Paul Bernardo

Paul Bernardo

Infobox Serial Killer
name=Paul Bernardo

caption=Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka on their wedding day
birth=birth date|1964|8|27
location=Scarborough, Ontario
penalty=Life, declared a Dangerous Offender in 1995

Paul Kenneth Bernardo, (born August 27, 1964 in Scarborough, Ontario), is a Canadian serial killer and rapist, known for the murders he committed with his wife Karla Homolka.

Early life

Bernardo was born into a wealthy but dysfunctional family. His mother Marilyn, who had been adopted by well-to-do Toronto lawyer Gerald Eastman and his wife Elizabeth, was raised in a genteel, happy household. His father, Kenneth, was the son of an English woman and an Italian immigrant who created a highly successful marble and tile business, but was abusive to his wife and children. Instead of entering the family business, Kenneth Bernardo became an accountant. After her father had disapproved of an earlier suitor, Eastman married Bernardo in 1960. Like his father, Kenneth Bernardo was said to be abusive and Marilyn, after having given birth to a son and a daughter, found refuge in the arms of her previous suitor. She became pregnant and gave birth to Paul Kenneth Bernardo on August 27, 1964. The elder Bernardo was tolerant of the affair and put his name on the birth certificate. He had other personal problems, however: he fondled a girl and was charged with child molestation in 1975; he was known as the neighbourhood peeping tom; and he sexually abused his own daughter.Williams, Stephen: Invisible Darkness, Little, Brown and Company(1996)] Bernardo's mother sank into clinical depression over her husband's abuse and gained a great deal of weight. There is the suggestion that she suffered from untreated hypothyroidism, which is extremely common in the Great Lakes basin. She withdrew from family life and lived in the basement of their Scarborough home. Though the elder children felt the effects of the emotional and mental turmoil, young Paul appeared to be unscathed by it. In his book "Lethal Marriage", Nick Pron describes the young Bernardo: "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." [Pron, Nick. Lethal Marriage: The Uncensored Truth Behind the Crimes of Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka. Seal Books (2005). ISBN 077042936X, cited at]

Following an argument between his parents when Bernardo was 16, his mother told him of his actual parentage and that she and his "father" had covered it up by putting the family name on his birth certificate. [ [ Paul Bernardo & Karla Homolka, Serial Killer and Rapist Team - The Crime library ] ] Repulsed, he began openly to call his mother "slob" and "whore". [ Paul Bernardo & Karla Homolka, Serial Killer and Rapist Team - The Crime library ] ]

Bernardo graduated from Sir Wilfrid Laurier Collegiate Institute, opting to work for Amway, whose sales culture had a deep effect on him. "He bought the books and tapes of famous motivational get-rich-and-famous experts," according to "Deadly Innocence", by Scott Burnside and Alan Cairns. [Burnside, Scott and Alan Cairns: Deadly Innocence. Grand Central Publishing, Warner Books edition (1995) ISBN 0446601543] . Bernardo and his friends practiced their techniques on young women they met in bars, and were fairly successful. By the time Bernardo attended University of Toronto Scarborough, he had developed dark sexual fantasies, enjoyed humiliating women in public and beat up the women he dated.

With his friend Van Smirnis he began to smuggle cigarettes across the U.S.-Canadian border; his need for cars, toys and women required a large, steady stream of income and the junior accountant job he had obtained after graduation did not pay enough..

In October 1987, he met Karla Homolka. They raped and abused each other, obsessed with each other almost immediately. "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 said she would think it was fantastic!. Their love deepened. He started raping women in earnest." [Williams, Stephen: Invisible Darkness, Little, Brown and Company(1996) cited at ]


The Scarborough rapist

Bernardo committed multiple sexual assaults, escalating in viciousness, in and around Scarborough, Ontario. [ [ "Baltovich trial timeline"] CBC News, July 15, 2005, retrieved September 2, 2007] Most of the assaults were on young women whom he had stalked after they had exited buses late in the evening.

*On May 4, 1987, Bernardo committed his first rape in Scarborough against a 21-year-old woman, in front of her parents' house, after following her home. The attack lasted more than half an hour.

*On May 14, 1987, Bernardo committed his second rape. He attacked a 19-year-old woman in her parents back yard of their house. This rape lasted over an hour.

*On July 27, 1987, Bernardo attempted his third rape. Although he beat the young woman, he abandoned the attack after she fought back.

*On December 16, 1987, Bernardo committed his third rape, against a 15-year-old girl. This rape lasted about one hour. The following day the Toronto Police Service issued a warning to women in Scarborough travelling alone at night, especially those taking buses.

*On December 23, 1987, Bernardo committed his fourth rape. During this attack Bernardo raped the 17-year-old with the knife he used to threaten his victims. It is this rape that engendered the term 'Scarborough Rapist'.

* April 18, 1988, Bernardo attacked a 17-year-old. This fifth rape lasted 45 minutes.

* On May 25, 1988, Bernardo was nearly caught by a uniformed Metro Toronto investigator staking out a bus shelter. The investigator noticed him hiding under a tree and pursued him on foot, but Bernardo escaped him.

* On May 30, 1988, Bernardo committed his sixth rape, this time in Clarkson, about 25 miles southwest of Scarborough. This attack, against an 18-year-old, lasted 30 minutes.

*Bernardo attempted a seventh Scarborough rape on October 4, 1988. His intended victim fought him off but he inflicted two stab wounds to her thigh and buttock that required 12 stitches.

* On November 16, 1988, Bernardo committed his seventh rape against an 18-year-old in the backyard of her parents' house.

The following day Metro Police formed a special task force dedicated to hunting down the Scarborough Rapist. The task force announced: "We're warning all women to plan the routes they take after dark very carefully. We're pleading with people to be on the lookout for anyone loitering in the area of bus stops or anywhere women are likely to be alone. Any woman who feels threatened should immediately make for a house or place of safety and dial 911."

*An alerted neighbour chased Bernardo off on December 27, 1988, after he had begun his attempted eighth rape.

*On June 20, 1989, Bernardo again attempted to rape another young woman; she fought against him and her screams alerted neighbors. Bernardo fled with scratches on his face.

*On August 15, 1989, Bernardo committed his eighth rape, against a 22-year-old woman. He had stalked her the previous night from outside the window of her apartment and waited for her to arrive home. This particularly vicious attack lasted two hours.

*On November 21, 1989, Bernardo committed his ninth rape, against a 15-year-old whom he saw in a bus shelter. This attack lasted 45 minutes.

*December 22, 1989, Bernardo committed his tenth rape, against a 19-year-old. This attack occurred in a stairwell of an underground parking lot and lasted 30 minutes. The woman later filed a $10-million lawsuit that included Homolka as a defendant. In a letter Homolka wrote from prison, exactly four years later, she commented "Wow! I don't know what this woman thinks she's going to get because Paul and I are broke!"

*On May 26, 1990, Bernardo committed his eleventh rape. This rape lasted over an hour. However, his 19-year-old victim's vivid recollection of her attacker permitted police to make a computer composite photograph, which was released two days later by police and published in Toronto and area newspapers.

Two months after receiving tips that Bernardo fit the Scarborough Rapist composite, he was interviewed by two police detectives.

Between May and September 1990, the police had submitted more than 130 suspects' samples for DNA testing when they received two reports that the person they were seeking was Paul Bernardo. The first, in June, had been called in by a bank employee. The second call was received from Tina Smirnis, the wife of one of the three Smirnis brothers who were among Bernardo's closest friends. Mrs. Smirnis told the detectives that Bernardo "had been 'called in' on a previous rape investigation - one in December, 1987 - but he had never been interviewed". During their interview of the Smirnis couple, police determined that it had been Alex Smirnis who had put his wife up to making the call; once there, he did all the talking. Bernardo preferred women who were petite, small and not too bright, often had two or more girls on the go at the same time, had gone out with a girl whom he had beaten severely. He frequently talked about his sex life to Smirnis and liked rough sex and anal sex.

He "spoke in non sequiturs; his phrasing was awkward and stilted" and consequently left the detectives unsure of "whether to take Alex Smirnis seriously." After cross-checking several files the detectives decided to interview Bernardo. The interview, on November 20, 1990, lasted 35 minutes and Bernardo voluntarily gave samples for forensic testing. When the detectives asked Bernardo why he thought he was being investigated for the rapes, he admitted that he "did" resemble the composite. The detectives concluded that "it just did not seem possible that such a well-educated, well-adjusted, congenial young man" could be responsible for the vicious crimes; he "was far more credible than . . .Alex Smirnis who, with his awkward, strange way of speaking, might just be trying to collect the reward. . . . the following day, Paul Bernardo was out of sight and out of mind."

Following the interview, Bernardo drove to St. Catharines where he held a secret meeting with Homolka, assuring her that he was not the Scarborough Rapist.

Bernardo moved permanently to St. Catharines on February 1, 1991. The rapes in Scarborough had stopped. However:

*On April 6, 1991, Bernardo committed his twelfth rape, this one in St. Catharines. Again, the victim was young - 14. Unlike the other rapes this one occurred in the early morning, not at night, and he was not stalking near a bus stop. This appears to be the rape incorrectly cited in the February 19, 1993, search warrant for Bernardo's house, as "clearly demonstrat [ing] the same modus operandi used by the Scarborough Rapist". The warrant also incorrectly claimed that "No offence was committed in that area [Scarborough] " after Bernardo had been "interviewed as a suspect in the Scarborough Rapist case in November 1990". In fact, Bernardo's last Scarborough rape occurred six months before he was interviewed by police.

During her interrogation in 1993, Homolka told police Bernardo once bragged to her that he had raped as many as 30 women, double the 15 assaults police suspected he had committed. She described him as "the happy rapist."Bernardo admits more rapes - Toronto Star, Feb. 21, 2006]

The "Toronto Star" reported on February 21, 2006, that Bernardo had admitted having sexually assaulted at least 10 other women in attacks not previously blamed on him. The majority of those assaults took place in 1986, a year before what police termed the reign of terror by the Scarborough Rapist. "While authorities suspected Bernardo had been involved in other crimes, such as a string of rapes in Amherst, N.Y., or the mysterious drowning death of Terri Anderson in St. Catharines, he has never acknowledged until now his involvement in any other offences." It was reported that Bernardo's lawyer, Tony Bryant, had forwarded his information to legal authorities the previous November. [ [ "Bernardo confessed to more crimes: lawyer"] CBC News, February 21, 2005, retrieved September 2, 2007]

"Jane Doe"

When she still worked at a pet shop, two years earlier, Homolka had befriended a then 13-year-old girl, who idolized her as an older sister. On June 7, 1991, Homolka invited the teen, referred to as "Jane Doe" in the ensuing trials, for a "girls' night out". After an evening of shopping and dining, Homolka took "Jane Doe" to the Bayview Avenue house and began to ply her with alcohol laced with Halcion.

After "Jane Doe" lost consciousness, Homolka called Bernardo to tell him his surprise wedding gift was ready. They undressed "Jane Doe", who was a virgin, and Bernardo videotaped Homolka as she raped the girl before Bernardo raped and sodomized her. The next morning "Jane Doe", sick and vomiting, thought it was due to having drunk alcohol for the first time. She did not realize she had been raped.

She was invited back to Port Dalhousie (a district in northwest St. Catharines, situated on Lake Ontario) in August this time to "spend the night". In a replay of Tammy Homolka, "Jane Doe", whose identity remains protected by law, stopped breathing after she was drugged and Bernardo had begun to rape her. Homolka called 911 for help but called back a few minutes later to say that "everything is all right". The emergency crew was recalled without follow-up.

"Jane Doe" visited the couple once more, on December 22, 1992. This time Homolka pressured her to have sex with Bernardo; she became upset and left.

Schoolgirl Killer

Tammy Homolka

By 1990, Bernardo was spending large amounts of time with the Homolka family, upon whom he had made a favourable impression. He was engaged to the eldest daughter and flirting constantly with the youngest. He had not told them that he had lost his job at Price Waterhouse and instead was smuggling cigarettes across the nearby U.S.-Canadian border. In time he had become obsessed with Tammy Homolka, peeping into her window and entering her room to masturbate while she slept. Homolka had helped him by breaking the blinds in her sister's window to allow Bernardo access for his stalking. In July Bernardo took Tammy across the border for more beer for a Homolka party; while there, Bernardo later told his fiancee, "they got drunk and began making out".

According to Bernardo's testimony at his trial, on July 25, 1990, Homolka laced spaghetti sauce with crushed valium she had stolen from her employer, Martindale Animal Clinic. She served dinner to her sister, who soon lost consciousness. Bernardo began to rape her while Homolka watched; after about a minute, Tammy came to. And over the summer, he piled Tammy and her friends with gifts, food, and sodas that had "a film and a few white flecks on the top"..

Six months before their 1991 wedding, Homolka stole the anesthetic agent Halothane from the clinic. On December 23, 1990, Homolka and Bernardo administered sleeping pills to the 15-year-old in a rum-and-eggnog drink. After Tammy was unconscious Homolka and Bernardo undressed her and Homolka applied a Halothane-soaked cloth to her sister's nose and mouth.

Homolka wanted to "give Tammy's virginity to Bernardo for Christmas" as, according to Homolka, Bernardo had always been upset that she was not a virgin when they met. With her parents sleeping upstairs, the pair filmed themselves as they raped her in the basement. Tammy began to vomit. The pair tried unsuccessfully to revive her, then called 911, but not before they hid evidence, redressed Tammy, and moved her into her basement bedroom. A few hours later Tammy Homolka was pronounced dead at St. Catharines General Hospital without having regained consciousness.

Despite the pair's behaviour - vacuuming and washing laundry in the middle of the night, despite the presence of a chemical burn on Tammy's face, Niagara Regional Police and the Homolka family accepted the pair's version of events. The official cause of Tammy Homolka's death was accidental - choking on her vomit after consumption of alcohol. The pair subsequently filmed themselves with Karla wearing Tammy's clothing and pretending to be Tammy. They also moved out of the Homolka house to a rented Port Dalhousie bungalow, to let her parents deal with their grief.

Leslie Mahaffy

Early in the morning on June 15, 1991, Bernardo took a detour through Burlington, half-way between Toronto and St. Catharines, to steal licence plates and chanced upon Leslie Mahaffy. The 14-year-old had missed her curfew after attending a funeral, was locked out of her house and had been unable to find anyone with whom she could stay overnight.

Bernardo approached her and told her he was looking to break into a neighbour's house. Unfazed, she asked if he had any cigarettes. As Bernardo led her to his car he blindfolded her, forced her into the vehicle and drove her to Port Dalhousie, where he informed Homolka that they had a playmate. Bernardo and Homolka subsequently videotaped themselves torturing and sexually abusing Mahaffy, all while listening to Bob Marley and David Bowie. At one point, Bernardo said "You're doing a good job, Leslie, a damned good job." Then he added "The next two hours are going to determine what I do to you. Right now, you're scoring perfect." On another segment of tape, played at Bernardo's trial, the assault escalated. Mahaffy cried out in pain and begged Bernardo to stop; in the Crown description of the scene, he was sodomizing her while her hands were bound with twine. Later Mahaffy told Bernardo that her blindfold seemed to be slipping, an ominous development as it signalled the possibility that she might be able to identify both her tormentors if permitted to live.

The following day, Bernardo claimed, Homolka fed her a lethal dose of Halcion. Homolka claimed that, instead, Bernardo strangled her. The pair put her body into their basement, to be dealt with after a social obligation. It was Father's Day.

After the Homolkas and their remaining daughter, Lori, had left, Bernardo and Homolka decided the best way to dispose of the evidence was to cut Leslie Mahaffy's body into sections and encase them individually in cement. Bernardo bought a dozen bags of cement at a hardware store the following day; he kept the receipts - which would prove damning at his trial. Bernardo used his grandfather's circular saw to cut the body. Bernardo and Homolka then made numerous trips to dump the cement blocks in Lake Gibson 18 kilometres south of Port Dalhousie. At least one of the blocks weighed 200 pounds and proved beyond the pair's patience or abilities to sink. It rested near the shore, where a father and son on a fishing expedition discovered it on June 29, 1991 - Bernardo and Homolka's wedding day. Leslie Mahaffy's orthodontic appliance proved definitive in identifying her.

Kristen French

On the afternoon of April 16, 1992, Bernardo and Homolka were driving through St. Catharines to look for potential victims. It was after school hours on the day before Good Friday. Students were still going home but by and large the streets were empty. As they passed Holy Cross Secondary School, a main Catholic high school in the city's north end, they spotted Kristen French, a 15-year-old student, walking briskly to her nearby home. The couple pulled into the parking lot of nearby Grace Lutheran Church and Homolka got out of the car, map in hand, pretending to need assistance.

As French looked at the map, Bernardo attacked from behind, brandishing a knife and forcing her into the front seat of their car. From her back seat, Homolka controlled the girl by pulling down her hair.

French took the same route home every day, taking about fifteen minutes to get home in order to attend to her dog's needs. Soon after she should have arrived, her parents became convinced that she had met with foul play and notified police. Within 24 hours NRP had assembled a team and searched the area along her route and found several witnesses who had seen the abduction from different aspects, thus giving police a fairly clear picture. In addition, one of Kristen's shoes, recovered from the parking lot, underscored the seriousness of the abduction.

Over the three days of Easter weekend, Bernardo and Homolka videotaped themselves as they savagely beat, tortured, raped and sodomized Kristen French, forcing her to drink large amounts of alcohol and to behave submissively to Bernardo. At Bernardo's trial, Crown prosecutor Ray Houlahan said that Bernardo always intended to kill her because she was never blindfolded and was capable of identifying her captors.

While Bernardo was out buying pizza on April 18 he was spotted by Kerry Patrich (see below) whom he had stalked the previous month. Her report to NRP was mishandled by police, as noted by Judge Archie Campbell in his 1995 inquiry into the police investigation of Bernardo's crimes, thus negating any chance of Kristen French's being discovered at the Bernardo house.

The following day, the couple murdered French before going to the Homolkas' for Easter dinner. Homolka testified at her trial that Bernardo had strangled French for exactly seven minutes while she watched. Bernardo said Homolka beat her with a rubber mallet because she had tried to escape and that French ended up being strangled on a noose tied around her neck secured to a hope chest. Immediately thereafter, Homolka went to fix her hair.

French's nude body was found April 30, 1992, in a ditch less than a kilometre from the cemetery that contains Leslie Mahaffy's body. It had been washed and the hair had been cut off. Again, assumptions stated in the search warrant of February 19, 1993, were incorrect: the "very rare phenomenon where hair is collected from victims" was said to satisfy Bernardo's urges and serve as a trophy. Homolka testified matter-of-factly that the hair had been cut to impede identification.

Other potential or possible victims

In addition to the confirmed murders of Tammy Lyn Homolka, Leslie Erin Mahaffy and Kristen Dawn French, suspicions remain about other possible victims or intended victims of Bernardo and/or Homolka.

*Shortly after Tammy Homolka's funeral her parents went out of town and Lori visited her grandparents in Mississauga, leaving the house empty. On the weekend of January 12, 1991, according to author Stephen Williams, Bernardo abducted a girl, took her to the house and raped her while Homolka watched; afterward he dropped her off on a deserted road near Lake Gibson. Bernardo and Homolka referred to her as "January girl", not having bothered to find out the girl's name.
*At about 5:30 a.m. on April 6, 1991, Bernardo abducted a 14-year-old who was warming up for her duties as coxswain on one of the local rowing teams. The girl was distracted by a blonde woman who waved at her from her car, enabling Bernardo to drag her into the shrubbery near the rowing club. There he sexually assaulted her, forced her to remove all her clothes and wait five minutes, during which he disappeared.
*On July 28, 1991, Bernardo stalked Sydney Kershen, 21, after he saw her while driving home from work in his gold Nissan 240 SX. On August 9, 1991, he resumed stalking her. This time she took evasive action, stopping at her boyfriend's house just prior to his arrival. After spotting Bernardo the boyfriend gave chase, came across Bernardo's gold Nissan and took note of the licence plate. The couple reported the incident to Niagara Regional Police who established that the car belonged to Paul Kenneth Bernardo. A NRP officer visited the Bernardos' house where the car was parked in the driveway, but did not pursue the matter, nor did he submit an official police report.
*On November 30, 1991, 14-year-old Terri Anderson vanished about three blocks from the parking lot where Kristen French would be abducted, and never returned. Terri was a grade nine student at Lakeport Secondary School, next door to Kristen French's school. Terri Anderson and Kristen French disappeared within two kilometres of each other. In April 1992, NRP said they had no evidence to suggest a link. But in May 1992 Terri Anderson's body 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's ruling, that her death was by drowning, probably as a result of drinking beer and taking LSD, was controversial in light of Leslie Mahaffy's and Kristen French's murders.
*A newspaper clipping found during the police search of the Bernardo house described a violent rape that occurred in Hawaii during the couple's honeymoon there. The presence of the article, the rape's similarity to Bernardo's modus operandi and its occurrence during the Bernardos' presence led police to speculate on Bernardo's involvement. Law enforcement officials on both sides of the border have stated their belief that Bernardo was responsible for this rape, but due to extradition issues, this case was never prosecuted.
*In 1998, Derek Finkle published the book "No Claim to Mercy" [Finkle, Derek, No Claim to Mercy - The Controversial Case Against Robert Baltovich(1998). Penguin Canada, ISBN 9780140263985)] , which presented evidence tying Bernardo to the murder of Elizabeth Bain, who disappeared on June 19, 1990, after telling her mother she was going to "check the tennis schedule" on the Scarborough campus of the University of Toronto. Three days later, her car was found with a large bloodstain in the back seat. Robert Baltovich, who has consistently maintained his innocence, was convicted on March 31, 1992, of second-degree murder in the death of his girlfriend. At trial, his lawyers suggested that the so-called "Scarborough rapist" was responsible. He served eight years of a life term; in September 2004 his appeal was processed. His lawyers alleged that he had been wrongfully convicted and that Bernardo was guilty of the murder. On December 2, 2004, the Ontario Court of Appeal set aside the conviction, delivering "a scathing attack" [ ] on the conduct of the original trial judge. On July 15, 2005, Ontario's Ministry of the Attorney-General announced that Robert Baltovich would face a new trial. Elizabeth Bain's body has never been found. On April 22, 2008, Baltovich was found not guilty of second-degree murder.
*On March 29, 1992, Bernardo stalked and videotaped Shanna and Kerry Patrich from his car and followed them to their parents' house. The Patrich sisters incorrectly recorded his licence plate number; Shanna Patrich reported the incident to NRP on March 31, 1992, and was given an incident number, should further information develop. With Kristen French under Homolka's guard on April 18, 1992 Bernardo went out to buy dinner and rent a movie. He was spotted by Kerry Patrich, who attempted to track him to his house. Despite losing him, she got a better description of his licence plate and car, which she reported to NRP. This information, however, was mishandled by police and slipped into the "black hole" to which Judge Archie Campbell would refer in the Campbell Report of 1996, an inquiry into police mishandling of evidence in the case.
*In 2006, Bernardo confessed to a 1987 assault against a 15-year-old girl. Another man, Anthony Hanemaayer, had been convicted of that assault and served the sentence for it. On June 25, 2008, the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned that conviction and exonerated Hanemaayer. []


Bernardo's trial for the murders of French and Mahaffy took place in 1995, and included detailed testimony from Homolka and videotapes of the rapes. The trial was subject to a publication ban which applied to Canadian newspapers and media, and the venue was moved to Toronto from St. Catharines, where the murders occurred. However, the ban did not affect American newspapers and television stations from nearby Buffalo, New York from reporting trial proceedings, which were easily seen in Southern Ontario. During the trial, Bernardo claimed the deaths were accidental, and later claimed that his wife was the actual killer. On September 1, 1995, Bernardo was convicted of a number of offences, including the two first-degree murders and two aggravated sexual assaults, and sentenced to life in prison. [R. v. Bernardo, [1995] O.J. No. 2988 (Ct. J. (Gen. Div.))] Later, Bernardo was also declared a "Dangerous Offender", making it unlikely he will ever be released. [R. v. Bernardo, [1995] O.J. No. 3866 (Ct. J. (Gen. Div.))]

In return for a plea bargain (12 years in prison for manslaughter), Homolka testified against Bernardo in his murder trial. [Jenish, D'Arcy. [ "Bernardo convicted"] Maclean's Magazine, September 11, 1995, retrieved September 2, 2007] This plea bargain received much public criticism from Canadians (see entry on Homolka).

In 2006, Paul Bernardo gave an interview in prison suggesting he had reformed and would make a good parole candidate. [ [ CityNews: Bernardo Says He's A Good Candidate For Parole ] ] [ [ CityNews: Paul Bernardo Interview Tape ] ] Bernardo is eligible for release in 2010 under the "faint hope" clause, although this is unlikely to transpire as he has been declared a dangerous offender.

Homolka's release

Homolka was released from prison on July 4, 2005. Several days before, Bernardo was interviewed by police and his lawyer, Tony Bryant. According to Bryant, Bernardo claimed that he had always intended to free the girls he and Homolka kidnapped. However, once Mahaffy's blindfold fell off, allowing Mahaffy to see Bernardo's face, Homolka was concerned that Mahaffy would identify Bernardo, and subsequently report them to the police. Further, Bernardo claimed that Homolka planned to murder Mahaffy by injecting an air bubble into her bloodstream, eventually causing an embolism. [ [ Bernardo's lawyer says killer 'agitated' over attention given to Homolka] CBC News, July 6, 2005, retrieved February 6, 2007]

Books and film and other references

A number of books have been written about the Bernardos, and in October 2005 a motion picture of their story was released under the title "Karla," starring Misha Collins as Bernardo and Laura Prepon as Homolka.

The song "God Bless" by Combichrist mentions Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka.

The [ Law & Order episode "Fools for Love"] and [ Law and Order: SVU episode "Pure"] are based on the events, as is [ The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Series VII: "Know Thine Enemy"]

ee also

*Karla Homolka


External links

* [ The Ken and Barbie of Murder & Mayhem]
* [ Newspaper article on Bernardo's imprisonment in solitary confinement]

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