The End of Killers Homolka and Bernardo

Once a Perpetrator, Now a Victim

Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo
Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo. Police Photo

See Also: Part One > The Crimes of Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo

Homolka Leaves Bernardo

In January 1993, Homolka separated from Bernardo because of the constant physical abuse that he subjected her to for several months. His attacks had become increasingly ferocious, resulting in Homolka being hospitalized. She left him and moved in with her sister's friend who was a police officer.

Closing In On the Scarborough Rapist

Evidence in helping police identify the Scarborough Rapist was building.

A composite drawing of the suspect was released, and a work associate of Bernardo's contacted the police and reported that Bernardo looks matched the sketch. The police interviewed Bernardo and obtained a saliva swab from him which later tested positive, but it was not until 1993 that an exact forensic match was made proving Bernardo was the Scarborough Rapist.

The Ontario Green Ribbon Task Force

The Ontario Green Ribbon Task Force assigned to solving the murders of the girls was closing in on Bernardo and Homolka. Homolka was fingerprinted and questioned. Of particular interest to the detectives was regarding a Mickey Mouse watch that Homolka had that looked like one that Kristen French had on the night she disappeared. Homolka learned during the questioning that Bernardo was identified as the Scarborough rapist. She also knew the rest of their crimes would soon be uncovered.

Homolka Begins to Talk

Homolka, realizing the pair was going to be caught, confessed to her uncle that Bernardo was a serial rapist and murderer.

She also obtained a lawyer and began negotiations into a plea bargain in exchange for her testimony against Bernardo. In mid-February, Bernardo was arrested and charged with the Scarborough rapes and the murders of Mahaffy and French. During the search of the couple's home, a diary of Bernardo's with written descriptions of each crime was discovered.

The Worst Plea Bargain In Canada's History

A plea bargain was discussed for Homolka which she would get a twelve-year sentence for her participation in the crimes in exchange for her testimony. The government agreed to her being eligible for parole after serving three years with good behavior. Homolka quickly agreed to all terms and the deal was set. Later, after all of the  evidence was in, the plea bargain became known as being one of the worst in the history of Canada, with the government accused of making a deal with the Devil.

A Deal is a Deal - Even With the Devil

Homolka always portrayed herself as an abused wife forced into participating in Bernardo's criminal activity. It was not until the several videotapes that Homolka and Bernardo made were turned into police by an ex-lawyer of Bernardo's, that it became clear that Homolka enjoyed herself with their victims and the truth to Homolka's involvement in the crimes came to light. Regardless of her obvious guilt now coming to light, a deal was a deal, and she could not be retried for her crimes.

Denied Parole

Bernardo ended up being convicted on all counts of rape and murder and he received a life sentence on September 1, 1995. Homolka went before the parole board in March 2001, but the National Parole Board denied her application for parole, stating "The board believes that, if released, you are likely to commit an offense causing the death of or serious harm to another person before the expiration of the sentence you are now serving."

Party Prison

Rumors of Homolka's incarceration being too lenient surfaced after pictures of her sunbathing and partying with other prisoners was published in Canadian newspapers. It was also rumored that she was in a lesbian relationship with Christina Sherry, who was a convicted child-rapist. It was later determined that her lesbian lover was not Sherry, but Lynda Verrouneau, who was convicted of participating in a bank robbery.

Homolka's Release

On July 4, 2005, Homolka was released from Ste-Anne-des-Plaines prison. Court-ordered restrictions were placed on Homolka as a condition of her release:

  • Provide police with her home address, work address and with whom she lives.
  • Notify police of any change to the above information.
  • Required to notify police of any change to her name.
  • Required to give 72 hours' notice if she planned to be away from home for more than 48 hours.
  • Forbidden to contact Paul Bernardo, the families of Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French or that of the woman known as Jane Doe (see above), or any violent criminals.
  • Forbidden to be with people under the age of 16.
  • Forbidden from taking drugs other than prescription medicine.
  • Required to continue therapy and counseling.
  • Required to provide police with a DNA sample.

Homoka's lawyers said she was in a "state of terror" of being released.

"She is paralyzed with fear, completely panicked," one of her attorneys, Christian Lachance, said. "When I saw her she was in a state of terror, almost in a trance. She cannot conceive of what her life will be like outside."

Bernardo is serving a life sentence.

    See Also: Case Photo Gallery

    Source:

    The Unknown Darkness by Gregg O. McCrary
    Deadly Innocence by Scott Burnside