Paul Bernardo is a serial killer and sexual predator from Canada who along with his wife Karla Homolka are responsible for at least three murders. The Ken and Barbie Killers stunned the nation and the world with their brutal murders. During this article on My Crime Library we will take a closer look at Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka
Paul Bernardo – The Scarborough Rapist
All signs pointed to normal when people though of Paul Bernardo however he was keeping a dark secret as he was also The Scarborough Rapist. Over a three year period Bernardo was suspected of numerous sexual assaults and attempted sexual assaults in the Toronto area. Eventually he would be convicted of thirteen sexual assaults and six attempted sexual assaults however it is believed that is responsible for many more.
Paul Bernardo And Karla Homolka
Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka would meet in October of 1987 and the two monsters would find out they enjoyed BDSM. Even though Bernardo was in a relationship he continued to sexually assault women in the Toronto area. The couple would marry in 1991
It is important to note that at this time Karla Homolka worked at Martindale Animal Clinic where she would steal drugs they would use in the murders.
Paul Bernardo Murders
Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka first murder was in June 1991 and the first victim was Karla’s sister Tammy Homolka. Paul became obsessed with the fourteen year old girl and would spy on the teen while she slept. Karla helped her boyfriend by breaking the windows to the teen’s room giving him easier access.
Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka would feed the fourteen year old spaghetti which was laced with Valium. After Tammy passed out she would be sexually assaulted by Bernardo while her sister watched.
Over the next six months Bernardo would attempt to drug Tammy Homolka and her friends. A few weeks before Paul and Karla were too be married, Karla would give her now fifteen year old sister a rum and coke drink that was laced with sleeping pills. After Tammy passed out Paul and Karla filmed themselves sexually assaulting the fifteen year old. Bernardo and Homolka had put a rag soaked with Halothane and Tammy would wake up vomiting.
Paul and Karla would get Tammy dressed and called 911. Tammy Homolka would die at a nearby hospital. For some reason the coroner found nothing suspicious about the death.
On June 15, 1991 Paul Bernardo was driving through Burlington, an area outside of Toronto, when he came across Leslie Mahaffy. Bernardo would approach the fourteen year old girl who locked out her home. The two would talk before Bernardo forced her into his car and blindfolded her.
Bernardo would call Karla Homolka and told her they had another victim. The two monsters would sexually assault and torture the fourteen year old girl while videotaping the whole thing. The next day Paul Bernardo would claim that Karla Homolka gave her a fatal dose of Halcion, Homolka would claim that Paul strangled her to death.
Leslie Mahaffy would be dismembered using a circular saw and then her body parts would be encased in cement and dropped into Lake Gibson.
Leslie Mahaffy body would be discovered on June 29, 1991 and identified by her orthodontic appliance. It would be the same day that Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka were married
The third victim was Kristen French. Kristen who was fifteen years old would be abducted on her way home from school by both Paul and Karla on April 16, 1992, who were reportedly searching for their next victim.
Kristen French would be reported missing and the Niagara police would form a search team to look for the missing teenager. The search team would find a number of witnesses that saw her abducted.
While the police were searching for Kristen French she was being repeatedly sexually assaulted and tortured by the Ken and Barbie Killers who once again taped the brutal events. Paul and Karla would murder Kristen French and would head to Homolka’s parents home for Easter dinner.
Kristen French body would be found on April 30, 1992 as she was found nude in a ditch less than five hundred meters from where Leslie Mahaffy’s body was found.
Paul Bernardo And Karla Homolka Arrest
Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka would be questioned a number of times by police over the next twenty six months. However when Bernardo brutally beat Karla around Christmas time in 1992 it opened the door.
Karla would be interviewed by the Toronto Sexual Assault Squad, February 9 1993, and later that night she would tell her Aunt and Uncle that Bernardo was the Scarborough Rapist and that Paul and her were involved in the French and Mahaffy murders and that they were videotaped.
Karla Homolka would meet with a lawyer, George Walker, who would seek immunity for Karla if she agreed to testify against Bernardo. Due to the severity of the crimes immunity was not possible.
Paul Bernardo would be arrested on February 17, 1993. The police would spend the next three months searching his home.
On May 5, 1993 Karla Homolka was offered a term of 12 years in prison however if she did not accept the plea deal within one week then she would be charged with two counts of first degree murder, one count of second degree murder and an assortment of other charges. Karla agreed.
Paul Bernardo Trial
In 1995 Paul Bernardo went on trial for the murders of Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French. During his trial Bernardo tried to say that the deaths were accidental however the jury would convict him on both murders. Karla Homolka who would testify against her soon to be ex husband regarding the murders and sexual assaults. Paul Bernardo would be sentenced to two twenty five years to life sentences. Paul Bernardo was also deemed a dangerous offender meaning the chances of him ever leaving prison is very slim
Karla Homolka plea deal was criticized as her attorney kept the videotapes of the murders hidden from prosecutors for seventeen months and prosecutors would say if they had seen the video tapes she would have never been given the plea deal. Karla Homolka was released from prison in 2005 and is now the mother of two children
Paul Bernardo More News
A National Parole Board panel has decided Paul Bernardo will remain behind bars. The Ontario rapist and killer was denied Wednesday in his first attempt at getting parole.
The decision was announced soon after the mothers of two of Bernardo’s victims and a woman who survived an attack read impact statements to the panel, and Bernardo spoke.
Debbie Mahaffy told the hearing that today has been an “emotional hell” for her, because she had to be in the same room as her daughter’s killer.
“I don’t want to be here,” Mahaffy said at the hearing in Millhaven Correctional Centre, east of Bath, Ont. “I do not want to be in the same room [with Bernardo]. I do not want to participate. Yet, here I am.”
Bernardo is serving a life sentence for the kidnapping, rapes and first-degree murders of two teenaged girls in the early 1990s, including Mahaffy’s daughter, and two counts of aggravated sexual assault.
The designated dangerous offender had been eligible for full parole since February, having served 25 years behind bars.
Leslie Mahaffy was 14 years old when she was kidnapped, tortured and killed in June 1991 at the Port Dalhousie, Ont., home of Bernardo and his then-girlfriend, Karla Homolka. They then dismembered her body, encasing her remains in cement and dumping them in a nearby lake.
“We have to relive Leslie’s pain and horror,” Mahaffy said. “Our pain and horror … as if it happened yesterday.”
Donna French’s daughter, Kristen, was 15 when she was kidnapped by Bernardo and Homolka and tortured for three days, before she was killed.
French told the hearing that Bernardo should never see freedom again.
“How does one describe such immeasurable pain so as to give even the slightest understanding of the overwhelming sadness, the emptiness, and pain we feel even after 26 years of dealing with our loss?” French said.
She also noted that the law was changed after Bernardo’s incarceration to allow for consecutive periods of parole ineligibility.
The CBC’s Ron Charles watched the parole hearing via video feed with other members of the media in a room at the Bath medium security prison. Bernardo is incarcerated at nearby Millhaven, a maximum security prison, which is where the hearing took place.
He reported the two mothers read their statements from behind Bernardo, and that Bernardo, sitting between his lawyer and his parole officer, looked down at the table with his hands in his lap as they spoke.
A third woman also spoke to the board. She is one of 14 women Bernardo admitted to raping.
She described how she was walking home on an evening in May 1988 when Bernardo attacked her from behind, dragged her into some bushes and raped her. The result has been emotional devastation from which she has never recovered, she said.
“After the assault, I really became a shell of a person,” she said. “He should never be considered for any freedom for the rest of his life.”
Bernardo, 54, spoke after the three women.
He portrayed himself as someone whose self-esteem was damaged by a childhood speech impediment. He felt increasingly inadequate, Bernardo said, adding he was afraid to interact with people. Social anxiety, he said, became sexual — he fretted constantly about being unable to perform.
“The more insecure I felt, the more I tried to control,” he said. “My self-esteem would get better that way.”
Bernardo was also convicted of manslaughter in the December 1990 death of Homolka’s younger sister, Tammy. The 15-year-old girl died after the pair drugged and sexually assaulted her. Homolka later said she wanted Bernardo to have Tammy’s virginity as a Christmas present.
Bernardo said he was completely shattered by Tammy’s death, which only exacerbated his low self-esteem and led to his increasingly savage attacks on women and girls.
“I hurt a lot of people,” he said. “I absolutely did and this is why I cry.”
One of the two Parole Board of Canada members hearing the case, Suzanne Poirier, asked him at one point: “Would you say you used women as objects?”
“Back then, absolutely,” he responded.
“How has this changed?” Poirier inquired.
“I over-used sex and that led to those cognitive distortions,” Bernardo said.” I overly based my self-esteem on sex.”
Bernardo denied being a sadistic psychopath, although he admitted he felt nothing for his victims at the time he committed his crimes. It was all a matter of asserting power and control in an effort to give his fragile ego a boost, he said.
Poirier said that, to the parole board, Bernardo’s empathy seemed to be recent.
Bernardo’s parole officer said he had made minimal gains during his time behind bars.
The longtime lawyer for the French and Mahaffy families, Tim Danson, said his clients were pleased with the parole board’s decision. But he noted Bernardo showed no remorse.
“There’s never been an apology by Paul Bernardo. There’s been never any indication whatsoever of remorse,” Danson told reporters, as member of the French family stood nearby.
“What he talked about was, he knows that what he did was wrong and it was terrible, but that’s something different than reaching out to the families and apologizing to them directly.”
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Frequently Asked Questions
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Paul Bernardo is currently incarcerated at Millhaven Penitentiary in Ontario, Canada
- Karla Homolka Now
Karla Homolka is apparently living in Chateauguay Quebec