Monday 9 May 2016

TWO KILLERS FROM HELL  (part 1)                                             

Canada, like the United States has had its share of evil killers although not as many since Canada’s population is only a tenth of that of the United States.
This article is about two such evil killers in Canada. The names of these two evil killers are; Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka.

Paul Bernardo

This killer was born on the 27th of August, 1964. That would make him 51 years of age at the time of this writing.

 In 1975, Bernardo's father, Kenneth fondled a girl and was charged with  child molestation. He also sexually abused his own daughter. Bernardo's mother became depressed over her husband's abuses so she withdrew from family life and chose to live separately 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.

Following an argument between his parents when Bernardo was 16, his mother told him that he was conceived illegitimately during an extra-marital affair with a former lover of hers. Repulsed, Paul began to openly call his mother a ‘slob’ and a ‘whore’.

By the time Bernardo attended the University of Toronto (the Scarborough campus), he had developed dark sexual fantasies and enjoyed humiliating women in public and beating up the women he dated.                                       

Bernardo committed multiple sexual assaults, escalating in viciousness, in and around Scarborough, a district in the east of Metropolitan Toronto. Most of the assaults were on young women whom he had stalked after they exited buses late in the evening.       

He sexually attacked 18 young women between the years 1997 and 1990. There may have been more incidents of sexual attacks against young women but if there were, the victims never reported the attacks.

A phone call to the police was from Tina Smirnis, the wife of one of the three Smirnis brothers who were among Bernardo's closest friends. Smirnis told the detectives that Bernardo "had been 'called in' on a previous rape investigation–once in December, 1987  however he had never been interviewed.  He frequently talked about his sex life to Smirnis and liked anilingus, (oral and anal sex acts where one person stimulates the anus of another person by the use of their mouth, including lips, tongue, or teeth and/or  anal sex with one’s penis) and rough sex. I will say from the get-go, this kind of sex is neither illegal nor immoral providing the partners aren’t unwilling victims.

 In any case, Smirnis's phrasing to the police was awkward and stilted and consequently left the detectives unsure of whether to take her seriously. But 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 such a well-educated, well-adjusted, congenial young man could not be responsible for the vicious crimes, They concluded that he "was far more credible than Smirnis who, with her awkward, strange way of speaking, might just be trying to collect the reward for the ‘Scarborough Rapist’ who was still on the loose.  Bernardo was released the following day.

The police, like many times in the past, the present and will in the future, bungled their investigation of the Scarborough Rapist by presuming that any man who  is well-educated, well-adjusted and a congenial young man could not be responsible for vicious crimes.  I am sure that the police in the United States initially felt the same way about serial rapist, Ted Bundy who also raped and killed his victims. He was also well-educated, well-adjusted and a congenial young man.                                                                                                    

Karla Homolka

This killer was born on May 4th 1970. At the time of this writing, she is 46 six years of age.  Her father was a Czechoslovakian immigrant named Karel Homolka who  made a living as a traveling salesman, selling black velvet paintings and lighting fixtures from the sidewalks of shopping centers and malls. Her mother was Dorothy Seger who was born in Ontario.

Karla Homolka was asthmatic which resulted in frequent hospitalization during her childhood. Her attacks seemed to be triggered by any type of situation where she felt excited or frightened, such as birthdays, holidays or the first day of school.

She walked and talked at an early age. In the 3rd grade, Karla was given an IQ test in which she scored a quotient of 131, which demonstrated conclusively that she was indeed a very bright girl. 

Karla showed a soft spot for animals, even at this young age. Once when some boys on the playground were tormenting a beetle with a stick, Karla rushed to the aid of the insect and screamed: “You shouldn’t kill it. It’s wrong to kill anything. That is ironic when you read further.

Based on this evidence, it is clear that at the age of 7 or 8, Karla was bossy, controlling and obsessive. One of  Karla’s new friends began to see that Karla was a bit bossy and wanted things to be done her way. She wanted to be pushed on the swings, she wanted to go down the slide first, and she demanded that newest friend come spend time with her at her home. It is not unusual that extremely bright people grow up to be psychopaths. The difference between a psychopath and a sociopath is that the former has no empathy for others whereas the latter not only has no empathy for others; he or she commits horrible crimes against others. As an example, Paul Bernardo is a sociopath.  This early pattern of selfishness and lack of empathy would ultimately lead Homolka to the take part in committing the awful crimes that shocked the world. As a result of her behavior, she too gradually became a sociopath.

Her father began calling her a whore or a slut. This, however, was only after she had begun dating Paul Bernardo. Her father was the only man in a house full of strong-willed women and he would often retreat to the basement when he felt outnumbered. Karla and her younger sister Lori were known to scream “Fuck off” at their father and they would call him “a dumb Czech” when they didn’t get their way. Karla, however, was kind and attentive to Lori. When Lori was sick with the flu and Karla’s parents were gone for the day, Karla gave Lori a little bell to ring whenever she needed something or merely wanted attention. That too is ironic when you learn what she did to her sister later. 

Once she entered high school, she exhibited all the usual symptoms of a typical depressed adolescent, albeit a boy-crazy depressed adolescent. She anguished over the opposite sex. She told her friends that boys were her main concern and that school was a drag.

Karla Homolka often spoke about killing herself and once revealed a small slit moving horizontally across her wrist. If it was a suicide attempt, it was a feeble attempt and her friends remarked that they were sure that it was just to get attention. Karla also claimed that she had tried to overdose on sleeping pills. Her peers struggled to understand how someone as vain as Karla, who was constantly looking at herself in the mirror and fixing their hair, could apparently have such contempt for their own life. I don’t think she wanted to kill herself. She acted in this extreme manner in order to acquire attention from others.

She developed an interest in the occult when she entered high school. Her friend Amanda said they would burn candles and incense and talk about spirits and the “Screaming Tunnels” which were near the railroad tracks outside of town. Karla placed ads in the papers to buy a Ouija Board.

Homolka was 17 and working at a veterinary clinic when she met Paul Bernardo at a pet convention. The two soon found out that they shared the same "psychotic" desires and Karla seemed to take the role of a slave, always obsessed with filling Paul's each and every fantasy he crated for them.

Bernardo had always complained to Homolka that he was disappointed that she was not a virgin when they had first met so, wanting to fulfill his every wish and knowing of his attraction to her fifteen-year-old sister, Homolka decided that Tammy would be a replacement virgin for her. But achieving this took careful planning. It was decided that Homolka would steal the animal anesthetic halothane from the veterinary clinic where she worked.

The date was set and on December 23, 1990, at the family Christmas party, Tammy was served an alcoholic beverage spiked with halcyon. It is a drug that is used to promote sleep in individuals who have difficulty sleeping. It is often used by men who want to rape their dates.

The killer’s first victim

They then lured Homolka’s sister into the basement and held a cloth soaked with halothane to her face. She soon fell unconscious and the couple raped her. However, something went terribly wrong and Tammy began choking on her own vomit during the rape and died, a week before her birthday. The drugs in Tammy's body went undetected and her death was ruled an accident. Later it was ruled a homicide to which Homolka was later convicted of manslaughter.

Their second victim

When she was still working at a pet shop two years later, Homolka had befriended a then 15-year-old girl. On June 7th, 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 began to ply ‘Jane Doe’ with alcohol laced with Halcion. Then Holmolka and Bernardo sexually assaulted their second victim.

Undiscouraged by the death of Tammy, Homolka and Bernardo decided to move in together. Bernardo took to blaming Homolka for Tammy's death and since she was no longer around for his sexual enjoyment so he demanded that Homolka find him a replacement. She was the same girl that Homoka had violated earlier.  Jane was young and attractive and had always seemed to idolize Homolka. Jane was invited out for dinner and again her drinks were spiked. Then the unsuspecting girl was brought home to Bernardo, who was overjoyed with his gift. After "Jane Doe" lost consciousness, Homolka called Bernardo to tell him his surprise wedding gift was ready. They undressed the girl, and Bernardo videotaped Homolka as she sexually molested the girl before Bernardo vaginally and anally penetrated her.

While Jane had been drugged and then brutally sexually molested and raped, the events were videotaped. The next day when the girl awoke, she was in great pain, but had no recollection of the night's events and so they set her free. Jane was lucky because, unlike Tammy and the others to come, she managed to survive.

The next morning, the teenager was nauseated. She believed her vomiting was due to having drunk alcohol for the first time. She did not realize she had been sexually violated.

She was invited back to Port Dalhousie in August, this time to "spend the night". In a replay of what had previously happened to Karla's sister, 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 ambulance was recalled without a follow-up.

Their third victim

The couple was extremely pleased with their new sex hobby together and were thirsting for a new victim. Consequently, on June 15th, 1991 Bernardo kidnapped Leslie Mahaffy. She was born on June 5th 1976 and was 14 years of age then.

On the evening of June 14, 1991, Leslie went to a funeral home to attend a wake for her friend Chris Evans, a boy who had died in a car accident earlier that week. After the wake, a large group of teens met in the woods to drink and console one another. As the evening wound down, a couple of friends walked her home shortly before 2:00 am, where they stayed with her while she found the side door locked. She told them the front door would surely be unlocked, and sent them home. After they left her, she found the front door was locked as well. Her mother had purposely locked her out for being so late coming home. That decision has haunted her ever since and no doubt will haunt her for the rest of her life. I wouldn’t want that albatross hanging around my neck for the rest of my life.

Now alone, Leslie walked to a pay phone at Macs Milk and called a friend's house for permission to sleep over. Her friend told her she couldn’t and after a lengthy conversation that ended after 2:30 am, Leslie said she would go back home and wake up her own mother to get in the house.

When Leslie failed to appear later that day at the funerals for her friend Chris Evans and the three teens killed with him, her mother phoned the police. On June 18th, Debbie Mahaffy filed the official paperwork to have her daughter sought and arrested as a runaway. That was the only way the police could hunt for her.

Paul Bernardo later admitted he had been on Keller Court alone where the Mahaffy home was located, to steal license plates. He saw Leslie Mahaffy alone. He claims he told her he was breaking into the house next door and then offered her a cigarette, which he said was back at his car. When she was close enough to the car, he said he wrapped his sweatshirt quickly around her head, forced her into the vehicle, and took her to the home he shared with Homolka. Homolka's version of the story is similar, but she claims that once he got Mahaffy to the car to fetch the cigarette, he pulled a knife on the girl to get her compliance. She denied being in the car at that time but if that is so, how did she know that he pulled a knife on the girl?

After the duo got home, Bernardo and Homolka videotaped themselves torturing and sexually abusing Mahaffy while listening to the music of  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 signaled the possibility that she might be able to identify her tormentors if permitted to live.

After 24 hours of rape and abuse by both of the killers, Leslie was murdered sometime that Saturday night. According to Homolka, Bernardo strangled Leslie with an electrical cord a second time when the first attempt left her unconscious for a few minutes. Homolka, a veterinary technician, had access to a sedative drug that was used to subdue Leslie; the same drug the pair used in the rape of Homolka's sister six months before that caused her death.

Bernardo stated that he was out of the room, preparing the car to transport Leslie to a location where she would be released, when the heavily-drugged Leslie died. He has claimed he did not even know she was dead until, after putting gas in the car and taking a shower, he tried to pick her up to carry her away. He said he and Homolka panicked, and that he tried to give Mahaffy artificial respiration. Both killers agreed that they gave her a teddy bear to hold during breaks between assaults.

Quite frankly, I doubt that they intended to set her free.  If she was set free, she would report them to the police and a rape kit at the hospital would uncover Bernardo’s DNA. I believe that it was their intention to kill her.

The pair put her body in their basement. The following day the Homolka family had dinner at the house. Keep in mind that the parents didn’t know that the duo had raped and accidentally killed their other daughter. They learned of it later.

After the Homolkas and their remaining daughter, Lori, had left, Bernardo and Homolka decided the best way to dispose of the evidence would be to dismember Leslie Mahaffy and encase each piece of her remains in cement. Bernardo bought a dozen bags of cement at a hardware store the following day. He kept the receipts which would prove damaging at his trial. Bernardo used his grandfather's circular saw to dismember the body.  Bernardo and Homolka then made numerous trips to dump the cement blocks in Lake Gibson, that is 18 kilometres (almost 10 miles) south of Port Dalhousie. At least one of the blocks weighed 90 kg (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. Leslie Mahaffy's orthodontic appliance proved instrumental in identifying her.

For a period of time, the couple focused on their marriage and new life together.  Then on April 16, 1992 the evil couple struck again.

 In part 2, I will describe the death of their fourth victim, the arrest of the two killers, their sentences and the aftermath.  

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