Love is said to make people do “the damnedest things” and, in some cases, that means rape, torture, and murder. It certainly did for Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo; a fairy tale couple in appearance who, in the end, were a living horror to those they victimized together.
Twisted At First Sight
In October 1987 the handsome Paul met the beautiful Karla and the two were immediately smitten with one another. Lucky Bernardo also found, unlike other girls he’d dated, that Homolka would allow and even encourage his dark sides. She enjoyed his twisted, sadistic, sexual appetite and eagerly indulged his every whim in the bedroom. When he confessed to her that he was the man the papers were calling “The Scarborough Rapist”, she didn’t flee at all. She stayed and, by some reports, she even encouraged and participated with him in that. (One rape victim said she remembered seeing a woman with what appeared to be a video camera – the police, however, discounted the memory, chalking it up to hysteria on the part of the victim.)
Given Paul’s near obsessive desire for virgins Homolka picked out the perfect Christmas gift for her man that would also make up for not being a virgin when she’d met him…Karla would let Paul have her little sister’s virginity. So, after a Christmas Eve dinner, Paul served 15-year-old Tammy Homolka tranquilizer-laced drinks that quickly caused the girl to pass out on the couch. He then took his new video recorder out and videotaped as he instructed Karla to perform oral sex on her little sister, which the woman did with giggles. Then, still in control of the camera, Bernado began to rape the girl while Karla ensured Tammy would remain unconscious by keeping a halothane (animal sedative) soaked cloth over her mouth. Sadly the drug eventually caused Tammy to throw up and she choked to death on her own vomit despite the devious duos attempts at reviving her.
The Wedding Gift
With Tammy dead, and thus no good to Paul anymore, Homolka began to grow desperate for a replacement. She would do anything to keep her man and, if that included finding a new victim for him to rape, that’s just what she’d do. She found a girl, referenced only as Jane, who looked very much like the late Tammy Homolka, and decided to “give” her to Paul as an early wedding present. Doing much the same as with Tammy young Jane was given drinks drugged with Halcion tablets and, once out cold, Karla kept her out with the same halothane-soaked-rag method as before. Thankfully for Jane she neither died nor did she remember the ordeal of her rape and forced sodomy at the hands of Paul.
…Shortly after Paul Bernado and Karla Homolka were married…
First Matrimonial Murder
Leslie Mahaffy was just fourteen when she had the grave misfortune of running into Paul Bernardo on June 14, 1991. A spirited and slightly defiant youth Leslie had found herself locked out of her house after breaking curfew when Bernardo, on the hunt for license plates (an accountant by day, he had a lucrative side business in the smuggling of cigarettes from the US to Canada requiring frequent plate changes to his car), spotted her. The man moved swiftly, putting a knife to the girl’s throat and dragging her to his car to take home.
Karla was not in on this kidnapping to start, but after a fight over her new husband using their best champagne glasses to “entertain” his catch, she joined in. Camera already rolling, Paul gave his wife detailed instructions on what to do to the girl before taking over. His brutality caused the girl to scream out and, as Bernardo finished by strangling her with an electrical cord, Homolka gave young Leslie a teddy bear to hold onto for comfort.
The Intentional Murder
Fifteen-year-old Kirsten French was lured into the couple’s car by Homolka in a church parking lot on April 16, 1992. Unlike with Tammy and possibly Leslie, which seemed to be rough sex turned murder) Bernardo and Homolka knew they’d have to kill Kirsten in the end. She’d be able to identify them and their home. However, they didn’t tell her this and Kirsten, thinking it was her best hope for survival, did not fight the couple as they degraded her. The couple kept her as their sex slave for the next day or two, recording all the numerous disgusting ways in which they humiliated her before killing her off camera.
Wife Turns on Husband
Karla Homolka, upon the urging of her family, finally left dear Paul Bernardo in early January 1993 after he’d given her two black eyes among other injuries. (She was fine with what he did to the other girls, but when his aggressions turned to her she was not.) By February 1993 the police began to question her about Paul and, from the questions they asked, Karla realized three things: the police had connected the murders of Leslie Mahaffy and Kirsten French to the Scarborough rapes, they believed Paul was the man who committed the Scarborough rapes, and that the police were closing in fast. So Homolka did what any sociopath would, what she felt she had to…She turned on Paul all the while claiming she was innocent, that she was just another victim of her husband’s sadistic tendencies. Ultimately she cut a deal of a lifetime.
In the End
It wasn’t until the trial when the tapes of the husband and wife’s various cruelties were played to the court that the extent of Homolka’s participation were known…but by then it was too late to make her pay for her part in the rapes, tortures, and murders. Because of the deal she was able to get out in July 2005, after just twelve years in prison, a fact that caused an outcry from the public to say the least. Paul Bernardo, on the other hand, got life with the possibility for parole after twenty-five years (per Canadian law); though it’s unlikely he’ll ever be allowed out. As Bernardo serves year after year, no doubt cursing the day he met his now ex-wife, Karla has attempted to move on with her life. She has never truly shown remorse or guilt over what she and Bernardo did. It seemed to start as a fairy tale, but in the end Prince Charming was an cruel and depraved man and his beloved princess was even worse…a vicious blonde wicked witch who virtually got away with it.