March 21 2005


March 21 2005


Hidden videotapes and the Crown’s ‘deal with the devil’

MAY 4,1970: Karla Homolka is born to Karel and Dorothy Homolka in Mississauga, Ont.

MAY 1987: A young Scarborough, Ont., woman is raped in the first of a series of sexual assaults by Paul Bernardo, dubbed the Scarborough Rapist.

OCT. 17, 1987: Homolka, 17, meets Bernardo, 23, at a Scarborough hotel restaurant. Within hours, the pair have sex.

1989: According to Homolka’s high school yearbook, her biggest dream is “to marry Paul and see him more than twice a week.”

DEC. 23,1990: Homolka’s youngest sister, Tammy, is drugged by her and Bernardo and raped while unconscious in the basement of the Homolka family’s St. Catharines, Ont., home. She chokes on her own vomit and dies; the death is ruled an accident.



JUNE 15,1991:

Bernardo stalks and abducts Leslie Mahaffy, 14, from outside her Burlington, Ont., home.

JUNE 29,1991: Bernardo marries Homolka in a lavish wedding dedicated to Tammy’s memory. That same day, fishermen discover concrete blocks containing Mahaffy’s dismembered remains.

APRIL 16,1992: Bernardo and Homolka abduct Kristen French, 15, as she walks home from school in St. Catharines.

APRIL 30,1992:

French’s naked body is discovered in a Si I

ditch in Burlington, if •¡

less than half a kilof !

metre from the cerneJÉÉÉ^

tery where Mahaffy hbJHi

is buried. A post-mortem confirms she was raped and died of strangulation.

JAN. 6,1993: Bernardo is charged with assault with a weapon against Homolka. He’d hit her Ï so hard with a flashI light that her left É eye was partially H dislodged from its

KARLA’S INFAMOUS PRISON ALBUM These pictures caused outrage when the Toronto Sun obtained and ran them in January 2003. Reportedly taken by her female lover, they showed a relaxed Homolka sunbathing, swinging, posing with her cat. A sweet deal, indeed.

FEB. 18,1993: Bernardo is charged with being the Scarborough Rapist.

FEB. 19,1993: Police start search of Bernardo and Homolka’s St. Catharines house.

FEB. 22,1993: Tammy Homolka’s case is reopened.

MAY 6,1993: A week after the police end their search of Bernardo’s home, his lawyer, Ken Murray, retrieves hidden videotapes showing the abuse of French and Mahaffy by Bernardo and Homolka.

MAY 14,1993: Behind the scenes, a plea agreement is finalized between Karla Homolka and the Crown.

MAY 18,1993:

Homolka and Bernardo L are charged in conlÉMtl %

nection with the sex ^

slayings of French and i| iBBP

Mahaffy. Homolka,

facing two counts of fc.

manslaughter, is freed m,

on bail. Rumours surface of the Crown’s “deal with the devil” with Homolka for her testimony against Bernardo.

He faces nine counts, including two of first-degree murder for the killings of French and Mahaffy.

JUNE 24,1993: Homolka’s trial begins. She is convicted on July 6 and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

JULY 20,1993: Tammy’s body is exhumed for examination.

FEB. 25,1994: Homolka and Bernardo are divorced.

MAY 10,1994:

Bernardo is charged with manslaughter and aggravated assault in Tammy’s death.

SEPTEMBER 1994: Murray quits as Bernardo’s lawyer and hands over the videotapes to new lawyer John Rosen, who then gives them to police.

MAY 18,1995: Two years after Bernardo is charged with the murders of French and Mahaffy, his trial starts.

JUNE 19,1995: Flomolka begins testifying against her ex-husband.

SEPT. 1,1995: Bernardo is convicted on all nine charges and sentenced to life in prison.

NOV. 3,1995: Bernardo admits to being the Scarborough Rapist, and to his role in Tammy Homolka’s killing, and is declared a dangerous offender.

SUMMER 1997: Homolka is transferred from Kingston to Quebec’s Joliette Institution, nicknamed “Club Fed” by critics who say it is more like a dormitory than a prison.

AUGUST 1999: Anticipating her statutory release date in July 2001, Homolka applies for a six-month escorted temporary absence from prison program. She is turned down.

JANUARY 2001: Correctional Services Canada recommends Homolka be held beyond her statutory release date.

MARCH 8,2001: The National Parole Board denies Homolka statutory release, deeming her a risk to kill or do serious harm before her full sentence expires.

At every subsequent annual review, the decision is upheld.

DEC. 16, 2004: In its final ruling, the National Parole Board states that Homolka must remain behind bars until her full term ends on July 5,2005.


It’s by no means a perfect formula, and Canadians could be forgiven for wishing Homolka would simply disappear. But keeping her close seems the only proper response under the circumstances, a bulwark against her reoffending that might just advance the day when the sound of her name, and the memory of her insolent smile, no longer stir our wrath. I?J1