Saturday, June 5, 2010

Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka

Brief Summary and Editorial:  Serial Killer Barbie and Evil Bastard Ken

Paul and Karla on their wedding day.

It's fairly common to picture serial killers (and for that matter rapists and paedophiles) as disfigured, evil little men. Maybe that's why Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka really stand out.

Paul Bernardo met Karla Homolka and found in her his perfect woman - beautiful, sexually adventurous, and most importantly submissive. When Paul asked Karla what she would think if he told her that he was the Scarborough Rapist, a criminal who had been tormenting a Canadian suburb for a period of several months, Karla said she thought it was "cool". They fell hard for each other and Karla was willing to do ANYTHING to keep her attractive fiance.

That anything included drugging her 15 year old sister, Tammy, so Paul could rape her. You see, using Paul's fucked up logic, Karla was not a virgin when she started seeing Paul, so he needed to take the virginity of her sister to make up for that. When he put it like that, Karla was happy to help. She stole some anaesthetic from the vet clinic where she worked as a vet nurse. On December 23rd 1990 Paul, Karla and Tammy stayed up later than everyone else.
Tammy Homolka.

Tammy had been drinking and had eaten not long before her older sister held a drug soaked rag over her face while her fiance vaginally and anally raped her. While her oldest sister was orally raping her, Tammy asphyxiated on her own vomit and died. She was significantly burnt on her face from the anaesthetic agent which had been sloppily applied by her sister, but the medical examiner thought it must have been from stomach acid.

Three weeks after this horrible event, Paul took a video of Karla dressed in Tammy's clothes, and while pretending to be Tammy, performed oral sex on him. This act alone suggests that Karla did not care about what she had done to her little sister.
Karla, during her trial.

Paul continued to rape women, often with Karla's consent and presence. At least one woman who was raped by Bernardo after getting off a bus said she saw a blonde woman nearby holding a video camera. Police dismissed this as hysteria.

Eventually at least two more teenage girls lost their lives at Paul and Karla's hands.  In recent years Paul has confessed to several more rapes for which other people had been imprisoned and since pardoned.  There is also at least two young girls who died in the same area at the same time who were quite probably more victims of Paul and Karla, although unless Paul confesses, the truth will probably never be known.

The whole time that Paul and Karla were killing, a forensic pathology lab had a sample of Paul's DNA waiting to be tested as the Scarborough rapist. After more than two years the sample was finally tested and Paul Bernardo was arrested.  This was just one is a series of errors and delays made by police and forensic services which may have cost some young girls their lives. 

Karla, domestic violence victim.

Paul's fascination with his new video camera along with his decision to beat Karla black and blue sealed their fate. Karla's parents came and removed her and she reported the abuse to them, having photos taken of her horrific bruising. She also went to the police and confessed.

Police made a deal with Karla to tell what she knew. She ended up with a ten year sentence that was increased to twelve years when police discovered her role in the death of her own sister. Then the police were given the video tapes that Paul's lawyer had in his possession. If they had had those tapes earlier, Karla would never have received a deal and she would still be in prison.

Karla was released in July 2005, to media hysteria throughout Canada. There were even websites where you could bet when Karla would be killed - with the stipulation that you couldn't bet on it and then kill her, as that was cheating. 

It's an interesting case. I wonder how Karla's family feel about her these days, with the knowledge they must now possess. Was Karla a battered wife, committing the crimes as she had no choice but to follow her abusive manipulative husband? Or was she a willing participant who enjoyed it as much as Paul did? Karla insists she was a victim too. The video tapes suggest otherwise. 
Personally I think the video tapes are more convincing than the wimpering of a convicted killer.


There are plenty of stories online about Canada's most infamous serial killing couple, but these will give you a good summary:

Crime Library

Karla Homolka on Wikipedia

Paul Bernardo on Wikipedia


  1. Very interesting! Amazing what can happen when two sick and twisted people get together.

  2. oh my, what a hopeless couple. it's sad that the man found an equally sick wife to assist him in his crimes. some people derive a certain pleasure out of being with criminals. what's disturbing is that this woman actually allowed all that to happen to her own little sister. reminds me of a recent incident where a 15 year old girl pimped out her 7 year old sister to be raped by multiple young boys.


  4. Very disturbing. Can't believe somebody hasn't killed her yet.

  5. I live in Niagara where this happened and work for a Member of Parliament who is presenting a motion that, if agreed on by the ruling Conservative Party, will prevent Karla Homolka from receiving a pardon in July. Just yesterday we met with a relative of one of the victims.

  6. Wow TheNag! I have been reading about the proposed law changes to prevent the pardon. I was actually surprised that it was even a possibility. Good luck with it - I will certainly be keeping an eye on the news!