence is completed in July of 2005. The board's decision represented the third time that Homolka's request to be transferred to a half-way house was refused.
Two reasons for the refusal were given. One reason was her sexual relationship with another convict at the Ste.-Anne-des-Plaines detention center. The other reason stated by the board was her refusal to participate in rehabilitation programs. The Toronto Star reported on January 19, 2003, that "Commissioners noted she had not yet started therapy for her role as a sexual aggressor and showed little interest in other rehabilitation programs." Adding to the scandal, the Toronto Sun published photos it bought from Homolka's former lesbian lover when the two women were housed in a prison in Quebec.

Steve & Karlas Book

On January 20, 2003, the Globe and Mail quoted Stephen Williams, author of two books on her case: "Is the fact that she would like to have sex with a man supposed to predict dangerousness? It sounds perfectly normal to me. How can that be indicative of psychopathy or a diseased mind?"
Williams believes that the prison system will go to any lengths to keep her in jail. Regarding the sexual aggressor designation, he believes that it does not fit Homolka and "she would be out of her mind to comply with this therapy."
Homolka was transferred to a Saskatchewan prison so that she could be evaluated by psychiatrists an evaluation which apparently was used as a factor in denying her parole.
By doing so, Williams claims that the correctional system has created for itself the worst possible scenario: "Ms. Homolka's release in 2005 with no possibility of parole officers keeping tabs on her."
On January 23, the Ottawa Citizen reported that 10 weeks after the Ontario attorney general asked the Niagara police to determine whether or not Homolka's involvement with Williams' French-language best-seller "Karla, le pacte avec le diable" (Karla: A Pact with the Devil) violated her plea bargain, the police had not yet read the book. The police claim that the book is still in the process of being translated.
Williams and Homolka's book was originally written in English, but was refused by English-language publishers, so it was translated into French after a publisher in Quebec purchased the rights. It sold 15,000 copies in first three months.
The July, 2005 release date for Karla is still in place.

Striking Out on Her Own

By Rachael Bell
After twelve years behind bars Karla Homolka, one of Canada's most notorious sex killers, is getting released from jail. The families of her and her ex-husband's victims, as well as those who narrowly survived their abuse, have long dreaded her release from prison. Many Canadians believe that it is inevitable that she will kill again.
Premier Dalton McGuinty
Premier Dalton McGuinty
However, Karla's attorneys and some psychologists staunchly disagree that she poses a danger to society, suggesting that her murderous rampage was a reaction to the spousal abuse from Paul Bernardo. Conversely, the tapes of the rapes and murders released after her plea bargain depicted a different scenario, in which she appeared as if she was a willing and equal accomplice in the crimes.
Her release in early July, 2005, has outraged many Canadian citizens who demanded that restriction be placed on Karla's freedom. Consequently, the Ontario government called for a hearing into the matter in an effort to reduce the risk of her committing another crime. AP Worldstream quoted Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty saying, "people are very concerned about what she might do again and we have a responsibility to protect the public interest."
Karla made her first public appearance in twelve years at Quebec Superior Court in Joilette on June 2, 2005. During the court proceedings, prosecutors tried to prove that Karla continued to pose a danger to the public and specifically asked that her movements be closely monitored following her release. They also wanted the court to order Karla to submit to a DNA test, so that her genetic samples could be kept on file in a criminal database, according to AP Worldstream.
Judge Jean Beaulieu
Judge Jean Beaulieu
During the proceedings Superior Court Judge Jean Beaulieu sided with the prosecution and ordered Karla's movements to be heavily limited. Karla will now have to continually inform the police of her whereabouts, undergo psychological therapy, refrain from contacting any of the victims' family members or her ex-husband and she will not be allowed to work with children under the age of 16, Phil Couvrette reported for AP Online.
Karla was likely displeased with the restrictions placed on her freedom, especially since they went against the original plea bargain. Nonetheless, she still fared better than her ex-husband, Paul Bernardo, who will remain behind bars for the rest of his life. In the meantime, she makes plans for the immediate future.
Artist's sketch of Karla Homolka's new look.
Artist's sketch of Karla Homolka's new look.
In preparation for her new life, Karla has adopted a new identity. She changed her name to Karla Teale, cut her hair, dyed it black and even lost weight, AP Worldstream reported. Her father, Karel Homolka, said in an AP Worldstream article that she doesn't plan to move back to her hometown of St. Catharines but will instead "live in an apartment in west-end Montreal's Notre-Dame-de-Grace neighborhood, in the heart of the Anglophone community." Yet, many residents there don't welcome the idea of her settling in their neighborhood. It's no surprise, considering the viciousness of her past crimes.

Fighting for Her Freedom

The restrictions placed on Karla Homolka to ensure the public safety were called unconstitutional by her lawyers when they filed a brief on July 5, 2005 trying to get all of the restrictions dropped.
Her chances were not enhanced when her ex-husband, Paul Bernardo, claimed it was Karla who killed the two schoolgirls.
The Globe and Mail reported that police are not taking any special security measures to track Homolka, although they are aware of her whereabouts.
CNEWS wrote that Homolka's "first days of freedom have been spent holed up in an apartment amid fears that media outlets will report on her whereabouts."
"She can't leave the apartment because its too dangerous right now for her," lawyer Christian Lachance said.
Karla Homolka went on TV just before her release expressing remorse for what she had done with Paul Bernardo. It's doubtful that the public is buying it though.

Hollywood Exploits Karla's Crimes

The Montreal World Film Festival has become the center of controversy with its plan to screen a film based on the crimes of Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo. The film festival begins August 26 and ends Sept 5. The Hollywood movie, produced by Michael Sellers, stars Laura Prepon as Karla Homolka and Misha Collins as Paul Bernardo.

Laura Prepon as Karla Homolka and Misha Collins as Paul Bernardo
Laura Prepon as Karla Homolka and Misha Collins as Paul Bernardo
Tim Danson, lawyer for families of Homolka's and Bernardo's victims calls the decision to screen the film Karla extremely "sensational and exploitive." Guy Dixon of the Globe and Mail wrote July 27, 2005, that Danson "may take legal action under Canadian child pornography laws...if [the film] depicts too graphically the sexual abuse, nudity and torture of the underage victims.

Photo: Lawyer Tim Danson
Lawyer Tim Danson
Greg Bonnell of Canadian Press reported the Sellers had offered the families an "exclusive screening" in Toronto. Sellers told Bonnell that he had spent months consulting with Danson.
"We just don't feel that we've, in any way, defamed the memory of these people," Sellers said.

Photo: Producer Michael Sellers
Producer Michael Sellers
Sellers told Guy Dixon that the film's re-enactments of the crimes were from Karla's perspective and that "the camera pans away from graphic, sexual violence...although the violence is heard on the soundtrack."
The film centers on Karla Homolka's sessions with a psychiatrist during which Karla allegedly portrays herself as a victim, while the psychiatrist questions that account.

Photo: Serge Losique
Serge Losique
Serge Losique, the president of the Montreal festival, told Dixon that "the film was chosen solely on its artistic merit.

Why Karla?

By Katherine Ramsland
Karla Homolka was released from a Canadian prison in July 2005, and the media held a "Karla watch" in anticipation. What they thought might happen is anyone's guess, but they were correct in believing that their audience wanted to follow every second of her first moments of freedom. Some hate her, some support her, and others are merely curious.
Karla is just one of a number of females who have participated in killing teams, so what makes her special? Some experts have called her a compliant victim of abuse, and yet there's something about her participation in certain acts and her manipulation of the system that makes that analysis less than satisfying. As a result, other experts have referred to her as a prime example of a female psychopath, which would account for her ability to dupe the system. It also accounts for the widespread fascination: Psychopaths who egregiously defy social morality are considered larger than life, so given the perceptions about Karla, it's no surprise that she garners full-page newspaper spreads, radio and television shows, at least one book, and two movies devoted to her. Despite her partner's obvious deviance, she's the one people want to try to understand. Clearly, she's attractive, and that's a factor, but there's certainly much more.
To briefly review, Karla Homolka met Paul Bernardo in 1987 and began a torrid romance. She was 17, Paul, 23. To friends they seemed the perfect couple, although Paul was secretly raping women in Scarborough. Karla was a seemingly simple, middle-class girl who found herself attracted to a sexual sadist. She let him do whatever he desired and by some published reports, his demands became increasingly brutal. Nevertheless, she supposedly invited more.
Six months prior to their storybook wedding in 1991, Karla offered Paul her 15-year-old sister, Tammy, as a Christmas gift. She'd drugged the girl with a tranquilizer from the vet's office where she worked so Paul could rape her while she was presumably passed out from alcohol consumption. Instead, Tammy died, and it was ruled accidental. The two got away with it, and then took videos of themselves with Karla wearing Tammy's clothing and pretending to be her virginal sister. At no point did she protest and in fact seemed amused an indication that she felt no remorse.
After the two bought a house, Paul brought home two girls, Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French. Both were held captive, terrorized, abused, raped, and finally killed. Paul took videotapes of most of these acts. It later turned out that Karla had lured Kristen French to the car to kidnap, because, as she later put it, Paul liked young girls and she wanted to keep him happy. She had also assisted in dismembering and getting rid of Mahaffy's body.
Females who kill in association with adult males usually follow the male's lead - behavior derived from his dark fantasies. The female is usually sufficiently dependent on him to remain passive, and she may fear being abandoned or beaten. Most have longstanding insecurity and are poorly educated. Many were abused during childhood and during the relationship became isolated from friends and family.
But in Karla's case, none of this is true. She was confident, educated, and had a good support system with her family. Paul even lived with them at one time. If Stephen Williams' accounts in two books are to be believed, Karla was clearly co-equal in the violence, rather than passive, and even suggested some of it herself.
Paul also beat Karla at times, so she finally left in 1993. When the police began asking questions, Karla quickly made a deal. She offered details about what Paul had done to the two girls in exchange for two ten-year terms for manslaughter, to be served concurrently. Two more years were added after videotapes were uncovered and authorities realized her role in her sister's death.
Little research has been done on the remorseless female who uses a man to act out her desire for violence, but this could be a case in which such a dynamic occurred. That Karla could kill her sister and then continue to stay with her co-killer, participating in more rapes and murders, signals a deviant personality. She was also caught on videotape spontaneously telling Paul that she wanted to get many more young virgins for him. Yes, it pleased him, but the phrasing sounded neither passive nor scripted.
In addition, in prison, Karla appeared to thrive. Seven psychologists and psychiatrists examined her and agreed that she showed the symptoms of battered spousal abuse, although some observers believe she boned up on the syndrome via coaching and books. In 2001, the parole board referred to her as a psychopath cold-blooded, manipulative offender who shows no remorse, yet she has reportedly written a letter of apology to her family about her sister's death and complained to psychiatrists about nightmares from her past. (The attorney for the other victims' families has stated that she has never�apologized to them, which, if she were a typical 'compliant accomplice,' she would likely have done.) And she appeared to have some fun while incarcerated. She got involved with a woman (who later claimed to have been manipulated into giving her gifts), and participated in parties and fashion shows.
Just before Karla stepped out into society again, Judge Jean Beaulieu ruled that she still presented a risk to society (despite psychiatric reports that she did not), and conditions were set for her post-release behavior.
Since professional opinion is divided on whether or Karla is a victim or a dangerous psychopath, it's not possible to make definitive comments without resorting to "armchair psychology." However, ambiguity over this issue will continue to fuel the intense interest in her. If she's a psychopath, she's quite calculating and clever, fooling even trained professionals, who seem to have discounted the voluntary nature of her role in her sister's murder. If not, then she appears to be a singularly adaptive and resilient victim of abuse. Few have been so fortunate. She's divorced from Bernardo now and will probably make no contact, as dictated by her release conditions, but one can only wonder what her future behavior will be as "Karla Teale." It's difficult to predict, especially since so many records about her case are sealed. Thus, the "Karla watch" will likely continue for some time.

Curiouser and Curiouser

Recent news about Karla has an Alice and Wonderland quality. First a hardware store manager gave Karla Homolka a job. Shortly afterwards, he secretly tape records her and gives the tapes to police. The tapes allegedly confirm Karla's violation of her release restrictions. The hardware story manager has issues of his own his wife has recently charged him with sexual assault and he has a criminal record. Karla gets a call from a Quebec justice minister who interviews her on the hardware store manager's allegations. Suddenly during the interview, she finds out she has been duped by two radio talk show hosts. Karla quits her job, runs from her apartment and finds a new safe house.
The Karla Homolka Media Circus is back in town after a very short hiatus.
About the third week in August, 2005, Karla had been discovered living in run-down apartment provided by a benefactor and working as a clerk in a Rona, Inc. hardware store in the Longueuil district, a Montreal suburb. Some of the discovery mania was fueled by the media and some was fuel by genuine concern about having a notorious serial killer and child molester in one's neighborhood. Once the media knew where she worked, they followed her and secretly photographed her with her dog.
It appears as though Karla genuinely wanted to live and work discreetly: she dyed her hair, wore large sunglasses and avoided places where she would be recognized. Her puppy helped focus attention away from her onto her pet. It is not clear at this time how she spent her free time. In the vacuum about what Karla really did and thought, her boss, the hardware store manager, has dominated the media with his allegations about illegal activities and strange behavior. Before one swallows his allegations whole, it is useful to understand that his behavior is unusual and his motives unclear.

Richer Lapointe

Richer Lapointe
Richer Lapointe
Richer Lapointe, 39, is best described as an unusual guy, and the Canadian press has displayed his eccentricities in high relief.
Lapointe was badly burned as a youngster and retains the disfiguring scars to this day. The accident and its result had a very negative impact on his self-esteem. He claims that he got a second chance and he enjoys helping other people turn their lives around. Lapointe says that he has helped several people put their lives back together after they got out of prison. This is what he says motivated him to repeatedly contact Karla Homolka's lawyer (some press accounts say five times; some say over twenty times) with an offer for her to work in his store after her release from prison.
Richer Lapointe owns or once owned stock in the home-improvement giant Rona, Inc. Media accounts say that various family members still own significant amounts of Rona stock, possibly even a controlling interest. However, the store that Richer Lapointe managed in Longueuil was small and cramped not one of Rona's premiere retail outlets.
Despite several scrapes with the law, police permitted Lapointe to hire Karla Homolka as a clerk trainee. She started the job in early August. Shortly after she began work, Lapointe was charged with assaulting his former wife and trespassing on her property. After these charges were made against Lapointe, Karla was told by police that he was not a suitable employer. She quit the next day. Lapointe is under a court order not to leave Quebec.
As if this were not enough to catapult Lapointe into the media spotlight, he then claimed that he had taped Karla Homolka discussing how she had breached her conditions of release from prison.
The media firestorm that ensued caused Rona, Inc. to decide to close the store that Lapointe managed. The publicity was just too much of a liability. Rona wanted to distance itself from the entire situation.


One of the conditions of Karla Homolka's release was that she was not to consort with criminals. Another condition was that she was not to be in any position of authority with children under the age of 16.
Richer Lapointe claims that Karla cooked meals for her boyfriend Jean-Paul Gerbert, a convicted murderer who is in prison for the 1998 murder of his girlfriend Cathy Carretta. Gerbert is serving his sentence at the Laval Correctional Institute.
A spokesperson for the Laval prison says that it is not possible to bring food into the prison.
Another allegation from Lapointe was that Karla was trying to help the troubled son of her lesbian lover, Stivia Clermont, a convicted murderer.
The final allegation made against Karla was that she agreed to watch Lapointe's two sons, age 9 and 14, for an hour or so and never informed him that she was violating her release restrictions.
One has to wonder about entrapment. Are these alleged violations of Karla's release restrictions, even if they are proven, really that severe? Lapointe's motivations when he fought so hard to employ her are controversial.

No comments:

Post a Comment